US businesses seek bribery law change

The US Chamber of Commerce among others has complained that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is too ambiguous. Although the Justice Department and the SEC released new information in November 2012 on how the 1977 law will apply, business groups say they still have concerns. The groups are looking for further clarification and safeguards by which companies would escape criminal liability for the misconduct of an individual if that company has strong internal compliance systems in place.

SEC charges Hedge Fund Managers With Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged two hedge fund managers and their advisory firm New Stream Capital with lying to investors about the fund's structure and financial condition before it failed during the financial crisis. The SEC alleges that co-owners David Bryson and Bart Gutekunst secretly revised the fund’s capital structure before it collapsed in order to placate its largest investor, Gottex Fund Management. New Stream’s Cayman Islands affiliate was also charged in the scheme, which allowed the hedge fund managers to raise nearly $50 million and receive lucrative fees while leaving investors with nearly worthless holdings when the fund went bankrupt.

SEC Charges Virgin Islands-Based Investment Adviser with Defrauding Clients

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged an investment advisor James S. Tagliaferri, located in the US Virgin Islands of  defrauding clients by withholding the fact that he was receiving kickbacks for investing their money in thinly-traded companies. When pressured to pay returns on investments, he allegedly used money from other clients in a Ponzi-like fashion to make payments.  

SEC Freezes Assets in Swiss-Based Account Used in Suspected Insider Trading Ahead of Heinz Acquisition

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a freezing order over assets in a Zurich-based trading account  which reaped more than $1.7m in trading ahead of the announcement of Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital's acquisition of H.J. Heinz Company.

Wal-Mart probe hits Kimco Realty

Kimco Realty, the biggest operate of shopping malls in the United States, has received a subpoena from the SEC in connection with the ongoing FCPA investigation of Wal-Mart. Kimco has said that it is responding to the subpoena and intends to fully cooperate with the SEC. Kimco has also been notified of parallel investigation by the DOJ.