Compliance Bits and Pieces for February 3

These are some compliance-related stories that recently caught my attention.

Private Equity Bets On Compliance Market With EthicsPoint Deal by Nick Elliott in’s Corruption Currents

In a further sign of rising demand for compliance services, private equity firm Riverside Co. has signed a deal to acquire EthicsPoint Inc., which it will merge with its existing portfolio companies ELT Inc. and Global Compliance Services Inc.

Treasury Will Work to Satisfy EU Privacy Concerns Regarding Provision of FATCA Information and Gradually Phase In FATCA Regulations in Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act can be implemented in a way that is not overly burdensome when compared to its benefits and, over time, will serve as a complement and a catalyst to the ongoing global efforts to combat offshore tax evasion, said a senior Treasury official. In remarks at the annual meeting of the New York State Bar Association tax section, Acting Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Emily McMahon said that Treasury is aware that FATCA imposes significant new duties on foreign financial institutions, but also noted that FATCA was enacted in the wake of serious offshore tax evasion.

The Gun Sting Case Defeats and What it means For FCPA Enforcement? Absolutely Nothing! by Tom Fox

In a stunning rebuke of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) trial strategy, all defendants in the second group of Gun Sting defendants walked out of the federal courthouse, still free. Two defendants were acquitted and the remaining three defendants were granted a mistrial. One defendant was dismissed at the close of the prosecution’s case in December as was the DOJ’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) conspiracy count against all defendants. So, as the FCPA Professor noted, the DOJ is 0-10 in trial prosecutions in its Gun Sting case. However, that stark number does not tell the full picture of what is going on in enforcement of the FCPA.

What everyone missed in Facebook’s IPO filing in Alison Frankel’s On The Case

The New York Times reported in Dec. 2010 that the SEC was looking into the red-hot secondary market for trading in the privately-held shares of Facebook, Zynga, LinkedIn, Twitter, and some other Internet darlings. The leading market-maker for such trading, SecondMarket, confirmed last January that it had received a voluntary request for information from the SEC (which has never confirmed the investigation). But Facebook is the first company to offer any hard facts about what the agency is probing.

My Favorite Risk Factors in the Facebook S-1 by Seattle lawyer William Carleton

  1. The Threat of the Open Web
  2. User Disdain for Advertising
  3. Conflicts with Independent Developers
  4. A Fine Point About Fiduciary Duties