Article: Kroger closed grocery stores rather than give workers a $4 raise. Now it’s padding shareholders’ pockets with a $1 billion stock-buyback scheme.

Article - Media

Kroger closed grocery stores rather than give workers a $4 raise. Now it’s padding shareholders’ pockets with a $1 billion stock-buyback scheme.

Paul Constant , 16 July 2021

Back in February, I wrote about the national grocery chain Kroger’s announcement that it was closing low-performing stores in Seattle and Long Beach, California, after the two cities passed laws requiring grocery stores to pay their front-line workers additional $4-per-hour “hero pay” during the pandemic.

“Giant corporations love to use splashy intimidation tactics like this to create fear-inducing headlines, which help to peel support away from worker protections,” I wrote then, adding, “But make no mistake: Even though Kroger’s press releases suggested that the grocery business relies on ‘razor-thin’ profit margins, Kroger has been making a ridiculous amount of money during the pandemic.” Continue reading “Article: Kroger closed grocery stores rather than give workers a $4 raise. Now it’s padding shareholders’ pockets with a $1 billion stock-buyback scheme.”

Article: Husband of Amazon employee sentenced to prison for insider trading in Amazon stock

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Husband of Amazon employee sentenced to prison for insider trading in Amazon stock

SDepartment of Justice, 10 June 2021

Seattle – A 37-year-old Bothell, Washington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 26 months in prison for securities fraud due to his insider trading activity, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Viky Bohra pleaded guilty in November 2020, admitting that between 2016 and 2018, he used Amazon inside information he obtained from his wife, an Amazon finance employee, to place trades in Amazon stock–making a profit of $1,428,264. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart noted that Bohra had turned his wife and father into criminals and added “I firmly believe white collar crime deserves equal treatment to what we call street crime.”

“This defendant and his wife were earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and bonuses from their jobs in tech – but he was not content with that – greedily scheming to illegally profit by trading Amazon stock,” said U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. “This case should stand as a warning to those who try to game the markets with insider trading: there is a heavy price to pay with a felony conviction and prison sentence.”

According to records filed in the case, Bohra’s wife had access to confidential information regarding Amazon revenue and expenses. Because of that work, Bohra and his wife were subject to blackout periods during which no Amazon stock could be traded. Bohra’s wife was advised of insider trading policies making it clear the responsibility to safeguard confidential financial information. Despite those warnings, Bohra obtained his wife’s confidential information and traded in Amazon stock and options in accounts tied to him and his father. Trades occurred during blackout periods and, from 2016 to 2018, relied in part on information from his wife to make successful trades in advance of Amazon earnings announcements.

“Mr. Bohra knew exactly what he was doing and was driven solely by greed,” said Donald M. Voiret, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office. “With his nearly unlimited access and knowledge of securities trading, he undermined public trust in our financial markets.”

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Article: Binance Faces Probe by U.S. Money-Laundering and Tax Sleuths

Article - Media, Publications

Binance Faces Probe by U.S. Money-Laundering and Tax Sleuths

Tom Schoenberg, 13 May 2021

Binance Holdings Ltd. is under investigation by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service, ensnaring the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange in U.S. efforts to root out illicit activity that’s thrived in the red-hot but mostly unregulated market.

As part of the inquiry, officials who probe money laundering and tax offenses have sought information from individuals with insight into Binance’s business, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the probe is confidential. Led by Changpeng Zhao, a charismatic tech executive who relishes promoting tokens on Twitter and in media interviews, Binance has leap-frogged rivals since he co-founded it in 2017. Continue reading “Article: Binance Faces Probe by U.S. Money-Laundering and Tax Sleuths”