Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Lehman Brothers, Goldman, Sanofi, HSBC

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

09/11/2018

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HSBC whistleblower defends tax leak as he fights extradition

A whistleblower fighting extradition to Switzerland for leaking details of thousands of clients of HSBC’s (HSBA.L) private bank there said on Tuesday his actions had played a key role in helping other European countries uncover tax frauds.

Spain’s High Court is considering Switzerland’s second extradition request against Herve Falciani, a French citizen who worked for HSBC, over alleged industrial sabotage in 2008.

Hailed as a hero by some for triggering investigations in several countries, Swiss courts sentenced Falciani in absentia to five years in jail for leaking details of HSBC clients, many of whom he said he suspected were evading tax.

Spanish courts and anti-corruption prosecutors have played a key role in investigations in other European countries by passing on information that originated from Falciani.

“I want to recognize the institutions with which I have been able to collaborate...and this is why this court has played a fundamental role in helping several European judicial authorities,” Falciani told Spain’s High Court. read more »

Corruption in Biopharma: Sanofi Only the Latest Company Accused of Bribery

Paris-based Sanofi settled corruption charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for more than $25 million.

The charges were that Sanofi subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and the Middle East made corrupt payments in order to win business. Sanofi did not admit or deny the findings, but agree to pay $17.5 million in disgorgement, $2.7 million in prejudgment interest and a civil penalty of $5 million.

Charles Cain, FCPA Unit Chief, SEC Enforcement Division, stated, “Bribery in connection with pharmaceutical sales remains as a significant problem despite numerous prior enforcement actions involving the industry and life sciences more generally. While bribery risk can impact any industry, this matter illustrates that more work needs to be done to address the particular risks posed in the pharmaceutical industry.” read more »

Lehman Brothers collapse: where are the key figures now?

Ten years ago this weekend Lehman Brothers crashed into bankruptcy – the biggest corporate failure in history – and sent the world’s financial system reeling close to collapse, causing panic among policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was forced into a $700bn (£540bn) bailout of the banking sector, while in the UK, Lloyds Bank rescued HBOS and the government was then forced to rescue Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.

A decade on, what has happened to the key players involved in the financial crisis and its aftermath?

Fuld ran Lehman for 14 years before the bank collapsed and was paid about $500m over the last eight years of that period. The man nicknamed “the gorilla” has repeatedly blamed the government, regulators and unfounded rumours for Lehman’s death while admitting few mistakes. The bank’s staff, however, blamed the Gorilla and in a grilling on Capitol Hill a congressman described him as “the villain”.

In 2009 he sold an apartment in Manhattan for $25m and a collection of art for $13.5m but he still has a number of luxury properties dotted around the US. Now aged 72, Fuld has made a comeback as the head of New York-based Matrix Private Capital, and the “key wealth centres” of Los Angeles and Palm Beach in Florida. In a rare public appearance in 2015 he said: “Whatever it is, enjoy the ride. No regrets.” read more »

A Top Goldman Banker Raised Ethics Concerns. Then He Was Gone.

By the tight-lipped standards of Goldman Sachs, the phone call from one of the firm’s most senior investment bankers was explosive.

James C. Katzman, a Goldman partner and the leader of its West Coast mergers-and-acquisitions practice, dialed the bank’s whistle-blower hotline in 2014 to complain about what he regarded as a range of unethical practices, according to accounts by people close to Mr. Katzman, which a Goldman spokesman confirmed. His grievances included an effort by Goldman to hire a customer’s child and colleagues’ repeated attempts to obtain and then share confidential client information.

Mr. Katzman expected lawyers at the firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, which monitored the hotline, to investigate his allegations and share them with independent members of Goldman’s board of directors, the people close to Mr. Katzman said. read more »