28 Apr 2017
Published in News

Why Nevada doesn’t care where the money comes from and never will

Last week’s USA Today story about companies being secretly set up in Nevada to buy condos and other property from Donald Trump was a reminder: Nevada’s infamously lax incorporation laws allow anyone — terrorists, sex traffickers, arms dealers, Putin, people who want something from a corrupt president, etc. — to set up a shell company, not only to hide one’s identity, but also to avoid taxes or move dirty money around.

28 Apr 2017
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China threatens North Korea with sanctions if nuclear tests persist, Tillerson says

China has threatened Pyongyang with sanctions if the rogue government continues to disregard calls to stop conducting nuclear tests, which are seen as a provocation to its regional neighbors and the U.S, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

Tillerson, in an interview with Fox News on Thursday, said that China’s commitment to implement sanctions on their own accord and that North Korea is aware.

28 Apr 2017
Published in News

UK drawing up post-Brexit sanctions plan

The UK is urgently drawing up new laws that will enable it to continue imposing sanctions on foreign countries after Brexit, the BBC has learned.
Ministers began consulting on the plans last week after officials realised most of the powers to apply sanctions will disappear when the UK leaves the EU.

The government hopes the move will allow it to continue to adopt sanctions alongside other members of the bloc.

28 Apr 2017
Published in News

Ireland Yields $8.4 Million From Offshore Tax Evasion Probes

Ireland’s tax authority collected 7.7 million euros ($8.4 million) last year from offshore assets amid its aggressive stance toward tax evasion, according to the Irish Revenue’s 2016 annual report.

Out of the total, 3.8 million euros came from tax payments, with interest payments and penalties making up the remaining 3.9 million euros, according to the Revenue’s April 27 report for the calendar year. The total figure marks a 6.1 percent fall from 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA.

27 Apr 2017
Published in News

Bribe cases, a Jared Kushner partner and potential conflicts

It was the summer of 2012, and Jared Kushner was headed downtown.

His family’s real estate firm, the Kushner Companies, would spend about $190 million over the next few months on dozens of apartment buildings in tony Lower Manhattan neighborhoods including the East Village, the West Village and SoHo.

For much of the roughly $50 million in down payments, Mr. Kushner turned to an undisclosed overseas partner.

27 Apr 2017
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China welcomes U.S. saying it’s open to talks on North Korea

China on Thursday welcomed an apparently softer tone by the United States on the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis but stressed its opposition to a U.S. missile defense system being deployed in South Korea.

China has long promoted dialogue to resolve the “Korean nuclear issue” as North Korea has repeatedly threatened to destroy the United States which in turn has warned that “all options are on the table” in ending North Korean provocations.

27 Apr 2017
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US feared for safety of Russian money-laundering witness

A Russian lawyer investigating an alleged $230 million money-laundering scheme nearly died in March after he fell from his fourth floor apartment in Moscow.

It’s unclear what caused the fall, but more than a year earlier, American prosecutors had feared that someone would try to “threaten or harm” that man, Nikolai Gorokhov, according to a recently unsealed federal court document.

27 Apr 2017
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Sanctions short-circuit Russia’s electricity plans for annexed Crimea

Russia’s $1.3 billion plan to build two new power plants in Crimea aimed to show that Moscow could complete high-tech projects on the annexed peninsula despite Western technology sanctions.

But two years after its approval, the plan, which would supply Crimea’s residents with power they once got from Ukraine, has been knocked off course by an obstacle thrown up by the same sanctions, four sources familiar with the plans told Reuters.

27 Apr 2017
Published in News

Huawei, Chinese technology giant, is focus of widening U.S. investigation

As one of the world’s biggest sellers of smartphones and the back-end equipment that makes cellular networks run, Huawei Technologies has become one of the major symbols of China’s global technology ambitions.

But as it continues its rise, its business with some countries has fallen under growing scrutiny from investigators in the United States.

27 Apr 2017
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Haiti leader pleads guilty to money laundering in drug case

A former Haitian coup leader and recently elected senator in that country pleaded guilty Monday to a U.S. drug money-laundering charge under a deal that should allow him to avoid a potential sentence of life in prison for cocaine trafficking.

Under the plea deal, the recommended prison sentence for Guy Philippe is nine years and the drug trafficking charge would be dropped. He also faces a $1.5 million fine at a sentencing hearing July 5.

27 Apr 2017
Published in News

UK football tax fraud probe: the story so far, those involved and what’s been said

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has been arrested while West Ham’s London Stadium has also raided by authorities.

Charnley is implicated in a tax investigation into football with the Hammers also under scrutiny after 180 police officers were dispatched for the ‘significant’ investigation.

The Toon MD was released by police on Wednesday evening.

West Ham’s Rush Green training ground and offices at the London Stadium were raided on Wednesday morning.

