Article: Big Oil’s Secret World of Trading

Article - Media, Publications

Big Oil’s Secret World of Trading

Javier Blas and Jack Farchy, 30 March 2021

It was a bleak moment for the oil industry. U.S. shale companies were failing by the dozen. Petrostates were on the brink of bankruptcy. Texas roughnecks and Kuwaiti princes alike had watched helplessly for months as the commodity that was their lifeblood tumbled to prices that had until recently seemed unthinkable. Below $50 a barrel, then below $40, then below $30.

But inside the central London headquarters of one of the world’s largest oil companies, there was an air of calm. It was January 2016. Bob Dudley had been at the helm of BP Plc for six years. He ought to have had as much reason to panic as anyone in the rest of his industry. The unflashy American had been predicting lower prices for months. He was being proved right, though that was hardly a reason to celebrate. Continue reading “Article: Big Oil’s Secret World of Trading”

Article: Las Vegas Sands probes potential money-laundering breaches at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands casino

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Las Vegas Sands probes potential money-laundering breaches at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands casino

Bloomberg,  29 March 2021

Las Vegas Sands Corp. set up a special committee to look into potential breaches of anti-money-laundering procedures at its Singapore casino, which has already been the target of probes by US officials and local police.

The committee of three independent board members is reviewing money transfers among high rollers and third parties at Marina Bay Sands, as well as any possible retaliation against whistle-blowers, according to people familiar with the matter.

US law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP has been hired to assist with the review, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because of the confidentiality involved. Las Vegas Sands declined to comment. Continue reading “Article: Las Vegas Sands probes potential money-laundering breaches at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands casino”

Article: Former Citgo exec pleads guilty in $7 million international bribery, money laundering scheme

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Former Citgo exec pleads guilty in $7 million international bribery, money laundering scheme

Alison Medley, 23 March 2021

A federal investigation has revealed an elaborate scheme involving millions in international bribes and Houston-based oil company, Citgo, according to a U.S. Justice Department report.

At the heart of a federal investigation was Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. PDVSA, which owns the Houston-based subsidiary Citgo. Continue reading “Article: Former Citgo exec pleads guilty in $7 million international bribery, money laundering scheme”

Article: Vitol to pay $95.7 million to settle fraud, market manipulation charges

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Vitol to pay $95.7 million to settle fraud, market manipulation charges

Reuters Staff, 04 December 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Energy and commodities trading firm Vitol Inc has agreed to pay $95.7 million to settle charges of corruption-based fraud and attempted market manipulation, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Thursday.

Houston-based Vitol did not admit or deny the charges, but agreed to pay the civil penalties related to making bribes and offering kickbacks to employees of certain state-owned entities in Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico in exchange for “preferential treatment and access to trades,” the regulator said.

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Article: $300M Stock Manipulation Suit Goes Forward

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$300M Stock Manipulation Suit Goes Forward

Mark Hamblett, 30 July 2002

Internet Law Library Inc.’s allegation that it was the victim of “death spiral financing” by defendants who have a long history of stock manipulation states a claim under federal securities laws and will not be dismissed, a federal judge in New York has ruled.

Judge Robert L. Carter for the Southern District of New York rejected motions to dismiss brought by Southridge Capital Management and Cootes Drive LLC, which deny their agents violated a promise to refrain from short-selling shares of Internet Law Library immediately after agreeing to provide $28 million in financing.

Internet Law Library, now known as ITIS Inc. (OTC BB:ITII.OB – News), owns Internet sites specializing in legal research and litigation support services.

The company claims that, in spring 2000, it negotiated with Southridge for capital of up to $28 million, consisting of a $25 million equity line agreement and a $3 million convertible preferred stock purchase that ultimately triggered the lawsuit, Internet Law Library v. Southridge Capital Management, 01 Civ. 6600.

The company alleged that Southridge and its agents, Steve Hicks, Dan Pickett and Christy Constabile, promised to refrain from selling ITIS stock for one year after the closing, and also promised not to manipulate the stock to depress its price.

ITIS Chief Executive Hunter M.A. Carr repeatedly asked Southridge and its agents about his concern on short-selling, and was told several times that Southridge would not engage in the practice. Carr claimed he relied on these representations when he signed the stock purchase agreement on May 11, 2000, with Cootes Drive, a company that replaced Southridge as a signatory at the last minute.
Continue reading “Article: $300M Stock Manipulation Suit Goes Forward”