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The largest corporate scandals of 2018 - Antitrust chief calls for measures to protect smaller firms - Plantronics to pay $36 million settlement, ending bribery investigation into new subsidiary - And More
1/3/2019 9:22:00 AM



The largest corporate scandals of 2018

On Dec. 31, David P. Weber reported for The Hill (US), “As a professor teaching fraud and ethics, I study corporate fraud around the clock. 2018 had no shortage of corporate misconduct. Most interestingly, the three largest frauds of 2018 all shared a theme: the use of professionals.”


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Antitrust chief calls for measures to protect smaller firms

On Dec. 31, The Korea Herald reported, “South Korea's antitrust chief called on Monday for comprehensive measures to fundamentally address lingering unfair business practices between large companies and their smaller subcontractors. Kim Sang-jo, the chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, did not elaborate on what actions he planned to take, although the watchdog has consistently warned that big retailers would pay punitive damages of up to three times the losses incurred by smaller partners in cases of illegal business practices.”


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Plantronics to pay $36 million settlement, ending bribery investigation into new subsidiary

On Jan. 2, Santa Cruz Sentinel reported, “Headset-maker Plantronics agreed to pay $36 million to settle a bribery investigation into Polycom, its recently acquired subsidiary. From 2006 through at least July 2014, Polycom’s Vice President of China orchestrated a bribery scheme in which discounts given to its distributors were used to bribe Chinese government officials to secure business deals, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission findings. The scheme led to an estimated $10.7 million in profits for Polycom, which makes video and audio conferencing software.”


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European diplomats harden cyber stance on China ahead of 5G auctions

On Jan. 2, The Telegraph (UK) reported, “European diplomats are hardening their stance on Chinese technology companies amid mounting concerns over cyber security. The move comes ahead of EU auctions for the latest generation of 5G wireless technology where Chinese companies are hoping to win major contracts. ‘A number of like-minded countries are increasingly concerned about China’s behaviour in this sphere,’ a Western diplomat told the Financial Times.”


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Witness in Novartis bribery probe now seen as a suspect

On Jan. 1, Kathimerini (Greece) reported, “One of the three protected witnesses in a kickbacks investigation involving Swiss pharma giant Novartis was slapped with a travel ban and had his passport confiscated after reportedly trying to flee the country with his family on Monday night, Greek media said, citing judicial sources. The unnamed man, who has served as an advisor to several former health ministers, had provided information to corruption prosecutors investigating the practices adopted by the company to dominate the Greek market. New evidence, however, led authorities to charge him with passive bribery, aggravated by the provisions pertaining to state embezzlers, the same sources said.”


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FCA to Overhaul Treatment of Whistleblowers

On Jan. 1, Finance Magnates reported, “The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Britain’s financial market watchdog, is planning to overhaul its approach towards handling whistleblowers, according to a Financial Times report. The agency will revisit its measures to maintain the confidentiality of the whistleblower as a part of the overhaul. It will further look into the process of information sharing between supervision and enforcement teams along with ways to enhance senior oversight of its investigations.”


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The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual – 2019


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International Compliance 101


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Articles on the Ethics and Compliance Environment
The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics provides this library of articles, insight into current issues, the regulatory environment, and other items of interest to our members.