Private prosecutions: navigate with care

Private prosecutions are on the rise in England and Wales but they often entail a complexity not found in public prosecutions or civil proceedings, which needs to be appreciated and managed from the outset. Hannah Laming and Chris Gribbin of Peters & Peters draw on the firm’s experience of bringing a successful private prosecution against Ketan Somaia at the Old Bailey in 2014, which saw him convicted of nine counts of obtaining money transfers by deception and sentenced to eight years imprisonment, to outline some of the challenges and how to address them.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Europe

Cyber future – a risk outlook beyond 2015

Big data and the internet of things are here or very near but fraud professionals should also be scanning the cyber event horizon, says Mark Johnson of The Risk Management Group.

Fraud (Risk) Management, Comment, Surveys and Research, Technology

Misconduct, mis-sold, mistake, missing the point

Last week I was in in Iceland when four former senior executives of the now defunct Kaupthing Bank lost their appeals against conviction and sentence for market manipulation, essentially the false inflation of the share price of the bank. All have been sentenced to prison terms of up to five and a half years...

Comment, Surveys and Research, Confidence Schemes, Market Abuse, Europe

UK SMEs pay £8 billion in fraud, study finds

Company fraud has cost UK small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) nearly UK£8 billion (US$12.35 billion) during their lifetimes, according to research by global information services company Experian.

Comment, Surveys and Research, Cheque Fraud, Identity Fraud, Plastic Card & Payments, Europe

Cybergang steals US$1 billion worldwide

Security software makers Kaspersky Lab and crime fighters from Interpol, Europol and various countries have uncovered an unprecedented cyber-robbery.

International agencies, Information & Systems Security, Technology, Online Fraud, Europe

HSBC private bank helped clients evade tax, leaked files show

HSBC actively assisted customers of its private bank in Switzerland to evade millions of dollars in taxes due in their home jurisdictions according to leaked documents covering the period 2005-2007.

Tax Fraud, Europe

A practical plan? The UK’s anti-corruption strategy

The United Kingdom’s recent Anti-Corruption Plan may lead to significant steps forward, but there are conspicuous omissions – such as how it will be funded, the future of the Serious Fraud Office and the need for greater transparency around property purchases. Charles Thomson and Henry Garfield report.

UK Government & Public Sector, Comment, Surveys and Research, Bribery & Corruption

The ponderous progress of international fraud law

Though fraud is often international in scope, the development of legal measures that cater to the complexities involved in apprehending criminal activity across borders has dawdled for decades. In the first of a two-part article, Mark Surguy sets out the UK and European frameworks as well as some cases which show their limitations.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Legislation, Europe

’Ello, ’ello, ’ello: how English courts continue to police the world

2014 was a bumper year for the English court exercising its powers to freeze the assets of alleged wrongdoers. Jamie Curle, Sarah Ellington, Min Weaving and Yasmin Bailey of DLA Piper examine both the established principles and new applications of the English court’s jurisdiction, and note the growing number of foreign parties relying on its long arm.

Criminal Confiscation & Civil Recovery, Disclosure, Freezing & Restraint, Europe

Bribery guide instructs on bad practice

A new handbook on detecting bribes highlights outright fraud in company accounts as a main method used to cover up illegal payments made to grease the wheels of business.

Case Studies / Red Flags, Bribery & Corruption

Political economy: China corruption update

President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign may be taking out tigers as well as the flies - most recently Ma Jian, China’s spy chief - but disclosure requirements for companies listed on overseas markets are testing the authorities’ appetite for openness, reports Gao Fu Mao from Beijing.

Bribery & Corruption, Asia-Pacific

The Latin beat – a local guide

Venezuela boasts more oil reserves than any other nation in the world and, with several other oil-producing countries in the region, Latin America possesses some 20 per cent of the world’s known resource. Yet, as prices sag for the foreseeable future, there are heightened fraud risks for those doing business in the region, reports Fernando Cevallos.

Fraud (Risk) Management, Prevention, Bribery & Corruption, Latin America & Caribbean

Coming clean: Deepwater Horizon, a study in disaster cost control

A major disaster scenario – where mass procurement of services and goods is conducted under acute time pressures – poses particular problems for fraud prevention. Adam Bowen, who undertook senior accounts payable roles in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, can speak from experience.

Case Studies / Red Flags, Prevention, Response Plan, Vendor, Supplier and Procurement Fraud, North America

Cyber Cops - The case of the lost database

A major City institution is paralysed by a hacking exploit: Detective Constable Susan Lee answers the call.

Case Studies / Red Flags, Online Fraud

UK drinks trade launches anti-fraud website

The UK alcoholic drinks industry has launched a web portal to encourage producers, distributors and retailers to blow the whistle on suspected fraud.

Detection, Whistleblowing

Cross-border currents - EU deal on customs fraud and Argentina falls far short on corruption

European Union (EU) governments and MEPs have struck a deal to create two databases containing information on the trade in goods into and out of the EU, to help fight customs fraud.

International agencies, Data Mining & Analysis, Detection, Tax Fraud, Europe, Latin America & Caribbean

Weavering hedge fund founder convicted of fraud

The former head of Weavering Capital, the hedge fund that collapsed in 2009 leaving investors with losses of $530m, has been convicted on eight counts of fraud and forgery.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Securities & Investment Fraud, Europe