26 Apr 2017
Published in News

US: SEC whistleblower awarded nearly $4 million

The Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday announced an award of nearly $4 million to a whistleblower who tipped the agency and helped with an investigation.

The SEC said the whistleblower provided “detailed and specific information about serious misconduct.”

The whistleblower then helped the SEC during the ensuing investigation with “industry-specific knowledge and expertise,” the agency said.

26 Apr 2017
Published in News

US: Yates, AG Sessions and individual criminal prosecutions

In recent speeches, the Attorney General and an Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division reconfirmed DOJ’s support for enforcement of the FCPA. No one should be surprised by their respective statements. As I have said all along, the new administration will not make any significant changes in FCPA enforcement, except for tweaking the FCPA Pilot Program to increase possibilities for a declination.

26 Apr 2017
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ECOWAS threatens sanctions in Guinea-Bissau amid political impasse

West African regional bloc ECOWAS said on Tuesday it was ready to impose targeted sanctions against those it deems responsible for blocking the implementation of a deal to resolve a political crisis in Guinea-Bissau.

The former Portuguese colony’s parliament has not sat in over a year amid a dispute between rival factions, including supporters of President Jose Mario Vaz and backers of former Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira.

26 Apr 2017
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US: OCC fines U.S. Bank National Association $15 million for bankruptcy filing violations

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today assessed a $15 million civil money penalty against U.S. Bank National Association for bankruptcy filing violations.

The OCC found that, between 2009 and 2014, the bank engaged in filing practices in bankruptcy courts with respect to proofs of claim, payment change notices, and post-petition fees among others that did not comply with bankruptcy rules and constituted unsafe or unsound banking practices.

26 Apr 2017
Published in News

US: a new approach to financial regulation?

The United States has a rich history of bank crises.  In fact, we’re number two in the world, with 13 all-time, just behind France with 15, and just ahead of the United Kingdom, with 12.  Our first major banking regulation law, the National Currency Act, was passed in 1863 as a response to a bank failure rate of fifty percent.  Each successive crisis, the Panic of 1907, the Great Depression, the Savings and Loan Crisis of 1982, the Housing Bust of 2007 (to name a few) triggered a new wave of financial regulation.  Dodd-Frank, passed in early 2010, is the latest of these waves.

26 Apr 2017
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US Attorney General Jeff Sessions: ‘We will continue to strongly enforce the FCPA’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday that enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is critical to protecting honest companies from competitors who choose to pay bribes.

Sessions, speaking at the Ethics and Compliance Initiative Annual Conference in Washington, DC, said corruption “increases the cost of doing business and hurts honest companies that don’t pay these bribes.”

26 Apr 2017
Published in News

Barbados rejects US money laundering report

Barbados’ Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite isn’t taking the listing of Barbados as a major money laundering country sitting down.

The United States (US) State Department recently named the island among several that it regards as major money laundering nations, but Brathwaite says that is misleading.

He said while the report cited a number of generic methods of money laundering that may be found in any country, “Barbados’ best intelligence does not support the view that they are at proportions which would have a significant impact on the local economy, or cause the faintest ripple in the international financial sector”.

26 Apr 2017
Published in News

Allied Irish Banks fined for anti-money laundering and terrorist financing compliance failures

It was confirmed by the Central Bank of Ireland today that Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. has been fined €2,275,000 by the Central Bank of Ireland in respect of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing compliance failures.

The Central Bank of Ireland fined AIB €2,275,000 and reprimanded it for six breaches of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing) Act, 2010 (the ‘CJA 2010’). All six breaches have been admitted by AIB.

25 Apr 2017
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Money laundering gets another beating in Fiji

The Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to enhance the level of professionalism and integrity within the real estate industry in Fiji.

Imperative move

FIU Acting Chief Executive Officer Virisila Tuimanu said that the MOU will establish an effective framework to detect and investigate breaches under the relevant laws related to money laundering and terrorist financing offenses in Fiji.

25 Apr 2017
Published in News

Trump calls for tougher U.N. sanctions against North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday the U.N. Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea as concerns mount that it may test a sixth nuclear bomb as early as Tuesday.

“The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable,” Trump told a meeting with the 15 U.N. Security Council ambassadors, including China and Russia, at the White House. “The council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”

25 Apr 2017
Published in News

Trump executive orders roll back ‘too big to fail’ and place moratorium on SIFIs

President Donald Trump signed executive orders last week to roll back the orderly liquidation authority to bail out “too big to fail” banks and put a moratorium on designating systemically important financial institutions. Both provisions were instituted under Dodd-Frank.

Trump directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin not to use orderly liquidation authority (OLA) while the administration analyzes whether OLA encourages excess risk-taking and exposes taxpayers. “He (Trump) will direct us not to use OLA unless required by law, in consultation with him. So, in the event that there is a significant emergency and we do need to use it, we have a way of doing it,” Mnuchin said Friday.

