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WIN FOR SECURUTIES FRAUD SOX WHISTLEBLOWERS - Employer of Financial Planner That Complained to Supervisor About Unsuitable Trades and Potential Fraud Violated Sarbanes-Oxley Act by Retaliatory Termination Jun 4, 2015

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury’s verdict that U.S. Bancorp Investments Inc. (“USBII”) violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when it disciplined and fired in retaliation a certified financial planner for his complaint about fraud perpetrated on a USBII customer in violation of the Sarbanes–Oxley...

BHP Billiton To Pay SEC $25M For FCPA Bribery Violations for inviting and paying for foreign government officials to attend the Beijing Olympics - Foreign companies with US stock listings beware of the reach of the FCPA May 20, 2015

BHP Billiton, an Australian-based global resources company, whose ADR shares are also listed on the NYSE, agreed to pay $25 million to settle a charge by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) relating to its sponsorship of various foreign government...

U.S. Military Contractor in Afghanistan Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Offering Bribes to a US Army Official May 14, 2015

A New York federal judge sentenced Akbar Ahmed Sherzai, an independent contractor for a trucking company in Afghanistan that was responsible for delivering fuel to U.S. Army installations, to four years in prison for offering $54,000 in bribes to a U.S. Army soldier to falsify documents confirming fuel shipments to...

Wall Street Regulator FINRA Strengthens Its Sanction Guidelines against Brokerage Firms and Registered Reps May 13, 2015

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States, announced on May 12, 2015, that, effective immediately, it has instituted stiffer penalties for brokerage representatives and brokerage firms who commit fraud or violate suitability rules. FINRA stated that “for individuals...

Broker-Dealer LPL Financial to Pay $11.7 Million to Settle FINRA Charges of Widespread Supervisory Failures Related to Complex Products Sales, Including ETFs, Variable Annuities and Non-traded REITs May 6, 2015

            The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has censured LPL Financial LLC and fined it $10 million for broad supervisory failures in a number of key areas, including the sales of non-traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs), certain variable annuity contracts, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and...

SEC Obtains $9.5 Million Settlement for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Bribery to Foreign Officials in Saudi Arabia by U.S. Public Company – Beware of Gift Giving May 1, 2015

            FLIR Systems, Inc. (“FLIR”), a publically traded company based in Oregon, agreed on April 8, 2015 to pay $9.5 million to settle claims made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying off government officials in the Middle East.              On...

SEC Announces Maximum 30% Award to Whistleblower in First Retaliation Case Apr 30, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a maximum whistleblower award payment of 30 percent of amounts collected in connection with In the Matter of Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. and Candace King Weir, File No. 3-15930 (June 16, 2014), the SEC’s first retaliation case. The whistleblower will receive over $600,000...

SEC Awards Second Whistleblower Award to Compliance Officer Apr 22, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday an award of more than a million dollars to an employee who provided information that helped the SEC in an enforcement action against the whistleblower’s company. This is the SEC’s second award to an internal audit or compliance professional and was given to...

U.S. ‘06 Market ‘Flash Crash’ Charges Filed as a Result of Whistleblower Apr 22, 2015

Navinder Sarao, a trader who worked out of his West London home was arrested by British authorities on U.S. charges that he helped cause the Dow Jones Industrial Average to plummet 1,000 points on May 6, 2010, also known as the “flash crash.” Prosecutors and regulators charged the trader with...

OIG Releases First Guide for Hospital Boards Regarding Detecting and Avoiding Overbilling, Healthcare Privacy and Illegal Kickbacks Apr 21, 2015

The Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has just released the first guide for hospital governing boards on how to detect and avoid overbilling, kickbacks and privacy breaches that can cause civil and criminal penalties. The guide is unique because it represents a collaboration between...