Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

China investigates top energy officials

Two senior officials from China’s National Energy Administration are under investigation for allegedly receiving bribes. Xinhua news agency reports “compulsory measures” have been taken against Hao Weiping, head of the NEA's nuclear power department, and Wei Pengyuan, vice director of the NEA’s coal department, while the investigation is underway.

The probe forms part of Chinese prosecutors’ wider energy sector corruption crackdown. PetroChina overseas head Bo Qiliang is reportedly under investigation, as are China Resources chair Song Lin and China National Petroleum Corporation former oil executive Sun Weidong.  

Top five law firms in DPAs and NPAs named

The top five US law firms for deferred prosecution agreements and non prosecution agreements are Sullivan & Cromwell (which advised on 16 settlements), WilmerHale (13), Debevoise & Plimpton (10), Covington & Burling (eight) and Ropes & Gray (seven), according to a study by the Corporate Crime Reporter. Together, the five firms handled 20 per cent of all cases. The top 30 firms in the study accounted for 60 per cent of all deferred and non-prosecution agreements.

Client demands KPMG comfort letter following Dutch scandals

A new client of accountancy firm KPMG’s Dutch arm has requested contractual guarantees from the firm, following a recent series of scandals.

Dutch news site NRC Q today reported that before establishing its business relationship, chemical company DSM negotiated the option to drop KPMG should new scandals arise, asked for a “comfort letter” ensuring all necessary steps to prevent misconduct have been implemented from the firm’s international branch, and requested a Swiss partner to join the Dutch team.

In December, KPMG settled with Dutch authorities over allegations that it concealed illegal payments. An investigation into the role of three individuals is continuing. The firm is also under investigation for alleged tax fraud in the construction of its new headquarters in the Netherlands.

FCA's Tracey McDermott interviewed

UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) enforcement head Tracey McDermott has spoken to Bloomberg, discussing FCA investigations, her work-life balance, and... her horse. Read the interview here

Ebay user database hacked

Ebay has announced a database of user details has been hacked, and has asked all users to change their passwords. The online auction site says it discovered the hack, which occurred in late February and early March, around two weeks ago, and that details from subsidiary Paypal – which stores payment details – were not affected. The number of users affected has not been disclosed, but the company has around 223 million users worldwide. 

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