Posts Tagged With Cases of Interest

Department of Justice Announces Swiss Bank Program Resolutions

DOJ officials announced criminal resolutions with several Switzerland-based banks and asset managers in the third quarter of 2018, as the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program for U.S. taxpayers with undeclared assets overseas came to a close on September 28.  In announcing resolutions with NPB Neue Privat Bank AG, Mirelis Holding S.A., Bank Lombard Odier & Co., and Basler Kantonalbank, officials detailed years-long efforts by these firms to attract and retain U.S. clients with a number
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Oil Services CEO and Executive Sentenced to Prison for Roles in Foreign Bribery Scheme

On September 28, 2018, Anthony Mace, a former CEO of SBM Offshore, N.V. (“SBM”), a Dutch oil services company, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and a fine of $150,000.  Robert Zubiate, a former sales and marketing executive for SBM Offshore USA Inc. (“SBM USA”), a U.S.-based subsidiary, was also sentenced to 30 months in prison and a fine of $50,000.  Both Mace and Zubiate pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate
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Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras Agrees to Pay More Than $850 Million for FCPA Violations

On September 27, 2018, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras (“Petrobras”), a Brazilian state-owned energy company, entered into a non-prosecution agreement and agreed to pay $853 million to U.S. and Brazilian authorities to resolve an investigation into FCPA violations.  As part of the agreement, Petrobras acknowledged that while its American Depository Shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, members of the company’s Executive Board (its high-level managers) facilitated millions of dollars in improper payments to
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Operator of Counter-Antivirus Service “Scan4you” Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

On September 21, 2018, Latvian resident Ruslan Bondars was sentenced to 168 months in prison after a jury convicted him of offenses related to the operation of the counter-antivirus service “Scan4you.”  Authorities characterized Scan4you as providing “essential aid” to hackers, and the service has been linked to several large-scale computer intrusions and data breaches since 2009.  According to evidence at trial, the Scan4you service assisted hackers in determining whether their malware would be detected by
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Financial Advisor Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charge in Connection with Bribery Scheme Involving Ecuadorian Officials

On September 11, 2018, Jose Larrea, a Miami-based financial advisor, pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge for his involvement in a scheme to bribe officials at Ecuador’s state-owned oil company, PetroEcuador.  Larrea admitted to wiring more than $1 million in funds to conceal the bribes, which an oil services contractor paid to PetroEcuador officials to secure business.  Larrea is the fourth individual to plead guilty in this case.

United States v. Larrea,
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North Korean Regime-Backed Programmer Charged in Conspiracy to Conduct Multiple Cyberattacks and Intrusions

On September 6, 2018, an indictment charged a North Korean citizen, Park Jin Hyok, with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with his alleged involvement in a series of cyberattacks around the world.  According to allegations in the complaint, Park, a computer programmer at the Korea Expo Joint Venture, belongs to a hacking team known as the “Lazarus Group,” which
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Former FIFA Executive, President of CONMEBOL, and Paraguayan Soccer Official Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Racketeering and Corruption Offenses

On August 29, 2018, Juan Ángel Napout—a former FIFA Vice President and president of CONMEBOL, the confederation responsible for soccer in South America—was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of $1 million and forfeit over $3.3 million.   A jury convicted Napout in December 2017 of charges arising from his acceptance of millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for media rights to soccer tournaments.  The tournaments included two cycles of
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Former Swiss Bank Executive Pleads Guilty to Role in Billion-Dollar International Money Laundering Scheme Involving Funds Embezzled from Venezuelan State-Owned Oil Company

On August 22, 2018, the former vice chairman of a Swiss bank pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy charge in connection with an alleged scheme to launder $1.2 billion that had been embezzled from Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA.  According to his plea agreement, starting in 2016, Matthias Krull assisted several Venezuelan clients in laundering embezzled PDVSA funds through fictitious investment schemes and real estate transactions.  Krull, who was arrested on several additional charges in
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New York Attorney Sentenced to 18 Months’ Imprisonment for Securities Fraud and Wire Fraud Conspiracies, and Ordered to Pay More Than $10 Million in Restitution

