Compliance Bits and Pieces for December 3

Here are some recent compliance-related stories that caught my attention:

Transparency International Alleges Intimidation in Pakistan by Joe Palazzolo in WSJ.com’s Corruption Currents

Transparency International says its branch in Pakistan has received death threats from government officials, in connection with the anti-corruption organization’s agreement with the U.S. to monitor aid flows to the country. Syed Adil Gilani, chairman of Transparency International Pakistan, told The Wall Street Journal the threats came from “high-level” Pakistani officials, telling him to halt his organization’s anti-graft investigations.

Imagining a World of Legalized Insider Trading by Bruce Carton in Compliance Week‘s Enforcement Action

There are arguments for legalizing insider trading that revolve around promoting the free flow of information–I get that. There are also arguments against legalizing insider trading that equate insider trading with the theft of information and conclude that it should be punished for the same reasons that we punish other forms of theft of property–I get that, too (and tend to agree). But put all that aside, for a moment, and join me in imagining a world where insider trading is completely legal. Here is how I see life in Legalized Insider Trading (LIT) World. …

Big 4 Bombshell: “We Didn’t Fail Banks Because They Were Getting A Bailout” by Francine McKenna in re: The Auditors

The leadership of the Big 4 audit firms in the UK has admitted that they did not issue “going concern” opinions because they were told by government officials, confidentially, that the banks would be bailed out.

SEC Relies On Questionable Legislative History In Proposed VC Definition by Keith Paul Bishop in California Corporate & Securities Law blog

The SEC considered California’s definition of “venture capital companies” in 10 CCR § 260.204.9 but felt that California’s rule was inconsistent with Congressional intent because the California rule doesn’t limit investments to companies that are not publicly traded. This sounds plausible, but the SEC’s evidence of Congressional intent is surprisingly weak. Essentially, it consists of the testimony of two individuals before the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment Hearing a year before the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act and several months before the Dodd-Frank Bill was even introduced into Congress.

5 Important Fraud Investigation Interview Tips by Lindsay Khan in FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog

To conduct an investigation interview, you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes- but it wouldn’t hurt to channel your inner detective. Fraud investigation interviews are a lot of work, but can take your investigation from ho hum to awesome. A successful investigation interview isn’t just a question and answer period. Asking good questions is just a small piece of a very big puzzle. To get the most out of your fraud investigation interviews, remember these 5 important steps: …

Budget Forces SEC to Shelve Whistleblower Office, For Now by Bruce Carton

In October, an 18% budget increase that the SEC was supposed to receive under Dodd-Frank was not included in a stopgap spending bill to fund government operations through early December. Now, the WSJ reports, the SEC has been forced to shelve its plan to open a new whistleblower office as mandated by Dodd-Frank. The agency says that it cannot open that office, and four other new offices created under Dodd-Frank, without an increased budget.

The Perfect Christmas Present: Your Own Aircraft Carrier

The Office Holiday Party – Alcohol-Induced Stupidity Can Lead to Serious Sexual Harassment Claims by Daniel Schwartz

There are no statistics out there to prove this point, but the traditional office holiday party has to be among the top places where claims of sexual harassment and hostile work environment start. Indeed, just a cursory look at some federal employment cases shows a common thread that run through each of them: alcohol-induced stupidity leading to serious sexual harassment claims.

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