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Financial and Investment Fraud

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Page 84 of 88

October 16, 2015

The US resolved for $4 million a False Claims Act action against the estate and trusts of the late Layton P. Stuart, former owner and president of One Financial Corporation, and its subsidiary, One Bank & Trust N.A., both based in Little Rock, Arkansas.  According to the government, Stuart and One Financial violated the False Claims Act by making false statements about the financial condition of One Financial and One Bank to induce the Department of the Treasury to invest Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds in One Financial.  Stuart allegedly diverted One Bank funds for personal use, including his purchase of luxury vehicles for his wife and children.  He was terminated from One Bank in September 2012. DOJ

October 6, 2015

Fifth Third Bank agreed to pay $85 million to resolve civil fraud claims arising from the bank’s origination of residential mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.  FTB made a voluntary disclosure of approximately 1,400 mortgage loans it had certified as eligible for FHA insurance, later determined were materially defective and thus ineligible for FHA insurance, but never self-reported to HUD, resulting in millions of dollars in HUD losses.  This matter arose, in part, from the filing of a whistleblower complaint under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  DOJ (NY)

September 30, 2015

Former chief financial officer of Siemens S.A. – Argentina Andres Truppel pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay tens of millions of dollars in bribes to Argentine government officials to secure, implement and enforce a $1 billion contract to create national identity cards.  In connection with his guilty plea, Truppel admitted he engaged in the decade-long scheme which involved concealing the illicit payments through various means, including using shell companies associated with intermediaries to disguise and launder the funds and by paying $7.4 million as part of a hedging contract with a foreign currency company incorporated in the Bahamas.  Truppel also admitted he used a $27 million contract between a Siemens entity and a company called MFast Consulting AG that purported to be for consulting services to conceal bribes to Argentine officials.  DOJ.

September 4, 2015

Walter Investment Management Corp. agreed to pay $29.63 million to resolve allegations that, through its subsidiaries, Reverse Mortgage Solution Inc., REO Management Solutions LLC and RMS Asset Management Solutions LLC, it violated the False Claims Act in connection with the subsidiaries’ participation in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgages program, which insures “reverse” mortgage loans.  The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed former RMS executive Matthew McDonald under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  McDonald will receive a whistleblower award of $5.15 million.  DOJ

August 28, 2015

EDF Resource Capital Inc. and its CEO, Frank Dinsmore, agreed to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act and otherwise failed to remit payments owed to the Small Business Administration under the 504 loan program.  Under the settlement agreement, EDF and Dinsmore agreed to make payments and turn over certain assets to the US for a total settlement of approximately $6 million.  DOJ

July 16, 2015

Neil Godfrey, owner and operator of payment processing company Check Site Inc., pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with the unauthorized withdrawal of millions of dollars from consumers’ bank accounts.  Specifically, Godfrey admitted he used Check Site Inc. to assist at least two merchants that operated websites purportedly offering payday loans but that instead simply stole money from the consumers’ bank accounts.  DOJ

June 1, 2015

Memphis-based First Tennessee Bank agreed to pay $212.5 million to resolve allegations it — through its subsidiary First Horizon Home Loans Corporation — violated the False Claims Act by originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that did not meet applicable requirements.  Whistleblower Insider

May 20, 2015

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of US dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange (FX) spot market and the banks have agreed to pay criminal fines totaling more than $2.5 billion.  A fifth bank, UBS AG, agreed to plead guilty to manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other benchmark interest rates and pay a $203 million criminal penalty.  DOJ

March 25, 2015

Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd., agreed to enter a guilty plea and pay a $232,708,356 penalty for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by willfully facilitating illegal transactions and engaging in trade with Iran and Sudan.  Whistleblower Insider

March 12, 2015

Miami-based lender Hencorp Becstone Capital L.C. agreed to pay $3.8 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that it made false statements and claims to the Export-Import Bank of the United States in order to obtain loan guarantees.  According to the government, Ricardo Maza, a Peruvian-based former Hencorp business agent, created false documentation to obtain Ex-Im Bank guarantees on fictitious transactions on which no products were sold or exported, and that Maza then diverted the proceeds of the loans to himself and to his friends and business associates in Peru.  The allegations arose in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Genaro Benites Caballero, the former owner of one of the purported purchasers, and Patricia Doris Lee Dominguez, a former attorney for the purported purchaser, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  They will receive a whistleblower award of $608,000.  DOJ
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