Hank Greenberg can be sued for hiding insurance company’s losses
5 June, 2016
The New York Court of Appeals ruled that state officials can try to recover millions of dollars in bonuses and interest from Former American International Group CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg , 91, and his co-defendant, Howard Smith, 71, former AIG chief financial officer.In 2005, then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused Greenberg and Smith of using fraudulent transactions to hide the insurance company’s losses and mislead investors about its financial condition.
Greenberg’s lawyer, David Boies, later tried to get the charges dismissed, arguing that a $115 million settlement between AIG executives such as Greenberg and a group of shareholders should have ended the case. But the court rejected that argument and ordered the trial to proceed. More than $55 million may be at stake. In addition, the court said the state could seek to ban Greenberg and Smith from the securities industry and from serving as officers or directors of public companies. The U.S. government in a separate case last August appealed a judge’s ruling that sided with Greenberg on a legal claim over AIG’s bailout and found that the Federal Reserve exceeded its authority in the insurer’s bailout.
The case centers on a transaction with General Re, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The New York suit claims Greenberg orchestrated a $500 million transaction that boosted loss reserves without transferring risk. A second transaction, with Capco Reinsurance Co, allegedly hid a $210 million underwriting loss in an auto-warranty program
The People of the State of New York by Eric T. Schneiderman v. Maurice R. Greenberg
[April 4 Americans in Panama Papers: ‘Wait. Just look at what’s coming…’ ]
Jen Mills for Metro.co.uk But weirdly, considering it’s the world’s largest economy, there was nobody from the USA .Stefan Plöchinger, digital editor of German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung which obtained the leaks, shot out this teaser earlier today, saying: ‘Wait. Just look at what’s coming…’
[August 17 2015 Carlos Hank Rhon and Banamex under DoJ subpoenas ]
Justice Department is examining anti-money laundering practices at Banco Nacional de Mexico, Citigroup’s Mexico unit known as Banamex, to see if any of its clients were involved in money laundering, Justice wanted Citigroup (C.N) to provide information on accounts tied to four businesses affiliated with Hank Rhon, two units each of Grupo Financiero Interacciones SA (GFINTERO.MX) and Grupo Hermes SA, which are controlled by Hank Rhon and his family as well as a fifth firm, Banco Monex, that’s not connected to Hank Rhon. Hank Rhon, a businessman involved in banking, construction and heavy industry, is the son of Carlos Hank Gonzalez, a longtime force in Mexico’s ruling party who died in 2001.
Carlos Hank Rhon’s fortune includes assets in the financial, industrial, real estate and transportation industries. His best-known company is bank holding company Grupo Financiero Interacciones, where he and his family own a 74% stake. In 2014 his son, Carlos Hank González, left the company when he became chairman of the board of another banking conglomerate, Grupo Financiero Banorte, in which his mother’s family has a 12% stake. In addition to Interacciones, Hank Rhon owns Grupo Hermes, an industrial conglomerate with interests in construction, infrastructure projects, energy, transportation, tourism and auto dealerships. He is the son of one of Mexico’s best-known politicians, the late Carlos Hank Gonzalez, who held several key government positions including Mexico City mayor, Secretary of Agriculture and governor of his home state of Mexico. [Clear?]
Jorge Hank Rhon (born January 28, 1956) is a Mexican politician, businessman and owner of Mexico’s largest sports betting company, Grupo Caliente. An eccentric and controversial personality, he served from December 2004 to February 2007 as the president of the municipality of Tijuana. He is the son of former Mexico City mayor Carlos Hank González and Guadalupe Rhon.Hank has long been target of diverse rumors and accusations. Tijuana
[August 17 Doral Bank pair charged with $2.35 million wire fraud and money laundering]
Doral could possibly be taken over by the FDIC Friday, people with knowledge of the matter told. A federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment Feb. 18 charging Defendant Annelise I. Figueroa and Defendant Rolando Rivera Solis with financial institution fraud, misapplication of $2.35 million in bank funds, wire fraud and money laundering.
