King conspired with Melissa Reynolds to make fraudulent money orders on their home computers. They mailed these phony money orders to a credit union in an effort to fraudulently pay off their two Mercedes Benz cars. Although the credit union rejected both bogus money orders, King and Reynolds mailed correspondences to the credit union falsely claiming that the debt was satisfied. They then stopped paying their car loans, and King kept the car. King and Reynolds mailed a fraudulent money order in the amount of $432,000 to a financial institution to pay off their mortgage. The financial institution erroneously accepted the fraudulent payment and credited it as a payoff for the mortgage. When the financial institution filed a suit seeking to reinstate the fraudulently discharged mortgage, King and Reynolds continued to allege in court that the mortgage had been paid and submitted a phony receipt for the bogus money order. King also made and mailed fraudulent money orders in an attempt to pay off his credit card bills.Dxrams, King, and Reynolds conspired to fraudulently pay off Dxrams' five luxury cars. They sent a bogus $101,000 cashier's check to a finance company that enabled Dxrams to obtain a 2012 Bentley for free. Dxrams sold the car to a third party for approximately $82,000 and then issued a bank check to King for approximately $25,000. The defendants also used this scheme in an effort to fraudulently obtain three Mercedes-Benz cars and a Rolls Royce.Dxrams was also convicted of bankruptcy fraud and making a false oath before the bankruptcy court. In December 2017, Dxrams filed a bankruptcy petition under penalty of perjury. He falsely concealed his ownership of a car rental business and the gross receipts he earned through this car rental business, his sale of the Bentley, his receipt of money from a personal injury lawsuit, his ownership of firearms, and his marital status, among other things. In January 2018, Dxrams appeared before the bankruptcy trustee and, after being placed under oath, made false statements concerning his bankruptcy petition and his sale of the Bentley.Reynolds previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and mail fraud affecting financial institutions, and is awaiting sentencing. Another defendant, Arthur M. Martin III, has also pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to fraudulently discharge a mortgage on his home, and is awaiting sentencing.
[F]rom 2000 until 2011, certain Walmart personnel responsible for implementing and maintaining the company's internal accounting controls related to anti-corruption were aware of certain failures involving these controls, including relating to potentially improper payments to government officials in certain Walmart foreign subsidiaries, but nevertheless failed to implement sufficient controls that, among other things, would have ensured: (a) that sufficient anti-corruption-related due diligence was conducted on all third-party intermediaries (TPIs) who interacted with foreign officials; (b) that sufficient anti-corruption-related internal accounting controls concerning payments to TPIs existed; (c) that proof was required that TPIs had performed services before Walmart paid them; (d) that TPIs had written contracts that included anti-corruption clauses; (e) that donations ostensibly made to foreign government agencies were not converted to personal use by foreign officials; and (f) that policies covering gifts, travel and entertainment sufficiently addressed giving things of value to foreign officials and were implemented. Even though senior Walmart personnel responsible for implementing and maintaining the company's internal accounting controls related to anti-corruption knew of these issues, Walmart did not begin to change its internal accounting controls related to anti-corruption to comply with U.S. criminal laws until 2011.. . .The internal controls failures allowed Walmart foreign subsidiaries in Mexico, India, Brazil and China to hire TPIs without establishing sufficient controls to prevent those TPIs from making improper payments to government officials in order to obtain store permits and licenses. In a number of instances, insufficiencies in Walmart's anti-corruption-related internal accounting controls in these foreign subsidiaries were reported to senior Walmart employees and executives. The internal control failures allowed the foreign subsidiaries in Mexico, India, Brazil and China to open stores faster than they would have with sufficient internal accounting controls related to anti-corruption. Consequently, Walmart earned additional profits through these subsidiaries by opening some of its stores faster.. . .In Mexico, a former attorney for Walmart's local subsidiary reported to Walmart in 2005 that he had overseen a scheme for several years prior in which TPIs made improper payments to government officials to obtain permits and licenses for the subsidiary and that several executives at the subsidiary knew of and