Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Friday, 03 April 2020

Convicted businessman questions DOJ over “missing” interview tape

An Iranian businessman convicted of violating US sanctions on Iran has asked the US Justice Department (DOJ) to explain why it failed to disclose a piece of potentially exculpatory evidence prior to his trial. 

In a letter filed with the Manhattan federal court on 1 April, Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad asked the DOJ to explain why it only turned over a recording of its interview with a co-defendant in the case after the trial had concluded.

A Manhattan jury convicted Sadr on 16 March in connection to a scheme to transfer more than $115 million linked to a construction project in Venezuela to his family business in Iran, in violation of US sanctions. 

Ally of Ukraine president accused of taking bribes to favour Turkish company

Denis Yermak, the brother of the head of Ukraine’s Presidential Administration, has been accused of accepting bribes from a Turkish logistics company to harm the businesses of Danish and Ukrainian shipping companies, according to reports.

Ukraine MP Geo Leros reportedly published a video showing Yermak discussing bribes offered by Turkish company Kinay to “kick out” rival Danish firm Maersk and Ukrainian company TransInvestService.

The video reportedly shows Yermak claiming that Kinay would be prepared to pay him and his co-conspirators $300,000 a month. 

Yermak has accepted the authenticity of the video but claims it has been taken out of context.

Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations has since reportedly launched an investigation into Leros but not Yermak.

Albanian president rejects draft anti-corruption law over human rights concerns

The President of Albania Ilir Meta has returned a draft anti-corruption law to Parliament for reconsideration over concerns it violates human rights, according to Tirana Times

President Meta reportedly said the legislation breaches rights enshrined in Albanian law, such as the right to private property, the right to a fair deal and the presumption of innocence, adding that the act goes beyond the constitutional powers of the government.

The draft legislation also creates a special police force and intelligence unit aimed at seizing organised crime assets.

Luckin Coffee reports accounting irregularities to SEC

The Chinese-owned Luckin Coffee has told the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has uncovered accounting irregularities committed by its COO.

The company said on 2 April that it had formed a special committee to investigate suspicious accounting practices during the second quarter of 2019. The committee found that Jian Liu, the company’s COO, and several other employees “engaged in certain misconduct, including fabricating transactions

Luckin Coffee’s board has suspended Liu as well as other implicated employees, and terminated contracts linked to the false transactions.

The company said it will take all appropriate actions, including legal actions against those responsible for the misconduct.

Kirkland & Ellis and FTI Consulting are assisting Luckin Coffee in the internal investigation.

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