Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Friday, 07 September 2018

Romania justice minister nominates new anti-corruption prosecutor

Romania’s justice minister has reportedly nominated prosecutor Adina Florea to replace Laura Kövesi, the former head of the country’s anti-corruption authority.  

Romania’s president fired Kövesi on 9 July after Romania’s constitutional court ruled in May that the president cannot oppose the justice minister’s request to dismiss her.

Florea is reportedly a prosecutor in the Black Sea port city of Constanța.

SEC awards second-largest whistleblower payment

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a statement on 6 September that it has handed out two awards to whistleblowers worth $39 million and $15 million.

The SEC said that the $39 million award is the second-largest award in the agency’s history. Both whistleblowers handed over information that led to an enforcement action, the SEC said.

The SEC said it has awarded over $320 million to 57 whistleblowers since 2012.

French police raid four French electrical companies

French police conducted 12 raids on four French electrical companies – Legrand, Rexel, Sonepar and Schneider Electric – on 6 September as part of an investigation into bribery, tax fraud, breach of trust, forgery and cartel pricing, French investigative journalism website Mediapart reports.  

Paris prosecutors are investigating reports they received from the French Competition Authority and the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF). Schneider Electric has reportedly said it is cooperating with the investigation, Legrand, Rexel, and Sonepar have not commented.

Mediapart reported in April that the four companies had struck a deal to raise prices by limiting competition.

Son of Republic of Congo president denies accepting Gunvor bribes

The son of the president of the Republic of Congo has denied receiving any payments from bribes that a former oil trader at Gunvor Group pleaded guilty to in Switzerland in August, according to Bloomberg.

Pascal Collard, a former Gunvor employee received an 18-month suspended jail sentence on 28 August after admitting to money laundering and bribing officials in the Ivory Coast and the Republic of the Congo.

The president’s son, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, a director at the state oil company at the time the bribes were paid, was named among the officials who received payments in the court decision.

Financial Markets Association files amicus brief in support of ex-HSBC trader Johnson

The Financial Markets Association filed an amicus curiae brief at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on 6 September in support of former HSBC trader, Mark Johnson, who is currently appealing against his October 2017 foreign exchange manipulation conviction.

In the brief, the global trade association said that Johnson’s conviction is a blow to legal and regulatory certainty regarding the trade of foreign currency.  

The same sentiments were echoed in another amicus curiae brief filed by Northwestern University finance professor Torben Anderson on the same day, in support of Johnson’s motion to vacate.

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