The Anti-Corruption Report

The definitive source of actionable intelligence covering anti-corruption laws around the globe

Articles By Topic

By Topic: Expense Reports

  • From Vol. 6 No.17 (Sep. 6, 2017)

    A Bribe By Any Other Name: 101 Ways People Refer To Corruption

    What do mangoes, cheese bread and bonbons have in common? Aside from being delicious treats, they all can be used as euphemisms for a bribe. Less creatively, fraudsters may also discuss providing a “boost,” a “courtesy payment” or a “motivation amount.” Being able to spot these synonyms for corruption is a critical part of anti-corruption compliance, whether it be while reviewing expense reports, conducting pre-acquisition due diligence or investigating potential corruption. This checklist, including 101 ways to refer to a bribe, is a useful starting point for anyone tasked with reviewing documents for evidence of potential corruption. See “Ten Tips for Performing Effective Anti-Corruption Investigations in India” (May 24, 2017).

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 5 No.19 (Sep. 28, 2016)

    Experts from PwC Discuss Compliance Audits and Common Missteps

    Compliance auditing is a critical component of an effective anti-corruption compliance program, recognized both by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the government’s FCPA Resource Guide. A recent Strafford program, “FCPA Compliance Audits: Lessons From Recent Investigations,” discussed regulators’ expectations regarding compliance auditing, the process for scoping and conducting a compliance audit and common audit pitfalls. David A. Wilson, a partner at Thompson Hine, led the discussion, which featured Sulaksh Shah, a partner at PwC, and James Gargas, a director at that firm. This article discusses some of the key takeaways from the program. See also our interview series, “Best Practices for Performing Compliance Program Assessments: Pamela Passman of CREATe.org” (Apr. 6, 2016); “Susan Markel of AlixPartners” (Feb. 24, 2016); and “Jeffrey Kaplan of Kaplan & Walker” (Nov. 4, 2015).

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 5 No.7 (Apr. 6, 2016)

    Travel and Entertainment Corruption Risks: Internal Controls to Ensure the Program Is Working (Part Three of Three)

    A strong travel and entertainment policy that clearly delineates between an acceptable business expense and an impermissible bribe is critical to keeping a company out of FCPA trouble. But a policy alone is not enough – a company must also have sufficient internal controls in place to ensure that employees understand and follow company policies. In this final installment of The FCPA Report’s three-part series on travel and entertainment expenses, we explore the controls companies should have in place to keep their travel and entertainment programs working effectively. The first article in the series discussed the hallmarks of an appropriate T&E expense and the second looked at T&E policies. See also “Five Stages of Corruption and Myriad Internal Controls Failures: Compliance Takeaways From the VimpelCom Settlement” (Mar. 9, 2016).

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 5 No.7 (Apr. 6, 2016)

    Travel Agency Abuse, Falsified Expense Reports and Other Hospitality Blunders Lead to $25 Million Novartis Settlement

    In the fourth similar settlement in the last six months, pharmaceutical giant Novartis has agreed to pay $25 million to settle SEC charges that it violated the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA by bribing foreign officials. “The Novartis case is essentially the GSK case, with fewer zeroes and headlines,” Amy Sommers, a partner in K&L Gates’ Shanghai office, told The FCPA Report. Indeed, the scheme underlying Novartis’ troubles is familiar – employees and agents of the company’s Chinese subsidiaries provided travel, gifts and entertainment to health care providers to encourage sales of Novartis’ products. “The Novartis case appears to have arisen by virtue of inquiries made by the SEC in the wake of reporting about the GSK case in 2013,” Sommers explained. See also our coverage of the SciClone, PTC and Bristol Myers Squibb settlements.

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 5 No.6 (Mar. 23, 2016)

    Travel and Entertainment Corruption Risks: Three Musts for a Strong T&E Policy and Five Ways a Company Can Customize Its Program (Part Two of Three)

    A strong travel and entertainment policy is the bedrock of a compliance program, but a policy that is overly complicated or doesn’t consider business realities may undermine a company’s compliance efforts. In this article, the second in a three-part series on travel and entertainment expenses, we explore three characteristics of a strong T&E compliance policy and five ways companies can customize their policy to their business. The first article in the series outlined five hallmarks of an acceptable T&E expense and the third article will investigate what internal controls a company needs to make sure that its program is functioning properly. See also “How to Build an Anti-Corruption Policy That Allows for Appropriate Business Gifts” (Sep. 19, 2012).

