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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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New York to sue banks over mortgages

Category : Business

New York’s attorney general says he plans to sue major lenders Bank of America and Wells Fargo for violating a $25bn (£16bn) mortgage settlement.

Originally posted here: New York to sue banks over mortgages

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US hedge fund SAC pays record fine to settle insider trading allegations

Category : Business

SAC Capital, a hedge fund run by billionaire Steve Cohen, is to pay $600m (£397m), the biggest insider dealing fine in history

A US hedge fund has paid a record $600m (£397m) fine to settle claims that it traded on insider information about a dud Alzheimer’s drug.

US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission said SAC Capital, a hedge fund run by billionaire Steve Cohen, had agreed to pay the biggest insider dealing fine in history to settle the case.

The hedge fund had been accused of profiting from “the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever” by selling shares in the companies developing the drug before the negative clinical trial results were officially released.

SR Intrinsic, a division of SAC Capital, sold $960m of securities in pharmaceutical companies Elan Corporation and Wyeth after a doctor tipped off the hedge fund that the drug, Bapineuzumab, would have negative results. The hedge fund allegedly made a $276m profit from the deal.

Mathew Martoma, who was the manager of SR Intrinsic at the time, received a $9.3m bonus after the deal. Martoma still faces both criminal and civil charges in relation to the case. His lawyer said: “SAC’s business decision to settle with the SEC in no way changes the fact that Mathew Martoma is an innocent man. We will never give up our fight for his vindication.”

George Canellos, acting director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said: “The historic monetary sanctions against CR Intrinsic and its affiliates are sharp warning that the SEC will hold hedge fund advisory firms and their funds accountable when employees break the law to benefit the firm.”

SAC said it was happy to put the matter behind it. “This settlement is a substantial step toward resolving all outstanding regulatory matters and allows the firm to move forward with confidence. We are committed to continuing to maintain a first-rate compliance effort woven into the fabric of the firm.” The hedge fund did not admit any wrongdoing.

Cohen, who has long been the focus of a federal investigation into insider trading, was not personally implicated in this case.

In addition to the Alzheimer’s drug insider trading settlement, SAC also agreed to pay $14m to settle allegations that the $14bn hedge fund traded in advance of Dell’s earning results.

Kinbasha Gaming International, Inc. (KNBA: OTC Link) | Kinbasha Gaming International, Inc. Finalizes $6 Million Debt Settlement Agreement

Category : Stocks


Kinbasha
Gaming International, Inc. Finalizes $6
Million Debt Settlement Agreement

Agreement with Bank Eliminates Approximately $6
Million in Principal, Interest and Penalties

HITACHI, Japan March 6,
2013 — Kinbasha Gaming
International, Inc.

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Transocean agrees oil spill fine

Category : Business

Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, agrees a $1.4bn (£867m) settlement with the US government for violating the Clean Water Act.

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Toyota pays more than $1bn over car faults

Category : Business

Largest settlement in US history involving car defects must now be approved by a judge

The Toyota car company has agreed to pay over $1bn to settle claims that its cars could unintentionally accelerate out of control. A judge must approve Toyota’s offer of $1.1bn (£683m) which was filed in a Californian court on Wednesday.

Toyota was taken to court by owners of its cars who claimed there was an electronic fault in the acceleration system. Toyota said any accelerator problems were caused by driver error, pedals sticking or badly fitted mats. The settlement means Toyota does not admit blame and avoids a lengthy trial.

The deal includes payments to customers as well as installation of a brake override system which prevents unintentional acceleration in about 3.25m vehicles. The terms include a $250m fund for former Toyota owners who sold vehicles at reduced prices because of adverse publicity, and a separate $250m fund for owners not eligible for the brake override system. Lawyers will receive $200m in fees and $27m in costs.

Steve Berman, representing the car owners, said the settlement is the largest in American history involving car defects.

Toyota has recalled more than 14m vehicles worldwide due to acceleration problems in several models and brake defects with the Prius hybrid.

Toyota agrees $1bn US recall deal

Category : World News

Japanese carmaker Toyota agrees to pay more than $1bn in a settlement of US lawsuits dating back to the recall of millions of cars in 2009 and 2010.

See the article here: Toyota agrees $1bn US recall deal

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Revenue & Customs offers deal on tax avoidance sheltering £3.5bn

Category : Business

Investors in film financing given chance to settle tax liability or risk disputes ‘accelerated to litigation’

HM Revenue & Customs is to write to some of Britain’s wealthiest bankers, hedge fund managers and celebrities offering a chance to settle income tax avoidance schemes estimated to have sheltered more than £3.5bn through film financing structures and other tax-motivated partnerships.

It is unclear how generous the settlement offer will be, but HRMC insisted such an approach was “the best opportunity to resolve these disputes in a way which was cost-effective and consistent with the law”.

HMRC vowed that those who did not take up the offer would risk “accelerated disputes into litigation”.

Among those to have participated in tax-efficient film partnership schemes organised by Soho-based Ingenious Media – one of the largest film partnership firms – are footballers Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney; business figures Sir James Dyson and Lord Hollick; and pop stars Peter Gabriel and Robbie Williams. Ingenious is to go before a tax tribunal next year to clarify the scheme’s status.

Many partnerships are registered in Jersey ensuring the names of high-profile investors are not disclosed.

“We welcome the opportunity this gives us to finally bring the matter before the tribunal where we will have our case heard by an independent assessor,” Ingenious said this month, denying it facilitates tax avoidance of any kind.Such partnerships helped fund films such as Shaun of the Dead, Die Hard 4 and Avatar.

Jason Collins, head of tax at the international law firm Pinsent Masons, said HMRC’s decision to offer settlements was a pragmatic move that could “clear the enormous backlog of tax schemes, many of which are a decade or more old”.

