This Week in Compliance

This Week in Compliance: Whistleblower Legislation Adopted by European Parliament

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  • Whistleblower Legislation Adopted by European Parliament: The European Parliament adopted legislation on Tuesday that will dramatically expand whistleblower protections across the trading block. All organizations with more than 50 employees will be mandated to set up internal channels to allow reporting of irregularities. trading bloc. Employees will also be able to bypass internal channels completely in favor of reporting directly to the authorities, if they wish. The directive includes a presumption of retaliation when the employee is fired following the making of a disclosure. The bloc’s member states will now have two years to transpose the directive into national law.

Business

  • Former Volkswagen CEO charged in diesel emissions cheating scandal: Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s former chief executive, wascharged in Germany alongside four other managers with fraud in relation to the company’s involvement in the diesel emissions scandal. Winterkorn is already facing criminal charged in the U.S. but he is unlikely to face trial as Germany does not extradite its own citizens. The prosecutor accused Winterkorn of “particularly serious” fraud in addition to breaching competition laws. Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it had used illegal “cheating” software to cheat U.S. admissions tests. The company has incurred costs to the tune of EUR 28 billion so far in relation to the scandal.
  • Uber discloses FCPA investigation in IPO filings: Ride-sharing company Uber said last Thursday that the company is under investigation for possible FCPA violations in relation to its activities in Asia. The company disclosed that the U.S. Department of Justice is looking into possible bribes in a number of countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and China. The Indonesian allegations relate to small payments to the police and “other potential improper payments”. Uber is expected to go public later this year at a valuation estimated around USD 100 billion. The company indicated it is cooperating with the investigation.

Government

  • Peru’s former President Alan Garcia kills himself before arrest on corruption-related charges: Peru’s former President Alan Garcia shot himself has police arrived to arrest him. Garcia has been accused of taking bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht – the company implicated in a bribery scandal spanning Latin America. The former president had repeatedly denied the charges, writing on Tuesday on twitter that there was “no clue or evidence” against him. Investigators say he took bribes from Odebrecht in relation to the building of a metro line in Lima. Odebrecht has admitted to paying almost USD 30 million in bribes in the country since 2004.
  • College Admissions Scandal: Lori Loughlin pleads not guilty: Lori Loughlin pleads not guilty: Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli entered not guilty pleas on Monday in federal court in Boston. Loughlin and her husband were among 14 other wealthy parents who faced additional charges in the scandal last week. The pair is accused of paying USD 500,000 in bribes to “college admissions consultant” William “Rick” Singer in an attempt to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. Other parents, including fellow actress Felicity Huffman entered guilty pleas to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest-services mail fraud.
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