Regulatory Enforcement


Three KPMG firms disciplined in $7.7M enforcement sweep


The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced $7.7 million in total penalties against three separate KPMG firms and four individuals for varying violations of audit standards and ethical rules.


Five compliance triumphs from 2022


Positive contributions in the areas of ESG, AI responsibility, and setting standards regarding CCO liability highlight the latest installment of CW’s annual list of laudable ethics and compliance moments.

Glencore site

Glencore to pay $180M in DRC corruption case


Commodity trading and mining company Glencore agreed to pay $180 million to the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to settle claims arising from alleged corrupt practices that took place for more than a decade.


Clubhouse app operator fined $2M for GDPR violations


Alpha Exploration, operator of the social media app Clubhouse, received a penalty from the Italian data protection authority for the unlawful processing of EU citizens’ data in violation of the General Data Protection Regulation.

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Top ethics and compliance failures of 2022


Businesses not taking AML requirements seriously, years of noncompliant off-channel communications catching up to financial services titans, and a manufacturing firm that shared revenue with terrorists comprise CW’s list of the biggest ethics and compliance fails of 2022.


AT&T to pay record $6.25M in Reg FD case


AT&T agreed to pay $6.25 million as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission addressing allegations three of its executives fed sensitive financial information to Wall Street research analysts and not investors.


Barclays fined $10.2M over EU interchange fee violations


Barclays was fined £8.4 million (U.S. $10.2 million) by the U.K.’s Payment Systems Regulator for failing to provide retailers with complete information about the costs of the card services it supplied.


ABB avoids DOJ monitor, to pay $327M over South African bribes


ABB agreed to pay $327 million in penalties to settle coordinated charges it paid bribes to win South African energy contracts. The company entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


DOJ official hints at policy changes for off-channel communications, clawbacks


The Department of Justice is considering issuing new guidance regarding companies’ record-keeping obligations for employees’ use of personal cell phones to conduct corporate business, as well as executive compensation clawback policies.


SEC adds whistleblower retaliation charges against ex-NS8 CEO


Adam Rogas, the former CEO of cyber-fraud prevention company NS8 who was sentenced to five years in prison for fraud, now faces charges of impeding and retaliating against a whistleblower following an amended complaint from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Elon Musk Twitter

Elon Musk, Twitter, and lessons in (mis)management


Senior executive shakeups, mass employee layoffs and resignations, major advertisers halting their ads—Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter provides a case study in leadership mismanagement for the ages.


OCC sets sights on big banks in updated penalty guidance


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s new procedures for assessing civil penalties establishes fines as high as $400 million for misconduct—more than double the highest total in previous guidance—based on the size of the institution and severity of the violations.


SEC revokes securities of LegacyXChange for reporting failures


E-commerce platform operator LegacyXChange had its securities revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to file required reports to the agency for four years.

Julius Baer

FCA fines Julius Baer subsidiary $21.5M for bribery scheme


Julius Baer International will pay more than £18 million (U.S. $21.5 million) to settle charges laid by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority for paying bribes to generate business with a Russian oil company.

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Ex-Iconix CEO found guilty of accounting fraud


Neil Cole, the former CEO of Iconix Brand Group, faces possible jail time after his conviction of fraudulently inflating the brand management company’s revenue and misleading investors and auditors.

Jyske Bank

Danish financial regulator refers Jyske Bank to police for AML violations


The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority reported Jyske Bank to Danish police for allegedly violating the country’s anti-money laundering law regarding its customer due diligence measures.

PPP loan

DOJ seeking Rennova Health return pandemic relief funds


The Department of Justice requested Rennova Health repay Covid-19 relief funds it received in 2020 as part of a whistleblower lawsuit against the healthcare services provider alleging ineligible use of the money.


Kraken to pay $362K over Iran sanctions screening lapses


Virtual currency exchange Kraken will pay a fine of approximately $362,159 to settle charges it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

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Meta fined $274M under GDPR for data scraping breach


Meta Platforms Ireland was fined €265 million (U.S. $274 million) for failing to put in place adequate measures to protect users’ data after a leak compromised the personal details of more than half a billion individuals.


Regs order Citi to address unresolved data management woes


Citigroup has successfully resolved key compliance shortcomings identified as part of a 2020 enforcement action but still has work to do to address data management weaknesses, according to federal banking regulators.

Goldman Sachs Tower

Goldman Sachs unit fined $4M for ESG investment lapses


Goldman Sachs Asset Management agreed to pay $4 million to settle SEC charges it failed to follow its own policies and procedures regarding a trio of investment products marketed for their environmental, social, and governance considerations.

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Regulatory independence vital in U.K.’s fight against fraud

2022-11-21T17:50:00+00:00By Rachel Adamson, International Compliance Association

To do their jobs properly, regulators must be able to act independently and without government intervention. Rather than seeking to tighten its grip on regulators, the U.K. government should be safeguarding their independence as a matter of urgent priority.

Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11-plus years in prison


Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison Friday after being convicted of fraud earlier this year for her actions as head of the defunct blood-testing company.


FINRA to sweep crypto-related communications by broker-dealers


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced an examination sweep of retail communications by broker-dealers and their affiliates related to cryptocurrency asset products and services.


​Discord fined $830K for GDPR lapses


Discord, a popular communication service primarily utilized by the video game community, was assessed a fine of €800,000 (U.S. $829,000) by the French data protection authority for multiple violations of the General Data Protection Regulation related to safeguarding user data.

