English: Mug shot of Allen Stanford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here is what we are reading today:
Allen Stanford Files Appeals His 110 Year Sentence (Dallas News) - Stanford filed a 299-page brief last month with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, making no fewer than 15 lengthy arguments about why he should be set free. He was convicted in 2012 on 13 felony charges related to America’s second-largest Ponzi scheme ever and sentenced to 110 years in prison. Before being halted by a federal judge in Dallas in 2009, Stanford’s fraud had drawn in more victims than any other investment scheme in American history. There are more than 18,000 outstanding claims from defrauded investors and thousands more under review. Investors had deposited about $5.5 billion with Stanford, and so far just $72 million has been repaid to investors.
Hong Kong Hotspot For U.S. Lawyers As Investigations Rise (Bloomberg) - When Cathy Palmer first came to Hong Kong as a U.S. prosecutor more than 20 years ago, she was chasing heroin-smuggling triads who later sent a booby-trapped package to her Brooklyn office. Since March, she has been in the Chinese city, “talking to people about tough things” to help clients of Latham & Watkins LLP deal with mushrooming investigations into potential crimes and corporate misconduct.
UNC Academic Fraud Was More Widespread Than Thought (Bloomberg) - When a 131-page report on academic fraud at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was released yesterday, Kenneth Wainstein of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, took the stage. Wainstein led an eight-month investigation into so-called paper classes that had no faculty involvement and no attendance. Almost half of the 3,100 students who took the classes were athletes. The investigation team, including associates A. Joseph Jay III and Colleen Depman Kukowski “put their hearts and souls,” into the investigation, Wainstein said yesterday at a press conference that was streamed live online.
At Conference, Former Regulators Assail Wall Street Watchdogs (DealBook) - Last week, I visited an alternate universe. The real world sees a pandemic of bank misconduct, but to the white-collar defense lawyers of Washington, the banks are the victims as they bow beneath the weight of regulators’ remarkably harsh punishments. I was attending the Securities Enforcement Forum, a gathering of top regulators and white-collar defense worthies. The marquee section was a panel that included Andrew Ceresney, the current enforcement director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and five of his predecessors. Four of those former S.E.C. officials represent corporations at prominent white-collar law firms: Robert S. Khuzami, President Obama’s first enforcement director who now plies his trade at Kirkland & Ellis; Linda Chatman Thomsen, who served at the George W. Bush-era S.E.C. and now works for Davis Polk & Wardwell; William R. McLucas, the longest-serving agency enforcement director who is now at WilmerHale; and George S. Canellos, who just left the Obama S.E.C. to work for Milbank Tweed. (The well-known Stanley Sporkin, who served in the agency in the 1970s, rounded the panel out.)
U.S. Prosecutors Probe Takata On Airbags (Reuters) - U.S. federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp (7312.T) misled U.S. regulators about the number of defective air bags it sold to automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T), The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Word of the investigation follows a notice on Tuesday from the U.S. auto regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which increased the number of cars potentially affected by defective air bags made by Takata to at least 7.8 million, up from the roughly 4.74 million it announced a day earlier.
U.K. Grocer Tesco Announces Accounting Errors (Reuters) - Tesco reported a bigger than expected hole in its finances on Thursday after finding accounting mistakes had gone back further than initially thought, forcing Britain’s biggest grocer to scrap its full-year profit outlook. Tesco, once the unstoppable juggernaut of the British retail sector, has lost half of its market value this year after the accounting misstatement compounded earlier profit warnings to create a sense of panic at Britain's biggest private employer.
Financial Adviser Admits To Role In Stealing $1 Million From Investors (Washington Post) - Celia Johnston was not looking to make a splash with her investments. The retired Fairfax County schoolteacher, who cares for a quadriplegic son, said she wanted only an “emergency fund” in case pension and Social Security payments couldn’t cover her family’s bills. When her investment adviser told her to put about $60,000 in mutual funds, Johnston said, she figured the cash would be safe. The money, though, didn’t make it to mutual funds. Johnston said Ismail Elmas, her adviser, deposited it into his own bank account.