The Latest on Cryptocurrency, Offshore Tax Avoidance and Money-Laundering, and Whistleblowing: A Report from OffshoreAlert Miami 2019
“A diverse collection of the hunters and the hunted.”
That’s how the Wall Street Journal described the OffshoreAlert Conference in 2009. The 2019 conference was no different, bringing together those who work in the offshore industry, the government enforcers who try to stop the unscrupulous among them, and the asset recovery professionals who pursue lost funds. Alongside them were whistleblowers and their...
Constantine Cannon Attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher Published on Need for Whistleblowers in Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement
With a whistleblower program for anti-money laundering enforcement currently under discussion in the House of Representatives Financial Services subcommittee, Constantine Cannon attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher were published in Banking Exchange on April 22 on the benefits such a program could bring. Highlighting the example of the recent Standard Chartered settlement, in which the London-based bank agreed...
Munich-based UniCredit Bank AG (UCB AG) and affiliated entities have agreed to pay more than $1.3 billion to resolve criminal charges and related allegations of unlawful conduct by the Department of Justice, Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Federal Reserve, the New York Department of Financial Services, and the New York County District Attorney's Office. As part of the settlement, UniCredit admitted that between 2002 and 2011 it processed financial transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars through U.S. financial institutions on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and other entities subject to sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). DOJ; Treasury; Fed; DANY
London-based Standard Chartered Bank has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to resolve criminal charges and related allegations of unlawful conduct by the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Federal Reserve, the New York Department of Financial Services, the New York County District Attorney's Office, and the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority. As part of the settlement, Standard Chartered admitted that it processed thousands of financial transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars through U.S. financial institutions for the benefit of Iranian and other entities and individuals subject to sanctions. In addition, Standard Chartered admitted that it had deficiencies in its compliance programs and had falsified the records of New York financial institutions. In addition to the financial penalties, Standard Chartered agreed to the extension of an existing deferred prosecution agreement through 2021, and committed to undertaking specified compliance initiatives. DOJ; Treasury; Fed; DANY; UK
The owner and managing member of a Mississippi-based pharmacy has plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax evasion in connection with a massive $200 million compounding pharmacy scheme involving at least 12 individuals over four years. Glenn Doyle Beach, Jr. of Advantage Pharmacy admitted to marketing and formulating compounded medications for TRICARE patients without regard to medical necessity, falsifying paperwork to mislead auditors, and engaging in money laundering and tax evasion to conceal proceeds. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July. DOJ; USAO SDMS
Marshall Islands-based 1pool Ltd. and its chief executive officer and owner, Patrick Brunner, will pay $990,000 to resolve a CFTC action alleging that they illegally offered retail commodity transactions that were margined in bitcoin, failed to register as a futures commission merchant (FCM), and failed to have required anti-money laundering procedures in place. The settlement payment consists of a $175,000 civil monetary penalty, disgorgement of $246,000 in gains, and restitution of approximately $570,000 to U.S. customers. CFTC
A North Carolina jury found Robert Leslie Stencil and Michael Allen Duke guilty of money laundering and mail and wire fraud for their roles in a five-year multi-million dollar high-yield investment fraud. According to the prosecution, Stencil, Duke and their co-conspirators sold millions of dollars of worthless stock in a sham company named Niyato Industries Inc. (Niyato). Stencil, Duke and their co-conspirators sold approximately $2.8 million in stock to around 140 victims, many of whom were elderly. DOJ
Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2018
While 2018 has been a banner year for FCPA, Tax, and SEC & CFTC recoveries, in the bottomless pit of financial frauds that hurt taxpayers, the government, consumers, investors, and the American economy, 2018 brought us additional stunning recoveries for violations related to residential-mortgage backed securities, international economic sanctions, consumer protection, anti-money-laundering, EB-5 investment fraud, and...
Constantine Cannon Attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher Published in Law360 on the Need for Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Rewards
In the wake of anti-money laundering enforcement activity spurred by the Panama Papers, Constantine Cannon attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher published an article in Law360 on why we need an anti-money laundering whistleblower program. Havian and Ronickher argue for a new, DOJ-led whistleblower program to close the “large enforcement gap” left open by the existing IRS and SEC programs: “Domestic law...
Steven Pagartanis pled guilty to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that ran for 18 years. Pagartanis solicited elderly victims by guaranteeing a fixed return of 4.5 to 8 percent annually in real estate-related investments. Pagartanis directed his victims to make checks payable to an entity he secretly controlled and then utilized a network of bank accounts to launder the stolen funds, which he used to pay for exorbitant personal expenses and to cover purported “interest” payments. Pagartanis’ scheme resulted in actual losses of over $9 million and many of his victims lost substantial portions of their life savings. A civil case against Pagartanis has also been filed by the SEC. DOJ