-  Investigations updates from around the world

Thursday, 29 May 2014

SEC sets deadline for extractive disclosure rules

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will implement rules forcing extractive companies to disclose all payments to governments in March 2015, according to Reuters. The rules would come into force a few months before similar EU rules, which are due to become effective in July 2015.

FIFA officials set for Swiss money laundering scrutiny

Switzerland could widen its money laundering laws aimed at politicians to include officials at football governing body FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), according to a statement published today by the Swiss parliament.

Individuals plead guilty to laundering bribes from Afghanistan

Two individuals have pleaded guilty to charges brought by the US Department of Justice concerning their involvement in a scheme to launder US$250,000 worth of bribes taken from contractors in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

SBM Offshore questions potential exclusion from Petrobras contracts

Dutch oil and gas services company SBM Offshore has questioned its potential exclusion from two tenders with state-owned Brazilian oil company Petrobras, after an internal investigation found no evidence of bribery between the two businesses.

UBS banker sentenced for assisting tax evasion

Swiss citizen Martin Lack, a former UBS banker, was yesterday sentenced to five years’ probation and fined US$7,500 for helping US citizens evade income tax more than a decade ago. While Lack worked at UBS, which he left in 2003, he helped US clients open and maintain secret accounts at the bank to conceal income and assets.

Oxfam anti-fraud head jailed for fraud

Edward McKenzie-Green, 34, has been sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment for defrauding Oxfam, a charity, which employed him as the head of its counter-fraud unit. McKenzie-Green paid £65,000 from Oxfam to fictitious companies that he controlled.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

FATF considers blacklisting Afghanistan

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has warned Afghanistan it must pass anti-money laundering legislation soon or face being blacklisted, which could lead to Afghan banks being cut off from international financial institutions.

Developing countries "not yet ready" for OECD tax information exchange

Developing countries’ tax systems are not sophisticated enough to take part in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) planned tax exchange, an OECD official told Reuters.

China expands energy sector bribery investigation

Chinese authorities are investigating a further two officials at the country’s National Energy Administration (NEA) for allegedly receiving bribes, local reports said last Friday. According to the Xinhua news agency, “compulsory measures” have been taken against Xu Yongsheng, NEA deputy director, and Wang Jun, head of the the NEA’s renewable energy department.

Maersk denies bribing Petrobras official

Danish shipping company Maersk has denied allegations it bribed a Brazilian state-owned oil company official in exchange for contracts. Brazilian magazine Epoca reported that between 2006 and 2010 Maersk paid bribes to the then head of Petrobras' refining and fuel supply, Paulo Roberta Costa, through Brazilian broker Gandra Brokerage.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Canada sees first individual foreign bribery sentence

The first individual to be sentenced under Canada’s foreign bribery law has been handed a three-year prison term, in a high-profile case for a country that has previously struggled to enforce its corruption laws.

Sudan to review corruption stories before publication

Sudan's government will set up a commission to check news stories about corruption before they are published, information minister Ahmed Bilal Osman announced on Friday. According to the Sudan Tribune, Osman said the commission will fact-check claims in news reports and does not intend to censor the press.

Foxconn staff charged with taking bribes

Five former employees at Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group in Taiwan have been charged by local prosecutors with accepting more than US$5 million in bribes, according to reports. After a year-long investigation of Foxconn, which manufactures iPhones among other technology products, prosecutors said they had discovered evidence that staff in the procurement department received bribes from 10 suppliers between 2009 and 2011.

Corruption driving up cost of World Cup

Investigations by Brazil's Office of the Comptroller General (CGU) into projects linked to the forthcoming World Cup have saved the country around 700 million reais (US$315 million) so far, a government official told Bloomberg's Businessweek.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Ebay user database hacked

Ebay has announced a database of user details has been hacked, and has asked all users to change their passwords. The online auction site says it discovered the hack, which occurred in late February and early March, around two weeks ago, and that details from subsidiary Paypal – which stores payment details – were not affected.

FCA's Tracey McDermott interviewed

UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) enforcement head Tracey McDermott has spoken to Bloomberg, discussing FCA investigations, her work-life balance, and... her horse. Read the interview here.&#1.

Client demands KPMG comfort letter following Dutch scandals

A new client of accountancy firm KPMG’s Dutch arm has requested contractual guarantees from the firm, following a recent series of scandals.

Top five law firms in DPAs and NPAs named

The top five US law firms for deferred prosecution agreements and non prosecution agreements are Sullivan & Cromwell (which advised on 16 settlements), WilmerHale (13), Debevoise & Plimpton (10), Covington & Burling (eight) and Ropes & Gray (seven), according to a study by the Corporate Crime Reporter.

China investigates top energy officials

Two senior officials from China’s National Energy Administration are under investigation for allegedly receiving bribes. Xinhua news agency reports “compulsory measures” have been taken against Hao Weiping, head of the NEA's nuclear power department, and Wei Pengyuan, vice director of the NEA’s coal department, while the investigation is underway.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

JP Morgan China former investment bank head arrested

Fang Fang, former head of JPMorgan's investment banking in China, has been arrested in Hong Kong by Hong Kong's Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC). According to Chinese newspaper Caixin, Fang has been released but is barred from leaving Hong Kong.

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