Inside Compliance - August 12th, 2019

Inside Compliance (Aug 12th, 2019)

Alstom VP wants bribery charges dumped / New Flyer wage promises / Faster paychecks

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1. Attorneys for British national Lawrence Hoskins, former Alstom senior vice president, have asked a federal judge to dismiss bribery charges for violating his right to a speedy trial. Hoskins was arrested in 2014 for his alleged involvement with a scheme to bribe Indonesian officials to win a $118 million power contract, and a trial is slated to begin in September. Other legal issues at play include whether Hoskins was an "agent" of the Alstom subsidiary that engaged in the bribery, or if it was the subsidiary that was the "agent" since Hoskins worked directly for Alstom. Meanwhile, lawyers for the prosecution argue that Hoskins' defense team is responsible for trial delays by demanding exhaustive document searches. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

2. Nonprofit Jobs to Move America filed a fraud complaint against bus contractor New Flyer of America, arguing that the company failed to deliver on job and wage promises it made to get a $500 million government contract. New Flyer of America promised in 2012 that it would create more than 50 jobs paying between $11 and $50 an hour, but according to unsealed documents it fell short of these marks and misrepresented the benefits it was providing. “This case is about holding a huge company’s feet to the fire," said Madeline Janis of Jobs to Move America- NEW YORK TIMES

3. Tech startups and some Democratic politicians are pushing for services that would allow workers to get paid faster by employers. “Ever notice that it takes days for a paycheck to clear?” Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote recently. Warren and other lawmakers would have banks make direct deposited funds available immediately, rather than the following day. Meanwhile, various Silicon Valley startups with more than $300 million in combined venture funding are offering services that would have employees receive payment earlier in exchange for small fees (and not the predatory payday loan model). - WALL STREET JOURNAL

4. Companies are hiring high tech vendors to help comply with privacy laws in the European Union and California. There were 51 privacy technology vendors in 2017, and there are now 224. “With each piece of regulation that’s passed -- both in the U.S. and on a global scale -- companies that operate across regions and borders will need help from technology providers that are able to scale alongside their needs,” said Richard Wells, a venture capitalist at Insight Partners. The new investments come as both the European Union and California have passed new privacy laws -- the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act. - BLOOMBERG LAW

5. Amazon has pledged to investigate claims of worker abuse in China that were uncovered by New York-based China Labor Watch. The watchdog group discovered that at a factory in China, which is used by Foxconn to make Amazon's Echo Dot smart speaker and Kindle e-reader, 17-year-olds were put on night shifts and overtime limits were ignored. “We are urgently investigating these allegations and addressing this with Foxconn at the most senior level,” said an Amazon spokesman. Foxconn, which is based in Taiwan, is the world's largest electronics manufacturer. - REUTERS

6. Germany's parliament is lagging on enforcing 2015 anti-graft recommendations, the Council of Europe's anti-corruption unit said on Monday. The council, Europe's top human rights organization, pointed to "shortcomings in the registration of lobbyists and other third parties seeking to influence the work" of Germany's Bundestag. The council also said Germany could do a better job of reporting conflicts of interest involving German politicians and private interests. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

7. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara delivered the keynote speech at Compliance Week's annual conference. The speech was a question-and-answer session focused on Bahara's new book, Doing Justice. In one telling anecdote, Bahara discussed how Times Square vendors tipped authorities about a suspicious vehicle that had been packed with explosives by Faisal Shahzad (the Times Square bomber). The lesson Bahara drew is that a company's own employees are best positioned to identify and report a company's illegal behavior. - JD SUPRA

8. CannTrust Holdings, a Canadian cannabis company that recently was found to have grown marijuana illegally in unlicensed locations, said its auditor, KPMG, would be withdrawing its reports dating back to Dec. 2018. For now, however, KPMG will remain CannTrust's auditor. The discovery of the illegal grows led to the replacement of CannTrust's CEO, a suspension of sales and insider trading allegations. - THE DEEP DIVE

9. The Milton Academy, a coed boarding and day school, seeks a counsel and compliance manager. The manager will work on contracts, compliance, academy policies, and advising academy departments on a full range of legal and risk issues. Candidates should have a law degree and be admitted into the Massachusetts bar association.

10. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is seeking a corporate compliance specialist for its risk and analysis department. The specialist will direct examinations of supervised financial institutions. The right candidate will have at least eight years experience as a compliance officer, auditor or bank examiner.

Paul Wachter is a California-based journalist who has written for The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, ESPN, and other publications. 

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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