Article: Five Individuals Charged in Offering Fraud, Stock Manipulation and Money Laundering Schemes

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Five Individuals Charged in Offering Fraud, Stock Manipulation and Money Laundering Schemes

Department of Justice, 14 April 2021

A five-count indictment was filed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Richard Dale Sterritt, Jr., Michael Greer, Robert Magness, Mark Ross and Robyn Straza with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, among other offenses. The charged crimes arise out of a series of securities fraud schemes, including an offering fraud targeted at investors and potential investors in an oil and gas company in Texas and the attempted manipulation of the publicly traded stock of a cannabis company. The defendants were arrested today. Sterritt, Greer and Straza will make their initial appearance in federal court in Dallas, Texas; Magness and Ross will make their initial appearance in Brooklyn. Continue reading “Article: Five Individuals Charged in Offering Fraud, Stock Manipulation and Money Laundering Schemes”

Article: German Attorney Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

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German Attorney Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

Eastern District of New York, 24 March 2021

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Henning Schwarzkopf, a citizen of Germany and an attorney licensed to practice in Germany, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr., to money laundering by transferring funds that he believed to be the proceeds of a securities fraud scheme through the bank account of a Hong Kong shell company controlled by the defendant. Schwarzkopf was arrested on a criminal complaint in October 2020. When sentenced, Schwarzkopf faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as forfeiture and a fine of up to $250,000.

Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the guilty plea. Continue reading “Article: German Attorney Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering”

Article: Why did Interactive Brokers restrict trading in GameStop and other companies?

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Why did Interactive Brokers restrict trading in GameStop and other companies?

George Sweeney, 29 January 2021

What is happening to GameStop shares?
GameStop shares have been hitting the news quite a lot recently. At first, it was simply due to their astronomical rise in value. Then people started looking into why the price was rising so much. After all, GameStop is a video game retailer that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and downloadable games.

Because of all the bad luck surrounding the company, they were one of the most shorted companies in the market. Short selling is when traders buy a company’s shares and then sell them, believing that their price will go down before they buy them back for a profit.

Why are there restrictions?

The reasons for the restrictions vary. Interactive Brokers have said their restrictions were created in order to protect the market and make sure there was enough liquidity.

Another concern they have is that they’ll be left to pick up the bill if their customers end up with big losses. That is why they’re increasing the minimum requirements people must meet in order to borrow money to trade.

If these shares all spiral down at the same time, their fear is that many traders won’t be able to pay back the money they’re borrowing for trading.

Other platforms have said they are using restrictions to:

Stop their service becoming overloaded. Provide some breathing room to maintain everything and look after other customers. Prevent investors losing lots of money during unusual volatility. Make sure they meet any regulatory requirements in their country.

However, some argue that limiting people’s ability to trade shares like GameStop freely is effectively market manipulation because: Many traders accept the volatility risk. Brokers are potentially limiting trading because of their own liquidity issues. Investors are not being allowed full control over their investments

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Article: Goldman Sachs Charged in Foreign Bribery Case and Agrees to Pay Over $2.9 Billion

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Goldman Sachs Charged in Foreign Bribery Case and Agrees to Pay Over $2.9 Billion

Justice News, 22 October 2020

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (Goldman Sachs or the Company), a global financial institution headquartered in New York, New York, and Goldman Sachs (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (GS Malaysia), its Malaysian subsidiary, have admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with a scheme to pay over $1 billion in bribes to Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials to obtain lucrative business for Goldman Sachs, including its role in underwriting approximately $6.5 billion in three bond deals for 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), for which the bank earned hundreds of millions in fees. Goldman Sachs will pay more than $2.9 billion as part of a coordinated resolution with criminal and civil authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and elsewhere.

Goldman Sachs entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the department in connection with a criminal information filed today in the Eastern District of New York charging the Company with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. GS Malaysia pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to a one-count criminal information charging it with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.

Previously, Tim Leissner, the former Southeast Asia Chairman and participating managing director of Goldman Sachs, pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and to violate the FCPA. Ng Chong Hwa, also known as “Roger Ng,” former managing director of Goldman and head of investment banking for GS Malaysia, has been charged with conspiring to launder money and to violate the FCPA. Ng was extradited from Malaysia to face these charges and is scheduled to stand trial in March 2021. The cases are assigned to U.S. District Judge Margo K. Brodie of the Eastern District of New York.

