-  Investigations updates from around the world

Wednesday, 09 April 2014

HP agrees US$108 million FCPA settlement

Computer company Hewlett Packard has today announced that it has agreed to pay US$108 million to settle FCPA charges brought by the US Department of Justice and the Securities & Exchange Commission.

NY subpoenas insurers in Iran sanctions investigation

New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS) has reportedly requested information from insurers Chubb Corp, CNA Financial, Liberty Mutual and Navigators Group in the last few weeks. The Wall Street Journal reports a DFS investigation of potential Iran sanctions violations has requested information related to the firms' insurance policies with commodities company Glencore Xstrata.

Investigation finds Beny Steinmetz company paid bribes in Guinea

The Guinean government says a two-year investigation has found that mining company Beny Steinmetz Resources Group (BSGR) won the rights to exploration licences in the country by paying bribes to government officials.

Defendant's lawyer confirms plea agreement in Finmeccanica case

Lawyer Luca Lauri has confirmed to GIR that his client Guido Haschke has entered into a plea agreement with Italian authorities after he was accused of facilitating bribes on behalf of Finmeccanica's helicopter subsidiary AgustaWestland.

Tuesday, 08 April 2014

Gazprom Neft ponders dropping the dollar

Russia’s Gazprom may start executing oil contracts in euros instead of dollars to avoid falling foul of a US sanctions regime imposed in response to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea. According to the UK’s Financial Times, Alexander Dyukov, the head of oil unit Gazprom Neft, told reporters that 95 per cent of the company’s customers confirmed their willingness to settle contracts in euros.

European Union Court of Justice pans data retention directive

The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice has today invalidated the EU parliament’s 2006 Data Retention Directive, finding that it seriously interferes with fundamental rights to privacy and the protection of personal data.

Tullett Prebon trader: Libor manipulation messages "misleading"

Former Tullett Prebon trader Noel Cryan claims he never attempted to fix the Libor despite sending messages giving the impression he could do so, to a UBS banker. Cryan, who was laid off for gross misconduct in September last year, is suing Tullett Prebon for his annual salary and bonus, claiming the company accepted this version of events during internal disciplinary hearings.

Compugen: ISA "not investigating us"

Israel-based drug company Compugen has denied it’s the subject of an investigation by the Israel Securities Authority. The husband of Compugen’s CFO, Dikla Czaczkes Axselbrad, is being investigated for supplying family members and friends “with insider information regarding an impending collaboration between Compugen and Bayer Pharma” last year, the company said in a statement.

Monday, 07 April 2014

Macfarlanes grows investigations team

UK firm Macfarlanes has announced nine new partners and four senior counsel. Among them are FCA specialist Paul Ellison and Lois Horne, who is part of the regulatory investigations team. They will join the partnership on 1 May.

Five banks apply for EU forex leniency

Cecilio Madero Villarejo, deputy head of antitrust at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG Comp), told a conference on Friday that five banks are in the enforcer’s leniency queue as part of its investigation of alleged manipulation on the foreign exchange market – GIR’s sister publication Global Competition Review reports.

Brazil cooperating with Dutch and US authorities on Petrobras case

Brazil’s main anti-corruption authority, the Office for the Comptroller General (CGU) will continue to look for information abroad in relation to its bribery investigation of state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Friday, 04 April 2014

Argentina opens bribery investigation of BP subsidiary

An Argentinian regional prosecutor has opened an investigation of BP subsidiary Pan American Energy concerning alleged bribery involving one of its oil fields. According to Bloomberg, Chubut prosecutor Miguel Montoya began looking into the case after it became aware of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation of the matter, which was initiated in 2010.

UK House of Lords to grill EU anti-fraud head

On Monday, the UK’s House of Lords – its unelected upper house of parliament – will question by video link Giovanni Kessler, the director general of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) on the proposed new European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).

Shareholders investigate Och-Ziff handling of FCPA case

Louisiana law firm Kahn Swick & Foti has said it is investigating whether Och-Ziff’s directors may have either breached their fiduciary duty or broken laws in their handling of the company’s FCPA investigation.

Thursday, 03 April 2014

More agencies join Citigroup fraud probe

The New York Times reports Citigroup is facing a US investigation into its internal controls following the uncovering of US$400 million of bad loans to oil services firm Oceanografia at the bank’s Mexican unit, Banamex.

US sanctions agency needs more funds, say lawmakers

In a Q&A with Undersecretary David Cohen, who heads the US Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, members of the Appropriations Committee spoke of their concern that a proposed $4 million budget increase might not be enough to enforce sanctions against Iran, Korea and other states on the US’s blacklist.

Credit Suisse sets aside extra €348m for DoJ investigation

Credit Suisse has restated its 2013 results to take account of further expenses in the DoJ investigation into whether it helped clients to avoid paying US taxes. It’s adding a further 425 million Swiss francs (€348 million) to the 295 million Swiss francs (€241 million) it set aside three years ago in the case.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014

UK and US monitoring Sweett Group bribery investigation

UK property surveyor Sweett Group has been in contact with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and the US Department of Justice concerning its investigation of an alleged attempted US$100 million bribe to an official in the United Arab Emirates.

KBR, Technip and JGC agree $17m levy by African Development Bank

The African Development Bank has imposed a penalty equivalent to US$17 million on Kellogg Brown & Root, Technip and JGC as part of negotiated resolution agreements. As well as the financial penalties, certain affiliates of the three companies will be cross-debarred from development bank contracts.

SEC probes high-frequency trading

Just a day after news broke that the FBI is investigating potentially illegal activity in high-frequency trading – using computers to trade shares rapidly – the SEC has confirmed it’s also looking at the practice.

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