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The United States (US) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made available a statement (12 March 2014) by SEC enforcement division director Andrew Ceresney that welcomes the recent Court ruling on sanctions imposed on former Goldman Sachs vice president Fabrice Tourre, who was found liable in 2013 for fraud in relation to the financial crisis (further information).

Published in Financial Integrity

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that global investment bank and brokerage firm Jefferies has agreed to pay US$25 million to settle charges that it "fail[ed] to supervise employees on its mortgage-backed securities desk who were [misleading] customers about pricing".

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published questions and answers and a fact sheet (both undated) on "workplace rights and responsibilities with respect to religious dress and grooming".

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it has obtained a Court order to freeze accounts belonging to Mutual Wealth, which the SEC alleges (25 February 2014) has been "exploiting investors through a website and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, falsely promising extraordinary returns of [2-3%] per week for investors who open accounts with the firm".

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have jointly published the following documents (both undated) on how background checks may be performed for employment purposes:

Pharmacy Fines for Kickback Scheme Allegations

06 Mar 2014
Written by World Watch

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Ohio-based long-term care pharmacy Omnicare Inc (Omnicare) has agreed to pay US$4.19 million to settle allegations that it engaged in a kickback scheme in violation of the False Claims Act. Omnicare is alleged to have "solicited and received kickbacks from the drug manufacturer Amgen Inc in return for implementing 'therapeutic interchange' programs that were designed to switch Medicaid beneficiaries from a competitor drug to Amgen's product Aranesp".

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalised new emission standards for cars and gasoline as part of its Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program, following extensive consultation with the public and a broad range of stakeholders. According to the EPA, the new standards "will significantly reduce harmful pollution and prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks".

Identity Theft Remains Top Complaint Category

06 Mar 2014
Written by World Watch

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January - December 2013 (February 2014), which provides an overview of the complaints received by the FTC in 2013. The FTC received over 2 million complaints during the calendar year 2013, of which 55% related to fraud, 14% related to identity theft and 31% related to other types. Identity theft was the number one complaint category, 30% of which were tax- or wage-related.

Published in Consumer Protection

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) has decided not to proceed with a plan to delay the payment of UK bonuses, which had intended to take advantage of a cut in the top rate of income tax and thereby potentially save bankers tens of millions of pounds in tax. Despite being legal, the plan was met with much public criticism, including from Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King, UK Treasury minister responsible for the City of London Sajid Javid and British Bankers' Association chief executive Anthony Browne.

The United States (US) Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) as conservator of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) has made available Settlement Agreement (24 February 2014 - available via the media release below) reached with France-based bank Société Générale (SG) and associated individuals and entities over alleged breaches of federal and state securities laws.

Published in Financial Integrity

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