Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

October 18, 2018
In April 2015, Deutsche Bank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve wire fraud and antitrust charges and Deutsche Bank Group Services (UK) Limited pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, collectively agreeing to pay a $775 million fine, for the bank's role in manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR"). Two Deutsche Bank traders pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to the LIBOR manipulation scheme. After a month-long jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, former Deutsche Bank's Pool Trading Desk Director Matthew Connolly was convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud;  and former Deutsche Bank's Money Market and Derivatives Desk Director Gavin Campbell Black was convicted of one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud in connection with their roles in the LIBOR manipulation The DOJ Release asserts in part that:

[I]n order to increase Deutsche Bank's profits on derivatives contracts tied to the USD LIBOR, Connolly directed his subordinates to reach out to Deutsche Bank's LIBOR submitters to ask them to submit false and fraudulent LIBOR contributions consistent with his traders' or the banks' financial interests, rather than the honest and unbiased costs of borrowing, the evidence showed.  The jury also heard evidence that Black asked Deutsche Bank's cash traders who were responsible for submitting the bank's LIBOR rates to ask that they adjust their submissions to favor his derivative trading positions.  According to evidence at trial, several Deutsche Bank LIBOR submitters accommodated the defendants' LIBOR manipulation requests.
After deliberating less than five hours of deliberation, a federal jury in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland convicted Dawn J. Bennett on all 17 federal charges including conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements on a loan application.  Bennett's co-defendant, Bradley Mascho, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and to making a false statement. As part of his plea agreement, Mascho is required to pay at least $5,720,457 restitution  minus amounts repaid with money not derived from his criminal conduct, but in no event less than $3,650,238. Federal prosecutors alleged that Bennet, the owner and operator of DJB Holdings, LLC, d/b/a, an Internet retail website for luxury sportswear. solicited investors with promises of a 15% annual interest rate via convertible or promissory notes. Bennett misappropriated investor funds for personal use and for Ponzi-like payments to prior investors. Bennett obtained over $20 million from 46 investors, many of them elderly clients who knew of Bennett from a radio show she hosted.  The SEC filed a related action alleging violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
In a criminal Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, a Treasury Department's Financial Crime Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") Senior Advisor Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards a/k/a "Natalie Sours" a/k/a "Natalie May Edwards" a/k/a "May Edwards" was charged with one count of unauthorized disclosures of suspicious activity reports and one count of conspiracy to make unauthorized disclosures of suspicious activity reports. The Complaint alleges that Edwards had unlawfully disclosed numerous Suspicious Activity Reports ("SARs") to a reporter, the substance of which were published over the course of approximately 12 articles by a news organization for which the reporter wrote The SARs at issue purportedly referenced Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, the Russian Embassy, Mariia Butina, and Prevezon Alexander. At the time of her arrest, Edwards was allegedly in possession of a flash drive appearing to be the flash drive on which she saved the unlawfully disclosed SARs, and a cellphone containing numerous communications over an encrypted application in which she transmitted SARs and other sensitive government information to the reporter. READ the FULL TEXT Complaint
As expensive whiskey goes, $60 for a good scotch is actually pretty cheap. A client once sent me a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue in an engraved bottle. It was a nice gesture, even if it did amount to using a few hundred dollars' worth of whiskey to pay for several thousand dollars in legal services. Further up the scale of extravagance, another local liquor store has a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon on the shelf at $1,200. I gather it's a bargain even at that price. But who am I to judge? I've certainly seen clients -- and even myself -- blow a grand or so without even the aftertaste of a happy memory. Hell, I've seen clients and adversaries burn hundreds of thousands of dollars battling over legal positions that, seen in the fullness of time, were not worth pursuing or defending. Spending a fraction of that on a good scotch or bourbon seems downright civilized by comparison.
Former Director of Sports Marketing and Alliances at Microsoft Jeff Tran a/k/a/ Trung Tran was indicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington on five counts of wire fraud in connection with his alleged attempt to steal over $1.5 million via fraudulent invoices and the unauthorized use of other Microsoft assets.  The Indictment alleges that Tran oversaw Microsoft's promotional relationship with the National Football League and in March 2017, TRAN he caused a $775,0000 invoice to be issued to Microsoft, supposedly for services related to the 2017 Super Bowl.  Allegedly, Tran routed the invoice's payment through two Microsoft vendors and then to his personal bank account.  When Microsoft vendors became suspicious of Tran's activity and reported the conduct to Microsoft, Tran destroyed electronic communications and told the vendors to lie to Microsoft about the $775,000 payment.  After Microsoft confronted Tran, Tran returned the $775,000. Further, Tran allegedly stole blocks of Super Bowl tickets belonging to Microsoft that were earmarked for distribution among various employees but which he sold for over $200,000