Locating shell companies in accounts payable [2]

Obscured within a firm’s accounts payable file, shell companies are being used to steal millions, or to conceal payments that violate anti-bribery laws. Leonard Vona shows how shell companies may be detected, even in the absence of an initial lead. (This second of a two-part article addresses building and testing a fraud data profile).

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

A confidential consultation? – legal professional privilege, qualified

In the recent case of R v Edward Brown (formerly Latham) the Court of Appeal held that it was appropriate, in certain circumstances, to impose a requirement that third parties be present during a nominally private consultation between a defendant and his lawyer. In doing so the Court created a new common law qualification to the inviolable nature of legal professional privilege. Lloyd Firth of WlimerHale considers the possible effects of the judgment.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Privilege, Europe

Gates Foundation trust sues Petrobras for graft damages

A trust making investments on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has sued Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras and auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for millions of dollars in damages from the fraud scandal that has rocked Brazil.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Bribery & Corruption, Latin America & Caribbean, North America

Nixed - corporate criminal liability reform

The UK government looks to have seriously compromised the potential for deferred prosecution agreements to address corporate criminal wrongdoing. Adrian Darbishire QC and Rachna Gokani of QEB Hollis Whiteman wonder where a recent written answer leaves the Serious Fraud Office.

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

New test to put brake on car emissions fraud, says European Commission

The European Commission is counting on a new real driving emissions (RDE) test to prevent a repeat of the Volkswagen ‘defeat device’ scandal.

International agencies, Prevention, Technology, Europe

UK government sees no need for failure to prevent economic crime offence

The UK Government has no plans to introduce a new corporate offence of failure to prevent economic crime, junior justice minister Andrew Selous said in a written answer to Byron Davies MP on Monday [28 September 2015].

Legislation, UK Government & Public Sector

UK crime figures to shoot up after fraud included

The City of London Police Commissioner has warned that British crime figures will shoot up by 40% next month once the Office for National Statistics (ONS) starts including fraud in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

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

Uneven national approach hinders fight against EU funds fraud

Wide differences persist between European Union (EU) member states over their strategies to fight and report frauds against EU spending and revenues, despite work by the European Commission to align these efforts.

International agencies, Detection, Prevention, Comment, Surveys and Research, Europe

Hoskins – a limit on the US long-arm reach over corruption

US prosecutors will need to work more closely with overseas counterparts if they are to make out corruption cases against non-resident foreign nationals following a District Court ruling in proceedings against former Alstom executive Lawrence Hoskins. Marsha Z. Gerber, Richard Craig Smith, Ketevan Kulidzhanova, and Kate Hunter of Norton Rose Fulbright examine the decision.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Bribery & Corruption, North America

Undertaking investigations to support a private prosecution

Private prosecutions are an increasingly utilised alternative to public or civil suits, but how does one set about preparing a case? Ian Brown details the factors that should be addressed when undertaking a criminal investigation in the private sector.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Disclosure, Evidence, Law Enforcement, Interviews, Europe

Pointers from the field

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has travelled it,” says a Chinese proverb. Allan Maund shares personal reflections from his experience of investigating fraud and corruption in such regions as Asia, Afghanistan as well as West and East Africa.

Investigation, Bribery & Corruption, Africa, South Asia

All in the timing: financial statement manipulation

When facing fierce commercial pressures, all too many executives have succumbed to temptation to ‘cook the books’ – the latest example being the US$1.2bn Toshiba scandal. Adam K Bowen outlines the basics of expense deferment schemes and examines the Diamond Foods fraud he helped investigate.

Detection, Investigation, Financial Misstatement

Personal agenda

The heat was turned up under criminal white collars on 10 September when US Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates spelt out a new initiative to hold individuals to account for corporate wrongdoing.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, North America

SFO director defends use of deferred prosecution agreements

The director of the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) David Green has defended his agency’s use of deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) rather than bringing criminal proceedings.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, UK Government & Public Sector, Europe

Hacker prosecutions miss the point, says lawyer

When the Xbox and PlayStation gaming networks were knocked offline over Christmas in December 2014 the now infamous hacking group, Lizard Squad seemingly took responsibility for the attack. Recently, Julius Kivimaki, a Finnish teenager, was convicted of more than 50,000 computer hacks and given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, UK Government & Public Sector, Prevention, Comment, Surveys and Research, Online Fraud

UK Government mixes the message on bribery

David Cameron used a recent speech in Singapore to pick up on the National Crime Agency’s statements that the scale of money-laundering into the UK from foreign entities was pushing up house prices.

Comment, Surveys and Research, Bribery & Corruption

Danish police probe €830m tax fraud by foreign firms

The Danish Tax Assessment Council has alerted the country’s police after discovering that a large network of foreign companies has committed what could be Denmark’s largest-ever tax fraud.

Law Enforcement, Tax & Excise, Tax Fraud, Europe

UK fraudsters target immigrants in deportation scam

Asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants have been targeted in a scam unmasked by the UK’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which is part of the City of London Police force.

Law Enforcement, Confidence Schemes, Plastic Card & Payments