Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: 1MDB, Glencore, Facebook

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

07/05/2018

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Glencore: US money laundering subpoena wipes £5bn off mining giant’s value in an hour

Authorities demand documents relating to firm's dealings in Nigeria, Venezuela and Democratic Republic of Congo dating back to 2007

Shares in Glencore crashed more than 10 per cent on Tuesday morning after the mining and trading giant revealed it had been ordered to hand over documents to the US Department of Justice.

The subpoena relates to Glencore's compliance with US money laundering and anti-corruption laws in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela, dating as far back as 2007.

Switzerland-based and London-listed Glencore is one of the world’s most valuable companies, trading commodities from oil and copper to the cobalt that’s vital for smartphone batteries.

The firm’s shares plummeted 11 per cent in little more than an hour after it made the announcement, wiping more than £5bn off its market value.

The company’s statement read: “Glencore Ltd, a subsidiary of Glencore plc, has received a subpoena dated 2 July, 2018 from the US Department of Justice to produce documents and other records with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act [FCPA] and United States money laundering statutes.

"The requested documents relate to the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to present.”

“Glencore is reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information in due course as appropriate.”  read more »

Facebook shares drop on report of widened probe on data scandal

Shares of Facebook Inc fell 2 percent on Tuesday, after a report that a federal probe on the data breach linked to Cambridge Analytica had been broadened and would include more government agencies.

Facebook shares were down 2 percent at $193.36 in early trading on the Nasdaq, erasing nearly $12 billion from the company’s market valuation.

The stock lost about 18 percent of its value in the seven trading days after the data scandal broke, but has since gained about 27 percent to date.

Facebook has faced intense scrutiny around the Cambridge scandal, which saw millions of users’ data improperly accessed by the political consultancy.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Department of Justice in its inquiries about the two companies and the sharing of personal information of 71 million Americans, the Washington Post reported citing five people. read more »

Beam Suntory Settles Bribery Probe With SEC

Liquor maker Beam Suntory Inc. will pay $8.2 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of alleged violations of accounting provisions of the main U.S. antibribery law, the parties said Monday.

The company, which Japan’s Suntory Holdings Ltd. acquired in 2014, neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in the SEC agreement. Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam bourbon, and Courvoisier cognac, are among Beam Suntory’s brands.

Beam Suntory disclosed in 2012 that it had begun an investigation of practices at its Indian operation, saying at the time that it had informed the SEC and the Department of Justice of the probe. The department and commission are both responsible for enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars bribing foreign officials to win, or keep, a business advantage.

“We are pleased this matter with the SEC has been concluded and we look forward to the future of our India business with confidence,” said Matt Shattock, the company’s chief executive officer.

Beam Suntory, previously known as Beam Inc., said it is cooperating with an ongoing Justice Department investigation. The department declined to comment.  read more »

Timeline: The 1MDB scandal that led to the arrest of former Malaysian PM Najib

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested on Tuesday, less than two months after losing an election to Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib, 64, will be charged in court on Wednesday in relation to a probe into how money went missing from troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

It has been a stunning fall for Najib who held on to power for three years despite allegations of massive corruption and misappropriation at 1MDB.

Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing. He told Reuters last month he shouldn’t be blamed for the scandal and that he knew nothing about money from the state fund appearing in his personal account.

Here’s a timeline of developments at 1MDB: read more »