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Sanctions and The Supply Chain: Basic Steps to Protect Yourself

April 10, 2022 | Compliance National Security Risk + Compliance

With the Russian-Ukraine war’s ever-expanding sanctions landscape, the supply chain is even more complex than it already was, and enforcement risk is even higher given the broader array of U.S. federal and international agencies’ intent on strict compliance. It is increasingly necessary to regularly evaluate supply chain and trade operations to ensure companies are meeting their compliance expectations.  

For one, sanctions compliance is more than payments filtering and screening. It is also about export controls and licensing, cryptocurrency, and other Read More

Is Your Russia–Ukraine And Overall Sanctions Compliance Program Really Working?
(Don’t Find Out the Hard Way)

February 28, 2022 | Compliance Uncategorized

How do you know if your sanctions compliance program (“SCP”) is really working? Can your firm really afford to find out the hard way – violations with major penalties, especially after regulators uncover your management did not sufficiently invest in the right people, processes, and/or technologies to filter, freeze, and report targeted assets?

As we witness the Russian military assault in (and tremendous courage of) Ukraine, and its citizens, the West is responding with major financial sanctions to freeze assets … Read More

Association of American Universities Adopts Principles to Address Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation on University Campuses

November 16, 2021 | Institutional Integrity Risk + Compliance

The presidents and chancellors of the Association of American Universities (“AAU”), an organization composed of 66 research universities across the U.S., announced on October 26, 2021, that it adopted eight new principles to address sexual misconduct in all forms, including sexual and gender-based harassment and related retaliation.

In a strongly worded statement, the AAU and its member institutions declared that they are unanimously “dedicated to supporting an environment in which students, staff, and faculty can fully participate in the campus … Read More

How Will the Biden Administration’s Trade Policy Impact Exports of Strategic Importance? Tips for Navigating the Waters

June 14, 2021 | Compliance

7 questions to ask before engaging in the export of strategic goodsWith administration change comes policy change. As the Biden administration continues to implement its policies, we are seeing a changing view on sales of U.S. strategic goods to foreign entities.

Specifically, as reported by Reuters, the Biden administration will “…’reprioritize’ other factors including U.S. national security, human rights and nonproliferation….,” in addition to economic security with relation to exports of weapons and strategic goods. In addition, the administration will look more favorably at strategic goods exports that are defensive … Read More

The SEC (Sort of) Weighs In on How Personal Liability for Chief Compliance Officers May Undercut Effective Compliance Programs

December 14, 2020 | Compliance Risk + Compliance

Although regulators often seek to empower compliance officers within their institutions, a troubling question lingers as to whether regulators are undercutting this important message by simultaneously sending mixed or unrefined signals about when a Chief Compliance Officer should be held personally liable for the compliance failings of his or her firm. The director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations recently urged investment firms to empower Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs), saying, “The CCO is … Read More

When to Consider CFIUS Mitigation Requirements? Now!

September 17, 2020 | Compliance National Security

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

More CARES Act Investigations Should Come as No Surprise

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

Evolution of the NYDFS Virtual Currency Licensing Regime

July 23, 2020 | Compliance Financial Crime Consulting

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

Deutsche Bank Sanctioned in Connection with Jeffrey Epstein Banking Relationship

July 9, 2020 | Compliance Financial Crime Consulting

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.

This latest enforcement action against DB follows several others issued against the bank by NYDFS since 2015, including for improper conduct arising … Read More

COVID-19 Pandemic Oversight is Heating Up

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