Due in no small measure to the financial market meltdown - coupled with the numerous high-profile convictions for corporate fraud and/or professional misconduct - ethical behavior is once again in the public and media crosshairs. The MPM Group’s panel of due diligence, ethical compliance and academic professionals are uniquely qualified to discuss this new national “comply or die” environment as well as the best practices for those in corporate boardrooms, government executives, or any U.S. based business organization who, now more than ever, face the prospect of increased scrutiny from compliance regulators, the media and, more frequently of late, government prosecutors.
Although premised under the “worst-case scenario,” the U.S. government has established their expectations concerning Due Diligence and Ethical Compliance. In fact, Section 8B2.1 of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”) sets forth the required steps that any organization must take to have an “effective compliance and ethics program”—one entitling it to any kind of mitigation—under the Guidelines.
Generally, there are four factors that increase the ultimate punishment of an organization: (1) the involvement in or tolerance of criminal activity; (2) the organization’s prior history; (3) the violation of an order; and (4) the obstruction of justice. Interestingly, there are two factors that will mitigate an organization’s ultimate punishment: (1) the existence of an effective compliance and ethics program within it; and (2) self-reporting, cooperation, or acceptance of responsibility by the organization.
Drawing upon their eclectic and innovate resources, MPM offers "Real Time" expertise in finding solutions to these mandated, albeit oft-times confusing, compliance issues - issues that are usually founded in these four basic business maxims:
Sam E. Antar is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Crazy Eddie, Inc. and now a convicted felon. During the mid-1980s, he, his cousin “Crazy Eddie” Antar and his Uncle Sam M. Antar (co-founders of the company) conducted one of the largest securities frauds of its time. In fact, Eddie Antar was coined by then US Attorney Michael Chertoff as, "the Darth Vader of Capitalism." Well before these more recent well-publicized Ponzi schemes and corporate meltdowns, this particular securities fraud cost investors hundreds of millions of dollars, cost many people their life savings, cost many people their jobs and careers, cost creditors hundreds of millions of dollars, and many people's suffering that cannot be measured. Later, Sam was the government's key witness in both the criminal and civil prosecutions. He also fully cooperated with all civil plaintiffs in the prosecution of their claims. He is candid when he says that he offers no excuses for his criminal conduct and should not receive any praise for his eventual cooperation.
Sam takes full and complete responsibility for his actions, but feels that apologies for his crimes are irrelevant. It is his view that “apologies do not bring back the dead or undo the losses suffered by the victims of my crimes.” As he told Wall Street Journal reporter Herb Greenberg for the March 3, 2007 Wall Street Journal column entitled, "
My Lunch with 2 Fraudsters: Food for Thought for Investors:"
“I don't want to be held up on the pedestal of redemption. I would rather people learn from my vile, ugly and vicious crimes. It is most important that they understand the ugly nature of criminality. My life is a mistake of history.”
Today, being a nationally recognized expert on the subject of white collar crime and its effects, Sam has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Channel, CNBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Business News Network, National Public Radio's Planet Money, Progressive Radio Network, Russia Today, and other national-international media outlets to give his insights on white collar crime and related corporate fraud issues.
In his current role as a Due Diligence & Ethics speaker, while in his extremely forthright and entertaining style, Sam teaches both federal and state law enforcement agencies, government entities, business executives and legal professionals about white collar crime while educating them in how to best recognize and then catch corporate miscreants. He provides his inside knowledge in how to expose white collar crooks and candidly shares his unique personal and professional experiences about Due Diligence, Corporate Ethics, white collar crime, securities fraud, the accounting profession, internal/audit controls, Sarbanes-Oxley, government corruption, and other related topics. Sam provides an entertaining and extremely enlightening presentation that is a must for any in-house Due Diligence/Ethics training program. As a collateral bonus, certain attendees are eligible for CPE or CLE credits.
Jared Dullum (Due Diligence/Protection Issues)
Mr. Dullum brings with him a variety of investigative and protection experience from the United States Secret Service. During his time with the Secret Service, Mr. Dullum investigated credit card fraud cases for companies such as American Express, Citibank, Home Depot, and GE Capital. In 2001, Mr. Dullum was recognized by Citibank as “2001 Investigator of the Year.”
Along with his vast investigative skills, Mr. Dullum was also assigned to the Protective Intelligence (PI) squad, evaluating threats to government and world leaders. While assigned to PI, Mr. Dullum developed the highest protective skills and unique protection experience. As a collateral assignment in PI, Mr. Dullum was charged with executing the most comprehensive Due Diligence process in the industry for screening the backgrounds of incoming agents and other personnel. Mr. Dullum’s expertise in defining Due Diligence requirements, protection plans and contingency plans in case of crisis were routinely developed through his work with the U.S. Secret Service.
Mr. Dullum was later stationed at the Secret Service’s flag ship office in New York City located at the World Trade Center. After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and the complete loss of his office, Mr. Dullum was instrumental in helping with the rescue and security efforts during the weeks and months that followed.
Following his career with the Secret Service, Mr. Dullum applied his varied experience to the private sector by working with Fortune 100 companies and foundations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to revamp their executive protection programs to meet the industry’s highest standards.
Interestingly, Mr. Dullum has had experience on the other side of the law. As a result of some misguided decisions in his personal life, Mr. Dullum served a federal prison sentence at a minimum-security Prison Camp from 2008-2009.
