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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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VIDEO: Cyber gang ‘stole $45m’ from ATMs

Category : World News

A gang of cybercriminals stole $45m (£29m) by hacking into a database of prepaid debit cards and draining cash machines around the world, US prosecutors say.

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US wins Kim Dotcom evidence appeal

Category : Business, World News

New Zealand’s Court of Appeal has said that US prosecutors do not need to disclose their evidence in their fight to extradite Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom.

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Peter Madoff jailed for role in Ponzi fraud

Category : Business

Bernard Madoff’s brother receives 10-year sentence in New York for crimes including conspiracy to commit securities fraud

Peter Madoff will serve 10 years in prison for his role in his older brother’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi fraud scheme, a US judge said on Thursday.

Peter Madoff, 67, pleaded guilty in June to criminal charges including conspiracy to commit securities fraud for falsifying the books and records of the investment advisory company founded by his brother, Bernard Madoff.

He agreed at the time not to oppose a request by prosecutors for a maximum 10-year prison sentence and agreed to an order requiring him to forfeit a symbolic $143.1bn. US district court judge Laura Taylor Swain approved the sentence on Thursday.

“I am deeply ashamed of my conduct,” Peter Madoff said at the sentencing. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

Bernard Madoff, 74, was sentenced in 2009 to a 150-year prison term and was ordered to forfeit $170.8bn. Eleven other individuals have faced criminal charges in connection with the fraud. Customers lost about $20bn, according to the trustee charged with recovering money for the victims.

Peter Madoff, a lawyer, had been chief compliance officer and a senior managing director at the firm, Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities.

Prosecutors said he helped create false and misleading documents designed to make it appear that the firm had an effective compliance programme. If the firm had such a programme, prosecutors said it would have shown that no real trades were taking place.

He transferred millions of dollars within the Madoff family to avoid tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service and also put his wife on the firm’s payroll in a non-existent job.

In court papers filed on Monday, John Wing, a lawyer for Peter Madoff, said his client only learned Bernard Madoff had participated in a Ponzi scheme days before it became public.

He argued his client had accepted responsibility and, as a result of the forfeiture, would be “penniless for the rest of his life.”

“Peter’s life has been shattered by his brother’s Ponzi scheme as well as his own conduct and guilty plea, and he will almost certainly live out his remaining days as a jobless pariah, in or out of prison,” Wing wrote.

Letters from dozens of friends, family members and business acquaintances in support of Peter Madoff were included in a 190-page filing to the judge. The letters and filing by his lawyers depict him as a younger sibling who looked up to his older brother.

Peter Madoff “idolised his brother more like a father figure” and “never really seemed to be able to stand up to his brother,” wrote Karen Binder-Brynes, Peter Madoff’s psychologist of nine years.

Binder-Brynes said her client was “traumatised” by the revelation of the Ponzi scheme after the news became public.

Deutsche Bank offices raided amid tax evasion inquiry

Category : Business

German authorities investigate 25 Deutsche Bank staff, including co-chief executive Jürgen Fitschen, on suspicion of tax scam

Deutsche Bank co-chief executive Jürgen Fitschen has been drawn into a widening tax evasion investigation related to carbon trading at Germany’s biggest lender as hundreds of police and tax inspectors raided the bank’s offices.

Prosecutors said they were investigating 25 staff on suspicion of tax evasion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, and searched the headquarters and private residences in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.

“Two of Deutsche Bank’s management board members, Jürgen Fitschen and Stefan Krause, are involved in the investigations as they signed the value-added tax statement for 2009,” the lender said. In 2009, Fitschen was Germany chief and Krause was chief financial officer, a post he has retained.

About 500 police and tax inspectors raided Deutsche Bank, arresting five staff in an inquiry linked to a tax scam involving the trading of carbon permits. Tax officials clutching backpacks and suitcases were seen leaving the bank’s twin-tower headquarters in Frankfurt. About 20 police minibuses and two coaches were parked outside.

The raids mark a setback for Deutsche’s efforts to polish its image. The bank is struggling with lawsuits in the US and UK connected to allegations of Libor manipulation and the mis-selling of subprime assets during the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Armed police officers were stationed in the bank’s lobby and appeared to be co-ordinating a search of the towers. They declined to comment on the exact nature of the raids.

Deutsche Bank on Wednesday it was co-operating fully with the authorities and declined comment on the arrests. It added: “Public prosecutors searched Deutsche Bank offices in connection with investigations that have been under way since the spring of 2010 against individuals suspected of tax evasion in the trading of CO2 emission certificates.”

