Compliance Bits and Pieces for January 14

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

“Foreign Official” Limbo … How Low Can It Go? in FCPA Professor

Move over 49%, there is a new “foreign official” “limbo low” – 43%.

In the recent Alcatel-Lucent enforcement action (see here for a complete analysis) paragraph 21 of the DOJ’s information (here) states as follows.

“Telekom Malaysia Berhad (‘Telekom Malaysia’) was a state-owned and controlled telecommunications provider in Malaysia. Telekom Malaysia was responsible for awarding telecommunications contracts during the relevant time period. The Malaysian Ministry of Finance owned approximately 43% of Telekom Malaysia’s shares, had veto power over all major expenditures, and made important operational decisions.

Facebook Tries to Befriend the Public Markets by Matt Kelly in Compliance Week

The modern U.S. regime of regulatory compliance is not easy, not cheap, and not popular—until you consider the alternatives. Then you can see that, as Winston Churchill once said in a somewhat different context, it’s the worst system in the world, except for all the others.

Judges Berate Bank Lawyers in Foreclosures by John Schwartz in the New York Times

With judges looking ever more critically at home foreclosures, they are reaching beyond the bankers to heap some of their most scorching criticism on the lawyers. In numerous opinions, judges have accused lawyers of processing shoddy or even fabricated paperwork in foreclosure actions when representing the banks.

Personal criminal liability, the nuclear deterrent: What every director, senior officer & General Counsel needs to know in The Bribery Act .com

The SFO is fond of saying that criminal liability under the Bribery Act is brought straight into the Board Room.

It is an attention grabbing headline and it’s meant to be.

A key weapon in the SFO’s armoury (akin to a nuclear deterrent) is the focussing of the mind in the Board and senior management levels (including General Counsel) which inevitably flows from the risk they face of a very lengthy (up to 10 years) prison sentence and an unlimited fine if the corporate engages in bribery.

The SFO hopes this threat will motivate the Boards and senior officers of corporates subject to the Bribery Act to adopt and implement Adequate Procedures to prevent bribery.