Consequently, his experience as both the investigator in various federal criminal cases, and later being prosecuted in a criminal case, makes Jared’s experiences invaluable for those who are responsible for Due Diligence issues, those who are tasked with preventing corporate fraud, and/or those who manage Human Resource teams.
J. Allen Kosowsky, CPA, CFE (Financial)
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act(“the Act”) is a constantly evolving corporate governance and accounting oversight Act that substantially affects the duties and liabilities of accountants, corporate executives, boards of directors and the lawyers who represent them. The Act addresses corporate responsibility, the creation of a public company accounting oversight board, auditor independence and enhanced criminal sanctions. The effect is much broader - investment banks, regulators, shareholder groups, plaintiff lawyers and other parties must now analyze companies with a focus on the broad mandates of Sarbanes-Oxley. Additionally, Sarbanes-Oxley sets standards for the independence of audit committee members. Most significantly, it now requires CEOs and CFOs of public companies to certify their financials and establish and evaluate specific internal disclosure policies and practices. These policies and practices must ensure that CEOs and CFOs are made aware of all operational information that is material to the financial results of their companies.
In what should be of significant interest to our clients, Sarbanes-Oxley also establishes new criminal violations, specifically as it relates to securities fraud, record tampering and conspiracy and toughens criminal penalties under certain existing federal statutes. Lastly, and contrary to what many have been told, the concept of federal “conspiracy” statutes can and does affect “remote” third parties and should be considered as well. Make no mistake, bankers and lawyers who “knowingly” participate in a Sarbanes-Oxley violation (e.g., by giving limited structuring advice) may be implicated with the primary corporate officers.
J. Allen Kosowsky, CPA is a skilled financial specialist and forensic accountant with nearly 40 years of experience including over 23 years experience in complex litigation support, business and financial consulting. As an arbitrator and mediator, Mr. Kosowsky specializes in resolving disputes involving alleged criminal misconduct, financial, valuation, accounting and various tax implications. Mr. Kosowsky is an Independent Financial Expert under Sarbanes Oxley, has served as an Independent Board member of Digital Angel Trust - overseeing IBM Credit Corp; Interim Chief Financial Officer of FIND/SVP, Financial Advisor to CEO, Memry Corporation: Chief Financial Officer, Financial Advisor to CEO, Shelton Bancorp: Director, who ledmerger with Webster Bank.
In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Mr. Kosowsky is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA); Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE); Accredited Business Valuator and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). His financial and business acumen includes a background as a corporate Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and as a Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit Committee of another major corporate entity. In addition to his many professional certifications, Mr. Kosowsky is a 2002, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Fellow.
Raymond Mansolillo, Esq. (Legal)
During more than 25 years of both state and federal public service, Mr. Mansolillo has served at various levels in both state and federal law enforcement. His public service began as a state criminal investigator for the state of Rhode Island. Later, as a federal agent with the U.S. Department of Justice, he served as a federal criminal investigator in various domestic field offices as well as throughout Central and South America as a Special Operations liaison officer attached to the local U.S. Embassies.
Today, Mr. Mansolillo is a senior partner with the prestigious boutique New England law firm of Coloian-Mansolillo, LLC. Routinely employing his skills as a former criminal investigator, negotiator and court room litigator, Mr. Mansolillo brings expertise in the areas of corporate policies, procedures, Due Diligence, senior management training as well as strong scholarship to the table.
Interestingly, and what should be of significant interest to our corporate clients, Mr. Mansolillo is extremely adept at presenting an understandable “layman’s” approach in how corporate management teams can “remedy” (mitigate) harm from potential corporate criminal misconduct while, at the same time, confirming the organization’s compliance with ethical programs as required in Federal Statute as well as U.S. Sentencing Guideline § 8B2.1.
Sammie Mays (Media)
“As long as Pete Rose is in my prison there will be no photographs or interviews – not today, not tomorrow. Not ever!” –Warden, United States Penitentiary, Marion, Ill.
Where many attempted and failed, then National Enquirer reporter Sammie Mays infiltrated the federal prison confines, securing the interview and the now famous “Pete Rose in Prison” photograph, while successfully evading maximum security measures. As a result of her unique (and quite unorthodox) efforts, the tabloid newspaper published what became known as the $100,000 Best of the Year story with Sammie’s accompanying photograph shown here with the baseball legend enjoying a Reds baseball game in the prison TV Room.
A former member of the Foreign Legion of Journalists, Sammie Mays is a nationally recognized and respected correspondent, author, television personality and corporate endorsement spokesperson. Sammie is frequently asked to share her professional experiences and has appeared on the national talk show circuit as an undercover reporter for “the world’s most notorious newspaper.”
“NBC Today’s Show Bryant Gumbel Caught Cheating on Wife by reporter Sammie Mays is the best piece of investigative journalism to ever come out of the National Enquirer.”
-- Liz Smith, USA Today
For more than 25 years, Ms. Mays has embodied the unique qualities of media and public relations acumen to know what to say and how to say it to the media during the most stressful of times. Having been a tenacious investigative reporter herself, who better to discuss how to adroitly handle the media and the accompanying public perception during a “real time” management crisis?
Sammie offers an informative, practical and even enjoyable presentation to any public relations team on how to best weather the inevitable media and/or public relations storm generated from any unexpected corporate or organizational crisis.
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