-  Investigations updates from around the world

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Walmart FCPA cost reaches US$439 million

Supermarket chain Walmart has spent US$439 million investigating allegations of bribery around the world in the last two years, the company revealed in its latest SEC filing. In 2011, the company disclosed possible FCPA violations to US authorities concerning its activities in Mexico.

FCPA Professor launches consulting service

Mike Koehler, who runs the FCPA Professor blog, has set up a consulting service aimed at legal professionals. The service, called FCPA Connect, provides advice on FCPA enforcement and compliance issues to lawyers, in-house counsel and compliance officers.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

FIFA top brass tried to remove internal investigator

An internal investigation by football governing body FIFA of alleged corruption concerning the voting procedure for two World Cup tournaments was nearly blocked, according to Reuters. It's alleged that certain senior FIFA officials last week tried to prevent the investigation, which is led by New York Kirkland & Ellis partner Michael Garcia, from continuing.

Switzerland's FINMA appoints UK head

Switzerland's Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has appointed Briton Mark Branson as chief executive, the authority said in a statement today. Branson has been acting as interim head of the authority since February, when Patrick Raaflaub stepped down from the position.

Pinnacle's South African chief charged with bribery

The executive director of South African technology company Pinnacle Holdings has been charged with attempting to bribe a senior police official to win a supply contract, according to local reports.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Victor Dahdelah v Mark MacDougall and Akin Gump judgment

You can read what Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said about the Serious Fraud Office’s handling of the Victor Dahdelah investigation here.

Toyota pays out US$1.2 billion but avoids criminal prosecution

Japanese car manufacturer Toyota entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice to settle charges of wire fraud. Toyota admitted to misleading consumers about problems that caused cars to accelerate when drivers tried to slow down.

Orthofix hit with new FCPA investigation while under DPA

Medical equipment manufacturer Orthofix has notified the US Department of Justice and the Securities & Exchange Commission of bribery allegations related to a Brazilian subsidiary. In its latest SEC filing, the company said it is still under a three-year deferred prosecution agreement concerning a previous bribery offence in 2012 involving Mexican subsidiary Promeca.

Swedish bribery investigation extends to Uzbek president’s daughter

Swedish prosecutors have opened an investigation of the Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova in connection with bribery allegations concerning telecoms company TeliaSonera. According to Reuters, prosecutors told a court in Stockholm that they suspect Karimova “orchestrated” the bribery scheme.

Monday, 24 March 2014

WilmerHale hires former FBI head

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has hired the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Robert Mueller III as partner in its investigations and strategic counselling practices, the firm has said.

More Finmeccanica bribery arrests

Italian authorities have arrested two former managers of the country’s state-owned engineering company in connection with a widening corruption investigation, according to The Financial Times.

Mexico interviews chief executive in Citigroup investigation

Mexican authorities have interviewed the chief executive of oilfield services company Oceanografia in connection with a fraud investigation initiated by US bank Citigroup, according to Reuters.

JPMorgan's top China banker announces departure amid US investigations

Fang Fang, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s chief executive for investment banking in China, is to retire after 12 years with the bank, according to reports in the financial press. The decision was announced in an internal memo released today.

Friday, 21 March 2014

GIR in the Netherlands

Next week Global Investigations Review will be reporting from the 2014 ACFE European Fraud Conference in Amsterdam. David Green, director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, will be speaking, as will Marco Gercke, director of Germany’s Cybercrime Research Institute and Patrick Donovan, chief compliance officer at Airbus in France.

Och-Ziff in FCPA investigation

The US Department of Justice and Securities & Exchange Commission are investigating whether Och-Ziff may have violated FCPA rules, according to the company’s latest SEC filing. Och-Ziff said the investigation concerns an investment by a sovereign wealth fund in some of its own funds in 2007, as well as investments made by Och-Ziff in certain African companies.

Judge accuses SFO of mismanaging Dahdaleh case

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith in London’s Southwark Crown Court today said the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) relied on Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to an “extraordinary extent” to help build its bribery case against businessman Victor Dahdaleh.

Simpson Thacher employee charged with insider trading

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett clerk Steven Metro and Morgan Stanley trader Vladimir Eydelman have been charged with insider trading after making US$5.6 million in illicit profits, the SEC said in a statement on Wednesday.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

OECD launches anti-tax evasion initiative

44 countries and territories have signed up to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s proposals set to “clamp down on tax evasion” through an automatic exchange of information between tax authorities.

FCA fines insurance firm for anti-bribery controls

Besso Limited must pay £315,000 (€377,000) to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failing to establish and maintain effective systems and controls to prevent bribery and corruption.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

DG Comp comes down hard on car parts cartel

The European Commission has fined five car part manufacturers almost €1 billion for operating a cartel – one of the largest penalties it has ever imposed.

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