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Financial and Investment Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to financial and investment fraud. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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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 13, 2020

Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation, an auto financing subsidiary of the car manufacturer, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4 million and provide up to $1 million in restitution to customers to settle charges that the company engaged in illegal collections and repossession practices.  The company was alleged to have repossessed cars despite the customer having made payments or taken other actions to avoid repossession; imposed improper storage fees; refused to return personal property to customers; overcharged customers making payments by telephone; and mislead customers regarding their right to bankruptcy relief.  CFPB

SEC Has Record Year of Whistleblower Rewards

Posted  10/9/20
Securities and Exchange Commission logo with a stack of coins and cash on top
The SEC closed out its fiscal year (September 30) with an avalanche of whistleblower awards, doling out 15 awards for a total of more than $50 million in September alone.  Six of those awards were made on September 30, clearly highlighting the SEC's desire to trumpet the success of its whistleblower program for this record-breaking year. The SEC also seems to be standing strong in its continued messaging to...

COVID Frauds of the Week: Fraudulently Claiming PPP Loans

Posted  10/2/20
person following a trail of money
This week, DOJ took action against two large alleged frauds on the Paycheck Protection Program.  In Hawaii and North Carolina, individuals were charged with fraudulently claiming loans from the critical relief program. In North Carolina, Tristan Pan found himself charged with wire and bank fraud, plus unlawful monetary transactions, for an alleged scheme to get bogus PPP loans.  He allegedly cooked up a series of...

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 30, 2020

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC will pay a total of $10 million in civil monetary penalties to the SEC and CFTC.  In an agreement with the SEC, the company will pay a $5 million civil monetary penalty arising from charges that the firm violated the short sale procedures of Regulation SHO. Specifically, Morgan Stanley improperly used “long” and “short” aggregation units when it hedged synthetic exposure to swaps by purchasing or selling the securities referenced in the swaps.  The aggregation units were not independent and did not have separate trading strategies.  As a result, Morgan Stanley should have netted the long and short positions of both units together or across the entire broker-dealer and marked the orders as long or short based on that netting. The CFTC, which also imposed a $5 million penalty, charged that Morgan Stanley failed to comply with swap data reporting obligations, inaccurately reporting swap data for approximately three million swaps. SEC; CFTC

September 30, 2020

The SEC has announced that it has concluded a record-breaking fiscal year for its whistleblower program by awarding four whistleblowers a total of $5 million.  For providing critical information and evidence of hard-to-detect violations, and providing extensive and ongoing assistance to the investigation, two whistleblowers were awarded $2.9 million and $1.7 million respectively.  The remaining two whistleblowers were awarded nearly $400,000 for jointly providing a tip and additional assistance, including meeting with staff to help decipher key documents and identify key witnesses.  These awards cap the program’s record of 39 individual awards, totaling about $175 million, that have been granted in a single fiscal year.  Since the whistleblower program launched in 2012, the SEC has made awards to 106 individuals totaling about $562 million.  SEC
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