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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – January 2018

Loss Prevention Media -

Florida man accused of stealing 85 frozen pigs

A man is accused of stealing more than $29,000 worth of frozen pigs. Lee County Sheriff’s deputies say 43-year-old Onil Rivas-Perez was pulled over for a red-light violation in Buckingham, Florida.  Deputies say they searched the trailer his truck was towing and found 85 frozen pigs. Detectives were already investigating a cargo theft case and determined the pigs were stolen in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
Perez is charged with Dealing in Stolen Property.  [Source: Fox4 News]

Shoplifting attempt with empty stroller ends in car crash [Viral Video]

A brazen shoplifting attempt at a Florida Best Buy ended in a car crash on Monday, after a woman was caught on her way out of the store with a baby stroller filled with electronics. Police say they arrested Donald Carter, Marcelous Thomas, and Sheeronnye Pendergrass on Monday after the trio led them on a wild chase that ended in a crash. Surveillance video from the Best Buy shows Pendergrass and Thomas allegedly entering the store with a small stroller. The women are then seen taking electronics off a shelf and tossing them into a stroller. “While in the store, both females began to select items and place them aside which were later loaded into the stroller and covered with a blanket,” Sgt. Mark Leone said.   The video from a different camera then shows Thomas come face to face with a Best Buy loss prevention employee, who opens the stroller and discovers the unpaid-for items. Thomas is then seen shoving past the employee and fleeing the store. “While holiday shopping, they decided that they were exempt from paying for their items so they loaded them up in a baby stroller and walked out,” the Davie Police Department wrote on Facebook. Police believe Carter was the women’s getaway driver. “As they fled out of the parking lot, Davie police officers attempted to stop them,” the department wrote. The trio then attempted to flee and crashed into several vehicles. In the process, Carter climbed into the back seat and Thomas took over for him at the wheel. Pendergrass exited the vehicle at some point and was caught by police. A brazen shoplifting attempt at a Florida Best Buy ended in a car crash on Monday, after a woman was caught on her way out of the store with a baby stroller filled with electronics. Police say they arrested Donald Carter, Marcelous Thomas, and Sheeronnye Pendergrass on Monday after the trio led them on a wild chase that ended in a crash. Surveillance video from the Best Buy shows Pendergrass and Thomas allegedly entering the store with a small stroller. The women are then seen taking electronics off a shelf and tossing them into a stroller.

“While in the store, both females began to select items and place them aside which were later loaded into the stroller and covered with a blanket,” Sgt. Mark Leone said. The video from a different camera then shows Thomas come face to face with a Best Buy loss prevention employee, who opens the stroller and discovers the unpaid-for items. Thomas is then seen shoving past the employee and fleeing the store. “While holiday shopping, they decided that they were exempt from paying for their items so they loaded them up in a baby stroller and walked out,” the Davie Police Department wrote on Facebook. Police believe Carter was the women’s getaway driver. “As they fled out of the parking lot, Davie police officers attempted to stop them,” the department wrote. The trio then attempted to flee and crashed into several vehicles. In the process, Carter climbed into the back seat and Thomas took over for him at the wheel. Pendergrass exited the vehicle at some point and was caught by police. A short police pursuit then ensued which ended after the attempted shoplifting suspects crashed into the entrance of a nearby neighborhood. Footage from the property’s camera shows two of the suspects climb out of the car and run away as smoke fills the cabin.  [Source: The Epoch Times]

Burglary suspect body slammed by 15-year-old boy

A 25-year-old San Diego man was arrested for the robbery of a Yucaipa, California, TJ Maxx store on Tuesday authorities said.

 The suspect, later identified as Omar Cruz walked into the store located at 33478 Yucaipa Boulevard at around 8:20 p.m. He filled two large rolling suitcases with over $2000 in merchandise and attempted to leave the store without paying for the merchandise. On his way out of the store, he ran into a 15-year-old boy who was entering the store with his mother. The mother confronted Cruz over the incident and during the confrontation the alarm sounded. The mother of the teen then realized that Cruz was stealing.
Cruz got into a gray 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and along with a getaway driver fled from the store. Citizens including the teen and his mother followed the suspect to El Pollo Loco where he was confronted. Cruz attempted to fight the 15-year-old boy, who then body slammed him to the ground. Citizens then held Cruz until the deputies arrived while the getaway driver fled the location. Cruz was found to have a no-bail probation violation warrant from a conviction for possession of stolen property. The suspect was positively identified by a TJ Maxx loss prevention associate who viewed the store surveillance. Cruz was also identified by the store employee as part of a TJ Maxx theft ring who they have been searching for. Cruz was booked at Central Detention Center for commercial burglary and his no-bail probation violation warrant.  [Source: 24/7 Headlines]

California man gets stuck in chimney during burglary attempt

Authorities say a Northern California man tried to burglarize a business by entering through the chimney only to become stuck. Police in the Sacramento-area city of Citrus Heights, California said Friday that 32-year-old Jesse Berube was uninjured but now faces one count of burglary. According to police, Berube slid down the chimney of the business Wednesday and then found himself lodged inside. The Rocklin man was able to reach his cellphone and dial 911 for help. The Sacramento Fire Department responded and used special equipment to extricate him. Police called Berube a “criminal Santa” who “does not have the same skills as the real deal.” [Source: Yakima-Herald]

Mom accused of using son to shoplift, abandons him when caught

A Florida mother was arrested after police say she used one of her children to shoplift from a department store and then abandoned the teen and her 2-year-old son when she tried to flee from security. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Daily News, Mahassen Elhadary, 39, was at the JC Penny in Clearwater’s Westfield Countryside Mall with her children, including an infant in a stroller, on Dec. 23. Police say the mother of three was stealing from the store, using scissors to remove EAS tags from merchandise and then putting the items in a bag. She also allegedly had her 14-year-old son conceal items she was planning to steal.

