Anti-Corruption


Construction site

Samsung Heavy Industries settles Brazil bribery probe for $150M

2021-02-24T15:41:00+00:00By

Samsung Heavy Industries will pay 812 million reais (U.S. $149.9 million) in a leniency deal with Brazilian enforcement authorities for acts of corruption and money laundering related to “Operation Car Wash.”

Whistle

OSHA will handle antitrust, AML retaliation claims from whistleblowers

2021-02-22T19:57:00+00:00By

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will oversee worker retaliation claims for two new categories of whistleblowers—antitrust and anti-money laundering.

Cisco

Cisco Systems investigating ‘self-enrichment scheme’

2021-02-18T16:08:00+00:00By

Technology conglomerate Cisco Systems said in a regulatory filing it is investigating allegations of a “self-enrichment scheme” involving former employees in China and potentially Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.

James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey to speak at two upcoming CW events

2021-02-12T18:53:00+00:00By

Compliance Week is pleased to announce James Comey will be joining two key virtual events this year—“Financial Crimes: Risks, Trends, and Proven Practices” from March 30-31 and “Compliance Week 2021” from May 11-13.

woods

James Freis did the right thing at Wirecard … but why didn’t anyone else?

2021-02-12T18:21:00+00:00By

At the end of the sorry Wirecard saga, James Freis may be one of the very few former senior employees who can hold his head high, writes Martin Woods.

AML-Europe

ACAMS survey: FinCEN Files leak a positive for financial industry?

2021-02-11T20:51:00+00:00By

Many compliance professionals in the financial industry believe last year’s leak of 2,100 suspicious activity reports from FinCEN had an overall positive impact on global efforts to fight financial crime, according to an ACAMS survey.

Corporate monitor

SEC requests independent monitor in GPB Capital case

2021-02-10T21:18:00+00:00By

The SEC has requested the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee GPB Capital Holdings amid allegations the asset management firm defrauded more than 17,000 retail investors in a “Ponzi-like” scheme.

SFO

U.K.’s SFO slapped down over attempts to flout jurisdiction rules

2021-02-08T20:05:00+00:00By

In another blow to the agency’s credibility, the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office cannot attempt to force foreign companies to hand over evidence held overseas, according to a recent court ruling.

Investigate

Clover Health facing SEC probe over short-seller report

2021-02-08T19:18:00+00:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into Clover Health Investments in response to scathing allegations made against the Medicare provider by short-seller Hindenburg Research.

Risk

FINRA report: Top risk areas for AML, cyber-security

2021-02-05T20:31:00+00:00By

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has published a new report designed to help inform member firms’ compliance programs by providing annual insights from its examinations and risk monitoring programs.

SECcrop

SEC: GPB Capital operated ‘Ponzi-like’ scheme, retaliated against whistleblower

2021-02-04T18:37:00+00:00By

GPB Capital Holdings allegedly defrauded more than 17,000 retail investors in a Ponzi-like scheme, then attempted to impede an employee from blowing the whistle on the illegal practices, according to the SEC.

AdobeStock_189177351

Europe handcuffed by current corporate liability laws; is change coming?

2021-02-04T17:21:00+00:00By

European countries have begun to question whether their laws around corporate liability need to be reformed. However, change may not be as rapid as first thought.

Global currency

Anti-corruption developments in 2020: China, India make strides

2021-02-03T21:41:00+00:00By

A global panel of experts with law firm Gibson Dunn share insights around recent anti-corruption developments in some of the world’s largest regions, including China, India, Latin America, and Africa.

woods

Goldman Sachs 1MDB fallout a case study for bonus risks

2021-02-03T20:05:00+00:00By

As Goldman Sachs cuts the pay of its top executives in response to more than $5 billion in penalties incurred for the 1MDB scandal, Martin Woods once again ponders whether bonuses helped facilitate the improper conduct that took place.

Apple Bank

FDIC fines Apple Bank $12.5M for AML compliance failures

2021-02-02T21:04:00+00:00By

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has fined Apple Bank for Savings $12.5 million for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act related to anti-money laundering controls.

CSI BSA-AML cover img

White paper: BSA/AML Compliance: A Growing Consensus for Change

2021-02-02T08:54:00+00:00Provided by

Serving a vital purpose for the U.S. financial system, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) protects its individual members from being used to finance illegal activity. But at 50 years old, its ability to achieve that purpose has not kept pace with an ever-evolving world, as the law remains largely unchanged ...

DOJSeal

Athenahealth settles kickback case for $18.25M

2021-01-29T19:46:00+00:00By

The Department of Justice announced an $18.25 million settlement with electronic health records technology vendor athenahealth for allegedly paying unlawful kickbacks to generate sales.

