In its recently issued Sanctions Systems Annual Report FY 2020, the World Bank Group (WBG) confirmed its commitment to investigate and sanction corruption and fraud occurring in bank-financed projects, despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, co-authored by the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), the Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD), and the Sanctions Board, revealed little coronavirus-related slowdown in the WBG’s enforcement activities. To the contrary, the bank’s in-house investigatory teams initiated roughly the same number of … Read More
As my colleague Ken Mendelson noted, the watchword for ACI’s recent CFIUS conference was “mitigation.” As a result of the new rules implementing the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (“FIRRMA”), the number of deals requiring mitigation is likely to grow significantly.
The conference, however, focused mostly on the kinds of deals that would require mitigation. The conference offered little detail regarding the specific mitigation measures that might be sufficient to get a transaction approved. Those measures could … Read More
September 14, 2020 | Compliance
As might have been expected, the urgent distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars by the government in coronavirus relief funds has strained the capacity to process it and left ample fodder for further government oversight and investigations. Anyone who received this funding or was involved in the process to distribute it should assess their potential exposure and be prepared when the government knocks at the door.
The strain is evidenced by developments reported over the last couple of weeks. … Read More
In the Summer of 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) became the first state banking regulator to issue a stand-alone virtual currency regulatory framework (23 NYCRR Part 200). Prior to the creation of this virtual currency license, also known as the “Bitlicense,” institutions followed different paths to seek approval from the DFS for their crypto-related activities involving New York or New York residents. Some institutions, like Paxos Trust Company, LLC (f/k/a itBit Trust Company, LLC) and … Read More
The New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) recently sanctioned Deutsche Bank (“DB”) $150 million for BSA/AML deficiencies. According to the regulator’s factual findings, the compliance failures arose in connection with the bank’s private wealth relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, and correspondent banking relationships with Danske Bank Estonia (“Danske Estonia”) and FBME Bank (“FBME”), both located in Eastern Europe.
While principles of physical security are largely universal, data centers require a nuanced approach and are a great case study for security practitioners. In this blog, I will discuss basic security design for data centers and the new technologies now available to address the COVID era.
Looking ahead at commercial and industrial demands for data consumption, it is clear the data center industry will continue to thrive. Estimates on market growth average 15% year over year from 2020-2023. Whether you … Read More
June 11, 2020 | Compliance
Oversight of congressional funding and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic picked up steam this week. Anyone who received funding from the CARES Act or other disaster relief legislation needs to be sure the money can be properly accounted for.
The Senate recently confirmed Brian Miller as Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR). As SIGPR, he will oversee the taxpayer-funded pandemic recovery fund and lead audits and investigations to prevent and detect fraud and abuse. Miller will also … Read More
June 10, 2020 | Compliance
The COVID-19 pandemic has left us all in an embattled state, and the businesses that fuel our economy have probably been hit hardest of all. In an effort to help mitigate the damage, the government is funneling $2.2 trillion to hard-hit companies via the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). While the potential is always high for fraud and abuse in relation to large, cumbersome governmental actions, this is never truer than when they are precipitated by … Read More
June 8, 2020 | Investigations
I read my first Sherlock Holmes novel in Farsi at the age of 11 in the bombed-out suburbs of Tehran. In post-revolution Iran – during a war, food rations, military conscription, and nightly air raids – it was a rare pleasure, and solving complex problems became my passion. I became the self-declared investigator of lost pets, soccer balls, and toys in the neighborhood. I took notes, marked evidence, and exercised my deductive reasoning skills.
When I immigrated with my family … Read More
June 2, 2020 | Security Consulting
In the weeks following the spread of COVID19, countries and businesses were abruptly forced into critical decisions relative to reducing or ceasing operations, defining essential operations and maneuvering multiple mandates. The resulting questions include, how are we going to do more with less and how can we ensure the safety of our people and the security of our business? Some had no choice. Emergency and primary healthcare are always essential while businesses directly serving the public such as delivery services, … Read More