The stolen clothes and shoes were worth $527, police say loss prevention approached Elhadary as she began to leave the store, causing her to grab her baby from the stroller and quickly flee the scene, leaving behind her teen and 2-year-old son, yelling at them to follow. The two children were stopped by LP associates, the report states. The children’s father, who was at a different store in the mall at the time, came to the JCPenny to pick them up. When police attempted to contact Elhadary by phone in order to get her to return to the store, she hung up on them, authorities say. Elhadary was arrested the following day on charges of child neglect without bodily harm, retail theft and possession of an anti-shoplifting device. Online jail records indicate she posted bond and was released from jail on Monday.  [Source: Daily News]

Is Little Caesar’s Pizza worth going to jail for?

A Fresno, California, man is in jail after admitting to assaulting a Little Caesar’s Pizza employee and stealing a pizza and soda, police reported. A witness told officers that David Tejeda, 29, walked into the business on Fresno and B streets in west Fresno about 12:45 p.m. Saturday, punched an employee and stole a pizza, Sgt. Glen Schafer said in a release. Tejeda returned soon after, the witness said, and stole a soda from the refrigerator. Tejeda was found by police just a few blocks from the scene and was taken into custody. Police say he admitted to the crimes and was booked into Fresno County Jail for robbery, assault and theft.  [Source: The Fresno Bee]

The post You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – January 2018 appeared first on LPM.

Latin America: FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy

Global Compliance News -

FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy

On November 29, 2017, in his speech at the 34th International Conference on the FCPA in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced a new FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy that replaced the FCPA Pilot Program of April 2016. This new policy was made a permanent part of the United States Attorneys’ Manual (Title 9-47.120), assuring more uniformity in its application by US prosecutors.

The new policy is an improvement as compared to the FCPA Pilot Program that had already shown positive results, according to the DOJ. In fact, as Mr. Rosenstein stated, during the 18 months in which the FCPA Pilot Program was in effect, there were 30 voluntary disclosures to the DOJ’s FCPA Unit compared to only 18 disclosures in the 18 months before the program had been put in place.

Most notably, the new policy provides for a presumption of declination for companies that voluntarily disclose misconduct in FCPA matters, fully cooperate, and appropriately remediate, absent aggravating circumstances. The new policy also provides additional credits to companies that self-disclose and cooperate with the US government, as explained below.

 

Credits

Along with the requirements of self-disclosure, cooperation and remediation, the new policy sets forth rules about credits in two scenarios.

The first scenario relates to a company that voluntarily self-disclosed, fully cooperated with the authorities and timely and appropriately remediated the deficiencies found. In this case, there are two possibilities:

(1) Absent any aggravating circumstances related to the seriousness of the offense or the nature of the offender (as specified below), there will be a presumption that the company that fulfills the requirements of the new policy will receive a declination, which will be made public;

(2) If there are aggravating circumstances (such as involvement by executive management of the company in the misconduct, a significant profit to the company from the misconduct, pervasiveness of the misconduct within the company or criminal recidivism):

(i) The DOJ will accord or recommend a 50% reduction off of the low end of the US Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) fine range, except in the case of a criminal recidivist.

(ii) Generally, the DOJ will not require the appointment of a monitor, as long as the company has implemented an effective compliance program at the time of the resolution.

The second scenario refers to a limited credit if the company did not voluntarily self-disclose but, once the investigation was ongoing, fully cooperated and timely and appropriately remediated. In that situation, the company will receive or the DOJ will recommend up to a 25% reduction off of the low end of the U.S.S.G. fine range.

Finally, the new policy includes definitions and comments on key concepts such as cooperation, thus allowing for more objectivity and consistency in its application and more transparency in the Department’s decisions, which helps to eliminate uncertainties and to avoid an excessively discretionary enforcement.

It is still unknown how this new policy will affect the decisions taken by the DOJ to address specific violations. However, the rules in the new policy bring more clarity and guidance and should definitely be taken into consideration when companies decide how to approach the DOJ.

Useful links: Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s speech: https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/deputy-attorney-general- rosenstein-delivers-remarks-34th-international-conference-foreign FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/file/838416/download United States Attorneys’ Manual: https://www.justice.gov/usam/united-states-attorneys-manual US Sentencing Guidelines: https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelines-manual/2016/GLMFull.pdf

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BRINK’s Top 5 Technology Stories of 2017

BRINK News -

The forward march of technology last year continued to challenge the way organizations think about innovation and adapt to change.

Questions about finance, currency and the future of work loomed large across sectors as organizations weighed the risks and benefits of InsurTech, blockchain and automation.

Will InsurTech take hold at scale? Will Blockchain revolutionize shipping and logistics? More broadly, what challenges face modern societies as the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds?

These questions and more were woven throughout the top technology stories that captured the attention of BRINK readers in 2017.

InsurTech: Hype or the Next Frontier?

InsurTech—the blending of insurance with digital technology—has been attracting a great deal of interest from founders, investors and incumbents. As a result, investment in InsurTech firms has skyrocketed. According to data from CBInsights, total deal activity has increased sevenfold over the past decade, averaging $1.7 billion a year from 2014 to 2016, compared to $250 million a year, from 2011 to 2013.

Dietmar Kottmann, a partner in the Digital Insurance Strategy practice at Oliver Wyman, and Nikolai Dördrechter, a managing director of Policen Direkt-Group, explore the factors at play in this piece outlining InsurTech trends. The two developed a model to analyze the crowded InsurTech field, identifying 19 types of InsurTech business models within three industry value chain segments and compiling a database of more than a thousand InsurTechs and other relevant players. Their conclusion: The InsurTech race will no doubt keep heating up from here.

