Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Rabobank, GlaxoSmithKline, Insider Trading

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

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Rabobank's California unit pleads guilty in money laundering case

Dutch lender Rabobank's California subsidiary agreed Wednesday to forfeit $369 million after a long-running investigation concluded the unit was used to launder millions of dollars in Mexican drug money.

The subsidiary, Rabobank National Assn., also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

It marks one of the largest U.S. settlements involving the laundering of Mexican drug money, though it's still only a fraction of the $1.9 billion that Britain's HSBC agreed to pay in 2012. read more »

GlaxoSmithKline notifies SEC, DOJ of new questions in China bribery probe

GlaxoSmithKline’s China bribery imbroglio is the scandal that just won’t die. After having paid more than half a billion dollars to lay to rest investigations by Chinese and U.S. authorities, the U.K. drugmaker has now been asked for new info from fraud investigators in its home country.

In its fourth-quarter 2017 earnings report (PDF) today, GSK said that it has been asked to provide information about “third-party advisers engaged by the company in the course of the China Investigations."

The request came from the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office, which initiated an investigation in 2014, the year after the bribery case exploded in China, set off by a clandestine sex tape involving former GSK China head Mark Reilly, which executives received alongside a whistleblower’s corruption allegations. Bound by an agreement with the SEC, GSK also informed the DOJ and is responding to their requests for additional information. read more »

Insider trading has been rife on Wall Street, academics conclude

One study suggests insiders profited even from the global financial crisis; another that the whole share-trading system is rigged

Insider-Trading prosecutions have netted plenty of small fry. But many grumble that the big fish swim off unharmed. That nagging fear has some new academic backing, from three studies. One argues that well-connected insiders profited even from the financial crisis. The others go further still, suggesting the entire share-trading system is rigged.

What is known about insider trading tends to come from prosecutions. But these require fortuitous tip-offs and extensive, expensive investigations, involving the examination of complex evidence from phone calls, e-mails or informants wired with recorders. The resulting haze of numbers may befuddle a jury unless they are leavened with a few spicy details—exotic code words, say, or (even better) suitcases filled with cash. read more »

Animal rights group PETA bought stock in Thomas Cook so it could lobby the firm to cut ties with SeaWorld

PETA has long been protesting against the Florida marine park for its treatment of whales, which it says is cruel and inhumane. It also targets businesses that deal with SeaWorld, like Thomas Cook, which offers tours to the park.

The group told Business Insider that it has bought a single share in the company, valued at around £1.20 ($1.66), because it grants it entry to the annual general meeting, being held in London this Thursday. read more »