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What the SEC can learn from its German peer BaFin

Posted  08/13/21
Building of Wirecard in Germany
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, otherwise known as BaFin, is Germany’s version of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a supervisory body working to ensure the functioning, stability and integrity of the German financial system. BaFin was created following a 2002 merger between Germany’s Federal Banking Supervisory Office (BAKred), the Federal Securities Supervisory Office (BAWe), and...

Catch of the Week: SEC Cracks Down Again on Cybersecurity Disclosures

Posted  06/17/21
hacker in hoodie typing code in program using laptop in dark studio
This week’s Catch of the Week goes to the Securities and Exchange Commission for its latest settlement involving cybersecurity risks.  The SEC charged First American Financial Corporation, an insurance company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with failing to adequately control for cybersecurity risks.  According to the SEC’s Order, a journalist alerted First American that it had a major vulnerability in...

COVID Frauds of the Week: DOJ Continues to Crack Down on PPP Fraudsters

Posted  03/19/21
ponzi scheme vs pyramid scheme
As of this week, the Small Business Administration has disbursed over $700 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses and non-profits. There are over $100 billion in remaining appropriations, with additional appropriations likely to follow thereafter. With numbers like these, the program has become a magnet for fraudsters seeking to profit from the pandemic. The DOJ has been actively going...

Congress Has Passed Sweeping Anti–Money Laundering Legislation. Now It’s Up To Trump.

Posted  01/29/21
hundred dollar bills scattered around

Associate Sarah “Poppy” Alexander was quoted in the BuzzFeed News article, ‘Congress Has Passed Sweeping Anti–Money Laundering Legislation. Now It’s Up To Trump’ published on December 11, 2020.

Following rising concerns about money laundering using the US financial system, Congress has passed new anti-money laundering legislation included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). First, it would...

US Bill to Offer Rewards for Whistleblowers Exposing Money Laundering

Posted  01/29/21
launderette

Partner Mary Inman was quoted in the OCCRP article, "US Bill to Offer Rewards for Whistleblowers Exposing Money Laundering", published on January 18, 2021.

Treasury’s new whistleblower reward program is inspired by the highly successful U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Reward Program created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act following the 2008 financial...

New US Whistleblower Reward Program Bolsters Anti-Money Laundering Fight

Posted  01/29/21
pinned hundred dollar bills on clothes line

PartnerMary Inman was quoted in The Banker article, “New US whistleblower reward scheme bolsters AML fight”, published on January 14, 2021.

A new anti-money laundering (AML) whistleblower reward program was included in the US government defense spending bill recently passed by Congress. This program arose in the wake of the FinCEN Files leak, revealing how fraudsters successfully moved millions of dollars of...

Catch of the Week: Capital One pays $390M to resolve anti-money laundering (AML) violations.

Posted  01/22/21
Bank Building
Capital One, one of America’s ten largest banks, has agreed to pay $390 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Bank Secrecy Act and various other laws targeted at preventing money laundering. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) specifically said that Capital One willfully failed to guard against money laundering from 2008 to 2014, including a failure to file...

Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/14/21
man pocketing cash in suit
The U.S. government has many enforcement options for financial and investment fraud, including those that provide for whistleblower rewards such as the SEC Whistleblower Program, the CFTC Whistleblower Program, and the IRS Whistleblower Program.  These programs, along with a new one under the Anti-Money-Laundering Act of 2020, are open for business and promise to pay millions of dollars in whistleblower awards in...

COVID Frauds of the Week: PPP Loans for Fraudsters Who Like Nice Things

Posted  11/20/20
money in a spiral form with a bankroll of cash on top
It was another busy week for the DOJ, with at least 13 individuals charged for their attempts to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program out of cash meant to help real businesses with real employees, rather than to fund fraudsters’ extravagant lifestyles and idiotic, selfish behavior. Aditya Raj Sharma, 47, of Maple Grove, Minnesota—fake entrepreneur and apparent fan of swimming—was arrested and charged with...

Sunshine State Local Elections Shine Light on How Dark Shell Company Data Can Be

Posted  11/18/20
top-secret-seal
Amidst the ongoing saga of the US national elections, Florida local elections may not have made much of a ripple.  But one small scandal in the Sunshine State reveals a lot about the ongoing problem the US has with shell corporations and their hidden ownership structures. The story is convoluted, as most shell company stories are.  A political donor, Proclivity, who had never donated money in Florida before,...
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