approved of the scheme. Most of the TPI invoices included a code specifying why the subsidiary had made the improper payment, including: (1) avoiding a requirement; (2) influence, control or knowledge of privileged information known by the government official; and (3) payments to eliminate fines.. . .In India, because of Walmart's failure to implement sufficient internal accounting controls related to anti-corruption, from 2009 until 2011, Walmart's operations there were able to retain TPIs that made improper payments to government officials in order to obtain store operating permits and licenses. These improper payments were then falsely recorded in Walmart's joint venture's books and records with vague descriptions like "misc fees," "miscellaneous," "professional fees," "incidental" and "government fee."In Brazil, as a result of Walmart's failure to implement sufficient internal accounting controls related to anti-corruption at its subsidiary, Walmart Brazil, an entity majority-owned by WMT Brasilia, despite repeated findings in internal audit reports that such controls were lacking, Walmart Brazil continued to retain and renew contracts with TPIs without conducting the required due diligence. Improper payments were in fact paid by some of these TPIs, including a construction company that made improper payments to government officials in connection with the construction of two Walmart Brazil stores in 2009 without the knowledge of Walmart Brazil. Walmart Brazil indirectly hired a TPI whose ability to obtain licenses and permits quickly earned her the nickname "sorceress" or "genie" within Walmart Brazil. Walmart Brazil employees, including a Walmart Brazil executive, knew they could not hire the intermediary directly because of several red flags. In 2009, the TPI made improper payments to government inspectors in connection with the construction of a Walmart Brazil store without the knowledge of Walmart Brazil. WMT Brasilia was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart and was a majority-owner of Walmart Brazil.In China, Walmart's local subsidiary's internal audit team flagged numerous weaknesses in internal accounting controls related to anti-corruption at the subsidiary between 2003 and 2011, sometimes repeatedly, but many of these weaknesses were not addressed. In fact, from 2007 until early 2010, Walmart and the subsidiary failed to address nearly all of the anti-corruption-related internal controls audit findings. . . .
[W]almart failed to sufficiently investigate or mitigate certain anti-corruption risks and allowed subsidiaries in Brazil, China, India, and Mexico to employ third-party intermediaries who made payments to foreign government officials without reasonable assurances that they complied with the FCPA. The SEC's order details several instances when Walmart planned to implement proper compliance and training only to put those plans on hold or otherwise allow deficient internal accounting controls to persist even in the face of red flags and corruption allegations.
[O]n June 19, 2019, the traders from China, Singapore, and Malaysia attempted to manipulate the market for MDDT stock by entering matched orders to buy and sell MMDT at substantially the same times, sizes, and prices. The SEC alleges that trades involving these five seemingly unrelated individuals from three different countries accounted for 70% of the volume in MDDT over the period in which they traded. As described in the Complaint, IP records show that at least three of the defendants' brokerage accounts were likely accessed by the same user or users while trading MDDT.
SALVADOR IBARRA ESCALANTE, age 43, of Mexico, also known as "Billy Escalante"RUTH NAVA-ABARCA, age 29, of MexicoFLORENTINO VALENCIA-TEPOZ, age 47 of MexicoGREGORIO VAZQUEZ-CASTILLO, age 43, of Mexico, also known as "Jaime Castillo"JUAN DE LA CRUZ-GONZALEZ, age 32, of MexicoSAMUEL CRUZ, age 42, of Durham, North CarolinaMIGUEL GUTIERREZ, age 24, of Henderson, North CarolinaJAIME LABRA-TOVAR, age 23, of Henderson, North CarolinaOSCAR UGALDE-ESCALANTE, age 31, of MexicoHASAN OZVATAN, age 40, of TurkeyEMILIO GOMEZ-GONZALEZ, age 36, of MexicoJUAN MALDONADO-HERNANDEZ, age 28, of MexicoGEORGE LUIS MORALES, age 21, of New York, New YorkTORIBIO ESCALANTE-CAMPOS, age 59, of MexicoERIC EVO, age 24, of Richmond, VirginiaRYAN MERCADO-RODRIGUEZ, age 24, of Henderson, North CarolinaJUAN LOPEZ-POSADA, age 40, of El SalvadorRENE ESPINOZA-TORRES, age 45, of MexicoKELVIN FE ARELLANO-VALENCIA, age 19, of Raleigh, North CarolinaDEMETRIO VALENCIA-FLORES, age 42, of MexicoALVARO MENDEZ-FLORES, age 38, of Mexico.
Moreover, GOMEZ-GONZALEZ was charged with failure to register with immigration officials. In addition, NAVA-ABARCA, VALENCIA-TEPOZ, ESCALANTE-CAMPOS, IBARRA-ESCALANTE, and VAZQUEZ-CASTILLO were charged with alien harboring. Furthermore, IBARRA-ESCALANTE, VALENCIA-TEPOZ, NAVA-ABARCA, and VAZQUEZ-CASTILLO were charged with immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud.
