These are some compliance-related stories that recently caught my eye:
A Mansion, a Lamborghini, and Cocaine in Investor’s Watchdog
I often get the question, “How can we spot a financial scamster?” I always answer that, without training, you cannot spot them by sight and that the very best scamsters look just like the face in the mirror. But there is one exception to that rule. If he drives a Lamborghini, he’s running a con. Don’t give him your money.
New York Bans Manatt Law Firm From Pension-Fund Placements for Five Years
Law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP agreed to be banned for five years from appearing before any New York public pension fund and will pay $550,000 to the state, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said. The accord stems from Manatt’s representation of financial firms seeking investments from public pension funds without a securities license, Cuomo said today in an e-mailed statement.
D&O Insurers Relieved of Advancing Allen Stanford’s Criminal Defense Fees by Kevin LaCroix in The D&O Diary
The insurers had denied coverage in reliance on the D&O policy’s money laundering exclusion. The exclusion applies if insured persons took any of a number of specified actions with respect to “criminal property,” which is a benefit the Plaintiff knew of suspected , or reasonably know or should have suspected was obtained through “criminal conduct.”
DOJ: Contractor Asked For $180,000 Bribe In A $10 Suitcase by Joe Palazzolo in WSJ.com’s Corruption Currents
Neil P. Campbell, an Australian citizen, was a senior construction manager for the International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental group that has worked closely with the
Afghan ministries of Public Heath and Education to erect hospitals and schools. Since 2002, IOM has received more than $260 million in contracts from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Campbell sat on the IOM panel that awarded an Afghan construction company, identified in court documents as Sayed Bilal Sadath Construction Co., two subcontracts worth a total of about $15.5 million, one for a training college and the other for a hospital, according the indictment. Prosecutors say Campbell met with a person he believed was a representative of the Afghan company in July and demanded the $190,000 in return for allowing SBSCC to continue its work under the contracts.
SEC’s Proposed “Family Office” Rule and Rule 260.204.9 by Keith Paul Bishop in California Corporate & Securities Law blog
In The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Ernest Hemingway wrote: “‘The very rich are different from you and me.’ And how someone had said to Julian, ‘Yes, they have more money.’” That is certainly true in the case of the families described in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recently proposed family office rule.
Ukraine Gov’t, Backed by US Law Firms, Files Second Corruption Suit by Joe Palazzolo in WSJ.com’s Corruption Currents
Plato Cacheris and his well-known Washington law firm Trout Cacheris PLLC announced in May that they had been been selected by the government of Ukraine to audit the country’s spending under former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, now opposition leader. The selection of white-collar specialists rather than Big Four auditing firms suggested that ”audit” in this case meant “corruption investigation.”
Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back by Kim Zetter in Wired.com’s Threat Level
A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online.
Lamborghini Diablo. Work done … resprayed from metallic pearl green to shocking pink
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