Tax Informant Dodged Prison, Now Seeks $22 Million Reward

Crossed_Gavels.svgA man caught in a money-laundering sting who later helped the U.S. prosecute a foreign business is now looking for millions from the government as a reward.

The Internal Revenue Service earlier denied the claim, but this week the U.S. Tax Court ruled in favor of the informant. According to Accounting Today:

The court’s opinion doesn’t identify the business or the informant, but the $74 million penalty and other details cited in the case match the allegations in the U.S. case against Wegelin & Co. Wegelin, formerly Switzerland’s oldest bank, pleaded guilty in 2013 to helping Americans hide $1.2 billion in assets from the IRS.

Details about the informant who is seeking the reward correspond with those in a separate case involving Stefan Seuss, a German living in Florida who was indicted in 2009 in Philadelphia after agreeing to help an undercover agent hide profits from a pirated-CD business. He pleaded guilty in 2010, and his indictment says he was “associated” with Wegelin.

Click here for the full story: http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/tax-practice/us-tax-informant-dodged-prison-now-seeks-22-million-reward-74818-1.html

*Disclaimer: The views and opinions on this blog are those of the author. Nothing contained in this weblog is intended as legal advice. This weblog was created to provide general information, opinions of the author and general musings. Accessing this website is not a consultation for legal advice or services and this weblog does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Endoscope-Maker Olympus Expects to Settle U.S. Claims Over Marketing

Dr. David Feinberg, president of the UCLA Health System, speaks at a news conference outside Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Westwood on Feb. 19. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

Dr. David Feinberg, president of the UCLA Health System, speaks at a news conference outside Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Westwood on Feb. 19. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

Olympus Corp., a manufacturer of endoscopes, has set aside nearly $450 million for a possible settlement of a federal investigation into its marketing of medical products.

The company did not disclose any further details except to say that the focus is on possible infractions that prohibit companies from paying kickbacks to doctors. According to the LA Times:

In recent months, Olympus has come under harsh criticism for failing to quickly warn American hospitals that one of its medical scopes is extremely difficult to clean. The device known as a duodenoscope has been linked to outbreaks at hospitals across the country that have sickened dozens of patients with antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

At UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, eight patients were sickened and three died. Another outbreak at Cedars Sinai Medical Center sickened four patients. Both hospitals say they followed the manufacturer’s instructions in cleaning the intricate device but it still transferred bacteria from patient to patient.

Read more here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-olympus-probe-20150527-story.html

For more on the outbreaks, click here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ucla-superbug-sg-storygallery.html

*Disclaimer: The views and opinions on this blog are those of the author. Nothing contained in this weblog is intended as legal advice. This weblog was created to provide general information, opinions of the author and general musings. Accessing this website is not a consultation for legal advice or services and this weblog does not create an attorney-client relationship.

 

Global Banks to Pay $5.6 Billion in Penalties

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Five global banks will pay more than $5 billion in total penalties, and four of them (J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, and Citigroup Inc.) will plead guilty to conspiring to manipulate U.S. and European currency prices.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Authorities said euro dollar traders at the banks, who were self-described members of “The Cartel” communicated through coded language in an online chat room to coordinate attempts to move rates set at 1:15 and 4 p.m.

The traders would withhold bids or offers to avoid moving the rate in directions that would hurt open positions held by other members of the group, in violation of antitrust laws, prosecutors said.

No traders have yet been criminally charged over the conduct, butNew York’s financial regulator said it required Barclays to fire eight employees in connection with the resolution. Investigations into individuals are continuing, according to government officials.

Lawyers for the banks are expected to enter a series of pleas in federal court in Connecticut later on Wednesday.

Citigroup, which was accused of being involved in the misconduct from December 2007 through January 2013, is paying the largest criminal fine of $925 million. The other banks were accused of engaging in the conduct for various periods with that time frame.

Read the full article here (subscription required): http://www.wsj.com/articles/global-banks-to-pay-5-6-billion-in-penalties-in-fx-libor-probe-1432130400

In addition to the WSJ coverage, the Justice Department has released a statement on the parent-level guilty please by the banks. According to justice.gov:

“The five parent-level guilty pleas that the department is announcing today communicate loud and clear that we will hold financial institutions accountable for criminal misconduct,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “And we will enforce the agreements that we enter into with corporations. If appropriate and proportional to the misconduct and the company’s track record, we will tear up an NPA or a DPA and prosecute the offending company.”

Read the entire press release here: http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/press_releases/2015/314165.htm

*Disclaimer: The views and opinions on this blog are those of the author. Nothing contained in this weblog is intended as legal advice. This weblog was created to provide general information, opinions of the author and general musings. Accessing this website is not a consultation for legal advice or services and this weblog does not create an attorney-client relationship.