Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Standard Chartered seeking US sanctions resolution

Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters reportedly disclosed in an internal memo that the bank is “closely engaged in constructive, ongoing discussions” with US authorities to settle allegations of additional sanction breaches.

Standard Chartered agreed a US$667 million deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with US authorities in 2012 to resolve allegations the bank breached sanctions from 2001 to 2007. 

However, the monitor appointed as part of the DPA uncovered additional, undisclosed sanction violations in 2014 and the bank agreed to a $340 million settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services that same year.

The DPA is scheduled to expire on 31 December 2018.

US authorities are reportedly seeking to impose $1.5 billion in fines on the bank to resolve the matter. 

IOC asks Senegal to help French in Operation Unfair Play

The International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, has reportedly asked Senegal to assist French prosecutors investigating suspected bribes solicited by Papa Massata Diack, the son of the former president of the International Athletics Federation.

French and Brazilian prosecutors are investigating if Papa Diack and his father Lamine Diack received bribes in exchange for their vote in support of Brazil’s successful bid to host the 2016 Olympic games.

Bach said that Senegalese officials have assured him that French prosecutors can travel to Senegal to interview Papa Diack. Lamine Diack is currently in French custody after he was arrested in 2015. Both deny wrongdoing. 

Patisserie Holdings announces potential accounting fraud

Patisserie Holdings has suspended its CFO, Chris Marsh, after the board was notified on 9 October of “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities”. 

The UK-based holding company, which owns café chain Patisserie Valerie, said in a statement on 10 October that it has requested its shares be suspended from trading on London sub-market, Aim, while it conducts an internal investigation. Osborne Clarke is advising the company on the matter, according to The Lawyer.  

Patisserie Holdings said in the statement that the news has significantly impacted its cash position and may lead to a material change in its overall financial position.  

HSBC to pay $765 million to settle RMBS claims

HSBC agreed on 9 October to pay $765 million to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado to settle claims related to its packaging, securitisation, issuance, marketing and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) between 2005 and 2007.

The US attorney’s office alleged that the lender had failed to meet due diligence when arranging its mortgage deals. The London-based lender entered into the settlement without admitting liability or wrongdoing. 

HSBC’s settlement is lower than penalties paid by other banks to settle misconduct linked to RMBS ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. JPMorgan and Bank of America agreed to pay $13 billion and $17 billion to resolve their respective RMBS-linked cases.

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