Blockchain Builds Trust in Marine Shipping with ‘Single Version of the Truth’

Blockchain is traditionally known as the underlying foundation for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But its ability to create “mutual distributed ledgers,” which are self-governing, tamper-free, online databases that no one owns but that everyone has access to and can trust, has begun to make inroads to mainstream commerce.

The forward march of technology last year continued to challenge the way organizations think about innovation and adapt to change.

Now, the technology promises to revolutionize container logistics and marine shipping by connecting the supply chain in a way the industry has never seen before, eliminating costly, time-consuming processes and creating trust and partnership in an industry where such principles can, at times, be misunderstood by providing the “single version of the truth” to all parties involved.

Stepping Up to the Challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution—the ongoing digital revolution—is upon us. One of the key questions, however, is how we can exploit the opportunities it provides while mitigating its potentially substantial risks.

We are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another, writes Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chair of the World Economic Forum. Mr. Schwab highlights the staggering confluence of emerging technology breakthroughs, covering wide-ranging fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing, to name a few. Many of these innovations are in their infancy, but they are already reaching an inflection point in their development as they build on and amplify each other in a fusion of technologies across the physical, digital and biological worlds, Mr. Schwab writes.

Construction Machines in the Digital Age

At first glance, giant earth-moving excavators and bulldozers would not appear to have much in common with the microchip-based worlds of drones and multidimensional imaging. But in the digital age, the heavy-duty tools of the construction industry and groundbreaking new tech will all be connected, write Romed Kelp and David Kaufmann, both partners at Oliver Wyman.

The first wave of digitization is already arriving in construction machines, which are becoming increasingly automated and connected, enabling operators to deploy them more efficiently, write Mr. Kelp and Mr. Kaufmann. Equipment manufacturers’ success will be determined by how effectively they apply digitized machines in this connected ecosystem.

When Artificial Intelligence Disrupts the Call Center

Customer service centers have been typically regarded as a necessary evil, where customers have encountered their fair share of unhelpful calls. However, despite efforts to change this behavior, the phone is still the most widely used customer-service channel, with 73 percent of consumers phoning in for live interactions.

Call center interactions influence brand perception and loyalty, writes Josh Feast, founder and CEO of Cogito. They serve as a critical moment of truth in a customer relationship with a lasting impact on the decision to purchase or abandon ship.

Particularly, AI can be used to understand and improve phone calls during these crucial interactions, which can result in enhanced customer loyalty, increased employee engagement and improved operational effectiveness, the piece notes.

Time to Test and Audit Your Compliance Program

Corruption, Crime & Compliance Blog -

We all enjoy citing government sources for guidance on an effective ethics and compliance program.  Whether it is the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the Justice Department’s and SEC’s FCPA Guidance, Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, or the many other sources for guidance, companies have to test and audit their compliance programs to ensure that the program reflects the company’s changing constellation of risks and continuously improves.

As companies have scrambled to implement effective ethics and compliance programs, chief compliance officers understandably have devoted time and energy to building out compliance programs and controls.  These basic tasks have included, just for example, updating risk assessments; adopting and revising compliance policies and controls; tailoring training to risks and specific audiences; adopting and implementing due diligence systems; updating and expanding internal investigations procedures and ensuring basic speak up culture messages are communicated throughout the organization.  Even these tasks show that CCOs face a mountain of responsibilities and compliance tasks.

Government expectations for effective ethics and compliance programs are not standing still.  To the contrary, prosecutors and regulators expect that the message of compliance has been heard and followed from the corporate boardroom, through the C-Suite and ultimately with the CCO.  As a consequence, CCOs have a responsibility to act and address a significant responsibility – to test and audit the company’s ethics and compliance program, and report the results to senior management and the board of directors.

The board and senior management have a responsibility to oversee and monitor the company’s ethics and compliance program.  To do so, they have to learn about the performance of the company’s compliance program.  Such testing has to include objective measurements based on data as well as non-objective assessments of key compliance functions.

In order to test and audit a compliance program, a CCO should define the project and address key issues:

  • Time frame
  • Geographic areas
  • Culture measurements (and possible surveys)
  • Specific controls to conduct testing
  • Documents to review
  • Interviews (including focus groups)
  • Internal investigations sampling
  • Training program

I will discuss a few of these:

Culture Measurements: A testing review of a compliance program has to include an assessment of a company’s culture.  This is perhaps one of the two important areas to assess –a company’s culture and its overall compliance with its controls.  A company with a positive ethical culture has its most important and effective control against violation of its code of conduct or laws.  Further, a company with an ethical culture is likely to perform better over the long run than a company without a positive culture.  For this reason, the assessment has to measure and report on the company’s overall culture.

A culture assessment provides an important baseline against which future testing and focused testing of specific regions, divisions, and products can be conducted.  A baseline culture assessment gives the company an important view on its overall values and whether those values are embraced and understood by the rank and file within the company.

Compliance Controls: A meaningful testing program has to develop data and performance measurements for each of its controls.  To accomplish this task, the CCO has to examine each compliance control, identify control requirements, develop sampling approaches and define review criteria for each control.  A sampling approach is often the most effective way to test a compliance program given the sheer number of compliance transactions that can occur within a large organization.  Based on a sampling strategy, the CCO has to review each sample transaction and apply a consistent standard.  In the end, a raw calculation can be computed for each control based on a sampling and analysis of relevant transactions.

