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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:

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May 13, 2021

Financial services company State Street Corporation will pay a $115 million criminal penalty and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement following its voluntary disclosure to authorities that, over the course of 17 years, the bank defrauded its clients out of $290 million.  State Street  admitted that it secretly marked up “out-of-pocket” (OOP) expenses charged to clients, despite telling clients that OOP expenses were passed through without markups. State Street executives took steps to conceal the mark-ups from clients, including by misleading clients when they inquired about what they were being charged for OOP expenses. As part of the settlement, defendant agreed to cooperate with ongoing investigations, to enhance its compliance program, and to retain an independent corporate compliance monitor for a period of two years. DOJ

May 12, 2021

Registered broker-dealer GWFS Equities Inc. will pay a penalty of $1.5 million to settle allegations that it failed to respond appropriately when it detected external bad actors gaining, or attempting to gain, access to the retirement accounts of participants in the employer-sponsored retirement plans it serviced, including through the use of improperly obtained electronic login information, user names, email addresses, and passwords. There was no allegation that this personal identifying information was disclosed in a breach of GWFS systems. However, the bad actors used this information to request distributions from plan participant accounts. While GWFS detected and blocked many of these attempts, the SEC charged that GWFS failed to file suspicious activity reports, or filed incomplete SARs, with respect to the account takeovers. SEC

COVID Frauds of the Week: DOJ Continues to Crack Down on PPP Fraudsters

Posted  03/19/21
ponzi scheme vs pyramid scheme
As of this week, the Small Business Administration has disbursed over $700 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses and non-profits. There are over $100 billion in remaining appropriations, with additional appropriations likely to follow thereafter. With numbers like these, the program has become a magnet for fraudsters seeking to profit from the pandemic. The DOJ has been actively going...

February 23, 2021

Cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex, operated by iFinex, and Tether were ordered to end all trading activity for NY customers and agreed to pay $18.5 million in penalties following an investigation into their handling of customer deposits and withdrawals that resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of customer assets.  Tether was found to have falsely represented that each of its stablecoins was backed one-to-one by U.S. dollars in reserve when, in fact, they were not.  NY

Congress Has Passed Sweeping Anti–Money Laundering Legislation. Now It’s Up To Trump.

Posted  01/29/21
hundred dollar bills scattered around

Associate Sarah “Poppy” Alexander was quoted in the BuzzFeed News article, ‘Congress Has Passed Sweeping Anti–Money Laundering Legislation. Now It’s Up To Trump’ published on December 11, 2020.

Following rising concerns about money laundering using the US financial system, Congress has passed new anti-money laundering legislation included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). First, it would...

US Bill to Offer Rewards for Whistleblowers Exposing Money Laundering

Posted  01/29/21
launderette

Partner Mary Inman was quoted in the OCCRP article, "US Bill to Offer Rewards for Whistleblowers Exposing Money Laundering", published on January 18, 2021.

Treasury’s new whistleblower reward program is inspired by the highly successful U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Reward Program created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act following the 2008 financial...

New US Whistleblower Reward Program Bolsters Anti-Money Laundering Fight

Posted  01/29/21
pinned hundred dollar bills on clothes line

PartnerMary Inman was quoted in The Banker article, “New US whistleblower reward scheme bolsters AML fight”, published on January 14, 2021.

A new anti-money laundering (AML) whistleblower reward program was included in the US government defense spending bill recently passed by Congress. This program arose in the wake of the FinCEN Files leak, revealing how fraudsters successfully moved millions of dollars of...

Catch of the Week: Capital One pays $390M to resolve anti-money laundering (AML) violations.

Posted  01/22/21
Bank Building
Capital One, one of America’s ten largest banks, has agreed to pay $390 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Bank Secrecy Act and various other laws targeted at preventing money laundering. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) specifically said that Capital One willfully failed to guard against money laundering from 2008 to 2014, including a failure to file...

January 15, 2021

Capital One, N.A. will pay a $390 million civil penalty following its admission that it violated the Bank Secrecy Act including by failing to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, and failing to file thousands of suspicious activity reports (SARs) and currency transaction reports (CTRs) including transactions in its high-risk Check Cashing Group.  As a result, from at least 2008 to 2014, millions of dollars of transactions were unreported, allowing funds connected with organized crime, tax evasion, and other financial crimes to be laundered through the U.S. financial system.  FINCEN

Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/14/21
man pocketing cash in suit
The U.S. government has many enforcement options for financial and investment fraud, including those that provide for whistleblower rewards such as the SEC Whistleblower Program, the CFTC Whistleblower Program, and the IRS Whistleblower Program.  These programs, along with a new one under the Anti-Money-Laundering Act of 2020, are open for business and promise to pay millions of dollars in whistleblower awards in...
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