SEC office

Big penalties, admissions fuel record SEC enforcement year


The Securities and Exchange Commission collected more than $6.4 billion in enforcement penalties, fees, and interest in fiscal year 2022—the largest amount in the agency’s history and a massive increase over a transition year in 2021.

Google building

Google to pay record $391.5M in settlement with states over location tracking


Google agreed to pay $391.5 million to settle charges it misled millions of users regarding a setting that tracked location data without their knowledge, according to an agreement the company reached with a coalition of 40 state attorneys general.


S&P Global fined $2.5M over conflict of interest lapses


Credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings agreed to pay $2.5 million and improve its compliance practices to settle allegations by the SEC that its marketing team pressured the ratings team concerning the rating of a particular mortgage-backed security transaction.


​Walmart to pay $3.1B in nationwide opioid settlement


Walmart announced it agreed to a $3.1 billion nationwide settlement designed to resolve all the potential state lawsuits it faces for its alleged role in fueling the opioid epidemic.


​Former investment adviser CCO pleads guilty to wire fraud


Jennifer Campbell, the former chief compliance officer of a New York-based investment adviser, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to wire fraud in federal court.


CFTC commissioner warns against being ‘too cute’ when self-reporting


Businesses take varying approaches when self-reporting to regulatory agencies, which can lead to differing results. Caroline Pham, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, suggests using common sense.


Ex-Mylan chief information officer charged over insider trading scheme


The chief information officer at former pharmaceutical company Mylan was charged with insider trading for tipping off a former colleague about the firm’s impending merger with a division of Pfizer, among other matters.

Australian Parliament

​Australia privacy law proposal sets steep penalty mark for breaches


The Australian government is weighing stringent new privacy reforms that would establish among the steepest penalty regimes in the world—up to AUD$50 million (U.S. $33.5 million)—for serious or repeated breaches.

SEC building

PIC Renegade Properties to pay $400K for investment fund violations


A general partner in a real estate investment fund agreed to pay $400,000 to settle allegations it failed to register the fund and take reasonable steps to verify investors were accredited, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced.


SEC investigating Apollo Global, Carlyle Group, KKR for employee off-channel communications


Three private equity firms have disclosed they are under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for having allowed employees to use unauthorized communication channels like WhatsApp and WeChat to conduct company business.

Glencore HQ

Glencore Energy’s $324M fine for bribery comes with warning to others


Glencore Energy UK was ordered to pay nearly £281 million (U.S. $314 million) in fines and costs after an investigation by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) found it paid $29 million in bribes to gain preferential access to oil in Africa to boost profits.

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Insurance broker Gallagher latest target of DOJ Ecuador probe


Insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher is under investigation by the Department of Justice related to its business in Ecuador.


SolarWinds under SEC probe for handling of 2020 cyberattack


SolarWinds revealed the Securities and Exchange Commission is examining cybersecurity disclosures and public statements the company and its executives made after its massive 2020 data breach caused by hackers backed by the Russian government.

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Ex-CEO at NS8 imprisoned 5 years, to forfeit $17.5M for fabricating revenue


The co-founder of NS8, a cyber-fraud prevention company, was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit $17.5 million for defrauding investors of more than $100 million, the Department of Justice announced.


Leidos Holdings under investigation for alleged FCPA violations


Leidos Holdings, a Virginia-based information technology, engineering, aerospace, and defense firm, disclosed it is under investigation by federal law enforcement for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


ModMed settles FCA, kickback allegations with DOJ for $45M


Modernizing Medicine paid $45 million to settle false claims allegations levied by the Department of Justice it received kickbacks and made improper payments to providers to increase its business.

U.S. Bank

CFPB probes U.S. Bank over its handling of unemployment benefit payments


U.S. Bank disclosed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched an investigation into the bank’s administration of unemployment benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

SEC office

SEC orders Koppers Holdings to pay $1.3M for disclosure failures


Koppers will pay $1.3 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle allegations it failed to disclose material information about its debt in fiscal year 2019.

Wells Fargo

SEC joins DOJ in probe of Wells Fargo diversity hiring practices


The news for Wells Fargo related to alleged sham interviews of minority job candidates continues to worsen, with the bank disclosing the Securities and Exchange Commission has joined federal prosecutors in examining the issue.


Chegg avoids fine in deal with FTC over cybersecurity lapses


The Federal Trade Commission ordered education technology provider Chegg to fix problems and weaknesses with its cybersecurity program that led to the exposure of personal and financial data of 40 million customers and employees in four data breaches since 2017.


Danske Bank projects $2.1B settlement for Estonia money laundering probes


Danske Bank expects to pay a total of 15.5 billion Danish kroner (U.S. $2.1 billion) to U.S. and Danish authorities to settle allegations it overlooked more than $200 billion in dirty money laundered through its former Estonia branch.


Honeywell to pay $3.4M for alleged bulletproof vest false claims


Multinational conglomerate Honeywell International agreed to pay $3.35 million to settle allegations it sold defective material for bulletproof vests used by local, state, and tribal police departments.

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Google agrees to legal compliance monitor under novel DOJ settlement


Google reached a first-of-its-kind settlement with the Department of Justice requiring the tech giant to hire an outside compliance expert and overhaul its legal compliance process.


ICICI Bank cited by OCC for BSA/AML compliance failures


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ordered the New York branch of ICICI Bank to implement sweeping changes to its anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs but will not fine the bank if the improvements are completed.

Cetera Financial

Cetera affiliates fined $1M each over conflicts of interest


A pair of investment advisers owned by Cetera Financial Group must pay a total of more than $8.6 million as part of a final judgment obtained by the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging the defrauding of Cetera advisory clients.