Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Thomas Plaut: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on Thomas F. Plaut, described as "the sole owner, Chairman, and CEO of Worldwide Markets Ltd., a British Virgin Islands company with its principal place of business in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey".

Stericycle, Inc.: $24M Penalty

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a penalty of $23,987,520 on Stericycle, Inc., described as a Delaware-domiciled "world-wide provider of medical waste and other services" for "violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977" involving "wholly-owned subsidiaries in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina".

John Gunn: Suspension

Administrative Order by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a suspension on John William Gunn, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom residing in Hong Kong.

Global Investment Strategy UK Ltd.: US Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on Global Investment Strategy UK Ltd., described as "a financial services firm registered with and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom, and is a member of the London Stock Exchange".

BlockFi Lending LLC: $50M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it has imposed a fine of $50 million on BlockFi Lending LLC, a New Jersey-based crypto lender, for regulatory breaches, including "material misrepresentation" and operating as "an Unregistered Investment Company".

Ran Armon: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on Ran Armon, described as a citizen and resident of Canada, for an alleged fraud.

Nicholas Abbate: $30K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $30,000 on Nicholas Abbate, a resident of Staten Island, New York, for "his role in assisting others in a course of business that operated as a fraud or deceit upon clients and investors", including a mutual fund in the Cayman Islands that is not identified in the order but which OffshoreAlert believes is the Income Collecting 1-3 Months T-Bills Mutual Fund.

Wedbush Securities Inc.: $1.2M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $1.2 million on Wedbush Securities Inc. for the "unregistered offers and sales of large blocks of low-priced securities by an offshore customer", namely Silverton SA, now known as Wintercap SA, described as "a purported Swiss asset manager", and failure to file suspicious activity reports.

WEX Inc.: $350K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $350,000 on WEX Inc., described as "a Maine-based reporting company that describes itself as a financial technology service provider" for failing "properly to devise and maintain a sufficient system of internal accounting controls at its Brazilian subsidiary, UNIK S.A.", that led to "errors in WEX Brazil’s financial statements back to fiscal year 2013 totaling approximately $85.5 million, mostly relating to the overstatement of unbilled receivables. This amount included about $8 million in suspected theft or unauthorized transactions by former WEX Brazil employees".

VTB Capital Plc: $6.4M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $6.4 million on VTB Capital Plc regarding "material omissions and misleading statements in a 2016 bond offering for which VTB Capital Plc, a London-based investment bank, acted with Credit Suisse Group AG as joint-lead manager".

Credit Suisse Group AG: $99M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $99 million on Credit Suisse Group AG, of Switzerland, regarding "an offering fraud and violations of the internal accounting controls and books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ... in connection with three interconnected transactions involving, among others, United Kingdom-based Credit Suisse entities and Mozambican state-owned entities".

Robert Press: $5.4M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $50,000 on Donna M. Silverman to settle allegations of fraud involving TCA Fund Management Group Corp., of Florida, and four TCA funds in the Cayman Islands.

Donna Silverman: $50K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $50,000 on Donna M. Silverman to settle allegations of fraud involving TCA Fund Management Group Corp., of Florida, and TCA Global Credit Fund GP Ltd., of the Cayman Islands.

WPP Plc: $22M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $22.5 million on WPP Plc, described as "the world's largest advertising group" that is domiciled in Jersey, in the Channel Islands; headquartered in London and New York City, and whose shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange for alleged violations of "the anti-bribery, books and records, and international accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" involving its subsidiaries in Brazil, China, India, and Peru.

Helikon Investments Ltd.: $778K Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $778,244 on Helikon Investments Ltd., described as a United Kingdom company that is registered with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, to settle allegations that it "sold short American depositary shares and then, within the rule's five-day restricted period, purchased ADSs of the same issuer in an offering, thereby violating Rule 105", profiting "by $669,002 from the transaction".

Ronald Haller: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on Ronald P. Haller, 67, of Ontario, Canada, after. he pleaded guilty to fraud in Canada.

Murchinson Ltd. et al: $9M Settlement

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission stating that Murchinson Ltd., of Toronto, Canada; Marc Bistricer, and Paul Zogala, described as citizens and residents of Canada, have agreed to pay penalties totaling $9 million to settle a regulatory investigation that, inter alia, involved an unidentified Bermuda "hedge fund".

