March 27, 2018
The SEC settled an administrative action against Kinross Gold Corporation for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the "FCPA") arising from the company's repeated failure to implement adequate accounting controls of two African subsidiaries. Even after some three years of attempting to implement FCPA policies and controls, the firm failed to maintain them. The SEC's Order finds that Kinross Gold violated books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the federal securities laws. Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm agreed to a cease-and-desist order, a penalty of $950,000 and undertakings to report on its remedial steps for a period of one year. READ the FULL TEXT SEC Order. https://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2018/34-82946.pdf
A few years ago I had the misfortune of getting involved in an estate matter, which, among other points in contention, included a Special Needs Trust or "SNT." Reduced to simplistic basics, an SNT is a legal construct that is designed to protect a "beneficiary" (typically a disabled individual) who is receiving Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits. If the SNT is properly created and implemented, the disabled individual retains their government benefits and a trustee spends SNT funds on payments for certain goods and services for the disabled individual's benefit. When all goes well, the government does not calculate the SNT funds as disqualifying assets when determining the individual's ongoing eligibility. Of course, what in life generally goes well? As a recent FINRA arbitration demonstrates, SNTs are often the impetus behind the Lawyers Full Time Employment Act and prove that Jarndyce v Jarndyce
(Bleak House, Court of Chancery, Charles Dickens, Chief Justice) was not a work of fiction. READ
Idowu Olugbenga Temetan aka David Cole and Adeltilewa Olamigoke Afolabi Ikuejuyone aka Kuffour Duval pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud; and Temetan also admitted to one count of passport forgery. Temetan was sentenced to 51 months in prison; Ikuejuyone was sentenced to 45 months in prison, and both are jointly and severally liable to pay $187,422.60 in restitution. As non-US Citizens, both defendants are expected to face deportation proceedings following their sentences. The DOJ Press Release asserts in part that:
From October 2013 until March 2014, Temetan and Ikuejuyone used counterfeit passports to open bank accounts in the greater Houston area. The passports contained photographs of Temetan and Ikuejuyone but utilized the aliases of David Cole and Kuffour Duval, respectively. Both Temetan and Ikuejuyone then worked with others to lure victims into sending money into various bank accounts under their sole ownership and control. These funds were obtained through a variety of internet scams, including lottery scams and business investment scams. Checks or wire transfers were then sent from the victims' bank accounts to accounts Temetan and Ikuejuyone controlled. Temetan, Ikuejuyone and their co-conspirators would then use the counterfeit passports to retrieve the fraudulently obtained funds.