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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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Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2019

Posted  01/17/20
top ten in letters
The U.S. government has a range on 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, each of which are very much open for business and continuing to pay millions of dollars in whistleblower awards in exchange for their assistance in exposing...

January 2, 2020

A private bank headquartered in Switzerland, Union Bancaire Privée, has agreed to pay an additional $14 million for its failure to comply in part with a 2016 non-prosecution agreement.  Between 2015 and 2016, DOJ had signed non-prosecution agreements with some 80 Swiss banks, imposing penalties of $1.36 billion in total for the banks' role in facilitating fraud.  As part of the agreements, the banks were required to disclose all U.S.-related accounts that it knew or should have known about upon signing, and had agreed to continue disclosing all material information related to U.S. accounts thereafter; however, UBP failed to do so.  DOJ

December 31, 2019

On the heels of a similar settlement in the State of Washington, CenturyLink has entered into a $4 million settlement with the State of Oregon and agreed to refund $672,000 to 8,212 Oregonians who were overcharged for telecommunication services.  Over a thousand customers had complained—and a subsequent investigation by the state DOJ found—that CenturyLink had a practice of failing to disclose all fees upfront, sending multiple bills each month for different amounts, and billing for modems prior to installation as well as for services after they were cancelled.  OR AG

December 16, 2019

A Goldman Sachs executive charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been permanently banned from the securities industry and ordered to pay disgorgement of $43.7 million.  In order to secure lucrative business for Goldman Sachs, managing director Tim Leissner had allegedly directed a third party intermediary to bribe government officials in Malaysia and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  SEC

November 8, 2019

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. will pay $14.475 million -- a $10 million penalty, and $4.475 million in restitution -- to resolve CFTC charges related to the bank's actions in a single 2014 FX forward contract trade valued at approximately $4 billion.  The contract required Wells Fargo to calculate the price based on a weighted average spot rate on the relevant day.  However, Wells Fargo had no system in place to accurately determine such a rate, but rather that inform the counterparty of that fact, Wells Fargo simply picked a rate it believed was in the range and provided the counterparty with a false spreadsheet that purported to calculate the rate but that did not, in fact, reflect relevant trades.  CFTC

Legislation Watch: Proposed Amendments to Bank Secrecy Act Include Whistleblower Rewards

Posted  10/23/19
Currency in laundry machine
Currently in the 116th Congress, both the House and Senate are considering bills that would amend existing law to provide a whistleblower reporting system and meaningful financial rewards to whistleblowers who come forward to the federal government to report unlawful money laundering and other violations of specified banking laws. We have previously written on the important benefits that would be available with...

October 15, 2019

Fabio Bretas de Freitas and Phy Capital Investments LLC have been ordered to pay approximately $23 million in penalties, restitution, disgorgement, and interest, for their roles in $7 million Ponzi-like scheme.  To carry out the scheme, Bretas and Phy falsely represented that they had developed propriety software capable of netting a 49% profit on futures trading.  In addition to the monetary penalty, Bretas awaits sentencing in a related case out of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York; Bretas and Phy are also permanently banned from trading in CFTC-regulated markets.  CFTC

October 2, 2019

Brokerage firms BGC Financial LP and GFI Securities LLC will pay $15 million and $10 million, respectively, to the CFTC, and $7.5 million and $5 million, respectively, in penalties under New York's Martin Act based on the admitted practices of their brokers in posting sham bids and offers on foreign exchange options in emerging markets currencies referred to as EFX options.  This so-called "flying" of prices was done to create a false appearance of greater liquidity in the EFX options market. In addition, the brokers engaged in the "printing" of fake trades on EFX options, falsely representing that trades had occurred at particular levels and prices in an effort to induce follow-on trades at the same levels.  In addition to the monetary penalties, the brokerage firms have agreed to additional compliance, monitoring, and oversight.  CFTCNY

October 1, 2019

Six financial institutions, each registered or provisionally-registered swap dealers, have been ordered to pay penalties to the CFTC for their failure properly report swap data to a swap data repository as required, and/or for their failure to adequately supervise in connection with swap data reporting.  HSBC Bank USA, N.A. will pay a $650,000 fine;  Société Générale International Limited will pay a $2.5 million fine; The Northern Trust Company will pay a $1 million fine; NatWest Markets Plc will pay  $850,000; The Bank of New York Mellon will pay $750,000, and PNC Bank, National Association will pay $300,000CFTC

October 1, 2019

RBC Capital Markets, LLC, a registered futures commission merchant and subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada, will pay $5 million to resolve charges by the CFTC that RBC engaged in improper, fictitious, exchange for physical wash transactions (Wash EFPs), despite an earlier consent order between RBC and the CFTC regarding wash sales and fictitious transactions.  In the present action, the CFTC also found that RBC failed to meet its supervisory obligations, resulting in its failure to detect at least 385 Wash EFPs.  CFTC
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