Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: SEC Whistleblower Award, Bribery at Venezuela's PDVSA, Australian Corruption, McKinsey

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team


SEC Announces Whistleblower Award of More Than a Million Dollars

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a whistleblower has earned an award of more than $1 million for providing the SEC with new information and substantial corroborating documentation of a securities law violation by a registered entity that impacted retail customers.  

“Today’s award reflects the impact that whistleblower information can have in uncovering violations that harm the retail investor,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.  “We welcome high-quality information about potential securities-law violations from those in and outside a company.” read more »

Florida businessman admits to bribery scheme at Venezuela's PDVSA

The part owner of several Florida-based energy companies on Wednesday became the latest person to plead guilty as part of an ongoing U.S. investigation into bribery at Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA.

Fernando Ardila Rueda, 49, pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston to two counts, including that he violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with a scheme to pay bribes to PDVSA employees, the U.S. Justice Department said.

He became the 10th person to plead guilty as part of a larger investigation by the Justice Department into bribery at Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) that became public with the arrest of two Venezuelan businessmen in December 2015. read more »

From Melbourne to Mugabe: The Australian accused of sprawling corruption scheme

It was March 2008 when an Australian banker flew into Harare International Airport as electoral unrest in the Zimbabwean capital threatened to boil over.

But Vanja Baros, a London-based employee of $US34 billion ($43 billion) New York hedge fund Och-Ziff, was not involved with the latest trials of this broken country.

He was there to cut a deal with an executive from a London-based miner. read more »

Why McKinsey is under attack in South Africa

The consulting firm worked with Trillian Capital, owned by a Gupta family associate

MCKINSEY, a global management consultancy known for its discreet profile and rarefied air, is unused to the sort of tub-thumping popular revolt it is experiencing in South Africa. Such is public outrage over the Guptas, an Indian-born business dynasty accused of growing rich off their relationship with President Jacob Zuma, that a few professional-services firms linked to the family, including McKinsey—as well as SAP, a German software giant—have become targets of Twitter storms and protest banners.

Anti-corruption groups and the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) have drawn blood in the case of Bell Pottinger, a British public-relations firm accused of orchestrating a racially divisive public-relations campaign on behalf of the Guptas. A complaint by the DA to a British PR industry association set in motion Bell Pottinger’s swift implosion in September. At KPMG, a global audit firm, eight senior executives in South Africa left in the same month because of the firm’s work for the Guptas. Such victories have fuelled the mood. On October 5th civil-society groups picketed McKinsey’s Johannesburg offices. read more »