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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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July 2, 2020

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will pay $21 million to resolve SEC charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Alexion subsidiaries in Turkey and Russia were alleged to have made payments to foreign officials in those countries in order to secure favorable regulatory treatment for Alexion’s drug Soliris, and to increase the number of prescriptions for the drug.  The Turkish and Russian subsidiaries, as well as Alexion subsidiaries in Brazil and Colombia, falsified their books and records with respect to improper payments, and Alexion’s internal accounting controls were not adequate to detect or prevent the improper payments and accounting.  SEC

Catch of the Week: Novartis Pays $729 Million to Settle Two Kickback Cases on Heels of $345 Million Foreign Bribery Settlement

Posted  07/2/20
Novartis corporate building
This week and last, pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis reached three settlements involving very different forms of unlawful kickbacks and bribes.  First, this week the company agreed to pay a total of $678 million to resolve a New York case alleging that it paid inflated “speaking fees” and provided other incentives to doctors to induce them to prescribe Novartis drugs.  Second, Novartis will pay $51.25...

July 1, 2020

Leonard J. Cipolla of Richmond, Virginia, was sentenced to ten years in prison for bilking more than $7 million in investor funds from customers of his Tate Street Trading, Inc..  Cipolla falsely told the investors that he was a successful commodities trader and could guarantee them a fixed rate of return.  In fact, Cipolla diverted the investor funds that he did not lose through speculative trading, and provided his customers with false account statements.  USAO EDVA

July 1, 2020

Raeann Gibson of Palm City, Florida, was sentenced to ten years in prison based on her role in an investment fraud conspiracy.  Gibson served as the Chief Operating Officer of Dominion Investment Group, which defrauded elderly investors of over $25 million by diverting investment funds to the personal use of Gibson and co-defendant Daryl Bank.  Gibson created numerous shell companies, laundered investment funds through multiple accounts, and spoke with investors.  USAO EDVA

June 26, 2020

Telegram Group Inc. and its subsidiary TON Issuer Inc. will return more than $1.2 billion to investors and pay a $18.5 million civil penalty to resolve SEC charges that it conducted an unlawful unregistered offering of its digital tokens called “Grams.” The SEC alleged that the Grams were securities sold by defendants in order to raise capital to finance for their own business, which included the development of their own blockchain and a mobile messenger application.  SEC

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...

June 25, 2020

Novartis AG, a Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company, along with its Greek subsidiary, Novartis Hellas S.A.C.I. (Novartis Greece), have agreed to pay $233 million to the DOJ and $112 to the SEC, for a combined penalty of $345 million, in order to resolve charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  A former subsidiary, Alcon Pte Ltd—now a subsidiary of multinational eyecare company, Alcon Ltd—has agreed to pay $8.9 million to resolve similar charges.  Between 2012 and 2016, the subsidiaries allegedly bribed employees of state-owned hospitals and clinics in Greece and Vietnam to use Novartis or Alcon-branded products while falsely recording the improper payments.  As part of the settlement, both Novartis Greece and Alcon Pte Ltd will also enter into deferred prosecution agreements with DOJ.  DOJ; USAO NJ; SEC

COVID Frauds of the Week: Consumer and Investor Fraud

Posted  06/18/20
tiles spelling out lockdown
Scammers continue to prey on the vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis, and thankfully, they continue to get busted for it.  This week, the enforcement highlights centered on consumer and investor fraud, although there are surely numerous other kinds of fraud that have not yet been stopped. The Federal Trade Commission this week announced that it had taken legal action to try to shut down a remarkably (and...

June 17, 2020

AmTrust Financial Services Inc. and its former CFO, Ronald E. Pipoly Jr., have agreed to pay the SEC $10 million and $75,000, respectively, to settle charges of failing to properly disclose material facts about how the company estimated insurance losses and reserves, specifically the fact that Pipoly made accounting adjustments that diverged from the company’s actuarial estimates.  The adjustments eventually exceeded $300 million, which impacted all of the company’s reporting.  SEC

DOJ Charges Healthcare CEO with Criminal Securities and Healthcare Fraud

Posted  06/12/20
Hands in handcuffs behind back of white man in business suit
In 2008, Rahm Emanuel, then-President Obama’s chief of staff, famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”  However poorly phrased, generations of political and business leaders have understood the kernel of truth in his admonition. So have scammers and rip-off artists. We have been following the...
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