In addition to these criminal charges, the department has recovered, or assisted in the recovery of, in excess of $1 billion in assets for Malaysia associated with and traceable to the 1MDB money laundering and bribery scheme.

“Goldman Sachs today accepted responsibility for its role in a conspiracy to bribe high-ranking foreign officials to obtain lucrative underwriting and other business relating to 1MDB,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s resolution, which requires Goldman Sachs to admit wrongdoing and pay nearly three billion dollars in penalties, fines, and disgorgement, holds the bank accountable for this criminal scheme and demonstrates the department’s continuing commitment to combatting corruption and protecting the U.S. financial system.”

“Over a period of five years, Goldman Sachs participated in a sweeping international corruption scheme, conspiring to avail itself of more than $1.6 billion in bribes to multiple high-level government officials across several countries so that the company could reap hundreds of millions of dollars in fees, all to the detriment of the people of Malaysia and the reputation of American financial institutions operating abroad,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York. “Today’s resolution, which includes a criminal guilty plea by Goldman Sachs’ subsidiary in Malaysia, demonstrates that the department will hold accountable any institution that violates U.S. law anywhere in the world by unfairly tilting the scales through corrupt practices.”

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Article: JPMorgan Chase Fined US$920 Million For Market Manipulation

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JPMorgan Chase Fined US$920 Million For Market Manipulation

MSHERELYN GOH, 02 October 2020

Just like in an episode of Billions, only Bobby Axelrod would actually have to pay up, JPMorgan Chase has to fork out US$920 million to settle US civil and criminal charges over fake trades in precious metals and Treasury futures designed to manipulate the market,. The settlement comes as the largest bank in the US reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department to resolve criminal fraud charges over the long-running schemes.

In one of the schemes, JPMorgan traders in New York, London and Singapore between 2008 and 2016 commissioned tens of thousands of orders for gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures that were placed in order to be cancelled to deceive other market participants, wrote the Department of Justice (DOJ), one of three agencies involved in the case, in a press release. Continue reading “Article: JPMorgan Chase Fined US$920 Million For Market Manipulation”

Article: MERRILL LYNCH CAUGHT CRIMINALLY MANIPULATING PRECIOUS METALS MARKET OVER 6 YEARS

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MERRILL LYNCH CAUGHT CRIMINALLY MANIPULATING PRECIOUS METALS MARKET OVER 6 YEARS

GOLDBROKER, 26 June 2019

Remember when it was pure tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory to accuse one or more banks of aggressively, compulsively and systematically manipulating the precious metals – i.e., gold and silver – market? We do, after all we made the claim over and over, while demonstrating clearly just how said manipulation was taking place, often in real time.

Well, it’s always good to be proven correct, even if it is years after the fact. Continue reading “Article: MERRILL LYNCH CAUGHT CRIMINALLY MANIPULATING PRECIOUS METALS MARKET OVER 6 YEARS”

Article: Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc. Enters into Corporate Resolution and Agrees to Pay $25 Million in Connection with Deceptive Trading Practices Executed on U.S. Commodities Markets

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Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc. Enters into Corporate Resolution and Agrees to Pay $25 Million in Connection with Deceptive Trading Practices Executed on U.S. Commodities Markets

Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, 25 June 2019

Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc. (MLCI), a global commodities trading business, has agreed to pay $25 million to resolve the government’s investigation into a multi-year scheme by MLCI precious metals traders to mislead the market for precious metals futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX), announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office. Continue reading “Article: Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc. Enters into Corporate Resolution and Agrees to Pay $25 Million in Connection with Deceptive Trading Practices Executed on U.S. Commodities Markets”

Article: How ex-JP Morgan silver trader’s guilty plea could boost manipulation claim against bank

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How ex-JP Morgan silver trader’s guilty plea could boost manipulation claim against bank

Dawn Giel, Dan Mangan

CNBC, 13 November 2018

A previously secret guilty plea by a former commodity trader at J. P. Morgan Chase, who admitted that he rigged precious metals markets, has drawn the attention of a lawyer who has already accused traders at the nation’s largest bank of similar conduct.

The lawyer, David Kovel, told CNBC he was struck by how much in common his civil case pending in New York federal court against J. P. Morgan Chase has with the conduct outlined in the ongoing criminal case in Connecticut against John Edmonds.

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