Regulatory Enforcement


Ex-Braskem CEO pleads guilty for role in bribery scheme


The former CEO of Brazilian petrochemical giant Braskem pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to divert hundreds of millions of dollars in bribe payments from the company to government officials and political parties in Brazil.


Facebook facing 10th GDPR probe over data leak


The Irish Data Protection Commission has launched an inquiry into Facebook over concerns the social media giant may not have properly disclosed the full extent of its recent data leak.

Gary Gensler hearing

Senate confirms Gary Gensler as SEC chairman


The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of Gary Gensler to replace Jay Clayton as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Aaron Nicodemus explores what it means for ESG, cryptocurrency, and more.


FTC gearing up for aggressive oversight of antitrust, M&A


With a changing of the guard, the Federal Trade Commission is undergoing some major restructuring on the antitrust front. All told, it’s not just Big Tech and pharmaceutical companies that should be on alert.


Biden to nominate former CCO to lead DOJ’s Criminal Division


President Joe Biden will nominate Kenneth Polite as assistant attorney general to lead the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. Polite previously worked as chief compliance officer at Fortune 500 electric power company Entergy.

Car lease

SFO launches fraud investigation into Buy2Let Cars owner


The U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced a fraud investigation into car leaser Buy2Let Cars and several other companies operated by Raedex Consortium. Further details are expected next month.

Facebook privacy

Facebook’s new leak: Assessing its liability under the GDPR


Old personal data of more than 533 million Facebook users was recently made publicly available on a hacker forum. Could the social media giant face a new investigation under the GDPR in response?


​Irish DPC seeking answers on Facebook breach


The Irish Data Protection Commission has reached out to Facebook seeking to determine whether the social media giant’s weekend data breach should receive scrutiny under the General Data Protection Regulation.


Italian DPA fines Fastweb $5.3M under GDPR for aggressive telemarketing


The Italian Data Protection Authority announced a fine of €4.5 million (U.S. $5.3 million) against telecommunications company Fastweb for misusing customer data for telemarketing purposes.

Booking fined $557K under GDPR for reporting data breach late


Online reservation Website has been fined €475,000 (U.S. $557,000) by the Dutch Data Protection Authority for reporting a data breach 22 days later than the 72 hours required under the GDPR.

U.K. money laundering

U.K. AML update: New obligations for cryptocurrency firms


Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, recently shared insights into the agency’s pipeline of AML investigations and what lies ahead for regulated firms.


Moody’s fined $4.4M for European conflict-of-interest violations


Five European subsidiaries of Moody’s Corp. have been fined a total of €3.7 million (U.S. $4.4 million) by the European Securities and Markets Authority for violating conflict-of-interest rules.

Daniel Kahn

DOJ’s Daniel Kahn talks FCPA, evaluation of compliance, more


Daniel Kahn, acting chief of the Department of Justice’s Fraud Section, discussed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, evaluating companies’ investments in compliance, and more at Compliance Week’s Financial Crimes virtual event.

Boiler systems

OFAC fines Nordgas $950K for Iran sanctions violations


Italian company Nordgas, a producer and seller of components for gas boiler systems and applications, has agreed to pay $950,000 for apparent sanctions violations related to the sale of air pressure switches in Iran.

Federal Reserve

Enforcement an option as LIBOR deadline nears


Examiners from the Federal Reserve are being encouraged to consider supervisory actions against firms not ready to stop issuing LIBOR-based contracts by Dec. 31.


Westpac considering New Zealand unit demerger amid risk review


Westpac is assessing a demerger from its New Zealand business after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand ordered the unit to commission two independent reports concerning the bank’s liquidity and risk governance processes.


Ex-GPB Capital CCO avoids prison in SEC theft case


A former SEC examiner who used insider information about an ongoing fraud investigation to obtain the chief compliance officer job with private equity firm GPB Capital has been sentenced to nine months of home confinement.

