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Financial Institution Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud by or involving financial institutions. You may also be interested in the following pages:

Page 1 of 29

The New ENABLERS Act May Be a Backdoor Way to Expand the Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Program

Posted  10/14/21
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
Hundred dollars bills pinned to clothes line
In The Hill this week, I argue that the newly proposed ENABLERS Act is a lot more powerful than even its authors seem to realize.  The proposed law would effectively expand the Bank Secrecy Act to apply the same reporting requirements currently imposed on banks to all sorts of actors who enable (get it?) money laundering: lawyers, investment advisers, accountants, art dealers, public relations firms, and the like. ...

Pandora Papers Show the Value of Financial Transparency, the Critical Role of Whistleblowers – and the Need for Additional Regulation

Posted  10/8/21
This week, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its partners began publicly reporting on the “Pandora Papers,” a trove of millions of leaked documents from firms around the world that help customers set up “offshore” accounts and shell companies designed to conceal financial truths.  The leaked documents, and the extensive reporting on the documents, sheds light on the murky world of...

Catch of the Week: In hot water again, now for fleecing customers in foreign currency transactions, Wells Fargo pays $72m in fines and restitution

Posted  09/29/21
Wells Fargo Bank Banners on Side of Building
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice settled an important case in which Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay over $70 million in penalties and restitution to defrauded bank customers. Wells Fargo admitted that it defrauded 771 customers, mostly small businesses, who used the bank’s foreign exchange services when they needed to send money overseas or receive money from abroad. Rather than charging standard fees for...

August 30, 2021

KMS Financial Services Inc. will pay $200,000 to resolve SEC charges that the investment advisor and broker-dealer violated Regulation S-P regarding the safeguarding of customer records and information. The SEC alleged that between September 2018 and December 2019, email accounts of KMS personnel were taken over by unauthorized third parties, resulting in the exposure of personally identifying information of nearly 5,000 KMS customers and clients.  The SEC found that KMS failed to adopt written policies and procedures requiring additional firm-wide security measures until May 2020, and did not fully implement those additional security measures firm-wide until August 2020, placing additional customer and client records and information at risk.  SEC

August 30, 2021

Cambridge Investment Research Inc. and related entities will pay $250,000 to resolve SEC charges that the investment advisor and broker-dealer violated Regulation S-P regarding the safeguarding of customer records and information. The SEC alleged that between January 2018 and June 2021, email accounts of Cambridge personnel were taken over by unauthorized third parties, resulting in the exposure or potential exposure of personally identifying information of approximately 5,000 Cambridge customers and clients.  The SEC found that Cambridge discovered the first email account takeover in January 2018, but failed to adopt and implement firm-wide enhanced security measures for cloud-based email accounts until 2021, resulting in the exposure and potential exposure of additional customer and client records and information.  SEC

August 30, 2021

Cetera Advisor Networks LLC and related entities will pay $300,000 to resolve SEC charges that the investment advisor and broker-dealer violated Regulation S-P regarding the safeguarding of customer records and information and provision of breach notification to customers. The SEC alleged that between November 2017 and June 2020, email accounts of Cetera personnel were taken over by unauthorized third parties, resulting in the exposure of personally identifying information of more than 4,000 Cetera customers and clients.  The accounts were not protected with multi-factor authentication, even though Cetera’s policies required MFA.  SEC

August 17, 2021

Investment advisor Murchinson Ltd., together with associated individuals Marc Bistricer and Paul Zogala, will pay restitution, interest, and penalties totaling nearly $9 million to resolve allegations that they caused a hedge fund client to violate Regulation SHO regarding uncovered short sales and other problematic trading practices.  Respondents allegedly provided erroneous order-marking information, thereby causing the hedge fund brokers to mismark the hedge funds’ sales as “long,” and resulting in their failure to borrow or locate shares prior to executing the sales.  SEC

What the SEC can learn from its German peer BaFin

Posted  08/13/21
Building of Wirecard in Germany
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, otherwise known as BaFin, is Germany’s version of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a supervisory body working to ensure the functioning, stability and integrity of the German financial system. BaFin was created following a 2002 merger between Germany’s Federal Banking Supervisory Office (BAKred), the Federal Securities Supervisory Office (BAWe), and...

August 10, 2021

Five companies that operate the BitMEX cryptocurrency platform will pay a total of $100 million to resolve claims that the platform operated a facility to trade or process swaps without being approved as a Designated Contract Market (DCM) or a Swap Execution Facility (SEF), operated as an unregistered futures commission merchant (FCM), and failed to implement anti-money laundering procedures.  HDR Global Trading Limited, 100x Holding Limited, ABS Global Trading Limited, Shine Effort Inc Limited, and HDR Global Services (Bermuda) Limited jointly operated BitMEX, which offered leveraged trading of cryptocurrency derivatives, including to customers in the U.S.  BitMEX acted as a counterparty in certain transactions, and accepted bitcoin to margin digital asset derivative transactions.  BitMEX allowed customers to access its platform and conduct derivative trading without verifying customer identity beyond the collection of an email address, and failed to report suspicious activity as required. As part of the settlement, BitMEX certified that it terminated its U.S. business operations, barred access to the platform by U.S. customers, and had undertaken verification procedures for existing customers.  $50 million of the $100 million penalty will be paid to the CFTC, with $30 million of the remainder paid immediately to FinCEN, and an additional $20 million to FinCEN suspended pending defendants’ undertaking of specific compliance procedures.  CFTC; FinCEN

July 19, 2021

UBS Financial Services Inc. will pay $8 million to resolve claims of compliance failures with respect to the sale of an exchange-traded product designed to track short-term volatility expectations in the market as measured against derivatives of a volatility index. UBS placed restrictions on the sale of the product to brokerage customers, but did not place similar restrictions on activity by financial advisors, and failed to monitor concentration limits on volatility-linked ETPs. SEC
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