-  Investigations updates from around the world

Friday, 21 February 2014

Norton Rose expands into Brazil

Hot on the heels of the launch of its global regulation and investigations practice, Norton Rose has taken the initiative to Brazil, opening its first foreign legal consultancy in Rio de Janeiro, where the firm will offer anti-corruption and bribery advice among its services.

Austrian bank executives accused of paying bribes to Syrian officials

Prosecutors told an Austrian court that former employees at OeBS, a banknote printing company, paid bribes to officials at both Syrian and Azerbaijan banks in exchange for winning contracts to print money for them.

FC Barcelona charged with tax fraud

A Spanish court has charged football club Barcelona with committing tax fraud, according to Spanish reports. The allegation relates to the purchase of Brazilian footballer Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior – commonly known as Neymar – last summer.

Japanese employee facing bribery charges leaves Deutsche Bank

A Deutsche Bank employee charged with bribery offences by the Japanese police has now left the company. Shigeru Echigo, who worked in the bank’s pension fund sales department in Tokyo, is accused of entertaining a pension fund manager by paying for luxury meals and holidays.

SEC appoints trading and markets division director

WilmerHale partner Stephen Luparello will be the next director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's trading and markets division. He takes over from John Ramsay, who will step down next month.

Singapore anti-corruption official jailed

Edwin Yeo, the former assistant director of Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau was yesterday sentenced to 10 years for misappropriating over S$1.75 million (US$1.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

AT&T receives surveillance requests for 35,000 user accounts

US telecoms company AT&T says it received requests for information regarding more than 35,000 user accounts in the first six months of 2013. The requests were made under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Ecclestone wins but payment was corrupt, says UK judge

A UK judge has said Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone “made a corrupt agreement” when paying a Bayern LB banker US$44 million to facilitate a 2005 sale of F1 shares. But the judge rejected German media group Constantin Medien’s US$140 million claim that the payment was part of a deal that purposely undervalued the group’s stake at the time.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Latvia anti-corruption bureau requests prosecution of police investigators

Latvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has asked prosecutors to start criminal proceedings against unnamed investigators in the economic crimes department of Latvia's State Police Criminal Bureau for allegedly demanded bribes in return for favourable decisions.

Former Petrotiger chief pleads guilty to FCPA charges

Knut Hammarskjold, a former chief executive of oil and gas company Petrotiger, has pleaded guilty to violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and committing wire fraud. In a statement, the US Department of Justice said Hammarskjold was one of three defendants who has been accused of paying bribes to a Colombian official in exchange for helping secure an oil services contract worth US$39 million.

Denmark investigates Danske Bank bonus programme

Denmark’s Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØK) is investigating whether Danske Bank’s bonus programme could have incentivised employees to break rules.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Belgium probes tax evasion claim

Belgium’s Special Tax Inspectorate is investigating alleged tax evasion by energy company GDF Suez. According to a confidential report by the country’s energy authority, the Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas, GDF Suez is said to have overcharged its local unit by €500 million, thereby cutting the local company’s profits and its tax bill, reports national business daily De Tijd/L’Echo.

German/Swiss tax proposal abandoned

Germany and Switzerland have abandoned talks about introducing a tax agreement between the two countries, according to reports. The German and Swiss governments had been discussing the possibility of introducing a tax accord that would help prevent German citizens from hiding money from German tax authorities.

Contractor pleads guilty to US army bribes

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that an independent contractor for a trucking company delivering fuel to the US army in Afghanistan has admitted to his role in offering bribes to an army serviceman to cover up missed fuel deliveries.

Chinese court approves former Everbright trader lawsuit

The Beijing First Intermediate Court has allowed a former trader’s lawsuit against the Chinese securities regulator to go ahead. Last week, former Everbright Securities employee Yang Jianbo filed a case against the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission, which had banned him from trading for life, after finding him guilty of insider dealing.

ESMA publishes AIFMD guidance

The European Securities and Markets Authority, which regulates the EU’s financial markets, has issued a question and answer document to clarify the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

Monday, 17 February 2014

SAC Capital CCO calls it quits

SAC Capital chief compliance officer Steve Kessler is leaving the firm, Bloomberg reports.Kessler spent nine years at SAC Capital, which in November last year agreed to pay US$1.8 billion to settle insider trading charges.

Merkel backs separate EU internet infrastructure

German chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed setting up a new internet network in Europe to prevent automatic data transfers to the US. The internet’s infrastructure is predominantly in the US, and huge amounts of data routinely pass through or end up in the country.

UK DPAs: prosecutor guidelines issued

David Green, the director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, and Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders have issued guidelines for prosecutors on the use of deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs), which will become available on 24 February.

TRACE Award nominations close this week

International anti-bribery organisation TRACE International has launched an award to celebrate the most exemplary anti-bribery compliance programme. Nominations must be in by Friday. The organisation welcomes self-nominations and nominations from others for the Innovation in Anti-Bribery Compliance award.

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