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 4 No.7 (Apr. 1, 2015)

    Checklist of Issues to Consider When Drafting and Implementing Expense-Reporting Procedures

    Insufficient controls governing the expense-reimbursement process can allow employees to bribe foreign officials without detection.  Employees can and have manipulated expense reports in order to provide improper benefits to government officials in the form of gifts, hospitality and charitable contributions and to generate pools of cash from which employees can pay bribes.  This checklist is designed to assist companies in implementing a risk-based expenditures program which can prevent such fraud.  See also “A Guide to Detecting and Preventing Expense-Reimbursement Fraud (Part One of Three),” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 8 (Apr. 16, 2014); Part Two; and Part Three.

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 3 No.23 (Nov. 19, 2014)

    SEC Sanctions Two FLIR Systems Employees for Bribing Saudi Officials

    Two former employees of FLIR Systems, Inc., an Oregon-based defense contractor, sent Saudi Arabian officials on a 20-day, self-described “world tour” and bought them luxury watches to retain business, the SEC says.  When the expenses were flagged by FLIR, the employees covered them up.  In its first administrative action sanctioning individuals for FCPA violations since 2012, the SEC fined one employee $50,000 and the other $20,000 for their actions.  The investigation is continuing.  William Michael, a partner at Mayer Brown, shared his views on the case with The FCPA Report.  See also “Four Hallmarks of Permissible Gifts and Entertainment: Insight from PepsiCo and Paul Hastings,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Jan. 22, 2014). 

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 3 No.10 (May 14, 2014)

    A Guide to Detecting and Preventing Expense-Reimbursement Fraud (Part Three of Three)

    A lack of strong controls around the expense-reimbursement process can allow bribes to foreign officials to slip through the cracks.  To assist companies in designing best-in-class expense-reimbursement programs, The FCPA Report is publishing a three-part article series on the topic.  This, the third article in the series, provides strategies for reviewing expense reports and addressing corruption problems that are discovered.  The first article in this series discussed the risks associated with expense reports; provided advice on using travel and entertainment policies to limit expense-report fraud; and outlined strategies for utilizing the training process to decrease expense-report fraud.  The second article in the series explained how different types of expense limits can protect a company and suggested policies that companies can implement to detect and prevent expense-report fraud.  See also “A Guide to Preventing and Detecting Travel Agency Corruption (Part One of Three),” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan. 8, 2014), Part Two of Three, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Jan. 22, 2014), Part Three of Three, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Feb. 5, 2014). 

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 3 No.9 (Apr. 30, 2014)

    A Guide to Detecting and Preventing Expense-Reimbursement Fraud (Part Two of Three)

    The manipulation of expense reports is one way to cover up a bribe, and employees can be creative about evading internal controls.  To assist companies in designing, implementing and maintaining best-in-class expense-reimbursement programs, The FCPA Report is publishing a three-part article series on the topic.  This, the second article in the series, explores how different types of expense limits can protect companies from expense-report fraud and how to implement those limits effectively.  The first article in this series discussed risks associated with expense reports; provided advice on using travel and entertainment policies to limit expense-report fraud; and outlined how to use the training process to decrease expense-report fraud.  The third article in this series will provide strategies for reviewing expense reports and addressing problems discovered during the review process.  See also “A Guide to Preventing and Detecting Travel Agency Corruption (Part One of Three),” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan. 8, 2014), Part Two of Three, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Jan. 22, 2014), Part Three of Three, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Feb. 5, 2014). 

    Read Full Article …
  • From Vol. 3 No.8 (Apr. 16, 2014)

    A Guide to Detecting and Preventing Expense-Reimbursement Fraud (Part One of Three)

    Employee expense reports can be prime vehicles for bribery schemes, and failing to maintain adequate controls over such reports can put a company in serious FCPA jeopardy.  Employees can manipulate, and have manipulated, expense reports in order to provide improper benefits to government officials in the form of gifts, hospitality or charitable contributions – or simply to generate pools of cash from which employees can pay bribes.  Implementing a risk-based expenditures program, defining appropriate expense limits and training employees can help to limit a company’s risk.  Such policies “help to set the framework for employees regarding company expectations for compliance and ethical business practices,” said Tara Giunta, a partner at Paul Hastings.  The FCPA Report is publishing a three-part series to help companies identify and prevent expense-report fraud.  The series will provide advice from FCPA experts regarding: spotting expense-report fraud, setting appropriate expense-report policies, monitoring expense reports and addressing anti-corruption issues raised by the monitoring process.  This, the first article in the series, will discuss the risks associated with expense reports; provide advice on using travel and entertainment policies to limit expense-report fraud; and provide strategies for utilizing the training process to decrease expense-report fraud.  See also “Ten Strategies for Avoiding FCPA Violations When Making Charitable Donations,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Jul. 11, 2012).

    Read Full Article …