Regulatory Enforcement


Facebook pays $6.8M to settle Canadian privacy violations


Facebook will pay $6.8 million in fines and penalties to settle claims it shared private information regarding 24 million Canadian customers with third parties over six years, despite promising users it was not doing so.


Miniclip settles with FTC for falsely claiming participation in COPPA safe harbor program


Swiss-based digital game maker Miniclip has reached a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for lying about its participation in a children’s privacy self-regulatory program.


KPMG audit partners settle test cheating allegations


The KPMG cheating scandal expanded this week as three former partners at the firm settled charges with the SEC regarding the improper sharing of answers for internal training exams.


Longtime holdout Ireland issues first GDPR fine


Child and family agency Tusla has become the first company to receive a fine from the Irish Data Protection Commission for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation.


Morningstar to pay $3.5M for conflicts of interest violations


Morningstar Credit Ratings has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle SEC charges for violating a conflict of interest rule designed to separate credit ratings and analysis from sales and marketing efforts.


SEC charges Ambassador Advisors compliance chief for breaching fiduciary duties


The SEC charged Ambassador Advisors and its principals—including its chief compliance officer—with breaches of fiduciary duty arising out of its mutual fund share-class selection practices.


SEC: Enforcement efforts still extend beyond coronavirus


Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said while coronavirus-related matters remain a top priority for the agency, “our other priorities also remain in place.”


SEC, DOJ ordered to review RBS whistleblower’s claim on $4.9B settlement


A federal appeals court ordered two federal agencies to review the whistleblower claims of a former Royal Bank of Scotland employee who is seeking a slice of a nearly $5 billion settlement.


Rewriting the cyber-compliance playbook

2020-05-11T13:41:00+01:00By Rod Rosenstein & Sumon Dantiki, CW Guest Columnists

Former U.S. deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein provides some best practices companies can employ in their fight against a new era of cyber-crime.

Money laundering

World Acceptance sets aside $22M to resolve SEC FCPA probe


World Acceptance Corporation announced it has recorded an aggregate accrual of $21.7 million to resolve an SEC investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


Herbalife nears $123M FCPA resolution


Dietary supplement maker Herbalife said in a regulatory filing it has set aside a total of $123 million in accrued liability concerning SEC and DOJ investigations into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in China.


Justice Department to recover more than $49M involving 1MDB


The Department of Justice reached a settlement to recover more than $49 million in assets associated with the international money laundering and bribery scheme involving Malaysia’s state development fund 1MDB.


Alexion nears $25M settlement with SEC in FCPA probe


Alexion Pharmaceuticals said in a regulatory filing that it is nearing a $25 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning an investigation into the company’s compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act spanning various countries.


Lesson from Westpac: If you can’t do the simple things correctly, watch out


If a bank or a firm cannot execute on the simple things, such as cash transaction reporting, there is little reason to be confident of compliance in other more complex and challenging areas.

EU shop closed

European regulators warn coronavirus villains will be punished … eventually


While EU regulators have not engaged in investigations yet or launched many (or any) coronavirus-related enforcement actions, lawyers warn they will do so later down the line and believe they will tackle “worst offenders” first.


Elon Musk again tests SEC with 'stock price is too high' tweet


Tesla CEO Elon Musk is at it again on Twitter, this time with a comment he made about the electric car company’s stock price being too high.


Everest Capital settles SEC charges for risk management failures


The Securities and Exchange Commission settled charges against investment adviser Everest Capital and its sole principal for risk management failures stemming from a bad currency bet on the Swiss franc.


Bank Hapoalim’s bad day: $904M in tax evasion, FIFA fines


Israel’s largest bank and its Swiss subsidiary will pay a total of $904 million in separate DOJ settlements related to (1) a massive tax-evasion scheme and (2) its role in a money-laundering conspiracy with FIFA.

Accounting fraud

Two former Penn West execs settle accounting fraud charges with SEC


The former CFO and former VP of accounting and reporting at Penn West Petroleum have settled SEC charges for their role in an accounting fraud scheme that spanned several years.


Analysis: Luckin Coffee saga a case of déjà vu?


Financial crime expert Martin Woods ponders how the SEC can ensure foreign companies, like China-based Luckin Coffee, that publicly trade in the U.S. can apply the proper standards of compliance, financial reporting, and even whistleblower protections.


Praxsyn’s apparent COVID-19 investment scam points to broader trend


The SEC announced charges against Praxsyn and its CEO for lying about acquiring and being able to supply millions of N95 masks, joining a long list of other companies alleged to have participated in COVID-19 investment scams.


CPE Webcast: Managing regulatory change through innovation

2020-04-28T14:33:00+01:00Provided by

In a rapidly changing world of rising regulatory and operational complexity, how does a compliance department stay one step ahead in ensuring awareness and alignment to the latest guidance by every employee?


House Democrats call EPA enforcement pause ‘threat to public health’


House Democrats are concerned that a temporary rollback of some environmental regulations will give companies “an open license to pollute” and have requested the EPA provide a briefing on its decisions next month.


Industrial Bank of Korea to pay $86M for sanctions compliance failures


The Industrial Bank of Korea and its New York branch will pay a total of $86 million to resolve charges for systemic sanctions compliance failures that allowed more than $1 billion to be illegally transferred to the government of Iran.


Old Ironsides to pay $1M for compliance failures


Old Ironsides Energy will pay a $1 million penalty to settle SEC charges for failing to implement its own compliance policies and procedures regarding the distribution of misleading marketing materials.


Eni to pay $24.5M to resolve FCPA charges


Italian oil company Eni will pay $24.5 million to settle SEC charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with regard to the award of certain contracts to its former subsidiary Saipem in Algeria.