25 Apr 2017
Published in News

Hungarian telecom execs pay penalties for FCPA offenses

Two former executives of Magyar Telekom who were headed for trial this month against the SEC agreed instead Monday to pay penalties and accept officer-and-director bars to settle FCPA violations.

Magyar Telekom’s former CEO Elek Straub will pay a $250,000 penalty. The chief strategy officer, Andras Balogh, will pay $150,000.

Both executives accepted a five-year bar from serving as an officer or director of any SEC-registered public company.

25 Apr 2017
Published in News

Major flaws in European anti-money laundering regimes exposed by new Transparency International EU report

The current EU anti-money laundering regime does not prevent corrupt money from flowing through Europe’s financial centres according to a new report by Transparency International EU. Despite the political rhetoric and public outcry following the Panama Papers and Russian Laundromat revelations there are still major problems when it comes to both anti-money laundering rules and their enforcement by European countries.

EU Member States have firmly ruled out public access to the identities of those who control and own shell companies, otherwise known as beneficial owners, in the current negotiations around reforming EU anti-money laundering legislation.

25 Apr 2017
Published in News

Nigeria: National Security Adviser and group seek collaboration to tackle money laundering, terrorism

The National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), has stressed that without collaborative efforts, the fight against terrorism in the country may be a mirage.

He made this assertion in his keynote address at a sensitisation workshop held at Ibom Hall in Uyo yesterday.

Monguno, represented by Mrs. Catherine Udida, Head, Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism in his office, said that to defeat terrorists or manage the acts of terrorism, security agencies must be ahead of the terrorists.

25 Apr 2017
Published in News

Trump administration imposes sanctions on 271 employees of Syrian research center

The Trump administration on Monday imposed financial sanctions on 271 named employees of a Syrian research center it indicated was responsible for developing and producing sarin used to kill dozens of people in the April 4 chemical weapons attack by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The sanctions, imposed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, freeze all money the employees may have in U.S. financial institutions and discourage other international banks from dealing with them.

24 Apr 2017
Published in News

US: DOJ finds cause to file money laundering raps vs. ex-RCBC branch manager

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found basis to file money laundering charges against a former branch manager of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) and officials of remittance firm Philrem Service Corporation (Philrem) in connection with the $81 million in funds stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh Bank. Current trending headlines in business, money, banking, finance, companies, corporations, agriculture, mining, foreign currency rates, Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Index, inflation, interest, market prices and economic analysis.

24 Apr 2017
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Giuliani’s talk with Erdogan adds mystery to U.S. sanctions case

A wealthy Turkish-Iranian gold trader facing U.S. charges that he helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions for sponsoring terrorism has an unlikely ally: Rudy Giuliani.

It’s a surprising role for Giuliani, who was dubbed “America’s Mayor” for his uncompromising response to the 2001 terrorist attacks as mayor of New York. An early supporter of President Donald Trump, Giuliani has helped him search for a legal way to ban Muslim immigrants and served as an informal adviser, tasked with building private sector partnerships on cyber-security.

24 Apr 2017
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FCPA blog on Unaoil: “But are agents immune from prosecution?”

There’s a growing sense that agents and intermediaries that facilitate corrupt deals are immune from prosecution in the UK.

The Unaoil case — and it should be stressed that no allegations of corruption against the company have been proven — provides an opportunity to rectify this perception of impunity for intermediaries. It provides a chance for the SFO to show that it is serious about going after agents accused of corruption.

24 Apr 2017
Published in News

EU stands firms on Crimea sanctions against Russia

The EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has told Russia that while the bloc wants closer ties with Moscow, there are undeniable problems. The Russian foreign minister seems to feel the same way.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told a news conference in the Russian capital on Monday that the EU could not pretend that Moscow had not annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, and that the bloc’s sanctions over the issue would not be lifted.

24 Apr 2017
Published in News

Zimbabwe: RBZ receives 400 money laundering cases

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe received over 400 cases of suspicious transactions linked to money laundering in the financial services sector in the second half of last year.

This is contained in the bi-annual report of the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Unit for the period July 1 to December, tabled in Parliament recently by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

24 Apr 2017
Published in News

Sanctions by China may be affecting ATMs in North Korea

No modern airport terminal is complete without an ATM, and Pyongyang’s now has two. But they don’t work — because of new Chinese sanctions, according to bank officials — and it’s not clear when they will.

ATMs are an alien enough concept in North Korea that those in the capital’s shiny new Sunan International Airport have a video screen near the top showing how they work and how to set up an account to use them.

24 Apr 2017
Published in News

Singapore ups financial crime fight

As quickly as the financial technology innovations are making banking easier and more cost effective, so financial crime also rapidly evolves and moves across borders.

To address what is sees as the burgeoning threat The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force have announced the launch of a government-industry partnership to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

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