Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Walmart, Bitcoin, Bank Of Scotland, Bribery

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

06/21/2019

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Walmart Charged With FCPA Violations

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Walmart with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by failing to operate a sufficient anti-corruption compliance program for more than a decade as the retailer experienced rapid international growth.

Walmart agreed to pay more than $144 million to settle the SEC’s charges and approximately $138 million to resolve parallel criminal charges by the U.S. Department of Justice for a combined total of more than $282 million. read more »

CFTC Charges Company and its Principal in $147 Million Fraudulent Bitcoin Trading Scheme

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced the filing of a civil enforcement action.

in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against defendants Control-Finance Limited (Control-Finance), a purported Bitcoin trading and investment company, and its principal, Benjamin Reynolds (together, defendants), both of the United Kingdom.  The Complaint charges the defendants with exploiting public enthusiasm for Bitcoin by fraudulently obtaining and misappropriating at least 22,858.822 Bitcoin—worth at least $147 million at the time—from more than 1,000 customers. read more »

Bank of Scotland fined £45.5m over fraud failure

Bank of Scotland has been fined £45.5m for failing to alert authorities to early indications of a fraud which ended with the jailing of six people.

The fine relates to activity by Lynden Scourfield, the head of the bank's Impaired Assets team in 2007.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the bank knew he had been sanctioning lending beyond his authority, but failed to act properly.

In February 2017, Scourfield was sentenced to 11 years in jail. read more »

Retired US Army colonel convicted in Haitian bribery scheme

A retired U.S. Army colonel has been convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to bribe Haitian government officials.

Federal prosecutors in Boston say 64-year-old Joseph Baptiste, of Fulton, Maryland was one of two men convicted Thursday. The other was 74-year-old Roger Richard Boncy, a dual U.S. and Haitian citizen who lives in Madrid, Spain.

Prosecutors say Baptiste and Boncy solicited bribes from undercover federal agents who posed as potential investors in a proposed $84 million port project in the Mole-Saint-Nicolas area of Haiti. Boncy and Baptiste told agents they would funnel the payments to Haitian officials through a nonprofit Baptiste controlled that purported to help impoverished residents of Haiti. read more »