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Jun 3, 2014

US lawmakers probe Treasury unit’s hiring, will object to Obama nominee

WASHINGTON/ST LOUIS, June 3 (Reuters) – Two powerful U.S.
congressmen have opened separate inquiries into whether a
Department of the Treasury bureau charged with policing money
laundering may have flouted federal hiring rules, including
regulations that require military veterans be given preference
for government jobs.

Darrell Issa, a California Republican who chairs the House
oversight panel, expressed concern about possible improper
hiring practices at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

May 21, 2014

SEC probes Schwab, Merrill, for anti-money laundering violations -sources

NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators are
investigating Charles Schwab Corp and Bank of America
Corp’s Merrill Lynch brokerage over whether they are
doing enough to learn about their clients’ identities, sources
said, the latest sign a crackdown on money laundering is
expanding.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into
whether the brokerages missed red flags that could indicate
attempts to move money illicitly or to feed proceeds from drug
trafficking and other crimes into the financial system by
failing to know their customers well enough, the sources said.

May 21, 2014

Exclusive: SEC probes Schwab, Merrill, for anti-money laundering violations – sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. regulators are investigating Charles Schwab Corp and Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch brokerage over whether they are doing enough to police their clients’ identities, sources said, the latest sign a crackdown on money laundering is expanding.

Specifically, the regulator is looking into whether the brokerages missed red flags that could indicate attempts to move money illicitly or to feed proceeds from illegal activities into the financial system, the sources said.

May 9, 2014

U.S. agency FinCEN rejected veterans in bid to hire lawyers

ST LOUIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. Treasury Department division charged with policing money laundering may have run afoul of federal regulations that require military veterans to be given preference for jobs in the government if they are qualified, according to sources and documents seen by Reuters.

Most U.S. government positions fall into a standard set of job bands, which determine things such as pay and minimum qualifications. Federal law bars the government from screening candidates for qualifications that go beyond the job’s standard requirements.

Apr 23, 2014

Ex-Nvidia manager settles U.S. SEC charges on illegal tips

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) – A former
accounting manager for Nvidia Corp has settled with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations he
leaked non-public information about the chipmaker that allowed a
group of Wall Street analysts to make millions through illegal
trades, the SEC announced on Wednesday.

The SEC said Chris Choi of San Jose, California will pay
$30,000 to settle civil charges that he shared confidential tips
with a friend who passed them on to a circle of hedge fund
employees.

Apr 23, 2014

Special Report: For private placements, no one is vetting the vetters

OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) – From 2006 to 2009, Provident Asset Management raised $485 million from 7,700 investors who were drawn to its promises of annual returns as high as 18 percent on oil and gas assets. Law firm Mick & Associates helped. Provident paid Mick to provide “due diligence” reports to help brokers decide whether to recommend the investments to their clients.

Brad Updike, a Mick energy-sector specialist, reviewed each of the 23 deals, known as private placements. In one of his reports, Updike wrote that while on a visit to the Dallas, Texas, company, Provident’s founder “showed me several strategic-planning maps” where efforts were under way to drill and complete wells.

Apr 20, 2014

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, U.S. boxer famous in folk song, dies at 76

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial, died on Sunday at the age of 76, according to reports in the Canadian media.

Carter, considered a folk hero by many and immortalized in film and song, had been battling prostate cancer for months, according to reports by the Toronto Globe and Mail and the CBC. He died in Toronto, where he had been living since he was released from prison in 1985, according to the reports.

Apr 11, 2014

FBI conducting a probe into Herbalife -sources

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing Herbalife Ltd, the nutrition and weight loss company that hedge fund manager William Ackman has called a pyramid scheme, sources familiar with the investigation said on Friday.

The news, first reported by the Financial Times, sent the company’s stock price down nearly 14 percent.

Apr 11, 2014

U.S. judge accepts SAC guilty plea, approves $1.2 bln deal

NEW YORK, April 10 (Reuters) – SAC Capital Advisors’ $1.2
billion criminal settlement for insider trading received final
court approval on Thursday, as a U.S. judge accepted a guilty
plea from the hedge fund firm run by billionaire Steven A.
Cohen.

At a hearing in Manhattan federal court, U.S. District Judge
Laura Taylor Swain accepted SAC Capital’s guilty plea to fraud
charges and payment of a $900 million fine.

Mar 28, 2014

UBS suspends U.S.-based forex trader in manipulation probe

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – UBS AG (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has suspended a spot trader on its New York foreign exchange desk, a source familiar with the investigation said on Friday amid an ongoing international probe of big forex dealers for potential collusion and market manipulation.

Michael Velardi, 52, who has worked for the bank for nearly 20 years, was suspended this week, the source said. When reached by phone, Velardi declined to comment.

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      "Based in New York covering financial crimes, including insider trading, investment scams, accounting fraud and financial firm misconduct."
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