Europe coronavirus

Don’t count on European regulators to relax rules during coronavirus crisis


European businesses may be putting themselves at risk because they mistakenly believe regulators are prepared to loosen the rules so companies can operate more easily as the coronavirus pandemic lingers on.


Saber Healthcare Group to pay $10M in False Claims Act case


The Department of Justice fined Saber Healthcare Group and its related entities $10 million for violations of the False Claims Act, alleging the company knowingly increased Medicare billings.


SEC censures Schulman Lobel for deficient audit engagements


The SEC censured audit firm Schulman Lobel and ordered it to pay a total of $98,510 for deficient audit and review engagements it performed on now-defunct software provider Quadrant 4 System.

complianceline corona img

e-Book: Coronavirus impact on the regulatory climate

2020-04-14T20:31:00+01:00Provided by

As both the regulatory landscape and the “new normal” for businesses evolves in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, one thing remains certain: An ethics-first mindset will always keep your company pointed in the right direction.


Ex-exec charged, but Goldman Sachs avoids FCPA liability for due diligence efforts


The SEC announced charges against a former Goldman Sachs exec for violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, but the firm was not charged in the case because of the due diligence measures it took.

Tesco Stores

SFO: Tesco concludes three-year DPA for accounting scandal


The U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced British supermarket chain Tesco Stores has fulfilled the terms of its 2017 deferred prosecution agreement resulting from an accounting fraud scandal.


FinCEN, OCC offer BSA compliance relief amid pandemic


Two federal agencies that oversee Bank Secrecy Act requirements have notified financial institutions they will agree to “reasonable delays” in the filing of required reports if institutions can show the delays are necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus capital

Regulatory slowdown due to coronavirus makes compliance role critical


The ongoing pandemic is limiting investigations into most types of white-collar crimes as federal enforcement agencies refocus their attention on coronavirus-related matters.


FRC sanctions KPMG, former senior partner for audit failings


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has reprimanded and fined KPMG and one of its former senior partners for a failure to exercise “sufficient professional skepticism” and for failure to obtain “sufficient appropriate audit evidence.”

Insider trading

SEC charges chief compliance officer in trading scheme


The SEC has filed a complaint against four individuals, including a former chief compliance officer, for conducting a fraudulent unauthorized trading scheme through retail customer accounts at their Commission-registered brokerage firm.


Standard Chartered fined $24.9M for Ukraine sanctions breaches


The U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation hit Standard Chartered Bank for a record fine relating to loans the bank made to Russian financial institutions in violation of the EU’s sanction regime.


EPA scaling back enforcement amid coronavirus


The Environmental Protection Agency said it doesn’t expect to seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations during a temporary policy issued amid the coronavirus pandemic.


DOJ indicts Venezuela President Maduro, others in regime


The DOJ unsealed indictments against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and several high-ranking former and current members of his regime for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering crimes, as well as violations of the FCPA.


DOJ begins enforcement crackdown on coronavirus fraud


The Department of Justice has acted swiftly on its vow to crack down on fraud during the coronavirus pandemic, issuing its first related enforcement action against a Website acting as an alleged wire-fraud scheme.


TRACE: Bribery enforcement down in 2019


Risks in the extractives and aerospace industries are still prevalent, but the number of overall global and U.S. enforcement cases involving bribery dropped in 2019, according to the latest report from TRACE International.


Swedish regulator fines Swedbank record $390M for AML deficiencies


Swedbank AB has been issued a record 4 billion Swedish Krona (U.S. $390 million) administrative fine for what Sweden’s financial watchdog called “serious deficiencies in its management of the risk of money laundering in its Baltic operations.”

hitachi 300x200

Webcast: Can KYC compliance and customer experience coexist?

2020-03-19T14:10:00+00:00Provided by

Remaining competitive in the modern financial world requires staying ahead of increasingly sophisticated financial crimes and fluid regulations across multiple jurisdictions.

Google building

Swedish watchdog fines Google $7.6M for GDPR non-compliance


Google has received its second fine to date for violating Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation; Sweden’s Data Protection Authority fined the internet giant 75 million Swedish Kroner (U.S. $7.6 million).


Webcast: Regulatory update for financial services

2020-03-12T15:47:00+00:00Provided by

FINRA’s Exam Priorities, Regulation BI, and the SEC’s Cybersecurity Guidance

Jonny Frank

10 tips to meet government expectations of remediation programs

2020-03-11T20:39:00+00:00By Jonny Frank, Compliance Week Guest Columnist

A DOJ-appointed independent compliance monitor has some important advice for companies in trouble that may mean not just remediation credit, but more importantly reputation restoration and the avoidance of larger problems down the line.

Fifth Third

CFPB lawsuit against Fifth Third mirrors Wells Fargo allegations


Fifth Third Bank, National Association could potentially be in as much legal and regulatory trouble as Wells Fargo if allegations of unauthorized account opening brought by the CFPB hold true.

Bank fail

Former U.S. Bank risk officer pays $450K for AML compliance failures


The former chief operational risk officer at U.S. Bank has agreed to pay a $450,000 penalty for his role in the bank failing to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering compliance program.


Alstom exec's acquittal calls FCPA jurisdiction into question


A federal court in Connecticut acquitted a former Alstom employee on FCPA charges following a Second Circuit decision. But the story does not end there.

Cathay Pacific

U.K.’s ICO fines Cathay Pacific for pre-GDPR breach


The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office has fined airline Cathay Pacific £500,000 (U.S. $643,000) for failing to protect the personal data of millions of customers.