On August 17, 2018, Evan Greebel, a former partner at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay over $10 million in restitution for his role in a securities fraud involving Retrophin, a biopharmaceutical company.    In December 2017, a jury convicted Greebel of conspiring with Retrophin CEO Martin Shkreli and others to manipulate Retrophin’s stock price and steal cash and stock from the company.  The government
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Business Executive Arrested on Foreign Bribery Charges in Connection with Venezuela Bribery Scheme

On July 31, 2018, Jose Manuel Gonzalez Testino (“Gonzalez”) was arrested on foreign bribery charges related to payments he allegedly made to an official at Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PDVSA”).  According to the criminal complaint, Gonzalez and a co-conspirator paid at least $629,000 in bribes to a former PDVSA official to secure contracts.  With the arrest of Gonzalez, DOJ has announced charges against 17 individuals, 12 of whom have
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“Bitcoin Maven” Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison in Bitcoin Money Laundering Case

On July 9, 2018, Theresa Lynn Tetley, a former stockbroker and real estate investor known as the “Bitcoin Maven,” was sentenced to one year in prison.  In a first-of-its-kind case, the Central District of California alleged that Tetley offered “bitcoin-for-cash exchange services” without properly registering as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”).  Tetley pleaded guilty to one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and one count of money
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Credit Suisse’s Investment Bank in Hong Kong Agrees to Pay $47 Million Criminal Penalty for Hiring Scheme That Violated the FCPA

On July 5, 2018, federal authorities announced a non-prosecution agreement with Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Limited (“CSHK”) in connection with alleged FCPA violations stemming from the bank’s hiring of friends and relatives of Chinese government officials between 2007 and 2013.  According to admissions made by CSHK, senior managers in the bank’s Asia-Pacific region hired and promoted candidates referred to them by government officials to win investment banking business.  In some cases, so-called “relationship hires” or
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CVS Pharmacy, Inc. to Pay $1.5 Million to Settle Civil Penalty Claims for Violations of The Controlled Substances Act

CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (“CVS”) agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve a federal investigation into pharmacy stores located in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, New York.  The pharmacies were under investigation for potentially violating the Controlled Substances Act, a federal law that requires pharmacies to timely report the loss or theft of controlled substances to the DEA.  This civil settlement is the latest in a series of cases enforced by the United States
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As Part of National Healthcare Fraud Sweep, Los Angeles-Based Prosecutors Filed 16 Cases Alleging $660 Million in Fraudulent Bills

On June 28, 2018, federal authorities in Los Angeles, California announced criminal cases naming a total of 33 defendants charged with a variety of schemes to defraud public and private insurance programs out of more than $660 million.  As part of a nationwide effort to target healthcare fraud, prosecutors charged numerous defendants, including doctors, pharmacists, marketers, and an attorney.  First, nine defendants were charged in Operation “Spinal Cap,” which targeted a healthcare fraud scheme involving
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Three Men Arrested and Charged With Trading on Inside Information Misappropriated From a Credit Rating Agency

On June 26, three men were arrested and charged with participation in a scheme to trade on material nonpublic information which one of the men, Sebastian Pinto-Thomaz, received through his job at a credit rating agency.  Pinto-Thomaz gave two friends information regarding an upcoming acquisition of the Valspar Corporation by the Sherwin-Williams Company.  Each of Pinto-Thomaz’s friends reaped more than $100,000 in profits as a result of trades executed on the basis of this information.  
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Theranos Founder and Former Chief Operating Officer Charged In Alleged Wire Fraud Schemes

On June 15, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Elizabeth A. Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.  According to the indictment, Holmes, the founder of Theranos, and Balwani, the former chief operating officer, engaged in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors, and a separate scheme to defraud doctors and patients.  Theranos, based in Palo Alto, California, is a private healthcare
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Former Brooklyn Assemblywoman Pleads Guilty to Multiple Fraud Schemes and Witness Tampering

