Prime Time Crime

 

  Corporate Scandals  page 1

 

 

 

Greed and Corruption

 

Regulators

Global Meltdown

 

 

Funeral home chain

TORONTO - An investigation has found a pattern of assertive sales tactics and upselling taking place at some funeral homes run by Arbor Memorial, the largest Canadian provider of funeral and cemetery services.    (CBC)   MORE:   High cost of grieving    Commission sales people   Following a death    

  

Taking excess fees

TORONTO - The Bank of Montreal has agreed to compensate clients a total of $49.9M after collecting excess fees on certain mutual funds and investment products over 8 years.  (CP)  

 

Feds approve sale

OTTAWA - On paper, a majority stake in Vancouver-based Retirement Concepts is being sold to a Chinese-owned company called Cedar Tree Investment Canada. However, Cedar Tree is the company that China's Anbang Insurance is using to make the acquisition.  Federal officials did not explain how they have been able to get a clear picture of Anbang's ownership and corporate structure.  (Globe & Mail)  MORE:   Acquisition raises questions     Seniors sector consolidation   

 

Settlement

LONDON - Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc agreed to pay about $807M to resolve US and UK investigations into allegations it bribed foreign officials to win business.   (Bloomberg)

 

Fraud

TORONTO - A prominent Canadian businessman and co-founder of Canada's largest golf club operator has been charged with 8 business associates in connection with an alleged criminal organization that defrauded businesses, banks and investors of more than $30M.  In Nov 2014, York Regional Police launched an investigation into John Simmonds, 66, and AC Simmonds and Sons Inc, of which he is the chairman and CEO.   (Global)   MORE:   Fraud charges 

 

Settlement

NEW YORK - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries agreed to pay more than $519M to settle US criminal and civil allegations that the company bribed overseas officials to gain business for its medications.    (Reuters)   MORE:   US DoJ press release

 

CIBC settles

TORONTO - CIBC investment dealers will pay more than $73M to compensate clients who were overcharged fees.   (CBC)   MORE:   OSC said

 

Class action over service charge

VANCOUVER - Eric Finkel's lawyer launched legal action under a little-tested section of BC's Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCPA). The Finkel case is one of dozens that pop up in a search of 'deceptive practices' under the BPCPA, most aimed at 'deep pocket' industries such as banks or insurance companies for hidden or 'deceptive' service charges.   (CBC)   RELATED:   AB's licence plate stickers and vehicle renewal 

 

Phony accounts

SAN FRANCISCO - Federal regulators said Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts - without their customers knowing it - since 2011.    (CNN)   MORE:   Wells Fargo fined $100M   Supervisor leaves with $125M bonus 

 

Another defense scam

CURITIBA - Prosecutors in Brazil and the US Justice Department are now probing the alleged payment of bribes by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to wangle a US$208M deal with India.  (Asia Sentinel)

 

Bribes revealed

JOHANNESBURG - Documents were released in the settlement of a corruption case against Och-Ziff Capital Management, a US hedge fund that manages $39B.  The US documents show the hedge fund paid more than $100M in bribes to officials in Congo, Libya, Chad, Niger and Guinea to gain corrupt influence and mining assets.  (Globe & Mail)   MORE:   DOJ press release   Dan Gertler 

 

$1B lawsuit

COLUMBUS - At issue were hundreds of millions of dollars in promissory notes issued by a Venezuelan government-backed agricultural development bank called Bandagro  in 1981 that a Columbus, Ohio investment group called Skye Ventures bought in 2004 for $100M.  The only problem was that the notes were never actually issued by Bandagro.   (EFE)  JUDGMENT:   Skye Ventures v Venezuela opinion 

    

Bank coin counting machine

TORONTO - A Canadian class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of people who have allegedly been short-changed by TD Bank coin-counting machines over a three-year period.   (CP)

   

Broker pyramid scheme

TORONTO - The scheme was operated under the name Banners Broker between Oct. 2010 and Mar. 2013. Christopher George Smith, 45, of Toronto, and Rajiv Dixit, 45, of Vancouver, were taken into police custody.  (Toronto Star)  MORE:   2 charged

