Founders of Liberty Reserve money service charged with money laundering

The operators of digital currency and money transfer business, Liberty Reserve, have been charged with allegedly helping criminals launder up to US $6bn over the last 7 years. Liberty Reserve allowed users to transfer money without identifying themselves; users were only required to provide a name, date of birth and an email address. Cash was put into the service and converted into an internal digital currency called 'LR'; this was transferred to another user who could then extract the funds. Many users who may have used the service for legitimate reasons have found themselves unable to access their accounts while assets are frozen during the investigation. At the time of writing, seven people have been charged in connection with the investigations. US prosecutors say this may be the biggest money laundering scheme in US history.

KPMG auditor guilty of insider dealing

Last month we reported on Brian Shaw, a Californian jeweller who pleaded guilty to securities fraud after receiving tips from his golfing partner Scott London, a KPMG employee. Mr London has now also pleaded guilty to providing Mr Shaw with insider information on at least 14 different occasions. Mr London, faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5m. KPMG has resigned as auditor from a number of US companies including Herbalife and Sketchers soon after the claims emerged.

Total settle FCPA case

Oil giant Total have agreed a settlement with the DoJ and the SEC to pay $398m in penalties and disgorgement for bribes paid to gain access to Iranian oil and gas fields. The criminal penalty is the fourth largest under the FCPA, the US anti-bribery law.