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Criminal Proceedings

This archive displays posts tagged as involving criminal law proceedings relevant to whistleblowers. You may also be interested in our pages:

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November 5, 2020

Lawrence Gerrans, the former CEO of medical device start-up Sanovas, was sentenced to over 11 years in prison following his conviction at trial on charges arising from his diversion of funds from Sanovas to his personal use, including by transferring nearly $3 million to shell companies he controlled.  During the criminal investigation, Gerrans provided false documents to the FBI, tampered with a witness, and violated a court-ordered bond condition.  ND Cal

October 27, 2020

Chicago-based distillery Beam Suntory Inc. (Beam) has agreed to pay over $19.5 million to settle allegations of paying bribes to Indian government officials between 2006 to 2012, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  At least some of the bribes were authorized by a high-level regional executive and paid by third parties.  Additionally, Beam intentionally failed to implement internal controls to prevent such conduct, as well as falsified books and records to conceal the bribes after they were paid.  As part of the settlement, Beam admitted to the charges and agreed to a three-year deferred prosecution agreement.  USAO NDIL

October 15, 2020

Robert F. Smith, who formed and beneficially owned Belize entity the Excelsior Trust and Nevis entity Flash Holdings, has entered into a non-prosecution agreement, agreeing to pay $139 million, to resolve claims that between 2000 and 2015 he unlawfully used the offshore entities and their offshore bank accounts to conceal income earned by him on private equity investments and evade millions in taxes.  Using the offshore trust accounts, Smith willfully did not report to the IRS over $200 million of partnership income.  In addition, he unlawfully failed to report his ownership of foreign bank accounts in BVI and Switzerland.  The $139 million settlement consists of $56 million in taxes and penalties on unreported income and $82 million in penalties stemming from his failure to report his offshore bank accounts.  In addition, Smith agreed to abandon a $182 million refund claim based on alleged charitable contributions in 2018 and 2019.  DOJ; USAO ND Cal

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 14, 2020

Brazilian investment company J&F Investimentos S.A. and is meat producer subsidiary, JBS S.A., along with their principles Joesley Batista and Wesley Batista have entered into a settlement agreement with the SEC and DOJ, agreeing to pay nearly $283 million in fines and disgorgement and plead guilty to resolve charges under the FCPA arising from a scheme to bribe government officials in Brazil in order to obtain financing and other benefits for the companies.  Defendants paid approximately $180 million in bribes to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in financing from Brazilian state-owned and state-controlled banks BNDES and Caixa, as well as to facilitate JBS’s acquisition of U.S. company Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation.  The bribes were allegedly paid from U.S. assets, including JBS operating accounts that also contained Pilgrim’s funds.  The SEC further charged that the Batistas, who exerted significant control over Pilgrim’s, caused it have an inadequate system of internal controls and accurate books and records.  The criminal fine of $256 million will be discounted up to 50% to credit defendants for a settlement with Brazilian authorities valued at $1.9 billion; the SEC agreement provides for a payment of $27 million in disgorgement and interest. Defendants also agreed to cooperate any ongoing or further investigations and implement an enhanced compliance program. DOJ; SEC; USAO EDNY

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 29, 2020

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $920 million to the CFTC and $35 million to the SEC, as well as enter into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ, in order to resolve charges of fraudulently engaging in unlawful trading in both the precious metals and U.S. Treasury futures contracts.  Between at least 2008 through 2016, numerous traders in JPMorgan’s New York, London, and Singapore offices—including the heads of both the precious metals and Treasuries sections—placed hundreds of thousands of spoof orders to artificially drive up supply and demand, ultimately succeeding in manipulating market prices.  Additionally, JPMorgan failed to identify, investigate, and stop the misconduct; JPMorgan also initially responded to government requests in a manner that was misleading.  The penalties imposed by the CFTC—which includes the highest restitution ($311.7 million), disgorgement ($172 million), and civil monetary penalty ($436.4 million) —amount to the highest monetary relief ever imposed by the CFTC in a spoofing case.  CFTC; SEC; USAO CT

September 24, 2020

Following a guilty plea, Jason Galanis was sentenced to nearly 16 years in prison for his role in multi-million dollar securities frauds.  In the one scheme, Galanis acquired, but did not disclose, control of the Gerova Financial Group, Ltd. and caused the company to enter into transactions designed for his benefit, including issuance of Gerova stock for his benefit, which he subsequently sold while fraudulently maintaining the price of the stock through coordinated trades.  In a second scheme, Galanis misappropriated the proceeds of bonds issued by Native American tribal entity the Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation.  USAO SDNY

September 3, 2020

Having previously pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud and related charges, Arizona urgent care provider UCXtra Umbrella, LLC, which did business as "Urgent Care Extra," was sentenced to pay restitution of $12.5 million.  Defendant admitted that it ordered tests and procedures that were not medically necessary and that its billings intentionally overstated the complexity of services to patients in order to receive inflated reimbursements from private insurance companies. USAO AZ

August 31, 2020

Brooklyn, New York resident Aleksander Pikus was sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay $39.4 million in restitution and forfeit $2.6 million following his conviction at trial for charges related to a kickback and tax avoidance scheme involving a number of medical clinics in Brooklyn and Queens.  Pikus referred patients to the clinics, receiving kickbacks in exchange, which he used to pay patient recruiters and patients themselves.  Pikus used shell companies and fake invoices to conceal his scheme and failed to report cash income to the IRS.  DOJ; USAO ED NY
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