European Union

Local laws proving to be roadblocks for GDPR harmonization


Recent cases in Germany, France, and Austria underscore the difficulty of getting EU members on the same page regarding GDPR enforcement—particularly when other local laws take priority.


CFTC fines Coinbase $6.5M for inaccurate reporting, wash trading


Coinbase agreed to pay a $6.5 million civil penalty to settle charges from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for reporting violations and improper trading activity by a former employee.


Popular Clubhouse app being probed for GDPR violations


France’s data privacy watchdog adds to a growing list of regulators that have launched investigations into Alpha Exploration, the publisher of the Clubhouse application, regarding measures it has taken (or not taken) to comply with the GDPR.


Toyota discloses ‘possible anti-bribery violations’ to U.S. authorities


Toyota said in a regulatory filing it has “reported possible anti-bribery violations related to a Thai subsidiary” to U.S. enforcement agencies.

Magnifying glass

SFO closes bribery investigation into KBR’s U.K. subsidiaries


The Serious Fraud Office announced it closed its bribery and corruption investigation into the activities of KBR’s British subsidiaries and employees, weeks after the U.K. Supreme Court unanimously ruled the agency breached its authority in the case.


Italian court acquits Eni, Shell of corruption charges


An Italian court acquitted oil companies Royal Dutch Shell and Eni and a group of current and former executives of corruption charges surrounding a widespread bribery scheme to acquire oil exploration rights in Nigeria.


Och-Ziff ex-CFO fined $35K for role in bribery case


The former chief financial officer at then-Och-Ziff Capital Management Group has agreed to pay $35,000 in a settlement with the SEC for his role in the firm’s notorious bribery scheme.


ABN AMRO facing new charges in money laundering probe


ABN AMRO is facing new charges from Dutch prosecutors that imply the bank is suspected of knowing of money laundering activities perpetrated by its customers without intervening.

Offshore engineering

John Wood Group earmarks $197M for global bribery settlement


Scotland-based multienergy services company John Wood Group is in “advanced stage” settlement talks with authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil regarding legacy bribery and corruption investigations.


U.S., U.K. enforcement heads praise coordination in corruption cases


Daniel Kahn of the U.S. Department of Justice and Lisa Osofsky of the U.K. Serious Fraud Office discuss how enforcement agencies expect closer cooperation through 2021 in the global fight against bribery and corruption.

NatWest Bank

NatWest facing criminal charges in landmark U.K. money laundering case


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has brought criminal proceedings against National Westminster Bank concerning alleged violations of the 2007 Money Laundering Regulations—a first for the regulator.

Iran flag

OFAC fines UniControl $216K for Iran sanctions violations


Ohio-based manufacturer UniControl will pay $216,464 for apparent U.S. sanctions violations that occurred when its European trade partners re-exported its products to Iran.


CFPB flips on Trump-era abusive acts stance


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reversed a Trump administration policy on how it assesses and punishes abusive practices in the financial services industry.


​Vodafone Spain fined record $9.72M for data protection failures


Vodafone Spain has been fined €8.15 million (U.S. $9.72 million) for aggressive telemarketing tactics and other data protection failures under the GDPR. The penalty is the highest the Spanish Data Protection Agency has handed out.


U.K. sanctions body signals tougher enforcement with new guidance


Revised guidance by the U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation suggests the agency might be strengthening its current enforcement stance as it pertains to breaches of financial sanctions.

Car dealership

FRC to investigate Deloitte over Lookers’ audits


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has commenced an investigation into Deloitte over its audit work of car dealership chain Lookers.


SEC’s Crenshaw throws down gauntlet: Large fines are good fines


The tide has officially turned, corporate America. The SEC is returning to a previous position of measuring the agency’s success by the size and number of the fines it levies. Time to get your houses in order.


TRACE: U.S. bribery enforcement declined in 2020


Despite a banner year for resolutions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2020, U.S. enforcement of the anti-bribery law dropped 29 percent when compared to 2019, according to the latest Global Enforcement Report by TRACE International.