I am often asked if a compliance department can conduct its own audits for fear of a conflict of interest.  Assuming that a compliance function has sufficient resources to conduct the audit, there is no reason to prevent such a review so long as it is done transparently and fully documented.  Obviously, if Internal Audit has the time and resources to conduct an assessment, a CCO can work closely with Internal Audit to develop a testing protocol.  An independent test and audit process is also valuable as a means to ensure consistency and provide insights that reflect best practices and industry benchmarks.

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For #MeToo Moment to Last, Strengthen Whistleblower Protections

Whistleblower Protection Blog -

(This article was published on January 8, 2018 in the Baltimore Sun.)

The Golden Globe Awards this Sunday put the #MeToo movement in the spotlight. Many actresses wore black to express to solidarity, and a number of them brought important activists as their dates. Millions were raised for a legal defense fund to help women fight sexual harassment and abuse.

This is good news for women around the country. The #MeToo movement has shown that women who have been harassed in the workplace are far from alone, and that even powerful men can be brought down for their misdeeds. It has demonstrated that consumers, companies and voters do not want to bolster misbehaving men. Increased funding for legal organizations will not only help women bring cases but also improve case law through impact litigation.

Yet for this moment to represent a permanent shift rather than a large aberration, whistleblower laws and policies protecting those who disclose inappropriate sexual behavior by colleagues and bosses must be significantly strengthened. It is notable that many women who have come forward to report misconduct (or much worse) have themselves been prominent figures: actresses and singers like Taylor Swift, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Alyssa Milano, and media personalities like Megyn Kelly and Wendy Walsh all feature among the “Silence Breakers” who were named person of the year by Time magazine. Salma Hayek’s recent article describing predatory and revolting behavior toward her by film mogul Harvey Weinstein catapulted to the most read article on the New York Times site.

Click here to continue reading

NLRB Memo Brings Questions to Codes of Conduct (Murphy Quoted)

Compliance Strategists Blogs -

Joe Murphy – The Wall Street Journal – January 9, 2018

A memo from the Trump-appointed general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board suggests the agency may take a new approach to issues related to employee handbooks and codes of conduct, including the question of what constitutes disrespectful workplace conduct. Joseph Murphy, author of the book “501 Ideas for Your Compliance and Ethics Program,” said the memo from NLRB General Counsel Peter B. Robb said some issues resulting in an enforcement action in the previous administration may now be looked at differently, including rules prohibiting disrespectful workplace conduct.

“In the memo he talks about issues that, if these come up, we might enforce them but we might take a different approach,” said Mr. Murphy in an interview. The memo tells agency field personnel: ‘Don’t go on the old course…you can’t charge ahead,’ said Mr. Murphy. “Come to me before you go to the board to ask for a complaint,” he said. The memo, Mr. Murphy said, rescinded Obama administration guidance on the agency’s approach to employee codes of conduct that concluded general language prohibiting disrespectful conduct could be seen as an unfair labor practice. The Obama-era memo says: “A rule that prohibits employees from engaging in ‘disrespectful,’ ‘negative,’ ’inappropriate,’ or ‘rude’ conduct towards the employer or management, absent sufficient clarification or context, will usually be found unlawful.”

. . .

(Read More)

For a PDF Version of this article, please click here.

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Compliance Report-International Edition, RS Legal Strategies

FCPA Compliance & Ethics -

Today, I visit with Mark Rainsford and Jason Sugarman, principals with RS Legal Strategies which is a pioneering Queen’s Counsel led business in the areas of crime investigations, fraud and legal strategy. Its world-class professionals include leading and junior counsel, a solicitor, a former member of the judiciary and special advisor to the Serious Fraud [...]

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Top Five Culture Posts of 2017 on CultureUniversity.com

Culture University -

The interest in culture continues to grow but this growth comes with a proliferation of over-simplified and incorrect information about culture. CultureUniversity.com was launched in 2014 to cut through this misinformation and it’s grown to be a great resource for leaders and change agents (this is post #191). Five new posts garnered the highest traffic […]

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Breaking News in the Industry: January 9, 2018

Loss Prevention Media -

Three Florida suspects face racketeering, other charges in retail theft ring

Polk County sheriff’s deputies have made two arrests and are looking for a third suspect who they say took part in organized retail theft ring spanning a four-month period, hitting JC Penney and Beall’s stores in Lakeland and Davenport Florida. The Sheriff’s Organized Retail Crime Unit identified three suspects it says were responsible for nine thefts. The Sheriff’s Office said the suspects could be seen on security video removing shopping bags from behind the cash register and later placing items such as clothing and perfume into them, then leaving the store without paying.

Gerald “Jalise” Cobbs, 39, Lakeland, was arrested Dec. 22 and charged with racketeering, a first-degree felony; four counts of retail theft coordinating with others and three counts of felony petty theft. The Sheriff’s Office said he was the ringleader of the group and has been convicted of 16 prior thefts. His criminal history includes: shoplifting, probation violation, failure to appear, resisting without violence, trespassing, theft of state funds, forgery, passing counterfeit, drug possession, dealing in stolen property, fleeing to elude and driving while license suspended (habitual). Varesha Teron Perry, 30, Lakeland, also was arrested Dec. 22 and charged with racketeering, three counts of retail theft coordinating with others, petty theft and two counts petty theft first-offense, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting with violence. She has previous arrests on charges of battery and failure to appear. Sunsaray Shaquille Willis, 24, Lakeland, is still at-large but is charged with racketeering, retail theft coordinating with others, retail theft coordinating with others over $3,000 and petty theft. She has previous arrests on charges of petty theft, cocaine possession and trespassing. The first incident occurred at the Beall’s Outlet store in South Lakeland on July 20. That was followed by eight other incidents at JC Penney stores in Davenport and Lakeland, with the last one occurring Nov. 30. In security video from the Sept. 20 incident at JC Penney of Davenport, sheriff’s investigators said Cobbs and Perry can be seen entering the store, then going to an unattended cashier’s counter and taking store bags. The pair is then viewed on the video as they leave the store with full bags.  [Source: The Ledger]

