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USA

Case Summary: 

Some lawyers are called "ambulance chasers." In the USA, in medicine, the equivalent function is performed by "Patient Recruiters" and, yes, the US authorities even use capital letters, just like that. The system is ripe for fraud and convictions have been obtained in a case where the loss to the US Medicare system is USD33 million.

Type of conduct: 
Healthcare / Medicare fraud

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, a former U.S. Army infantryman with combat experience in Afghanistan, faces federal charges. It is alleged that he expressed support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims and a willingness to become a martyr. He was, the authorities allege, developing a terrorist plot in which he planned to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) for the purpose of causing mass casualties.
CoNet Section: 

Someone's got to pay for the wall! The Internal Revenue Service yesterday reiterated its warning that taxpayers may not be able to renew a current passport or obtain a new passport if they owe federal taxes. To avoid delays in travel plans, taxpayers need to take prompt action to resolve their tax issues. Here is the official notice (verbatim).

The European Union has issued a new blacklist for money laundering. The reaction from those appearing on the list, EU members and even the FATF has been rapid and forceful: the list is not acceptable. But there is more at play, including the imposition of direct control on those conducting business in the EU, by the EU without the filter of national parliaments. This example of federalism is not going down well in several large EU states. Also, the "war on dirty money" is a convenient diversion for governments who want the media to focus on that rather than something else. Also.. it might not happen.

The USA's Office of Foreign Assets Control has reached an agreement with a company from Connecticut over "apparent violations" of US sanctions against Iran.

Hang on... "apparent violations"? And the company has agreed to pay? It's time to abandon the linguistic and legal pussyfooting around.

Publication: 

Case Summary: 

We couldn't pass on the chance to copy and paste the above headline from the USA's FBI media service. The case is about smuggling restricted goods in breach of US sanctions and not about edible nuts.

Type of conduct: 
Sanctions - Breaches

The UK's Treasury is not anxious to make it known that the UK is, despite the cries of various EU officials, in fact ready, willing and kind-of able to enter into bi-lateral agreements with third countries. The US Treasury, on the other hand, thinks shouting it from the rooftops is a good idea and has issued a notice regarding an agreement relating to "Prudential Measures Regarding Insurance and Reinsurance (U.S.-UK Covered Agreement. " But.. there's a stumbling block.

BIScom Subsection: 

Two related statements from the IRS and other agencies highlight two specific risks. The first is password security and the second is phishing, etc. scams. By the way, "Summit Partners" (which appears in the statements) isn't a firm - it's someone's idea of a buzzword. Ignore it. It only means "other government agencies." Also, they have one thing dangerously wrong.

With the superficial attitudes of commentators on all sides of the media divide pushing risk and compliance professionals in the direction of their fashion-driven topics, it's useful to remind readers that while they are focussed on the next big thing, past big things remain a threat. Pump and dump is an example of market manipulation and, of course, a predicate crime for money laundering or, even, funding future crime including, possible, terrorist activity. What is even more surprising is that the same names crop up repeatedly but they never go to jail.

BIScom Subsection: 

The city of New York has issued civil proceedings against five of the largest oil companies alleging that they are responsible for climate change and passing the resulting costs onto local governments. Others are joining in with California being the latest to sign up.

CoNet Section: 

As Asia continues to struggle to come to terms with a series of enormous natural disasters, the USA's Inland Revenue Service has come up with a scheme to help victims of similar events. It appears to be a groundbreaking idea that can offer some genuine assistance - if it's done right.

The USA makes a lot of noise about money laundering, etc. and since the early 1990s, it's been at the forefront of pointing out the inadequacies of other jurisdictions while having a surprisingly lax, even holey, regime at home. Let's not forget that there were times when death threats were made to politicians who supported an improved KYC regime and civil rights groups protested in the streets and in forceful terms in the a media that was more than happy to accommodate them. Yes, the USA PATRIOT Act improved matters and there have been incremental improvements but equally there have been serious mistakes. But today is a good day as raft of helpful requirements comes into force under the headline "Customer Due Diligence
Requirements for Financial Institutions." Yet, today is also a bad day: as usual with the USA, it's a half-arsed attempt that falls short of what is actually required.

Yesterday, the USA's President Trump announced that the US would leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action a.k.a. the Iran Nuclear Deal. Below is a list of resources.

BIScom Subsection: 

A press release from the USA's Inland Revenue Service is headed "Many corporations will pay a blended federal income tax." For heaven's sake: what sounds like something special is nothing of the kind and is an example of buzzword-mania when simplicity would better serve the audience. It's time that government departments stopped trying to sound trendy and just said what they need to say.

Here's what the IRS needed to say.

CoNet Section: 

Recently, I found this old (March 2013) on-line chat with Amazon.com's US call centre lurking on my hard disk. Before deleting it, I read it. It's both very funny and an object lesson in the frustrations of dealing with people who have no power to control the situation their own company has created.

CoNet Section: 

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