Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Tuesday, 09 July 2019

SFO charges former head of ethical investments firm

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged Andrew Skeene, the former director of now-defunct ethical investments firm Global Forestry Investments, with conspiracy to defraud, forgery and misconduct in the course of winding up under the Insolvency Act 1986.

The SFO said in a 9 July press release that Skeene was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport on 29 June over conduct that occurred between August 2010 and December 2015.

The SFO opened its investigation into Global Forestry Investments in June 2014. Skeene has not commented publicly on the matter.

Central Bank of Ireland fines Wells Fargo €5.8 million

The Central Bank of Ireland on 3 July fined US bank Wells Fargo €5,880,000 for serious failings in its regulatory reporting capability and compliance.

Wells Fargo admitted to five breaches between January 2014 and February 2019. The central bank’s investigation into Wells Fargo started after an inspection in 2016 that focused on internal controls and governance of regulatory reporting.

The central bank determined the appropriate fine was €8.4 million, which was reduced by 30% in accordance with the central bank’s settlement discount scheme.

Lauber and Blatter lawyer represents Credit Suisse in money laundering probe

The Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is investigating Credit Suisse as part of a money laundering probe linked to drug trafficking, according to reports.

The investigation relates to an alleged drug ring headed by a Bulgarian mafia kingpin. Proceeds from cocaine trafficking in South America were allegedly laundered through real estate and financial institutions in Bulgaria and Switzerland.

According to reports, Lorenz Erni at Erni-Caputo in Zurich, who is acting for Credit Suisse in an unofficial capacity, had a meeting with Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber over the matter in 2015. Erni is representing Lauber in a disciplinary investigation over whether he breached rules in a corruption investigation tied to world footballing organisation Fifa. Erni is also representing ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter. 

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