Woman tries to steal candy bar from c-store, scene escalates [Viral Video]

A 39-year-old Centralia, Washington, woman is facing a felony robbery charge and an assault charge after police say she shoved two market owners in a dispute over a candy bar. David Haladay, who owns B&D market, says he saw that woman pocket a Kit Kat bar in the store Tuesday before walking up to the cashier to buy cigarettes. After using the ATM, she tried to leave the store. That’s when Haladay confronted her, and told her police had been called because she was shoplifting. Haladay says he typically doesn’t press charges but he tries to confront shoplifting when he sees it. But the confrontation that followed turned ugly.  Surveillance video seems to show the woman shove Haladay to the ground after words are exchanged, and then run for the door, where Haladay’s partner Matthew Dare was standing. The woman runs into Dare, and after the two momentarily tussle she tumbles to the floor. Then she gets back up and pushes her way out of the store. “It’s just crazy,” Haladay said. “It’s sad and it doesn’t make sense.” Dare took the license plate of the car she got into, and police soon tracked down and arrested that 39-year-old woman. According to court documents, the suspect told a different story, but police say the surveillance corroborated Haladay and Dare’s perspective. The candy bar cost $1.19. The woman dropped it on her way out of the store. The 39-year-old suspect faces one count of second-degree robbery and one count of fourth-degree assault. Bail was set at $10,000. The suspect was still in jail as of Saturday afternoon. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 11. [Source: KOMO News]

Employee accused of stealing more than $10K from store

A Bed Bath & Beyond employee is accused of using returns from online registries to steal more than $10,000 from a West Palm Beach, Florida, store. Officers arrested Mandela Matasu, 29, Friday after finding that Matasu fraudulently took money from the store 15 times, court records show. Surveillance video found many instances of Matasu “pulling out his own debit card, reaching over the counter from the employee side to the customer side, and swiping a card at the customer’s credit card terminal machine,” an officer wrote in an arrest report. Records state Matasu transferred in June 2017 to be a manager at the Palm Beach Lakes store. Loss prevention associates were notified about a high number of return percentages from their online registry orders at the West Palm Beach store in December 2017.

At first, the LP associates found returns for a bridal shower went to a debit card belonging to Matasu. Their investigation uncovered a total of $10,545.79 refunded to Matasu since September in 15 transactions. Matsau allegedly confessed to a loss prevention associate when confronted about the allegations. When a West Palm Beach police officer spoke with Matsau, he reportedly confessed again. Matasu was released on Jan. 6 from the Palm Beach County Jail on supervised release. He’s facing several grand theft and fraud charges.   [Source: WPTV5 News]

US retailers signal they had a happy Christmas

Embattled US retailers had their most cheerful holiday season in at least six years, according to new data and early trading updates. Boosted by bubbling consumer confidence and a healthy jobs market, US shoppers spent 4.9 per cent more during the holidays than they did a year ago, the biggest annual rise since 2011, preliminary data from MasterCard SpendingPulse shows.  After a turbulent year of store closures and retail bankruptcies, “this is a much better holiday than we have grown accustomed to,” said Simeon Siegel, analyst with Nomura Instinet. “It feels like more than just better-than-feared.” Industry groups have nudged up their forecasts. The National Retail Federation, the industry trade body, said it expected final results to exceed its earlier forecast of $682bn in sales, which would be a 4 per cent rise from a year ago. Customer Growth Partners, a consultancy, predicted sales for November and December rose 5.7 per cent, year on year, up from an earlier estimate of 4.3 per cent.

US unemployment has dropped to a 17-year low and consumer confidence has surged on the back of a stock rally. A bitterly cold winter also helped boost demand for winter garb, said Mr Siegel, all resulting in the bigger spending.  As holiday sales results trickle in, the optimism appears to span even the department stores, which have been hard hit by consumers’ drift away from malls. JC Penney, the first major US-listed retailer to publicly tally its Christmas trading, said like-for-like sales rose 3.4 per cent in the nine weeks to end of December, thanks to strong demand for homewares, beauty products and jewelry. Chief executive Marvin Ellison called the results “very encouraging”.  
“This is likely the season where we all move past talking about retail in trouble,” said Greg Portell, partner at AT Kearney. “Retail as a sector is healthy and vibrant. The traditional definition of retail needs to adapt to how consumers shop today . . . the stores are no longer the node of commerce. [Source: Financial Times]

Five months after Equifax hack, Social Security still relies on discredited firm

Nearly five months after an unprecedented security breach at the credit rating firm Equifax exposed Social Security numbers and other data, making some 147 million Americans vulnerable to potential identity theft and fraud attacks, the Social Security Administration continues to use an identity security system devised by Equifax for the MySocialSecurity online portal. Equifax was awarded a no-bid $10 million contract back in early 2016, as the company boasted at the time, “to help the SSA manage risk and mitigate fraud for the mySocialSecurity system, a personalized portal for customers to access some of SSA’s services such as the online statement.”

