Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Tuesday, 08 March 2016

Odebrecht CEO sentenced to 19 years

Marcelo Odebrecht, the CEO of Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for bribery and money-laundering tied to the ongoing corruption probe surrounding the country’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice announced on 8 March. 

In July, Odebrecht was charged with money laundering and bribery after prosecutors alleged he paid bribes to former Petrobras executives in exchange for lucrative contracts. 


SEC pays out nearly US$2 million in whistleblower bounty

The US Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Tuesday 8 March it has awarded almost US$2 million to three whistleblowers.

In a statement, the commission said one whistleblower received US$1.8 million for providing original information that led to an investigation, and for continuing to provide valuable information throughout the probe. Two others were awarded US$65,000 each for providing information after the commission had started its investigation.

EU agrees anti-tax avoidance plans

EU ministers on 8 March agreed new rules for exchanging information on multinational companies’ tax affairs.

Once implemented, the new country-by-country reporting system should ensure companies pay their fair share of taxes in the countries where they make their profits, a statement by the European Comission said.  

Økokrim receives complaints about CEO fraud

Norway’s main anti-corruption authority, Økokrim, said it receives two to three inquiries a day from companies claiming their chief executives have committed fraud, according to Norwegian online newspaper E24 Næringsliv.

The publication said several Norwegian police districts are investigating reports from companies that high-ranking executives defrauded them of millions of Norwegian crowns.

US authorities ask Goldman Sachs banker for information in 1MDB probe

The US Department of Justice has subpoenaed former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, as part of a corruption investigation into Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB, according to Bloomberg. The news agency said it is unclear what information Leissner, who until recently led Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia business, will be able to provide.

US authorities have not accused Goldman Sachs, which earned nearly US$700 million selling bonds for 1MDB, of wrongdoing.

Hayes denied Supreme Court appeal

The Court of Appeal in London on Tuesday 8 March denied an application from Tom Hayes, the former trader convicted of conspiring to manipulate the Libor benchmark, to have his case heard by the UK Supreme Court.

Hayes was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison on 3 August. Six other brokers who were alleged to have conspired with Hayes were found not guilty in a separate trial in January.

According to reports, Hayes will now consider taking his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

VW kept emissions test cheating secret in bid to strike deal with US

German carmaker Volkswagen said it delayed informing shareholders that it knew it had cheated US emissions tests because public disclosure would have scuppered hopes of achieving a quick settlement with US authorities, lawyers for the company say. 

Shareholders in Germany are suing Volkswagen, which has yet to resolve allegations with US regulators, for failing to fulfil disclosure obligations. The company publicly admitted emissions cheating on 18 September, but shareholders say the company should have made an announcement to investors on 3 September, the day the company made an admission to US regulators.

Former Deutsche Bank trader loses FCA improper identification lawsuit

Former Deutsche Bank trader Joerg Vogt has lost his improper identification lawsuit against the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Upper Tribunal on 26 February rejected Vogt’s claim he could be identified from the FCA’s final notice settlement with Deutsche Bank, making him the second trader to have lost such a case after former Barclays trader Chris Ashton lost his case at the start of 2016.

The FCA has also been on the losing side of two improper identification disputes, against former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar, and against former JP Morgan European chief investment officer Achilles Macris.

The UK Supreme Court has said it will hear the FCA’s appeal against a decision that found Macris was improperly identified in a 2013 final notice

One official extradited and another charged in US Fifa probe

Swiss authorities have extradited the former president of the Venezuela Football Federation, Rafael Esquivel, to the US, where he faces charges in relation to allegations he took millions worth of bribes in exchange for awarding marketing rights in football tournaments.

Meanwhile, a US judge in the district court for the Eastern District of New York on 4 March unsealed charges against Miguel Trujillo in relation to the Fifa scandal, according to Reuters.

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