-  Investigations updates from around the world

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

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.

This week: SEC Speaks 2014

This week, the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) will offer the world a first glimpse into its priorities for the year ahead, following its change of guard. The agency’s annual “SEC Speaks” event takes place on 21 and 22 February, in Washington, DC.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Harvard University victim of Romanian bribery scandal

Harvard University will sell some of its Romanian forests after the agent it used to help buy the land was charged with taking bribes, according to the Harvard Crimson.

SEC hires senior trio

The Securities and Exchange Commission has appointed Paul Leder as director of its office of international affairs, David Fredrickson as chief counsel to the agency's corporation finance division, and Rick Fleming as its first investor advocate.

SEC fines two Hong Kong companies for insider trading

Two Hong-Kong based asset management companies have agreed to pay the US Securities & Exchange Commission US$11 million to settle insider trading charges.

Avon in DoJ and SEC discussions

US-headquartered cosmetics company Avon is reportedly in advanced talks with the DoJ and SEC to resolve a long-running FCPA investigation. The company has already had settlements rejected by the agencies: in 2012, the SEC and DoJ sought a “significantly greater” amount than the US$12 million the company had offered.

Canada to increase regulation of virtual currencies

Canada is bringing in new laws to prevent virtual currencies such as Bitcoin from being used to launder money, according to

BNP Paribas could face sanctions fine

BNP Paribas has recorded a US$1.1 billion charge to its financial statements to cover potential sanctions fines. After discussions with several regulators and law enforcers, the bank conducted an internal investigation of payments to countries, people and entities which may have been subject to US sanctions.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Cleary Gottlieb partner joins HSBC

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton securities, white-collar defence and civil litigation partner Shawn Chen yesterday joined HSBC as co-head of its global litigation and regulatory affairs group.

Norway imposes accounting fraud sentences

Oslo’s district court sentenced two former Fast Search & Transfer executives for accounting fraud. Former CEO John Lervik was jailed for two years, of which one year is suspended.

Deutsche Bank fails to comply with document requests

A Dubai court has ruled Deutsche Bank failed to comply with document requests from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which regulates companies in Dubai’s International Financial Centre.

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