Equifax was awarded a no-bid $10 million contract back in early 2016, as the company boasted at the time, “to help the SSA manage risk and mitigate fraud for the mySocialSecurity system, a personalized portal for customers to access some of SSA’s services such as the online statement.” Equifax was awarded a no-bid $10 million contract back in early 2016, as the company boasted at the time, “to help the SSA manage risk and mitigate fraud for the mySocialSecurity system, a personalized portal for customers to access some of SSA’s services such as the online statement.” During this suspension, the IRS will continue its review of Equifax systems and security. The IRS emphasized that there is still no indication of any compromise of the limited IRS data shared under the contract. The contract suspension is being taken as a precautionary step as the IRS continues its review.  [Source: Salon]

Dad makes sons caught shoplifting clean store’s parking lot

For dad Justin Hon, making his teenage boys pick up trash around the Medford, Oregon, Toys R Us parking lot is a lenient punishment compared to what could have happened under the law.  Instead of a family trip into the toy store to pick out a new toy, Justin hon had his teenage boys, Nicholas and Noah, picking up trash in the parking lot. He said sometime around Christmas, he caught his sons stealing from Toys R Us. “Their excuse was that they were stealing for their baby brother which I don’t care what their reason was behind it. Their actions deserve consequences and they just need to be accountable for what they did,” said Justin Hon. Hon made the boys return what they stole.

“The lady here at Toys R Us was really sweet. She just talked to them. She was really nice about it. She could have called the cops on them.” Hon added. He said their actions warranted a punishment greater than just getting grounded. “I felt that this could have turned into something bigger if I didn’t nip it in the bud really quick. I know as a kid I stole things and I got in trouble by the law. I had to do community service and all that stuff. I guess this is what it’s about. Learning a hard life lesson without the judicial system,” Hon added. He made his sons, 16 year old Nicholas and 15 year old Noah, buy their own high visibility vests and trash bags with their Christmas money to learn from their mistakes. “I told my kids I’m not mad at them. I was disappointed but I wasn’t mad at them. I made the same mistakes. It’s learning from those mistakes and taking responsibility for your part,” Hon said. Hon hopes this lesson sticks with his children and they never have sticky fingers again.  [Source: KDRV12 Newswatch]

 

The post Breaking News in the Industry: January 9, 2018 appeared first on LPM.

Lessons from the Front-Line: How to Unlock the Promise of Online Third-Party Compliance Management Systems

The Compliance & Ethics Blog -

By Rick Chapman, Assistant General Counsel, Global Ethics & Compliance, Halliburton According to new research from The Risk Advisory Group, third party risk is at the top of the agenda for compliance professionals in 2018.  This is hardly surprising when you consider that businesses are increasingly reliant on networks of third parties to take their […]

Flu-Related Deaths on the Rise

Risk Management Monitor -

Frigid weather across the United States and low effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine have been blamed for a jump in the number of flu cases being reported across the country. Epidemiologists in 36 states so far have reported widespread influenza activity to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those states, 21 reported a high number of cases.

Worldwide, the estimated number of fatalities caused by seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses is also higher than expected, according to the CDC. The agency released a new study in December 2017 with statistics indicating that between 291,000 and 646,000 people die from influenza every year, an increase from the previous estimate of 250,000 to 500,000. The estimates were drawn from a collaborative multinational survey conducted by the CDC and its global health partners.

“These findings remind us of the seriousness of flu and that flu prevention should really be a global priority,” said Joe Bresee, M.D., associate director for global health in CDC’s Influenza Division and a study co-author.

The study, which appeared in The Lancet, excluded data related to pandemics, indicated that poorer nations and older adults are especially at risk. It explained:

People age 75 years and older and people living in sub-Saharan African countries experienced the highest rates of flu-associated respiratory deaths. Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asian countries had slightly lower but still high rates of flu-associated respiratory deaths.

One cause for the rise could be that few developing countries have seasonal flu vaccination programs or the capacity to produce and distribute seasonal or pandemic vaccines.

The information was released following the CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination Week, which was held in early December 2017. That also marked what is typically considered the start of the season which continues through February in the U.S., although activity can last as late as May. Flu activity is expected to increase this month, the CDC warned back in December, and the freezing conditions from last week’s “bomb cyclone” may contribute to fully realizing that prediction.

People at high risk include:

  • Pregnant women.
  • Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old.
  • People 65 years of age and older.
  • People of any age who have certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) suggests that employers use this critical time to promote policies and procedures to protect their employees from communicable diseases like influenza, and reinforce that the risks may be greater for certain workers. According to SHRM:

Employers must be open to discuss employee concerns and listen to their ideas and suggestions for ways to help them stay healthy. Employers can encourage employees who are at high risk to talk with their health care provider to determine what, if any, additional measures they should consider to keep themselves healthy and safe at work. Employers should strongly consider doctor’s accommodation requests for high-risk workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) web site has a fact sheet and guidelines for companies to follow with regard to the flu and pandemics. Additionally, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a page with tips for employers hoping to curb seasonal flu outbreaks in their workplaces and among employees. NIOSH’s suggestions include:

Day 9 of 31 Days to a More Effective Compliance Program-360 Degrees of Compliance Communications

FCPA Compliance & Ethics -

A 360-degree view of compliance is an effort to incorporate your compliance identity into a holistic approach so that compliance is in touch with and visible to your employees at all times. It is about creating a distinctive brand philosophy of compliance which is centered on your consumers. In other words, it helps a compliance [...]

The post Day 9 of 31 Days to a More Effective Compliance Program-360 Degrees of Compliance Communications appeared first on Compliance Report.

Data Protection Officers Must Not Have a Conflict of Interest – Part 2

Global Compliance News -

For part 1 click here.

Under the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will start to apply on 25 May 2018, many companies will be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). Violating the requirements relating to the appointment of a DPO can be sanctioned with fines of up to EUR 10 million or up to 2 percent of the total worldwide annual turnover, whichever is higher. So, who do you appoint as your DPO?

