Article: FINRA Orders Record Financial Penalties Against Robinhood Financial LLC

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FINRA Orders Record Financial Penalties Against Robinhood Financial LLC
Firm Ordered to Pay Approximately $70 Million for Systemic Supervisory Failures and Significant Harm Suffered by Millions of Customers
WASHINGTON—FINRA announced today that it has fined Robinhood Financial LLC $57 million and ordered the firm to pay approximately $12.6 million in restitution, plus interest, to thousands of harmed customers. The sanctions represent the largest financial penalty ever ordered by FINRA and reflect the scope and seriousness of the violations. In determining the appropriate sanctions, FINRA considered the widespread and significant harm suffered by customers, including millions of customers who received false or misleading information from the firm, millions of customers affected by the firm’s systems outages in March 2020, and thousands of customers the firm approved to trade options even when it was not appropriate for the customers to do so.

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Article: Cattle market continues search for a market fix

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Cattle market continues search for a market fix

Michelle Rook, 24 May 2021

Cattle producers have significantly struggled over the last few years, and industry leaders continue to look for a solution to what they call a broken market.

The cattle industry continues to struggle to find a solution to what they call a broken market due to anti-competitive practices and market manipulation by the meat packing industry.

Cattle producers have significantly struggled over the last few years. In 2019, a fire at the Tyson beef plant in Holcomb, Kan., created significant market disruptions. In 2020, COVID-19 related plant closures led to additional supply chain disruptions and processing capacity shortfalls across the country. Department of Justice investigations into both incidents have not produced any results. Meanwhile, the industry is again facing a major disconnect between the record profits meat packers are making as a result of high boxed beef prices and the losses cattle producers are facing in the country with low cash prices. It appears plant labor shortfalls remain an issue. Continue reading “Article: Cattle market continues search for a market fix”

Article: Pot dispensary suit transferred

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Pot dispensary suit transferred

Rachel Herzog, 13 May 2021

A lawsuit claiming that three medical-marijuana cultivators unfairly refused to sell to a Hot Springs dispensary and asking the state to enact regulations preventing those alleged practices was transferred to Pulaski County on Wednesday.

The complaint from Green Springs Medical, which was originally filed in January, claims that Osage Creek Cultivation of Berryville, Delta Medical Cannabis Co. of Newport and Bold Team of Cotton Plant stopped selling cannabis to the business to retaliate against the dispensary’s CEO, who asked the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission last year to issue more cultivator licenses. Continue reading “Article: Pot dispensary suit transferred”

Article: The mania phase, we’re in it

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The mania phase, we’re in it

Chuck Butler, 26 April 2021

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, did you tune in for the panel discussion that I participated in last Thursday? I thought it went pretty well, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing my bit, that’s for sure! I hadn’t seen Mary Anne and Pamela Aden for a few years, and afterward, I had the thought that maybe they had found the fountain of youth, for they looked the same to me, as they did the last time I saw them in Orlando, years ago! And Omar spoke as well as he writes, which sometimes is a tough trick to pull off… And as far as I’m concerned, I have fun speaking, even more, than I do writing… not that I do either of them very well, but I have fun! Gerry & The Pacemakers greet me this morning with their song: Ferry Across The Mersey… I used to sing this song to Alex when he was a toddler to get him to sleep… Alex is nearing 26 this summer, so that tells you how long ago that was! Continue reading “Article: The mania phase, we’re in it”

Article: Former Mexican politician pleads guilty to money laundering in Texas

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Former Mexican politician pleads guilty to money laundering in Texas

Karly Williams,  28 March 2021

In a high-profile case that dragged on for years as he avoided arrest by both U.S. and Mexican authorities, the former governor of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas has pled guilty to one count of money laundering.
More of the unregistered stock offerings were said to be managed by Morgan Stanley, according to people familiar with the matter, on behalf of one or more undisclosed shareholders. Some of the trades exceeded $1 billion in individual companies, calculations based on Bloomberg data show.

Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba entered a guilty plea in court Thursday, eight years after he was hit with a 53-page indictment, as reported by Jason Buch of the San Antonio Express-News.

The U.S. government accused Yarrington of taking bribes from the Zetas drug cartel while he was in office, actively taking part in their drug trafficking operations and laundering bribe money in the United States. Continue reading “Article: Former Mexican politician pleads guilty to money laundering in Texas”

Article: New Zealand an ‘easy target’ for money launderers

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New Zealand an ‘easy target’ for money launderers

Jenine Colmore-Williams, 27 March 2021

Last week a series of arrests and property seizures across the Auckland region hit the headlines, the culmination of an extensive investigation by the New Zealand Police’s Financial Crime Group into money laundering and related crimes.

Jenine Colmore-Williams is executive director and founder of Dimension GRC, a New Zealand company at the front line of the battle against money laundering. She warns the issue runs far deeper in Aotearoa than many Kiwis realise, and that our celebrated ease of doing business makes us an easy target.

OPINION: Money laundering is the process of making money earned from criminal activities such as fraud, illegal drugs and tax evasion appear to have come from legitimate sources. Most criminal transactions are handled in cash due to its untraceable nature, but as the ill-gotten gains begin to pile up, it can become a liability to those who are accumulating it.

