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, two former Bank of America traders are found guilty of price rigging. Read the full story and more news below:
Ex-Bank of America Traders Found Guilty of Price Rigging
Two Ex-Bank of America traders were found guilty Wednesday of using an illegal trading tactic known as ‘spoofing’ to rig the prices of precious metals. Edward Bases and John Pacilio were found guilty on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy due to the illegal tactic of submitting deceptive orders of stocks and commodity futures, thereby creating a false illusion of demand. Most of the spoofing alleged in the case occurred between 2008 and 2014 and according to the defendants’ lawyers, the tactic was only made illegal in 2011 when the Dodd-Frank Act took effect. Both men are expected to file appeals to overturn the conviction.
Hobby Lobby Forfeits 3,600 Year Old Cuneiform Tablet
US-based arts & crafts company Hobby Lobby has returned a rare, 3,600 year old artifact to the Iraqi government. The company obtained the tablet, dubbed the “Gilgamesh Dream Tablet”, because the inscription contained a portion of the original “Epic of Gilgamesh” poem, in a spree of artifact buying to stock the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. Some 11,000 artifacts obtained by Hobby Lobby over the course of more than a decade have been returned to Iraq.
Glencore Probe Yields Charges Against Another Former Trader
Former Glencore trader Anthony Stimler plead guilty in an ongoing conspiracy and bribery scandal involving Nigerian officials. Stimler pleaded not guilty to the charges which relate to commodities trading, conspiracy, and paying bribes to secure oil and gas contracts in Nigeria and other countries. The guilty plea was reported by Bloomberg News. Stimler is the second to be charged by prosecutors in investigations by the U.S. Justice Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other regulatory bodies.
SEC Chief Calls for More Investor Protection for ‘Wild West’ Crypto Market
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said this week that the Commission will regulate the cryptocurrency market to the maximum extent possible in order to protect investors and bring some stability to the market. Gensler said that the largely unregulated cryptocurrency market is open to “fraud, scams and abuse”, because there is not a regulatory body overseeing trades of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.
UK Warns Airport and Port Workers of Offers to Join Organized Crime Syndicates
Last week, the UK's National Crime Agency warned furloughed port and airport workers against offers to give information to organized crime syndicates. According to the NCA, port and airport workers are often targeted to serve as informants for crime organizations and often paid to provide confidential information about borders and ports. Furloughed workers are particularly vulnerable to such offers, because they are more likely to need the money offered by crime organizations.