Pearson Plc: $1M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $1 million on Pearson Plc, described as a British publicly-listed "multinational educational publishing and services company", for "material misstatements and omissions regarding a 2018 cyber intrusion that affected several million rows of student data across 13,000 school, district, and university AIMSweb 1.0 customer accounts in the United States".

Poloniex LLC: $10.3M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $10.3 million on Poloniex, LLC, of Delaware, for operating "a digital asset trading platform" without registering "as a national securities exchange".

DeFi Money Market et al: $13M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties on Blockchain Credit Partners, d.b.a. DeFi Money Market, of the Cayman Islands; Gregory Keough, and Derek Acree, both of Florida, for an alleged fraud that involved selling "more than $30 million of securities in unregistered offerings by using smart contracts and "decentralized finance" technology to sell digital tokens".

Coinschedule Ltd.: $201K Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $201,688 on Blotics Ltd., formerly doing business as Coinschedule Ltd., described as a United Kingdom-domiciled company that "owned and operated a once-popular website platform, www.coinschedule.com, that publicized current and upcoming offerings for different digital tokens and was accessible in the United States from 2016 to August 2019", for promoting a security without disclosing that it received compensation for doing so.

Momentus Inc. et al: $8M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties of $8 million on Momentus Inc., Stable Road Acquisition Corp., SRC-NI Holdings LLC, and Brian Kabot for alleged securities fraud involving, inter alia, Mikhail Kokorich, described as "a Russian citizen residing in Switzerland".

PLS, CPA et al: Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties on PLS, CPA, Chang G. Park, Joseph Yongyun Lee, and Juchi Lee, all accountants, for "improper professional conduct" involving, inter alia, Interactive Multi-Media Auction Corporation, described as "a British Virgin Islands corporation with its principal place of business in the United Kingdom" and "formerly headquartered in Hong Kong".

Amec Foster Wheeler Ltd.: $22.7M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $22.7 million on Amec Foster Wheeler Limited, described as a Switzerland-domiciled parent of a group "with a significant presence in the United Kingdom", regarding "a bribery scheme to obtain an oil and gas engineering and design contract in Brazil" involving Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras.

Gil Beserglik et al: Industry Bans

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing industry bans on Gil Beserglik, 64, a citizen of Israel; Raz Beserglik, 35, a citizen of Israel, and Kai Christian Petersen, 53, a citizen of Germany, regarding their involvement in binary options brokers.

S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC: $9M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $9 million on S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC for regulatory breaches involving Credit Suisse AG, of Switzerland.

Peter DeCaprio: $75K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing sanctions, including a fine of $75,000, on Peter J. Decaprio, of Boston, Massachusetts, for regulatory breaches involving, inter alia, an "unregistered fund" in the British Virgin Islands.

David Hu: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on David Hu for securities fraud involving International Investment Group LLC and funds in the Cayman Islands and Curaçao.

Wireline, Inc.: $650K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $650,000 on Wireline, Inc., described as a Delaware-domiciled "early-stage project focused on the development of a decentralized, blockchain based platform", for an unregistered securities offering and alleged fraud involving, inter alia, Wireline Developer Fund Ltd., a.k.a. Wireline Development Fund, of the Cayman Islands. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert showed that, in the Cayman Islands General Registry, the directors of Wireline Developer Fund Ltd. are identified as Lucas Geiger and Rich Burdon.

Deutsche Bank AG: $43M Penalty

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a penalty of $43.3 million on Deutsche Bank AG for regulatory breaches involving, inter alia, entities in Abu Dhabi, British Virgin Islands, China, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.

Tierion, Inc.: $250K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $250,000 on Tierion, Inc. for regulatory breaches involving the sale of digital tokens by its "Cayman Islands-subsidiary, Tierion International Ltd.". Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert in the Cayman Islands General Registry showed that the directors of Tierion International Ltd. are Casey McDonald and Wayne Vaughan.

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on Mustafa Abdel Wadood, described as a citizen of Egypt, for "the misappropriation of fund assets from one private equity fund client of the Abraaj Group and an offering fraud against investors in another Abraaj fund".

Robinhood Financial, LLC: $65M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $65 million on Robinhood Financial, LLC, described as a Delaware-domiciled "self-directed securities brokerage" based in Menlo Park, California, for "material misrepresentations and omissions by Robinhood relating to its revenue sources".