On June 12, 2018, former New York State Assemblywoman Pamela Harris pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of making false statements to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and one count of witness tampering.  DOJ alleged that from 2012 to 2014 Harris defrauded FEMA of nearly $25,000 by submitting falsified lease agreements that allegedly showed she was forced out of her residence by Hurricane Sandy.  In reality, Harris continued to live
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Eight Foreign Businessmen Indicted On Charges of Conspiracy to Violate Economic Sanctions Against Syria, Crimea

On June 12, 2018, five Russian nationals and three Syrian nationals were charged with conspiring to violate U.S. economic sanctions against Syria and Crimea.  The charges were based on transactions conducted through a Russian shipping company, Sovracht, which had previously been designated for violating sanctions against Crimea and was not permitted to transact in U.S. dollars without first receiving a license from OFAC.  The alleged conspirators used fake companies and fabricated shipping records to conceal
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Legg Mason, Inc. Agrees to Pay $64 Million in Criminal Penalties and Disgorgement to Resolve FCPA Charges Related to Bribery of Gaddafi-Era Libyan Officials

On June 4, 2018, DOJ officials announced a non-prosecution agreement with investment management firm Legg Mason, Inc., which agreed to pay $64 million in penalties and disgorgement to resolve FCPA liability related to bribery of officials of Libyan state-owned financial institutions.  According to the agreed-upon statement of facts in the resolution, Legg Mason subsidiary Permal Group Ltd. (“Permal”) partnered with Paris-based multinational bank Société Générale S.A. (“SocGen”) to solicit investment management business from Libyan state-owned
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Société Générale S.A. Agrees to Pay $860 Million in Criminal Penalties for Bribing Gaddafi-Era Libyan Officials and Manipulating LIBOR Rate

On June 4, 2018, U.S. officials announced agreements with Paris-based multinational bank Société Générale S.A. (“SocGen”) and one of its subsidiaries to resolve charges related to a multi-year scheme to bribe Libyan government officials and separate charges related to manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”).  SocGen and subsidiary SGA Société Générale Acceptance N.V. (“SGA”) agreed to pay more than $1 billion in penalties and disgorgement in connection with the resolutions, and SGA agreed
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Investment Bank Vice President Arrested, Charged with Conspiracy and Securities Fraud in Insider Trading Scheme

On May 31, a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court charged Woojae Jung, the vice president at an investment bank, with conspiracy and securities fraud in connection with an insider trading scheme.  The complaint alleges that Jung obtained material non-public information through his position at the investment bank and, working with a co-conspirator located in South Korea, used this information to conduct securities trades through a brokerage account held in the co-conspirator’s name.  The complaint
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Former CEO, CFO and Director of Healthcare Services Company Charged in Elaborate $300 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

On May 16, 2018, three former executives of a publicly traded healthcare services company were charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud for their respective roles in an alleged scheme to defraud investors in connection with a purported $300 million going-private transaction.  According to authorities, New Jersey residents Parmjit “Paul” Parmar, Sotirios “Sam” Zaharis, and Ravi Chivukula used a variety of fraudulent methods to inflate the value of unnamed “Company A” to
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Turkish Banker Sentenced to 32 Months for Conspiring to Violate U.S. Sanctions Against Iran and Other Offenses

On May 16, 2018, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former Deputy General Manager of International Banking of a Turkish bank, was sentenced to 32 months in prison for his role in a scheme to violate U.S. economic sanctions against Iranian entities.  In January, a jury convicted Atilla of bank fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with the scheme, which involved the facilitation of billions of dollars in transactions in the proceeds of oil sales held in
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Former Currency Trader Indicted for Participating in Antitrust Conspiracy

On May 10, 2018, officials announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment against a former currency trader at a large U.S. bank for his alleged role in a conspiracy to manipulate foreign currency prices.  Akshay Aiyer is accused of participating in a conspiracy with other New York based traders who worked for rival institutions to fix prices and suppress competition in the markets for Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and African (“CEEMEA”)
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