Bribery and Corruption

New Argentine Law on Corporate Criminal Liability

On 8 November 2017 the Argentine Congress passed the Law on Corporate Criminal Liability No.27401. This came into force in March 2018. The law intends to raise awareness of corruption and to strengthen anti-fraud policies and processes. Companies will be held responsible for crimes committed by their shareholders, directors and employees, amongst others. This intends to align Argentinian law with the international standards imposed by the OECD.

KMPG, March 2018

Fighting fraud with non-cash means of payment: Council agrees its position

The European Council has agreed a directive to ensure Member States have common rules for dealing with credit cards, electronic wallets, mobile payments, virtual currencies and other new ways of making payment. The directive aims to harmonise definitions of some online offences such as hacking and to improve awareness around the risks of becoming a victim of fraud. The directive is available here.

European Council, 9 March 2018

Money Laundering

The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) today publishes proposed revisions

JMLSG has published proposed revisions to Part II of its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing guidance, including guidance for asset finance firms (here) and syndicated lending firms (here).

JMLSG, 8 March 2018

Spanish money laundering network fronting as kebab meat supplier dismantled by police

A criminal enterprise operating in Germany and Spain used a kebab meat suppliers as a front for its money laundering activities. Europol supported the investigation since 2017, led by the Spanish Guardia Civil since 2015. The Spanish authorities estimate the criminal enterprise transferred and laundered around €36 million. These payments were not reported to the National Treasury. Simon Riondet, Head of Financial Intelligence at Europol, explained the investigation "shows once again that criminal business is still largely done in cash".  

Europol, 9 March 2018

Fraud

Serious Fraud Office in talks to increase annual budget

The SFO has asked HM Treasury for an increase to its £31 million annual budget. Although top-up funding has been provided for larger cases since the financial crisis, the SFO is requesting an increase in overall funding to prevent reliance on case-by-case funding.

BBC, 13 March 2018

Ex-Deutsche Bank trader pleads guilty over EURIBOR manipulation

Following an SFO investigation into allegations of manipulation of LIBOR and EURIBOR on 6 July 2012, an ex-Deutsche Bank trader, Christian Bittar, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. The trial of the remaining defendants will begin at Southwark Crown Court on 9 April 2018.

SFO, 15 March 2018

Cyber Crime

A Euro Cyber Resilience Board for pan-European Financial Infrastructures

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a speech from the first meeting of the Euro Cyber Resilience Board for Pan-European Financial Infrastructure on 9 March 2018. Benoît Cœuré highlights the ECB's intention to enhance cyber resilience of financial market infrastructures through collaboration with market players and authorities. The ECB invites feedback on two initiatives: a cyber-resilience survey highlighting issues for discussion and a European Threat Intelligence-Based Ethical Red-Teaming Framework. Guidance on this is available here.

EBC, 9 March 2018

Financial Regulation

FCA publishes discussion paper on transforming culture in financial services

The FCA discussion paper intends to provide a basis for further debate on developing a healthy culture in financial services that focuses on the role of the individual as well as the firm. The FCA considers the role of leaders, incentives and capabilities, and governance of decision making in this set of essays. The discussion paper is available here.

FCA, 12 March 2018

MEPs endorse composition of new temporary committee to investigate financial crimes

A new "Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance" has been created to examine tax schemes and VAT fraud, with a focus on tax compliance in the digital economy. Details of the Committee's mandate are available here.

European Parliament, 14 March 2018

Environmental

Wood fire man to pay £6,491

Lee Reynolds, director of Biomass Products UK Ltd, has been fined £1,356 for the illegal storage of wood which was destroyed in a fire in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. He was also ordered to pay costs of £5,000 and a victim surcharge of £135.

Over the course of two months Reynolds stored 3,000 tonnes of processed mixed waste wood in a warehouse at Lattersey Hill Industrial Estate before abandoning it. A month later, the first of three significant fires broke out. Two-thirds of the waste wood was removed from the building by the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and paid for by the Environment Agency.

Biomass Products UK Ltd was unlawfully operating the site without an Environmental Permit. Reynolds pleaded guilty to operating a regulated facility without being authorised by an environmental permit at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on 14 February 2018.

GOV.UK, 7 March 2018

Skip-It Torbay to pay thousands for skipping on asbestos removal

Skip-It Torbay, a South Devon waste processing company, has been ordered to pay £16,404 in fines and costs for failing to remove thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste from two sites in Torbay.

Environment Agency officers discovered piles of asbestos-contaminated waste at the Barton Hill Way transfer station in June 2015 and served an enforcement notice on Skip-It Torbay in March 2016 following the company's failure to remove the material. The company received an enforcement notice for illegally depositing asbestos contaminated waste at a second site the Kerswell Gardens site in February 2017.

In May and June 2017, the Environment Agency discovered that the waste still not had been removed from the sites in breach of the enforcement notices. Skip-It pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to comply with enforcement notices and it has been given until 30 September 2018 to safely dispose of the waste from both sites.

GOV.UK, 8 March 2018

Health and Safety

Director and firm sentenced for unsafe gas works

The HSE found Nigel Murray, director of N Murray And Sons Ltd, sub contracted gas installation work to his son, Grant Murray, knowing he was not Gas Safe Registered.

Nigel Murray pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to a six month community order and a four month curfew. Grant Murray pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to a 12 month community order and a six month curfew. The company was fined £6,000.

SHP, 12 March 2018