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SEC affirms FINRA decision to fine CCO $5K.

Late last year the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released an opinion affirming a FINRA decision to fine a CCO for “failure to enforce WSP” (written supervisory procedures). The firm, Ocean Cross had approximately 15 associated persons and two principals in two offices between September 8, 2011 and April 30, 2012—the relevant period in this … Read more

U.S. Supreme Court upholds SEC’s ability to use disgorgement, but with modifications.

Overview At issue are three terms, equitable relief, disgorgement, and penalty. If one were to not burden oneself with defining terms and their context, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to allow the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek disgorgement as a remedy in their civil actions under an equitable relief construct. However, the calculation … Read more

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority fines Commerzbank AG, London Branch £37,805,400 (~$46,684,640).

Overview On June 17, 2020, despite having found no incidences of a “financial crime” Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined Commerzbank AG, London Branch £37,805,400 (~$46,684,640) for inadequate controls and procedures related to the bank’s financial crime control framework. The fine is to be paid no later than July 1, 2020. From the FCA’s 50-page … Read more

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission updates its Enforcement Manual

Civil Monetary Penalty Guidance On May 28, 2020 James McDonald, Director of Enforcement at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) gave a speech at the Futures Industry Association addressing the issues of penalties and penalty guidance, following up on a memo to staff (see here). This marked the first time in 25 years the CFTC … Read more

Bitcoin and how not to be anonymous

As crypto currencies become more prevalent people are starting to figure out that crypto currencies do not necessarily provide anonymity. Case in point Maksim Boiko a.k.a. “Gangass”. On March 27, 2020 the Department of Justice unsealed an affidavit for a criminal complaint and arrest warrant against Mr. Boiko alleging conspiracy to commit money laundering. In … Read more

FinCen accesses a civil penalty of $450,000 against a former risk officer

Overview On March 4, 2020 issued a settlement agreement with U.S. Bank’s former Chief Operational Risk Officer Michael LaFontaine whereby FinCen fined Mr. LaFontaine $450,000 and banned him from a compliance role for six years. The settlement agreements state the reason for the actions is due to “his failure to prevent violations of the Bank … Read more

The Wells Fargo Settlement – a new twist on identity theft

Overview On February 20, 2020 the United States Attorney’s Offices of Central District of California and the Western District of North Carolina announced a settlement with Wells Fargo & Company that included a $3 billion dollar fine. Interestingly, the two criminal statutes cited were 18 U.S.C. 1005 and 1028A. 18 U.S.C. 1005 comes under Chapter … Read more