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Jan 28, 2014

New York may offer virtual currency regulations this year

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s top bank regulator on Tuesday revealed new plans to regulate businesses handling transactions in bitcoin this year, saying the state may issue new financial services licenses tailored to virtual currencies.

Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s financial services superintendent, raised his idea for a “BitLicense” in a hearing a day after a prominent bitcoin entrepreneur was arrested on money laundering charges.

Jan 28, 2014

Prominent Bitcoin entrepreneur charged with money laundering

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, a trade group promoting the adoption of the digital currency, has been charged by U.S. prosecutors with conspiring to commit money laundering by helping to funnel cash to illicit online drugs bazaar Silk Road.

Charlie Shrem, who had financial backing from the Winklevoss twins and is well known as one of the bitcoin’s biggest global promoters, was arrested on Sunday at John. F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said on Monday.

Jan 27, 2014

Two bitcoin exchange operators charged in money laundering scheme

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two men who operate bitcoin exchange businesses have been charged with money laundering for helping drug merchants exchange $1 million in cash for bitcoins, the digital currency, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday.

Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges against Charlie Shrem and Robert Faiella, both operators of bitcoin exchange businesses, for attempting to sell $1 million in the digital currency to users of the underground black market website Silk Road, which was shut down by authorities in September.

Jan 17, 2014

In wake of JPMorgan settlement, big banks add to defense funds

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several large U.S. banks have set aside extra money to pay for potential legal costs in part because of JPMorgan Chase & Co’s massive $13 billion settlement with U.S. authorities over bad mortgages, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

The size of the JPMorgan settlement, which the government called the largest in U.S. history, led many banks to realize that the cost of resolving some of their own legal problems was likely to be higher than they had initially believed, the sources said.

Jan 17, 2014

The U.S. government’s bitcoin bonanza: How, where and when to sell?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan are sitting on a multimillion-dollar bitcoin gold mine. And it could get much bigger.

Federal authorities hauled in 29,655 units of the digital currency – worth $27 million at current exchange rates – through an official forfeiture by Bitcoin this week.

Jan 9, 2014

SAC’s Martoma tried to cover up fraud at Harvard, documents show

NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Years before he was accused of
insider trading, former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager
Mathew Martoma forged a Harvard transcript, falsified an email,
and created a dummy forensic computing company to try to cover
his tracks, according to a court document unsealed on Thursday.

Martoma was eventually expelled from Harvard Law School over
the incident, according to the document, which began with his
forging a Harvard transcript to submit an application for a

Jan 8, 2014

U.S. Judge approves JPMorgan criminal settlement in Madoff case

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday approved an agreement between JPMorgan Chase & Co and U.S. prosecutors to settle charges that the bank violated anti-money laundering laws by failing to alert authorities to warning signs its employees encountered in dealings with convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.

The settlement, which deferred the criminal charges against the bank until January 8 2016, requires JPMorgan to pay a $1.7 billion forfeiture and improve its anti-money laundering controls. If it meets the terms by the appointed date, prosecutors can dismiss the charges against it.

Jan 7, 2014

JPMorgan to pay over $2 billion to settle Madoff case

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay more than $2 billion of penalties to settle charges by U.S. federal authorities that it failed to report suspicious activity involving Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

As part of the deal, JPMorgan is admitting it violated laws requiring it to monitor customer activity for money laundering during its two decade relationship with Madoff, authorities said on Tuesday.

Jan 7, 2014

U.S. probe examines Credit Suisse mortgage standards panel -source

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors are examining a
new set of Credit Suisse Group AG documents, including
internal emails, that may show whether a bank committee charged
with overseeing the quality of home loans ignored red flags to
the detriment of mortgage investors, according to a source
familiar with the documents.

The internal bank group, called the Watch List Committee,
was established in 2005 as Credit Suisse’s mortgage
securitization business grew. Its job was to make sure that bad
loans were not included in securities that the bank sold to

Dec 17, 2013

U.S. preparing civil charges against Citigroup, Merrill Lynch: sources

By Aruna Viswanatha and Emily Flitter

(Reuters) – The Justice Department is preparing to file civil fraud charges against Citigroup Inc and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit over their sale of flawed mortgage securities ahead of the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the probes.

Civil investigators have compiled evidence that allegedly shows that investors lost tens of billions of dollars after purchasing securities Citigroup had marketed as safe even though the bank had reason to believe otherwise, one person said.