Three New York men arrested, accused of pulling off $30 million international bank heist
David K. Li, 23 April 2021
Three Brooklyn men were arrested and accused of stealing more than $30 million in cash and other valuables from safe deposit boxes in banks across Europe, federal authorities said.
A grand jury indictment charged Val Cooper, 56, Alex Levin, 52, and Garri Smith, 49, with money laundering conspiracy and violations of the Travel Act after a string of alleged thefts between March 2015 and October 2019 at banks in Ukraine, Russia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and France. Continue reading “Article: Three New York men arrested, accused of pulling off $30 million international bank heist”
DOJ’s New No. 3 Faces Delicate Balancing Act
Jack Queen, 21 April 2021
Vanita Gupta was fresh out of law school when she heard about what happened in Tulia, Texas. Two years earlier, in 1999, nearly half of the town’s adult Black population was rounded up in a drug sting on the word of a single undercover cop, accused of selling him small amounts of cocaine. Several convictions swiftly followed, accompanied by sentences of up to 361 years. The remaining defendants, 43 of whom were people of color, started pleading guilty.
Gupta, weeks into a job at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York, sensed something was amiss. She flew down to Texas, where families shared the humiliation of seeing loved ones marched through the streets handcuffed and half-clothed, with a local newspaper later declaring, “Tulia’s Streets Cleared of Garbage.” Documents in the Swisher County courthouse told a remarkable story as well. Gupta, then 26, stuffed a suitcase full of copies and flew back to New York to pitch her bosses. Continue reading “Article: DOJ’s New No. 3 Faces Delicate Balancing Act”
Archegos Exposes SEC Blind Spots, Dithering on Market Oversight
Robert Schmidt and Benjamin Bainx, 10 April 2021
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was supposed to be able to spot a whale like Bill Hwang by now. As the financial world knows, it didn’t. Will the agency be able to catch the next one?
The collapse of Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management represents one of the most spectacular failures of risk-management and oversight in recent memory. For the SEC, it caps a decade of foot-dragging on protections that were meant to avert, or at least minimize, just such a blowup. Continue reading “Article: Archegos Exposes SEC Blind Spots, Dithering on Market Oversight”
Whistle-Blower Says Credit Suisse Helped Clients Skip Taxes After Promising to Stop
Neiman, 13 March 2021
Seven years after Credit Suisse promised federal prosecutors that it would stop helping rich Americans hide their wealth from tax collectors, a whistle-blower is contending that it continued to do just that, raising the possibility that the Swiss bank could face a fresh investigation and steep financial penalties.
The allegations, laid out in documents sent last week to the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service, were made by a former Credit Suisse employee. The former employee said that the bank continued to hide assets for its clients long after it promised prosecutors it would close those accounts, according to copies of documents obtained by The New York Times.
The whistle-blower, whose identity is unknown, is also contending that Credit Suisse lied to federal prosecutors, the Internal Revenue Service and members of Congress during their yearslong inquiry into how Swiss banks helped Americans defraud the government. Those investigations ultimately led to a settlement in May 2014 between Credit Suisse and federal prosecutors, in which the Swiss bank pleaded guilty to helping some of its American clients evade taxes by cloaking their wealth through offshore shell companies.
Credit Suisse was fined a total of $2.6 billion, but avoided even higher fines because it vowed to the Justice Department and a Senate panel that it had not only stopped the practice, but that it would close “any and all accounts of recalcitrant account holders.” The bank also pledged to help the United States pursue other criminal investigations, according to the plea agreement. Credit Suisse’s guilty plea and steep fine were rare in 2014. It was the first time in more than two decades that a lender of its size had admitted wrongdoing in an American court.
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Pan-Mass Challenge Raises Record $63 Million for Dana-Farber
Candid, 23 October 2019
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston has announced a record $63 million gift from the Pan-Mass Challenge, an annual two-day cycling event that raises funds for adult and pediatric cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Continue reading “Article: Pan-Mass Challenge Raises Record $63 Million for Dana-Farber”
Steve Cohen On Tape: The Scorecard
BESS LEVIN, 06 November 2013
Several years back, SAC Capital manager Steve Cohen sat for two days of deposition as part of a lawsuit filed by Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial filed against a group of hedge funds that included SAC. At one point, Cohen was questioned about insider trading, his fund’s policy on insider trading, and his personal views on insider trading, as reported by Reuters at the time the transcripts were unsealed. Continue reading “Article: Steve Cohen On Tape: The Scorecard”
Southridge Capital Management Founder Charged With Fraud Though He May Not Know It Yet
BESS LEVIN, 10 October 2010
This afternoon, Connecticut regulators accused investment adviser Southridge Capital and its chief executive Stephen Hicks of “preparing false financial statements” that “inflated the assets of five funds from 2004 through 2007 so that they could charge higher fees,” in an alleged scam that netted them an ill-gotten $26 million.
Additionally, many investors have apparently put in redemption requests as far back as 2001, though none of them have seen a dime. Attorney General said the firm told “lucrative lies” which hurt not only its clients “but also the entire economy.” How is Hicks taking the news? Is he ashamed and/or embarrassed? Is he defiantly calling the charges bogus, telling family and friends he’ll fight them? Is he proud of what he’s done and the alliterative prose he inspired in Blumenthal? Or does have no idea he’s been accused of anything, having only seen a bunch of missed calls on his phone?
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Wall Street’s Big Win
Rolling Stone, 4 August 2010
Cue the credits: the era of financial thuggery is officially over. Three hellish years of panic, all done and gone – the mass bankruptcies, midnight bailouts, shotgun mergers of dying megabanks, high-stakes SEC investigations, all capped by a legislative orgy in which industry lobbyists hurled more than $600 million at Congress. It all supposedly came to an end one Wednesday morning a few weeks back, when President Obama, flanked by hundreds of party flacks and congressional bigwigs, stepped up to the lectern at an extravagant ceremony to sign into law his sweeping new bill to clean up Wall Street.
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Offshore Banking: The Secret Threat To America
Hound-Dogs, 1 March 2004
This is a story about a massive money-laundering operation run by the world’s biggest banks. It hides behind the “eyes-glazing over” technicalities of the international financial system. But it could be one of the biggest illicit money-moving operations anyone has ever seen. And it’s allowed to exist by the financial regulators who answer to Western governments.
In these days of global markets, individuals and companies may be buying stocks, bonds or derivatives from a seller who is Clearstreamhalfway across the world. Clearstream, based in Luxembourg, is one of two international clearinghouses that keep track of the “paperwork” for the transactions.
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