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October 22, 2020

Jerry Taylor of North Carolina has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $6.1 million in restitution for his role in a $9.4 million fraud scheme targeting North Carolina’s Medicaid program.  Along with his brother Tony and co-conspirators in Ohio and New York, Taylor submitted claims for behavioral health services benefiting local at-risk youth that were purportedly performed at companies he owned and operated with his brother, but that were in reality not actually performed or misrepresented in the claims.  In addition to defrauding Medicaid, Taylor also evaded taxes by failing to report more than $1.6 million in reimbursements in 2016 and 2017.  For those charges, Taylor will pay over $346,000 to the IRS.  USAO WDNC

October 14, 2020

Michael Allen Worley of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was sentenced to 12 years in prison following his plea of guilty on charges including bank fraud.  Worley admitted that between 2014 and 2018 he fraudulently obtained more than $40 million in loans and investments from banks and private equity firms for himself and his businesses.  Worley’s fraud included false statements that inflated his assets, understated and omitted his liabilities, misrepresented his income, and misrepresented the intended use of loan proceeds. Worley was also ordered to pay $15.75 million in restitution to his victims.  USAO MD LA

October 2, 2020

Jon Barry Thompson of Pennsylvania has been ordered to pay approximately $7.4 million in restitution for making false representations to two customers regarding purchases of Bitcoin.  According to the CFTC press release, Thompson induced the customers to send him the funds by assuring them he had the Bitcoin in hand.  However, after receiving the funds, he distributed the money to third parties, failed to provide the customers with any Bitcoin, and made false representations regarding the location of the Bitcoin and the status of the funds.  Thompson pleaded guilty to one count of commodities fraud in a parallel action relating to this matter, and will be sentenced in January 2021.  CFTC

September 28, 2020

Fiat Chrysler N.V. will pay an SEC penalty of $9.5 million to settle charges that it made misleading disclosures.  Specifically, in February 2016, the company publicly stated that it had conducted an internal audit to confirm that its vehicles complied with emissions standards.  This statement misleadingly failed to disclose the limited nature of the internal audit and other related material facts, including about the existence of ongoing government investigations into the company’s diesel vehicle emissions systems.  SEC

September 25, 2020

A multinational industrial engineering company headquartered in Germany has agreed to pay $22 million to settle allegations of violating the False Claims Act.  In order to avoid paying certain import duties over a six year period, Linde GmbH and its Houston-based subsidiary, Linde Engineering North America LLC knowingly misrepresented the nature, classification, and valuation of its merchandise, which is used in the construction of natural gas and chemical manufacturing plants.  The misconduct was first brought to the government’s attention by a whistleblower, who will receive a $3.7 million share of the settlement proceeds.  The defendant later made a partial disclosure to the government prior to the government’s disclosure of its investigation.  DOJ; USAO EDPA

August 25, 2020

American Honda Motor Co., and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (Honda) has reached a settlement with the Attorney Generals of 48 states and agreed to pay $85.1 million to resolve allegations of failing to disclose certain airbag safety failures to regulators and ­­­customers of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States.  According to the complaint, Honda engineers were aware that the propellant used in Takata-manufactured airbags—used in Honda and Acura vehicles since 2001—could burn aggressively, cause the inflator to burst, and ultimately harm drivers and passengers, yet continued to represent that its cars were safe even as it began recalling affected vehicles in 2008.  Although the company eventually recalled approximately 12.9 million vehicles, the recalls came too late and the failures resulted in at least 14 deaths and over 200 injuries nationwide.  AG CA; AG FL; AG NY; AG GA

August 20, 2020

TD Bank, N.A. has been ordered to pay an estimated $97 million in restitution to about 1.42 million customers, as well as a civil monetary penalty of $25 million, for engaging in deceptive practices that violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  In connection with its optional Debit Card Advance (DCA) service, TD Bank allegedly interfered with its customers’ ability to understand terms and conditions by misrepresenting DCA as “free” or a “feature” of their new checking accounts, when in reality it could result in fees of $35 per overdraft transaction.  Furthermore, in connection with consumer account information, TD Bank allegedly failed to implement policies that would ensure the accuracy of that information before it was provided to consumer reporting agencies.  CFPB

August 19, 2020

The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) has been ordered to pay $127.4 million to the CFTC and $60.4 million in criminal fines, forfeiture, and restitution to the DOJ for attempting to manipulate prices and spoofing in precious metals futures contracts, making false and misleading statements to investigators, and failing to comply with swap dealer conduct and supervision requirements.  The alleged misconduct occurred over the eight years ending in 2016 and involved four precious metals traders in New York, London, and Hong Kong.  From the penalty paid to the CFTC, a record-breaking $42 million will go toward resolving the price manipulation and spoofing allegations, and a record-breaking $17 million will go toward resolving the false and misleading statements allegations.  In addition to the fines, Scotiabank has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to retain an independent monitor.  CFTC; DOJ; USAO NJ 

July 28, 2020

Savraj Gata-Aura, a British citizen, has been sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to forfeit nearly $3 million for his role in a massive Ponzi scheme involving coworking space Bar Works that defrauded over 800 investors of more than $40 million.  Together with fellow British citizen Renwick Haddow—who was widely reported to be disqualified from serving as the director of a U.K. company and was managing Bar Works under the alias “Jonathan Black”—Gata-Aura solicited investors by making material misrepresentations about Bar Works’ management and the company’s financial condition.  Haddow is due to be sentenced later this year.  USAO SDNY
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