Takata Corporation Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to Pay $1 Billion in Criminal Penalties

On February 27, 2017, Tokyo-based Takata Corporation, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud stemming from the company’s conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators.  Takata, which is one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive safety-related equipment, will pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties, including $975 million in restitution and a $25 million fine.  View Full Post
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Former Registered Broker Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud Conspiracy for Participating in a $131 Million Market Manipulation Scheme

On February 27, 2017, Hershel C. Knippa III, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities frauds in connection with the fraudulent market manipulation of ForceField Energy Inc.  According to court filings, Knippa, who is a former registered broker and owner of a commodities trading firm, engaged in a scheme along with others to artificially control the price and volume of traded shares of ForceField, a purported distributor and provider of LED lighting products and solutions.  View Full Post
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Jacob “Kobi” Alexander Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Securities Fraud

On February 27, 2017, Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, an Israeli national, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after having pled guilty to securities fraud for his role in an options backdating scheme involving Comverse Technologies Inc., a communications software company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.  View Full Post
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Managing Director of Investment Bank Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Insider Trading

On February 17, 2017, Sean Stewart was sentenced to 36 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Laura Swain, for providing inside information to his father, Robert Stewart.  Sean Stewart, who was a former managing director at an investment advisory firm in Manhattan, was convicted after trial on August 17, 2016.  View Full Post
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Former Attorney and His Father Charged in Connection with $13 Million Ponzi Scheme

On February 16, 2017, Michael Kwasnik, a former New Jersey attorney, and his father, William Kwasnik, were indicted in connection with a $13 million Ponzi scheme.  Michael Kwasnik previously owned the law firm Kwasnik, Rodio, Kanowitz & Buckley P.C., and its successor firm Kwasnik, Kanowitz and Associates P.C., which had offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  View Full Post
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Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden Delivers Remarks at Global Investigations Review Conference in Washington, DC

On February 16, 2017, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden delivered remarks on FCPA enforcement at the Global Investigations Review Conference in Washington, DC.  McFadden’s remarks, delivered 40 years after the passage of the FCPA, described the history of FCPA enforcement and signaled continuity in DOJ’s approach under the new Administration.  View Full Post
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Co-Conspirators Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court for Market Manipulation Scheme

On February 15 and 16, 2017, Jason Galanis, John Galanis and Derek Galanis, were each sentenced for manipulating the market for Gerova Financial Group, Ltd. (“Gerova”).  The three individuals, along with their co-conspirators, Jared Galanis, Gary Hirst, Ymer Shahini, and Gavin Hamels, engaged in a scheme whereby securities transactions were effected in Gerova stock for the purposes of conferring money to the co-conspirators, without adequate disclosure to Gerova shareholders.  View Full Post
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Man Charged in Connection with Scheme to Defraud Financial Services Firm

On February 15, 2017, Christopher Canale was charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to defraud his former employer, a global financial services firm (the “Firm”).  According to the Complaint, Canale used his position as an accounts payable manager to defraud the Firm out of at least $7 million over a thirteen-year period.  View Full Post
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Former Securities Lawyer Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Securities Fraud

On February 15, 2017, James Seltzer, a former securities lawyer, was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay more than $4.5 million in restitution for securities fraud.  According to the plea agreement, from at least October 2007 through May 2011, Seltzer made misrepresentations to investors in connection with the purchase and sale of securities.  View Full Post
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Man Sentenced to More Than Six Years’ Imprisonment for $5 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

On February 14, 2017, Lee Vaccaro was sentenced to six years and six months in prison in connection with a scheme to defraud investors out of more than $5 million.  According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Vaccaro was the chief marketing officer and vice president of investor relations for a California-based mobile security products company, eAgency.  View Full Post
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