Coronavirus globe

Transparency International index: Pandemic tests anti-corruption efforts

2021-01-29T17:34:00+00:00By

Corrupt activity bolstered by the coronavirus pandemic features heavily in the findings of Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, with even some of the highest-scoring countries having their share of challenges.

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SEC charges Vuuzle Media with $14M securities fraud

2021-01-27T21:58:00+00:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged streaming service Vuuzle Media Corp. and its founder with fraudulently offering over $14 million in securities via a boiler room scheme.

Janet Yellen

Treasury under Yellen to prioritize climate change, sanctions, AML reform

2021-01-26T21:26:00+00:00By

Janet Yellen takes over as leader of a Treasury Department with a lot on its plate, including studying the effects of climate change on the economy, unwinding Trump administration sanctions, revamping the Bank Secrecy Act, and more.

Cryptocurrency wallet

FinCEN again extends comment period for controversial crypto AML rules

2021-01-26T15:30:00+00:00By

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for a second time has extended the comment period for portions of its proposed AML rules aimed at peeling back the anonymity of certain kinds of cryptocurrency transactions.

Nailedit1200x800

Video: Did Capital One get off easy with $390M AML fine?

2021-01-21T19:22:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Kyle Brasseur explains how Capital One’s $390 million civil penalty for anti-money laundering failures could have been much steeper had it not been for the bank’s significant remediation efforts.

Samsung

Samsung heir Jay Lee returns to prison for bribery scandal

2021-01-20T20:31:00+00:00By

Jay Lee, the heir and de facto leader of family-owned conglomerate Samsung, was sentenced to prison for 2 1/2 years in a retrial regarding his role in a bribery scandal involving the former president of South Korea.

SARs chart

Analysis: Improving SARs effectiveness takes more than act of Congress

2021-01-19T19:25:00+00:00By

In the wake of 2020’s FinCEN Files leaks, the U.S. Treasury this year will undertake a thorough reevaluation of the country’s AML program under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Capital One

Capital One fined $390M for ‘egregious’ AML compliance failures

2021-01-19T17:59:00+00:00By

Capital One will pay a $390 million civil penalty for compliance failures regarding banking services offered to its check cashing group, which—according to FinCEN—had a reputation for money-laundering risks.

Magnifying glass

SFO closes bribery probe into British American Tobacco

2021-01-15T15:41:00+00:00By

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced it has concluded without prosecution its investigation into British American Tobacco regarding whistleblower allegations of corruption in the conduct of business.

AMLCover

e-Book: AML: New U.S. regulation to start the year off

2021-01-12T03:00:00+00:00Provided by

Congress has passed a defense bill that contains amendments with big ramifications for AML, including new requirements around beneficial ownership and a new Bank Secrecy Act whistleblower program at the Treasury.

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank to pay $130M to settle bribery, ‘spoofing’ charges

2021-01-08T23:42:00+00:00By

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay more than $130 million to resolve charges that it paid bribes to third parties to secure business deals in Asia and the Middle East, in addition to a separate commodities fraud “spoofing” case.

Boeing 737

Compliance implications of Boeing $2.5B fraud settlement

2021-01-08T18:08:00+00:00By

Boeing has agreed to pay over $2.5 billion as part of a three-year deferred prosecution agreement entered into with the Justice Department to resolve a criminal charge related to the company’s 737 MAX scandal.

Money laundering

U.K. tax authority fines MT Global record $32.4M for AML failures

2021-01-07T22:18:00+00:00By

MT Global Limited, a U.K.-based money transfer company, was hit with a record £23.8 million (U.S. $32.4 million) fine by the U.K.’s tax authority for violations of anti-money laundering regulations.

woods

Compensation or compromise? The risks of compliance bonuses

2021-01-06T22:03:00+00:00By

Financial crime expert Martin Woods assesses whether incentivizing compliance officers with bonuses may undermine the importance of performing the job with integrity and credibility.

SEC

Defense bill empowers SEC in seeking return of profits from fraud

2021-01-05T21:22:00+00:00By

The ability of the SEC to pursue the return of profits earned in fraudulent schemes has been strengthened as part of Congress’ passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

CFTC

CFTC’s foray into FCPA enforcement creates new risk factors

2021-01-05T14:52:00+00:00By

The CFTC’s recent fine ladled onto a DOJ investigation into foreign corrupt practices by Swiss energy trader Vitol S.A. should force companies with any exposure in the commodities market to reexamine their risk profiles, experts say.

Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster fined $10M for unauthorized access of rival’s systems

2021-01-04T20:58:00+00:00By

Ticketmaster agreed to a $10 million criminal fine as part of a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve charges that it repeatedly accessed the computer systems of a competitor without authorization to illegally gather business intelligence.

woods

Recordkeeping among a compliance officer’s greatest allies

2020-12-30T18:53:00+00:00By

Martin Woods writes how a recent case in the United Kingdom should remind us of the importance of our own communications and recordkeeping—especially during a time where it has perhaps never been more important.

Coronavirus fails

Assessing 2020: Lessons learned for the financial crime landscape

2020-12-29T21:49:00+00:00By James Thomas, International Compliance Association

This year has been one most of us would like to forget. As we look toward 2021, nevertheless, it is worth considering lessons learned over the last 12 months and (where possible) drawing on any positives that have come to light regarding the financial crime landscape.

Global

Report: Fines against financial institutions hit $10.4B in 2020

2020-12-22T21:14:00+00:00By

Financial institutions have been hit with $10.4 billion in global fines and penalties related to AML, KYC, data privacy, and MiFID regulations in 2020, according to a recent Fenergo report.

woods

We’ve been failing at AML efforts, but new U.S. rules offer hope

2020-12-22T18:02:00+00:00By

If we fail to improve our collective AML efforts, specialized law firms will offer an inviting incentive to those who blow the whistle on our continued failings, writes Martin Woods.

Crypto

FinCEN proposes BSA reporting rule for cryptocurrency transactions

2020-12-21T21:11:00+00:00By

FinCEN has proposed a new rule looking to subject cryptocurrency transactions to similar AML reporting requirements placed on other financial institutions by the Bank Secrecy Act.

Danske

OFAC closes investigation into Danske Estonia case

2020-12-21T19:39:00+00:00By

Danske Bank received a no-action letter from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control regarding an investigation at the bank’s infamous Estonian branch.

woods

Confidence is the ultimate tool in fighting fraudsters

2020-12-18T16:25:00+00:00By

Con men will try to bully weak investigators and sell them their version of “the truth,” writes Martin Woods. The ultimate deterrent is to challenge their “facts” and act with the same confidence they display.

Luckin Coffee

Luckin Coffee to pay $180M for accounting fraud

2020-12-17T19:44:00+00:00By

China-based Luckin Coffee has agreed to a $180 million penalty as part of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve charges related to the coffee chain’s inflated-sales scandal.

Investigate

The growing demand for investigation skills in compliance

2020-12-16T16:48:00+00:00By Tristan Jenkinson, International Compliance Association

As the compliance world evolves, the skill sets needed by practitioners are changing. The ability to run investigations effectively is now highly prized, and key skills, such as understanding the use of technology, will be among the most fundamental in the years ahead.

woods

U.S. beneficial ownership efforts a welcome sight for global AML community

2020-12-14T20:14:00+00:00By

U.S. Congress’ defense spending bill requiring corporations to identify who owns and controls them is a significant milestone in the global effort to put an end to anonymous shell companies, writes Martin Woods.

Congress

Congress passes defense bill with big ramifications for AML, whistleblowers

2020-12-11T22:01:00+00:00By

Congress’ defense spending bill approved Friday includes amendments that could dramatically alter the fight against money laundering, in addition to a new BSA whistleblower program with some kinks to be worked out.

Data sharing

New FinCEN guidance encourages information sharing among banks

2020-12-11T17:52:00+00:00By

FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco announced updated guidance to encourage more financial institutions to share information among their peers regarding suspicious transactions.

Deutsche

Reports: Ex-EY partner steps aside as Deutsche exec amid Wirecard probe

2020-12-11T17:05:00+00:00By

A former EY partner is reportedly relinquishing his position as Deutsche Bank’s head of accounting temporarily after German prosecutors launched an investigation into his role as a lead auditor for Wirecard.

ING

UBS chief facing investigation in ING money laundering case

2020-12-11T16:24:00+00:00By

A Dutch court has ordered a criminal investigation into UBS CEO Ralph Hamers for his role in the ING money laundering scandal that occurred during his tenure as the latter financial institution’s leader.

Europe

Five challenges for European CCOs heading into 2021

2020-12-10T21:13:00+00:00By

Many of the problems European compliance officers faced in 2020 will remain in place going into the new year, but new risks and new regulations will also present new challenges.

Nailedit1200x800

Video: Compliance pros, cons included in Congress defense spending bill

2020-12-10T18:45:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Beneficial ownership provisions contained in Congress’ defense spending bill should go a long way in the fight against money laundering, but holes in the bill’s proposed whistleblower program are open for criticism, says Aaron Nicodemus.