[December 26 2014 Doral Bank raid connected to 2011 unsolved murder?]
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents entered the Doral Bank’s offices about 8:15 a.m december 23. in San Juan to collect information including computers and documents, the Doral search was being conducted by the white-collar crime unit regarding a federal offense. However, she said she wouldn’t exclude the possibility that the probe may also relate to the 2011 murder of a Doral executive, Maurice Spagnoletti. The raid took place at the bank’s information technology offices in Hato Rey.
Spagnoletti, 56, was shot while driving home from work to the fashionable Condado beach front district in rush-hour traffic in June 2011 after leaving the Bank, in what authorities said was a professional execution. At that time, the man was Executive Vice President of Doral Bank, a position he occupied for six months.
Following the execution of Spagnoletti, his widow and daughter, Marisa and Lucy , respectively, filed a lawsuit civil at the federal level in 2013 for “wrongful death” or death by negligence, involving officers of the Bank, including its President Glen Wakeman. However, they withdrew the demand in January 2014.
In the lawsuit, the relatives of Spagnoletti claimed that he received threats after he found fraudulent bank transactions and advised President Glen Wakeman should dismiss Annelisse Figueroa, who was Executive Vice President of operations together with the head of security Jose Robles and Vice President, Chief compliance and Chief Legal, Enrique Ubarri Baragaño, defendants in the action.
Since 2012, Doral Bank has been operating under a consent agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and parallel sanction by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which required the directors to set policies and closely monitor the bank’s financial reporting, among other things, according to the complaint.
But the company ended up surprising investors on March 18 when it said it could not file its Form 10-K report for 2013 on time because it discovered material weakness in its accounting controls, Fair View said in its complaint. The bank subsequently revised its reported loss for the quarter ending Sept. 30 to $2.57 per share from $1.49 a share, it said.
Spagnoletti was president of Greenville-based Carolina First Bank, a subsidiary of The South Financial Group Inc., from April 2006 to June 2008.
[October 15 Citigroup Inc. fined $2 million in Oceanografía- Banamex]
The Mexican regulator, the CNBV, said October 15 that in its review of Oceanografía’s relationship with Banamex, it found actions that could be considered crimes. it has fined the local unit of Citigroup Inc.a little more than $2 million for failing to prevent an alleged fraud against the bank by a client, oil-services firm Oceanografía.
The regulator also said that Banamex should have had better internal controls in place to prevent such losses.The incident also has led to the departure of high-level employees at the bank, with Citigroup announcing this month that Banamex Chief Executive Javier Arrigunaga had resigned.
[June 30 BNP “perpetrating what was truly a tour de fraud,” pleads guilty]
BNP hid the names of Sudanese and Iranian clients when sending transactions through its New York operations and the broader American financial system. In the bank’s Geneva office, “there was policy to strip, amend and omit” information identifying Sudanese clients. “This conspiracy was known and condoned at the highest levels of BNP,” Edward Starishevsky, an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, said in court on Monday when the bank pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying business records and one count of conspiracy. BNP agreed to pay an $8.9 billion penalty
French bank BNP Paribas and the U.S. government are close to settling the criminal investigation of the bank for between $8 billion and $9 billion.
According to U.S. prosecutors, the bank conducted at least $30 billion of illegal transactions on behalf of companies and government agencies in Sudan over a period of five years, violating U.S. sanctions. In addition to paying a record fine, the bank is expected to plead guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and agree to a temporary prohibition on its ability to conduct transactions in U.S. dollars. Although the fine seems huge compared with those paid by other banks in comparable cases, prosecutors feel that it’s justified because of the severity of the misconduct as well as the fact that BNP didn’t cooperate as fully as the government would have liked.
The bank conducted at least $30 billion of illegal transactions on behalf of companies and government agencies in Sudan over a period of five years, violating U.S. sanctions. In addition to paying a record fine, the bank is expected to plead guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and agree to a temporary prohibition on its ability to conduct transactions in U.S. dollars.
