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US: Cuomo Says Schwab Faces Fraud Suit
by Liz RappaportWall Street Journal
July 20th, 2009
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has warned Charles Schwab & Co. that his office plans to sue the firm for civil fraud over its marketing and sales of auction-rate securities to clients. Emails and testimony cited in the letter show Schwab's brokers had little idea of what they were selling and later failed to tell clients that the market was collapsing.

US: Madoff Is Sentenced to 150 Years for Ponzi Scheme
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
June 29th, 2009
A criminal saga that began in December with a string of superlatives — the largest, longest and most widespread Ponzi scheme in history — ended the same way on Monday as Bernard L. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum for his crimes.

AFRICA: Blood diamond scheme 'is failing'
BBC News
June 24th, 2009
Officials are meeting to review the Kimberley Process, amid criticism that the scheme, set up to certify the origin of diamonds to assure consumers that by purchasing diamonds they are not financing war and human rights abuses, is failing. The Kimberley Process emerged from global outrage over conflicts in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, largely funded by the plundering of diamond resources.

US: Madoff Suits Add Details About Fraud
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
June 22nd, 2009
Three lawsuits filed on Monday provided new details about what regulators say went on inside Bernard L. Madoff’s long-running Ponzi scheme, including information about who might have helped perpetuate the fraud for so long.

US/ANTIGUA: Texas Financier and Antiguan Official Charged With Fraud
by Clifford Krauss New York Times
June 19th, 2009
A U.S. Justice Department indictment unsealed Friday accused R. Allen Stanford of Stanford International Bank, based in the Caribbean money haven of Antigua, of operating a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme with the help of Antigua’s top banking regulator, Leroy King.

AFRICA: Battle to Halt Graft Scourge in Africa Ebbs
by Celia W. DuggerNew York Times
June 9th, 2009
The fight against corruption in Africa is faltering as public agencies investigating wrongdoing by powerful politicians have been undermined and officials leading the charge have been dismissed, subjected to death threats and driven into exile. The search is on for more effective ways to tackle corruption, including intensified legal efforts to prosecute multinational corporations that pay the bribes and reclaim loot that African political elites have stashed abroad.

US: U.S. Cracks Down on Corporate Bribes
by DIONNE SEARCEYWall Street Journal
May 26th, 2009
The Justice Department is increasing its prosecutions of alleged acts of foreign bribery by U.S. corporations, forcing them to take costly steps to defend against scrutiny. The crackdown under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA -- a post-Watergate law largely dormant for decades -- now extends across five continents and penetrates entire industries.

WORLD: When Chevron Hires Ex-Reporter to Investigate Pollution, Chevron Looks Good
by Brian StelterNew York Times
May 10th, 2009
When Chevron learned that “60 Minutes” was preparing a potentially damaging report about oil company contamination of the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador, it hired a former journalist to produce a mirror image of the report, from the corporation’s point of view. An Ecuadorean judge is expected to rule soon on whether Chevron owes up to $27 billion in damages.

US: Trustee Sues Madoff Hedge Fund Investor
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
May 7th, 2009
The trustee gathering assets for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud has sued a prominent New York City hedge fund investor, J. Ezra Merkin, to recover almost $500 million withdrawn from Madoff accounts in the last six years.

NIGERIA: A Writer’s Violent End, and His Activist Legacy
by Patricia CohenNew York Times
May 4th, 2009
A new novel, "Eclipse," by Richard North Patterson, is based on the case of the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, executed in November 1995 by the government of General Sani Abacha. The circumstances, along with related incidents of brutal attacks, are getting another hearing. This month the Wiwa family’s lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell over its role in those events goes to trial in federal court in Manhattan.

US: Undisclosed Losses at Merrill Lynch Lead to a Trading Inquiry
by Louise Story and Eric DashNew York Times
March 6th, 2009
Bank of America chief executive, Kenneth D. Lewis, is trying to bridle Merrill Lynch traders, whose rush into risky investments nearly brought down the brokerage firm. But questions over the Merrill losses — in particular, who knew about them, and when — keep swirling.

INDIA: Pricewaterhouse Revamps Indian Unit
by Heather TimmonsNew York Times
March 5th, 2009
The auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers is overhauling its operations in India two months after starting an investigation into fraud at Satyam Computer Services, a software and outsourcing firm whose chairman said in January that he had falsely claimed assets of $1 billion in cash and overstated operating margins.

US: Ex-Leaders at Countrywide Start Firm to Buy Bad Loans
by Eric LiptonNew York Times
March 3rd, 2009
Countrywide Financial made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering. So it may come as a surprise that a dozen former top Countrywide executives now stand to make millions from the home mortgage mess, buying up delinquent home mortgages that the government took over, sometimes for pennies on the dollar, at newly-formed PennyMac.

CHINA: Morgan Stanley’s Chinese Land Scandal
by David Barboza New York Times
March 1st, 2009
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Morgan Stanley said it had fired an executive in its China real estate division after uncovering evidence that he might have violated the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars American business people from bribing foreign officials.

SWITZERLAND: UBS Names Grübel as New CEO
by Carrick MollenkampWall Street Journal
February 26th, 2009
UBS AG, the Swiss bank battered by massive write-downs and its role in a U.S. tax-evasion scheme, announced the surprise departure of chief executive Marcel Rohner. Mr. Rohner's sudden departure comes after UBS agreed earlier this month to a $780 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department of a criminal inquiry into the bank's role in the tax evasion.

MEXICO: U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
by James C. McKinley, Jr.New York Times
February 25th, 2009
Phoenix-based gun dealer George Iknadosian of X-Calibur Guns will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would go to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

INDIA: Bail Opposed for Raju
by Eric Bellman and Jackie RangeWall Street Journal
January 28th, 2009
Prosecutors pursuing the fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd. said Tuesday the Indian technology outsourcer's founder, B. Ramalinga Raju, should be denied bail because he could slow the investigation if released.

US: Bank of America Board Under Gun From Critics
by Louise Story and Julie CreswellNew York Times
January 27th, 2009
As Bank of America's board meets next week, shareholders have turned up the pressure on CEO Kenneth D. Lewis. Their scrutiny has also turned an unusual spotlight on the oversight role played by the bank's board members.

US: Troubled Times Bring Mini-Madoffs to Light
by Leslie WayneNew York Times
January 27th, 2009
In the wake of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal, the SEC has brought cases involving losses of over $200 million since the beginning of October last year, including one against the disgraced Democratic donor Norman Hsu and North Carolina-based Biltmore Financial.

INDIA: Indian Outsourcing Giant Admits Fraud
by Rama LakshmiWashington Post
January 7th, 2009
The leader of one of India's largest technology outsourcing companies, Satyam Computer Services, on Wednesday admitted cooking its books and committing other grave financial wrongdoing to inflate profits over several years. The revelation shook India's stock market and sent shockwaves across the country's booming software industry.

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