There is a sense in the United States that compliance professionals are moving into the crosshairs of government enforcement actions. For years, the government has sought to bring actions not only against those who committed the primary violations, but also against the so-called “gatekeepers;” the lawyers, the accountants, and now, the compliance professionals who the government believes facilitated the illegal misconduct. When misconduct is uncovered in a company, US enforcement officials will always ask, “Was the compliance system adequate?” Senior enforcement officials will ask their investigators whether the company took appropriate steps to detect and prevent misconduct in determining whether an action against the company is appropriate. The enforcement investigator will therefore take steps to evaluate the effectiveness of the compliance system. If the government finds the compliance system was inadequate, there appears to be a growing likelihood that US enforcement agencies will name an individual as responsible for that failure. As James Loonam, Deputy Chief of the Business & Securities Fraud Section in the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said recently at a conference, when the government gets a resolution against a company only, and not an individual, he considers that a failure.
In today’s environment, companies are routinely in the government’s crosshairs. Steve Feldman and Tim Peterson spoke at the Forensic Accounting and Litigation Services Conference of the New York Society of CPAs on best practices for dealing with government investigations.
Mr. Feldman is a speaker, presenting “Avoiding Corporate Liability: Using Government Guidelines to Advise & Protect Your Clients,” at the Foundation for Accounting Education’s Forensic Accounting and Litigation Services Conference.
Reducing the regulatory burden on small and midsize banks is a hot topic in Washington these days. Proponents of reform point to a recent report from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, "The State and Fate of Community Banking," which found that the rising wave of consolidation in this sector "is likely driven by regulatory economies of scale" and that "larger banks are better suited to handle heightened regulatory burdens than are smaller banks, causing the average cost of community banks to be higher."
NYU Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement, New York University School of Law
Murphy & McGonigle is sponsoring the UJA Criminal Law Group annual fundraising event. The UJA Federation is the world's leading local philanthropy.