Feds pressure Martoma with threat of long sentence

Category : Stocks

Federal prosecutors could use the threat of a long sentence to pressure Mathew Martoma, who faces insider trading charges, to try to reel in his former boss, Steve Cohen of SAC Capital.

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Prosecutors: Madoff fraud started in 1970s

Category : Business, Stocks

Federal prosecutors filed additional charges Monday against five former employees of Bernie Madoff, saying that his massive scheme to defraud investors started in the 1970s.

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South Africa drops miners’ murder charges – for now

Category : Business

Prosecutors drop charges against 270 miners accused of killing striking colleagues, but say they may be recharged later

South African prosecutors have provisionally withdrawn murder charges against 270 miners who had been accused of killing 34 striking colleagues shot dead by police, but said they could be recharged when investigations are complete.

Public anger had been mounting at the charges, made under an apartheid-era law under which the miners were deemed to have had a “common purpose” in the murder of their co-workers.

The police killing of the strikers last month at the Marikana mine, run by platinum producer Lonmin , was the worst such security incident since the end of white rule in 1994, and recalled scenes of state brutality from that era.

“Final charges will only be made once all investigations have been completed. The murder charges against the current 270 suspects will be formally withdrawn provisionally in court,” Nomgcobo Jiba, the acting national director of prosecutions, said in a televised news conference.

The miners will be released from prison starting this week. In all, 44 people were killed in the wave of violence stemming from an illegal strike and union turf war.

Top members of the ruling African National Congress had also expressed dismay at the charges as a public backlash gathered.

“We are all surprised and confused by the national prosecuting authority’s legal strategy,” the ANC’s chief whip in parliament said on Friday.

The ANC, whose members were gunned down by police at protest rallies and targeted with draconian laws before Nelson Mandela’s election as the country’s first black president, has been criticised for using similar tactics now that it is in power.

The current president, Jacob Zuma, seeking re-election in December as the leader of South Africa’s dominant party, has seen his support erode over the killings and the state’s handling of the matter.

His enemies say he is more interested in protecting the industry and powerful labour groups than the miners.

Talks to end the strike at Lonmin, the world’s third largest platinum producer, were set to resume on Monday after weekend funerals for the slain workers.

Lonmin’s mines have been idle for three weeks, and labour strife has spread from the platinum sector to gold, where a quarter of the 46,000-strong workforce at Gold Fields have staged a wildcat strike, further unsettling investors.

In the case of Lonmin, the strike and violence stem from a turf struggle for members between the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and the small but militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which has flared across the platinum belt.

The stakes are high as South Africa sits on about 80% of the world’s known reserves of the precious metal, used to make catalytic converters for automobiles.

The price of platinum has been depressed by weak demand, which has put pressure on industry margins at a time when power and labour costs have been rising rapidly. The recent strife has pushed the price up by about 8%.

South African mining unrest spreads to Gold Fields

Category : Business

World’s fourth biggest gold mine says quarter of its 46,000 workers walked out after violent protest at Lonmin platinum mine

Unrest among South African miners has spread to the world’s fourth biggest gold mine.

Bullion miner Gold Fields said about a quarter of its 46,000 workers have walked out in the first strike to affect South Africa’s gold mining industry since violent protest shut down London-listed Lonmin’s platinum mine nearby three weeks ago.

Gold Fields, which is listed in Johannesburg, said 12,000 miners have been on a “unlawful and unprotected” strike at the KDC mine near Johannesburg since Wednesday.

The KDC mine produced 1.1m troy ounces of gold in the year ending December 2011. Gold Fields’ shares closed down 2.8%.

At Lonmin’s Marikana mine, just 5.7% of miners turned up for work on Friday, a day after South African prosecutors said they were charging 270 miners arrested during the so-called “Marikana massacre” with the murder of their 34 colleagues who were shot dead by police.

The murder charge – and associated charges for the attempted murder of 78 miners injured at the Marikana mine near Johannesburg – was brought under an obscure Roman-Dutch common law previously used by the apartheid government.

The move came as the men appeared in court charged with public violence over the clashes at the Lonmin platinum mine on 16 August when striking miners armed with clubs, machetes and at least one gun allegedly charged police, who opened fire.

Julius Malema, the former African National Congress Youth League leader, who has called for President Jacob Zuma to resign over the “massacre”, told supporters of miners outside the courthouse that the charges were “madness”.

South Africa’s justice minister rebuked prosecutors for the move, saying the decision had caused “shock, panic and confusion” among the general public.

Mines minister Susan Shabangu acknowledged this week that the recent labour violence would impact potential investment into South Africa.

