Compliance Bricks and Mortar for December 14

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

‘Tis the Season When Gifts Become Bribes by Alexandra Wrage in Corporate Counsel

People who are otherwise serious about the global scourge of bribery get frustrated when anyone raises the issue of gifts as bribes. Surely, most people will say, we haven’t reached the point where holiday gift-giving is so risky that we can’t hand out bottles of wine or silks tie and scarves.

Do Lanny Breuer And Robert Khuzami Actually Read FCPA Enforcement Actions? by the FCPA Professor

At the Guidance press conference (see here) Khuzami said that he was “interested in companies spending compliance dollars in the most sensible way” and he hoped that the guidance and the hypotheticals provided would help companies as to where they can “minimize investment and where they can maximize it.”  Breuer added that the DOJ wants compliance programs “to address real matters of concern.”

Against this backdrop, the question must be asked:  do Breuer and Khuzami actually read FCPA enforcement actions?

Recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions have involved, to name just a few, allegations about a bottle of wine (see here), a Cartier watch (see here), a camera (see here), kitchen appliances and business suits (see here), television sets, laptops and appliances (see here), and tea sets and office furniture (see here).

You Need a “Shadow” If You Want to be a RIA Today by Ernest E. Badway in Securities Compliance Sentinel

The SEC, recently, sued a private equity fund adviser for, among other things, allegedly violating Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Rule 206(4)-7, for failing to have procedures requiring verification of client signatures and instructions by a second person.  See

Dickering Over The Price by Scott Greenfield

The reason is that HSBC is too big to fail. If indicted or convicted of money laundering for drug cartels and terrorists, as alleged, London based HongKong Shanghai Banking Corporation could have toppled the banking system, with devastating consequences. It would have been a disaster for the economy, both ours and the worlds. Too big to fail.

So the government decided, in an exercise of discretion, to take whatever spare change they had in their pocket and call it even.

SEC Charges Eight Mutual Fund Directors for Failure to Properly Oversee Asset Valuation in the Securities Law Blog

The funds, which were invested in some securities backed by subprime mortgages, fraudulently overstated the value of their securities as the housing market was on the brink of financial crisis in 2007. The SEC and other regulators previously charged the funds’ managers with fraud, and the firms later agreed to pay $200 million to settle the charges.