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This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraudulent misrepresentations in financial transactions and financial markets. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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COVID Fraud a Year on from the Onset of the Pandemic

Posted  02/19/21
The COVID-19 pandemic has raged across the world over the last year, causing widespread harm both to humanity and the economy. Even in these trying times, fraudsters have not let up and have found ways to exploit the pandemic for personal gain. As we move into the one-year anniversary of the pandemic starting with the United States we look back on the ways programs intended for relief have been exploited, and a few of...

February 12, 2020

General Motors (GM) has agreed to a $5.75 million settlement with the State of California to resolve allegations of making false and misleading statements to investors, including the state’s largest pension system, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).  According to Attorney General Xavier Becerra, GM cheated California twice—first by failing to disclose a faulty ignition-switch issue to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it had been aware of for almost ten years, and which ultimately led to 124 fatalities and 274 injuries, and second by concealing the problem from investors and failing to build reserves for losses it knew was coming.  The company’s actions artificially inflated its stock price, causing CalPERS to lose millions of dollars.  CA AG

December 23, 2020

RPM International Inc. and Edward W. Moore, its general counsel and chief compliance officer, will pay a $2 million penalty to resolve allegations that the roofing company violated generally accepted accounting principles in failing to timely disclose a material loss contingency or accrual arising from its knowledge that the government was investigating alleged overcharges by RPM on government contracts.  In August 2014, RPM restated its results in three prior quarters, although it allegedly knew about the investigation and the company’s exposure earlier.  SEC

December 16, 2020

China-based Luckin Coffee will pay a penalty of $180 million to resolve charges that the company defrauded investors by materially misstating the its revenue, expenses, and net operating loss in an effort to falsely appear to achieve rapid growth and increased profitability and to meet earnings estimates. The SEC alleged that over the course of more than a year, Luckin intentionally fabricated more than $300 million in retail sales, and $190 million in expenses, by using related parties to create false transactions and inflated expenses. Luckin overstated its revenue by 28% and 45% in two different quarters, and raised more than $864 million from debt and equity investors during the relevant time period. Luckin ADRs were traded on NASDAQ until July, 2020.  SEC

COVID Frauds of the Week: PPP, Puppies, and Securities Fraud

Posted  12/11/20
golden retriever puppies sitting in a grass field
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, the government has remained vigilant in rooting out fraudsters who seek to capitalize on the crisis to line their own pockets.  Over the past week, federal prosecutors have advanced cases against multiple individuals who fraudulently obtained government funds that were supposed to help struggling small businesses.  And in another colorful case, DOJ busted a...

December 9, 2020

General Electric Co. (GE) has agreed to pay $200 million to settle SEC charges of violating accounting controls, disclosure controls, antifraud, and reporting provisions of securities laws.  According to the SEC, between 2015 to 2017, GE failed to disclose to investors the full picture of some of its profits, including that some of the profits from its power business stemmed from reductions in prior cost estimates, that increases in industrial cash collections came primarily from internal receivable sales between its power and financial services businesses, and that risks had arisen in its insurance business.  When challenges to those businesses were finally disclosed to the public in 2017 and 2018, GE’s stock fell by almost 75%.  SEC

December 9, 2020

A man in Washington D.C. who ran a fraudulent diamond investment Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to 7 years in prison and ordered to pay $23 million in restitution to victims throughout the United States and Canada who were told their funds would be used to purchase rough diamonds that would be cut, polished, and resold at a profit.  To lure investors to the scheme, Jose Angel Aman and his co-conspirators promised that the investments were secured by Aman’s inventory of diamonds, allegedly valued at $25 million.  In fact, there was no $25 million inventory of diamonds, and the funds were used for interest payments to earlier investors and to pay Aman and his co-conspirators.  USAO SDFL

December 8, 2020

UK-based investment advisor BlueCrest Capital Management Limited has agreed to pay over $132 million in disgorgement and interest and over $37 million in penalties, for a total of $170 million, to settle charges of failing to make material disclosures, or making inadequate or misleading disclosures, to investors for more than four years.  The alleged securities law violations involved omissions and inadequate or misleading statements regarding the firm’s transfer of a majority of its highest-performing traders from its flagship client fund, BlueCrest Capital International (BCI), to a proprietary fund, BBSMA Limited, and replacing live traders with an underperforming algorithm while continuing to collect performance fees.  SEC

Catch of the Week: SCANA to pay $137.5 Million in Fines & Disgorgement Following Failure of Nuclear Plant Construction; Executives Face Jail Time

Posted  12/4/20
industrial pipes all around
In 2017, the publicly-traded company SCANA Corp. (now Dominion Energy) announced that it was abandoning its plans to expand South Carolina’s Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station.  A settlement reached this week resolves claims of fraud by SCANA in the project.  For years, SCANA had publicly claimed it was making progress on the construction and would complete it in time to qualify for $1.4 billion in federal...
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