The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced the permanent ban of a former Astarra Asset Management Pty Ltd director Eugene Liu from the financial services industry. ASIC stated that the ban has been imposed for Mr Liu's misleading conduct as an investment manager of assets comprising hedge funds associated with the now collapsed Trio Capital Ltd (Trio).
The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has made available a decision notice (4 March 2013) announcing that it has revoked the licence of the HSBC Mexico SA Cayman Islands branch. The decision follows an investigation to determine whether the Cayman Islands branch had violated local money laundering laws and regulations. The investigation found that the bank "is conducting business in a manner detrimental to the public interest, the interest of its depositors or of the beneficiaries of any trust or other creditors and that the direction and management of its business has not been conducted in a fit and proper manner."
The British government's contrary stance on proposals to limit bonuses in the banking sector within the European Union (EU) has been rejected by all other EU member states at a meeting on 5 March 2013. According to the New York Times, the proposed bonus caps aim to regulate the high-incentive and high-risk conduct that was observed prior the global financial crisis, although British representatives have expressed concern that such regulation could damage the financial competitiveness of Europe and especially London in the global arena.
The office of the United States (US) Attorney for the Southern District of New York (US Attorney's Office) has announced that Swiss private bank Wegelin & Co (Wegelin) has been ordered to pay a total US$74 million in penalties for conspiring with US taxpayers and others in tax evasion by secretly holding approximately US$1.5 billion and associated income in Wegelin accounts. The US Attorney's Office stated that the case marked the "the first time that a foreign bank has been indicted for facilitating tax evasion by US taxpayers and the first guilty plea and sentencing of such a bank".
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that the Supreme Court of New South Wales has ordered a New Zealand man to pay a penalty of A$500,000 for operating a A$30 million international Ponzi scheme - the largest penalty order in ASIC's history. According to ASIC, David Hobbs, wife Jacqueline Hobbs and 11 others operated more than fourteen unregistered managed investment funds in countries including New Zealand, the United States and Hong Kong, which were found to constitute a Ponzi scheme "which targeted Australian investors and self-managed superannuation funds".
Global security and aerospace systems provider Lockheed Martin Corp has agreed to settle a class action suit which alleges that the company misled shareholders by overstating the projections for its information systems and global services division for 2009, after which the share price dropped 8%. Reportedly, the United States (US) District Court for the Southern District of New York will hear the US$19.5 million settlement shortly, and the plaintiffs are expected to seek up to a third of the sum as fees and also reimbursement of up to US$1 million in expenses.
The United States (US) Department of Labor (DoL) has announced that paint supplies provider Sherwin-Williams will provide US$80 million to past and present participants of its Employee Stock Purchase and Savings Plan (the plan) to settle allegations that the company breached the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by improperly managing the plan in order to gain tax breaks. The DoL stated that "[t]he settlement also requires Illinois-based [GreatBanc Trust] to undergo an audit of its pension plan activities".
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that two former Stanford Financial Group (SFG) officers have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping Allen Stanford conduct a multi-billion dollar fraud. Former SFG Company chief accounting officer Gilbert Lopez Jr and former SFG Global Management global controller Mark Kuhrt actively kept Mr Stanford's misuse of Stanford International Bank's assets hidden from both the public and from almost all of their fellow employees, according to the DoJ.
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.
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