Chinese money-laundering rings in Chicago, New York cleaning Mexican drug cartel cash
Frank Main and Jon Seidel , 30 April 2021
A Chinese money-launderer was about to pick up Mexican drug-cartel cash in Chicago, federal authorities say, when his plans suddenly changed.
They say the suspected launderer got a call from a man he thought was a Mexican money courier who told him they needed to change their meeting place because he’d spotted a cop. “You Asian, I’m Mexican — not a good look,” the courier said in the 2017 phone call, court records show.
So they picked a different address to meet. They described their cars to each other. And when they met on the Southwest Side, they had a way to identify each other, authorities say: The money-launderer handed the courier a $1 bill. The men had agreed earlier that the serial number on the bill — G5915410C — would confirm the Chinese man’s identity. Authorities say that’s common in the world of drug-trafficking. Continue reading “Article: Chinese money-laundering rings in Chicago, New York cleaning Mexican drug cartel cash”
Credit Suisse Basically Headquartered In Court These Days
JON SHAZAR, 30 April 2021
Thomas Gottstein has been CEO of Credit Suisse for 63 weeks. There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of them, and indeed all of the last eight or so, have been waking nightmares. Surely, however, there have been some consecutive five-day calendrical periods that he has enjoyed the job he has presumably been pining and preparing for most if not all of his professional career, some Fridays when he walked out of his office with a genuine spring in his step and ability to enjoy the weekend as much as any Swiss can enjoy such a frivolity.
This was not that week.
Bank of America Corp. Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Agricole SA were fined about 28.5 million euros ($34 million) by European Union regulators for colluding in chatrooms on trading of U.S. supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bonds. Continue reading “Article: Credit Suisse Basically Headquartered In Court These Days”
Five Charged in Offering Fraud, Stock Manipulation, Ranging from Oil to Pot
Michael Katz, 30 April 2021
Five people have been charged in federal court for their involvement in two securities fraud schemes. According to prosecutors, the schemes involved an offering fraud of a Texas-based oil and gas company and the attempted manipulation of a cannabis company’s publicly traded stock.
An indictment was filed in the Eastern District of New York against Richard Dale Sterritt Jr., Michael Greer, Robert Magness, Mark Ross, and Robyn Straza charging them with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, among other offenses.
“Through a web of related schemes, Sterritt and his co-defendants allegedly stole millions of dollars from investors, attempted to manipulate a publicly traded stock and laundered the proceeds of their crimes through the purchase of luxury items like a Bentley,” Mark Lesko, acting US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement. Continue reading “Article: Five Charged in Offering Fraud, Stock Manipulation, Ranging from Oil to Pot”
Banks fail in bid to share cost of refunding scam victims
BBC News, 30 April 2021
Negotiations between banks to create a permanent, central pot of money to refund scam victims have collapsed.
Seven banks and building societies had signed up to an interim, shared arrangement, but will now pay for refunds individually. The pot was being used to fund repayments when neither the bank nor customer were to blame for fraudsters stealing money.
An ongoing code means victims should not lose out on refunds. Continue reading “Article: Banks fail in bid to share cost of refunding scam victims”
Texas lawmaker targets unregulated ATMs to fight human trafficking
John Engel, 30 April 2021
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Not all ATMs are created equal.
ATMs at banks or financial institutions are highly regulated. But the rest — known as white label ATMs — have no oversight, are often purchased over the internet and can be used for financial crimes or human trafficking.
State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, a Houston Democrat, filed legislation to establish a registry for white label ATMs in an attempt to cut off the cash flow for human trafficking operations. Continue reading “Article: Texas lawmaker targets unregulated ATMs to fight human trafficking”
SEC Actually Will Investigate Volkswagen Over April Fools’ Prank
Tim Healey, 30 April 2021
We began April talking about Volkswagen’s April Fool’s Day prank that went awry, and we end the month back on the same topic. Circle of life!
We’re back on that topic because the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating what happened. We reported, way back at the beginning of the month, that the SEC might investigate. And now, we know that it will. The New York Times says Volkswagen did not deny reports from Der Spiegel and other German media outlets that it is under investigation by the SEC. Continue reading “Article: SEC Actually Will Investigate Volkswagen Over April Fools’ Prank”
Jury convicts former VB investment advisor, Williamsburg attorney of $25M investment fraud
WAVY, 30 April 2021
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two people were convicted Friday in a nationwide investment fraud scheme that caused losses of more than $25 million for more than 300 victims, many of whom were elderly.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, Daryl Bank, 51, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, ran the scheme from January 2012 to July 2017.