Mancera SC, et al: $1.6M Penalty & Bans

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a financial penalty of $1,589,926 on Mancera SC, described as "the Mexican member firm of Ernst & Young Global", and bans on accountants Alejandro Valdez Mendoza, CP and Angel Radames Corral Nieblas, CP, both citizens of Mexico, for regulatory breaches regarding Desarrolladora Homex, SAB de CV, which was described as a construction firm that "engaged in a massive fraudulent accounting scheme over at least a three-year period" and whose shares were listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange.

Mark E. Watson III: $450K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $450,000 on Mark E. Watson III for his "role" in Bermuda-based insurer Argo Group International Holdings Ltd.'s failure to disclose "over $5.3 million in perquisites and personal benefits" while he was the company's CEO, President, and a director.

BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd.: $170M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $170 million on BlueCrest Capital Management Limited, of Jersey, in the Channel Islands, for regulatory breaches involving, inter alia, BlueCrest Capital International Master Fund Limited and BSMA Limited, both of the Cayman Islands.

Rajesh Taneja: Industry Ban

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing an industry ban on Rajesh Taneja, described as "a citizen of Canada and a resident of Vietnam", for alleged fraud and unregistered activity.

Tradenet Capital Markets Ltd.: $130K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $13,000 on Tradenet Capital Markets Ltd., of Israel, for regulatory breaches.

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.: $1B Penalties Re. 1MDB

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $1.06 billion on The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. regarding "a scheme perpetrated by now former senior employees of Goldman Sachs who authorized and paid bribes and kickbacks to government officials in Malaysia and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in order to secure lucrative business for the Company and benefits for themselves" involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a.k.a. 1MDB.

Big Time Holdings Inc.: Securities Registration Revocation

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission revoking the registration of securities issued by Big Time Holdings, Inc., described as a "forfeited Delaware corporation located in Douglas, Isle of Man". Editor's Note: In a filing with the SEC on October 29th, 2018, Big Time Holdings Inc. identified its CEO and sole director as David Smeed, its former directors and officers as Thomas DeNunzio, Brian Kistler, and Mandla Gwadiso, and its principal shareholders as Ascot Group Plc, of the Isle of Man, and Palewater Global Management, Inc., of New York, NY. Records filed with the Isle of Man's Companies Registry show that the directors of Ascot Group Plc are David Gordon Smeed, of Dublin, Ireland, and Lee John Bernard Murphy, of the Isle of Man.

JBS SA et al: $27M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $27,416,565 on JBS S.A., Joesley Batista, and Wesley Batista, all of Brazil, regarding "a bribery scheme".

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC: $35M Penalty

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $25 million and disgorgement of $10 million on J.P. Morgan Securities LLC for regulatory breaches.

Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC: $1.25M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $1.25 million on Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC for regulatory breaches.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV: $9.5M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $9.5 million on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. , described as "a Dutch public company headquartered in London, United Kingdom", for the "VW 'dieselgate' scandal".

Christopher Bachinski: $36K Penalty

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a penalty of $36,590 on Christopher D. Bachinski for alleged insider trading involving Buckeye Partners LP, of Houston, Texas, and IFM Investors Pty Ltd., of Australia.

BMW et al: $18M Fine

Administrative Order imposing a fine of $18 million in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft, of Germany; BMW of North America, LLC and BMW US Capital, LLC, both of Delaware, regarding "inaccurate disclosures ... of its retail vehicle sales volume in the United States".

Michael Vernon: $35K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $35,000 on Michael Vernon, a resident of Spain, for alleged fraud involving TCA Fund Management Group Corp., of Florida; TCA Global Credit Fund GP Ltd., TCA Global Credit Fund LP, TCA Global Credit Fund Ltd., and TCA Global Credit Master Fund LP, all of the Cayman Islands.

Steven Rosen: $35K Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $35,000 on Steven Rosen, a resident of Kew Gardens, New York, for alleged fraud involving TCA Fund Management Group Corp., of Florida; TCA Global Credit Fund GP Ltd., TCA Global Credit Fund LP, TCA Global Credit Fund Ltd., and TCA Global Credit Master Fund LP, all of the Cayman Islands.

Northern Trust Global Fund Services Cayman Ltd. et al: $167K Penalties

Administrative Order imposing financial penalties totaling $167,629 on Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services LLC and Northern Trust Global Fund Services Cayman Limited, of the Cayman Islands, "as the fund administrators for the LR Global Frontier Master Fund, Ltd. and two feeder funds, the LR Global Frontier Fund, Ltd. (offshore) and the LR Global Frontier Fund LP (onshore)", for regulatory breaches regarding an alleged fraud by Donald S. LaGuardia, Jr.