“Sometimes, success can block scrutiny. It’s not always intuitive to say, ‘Oh, things are good in the organization, let’s turn that rock over and see what’s underneath. Sometimes a dangerous silence can develop between the front lines of business and headquarters.”
In this episode, Richard Bistrong shares his journey from pleading guilty to bribery, to serving 15 months in prison for conspiracy and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He then explains how this led to him becoming a major contributor in the field of ethics and compliance. He also discusses his work as a confidential human source and cooperating witnesses for prosecutors in the U.S. and U.K..
ABOUT RICHARD BISTRONG
Richard Bistrong is founder and chief executive of Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC, a consultancy that works with organizations to enhance their compliance efforts beyond a set of rules and procedures. As a complement to existing legal, audit and regulatory compliance, Bistrong assists in the identification of both “spoken and unspoken” organizational messages, including forecasts and compensation, that might perhaps cause confusion at the field level with “what does management really want.” He also looks at ethical behaviors and messaging as potential red-flags of decision making.
Bistrong came to the field of ethics and compliance after pleaded guilty to bribery, and was sentenced to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He then worked as a confidential human source and cooperating witness for prosecutors in the U.S. and U.K.
Bistrong now is a recognized consultant, blogger, and speaker in the field of anti-bribery compliance, reflecting on front-line issues which impact international business teams and compliance personnel.
He was educated in foreign policy at the University of Virginia, receiving a Masters of Arts. He also studied at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria. He was recognized as a Top Mind in Governance, Risk, Compliance, and Ethics by Compliance Week, and was recognized by Thomson Reuters as a Top 50 U.S. social influencer in risk, compliance, and regtech.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN THIS EPISODE...
[00:38] Ben DiPietro introduces Richard Bistrong, founder and chief executive of Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC.
[2:08] Bistrong describes what it was like to wear a wire for the government and whether he ever came close to being exposed while doing that?
[3:50] Did Bistrong think about the ethics of what he was doing, and did he feel bad at the time he was doing these things? If not, when did he get those feelings?
[6:30] At what point did Bistrong decide he was going to work to promote better corporate behavior, and not just settle his case and make amends?
[8:55] Bistrong responds to critics that say he is cashing in on his bad behavior?
[11:08] How much of his personal life was made public during the trials that you testified in, how did he handle that, and what was the impact it had on his relationships with family, friends, and colleagues?
[12:50] From the perspective of having been involved in corporate corruption, what are two or three of the biggest mistakes organizations make when it comes to the structure and operation of their ethics and compliance programs? What are they being blind to, what can they do better to uncover people like himself who are out there?
Don’t miss our next episode! Be sure to subscribe to Principled on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play or wherever you listen to podcasts.
About the AuthorMore Content by LRN Corporation