Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

AFA report: 70% of French companies have anti-corruption systems

Seven in 10 of French businesses have implemented anti-corruption measures and just over half of those companies have had them in place for over three years, according to a study by the French Anti-corruption Agency (AFA).

Roughly 2,000 companies of all sizes responded to a survey by the AFA between February and August as part of its three-year anti-corruption plan.

It found that over the past five years, 22% of French companies had experienced corruption and that half of those companies disciplined the perpetrators. Of the disciplinary actions, 20% led to criminal complaints, 11% of which resulted in convictions. 

“This survey is the first in a series designed to regularly measure the evolution of the perception of corruption and the implementation of preventative measures in French companies,” the AFA’s director, Charles Duchaine, said.

Luckin Coffee receives Chinese fine for accounting fraud

China’s market regulator announced fines on 22 September against Luckin Coffee and 43 other companies that abetted a scheme to fraudulently inflate the coffee company’s sales figures, according to China’s national press agency

The State Administration for Market Regulation reportedly issued fines totalling $9 million after its investigation found that the companies broke Chinese competition laws by manipulating Luckin Coffee’s revenue numbers.

In April, the company admitted faking sales worth an estimated $300 million. A subsequent internal investigation found that Luckin Coffee executives participated in the scheme to process fake transactions at its stores to create a false impression of higher sales. 

The Nasdaq stock exchange in New York delisted the Chinese company as a result of the fraud.

Defunct financial advisory company Strachans agrees plea deal with US prosecutors

Defunct Geneva-based financial advisory company Strachans entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Los Angeles in August for helping US citizens evade tax by maintaining offshore bank accounts.

The company, which entered into liquidation in 2011, agreed to pay $500,000 and plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the US as part of the deal, which was not announced by US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

One of the company’s beneficial owners, Philip Egglishaw, has reportedly been accused of facilitating a tax evasion scheme in Australia. 

Italian authorities reportedly arrested Egglishaw, a Jersey citizen, in 2017 based on an Interpol Red Notice obtained by Australian authorities. 

A Milan court reportedly refused to extradite him to Australia the same year. Egglishaw has reportedly denied the Australian authorities’ allegations.

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