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The Department of Justice (DoJ) has made available the testimony (15 May 2015) of Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, delivered before the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, in relation to the work of the DoJ's antitrust division.

Published in Competition

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that former Bank of America managing director for municipal derivatives Phillip Murphy has been sentenced to serve 26 months in prison for his involvement in a "conspiracy and scheme to defraud related to bidding for contracts for the investment of municipal bond proceeds and other municipal finance contracts". According to the DoJ, Mr Murphy participated in the fraud conspiracies and schemes with various financial institutions and brokers, including Rubin/Chambers Dunhill Insurance Services Inc (CDR Financial Products), over a period between 1988 and 2006.

Published in Financial Integrity

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that three subsidiaries of Duke Energy Corporation have pleaded guilty to nine breaches of the Clean Water Act (further information), in relation to a major coal ash spill at the Dan River in North Carolina in February 2014, and historical breaches at the subsidiaries' other facilities. According to the DoJ, the companies have entered into plea agreements to:

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that refrigeration company Enviro-Safe Refrigerants Inc (Enviro-Safe) "has agreed to pay a [US$300,000] civil penalty and cease marketing and sale of unapproved flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants as substitutes for ozone depleting substances (ODS)".

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that foundry coke producing company Tonawanda Coke Corp (Tonawanda) has agreed to pay US$12 million to settle allegations that it breached the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act.

The United States District Court has made available the opinion and order (11 May 2015) of Judge Denise Cote, in which she found Nomura Holdings Inc (Nomura) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) liable for selling Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), mortgage bonds that contained misleading statements and errors in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Swiss Bank Vadian Bank AG (Vadian) has reached a resolution with the DoJ over allegations that Vadian "knew or believed that many of its [US] accountholders were not complying with their [US] tax obligations, and Vadian would and did assist those clients to conceal assets and income from the [Internal Revenue Service]".

Published in Financial Integrity

The New York Times reports that the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has handed down a judgment (7 May 2015) ruling that the National Security Agency's (NSA) systematic collecting of citizens' phone records was outside the scope of s. 215 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot Act) Act of 2001 (26 October 2001).

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that fruit growing company Tiny's Organic will pay US$17,500 to a former employee to settle allegations that it fired her because she was pregnant with twins. Under the settlement, Tiny's Organic must also implement policies to prevent future discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy or gender, including providing annual training to all management staff, as well as implementing complaints procedures and introducing accountability measures for management staff in the handling of the complaints.

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports that the State Court of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has issued an injunction ordering online taxi-service Uber to suspend operations immediately and ensure the mobile app is not available for download, following a purported breach by Uber of transportation laws regulating taxi services. According to SMH, a failure to comply with the court order would require Uber to pay $A42,000 a day.

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