Typically, film partnership schemes are structured to allow investors to delay tax payments on investments over long periods of time. In many cases the financial gain from this delay can exceed the end tax liability.

HMRC’s move to offer settlements comes three years after a partial amnesty was offered to UK tax evaders hiding assets in Liechtenstein. They were lured into settlements with generous terms including cutting fines by 90% and capping the lost interest clawed back by the Exchequer.

Last year, about 1,200 evaders using Liechtenstein came forward, generating £3bn for the Exchequer – three times the initial estimates.

Tax experts were quick to speculate that the latest HMRC offer to investors in complex film investments and other partnerships would have to offer similarly favourable settlement terms to receive widespread take-up. HMRC has given no detail of the terms and would probably face considerable criticism if they are deemed too generous.

Ingenious’ founder, and chief executive, McKenna, was among those questioned this month by parliament’s public accounts committee, which has been taking a broad look at firms it believes to be most aggressively involved in tax avoidance.

McKenna told MPs: “I can tell you categorically that we are not involved in the business of tax avoidance or the marketing of tax avoidance schemes. We are in the business of creating much-needed commercial investment for the creative industries.”

The committee chairman, Margaret Hodge, described the schemes as “immoral”, and dismissed McKenna’s claims not to be involved in tax avoidance.

She said: “For heaven’s sake, Mr McKenna, have a little bit of common sense. I was involved, as culture minister, in that film tax. I was involved in trying to encourage a lot of film production here in the UK, and it was the most disappointing thing, particularly from a company such as yours that pretended to be at the heart of supporting the creative industry

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HSBC to pay £1.2bn over Mexico scandal

Category : Business

News of bank’s agreement comes hours after Standard Chartered admitted settlement with US regulator over Iran

HSBC is expected to admit on Tuesday it has settled allegations of running money for Mexican drug barons for a larger than expected $1.9bn (£1.2bn), barely 24 hours after close rival Standard Chartered admitted paying $670m (£415m) in penalties to US regulators to settle allegations it broke sanctions on Iran.

The $1.9bn that HSBC will pay to the US authorities exceeds the $1.5bn it had warned it could cost to settle the allegations raised in a damning US Senate report in the summer which came amid a wave of scandals to hit the banking sector.

HSBC is expected to confirm it has struck the agreement which has already led to the departure of compliance head David Bagley and put pressure on former chairman Lord Green, now a trade minister.

The bank is expected to admit violating US laws meant to prohibit money laundering including the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act. The deal is expected to include a settlement with the powerful Manhattan district attorney’s office and a deferred prosecution agreement with both the Justice department and Treasury department.

Ahead of the settlement, HSBC on Monday named a former US official as head of group financial crime compliance, a newly created role, as the bank prepared for the fine related to drug allegations. Bob Werner, who used to work for the US treasury, will create a global financial intelligence unit to conduct internal investigations at HSBC.

Peter Henning, a professor of law at Wayne State University, said: “If the numbers are right, this is going to get everybody’s attention. The worst situation would be if the charges were for money laundering but it looks like this is a deferred prosecution relating to books and record controls, that gives the bank some wiggle room in terms of its explanations. But the size of the fine means the bottom line is this is very significant.”

Henning said the fine would have a significant “reputational impact” and HSBC would have to be very careful in future. “You get one black mark. If something like this comes up again in the US, the authorities are not going to be very forgiving.”

European banks seemed to have under estimated the prosecutorial zeal of the US authorities, he said. “We have had Standard Chartered and now this and we still have more Libor cases to come.” US authorities are investigating banks involved in the alleged manipulation of London’s Libor, the key measure for setting loan rates around the world.

Britain’s banks are braced for fines following the £290m penalty slapped on Barclays – now vastly exceeded by the amounts levied by US regulators for breaching sanctions and laundering money.

The fines on Standard Chartered follow accusations that lax systems left the US financial system vulnerable to “drug kingpins” and terrorists.

Standard Chartered is paying $327m to the US Federal Reserve, the US justice department and the New York district attorney, it was announced yesterday, following a settlement of $340m in August with the New York department of financial services.

The bruising episode for Standard Chartered, which until the summer was regarded to have preserved its reputation through the banking crisis, also includes the bank being forced set up “acceptable” compliance programmes. Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, said: “Banks occupy positions of trust. It is a bedrock principle that they must deal honestly with their regulators.

My office will accept nothing less – too much is at stake for the people of this country.” The Fed, which is receiving $100m of the Standard Chartered fines, said it was imposing “one of the largest penalties” it had ever announced for “alleged unsafe and unsound practices” adopted by the bank.

“Under the cease and desist order Standard Chartered must improve its programme for compliance with US economic sanctions, the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering requirements,” the Fed said. The Financial Services Authority, the UK watchdog, has agreed to assist in the supervision of the order.

The department of justice and the district attorney for New York County have entered into “deferred prosecution agreements” for which the bank which will pay $227m. The bank has also settled with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) but the settlement of $132m is offset against other penalties.

Standard Chartered said that Ofac had concluded the “vast majority” of transactions were not in violation of sanctions. The bank said that $24m of transactions for Iranian counterparties and $109m from other countries facing sanctions – such as Burma, Sudan and Libya – had breached sanctions.

Strauss-Kahn in hotel maid ‘deal’

Category : Business, World News

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has signed a settlement with a hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault, a New York judge says.

Read more from the original source: Strauss-Kahn in hotel maid ‘deal’

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HSBC ‘to pay $1.9bn’ in US deal

Category : Business

HSBC will pay US authorities $1.9bn (£1.2bn) in a settlement over a money-laundering probe, say reports, the largest amount ever in such a case.

See more here: HSBC ‘to pay $1.9bn’ in US deal

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