Russian Prosecutors Charge Protest Movement Leader – New York Times

Category : Stocks


CBS News
Russian Prosecutors Charge Protest Movement Leader
New York Times
MOSCOW — Russian prosecutors charged the blogger and anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny on Tuesday with embezzlement, a statute that carries a sentence of five to 10 years in prison, the Kremlin's most direct measure to date against a leader of
Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny charged with theftThe Guardian
Russian Opposition Activist Faces Theft ChargesVoice of America (blog)
Russia Blogger Charged As Kremlin Widens CrackdownNPR

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Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years in jail for investment fraud

Category : Business

Texan billonaire treated investors like ‘roadkill’, said prosecutors, during trial in which Stanford was convicted on 13 of 14 counts

Allen Stanford, the fallen Texan billionaire and one-time champion of Twenty20 cricket, has been sentenced to 110 years in jail for defrauding investors of $7bn.

The Texan tycoon’s bizarre and lengthy trial came to its conclusion in Houston on Thursday after Stanford and his victims had addressed the court.

Showing no contrition, Stanford, 62, told the court: “If I live the rest of my life in prison, I will always be at peace with the way I conducted myself in business.”

He accused the prosecution of “Gestapo” tactics and said they had ruined a legitimate business. “I’m not a thief,” he said. “I never defrauded anyone.”

In court one of his victims, Angela Shaw, told the judge: “Allen Stanford has stolen more than billions of dollars. He took our lives as we knew them.” She said some 28,000 people had lost money in the scam.

Shaw asked for other victims in the court to stand and half the gallery rose to their feet, according to court reports.

Prosecutors said Stanford had treated his victims like “roadkill”. They had asked for a prison sentence spanning more than two centuries, calling him a “ruthless predator” who stole from investors “simply to satisfy his own greed and vanity.”

After a jury convicted Stanford in March on 13 of 14 fraud-related counts, prosecutors called on US district judge David Hittner to sentence Stanford to 230 years in prison, the maximum sentence for all his convictions.

Stanford has been in jail since his arrest in June 2009 and his attorneys asked for a maximum of 44 months, a sentence he could complete within about eight months because of the time he has already served.

The trial was delayed after Stanford’s defence team claimed their client had lost his memory following a vicious prison beating following a dispute over a telephone call.

The 6ft 4in Texan was arrested three years ago after the police tracked him down to a modest townhouse in Fredericksburg, Virginia, owned by one of his girlfriends.

After it became clear his business empire was on the point of collapse, Stanford had been attempting to flee to Antigua, the Caribbean isle that was his second home. He was known as Sir Allen there and was one of the largest landowners with business interests including the local cricket ground, newspapers and restaurants. He had spent much of his time there on his 112ft motor yacht, Sea Eagle Bikini.

Abandoned by his mother as a child, Stanford had grown up poor in the tiny town of Mexia, Texas. An early career in gyms failed to pan out he moved into finance, eventually building Stanford International Bank into a global investment firm with offices from Caracas to Zurich.

The money bought him power and influence. He was said to be close to the Bush family. In Washington, he and his executives gave over $1.8m to Democrat and Republican politicians. President Barack Obama received $4,600 for his 2008 election campaign.

It also allowed him to buy his way into the heart of the cricket establishment. Stanford developed a love of the game in Antigua. In 2008 the august England and Wales Cricket Board signed a five-year deal with him for a series of matches between England and an all-star West Indies team. The billionaire announced the deal in typically flamboyant style, arriving at Lord’s cricket ground in a black helicopter and posing for photographs with a perspex case containing $20m in cash.

But, according to the prosecution, all this wealth belonged to someone else. Stanford’s lavish lifestyle was financed by investors who bought certificates of deposit, or CDs, from his bank. But instead of investing the cash, he spent it.

One unanswered mystery is how he got away with it for so long. US diplomats had warned government officials not to be seen or photographed with Stanford three years before his arrest.

“Embassy officers do not reach out to Stanford because of the allegations of bribery and money-laundering. The ambassador managed to stay out of any one-on-one photos with Stanford during the breakfast,” a government official wrote in a cable obtained by Wikileaks.

White collar crime expert attorney Andrew Stoltmann said it was a fair sentence and in line with the 150 years that Bernard Madoff received for his massive Ponzi scheme. “There is no doubt he is a crook. But this case leaves a lot of people with egg on their faces. The regulators should have spotted this guy years ago and they didn’t do anything until they came under pressure after Madoff.”

Stoltmann said far larger amounts of money had been lost by Wall Street bankers but that no one had prosecuted them. “They went after the fly in the ointment,” he said.