The scheme was based in the eastern Virginia region and Port St. Lucie and was aided by including attorney Billy Seabolt, 56, Raeann Gibson, 49, of Florida, and Roger Hudspeth 51, of Suffolk. Continue reading “Article: Jury convicts former VB investment advisor, Williamsburg attorney of $25M investment fraud”
Silver Chartbook – Silver, Lies Have Short Legs
Florian Grummes, 30 April 2021
Market manipulation is as old as the market itself. From arbitrage to front running, from pump and dump to cornering the market. But every imbalance will close at some point, and every front runner gets front-run by faster competition himself, eventually. In the case of Silver (XAGUSD:CUR) and its exposure to spoofing practices of various market participants, the principle is the same. The truth will prevail.
Now, how do these men in charge manipulate the markets precisely? Our findings show that one can see almost infinite creativity to manipulate the investor. You hear endless stories about the use of Silver in green energies. Fact is that we have only 2% of battery-used vehicles in place in the auto industry. Only 5% of green energy based on solar panels using Silver is at present opposing 95% of traditional energy production. So we are talking about long-term projections that are already reflected in the current price speculation. Continue reading “Article: Silver Chartbook – Silver, Lies Have Short Legs”
Owner of Dog Training School Sentenced for Defrauding V.A. of over $1.5 Million in GI Bill Benefits
Department of Justice, 30 April 2021
A federal judge in San Antonio today sentenced 49-year-old Bradley Lane Croft, owner of Universal K-9, Inc., to 118 months of imprisonment for scheming to defraud the federal government of more than $1.5 million in Veterans Affairs GI Bill benefits to train service canines and their handlers.
In addition to the prison term, Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra ordered that Croft pay $1,506,758.31 in restitution and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.
“Today’s sentence demonstrates what can happen to you if you choose to rip off one of the most important benefit programs we have for our veterans. My thanks goes to the prosecutors and our law enforcement partners who worked so hard to see justice served,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. Continue reading “Article: Owner of Dog Training School Sentenced for Defrauding V.A. of over $1.5 Million in GI Bill Benefits”
Private sector ‘key in fighting illegal wildlife trade’
Hellen Nachilongo, 29 April 2021
Dar es Salaam. Involving private sector and financial institutions is the best tactic that could be used to help investigate and prosecute syndicate leaders (Kingpins) involved in illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) and money laundering.
African Wildlife Foundation senior manager and wildlife law enforcement species Didi Wamukoya said most of the culprits associate themselves with shell, front companies and banks to operate their business thus making it difficult to investigate and prosecute them.
“Normally the syndicate leader operates in such institutions, to access loans from financial institutions, mix funds for different purposes, pay taxes and sometimes they get witnesses, “she said. Continue reading “Article: Private sector ‘key in fighting illegal wildlife trade’”
NatWest to move HQ from Scotland in event of independence
Iain Withers, 29 April 2021
Britain’s NatWest would move its headquarters out of Scotland in the event of a vote in favour of independence, its CEO Alison Rose said, only days before parliamentary elections there.
State-backed NatWest (NWG.L), which until last year was called Royal Bank of Scotland, has been based for 294 years in the Scottish capital Edinburgh. “In the event that there was independence for Scotland our balance sheet would be too big for an independent Scottish economy. And so we would move our registered headquarters, in the event of independence, to London,” Rose told reporters. Continue reading “Article: NatWest to move HQ from Scotland in event of independence”
How the Big Three Rating Companies Got China Huarong So Wrong
Shuli Ren, 29 April 2021
After the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the Big Three rating companies were blamed for their enabling roles in the subprime mortgage crisis. Troubled securitized products would not have been marketed and sold without their seal of investment-grade approval. In fact, investors relied on their ratings, often blindly.
Over a decade later, similar drama is unfolding with state-owned China Huarong Asset Management Co. After failing to release its 2020 financials on time amid media reports of a deep restructuring, the distressed-asset manager became a distressed asset itself. Its 4.5% perpetual bond is trading at 70 cents on the dollar, not at all aligned with its safe-as-cash ratings. With $22 billion in dollar bonds outstanding, Huarong has issues due every month into the summer. Continue reading “Article: How the Big Three Rating Companies Got China Huarong So Wrong”
Opinion: Wirecard fraud shows it’s time to regulate the regulators
Kate Ferguson, 29 April 2021
What would you do if you were confident you could get away with it? Perhaps you’d rob a bank, or have a wild affair. Or maybe you’d subsist on nothing but candy floss for the rest of your life.
The chances are you won’t, though. The risk of being arrested, destroying your marriage or becoming a diabetic are simply too high. For most of us, the question is destined to remain hypothetical. After all, life has taught us that bad behavior does not generally go unpunished.
Generally doesn’t mean always
There are notable exceptions to the rule, though. In recent years, three major scandals in Germany have provided pleasingly concrete answers to the question. Continue reading “Article: Opinion: Wirecard fraud shows it’s time to regulate the regulators”