The process of transferring dodgy cash into legitimate finances can involve not just banks but lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, casinos, high-value goods dealers, financial advisers – in fact, every firm in the country through which lumps of money occasionally come and go in the normal course of business. Sounding a bit like an episode of Ozark not our beautiful “clean, green” New Zealand? Continue reading “Article: New Zealand an ‘easy target’ for money launderers”

Article: The Dark Money Secretly Bankrolling Activist Short- Sellers — and the Insiders Trying to Expose It

Article - Media

The Dark Money Secretly Bankrolling Activist Short-Sellers — and the Insiders Trying to Expose It

Michelle Celarier

Institutional Investor, 30 November 2020

More than a dozen short-sellers interviewed by Institutional Investor in an effort to penetrate this murky terrain say there are numerous players and various permutations of the model that may involve the sharing of ideas and research along with either a cut of the gains on the short trade or a set fee. In fact, some short-sellers believe that almost all of the activists have such backing — even those running small hedge funds themselves.

Subject: John Williams

Subject of Interest

John Carroll Williams is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, having also served as President of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 2011-2018. He is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee. Prior to that, he was the executive vice president and director of research at the San Francisco Fed, which he joined in 2002. Williams began his career in 1994 as an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In addition, he served as a senior economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Williams holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, an M.S. degree from the London School of Economics, and an A.B. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Biography

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Subject: Roger Williams

Subject of Interest

John Roger Williams (R-TX) is a committee member of the 116th Congress U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. He is an American car dealer and politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 25th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served under Governor Rick Perry as Secretary of State of Texas from November 2004 to July 1, 2007. With a net worth of $27.7 million, Williams is one of the wealthiest members of Congress. He graduated from Texas Christian University (BA). Williams served as Regional Finance Chairman for Governor George W. Bush in his 1994 and 1998 elections. He became North Texas Chairman for the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign, North Texas Finance Chairman in 2004, and National Grassroots Fundraising Chairman for the 2004 campaign. Williams was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 to be Chairman of the Republican National Finance Committee’s Eagles Program. He has also served as State Finance Chair for John Cornyn’s U.S. Senate campaign and as the National Director of the “Patriots” program for Cornyn.

Biography 

U.S. House Banking Committee on Financial Services

Article: Marc Cohodes’ Last Stand – Part One: Encountering the Fraud

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Marc Cohodes’ Last Stand – Part One: Encountering the Fraud

Real Vision, 01 July 2019

This is the first part of the groundbreaking January 2019 interview between Real Vision co-founder Grant Williams (NYSE:WMB) and legendary short seller Marc Cohodes. In this clip from the long conversation, the two introduce Cohodes’ battle to expose the truth about pharmaceutical giant MiMedx. This is excerpted from a video published on Real Vision on February 1, 2019 entitled “Fraud, Intimidation and Truth: Marc Cohodes’ Last Stand.” Continue reading “Article: Marc Cohodes’ Last Stand – Part One: Encountering the Fraud”

Article: FRAUD, INTIMIDATION AND TRUTH: MARC COHODES’ LAST STAND

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FRAUD, INTIMIDATION AND TRUTH: MARC COHODES’ LAST STAND

Real Vision, 04 February 2019

Grant Williams visits Marc Cohodes at his farm in Sonoma County to hear the astonishing story of the famed shortseller’s year-long battle with MiMedx – a company he calls the biggest fraud he’s ever seen. Marc details the prodigious amount of work he’s undertaken, his pleas to regulators and the extraordinary story of an FBI visit to his home. Filmed on January 19, 2019 in Cotati, California. Continue reading “Article: FRAUD, INTIMIDATION AND TRUTH: MARC COHODES’ LAST STAND”

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

Article - Media, Publications

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

Dawn Giel, Dan Mangan, 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.

Edmonds, a 36-year-old Brooklyn resident, pleaded guilty in October to fraudulently manipulating the precious metals markets from 2009 to 2015.

He admitted working with “unnamed co-conspirators” at his former employer, J. P. Morgan, the Justice Department made public Nov. 6, when it unsealed the case in U.S. District Court in Connecticut.

Edmonds’ criminal plea related to “spoofing,” a certain type of improper trading that has been the subject of a broader regulatory crackdown on market manipulation in the decade since the 2008 financial crisis.

So far this year, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced 26 enforcement actions that involved market manipulation, attempted manipulation, false reporting, spoofing or deceptive conduct. That is more than double the number in 2017 — and six times that in 2016.

Prosecutors said Edmonds learned the deceptive strategy “from more senior traders” at the bank, and that he “personally deployed this strategy hundreds of times with the knowledge and consent of his immediate supervisors.” His guilty plea related specifically to trading in silver futures contracts, as well as in gold, platinum and palladium futures.

Nearly four years ago, Kovel sued J. P. Morgan on behalf of a colorful hedge fund operator and big-stakes poker player, Daniel Shak, and two metals traders, Mark Grumet and Thomas Wacker. The civil lawsuit accused J. P. Morgan of manipulating the silver futures market from 2010 through 2011, costing Kovel’s clients $30 million in losses.

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Article: FCA comes down on Wirex after allegations of turning a blind eye to money laundering

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FCA comes down on Wirex after allegations of turning a blind eye to money laundering

Michael Asaro and Richard Williams,  19 July 2017

New York Law Journal has published the article “‘Spoofing’: The SEC Calls It Manipulation, But Will Courts Agree?” written by Michael Asaro and Richard Williams Jr., partner and associate, respectively, in the litigation practice at Akin Gump.

Asaro and Williams analyze the act of spoofing, which they describe as “a relatively new form of alleged market manipulation,” under the open-market manipulation case law. They focus on a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in ATSI Communications v. Shaar Fund, which is seen as binding precedent. Continue reading “Article: FCA comes down on Wirex after allegations of turning a blind eye to money laundering”