GDPR industry fines

GDPR fines by industry: Telecoms far outpace Big Tech


Since the GDPR came into force in 2018, Big Tech firms have not been on the receiving end of fines as frequently as expected. Meanwhile, other industries have shown to be more prone to data privacy violations, namely telecommunications.

Rohit Chopra hearing

Gary Gensler (SEC), Rohit Chopra (CFPB) nominations forwarded to Senate


A Senate committee Wednesday voted in favor of President Joe Biden’s nomination of Gary Gensler to lead the SEC but deadlocked on his choice of Rohit Chopra (pictured) to helm the CFPB.

Merrick Garland

Senate confirms Merrick Garland as Attorney General


President Joe Biden’s nomination of Merrick Garland to be the Attorney General of the United States was confirmed by a 70-30 Senate vote Wednesday.

Deutsche Wohnen

GDPR dealt blow as German court drops $17.2M Deutsche Wohnen fine


A €14.5 million (U.S. $17.2 million) fine against Deutsche Wohnen has been dropped after a German court found under German law the company could not be held responsible for violating the GDPR unless blame could be attached to a specific individual or executive.


SEC charges AT&T, three execs with disclosure violations


The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused AT&T of selectively disclosing material nonpublic information regarding poor smartphone sales to research analysts, in violation of the regulation that requires such information to be made public.


SEC task force will scrutinize climate and ESG disclosures


OK, OK, Securities and Exchange Commission. We get the message. Climate and ESG-related disclosures will be under increased scrutiny in 2021.


​OFAC crypto crackdown: Coinbase disclosures under review


Coinbase disclosed certain of its transactions are “under review” by the Office of Foreign Assets Control for potential violations of U.S. sanctions laws. Fellow cryptocurrency platforms BitGo and BitPay have each been fined by the regulator in the last three months.

New York cyber-security

NYDFS fines mortgage banker $1.5M for cyber-security violations


The New York State Department of Financial Services fined Residential Mortgage Services $1.5 million for violating New York’s cyber-security regulation.


Biden influence apparent in SEC 2021 examination priorities


The long-awaited 2021 examination priorities of the Securities and Exchange Commission were released Wednesday, with climate- and ESG-related risks unsurprisingly among areas that will receive enhanced focus.

Gary Gensler

Gary Gensler (SEC), Rohit Chopra (CFPB) play it safe at confirmation hearing


There were few surprises Tuesday during the Senate confirmation hearing for President Joe Biden’s nominations to lead the SEC (Gary Gensler, pictured) and CFPB (Rohit Chopra).

GameStop stocks

SEC halt on ‘meme stocks’ just the beginning of GameStop fallout?


The SEC over the last month has suspended trading on securities offered by 21 companies in reaction to market volatility caused by “apparent social media attempts to artificially inflate their stock price.” Could the trend lead to further regulation?

DOJ building

Pilgrim’s Pride pays $108M in price-fixing scandal


Pilgrim’s Pride has become the first company to plead guilty for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids in the broiler chicken industry and will pay a $108 million criminal fine.


Robinhood, FINRA discussing settlement over 2020 outages


Online stock-trading platform Robinhood said it may face at least $26.6 million in costs related to resolving investigations by FINRA concerning its options-trading practices and outages its platform suffered last year.

Personal expenses

SEC charges Gulfport, former CEO with failing to disclose executive perks


The SEC settled charges against gas exploration and production company Gulfport Energy and its former CEO Michael Moore for failing to properly disclose as compensation certain perks provided to Moore and related personal expenses.

Construction site

Samsung Heavy Industries settles Brazil bribery probe for $150M


Samsung Heavy Industries will pay 812 million reais (U.S. $149.9 million) in a leniency deal with Brazilian enforcement authorities for acts of corruption and money laundering related to “Operation Car Wash.”