-  Investigations updates from around the world

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Canada introduces Bitcoin regulations

Canada’s new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws regulating digital currencies – like Bitcoin – have come into force. From now on digital currency exchanges will be subject to the same laws as other money service providers.

HSBC adds European compliance head

HSBC has strengthened its compliance department with the hiring of Alison Hewitt, a former retail business risk director at Lloyds Banking Group, to be HSBC’s head of regulatory compliance in Europe.

Ecclestone indictment hints at challenge for prosecutors

Forbes reports that new evidence in Bernie Ecclestone’s bribery trial could make it more difficult for Munich prosecutors to substantiate allegations against the Formula One boss.

New Zealand introduces director criminal offences

New Zealand’s government is expected to pass a bill today that creates two new criminal offences for company directors under the country’s 1993 Companies Act.

Libor lawsuit expands

A US federal district judge in Manhattan yesterday said Libor manipulation claims against Barclays and Rabobank can be added to another lawsuit brought by investment funds trading in Eurodollar futures.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Hong Kong regulator seeks to freeze HK$1.6 billion

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has started proceedings in Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance and Market Misconduct Tribunal against nine executives of Greencool Technology Holdings, alleging they “grossly” overstated the company’s accounts from 2000 to 2004.

Mexico seeks arrest of three Banamex employees

Mexico Attorney General Jesús Murillo is seeking the arrest of three Banamex employees and expects more arrests of people connected to the fraudulent loans oil services company Oceanografía obtained from Citigroup’s Mexican unit, he said on Friday.

BNP Paribas settlement estimate drops to US$9 billion

BNP Paribas’s settlement with US authorities over alleged sanctions violations will amount to around US$9 billion, according to press reports today.

Friday, 20 June 2014

IRS doubles offshore voluntary disclosure penalty

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced changes to its offshore voluntary compliance programme, which allows individuals who have undeclared bank accounts abroad to avoid prosecution if they pay a fixed penalty.

UBS Belgium chief executive charged in tax probe

A Belgian investigating judge has charged the head of UBS’s subsidiary in Belgium for his involvement in an alleged multi-billion tax fraud scheme. Belgian police raided the bank on Thursday morning, and arrested and questioned Marcel Bruehwiler for several hours.

Four arrested following Siemens bribery allegations in Israel

The Israel Securities Authority has arrested and questioned four men in connection with an alleged scheme that saw German engineering company Siemens pay bribes to state-owned Israel Electric Corporation to rig bids between 2002 and 2005, according to the Israeli press.

Grifols discloses FCPA investigations

Spanish pharmaceutical company Grifols is investigating potential FCPA violations in Belarus and Russia, as well as trading practices in Brazil, China, Georgia, Iran and Turkey, according to an SEC filing made late last month.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Barrick Gold faces Tanzanian bribery accusations

An anonymous whistleblower has accused US mining company African Barrick Gold of bribing government officials to further its business interests, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company allegedly paid over US$400,000 in cash to Tanzanian government officials and consultants responsible for land valuations.

Tough AML rules harming banks, says ICC

Banks are terminating correspondent banking relationships when they lead to "outsized" risk brought on by strict anti-money laundering enforcement, according to an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) report.

Ireland refers data protection safe harbour programme to ECJ

Justice Gerard Hogan of Ireland's High Court has asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to decide whether the EU's Safe Harbour programme, which allows the transfer of personal data to US companies despite data protection restrictions, is compatible with EU privacy rights.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Deutsche Bank misconduct in Japan even more widespread

Deutsche Bank’s alleged illegal entertainment of officials in Japan might have been even more widespread than originally thought. Bloomberg reports to have a seen a document prepared by Japan’s financial regulator and the bank indicating that between 2010 and 2012, Deutsche Bank’s Japanese securities unit spent ¥22.

Bank of England to hold back forex report until end of FCA investigation

The Bank of England will withhold details of an investigation of whether its staff was involved in manipulation of the foreign exchange market until the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) finishes its own investigation of alleged misconduct, the Financial Times reports.

SEC fines chief compliance officer for failing to investigate

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined Private Capital Management chief compliance officer Thomas Meade US$100,000 for failing to stop an insider trading scheme carried out by a company employee.

Fedex discloses potential bribery in Kenya

Delivery company FedEx has told US authorities about potential bribery in Kenya, and instructed a US law firm and external auditing team for its investigation of the allegations, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Former SEC trading and markets head joins dark pool

The former acting head of the SEC’s trading and markets division, John Ramsay, has joined dark pool trading organisation IEX Group.

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