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COVID Frauds of the Week: Fraud on the PPP

Posted  06/26/20
hundared dollar bill zoomed in to president's face
This week’s COVID-19 frauds centered on (temporarily) successful attempts to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds for nonexistent companies and fabricated or inflated employee headcounts. First up is the owner of a wedding planning company that sought personal enrichment via more than $3 million in forgivable PPP loans for his 120 nonexistent employees. Fahad Shah, 44, of Murphy, Texas, was arrested...

The Paycheck Protection Program is a Big Solution to a Big Problem, but it Needs Big Oversight

Posted  04/10/20
man-pocketing-cash-into-his-suit-pocket
It’s no secret that our local bodegas, corner nail salons, and go-to restaurants are in trouble. The unprecedented nationwide stay-home initiatives may be flattening the curve, but they’re also threatening to bankrupt millions of small businesses and their employees. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act aims to address this problem with numerous programs, including the Paycheck Protection...

Catch of the Week: Wells Fargo Pays $3 Billion, and another $35 Million, in Latest in Long Line of Government Enforcement Actions against the Bank

Posted  02/28/20
wells-fargo-bank
On February 21, 2020 the Department of Justice announced that Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations that Wells Fargo’s “cross-selling” practices led to millions of accounts being opened for customers under false pretenses and without consent. These practices allegedly led to Wells Fargo collecting millions of dollars in fees. Less than one week later, two of...

Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2019

Posted  01/17/20
top ten in letters
The U.S. government has a range on 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, each of which are very much open for business and continuing to pay millions of dollars in whistleblower awards in exchange for their assistance in exposing...

Legislation Watch: Proposed Amendments to Bank Secrecy Act Include Whistleblower Rewards

Posted  10/23/19
Currency in laundry machine
Currently in the 116th Congress, both the House and Senate are considering bills that would amend existing law to provide a whistleblower reporting system and meaningful financial rewards to whistleblowers who come forward to the federal government to report unlawful money laundering and other violations of specified banking laws. We have previously written on the important benefits that would be available with...

Constantine Cannon Attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher Published on Need for Whistleblowers in Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement

Posted  04/26/19
currency hanging on laundry line with clothespins
With a whistleblower program for anti-money laundering enforcement currently under discussion in the House of Representatives Financial Services subcommittee, Constantine Cannon attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher were published in Banking Exchange on April 22 on the benefits such a program could bring. Highlighting the example of the recent Standard Chartered settlement, in which the London-based bank agreed...

Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2018

Posted  01/25/19
Wooden gavel and handcuffs on top of U.S. currency
While 2018 has been a banner year for FCPA, Tax, and SEC & CFTC recoveries, in the bottomless pit of financial frauds that hurt taxpayers, the government, consumers, investors, and the American economy, 2018 brought us additional stunning recoveries for violations related to residential-mortgage backed securities, international economic sanctions, consumer protection, anti-money-laundering, EB-5 investment fraud, and...

Constantine Cannon Attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher Published in Law360 on the Need for Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Rewards

Posted  12/12/18
In the wake of anti-money laundering enforcement activity spurred by the Panama Papers, Constantine Cannon attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher published an article in Law360 on why we need an anti-money laundering whistleblower program. Havian and Ronickher argue for a new, DOJ-led whistleblower program to close the “large enforcement gap” left open by the existing IRS and SEC programs: “Domestic law...

Money Laundering Watch: Will More Chickens Come Home to Roost Following Deutsche Bank Raid?

Posted  11/30/18
The Panama Papers fallout continues with a massive early morning raid on Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Some 170 officers searched for evidence of the bank’s role in over $350m worth of suspected money-laundering through organizations in the British Virgin Islands. Deutsche Bank confirms the investigation is related to the Panama Papers: the April 2016 release of over 11 million files about...

Catch of the Week — Universal American Mortgage Company

Posted  10/19/18
Universal American Mortgage Company (UAMC), a Miami-based mortgage company, agreed on October 19 to a $13.2 million settlement to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by falsely certifying that it complied with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage-insurance requirements in connection with certain loans. UAMC is part of Lennar, one of America’s leading homebuilders. The...
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