Companies may choose to appoint an employee of the company as an internal DPO or a professional data privacy advisor as an external DPO. The appointed DPO must have the necessary knowledge and expertise in data protection law and must be reliable as well as independent. When is a DPO reliable and independent? This is not always a straightforward question in practice and it makes sense to look at how this requirement is interpreted to date in Germany, where companies have long been required to appoint a DPO.

According to the current interpretation of the existing German data protection law, the DPO must not have any duties which conflict with the monitoring obligations of the DPO. The Bavarian Data Protection Authority (BayLDA) takes the position in its recent activity report (German only) that members of the legal department may in certain cases have a conflict of interest which disqualifies those individuals from acting as DPO. In particular, if the legal counsel may represent the company in a legal proceeding (especially with regard to legal actions against employees or customers, which may include data privacy related aspects), the legal counsel is subject to a conflict of interest and, therefore, not independent. This may reduce the potential internal candidates for the role of the DPO significantly: The Art. 29 Working Party stated recently that individuals with a senior management position, such as chief operating, chief financial, chief medical officer, head of marketing department, head of Human Resources or head of IT departments can have a conflict of interest and are therefore not suitable candidates for the DPO position (also supported by the BayLDA: read more).

In principle, a member of the company’s internal legal counsel team would be a suitable candidate for the DPO, especially if such legal counsel has data privacy experience. Moreover, the skills of a lawyer can be helpful when dealing with the Data Protection Authorities, which will be a core aspect of the DPO’s responsibilities. A company contemplating appointing a member of the legal department as DPO must ensure that this internal legal counsel is excluded from representing the company in any legal proceedings which may cause a potential conflict of interest. The position of the BayLDA goes beyond the position of the Art. 29 Working Party which states that an external DPO has a conflict of interest if this DPO represents the company in legal actions relating to data privacy issues before the courts.

When considering potential internal candidates for the position of the DPO, amongst other things, companies will therefore need to pay attention to potential conflicts of interest.

Contacts for further information: Julia Kaufmann LL.M., Partner, Baker McKenzie Munich
Prof. Dr. Michael Schmidl LL.M., Partner, Baker McKenzie Munich
Dr. Holger Lutz LL.M., Partner, Baker McKenzie Frankfurt

 

The post Data Protection Officers Must Not Have a Conflict of Interest – Part 2 appeared first on Global Compliance News.

Company Profile: Dealing with Employee Theft at WDF

Loss Prevention Media -

Everyone loves to discover new or exclusive products at great prices, particularly when traveling on holiday. The passport to vacation nirvana often begins with the spectacular tax- and duty-free airside emporiums at some of Europe’s biggest airports where products are tax-free for passengers traveling within the EU and duty-free for passengers flying outside the EU. Indeed, for many, duty-free shopping is part of the holiday experience. The purchases often, like photographs, carry distinct and lingering memories of the journey, whether it is a family holiday, a city break, or a honeymoon.

The word “duty” originates from the Anglo-Norman dueté, a derivative of the Old French deu or “owed,” which later evolved into débitus in Latin or “debt” in English. At a very early stage of its history in the developing ancient world, duties were levied on all exports and imports at Athens, the first so-called civilization, for purposes of public revenue.

.inline-text-ad h1, .inline-text-ad h2, .inline-text-ad h3 { margin-top: 0; } .inline-text-ad h1 { font-size: 18px !important; font-weight: bold !important; } .inline-text-ad p { font-size: 1.0rem; } .inline-text-ad { border-top: 1px dotted #cccccc; border-bottom: 1px dotted #cccccc; padding-top: 20px; } @media only screen and (max-width: 768px) { .inline-text-ad { text-align: center; } .inline-text-ad h1, .inline-text-ad h3, .inline-text-ad h3 { font-size: 1.15em; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 460px) { .inline-text-ad h1, .inline-text-ad h3, .inline-text-ad h3 { font-size: 1em; } } Find out where the real threat to your company lies by reading this FREE Special Report, Employee Theft: Statistics, Interviewing Techniques and Tips to Optimize your Employee Theft Policy.

Over time, air and seaports became associated with complex customs checking and a byzantine taxation system, which escaped the rigors of local duty collection by virtue of the fact that such zones were recognised as geographical and time anomalies in between specific jurisdictions. This loophole dates back to Shannon Airport in Ireland in the 1960s, when it becaame common practice that because people were simply passing through these “no-man’s-land” areas, they should be able to purchase items without paying the standard import duty—so long as they were in the process of leaving the country.

By custom, it is a virtual tax loophole that all governments concede, but that is not to suggest that everything that goes on airside is treated with legal impunity—far from it. Businesses operating in these legal twilight zones still suffer from the everyday human frailty, whether it is external theft or employee dishonesty or collusion resulting in huge losses for companies operating airside.

A New Approach to Dealing with Employee Theft

World Duty Free, a Dufry company, has stores located in 21 airports across the UK, and these are examples of locations where the long arm of the law can still reach. And that arm just got longer in terms of dealing with employee theft and fraud.

World Duty Free (WDF) used to take a traditional approach to its staff investigations, but a shift in tactics—from the reactive and often adversarial interview technique to a more proactive, non-confrontational, conversational approach—has not only significantly improved clean up rates, but also reduced the number of cases of claims for unfair dismissal going to employment tribunals.

Under the stewardship of Joe Sanchez, loss prevention manager for WDF in the UK and North America, a four-strong loss prevention team were sent on an intensive Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) non-confrontational interview-training program, which resulted in a 16 percent increase in admission rates in just three months.

What was previously a traditional question-and-answer interview with human resources taking verbatim contemporaneous notes was replaced with a smoother, more conversational process and what is referred to as the all-important, scene-setting, opening introductory statement.

