The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that mortgage servicing company Lender Processing Services Inc (LPS) has signed a Non-prosecution Agreement (14 February 2013) to pay criminal penalties and forfeiture to the sum of US$35 million for large-scale document fraud. The agreement comes after LPS subsidiary DocX chief executive officer Lorraine Brown admitted in November 2012 that she held a leading role in a six year scheme which saw DocX "prepare and file more than [one] million fraudulently signed and notarized mortgage-related documents with property recorders' offices throughout the [US]", stated the DoJ.
The United States (US) Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued an Order (19 February 2013) requiring London-based Enskilda Futures Ltd (EFL) to settle breaches of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) by paying a civil penalty of US$125,000, and to "maintain the remedial measures adopted following discovery of the error". According to the Order, by collecting net rather than gross margin collateral on an intra-month basis from parent company Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), EFL "incurred charges to its adjusted net capital" which prevented the company from meeting minimum capital requirements under the CEA.
The United States (US) Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has announced that five ING Groep NV (ING) affiliates have been fined a total of US$1.2 million for "failing to retain or review millions of emails" for up to six years, due to "broad systemic failures". FINRA found that between 2004 and 2012, the ING firms "failed to properly configure hundreds of employee email accounts to ensure that the emails sent to and from those accounts were retained and [periodically] reviewed", in breach of federal securities laws and various FINRA rules and requirements.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) awarded $125.4 million in whistleblower payments in fiscal year 2012, which accounted for 21% of the $592.5 million it collected in previously unpaid taxes as a result of the information supplied by those whistleblowers. The $104 million awarded to whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld significantly boosted the IRS award total. Without the money awarded to Birkenfeld, the number would be more in line with the payouts for fiscal year to 2011 when the IRS paid out $8 million in awards based on $48 million in collections.
The United States (US) Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that it has filed and settled charges against Gelber Group (Gelber) for reporting orders in pre-opening trading sessions of the NASDAQ E-mini 100 futures contract and then cancelling them before the open of trading. The practice constituted a trading abuse by distorting prices in the exchange's indicative opening price, in breach of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulation 1.38, according to the CFTC.
The United States (US) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that Chicago-based bar and grill South Loop Club (SLC) has agreed to pay US$100,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation case brought against it by the EEOC. According to the EEOC, SLC "fostered a culture where sexual harassment and retaliation against female employees went unchecked".
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that construction company Granite Construction Company (GCC) has agreed to pay the US a total of US$367,500. According to the DoJ, in the period 2006 - 2008, GCC overcharged the US federal government on certain federal construction projects funded by the US Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers through change orders and requests for equitable adjustment.
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that it has reached a settlement with Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC (trading as Macmillan) in its e-books case, but will continue its legal actions against Apple and publishers Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon and Schuster for conspiring "to eliminate retail price competition, resulting in consumers paying millions of dollars more for their e-books".
The United States (US) Department of Labor (DoL) has announced that assistance and enhanced information services provider kgb USA has been ordered by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to pay US$1.3 million in minimum wage compensation to 14,568 of its current and former employees nationwide for breaching the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Logistics provider United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) has announced that it has deployed 100 fully electric commercial vehicles for its Californian deliveries, which it says will reduce the company's use of conventional motor fuel by approximately 126,000 gallons (approximately 476,962 litres) per year. The move is a response to Californian Governor Jerry Brown's Executive Order B-16-2012 to achieve numerous targets for zero carbon emission vehicles throughout the state, and follows the Governor's zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) interagency working group's release of its 2013 ZEV Action Plan - A roadmap toward 1.5 million [ZEVs] on California roadways by 2025 (February 2013), according to UPS.
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