Regulatory Enforcement


Study: Spike in OFAC sanctions pose compliance challenges


Some companies might scramble to comply with more—and sometimes quickly shifting—sanctions requirements as the U.S. government chalks up record enforcement levels.


Celadon execs charged with accounting fraud


Two former top executives of trucking company Celadon Group face civil and criminal charges for their participation in an accounting fraud scheme that inflated the company’s income and earnings per share.

Accounting fraud

Iconix, three former execs charged with accounting fraud


Iconix Brand Group and three of its former top executives were charged by the SEC for engaging in accounting fraud. Iconix and two of the executives agreed to settle, with litigation still pending against the company’s former CEO.


FTC settles with four over alleged EU-U.S. Privacy Shield deception


Four companies have reached settlements with the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly misrepresenting their participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.


Former Bumble Bee CEO convicted in price-fixing scheme


The former president and CEO of packaged seafood company Bumble Bee was convicted for his participation in an antitrust conspiracy to fix prices of canned tuna, the Justice Department announced.

Liberty Tax

Compliance called out in Liberty Tax DOJ settlement


The Department of Justice is requiring Liberty Tax Service to greatly enhance its internal compliance controls as part of a proposed settlement with the tax preparation service provider over allegations of fraud and misconduct.


SEC names new cyber chief


The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the appointment of Kristina Littman as chief of the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit.


Vestager once again takes aim at digital giants


Margrethe Vestager, European commissioner for competition, once again rallied against Big Tech in a Nov. 29 speech. The politician has promised more oversight of search engines, online marketplaces, social media networks, and app sites to ensure fair markets.


SEC bars former PCAOB leader for role in KPMG scandal


The Securities and Exchange Commission has barred Cynthia Holder from practicing as an accountant before the Commission for her role in the long-running KPMG inspections scandal.


SEC charges MiMedx Group with accounting fraud


Biotech company MiMedx Group and three of its former top executives have been charged with defrauding investors. In response, MiMedx reshuffled its management team, including the appointment of a new general counsel and secretary.


PRA fines Citigroup for regulatory disclosure failure


The Bank of England has hit Citigroup with a record £44 million (U.S. $56.5 million) fine after it found three of its U.K. units failed to submit complete and accurate regulatory information about the lender’s capital and liquidity levels.

Uber London

Uber stripped of London license for ‘pattern of failures’


Uber has been stripped of its London operating license after the city’s transportation regulator identified a “pattern of failures” by the company, including several safety breaches that placed passengers at risk. It is appealing the ruling.


OFAC: Apple shows ‘reckless disregard’ for sanctions in ‘non-egregious’ violation


The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had harsh words for Apple’s sanctions compliance program in announcing a not-so-hefty $466,912 settlement with the technology giant.


BGC Financial to pay $3M for supervisory failures


BGC Financial was accused of various supervision, reporting, and recordkeeping violations that went on for more than five years in a $3 million enforcement action from the CFTC.

Campaign money

Dannenbaum Engineering overhauls compliance; fined $1.6M for campaign contributions


Dannenbaum Engineering and its parent company have agreed to pay a $1.6 million criminal fine for a scheme involving illegal campaign contributions. While the fine might not be significant, the compliance lessons are.


Samsung Heavy Industries to pay $75M in foreign bribery case


Samsung Heavy Industries will pay total criminal penalties of $75.5 million to enforcement authorities in the United States and Brazil to resolve violations arising out of a bribery scheme in Brazil.


Corporate Enforcement Policy revisions impact FCPA disclosure


The Department of Justice this month made a few minor adjustments to its Corporate Enforcement Policy that are worth a closer look, as these changes could impact when compliance officers and corporate counsel decide to self-report a potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation.


Hong Kong, Singapore regulators fine UBS $59M for client overcharges


Swiss bank UBS will pay $59 million in total civil penalties in resolutions with both Hong Kong and Swiss regulators for overcharging clients for over a decade.


SEC sees slight decrease in number of whistleblower tips fielded


The Securities and Exchange Commission, in its annual report to Congress, indicated it fielded 5,212 whistleblower tips in fiscal year 2019, down 1 percent from the record of 5,282 in FY2018.


SEC’s Clayton pushes modernization at UPenn speech


Touting the SEC’s recent accomplishments, Chairman Jay Clayton maintains modernization helps advance the regulator’s “tripartite mission” and gives some hints about next year’s agenda.

China money

Former Herbalife execs charged with FCPA violations


The DOJ has charged two former executives of Herbalife with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for bribing Chinese government officials for over a decade and then trying to cover up the illicit payments.


SEC investigating ProPetro’s financial disclosures


Oilfield services company ProPetro Holding announced the SEC has opened an investigation into its financial disclosures and reporting.

Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court to consider appropriateness of SEC disgorgement


A case examining the meaning of “disgorgement” and whether the SEC can obtain it via a court order could affect a practice the regulator has used for decades.

Money laundering

Tower Research Capital to pay $67.4M in ‘spoofing’ case


Tower Research Capital will pay a combined $67.4 million to the DOJ and CFTC to resolve criminal charges on unlawful trading in the U.S. commodities market.


Wells Fargo to pay $14M for violating swap dealer business conduct standards


The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an order filing and settling charges against Wells Fargo for violating multiple swap dealer business conduct standards.