“It was critical to get this right because we needed to get our internal HR teams fully on board. The opening statement is part of the flow and the raison d’être of the whole WZ approach. For it to have to stop and start in order for notes to be taken, or for HR to catch up, would interrupt the process,” said Sanchez. “What we therefore agreed is that the opening will be consistent so that they do not need to take verbatim notes at this point, but only when the interview begins. This has worked well and has enhanced our process.”

The switch in approach has resulted in even the most seasoned fraudsters admitting to wrongdoing and, furthermore, zero unfair dismissal claims, resulting in greater efficiency in the LP team in terms of reduced downtime for staff to attend hearings.

WZ began life in the United States, but has been operational across the UK and Europe for almost ten years. With more than thirty years of experience from the military and law enforcement to the retail sectors, WZ begins from a simple premise—starting a conversation with a confrontation almost always results in an emotional reaction and denial by the subject.

“As a small team, the process has complemented what we already had in place. We cannot afford to carry out fishing expeditions or long interviews that go on for hours at a time. In that way, WZ has reinforced our own policy,” said Sanchez. “It has also enhanced our preparedness. It offers us a structure for getting ready for interviews that we lacked previously, and this has helped to reduce time and boost efficiency because we never deviate from the facts of a case. And this has further augmented our listening and observational skills.”

The Efficiency of Cordiality

WZ believes that a more effective way to identify the truth is through a variety of non-confrontational techniques that allow the conversation to remain cordial without pushing the subject into an emotional or defensive state. The WZ-trained interviewer does not probe or question, but simply lays out a series of statements of fact—who they are and what they do—as a means of opening. This introductory statement opens up the opportunity for a series of non-verbal communications and observations assisting the interviewer and resulting, in most cases, in a full confession from those guilty of activities that have not even been alluded to at this stage of the conversation.

In fact, many such admissions are achieved in a short, twenty-minute exchange, saving hours of unnecessary denials and counter claims and often resulting in confessions from the subject to wrongdoing of a greater scale than what they were originally being interviewed for.

“It is all to do with the process and the consistency of approach and credibility,” said Sanchez, who has operated in both domestic and international profit protection roles for WDF. “It has allowed our investigators, who all come from a variety of different backgrounds, to reduce resistance and denials. The opening statement is very powerful, yet understated. We are simply explaining to the subject of the interview who we are and why we are here.

“Since the team have been trained by WZ, I have noticed how much smoother and natural the interviewing process has become as they grow in confidence. Some interviewees have even admitted their guilt within five minutes as any resistance simply melts away. This is because most people will admit to things when they realise that they have been caught. Having demonstrated the efficacy of the revised approach, I am delighted to say that they are fully on board because they realize that WZ in no way compromises the company position or affects any tribunal.

“Indeed, since we have been using WZ, we have had no one coming back to us threatening industrial tribunals, which we would not have had under the previous regime where we had an average of ten appeals for the fifty or so investigations that we average in a year. We are simply developing a sense of empathy, which means that their desire to fight or resist is automatically lower.”

A Non-taxing Duty

Softer benefits include no longer having to spend hours preparing for the interviews as investigators simply follow the process. Likewise, years of experienced service as an investigator are not essential to getting the desired result, and police officers dedicated to the respective airports and involved in subsequent criminal investigations have been complimentary of WDF’s approach to dealing with employee theft.

WDF may consider expanding its application outside of the UK and into Europe, and WZ EU training programs have taken place in Ireland, Poland, and Germany for many household-name retail brands.

WZ EU trainer Alan Grocott, himself a former head of LP for Next in the UK, said, “Joe’s experience at WDF is not unusual as many retailers return from the courses keen to put their new training into practice. For most, it is a game changer when they see resistance fall away with the power of the introductory statements without any shots fired in anger. Even the really awkward and belligerent protagonists realize when the game is up, as their own body language has betrayed them. After their admission, there is usually a sense of euphoric release as they are, in most cases, not seasoned criminals but simply good people who, for whatever reasons—gambling debts or addiction, for example—have made bad or poor choices. The fact that they have lost their jobs as a result is almost secondary to this sense of relief.”

If there is a moral to this story, it is this: lying is a more difficult journey for most individuals, and engagement and empathy are more time- and cost-effective tools to unlock the sense of honor that we all too often hide from ourselves and our peers. Interviewing can only be a cut and thrust and two-dimensional dance-off, while conversational discourse brings a more fluid and graceful choreography and a sense of moral imperative. Dishonesty is selfish and counter-intuitive and will always quickly reveal itself. Conversely, truth is ultimately a selfless act and a non-taxing duty.

This article was originally published in LP Magazine Europe in 2017 and updated January 9, 2018.

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Speak Your Mind, Lose Your Job

Corporate Governance -

Speak Your Mind, Lose Your Job: The Challenge of Diversity at the Modern Corporations. That was the topic of another great program at Stanford Law sponsored by the Rock Center for Corporate Governance on December 5th. @StanfordLaw @StanfordRock Register for upcoming events. What is the Board’s role in allow employees to say #TimesUp #MeToo or #TakeAKnee? Speak Your Mind: as Advertised […]

The post Speak Your Mind, Lose Your Job appeared first on Corporate Governance.

How WRI is working to tip the balance in favour of the planet

Ethical Corporation Feeds -

How do you help bring about a tipping point on huge issues like climate change, rampant deforestation, or the scandal of one-third of food produced globally being wasted when 800 million people go hungry?

Such are the questions that preoccupy Andrew Steer, CEO and president of the World Resources Institute, the Washington DC-based research centre that spans more than 50 countries, has offices in seven, and more than 700 experts and staff.

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