Inside Compliance - December 12th, 2019

Inside Compliance (Dec 12th, 2019)

European Green Deal tax proposals unveiled / Former Credit Suisse exec takes on the bank / Former NFL players charged with health-care fraud

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1. New European environmental proposals unveiled on Wednesday could cost fossil-fuels and transportation companies tens of billions of dollars in taxes. “If companies invest in clean technologies, if they respect our environment, it cannot be that they face unfair competition from heavy polluters," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who announced the European Green Deal, in a speech to the European Parliament. Higher taxes, including stripping exemptions for jet and maritime fuel, would help the EU meet its stated goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It will cost $13 trillion over the next 20 years to meet that goal, economists say. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

2. Colleen Graham, a former Credit Suisse executive, has claimed that the bank put her under surveillance in 2017. Graham claims the company surveilled her over an accounting dispute while she headed Signac, a joint venture between Credit Suisse and Palintir Technologies, a California-based data-mining firm. Filings in the whistleblower case, which the U.S. Labor Department will hear by early 2020, were unsealed Tuesday. Graham, a former compliance chief at Credit Suisse, said Credit Suisse and Palintir pressured her to fiddle with the books ahead of an audit and she refused. Both companies deny her complaints. In a Wednesday statement, Graham said she's pursuing claims against Credit Suisse and unnamed others. - NBC NEWS

3. Former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis and nine other former National Football League players were accused of defrauding the league's health care program, federal prosecutors said Thursday. The players are alleged to have stolen $3.4 million for phony medical equipment purchases, said Brian A. Benczkowski, assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the United States Department of Justice. Benczkowski described the purchases as "things like hyperbaric oxygen chambers, ultrasound machines used by doctors offices to conduct women's health exams and even electromagnetic therapy devices designed for use on horses." The health plan's administrator, Cigna, spotted the problematic claims and alerted authorities. - NEW YORK TIMES

4. The CEO of Shopin, a blockchain startup, was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with defrauding investors of $42.5 million in an initial coin offering. The Brooklyn-based CEO, Eran Eyal, a South African and Israeli citizen, also pleaded guilty to related criminal charges by the New York attorney general's office. According to the SEC, Eyal falsely claimed to have close ties to major retailers, including Bed Bath & Beyond, and a prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He also misappropriated funds for personal expenses. - REUTERS

5. As closing arguments began Thursday in Hewlitt-Packard's $5 billion fraud trial against Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, both sides traded shots. HP's lawyer said Lynch had told "lie after lie," while Lynch said he was the scapegoat for HP's terrible management of its $11 billion takeover of Lynch's software company. In the London trial, HP alleged, among other things, that Autonomy fudged its numbers to beat stock market expectations. “There had been no attempt by Autonomy employees to inflate the company’s financial metrics or mislead investors or potential buyers," Robert Miles, Lynch's attorney, insisted earlier in the trial. - BLOOMBERG

6. Morgan Stanley has been fined $22 million by French regulators, who allege that the firm's London desk employed "pump and dump" trades to boost bond prices. Authorities say the trades took place in 2015 as the bank's bet on French debt appeared poised for a $20 million loss, and Morgan Stanley's London traders then bought futures on French bonds to hedge their position. Morgan Stanley has denied any wrongdoing and said it would appeal the decision by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. "The activities in question were undertaken in accordance with market practice," the bank said. - BUSINESS INSIDER

7. Beleaguered Australian bank Westpac saw its board survive a close vote but executive pay voted down for a second straight year at its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. The meeting was dominated by furious investors who expressed their anger at anti-money laundering law breaches, including the bank's facilitation of payments to child exploiters. “All of us are members and owners of a company that, even at the best, you could say accidentally allowed child abuse to go on for five years,” said shareholder Chris Schott. “It’s inconceivable someone didn’t have the wit to think something was wrong." - REUTERS

8. A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction on Wednesday that stops Arkansas from enforcing a state law that bans vegetarian and vegan food purveyors from using such words as "burger" and "sausage" on their products. Oregon-based Torfurky sued Arkansas in July over the law -- similar ones have been passed in Mississippi, Louisiana and South Dakota -- that bans labeling a non-meat product with terms that have "been used or defined historically in reference to a specific agricultural product." The injunctions will remain in effect until the constitutionality of Arkansas' law is determined. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

9. Citigroup seeks an AML senior manager. The manager will lead risk and compliance reviews and work with the broader anti-money laundering team. Candidates should have at least six years of AML or fraud investigation experience.

10. Walgreens seeks a director of compliance investigations. The director will oversee internal investigations and collaborate with legal and audit departments. A law degree and at least six years of relevant experience are required.

Paul Wachter is a California-based journalist who has written for The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, ESPN, and other publications. You can follow him on Twitter @PWachterInside.

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