You won’t like the latest couture from France

A fraud trend known as the ‘CEO scam’ has been striking French companies and entities in French-speaking territories, peaking in the last two years. Emmanuel Pascal and Philippe Thouvenot report on this threat and how to fend off its appearance in your firm.

Case Studies / Red Flags, Detection, Prevention, Psychology & Profiling, Confidence Schemes, Europe

Locating shell companies in accounts payable [1]

Obscured within a firm’s accounts payable file, shell companies can be used to steal on a grand scale, or to conceal disbursements that violate anti-bribery laws. Leonard Vona shows how to detect such structures, even in the absence of an initial lead. (Part one of a two-part article outlines the types of fraud scheme involved and their red flags).

Corporate Vehicles / Trusts, Case Studies / Red Flags, Detection

Toshiba CEO resigns over accounting scandal

Toshiba is counting the cost of a major financial statement fraud, which has already led to chief executive and president Hisao Tanaka resigning on 21 July.

Financial Misstatement, Asia-Pacific

UK eyes tougher penalties for offshore tax evasion

The UK government is planning tough new penalties to combat offshore tax evasion and those who enable it.

Legislation, Tax & Excise, UK Government & Public Sector, Tax Fraud, Europe

OLAF annual report fights criticism, claims record effectiveness

The European Union’s (EU) anti-fraud office OLAF has contested recent criticism about its operations, notably from its Supervisory Committee, with statistics highlighted in its latest annual report, for 2014.

International agencies, Law Enforcement, Investigation, Europe

MEPs hear developing country corruption costs ‘staggering’

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) heard of a “staggering” US$1 trillion lost per year to corruption and illicit financial flows (IFFs) in developing countries at a 14 July Development Committee meeting. 

Comment, Surveys and Research, Bribery & Corruption, Europe

Bail reform – necessary, but proportionate?

Suspects in complex investigations may be left on police bail for months or years before any decision on whether to charge is reached. The government has proposed changes but Steve Sharp of Bivonas Law questions how much difference they will make.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Law Enforcement, UK Government & Public Sector, Comment, Surveys and Research

Intellectual property infringement & a banker’s dilemma

A German bank could not rely on the national civil procedure code to prevent disclosure of the identity of an account-holder, accused of selling counterfeit products online, to the intellectual property rights-holder, the European Court of Justice has ruled. The clash of EU IP enforcement and data protection law will resound in future litigation predicts Gareth Dickson of Cooley (UK) LLP.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Intellectual Property Fraud, Europe

Sharland and Gohil – the cost of deception in divorce

Material fraud and/or non-disclosure of financial assets is not calculated to amuse an ex-spouse who settled for less in divorce proceedings. Two cases in joint appeal to the Supreme Court should offer guidance on when a consent order may be set aside, says Maeve O’Higgins of Moon Beever.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Dishonesty & Deception, Freezing & Restraint, Europe

OECD says governments must do more to restore trust

Countries need to do more to identify and reduce conflicts of interest and other breaches of integrity to help win back public trust in national governments, according to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report released on 6 July.

International agencies, Comment, Surveys and Research, Bribery & Corruption

Two acquittals in the CMA’s first criminal cartel trial

On 24 June 2015 at Southwark Crown Court, Clive Dean and Nicholas Stringer, defendants in the first contested trial brought by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) were both found not guilty of criminal cartel charges under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Cartels, Europe

Seeing through corporate transparency plans

Moves to establish a public register of companies’ beneficial owners in the UK have sparked robust criticism. Does the initiative represent political puff or a paradigm shift in global transparency standards? asks Lloyd Firth of Wilmer Hale.

Corporate Vehicles / Trusts, Legislation, Investigation, Europe

Eurojust and Europol swoop in Europe-wide cybercrime crackdown

European Union (EU) judicial and police agencies Eurojust and Europol joined forces on 10 June for a cross-border European clampdown on cybercrime leading to 49 arrests.

International agencies, Law Enforcement, Online Fraud, Africa, Europe

Digital defenders – big data potential

Growing dependence on information technology (IT) means heightened risk, not least from fraudsters, but the cyber-white hats are not complacent, finds Pacifica Goddard.

Fraud (Risk) Management, Information & Systems Security, Technology

One crime, one standard?

International frameworks apply to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, to tax information exchange and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons so, arguably, it is high time the same applied to combating fraud. Alan Osborn tests the hypothesis.

Intelligence Sharing, Comment, Surveys and Research

First World Bank procurement review: anti-corruption implications

The World Bank is, for the first time in its 70-year history, conducting a comprehensive review of its procurement policy and procedures. Alison Geary of WilmerHale looks at how the framework is tightening.

International agencies, Prevention, Bribery & Corruption, Vendor, Supplier and Procurement Fraud

Switzerland peels aside secrecy, in EU tax pact

European Union member states will receive information on their residents holding bank accounts in Switzerland annually starting from 2018.

Tax & Excise, Tax Fraud, Europe