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
Image Credit: Credit Suisse in Zurich. © Plaza Financiera, Flickr Commons The federal prosecutor’s office in Brussels has opened a criminal investigation into the Swiss bank Credit Suisse, in particular the dealings of 2,600 Belgian clients suspected of using Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes. “A criminal investigation has been opened against Credit Suisse for money laundering and unlawfully acting as a financial intermediary, as well as against Belgian customers who have not yet undergone tax regularisation.” On several occasions, the tax authorities in Belgium have offered a partial amnesty to anyone wishing to repatriate money hidden in accounts abroad,… Read More
A Hidden Tycoon, African Explosives, and a Loan from a Notorious Bank: Questionable Connections Surround Beirut Explosion Shipment
Since the devastating explosion of a store of ammonium nitrate in Beirut’s port on August 4, Lebanese citizens have taken to the streets in shock, outrage, and grief. Beirut’s Grain Silo Was One Man’s Refuge Through Years of War. On August 4, It Was Where He Died Read the story of one family’s loss from our partner Daraj.com. Above all, they have demanded answers: Where did the nearly 3,000 tons of explosive chemicals come from, and who owned it? Why did the rickety ship that brought the hazardous material to Lebanon end up stranded in the city’s port in late 2013?… Read More
“Meaningful sentences must be given… to forewarn others of the consequences for engaging in multi-year tax fraud,” prosecutors argue. By Will Fitzgibbon July 31, 2020 The first people to plead guilty following the United States government’s response to the Panama Papers investigation should spend “significant” time in jail, prosecutors say. U.S. officials last week recommended prison for Harald von der Goltz and his accountant Richard Gaffey. Both men pleaded guilty to financial crimes earlier this year and are at home on bail. “For decades, von der Goltz orchestrated a complex fraudulent scheme for the purpose of evading tax payments that he owed to the United… Read More
Germany raids its own financial intelligence authority over backlog of suspicious activity reports (Freshfields Bruckhams Deringer)
It is not every day that one criminal law enforcement authority raids another. However, that is just what happened when, on 14 July 2020, state prosecutors entered the German Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) armed with a search warrant.
Profits gained from misery of patients in Calabrian hospitals washed into financial centres of London and Milan
How Germany’s SEC failed to act on warnings about Wirecard’s financial practices (Financial Crime Compliance Education)
Germany’s top financial supervisor received detailed warnings about deceptive financial practices at Wirecard AG starting in 2008 but repeatedly declined to investigate the allegations, turning instead against the accusers. Over more than a decade, investors, U.S. authorities, journalists and people close to the company warned of possible fraudulent accounting or money laundering, practices that are now at the heart of a criminal investigation into the disgraced fintech giant. But as the red flags piled up, Germany’s equivalent of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission played down the allegations, kicked the ball to other agencies and delayed examining the company’s accounts, according to previously unpublished documents,… Read More
NCA and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies after infiltration of encrypted communication platform in UK’s biggest ever law enforcement operation (National Economic Crime Agency)
NCA and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies after infiltration of encrypted communication platform in UK’s biggest ever law enforcement operation Operation Venetic Entire organised crime groups dismantled during Operation Venetic with 746 arrests, and £54m criminal cash, 77 firearms and over two tonnes of drugs seized so far. UK law enforcement has made a massive breakthrough in the fight against serious and organised crime after the takedown of a bespoke encrypted global communication service used exclusively by criminals. EncroChat was one of the largest providers of encrypted communications and offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service, but an… Read More
In connection with Bank’s relationship with Jeffery Epstein and correspondent relationships with Danske Estonia and FBME Bank (Department of Financial Services) First Enforcement Action by a Regulator Against a Financial Institution for Dealings with Jeffrey Epstein Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell announced today that Deutsche Bank AG, its New York branch, and Deutsche Bank Trust Company America (collectively “Deutsche Bank” or the “Bank”) have agreed to pay $150 million in penalties as part of a Consent Order entered into with the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS” or the “Department”) for significant compliance failures in connection… Read More