[U]sed cooking oil, historically viewed as a waste product, has become a valuable recycled commodity over the past decade. The majority of the recycled cooking oil sold is used for biofuel, fluctuating with market demand. It can also be used as a nutritional additive to animal feed and pet food, or in the production of many consumer and industrial products.Legitimate businesses, known renderers, collect used cooking oil from restaurants in exchange of compensation and sell it to refineries so that it can be processed and recycled. The rendering industry estimates that there is an annual loss of approximately $45-75 million dollars from the theft of used cooking oil.According to court records, the objective of the conspiracy was to profit from the illicit trade in large quantities of used cooking oil stolen in North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee, and transported to New Jersey for sale and distribution.In particular, the Superseding Indictment alleges that members of the conspiracy repeatedly traveled to restaurants in North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee, in box trucks equipped with containers designed to store and transport liquids, pumps, hoses, and burglary tools, for the purpose of stealing large quantities of used cooking oil.Additionally, members of the conspiracy transported the stolen used cooking oil in the box trucks to a warehouse in Durham, North Carolina, for consolidation and storage. Thereafter, a tanker trailer was used to transport the consolidated stolen used cooking oil to Virginia and elsewhere. . . .
[A]bility, CEO Anatoly Hurgin, and chief technology officer Alexander Vladimir Aurovsky defrauded SPAC shareholders who voted in favor of a merger between Ability and the SPAC, Cambridge Capital Acquisition Corp., in December 2015. According to the complaint, if Cambridge had not consummated a merger by December 2015, it would have been required, without an extension of the SPAC term, to return all of the capital to its shareholders. To convince shareholders to vote in favor of the merger proposal, the defendants allegedly lied to SPAC shareholders about Ability's business prospects, including Ability's purported ownership of a new "game-changing" cellular interception product, ULIN, Ability's so-called backlog of orders from its largest customer, a police agency in Latin America, Ability's lack of actual purchase orders backing its backlog, and Ability's pipeline of possible future orders from customers. As alleged in the complaint, Ability and the two executives profited from the merger with Ability receiving approximately $19 million and Hurgin and Aurovsky each receiving approximately $9 million plus $6 million each in put options, while Cambridge shareholders lost $60 million.
From April 2016 to March 2018, Edward Jones filed 158 Forms U4 containing affirmative answers to Question 14I(3)(a). In 114 of those 158 filings, Edward Jones reported that the "alleged compensatory damage amount" was $5,000, and included an additional explanatory note: "$5,000 or more/cannot determine amount." However, in 79 of the 114 cases - 69% - where Edward Jones reported alleged damages of $5,000, the customer's complaint specified an amount of damages that exceeded $5,000. For example, one complaint sought damages of $6,417.02 for commissions on an allegedly unsuitable product, another complaint sought damages of $93,139 for allegedly excessive sales of securities, and a third complaint sought damages of $630,000 for allegedly excessive fees and sales charges.The inaccuracies in Edward Jones' Form U4 filings resulted from a misunderstanding by certain of Edward Jones' associates about the applicable requirements for disclosing customers' complaints. When FINRA identified the inaccuracies, Edward Jones promptly updated the Forms U4 at issue to reflect the specific amounts of the customers' alleged damages, provided additional training to its associates, and instituted additional safeguards for its process of disclosing customers' complaints.By filing Forms U4 containing misleading information about the amount of alleged damages in customers' complaints, Edward Jones violated FINRA Rule 1122 and Article V, Section 2 of FINRA's by-laws, and consequently FINRA Rule 2010.
From February 2011 to February 2017 (the "Relevant Period"), CGMI failed to identify and apply sales charge discounts to certain eligible purchases of Unit Investment Trusts ("UITs"), in violation of FINRA Rule 2010.In addition, CGMI failed to supervise purchases and sales of UITs in two respects. First, the Firm failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures ("WSPs") reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws, regulations, and FINRA rules regarding the crediting of all available sales charge discounts to customers' eligible UIT purchases. Among other things, the Firm had no WSPs that discussed the application of rollover discounts and no surveillance tools to identify available rollover discounts. Second, CGMI failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system and WSPs reasonably designed to supervise UIT trading. The Firm's surveillance alert system to detect switching of UITs and other products inadvertently excluded UITs from consideration, which CGMI failed to discover for years. As a result, CGMI violated NASD Rule 3010 and FINRA Rules 3110 and 2010.