A development could produce the first guilty plea to criminal charges from a major bank in more than two decade. A lack of criminal prosecutions of banks and their leaders fueled a public outcry over the perception that Wall Street giants are “too big to jail.” The decision is to seek guilty pleas in two of the most advanced investigations: one into Credit Suisse for offering tax shelters to Americans, and the other against France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, over doing business with countries like Sudan that the United States has blacklisted. The approach applies to American banks, though those investigations are at an earlier stage.
Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, has opened his own criminal investigations into a fraud at Citigroup’s Mexican affiliate and other American banks. And in the recent speech, Mr. Bharara warned, “You can expect that before too long a significant financial institution will be charged with a felony or be made to plead guilty to a felony, where the conduct warrants it.”
BNP’s shares are down less than 4%–a steep fall, but hardly calamitous. And its CDS have hardly budged, actually trading roughly one basis point tighter, at 64 basis points, according to data provider Markit. So much for banks being too big to indict.
A criminal investigation, overseen by the F.B.I. and prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan has opened as to whether holes in Citigroup Inc’s internal controls contributed to the fraud in Mexico. The question for investigators is whether Citigroup — as other banks have been accused of doing in the context of money laundering — ignored warning signs.
At Citigroup’s Grupo Financiero Banamex, Oceanografía became one of Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex)’.s largest corporate clients.
Under a short-term lending arrangement, Banamex would advance money to Oceanografia SA de CV, whose existence hinged almost entirely on government contracts. Banamex issued the loans with the understanding that Oceanografía had received contracts from Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state-owned oil monopoly. Once the work was completed, Pemex would repay the loan to Banamex.
Oceanografía’s financial problems became apparent in January 2014, when it announced that it would not be able to pay interest on a debt of $335 million contracted in 2008. Mexican authorities suspended Oceanografía from obtaining additional government contracts for several months. Shortly after, Banamex discovered a fraud.
There was valid documentation for $185 million of work, Citigroup said, but Banamex had advanced Oceanografía a total of $585 million. Some of Oceanografía’s invoices, Citigroup said, “were falsified to represent that Pemex had approved them. A Banamex employee processed them.”
Banamex accounts for 13 percent of Citigroup’s revenue.
At first glance, Citigroup appeared to be the victim of the fraud involving the Mexican oil services company Oceanografía. After all, the bank lost millions of dollars.
But the F.B.I. and prosecutors are questioning whether Citigroup was equal parts victim and enabler.
For one, it is unclear whether the wrongdoing at Citigroup was actually limited to a single Banamex employee, as early reports indicated. The authorities are investigating whether the scheme involved co-conspirators at the bank’s offices in the United States.
Banamex, acquired in 2001, is the biggest unit in Citigroup’s Latin America operations, which account for about 20 percent of total revenue. Profit at the subsidiary almost quintupled in the past decade, burnishing its reputation as well-managed and shielding the Mexico City-based bank from corporate interference.
The fraud allegations and a disclosure this week that Banamex USA received subpoenas in the U.S. related to money laundering now tarnish the unit’s image. The probes also could put pressure on Citigroup co-President Manuel Medina-Mora, whose job includes oversight of Mexican operations, and Banamex Chief Executive Officer Javier Arrigunaga, 50.
[September 15 2011]
Kweku Adoboli, a 31-year old trader on UBS’ exchange-traded-fund desk in London, has been arrested by City of London police in connection with rogue trading that has cost the Swiss banking giant an estimated $2bn (£1.3bn). The landlord at Mr Adoboli’s former £1,000-a-week apartment in Shoreditch, east London, described him today as a “nice guy”. a trader on UBS’ exchange-traded-fund desk in London. His title is listed as “Director ETF and Delta1 Trading at UBS Investment Bank.”
Investment banks’ Delta One operations trade securities that attempt to track an asset closely. Details are not yet known about what Adoboli traded.
Delta One can be considered the last domain of prop trading in the banking sector, where via market-making activities, traders can still get away with taking ample risks.
This is one of the few divisions in the banking community which is still hiring.