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January 23, 2023

Bloomberg Finance L.P. has been ordered to pay $5 million to settle charges of making misleading disclosures related to BVAL, a paid subscription service that provides daily price valuations for fixed-income securities.  According to the order, Bloomberg failed to disclose that its valuations for certain fixed-income securities did not adhere to previously disclosed methodologies.  Financial service entities that relied on such valuations, including mutual funds, were impacted by the misleading disclosures.  SEC

January 19, 2023

Cryptocurrency company Nexo Capital Inc. has agreed to pay $22.5 million and comply with a cease and desist order in order to settle SEC charges of failing to register the offer and sale of its retail crypto asset lending product.  The company has agreed to pay another $22.5 million and comply with additional terms in order to settle similar charges in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.  As part of those additional terms, Nexo must notify all remaining U.S. investors to withdraw all remaining assets from Nexo’s platform by April 2023.  SEC, AG NY

January 13, 2023

The SEC has awarded more than $5 million to a whistleblower who first reported internally, and whose subsequent tip to the agency helped shape its investigation.  Based on the whistleblower’s information, agency staff were able to identify witnesses and effectively draft document and information requests.  SEC

December 19, 2022

Posted  12/19/22
Honeywell International Inc. and related entities will pay the U.S. government a total of more than $160 million before offsets – $81 million to resolve SEC claims, and $79 million as a criminal penalty – to settle charges arising out of bribery schemes that took place in Brazil and Algeria. Honeywell entered into a deferred prosecution agreement admitting that a subsidiary offered approximately $4 million as a...

December 19, 2022

A company outsider who submitted multiple anonymous tips to the SEC and the target company, which initiated an internal investigation based on the information, received a whistleblower award of $37 million.  The company reported the whistleblower’s information to the Commission, which then opened its own investigation.  Claimant submitted an additional tip to the Commission within 120 days that included the email that Claimant had sent to the company.  Claimant’s award was based on amounts recovered by the Commission and amounts recovered in a related action.  SEC

December 13, 2022

Danske Bank will pay over $2 billion to resolve charges from the SEC and DOJ arising from failures in its anti-money laundering compliance program at an Estonian bank it acquired and began operating as a branch in 2007, and from its failure to disclose the risks posed by the program’s significant deficiencies.  Danske Bank had received information from an internal whistleblower, conducted internal audits, and received information from regulators, from which it knew that the Estonian branch served high-risk customers, including many Russians, who were engaged in billions of dollars in suspicious and potentially criminal transactions; that its internal policies were inadequate; and, that its AML and KYC procedures were not being followed.  Despite this knowledge, the bank made materially misleading statements and omissions that it complied with its AML obligations and that it had effectively managed its AML risks.  These statements mislead investors and U.S. banks and allowed its high-risk customers to gain unlawful access to the U.S. financial system.  Danske agreed to pay an SEC penalty of $413 million and, as part of a criminal plea to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, will forfeit over $2 billion, with $850 million of that amount being credited from separate criminal or civil resolutions with foreign and domestic authorities, including the SEC.  DOJ, SEC, SDNY

December 12, 2022

The SEC approved a whistleblower award of $20 million to an anonymous individual who voluntarily provided original information to the Commission that significantly contributed to an investigation that had been previously opened based on a referral from the Division of Examinations.  While noting that much of the information provided by the whistleblower was already known to Enforcement staff, the individual provided some helpful new information, met with Enforcement Division staff multiple times, and remained cooperative throughout the investigation.  SEC

November 28, 2022

An anonymous whistleblower received a $20 million award from the SEC, with the SEC finding that the whistleblower provided significant information and continuing helpful assistance in the Commission’s investigation.  The award order notes that the individual did not have information relating to one part of the enforcement action, and delayed reporting for two years after being involved for a short period in the conduct underlying part of the enforcement action, at the direction of their supervisor.  Four other claimants were denied any award related to the covered action.  SEC
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