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, SEC enforcement actions hit an all-time high. Read the full story and more news below:
SEC enforcement actions hit all-time high this year
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) broke records for the 2022 fiscal year, bringing in more than 6.4B USD in fines and filing 760 enforcement actions. In its latest statement, the SEC indicated that the all-time high represented a 9% increase in enforcement actions written over FY2021 and nearly doubled the amount of fines and financial penalties it collected. This year was also the second highest year on record for whistleblower awards handed out.
Junior finance minister in Ghana fired over corruption allegations
A junior Finance Minister in Ghana has been fired over allegations that he took bribes for gold mining contracts in the region. The allegations against Charles Adu Boahen came to light in an investigative documentary which covered the mining industry in Ghana. Boahen allegedly assured political support for mining contracts to companies who funneled a sum of money into his personal accounts. Boahen denied the allegations in a statement posted to Facebook, saying ““My most cherished asset in life is my integrity and I will not allow anyone to use my name to engage in corrupt activities”.
UK’s Russia sanctions exceed 21B USD
The UK, in response to Russia’s continued attack on Ukraine, has released new totals showing that the country has placed sanctions against Russian assets worth more than 21B USD. This represents the highest recorded amount of sanctions against any other territory sanctioned by the UK. The report, released by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), also indicates that sanctions by the UK government will continue to increase until Russia relents in its attack.
FTX corporate controls “a complete failure,” new CEO says
FTX, the cryptocurrency platform that is still in the middle of total collapse, wiping out the investments of thousands of people, suffered from a “complete failure” of corporate controls, according to incoming CEO John Jay Ray III. Ray was chosen to lead the disgraced company through the turmoil of collapse and bankruptcy due to his experience navigating the collapse and bankruptcy of Enron, famously shuttered due to a Ponzi scheme that imploded from an accounting scandal in 2001. The platform, famously advertised with celebrity endorsements, was accused of running its own Ponzi scheme, as well as using corporate funds to benefit its own employees through personal gifts and donations. In a statement released Thursday, Ray chastised everything from security and data failures, to HR failures to the extent that many HR employees could not verify the total number of employees that worked for FTX.
Italian authorities continue to struggle against organized crime
Dozens of people were arrested this week in Rome and Catania, accused of involvement in organized crime and mafia groups in Italy. Twenty six members of the 'Ndrangheta crime family were arrested on suspcision of extortion and racketeering. The arrests land on the heels of an increase in attempts by authorities to get organized crime in the country under control. In total, authorities seized more than 100M USD in illicit funds.