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Is a Monitor on the Horizon?

February 10, 2020 | Compliance Monitoring

The Department of Justice has come knocking and is investigating your company for let’s say –serious money laundering or sanction violations or for manufacturing a defective product that has caused injuries or deaths.

The press is bad, raising grave questions about the company’s culture. Emails released to the public show that employees are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation, or worse, employees are hiding misconduct from the regulators.

It’s just a matter of time before your company settles … Read More

New York State’s MWBE Participation Program

November 14, 2019 | Compliance

 “The extension and expansion of New York’s nation-leading MWBE program will help ensure our economy is reflective of our values and of our diverse talent pool… and by signing this measure into law we will empower more women and people of color to participate in State contracts and continue our aggressive program to make contracting even more inclusive.”

So said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo this past summer when he signed into law legislation renewing for five more years, … Read More

Historic Action on the Hill: Cannabis Banking Bill Passes House

October 31, 2019 | Compliance

As the state-legal cannabis industry continues to march forward at a nearly unprecedented pace, it has remained hobbled by federal legal constraints. The fact that cannabis is illegal at the federal level throws myriad wrenches into the works. Banking is the most notable sticking point.

To run a legitimate business, one needs access to a legitimate bank, but the federal government’s stance on cannabis makes banks hesitant to take on cannabis businesses as clients. In a  response that many consider … Read More

Cryptocurrency Regulation is Working, But Can it Be Improved?

October 28, 2019 | Compliance

As regulators and legislators dash to keep up with developments in financial services technology and markets, cryptocurrency remains a central focus. At a recent fintech forum held at Georgetown University, Superintendent Linda Lacewell indicated that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) would be reviewing its existing licensing scheme for cryptocurrency businesses operating in New York. It was reported that Superintendent Lacewell said, “This is a good time to take a look . . . and see how
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Practical Tips to Protect Union and Fringe Benefit Fund Assets

October 21, 2019 | Compliance Financial Crime Consulting

Recent headlines highlight the arrests of officials from labor organizations or fringe benefit funds for spending union or health and welfare fund monies on vacations, luxury items, parties and pricey restaurants or for entering into collusive agreements with employers, extorting money, or criminally coercing concessions from vendors and suppliers. These actions violate the Hobbs Act. The consequences of such misconduct can be detrimental to say the least.

The cost of remedial litigation alone can be overwhelming, while the reputational … Read More

A Robust Whistleblowing Program is an Essential Component of a Comprehensive Compliance Program

October 14, 2019 | Compliance

Whistleblowing is in the news.   Current events are a timely reminder of the importance of having in place sound and up-to-date policies, procedures and programs for whistleblowing.  A number of prudential regulators, such as federal and state bank regulators, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, all include review of a company’s whistleblowing program as standard in periodic examinations or inspections.

A robust whistleblowing program is an essential component of a comprehensive compliance program for financial institutions and other large corporations.  … Read More

DOJ’s Use of Data Analytics for Prosecutions Becomes the “Norm”

October 7, 2019 | Compliance

The Fraud Division of the U.S. Justice Department unsealed an indictment recently that charged three traders associated with a global U.S.-based bank with a racketeering conspiracy that involved alleged manipulation of the precious metals markets through “spoofing.” The indictment alleges numerous specific instances of spoofing, over an approximately eight-year period, intended to improperly affect prices for precious metals and related options. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a parallel civil action against the three traders as well, likewise charging … Read More

The New Mandate of the Financial Action Task Force and Private Sector Engagement

May 6, 2019 | Compliance Financial Crime Consulting

On April 12, 2019, the government ministers and representatives of the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) agreed upon and issued a new mandate for the organization, the first revision since 2012. The new mandate represents a functional impact on the mission of the organization, as FATF ministers will soon commence meeting every two years, a FATF Presidency term will last for two years rather than one year, and the term of the FATF’s mandate is open-ended rather than requiring periodic
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Employer Alert – Interim State IDs Have Adverse I-9 Consequences

May 2, 2019 | Compliance Immigration + Border Services

Employers who have dedicated resources to developing a robust I-9 compliance program, and who also follow trends related to identification documents to prevent fraud, should pay attention to a new area of concern — interim driver’s licenses.

Many states have enhanced the security of their driver’s licenses and identification cards over the past several years. These enhancements consist of new security features, printing, holograms, and tamper resistant formats. Some states periodically enhance the security features of their documents, and others … Read More

Tell Me Some More Bad News: Encouraging The Internal Reporting Of Compliance Failures

April 29, 2019 | Compliance

As published in Forbes, April 22, 2019.

Last May, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority fined Barclays CEO Jes Staley over £600,000 for non-compliance with U.K. laws aimed at protecting whistleblowers. Then, in December, New York’s banking regulator fined Barclays another $15 million for its CEO’s wrongdoing. Mr. Staley had attempted to improperly identify a whistleblower employee who had written anonymous letters to the bank’s board and senior management raising concerns about a fellow employee. … Read More