SEC bars chief compliance officer for role in overbilling scheme


The former chief compliance officer of Yellowstone Partners, a now-defunct registered investment advisory firm, has been barred from practice for his role in an overbilling scheme that defrauded clients out of $11.8 million.


PCAOB sanctions Deloitte, BDO affiliates


The PCAOB, recently under fire for its lack of enforcement, has imposed sanctions on Deloitte Korea and BDO Mexico for altering audit documentation in anticipation of inspections.


Unaoil execs plead guilty for roles in global bribery scheme


The former CEO and chief operations officer of Monaco-based Unaoil have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme to corruptly facilitate millions of dollars in bribe payments to officials in multiple countries.


DOJ recovers $700M in 1MDB scandal


Jho Low, a Malaysian businessman-turned-fugitive, has agreed to forfeit more than $700 million worth of assets that he and his family allegedly misappropriated from Malaysian’s sovereign-wealth fund, 1MDB.


Despite reputation, CFPB not toothless under new leadership


Mounting criticism for going too soft on the financial services industry under Trump has not stopped new CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger from putting her own stamp on the agency. The latest enforcement actions offer valuable insights for compliance officers and corporate counsel.


Unethical practices at Infosys? SEC opens probe


The SEC has launched an investigation into Infosys based on an anonymous letter the agency received from several Infosys employees alleging CEO Salil Parekh forced them to engage in “disturbing unethical practices.”

world map index

Compliance lessons from recent nine-figure FCPA settlements


Walmart, TechnipFMC, Fresenius—just to name a few—have all fallen prey to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a record year of jacked-up enforcement and sky-high penalties.

Stolen files

Indictment: Ex-SEC official stole info to land CCO job


GPB Capital Holdings Chief Compliance Officer Michael Cohn faces multiple charges for allegedly disclosing unauthorized information accessed in his prior job at the SEC.


Senators call out SEC over PCAOB whistleblower report


A letter sent by two senators addressed to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton critiques the regulator’s oversight of the PCAOB as showing “questionable judgment and an alarming lack of transparency.”


The evolution of FCPA enforcement


Compliance Week guest columnist Tom Fox writes about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s journey from 2012 through today.


EC uses ‘interim measures’ on Broadcom to curb anticompetitive behavior


The European Commission has ordered Broadcom to cut out harsh contract terms with six TV and modem manufacturers because they may infringe antitrust rules. It’s the first time the agency has imposed “interim measures” in 18 years


SEC seeks to thwart cryptocurrency masquerading as ICO


The SEC is taking a different approach to target initial coin offerings than it has in the past in the case of its complaint against Telegram Group and its wholly owned subsidiary TON Issuer.

FTC Building

FTC antitrust head to step down


Bruce Hoffman, director of the Bureau of Competition, will depart the Federal Trade Commission in November after more than two years in his position.


Ex-PCAOB leader gets prison time for role central to KPMG scandal


Former PCAOB Inspections Leader Jeffrey Wada was sentenced to nine months in prison for providing the confidential information central to the long-running KPMG inspections scandal.

KPMG building

Former KPMG co-lead pleads guilty in inspections scandal


Former KPMG partner David Britt pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as the fallout from the cheating scandal that has plagued the firm for nearly two years appears to be nearing its conclusion.


Blockchain company to pay $24M for unregistered ICO

2019-10-02T18:09:00+01:00By has agreed to settle charges with the SEC and pay a $24 million civil penalty for conducting an unregistered initial coin offering of digital tokens that raised the equivalent of several billion dollars.

Take note

Compliance lessons from Quad/Graphics’ $10M FCPA settlement


Quad/Graphics will pay $10 million to resolve SEC charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by engaging in widespread bribery schemes in Peru and China, but the compliance lessons are priceless.


Compliance takeaways from Barclays’ $6.3M FCPA settlement


Barclays joins a growing list of financial institutions to pay a penalty for violations of the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the FCPA due to questionable hiring practices.


SEC reaches settlements with 17 advisory firms over disclosure failures


The SEC on Monday announced settled charges against 17 investment advisers for disclosure failures regarding their mutual fund share class selection practices.


Westport Fuels, former CEO pay $4.1M in FCPA case


Westport Fuels Systems and its former CEO have reached a $4.1 million settlement with the SEC for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes to a foreign government official in China.


Avanir to pay $116M for engaging in kickback scheme


Avanir Pharmaceuticals will pay a combined $116 million in civil and criminal penalties for paying kickbacks to a physician to induce prescriptions of its drug Nuedexta, the Department of Justice announced.


BMO firms to pay $37M for misleading clients


Two BMO advisory firms have agreed to pay over $37 million in a settlement with the SEC for misleading clients on aspects of their retail investment advisory program.


Fiat Chrysler to pay $40M for misleading investors


Automaker FCA U.S. and its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, have reached a $40 million settlement with the SEC for misleading investors about the number of new vehicles sold each month to customers in the United States.


FCA fines Prudential $26.4M in misselling scandal


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has hit Prudential with a £23.8 million (U.S. $26.4 million) fine for misleading 17,000 customers into accepting a deal with the insurance firm when they might have done better on the open market.


Herbalife fined $20M for misleading investors


Herbalife will pay $20 million to settle charges with the SEC that it made false and misleading statements about its China compensation model.