Category: Corruption

INSIGHT: U.K. Tax Authority Getting Ready to Bite on Evasion

The U.K. tax authority is indicating its intention to enforce legislation and investigate corporations for failure to prevent tax evasion. Mukul Chawla QC and Kate Ison of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP review the current status of inquiries and discuss what action organizations need to take to ensure their procedures are robust and compliant. The focus by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on organizations, under the Criminal Finances Act 2017, for the corporate offense of failure to prevent tax evasion, appears to be making steady progress. The number of investigations and inquiries that HMRC is currently undertaking, and the wide… Read More

What are the repercussions if a financial services firm is found guilty of facilitating tax evasion?

The offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion (also known as the Corporate Criminal Offence or CCO) was introduced with great fanfare following the government initiative; ‘No Safe Havens’, which was part of an international initiative to increase tax transparency. As of 31 July 2020, HMRC announced that they had 10 CCO investigations open and a further 22 ‘opportunities under review’, meaning that HMRC are considering whether to open an investigation. Within these 32 investigations or ‘opportunities’, HMRC have disclosed that over a third relate to businesses within the financial sector. Businesses in the financial sector are… Read More

Danske Scandal Reveals Top-Down Culture That Silenced Staff

The bank at the center of Europe’s worst ever money laundering scandal has yet to fully address the corporate culture issues that led it astray in the first place. That’s according to the watchdog that oversees Danske Bank A/S. Denmark’s biggest bank spent years locked in a top-down hierarchy that left its management cut off from people further down the organization, according to Jesper Berg, the director general of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority. “You go from a very hierarchical institution to an institution where staff needs to flag mistakes and speak up more,” he said in a phone intervie “They… Read More

AUSTRAC and Westpac agree to proposed $1.3bn penalty

Westpac and AUSTRAC have today agreed to a 1.3 billion dollar proposed penalty over Westpac’s breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). Westpac and AUSTRAC have agreed that the proposed penalty reflects the seriousness and magnitude of compliance failings by Westpac. The Federal Court of Australia will now consider the proposed settlement and penalty. If the Federal Court determines the proposed penalty is appropriate, the penalty order made will represent the largest ever civil penalty in Australian history.  In reaching today’s agreement, Westpac has admitted to contravening the AML/CTF Act on over 23 million occasions, exposing Australia’s… Read More

The Quiet Man in Stockholm Who Laundered China’s Oil Money for Iran

This article from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Sweden’s Sveriges Television (SVT) is part of an investigation in which Courthouse News Service and NBC News are partners. By all outward appearances, Hatam Khatoun Nema was a small-time money changer working from a nondescript office in Järfälla, a workaday Stockholm suburb. In reality, the Swedish-Iranian businessman ran an obscure Hong Kong company, H M E A CO., LIMITED, that laundered hundreds of millions of dollars through a web of shell companies and businesses stretching from Singapore to Panama.  A major customer of Nema’s operation was the Islamic Republic of Iran. Between… Read More

Lori Loughlin jailed over college admissions scandal

Lori Loughlin, star of beloved US sitcom Full House, has been given a two-month prison sentence for paying $500,000 in bribes to get her daughters into the University of Southern California. Her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, will spend five months in prison for the same “breathtaking fraud”, a judge ruled.  Giannulli was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and do 250 hours of community service, while Loughlin will pay $150,000 and do 150 hours.  Prosecutors said Giannulli deserves a tougher sentence because he was “the more active participant in the scheme,” while Loughlin “took a less active role, but was nonetheless… Read More

Insurance billionaire Greg Lindberg sentenced to 7 years in bribery case

Greg Lindberg, the billionaire businessman at the heart of one of North Carolina’s worst government corruption scandals, will spend more than seven years in prison, a federal judge ruled Wednesday in Charlotte. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn also ordered Lindberg to pay a $35,000 fine and placed him on three years’ probation for his scheme to bribe Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey with up to $2 million in campaign contributions. Eventually, Lindberg, one of the state’s largest political donors who wrote checks to both parties, funneled $250,000 earmarked for Causey through the state Republican Party, an illicit transaction handled by the party’s… Read More