Posts Tagged With Cases of Interest

IAV GmbH to Pay $35 Million Criminal Fine in Guilty Plea for Its Role in Emissions Issues

On December 18, 2018, officials announced that Germany-based automotive system maker IAV GmbH  (“IAV”) has agreed to plead guilty to one felony count and pay a $35 million criminal penalty in connection with its role in Volkswagen AG’s (“VW’s”) use of so-called “defeat device” software to improve performance on U.S. emissions tests.  According to court filings, starting in 2006, IAV worked with VW to design, test, and implement this software in VW- and Audi-branded diesel
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Former Head of Organization Backed by Chinese Energy Conglomerate Convicted of International Bribery, Money Laundering Offenses

On December 5, 2018, a federal jury in New York convicted the head of a Hong Kong- and Virginia-based nongovernmental organization on seven criminal counts for his participation in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top officials of Chad and Uganda to secure business advantages for a Chinese oil and gas conglomerate.  According to trial evidence and court documents, the defendant, Chi Ping Patrick Ho, was involved in two schemes: offering a $2 million bribe
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Four Defendants Charged in Panama Papers Investigation for Their Roles in Panamanian-Based Global Law Firm’s Decades-Long Scheme to Defraud the United States

On December 4, 2018, four individuals were charged with wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, and other counts in connection with a criminal scheme involving Mossack Fonseca & Co. (“Mossack Fonseca”), a Panamanian law firm.  According to the indictment, from 2000 through 2017, the defendants conspired with others to help U.S. taxpayers and clients of Mossack Fonseca to conceal assets from the IRS through fraudulent means.  These individuals allegedly used sham foundations and shell companies
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Venezuelan Billionaire News Network Owner, Former Venezuelan National Treasurer, and Former Owner of Dominican Republic Bank Charged in Money-Laundering Conspiracy Involving over $1 Billion in Bribes

On November 20, 2018, a Venezuelan billionaire who owns the Globovision news network was charged for his alleged role in a billion-dollar currency exchange and money-laundering scheme.  On the same day, a former Venezuelan national treasurer and former owner of Dominican Republic-based Banco Peravia pleaded guilty to charges for their roles in the scheme.  The charges involve a scheme to pay and receive bribes in exchange for the right to conduct foreign exchange transactions on
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MoneyGram International Inc. Agrees to Extend Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Forfeits $125 Million in Settlement with Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission

On November 8, 2018, officials announced that money services business MoneyGram International, Inc. (“MoneyGram”) had breached a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with DOJ in relation to its anti-fraud and anti-money laundering (“AML”) programs.  MoneyGram was charged in November 2012 with failing to maintain an effective AML program and aiding and abetting wire fraud, after MoneyGram agents and others engaged in fraud schemes through the company’s payment systems.  At the time, DOJ agreed to defer
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Malaysian Financier and Former Banker Indicted for Conspiring to Launder Billions of Dollars in Illegal Proceeds and to Pay Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Bribes

On November 1, 2018, an indictment was unsealed charging two individuals with conspiring to violate the FCPA and to launder billions of dollars embezzled from Malaysia’s investment development fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”), between approximately 2009 and 2014.  The first individual, known as “Jho Low,” is a Malaysian financier, while the other, known as “Roger Ng,” is a former managing director at a New York-based financial institution (the “Financial Institution”).  On the same day that
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Former Executive Director at Venezuelan State-Owned Oil Company, Petroleos De Venezuela, S.A., Pleads Guilty to Role in Billion-Dollar Money Laundering Conspiracy

On October 31, 2018, a former executive director at the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PDVSA”), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in a billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from PDVSA.  Abraham Edgardo Ortega, who was PDVSA’s Executive Director of Financial Planning, admitted as part of his plea that in his position with PDVSA, he accepted $5 million in bribes to give
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Traders Plead Guilty to Commodities Fraud and Spoofing Conspiracy

On October 9, 2018, a former precious metals trader at an unnamed United States-based bank (“Bank”) pleaded guilty to charges of commodities fraud and spoofing conspiracy in connection with his participation in deceptive trading activity in the precious metals futures markets.  The defendant, John Edmonds, said that from approximately 2009 through 2015, he conspired with other precious metals traders to manipulate the markets for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium futures.  Edmonds said that he did
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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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