Enron’s Legacy, 20 Years Later

Brad Fulton

Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, the 20th anniversary of the collapse of Enron and the legacy it left behind for corporate compliance. Read the full story and more news below.

Top Story

Enron’s Legacy, 20 Years Later

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the collapse of Enron, and with it a legacy of corruption that lives on and informs corporate governance to this day. The energy company’s bankruptcy came on the heels of allegations of financial mismanagement and insider trading among its corporate executives. The alleged failure of corporate governance in the Enron case directly contributed to the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the push toward enhanced corporate governance and compliance.

Government

Spain Recovers More than 400 Stolen Artifacts

Spanish police have recovered more than 400 archaeological artifacts that were illegally obtained and traded. Working undercover and infiltrating social media groups and internet forums, Spanish authorities were able to identify the artifacts’ locations, take the items into the custody of the government and, place them in museums around the country. Some of the artifacts dated back to the Bronze Age and were illegally obtained by collectors and enthusiasts.

Australian Cybercrime Unit Prevents the theft of USD 17M from Pension Funds

Australian Federal Police reported Monday that they prevented cyber criminals from stealing more than USD 17M from pension funds. Australian officials announced the success of their cybercrime unit on the same day that they announced new enforcement actions that will ensure that the country’s hold on cybercrime is “cutting edge, and will ensure Australia is leading the world on cyber security”.

Business

US Retailers, Holiday Shopping, and Nearly USD 70B in Thefts

With Black Friday and the official beginning of the 2021 U.S. holiday shopping season, retail experts are turning their attention to the economic impact of shoplifting during the holiday season. In 2019 alone, retail outlets faced USD 70B in losses due to shoplifters and professional, organized theft rings. Retailers say that theft rings target high-priced items including over-the-counter medications that can be resold. “Organized retail crime is more than petty shoplifting, and the economic impact has become alarming,” said Michael Hanson, Senior Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Regulatory Updates

Justice Department Defends ‘Repeat Offenders’ Enforcement

The Justice Department defended its decision to take prior enforcement action into consideration when convicting and sentencing organizations and individuals for white-collar crimes. At an annual conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, DOJ officials reiterated their stance that organizations with a history of white-collar crime could face harsher penalties and sentences on new crimes. The change comes amidst a renewed focus on white-collar crime enforcement by the DOJ.