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Ericsson Bribery Probe Near Conclusion with Expected Fine Over USD 1 Billion

By GAN Integrity (Updated )

Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week we cover the DOJ's deepening probe into Deutsche Bank's role in Danske Bank's money laundering case. Keep reading for this breaking story and find more news below:

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Ericsson bribery probe near conclusion with expected fine over USD 1 billion:

Bloomberg reported this week that Ericsson AB, the telecommunications firm, is nearing a resolution of its long running U.S. corruption investigation. The deal is expected to involve penalties exceeding USD 1 billion. Bloomberg’s sources indicate that the agreement is imminent and could be announced as early as this week or next. Ericsson already reserved USD 1.2 billion to cover U.S. penalties over conduct in six countries where the company did business. Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said at a gathering this week that he expects the year to end with a total of USD 1.6 billion in FCPA recoveries; a penalty of about USD 1.2 billion for Ericsson would be consistent with those figures.


Swedish Bank Admits Billions Went Through Estonia Branch:

Sweden’s SEB bank admitted to having had billions of euros funnelled into its three Baltic branches with “low transparency”. An estimated 25.8 billion euros of suspicious funds were transferred into its Estonian subsidiary from 2005 to 2018. While the bank has presented its historical data for the Baltics in more detail, suspicions about the bank’s sincerity have risen as an international consortium of investigative journalists discovered that SEB’s earlier statements about AML compliance might not be entirely correct. The journalists analyzed data on 2,000 transactions between 2005 to 2017 and noted major red flags of money laundering risks. In 2008, Johan Torgeby, SEB’s president, stated that internal audits had revealed “no red flags” in Estonia. 

DOJ deepening probe into Deutsche role in Danske Bank money laundering case:

Reuters reported this week that the U.S. Department of Justice has stepped up its investigation into Deutsche Bank’s role in the money laundering scandal centered on Danske Bank. The scandal involves as much as EUR 200 billion in possible tainted money. According to Reuters’ sources, the DOJ opened a new line of inquiry into whether Deutsche played a role in helping to move tainted money from Danske into the United States. It was further reported that prosecutors at the DOJ are now cooperating with Frankfurt state prosecutors, in addition to cooperating with Estonian authorities. Deutsche has previously paid USD 700 million in fines to New York and British authorities in relation to so-called mirror trades from Russia.

EU starts new preliminary probe into Google and Facebook’s use of data:

The EU has opened up two preliminary investigations into Facebook and Google’s compliance with Europe’s data regulations. The probe aims to gather information on how the companies are gathering, processing, using and monetizing data. EU authorities have sent initial questionnaires to both companies which could potentially lead to an official investigation.


228 arrested on Europol money laundering crackdown:

Europol announced that 228 have already been arrested as a result of a three-month-long global investigation into money laundering. The investigation, known as the European Money Mule Action (EMMA 5) has identified more than 7,250 fraudulent transactions between September and November and has seized 12.9 million euros with law enforcement authorities from 31 countries and 650 banks. So far, 1025 criminal investigations have been open, many of which are still ongoing.

Opioid probe:

Five US pharmaceutical companies have received subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York as part of an investigation looking into potential criminal charges related to shipping big quantities of opioid painkillers that contributed to the opioid crisis. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Mallinckrodt Plc, Johnson & Johnson and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc, and distributor McKesson Corp are some of the mentioned companies.

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