Airlines' percentage of upgrade tax

Airport improvement fees are charged at every major airport, in the range of $23 to $30. The fee is included in the taxes on each departing ticket.  Airports give between 4%-7% of the money collected to the airline carrying the passenger.  (CBC)

 

Hospital hospitality

When Wendi Wolf arrived at the newly built hospital, she was able to order additional services like TV, telephone and internet.  The service came from a company called Hospitality Network, which works with more than 200 hospitals across the country. (CBC)  MORE:   Revenue streams for your facility

  

Euribor fine

BRUSSELS - JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and Credit Agricole were fined a total of $521M for rigging the Euribor benchmark as EU antitrust regulators wrapped up a 5-year investigation into the scandal.  (Bloomberg)

 

Mortgage risk changes

OTTAWA - The Department of Finance released a 22-page consultation paper laying out its vision of sweeping changes to Canada's 62-year-old mortgage insurance system in an effort to shift more of the risks of Canada's hot housing market from taxpayers to lenders themselves.   (Globe & Mail) 

  

Princess Cruises fined

Princess Cruises Lines has agreed to plead guilty to 7 felony charges and pay a $40M penalty for polluting the ocean with waste and then trying to cover it up.  Princess is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, which owns multiple cruise lines that collectively comprise the world's biggest cruise company.  (Washington Post) 

   

Suing

VANCOUVER - Steve Nash is suing his former business partners to have his name and image removed from 21 Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Club locations in BC.  (CBC)  MORE:   Company being sued says they have the right to use name   Steve Nash

 

More regulation leads to more fraud

When top-level managers find governance mechanisms too coercive, they're more likely to commit fraud, according to a new paper.  (Epoch Times)   REPORT:   External corporate governance and financial fraud 

 

Court case

CALGARY - The world's largest publicly traded uranium company will clash in court with the CRA over a potential $2.2B tax bill.  At question is whether Cameco Corp. set up a subsidiary in low-tax Switzerland and sold it uranium at a low price simply to avoid tax, as the CRA contends. Cameco maintains it was a legal and sound business practice.   (CP)

 

Bankruptcy

LOS ANGELES - The bankruptcy of the Hanjin Shipping line has thrown ports and retailers around the world into confusion, with giant container ships marooned and merchants worrying whether tons of goods will reach their shelves.   (AP)  MORE:   Ships, cargo and sailors stranded   Hanjin takes legal steps

  

Sentenced

MONTREAL - Cinar founder Ronald Weinberg was sentenced to 9 years in prison for swindling investors out of more than $120M in a fraud scheme.  Co-defendants John Xanthoudakis and Lino Matteo were sentenced to 8 years each.   (CTV)   PREVIOUS:   3 guilty verdicts   Guilty verdicts   Evidence is closed    Offshore banking nightmare 

 

Fraud charges

CALGARY - Sean Patrick O'Brien, 47, has now been charged with 164 counts of fraud and theft in connection with an investigation into a defunct vehicle consignment dealership.  From July 16, 2011, and August 31, 2014, citizens brought 116 vehicles to an auto consigning company named TREADZ Auto Group with the intention of selling their vehicles.   (CTV)

 

Insider trading charges

MONTREAL - Quebec's AMF confirmed that it is charging David Baazov, Benjamin Ahdoot, and Yoel Altman, along with 3 companies, with 23 charges related to manipulating stock prices between Dec. 2013 and Dec 2014.  Baazov is the CEO of Amaya, the company that runs PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and several other online gambling sites.  (CTV)   MORE:   CEO facing charges   Shares plunge   Amaya   

 

Fixed game

ALBANY, NY - Had a hard time getting a ticket to a concert or sporting event? New York's attorney general says that's probably because more than half of tickets to many events are held for industry insiders or otherwise unavailable to the general public.  (AP)   REPORT:   Ticket Sales Report    .pdf

 

Fraud

CALGARY -The Bridgecreek Development Corporation financial loss to 800+ investors exceeded $33M.  William Lloyd Bradley, 68, and Colin Joseph Becker, 49, have been jointly charged with committing fraud and theft.  (Metro) 

 

Plant explosion

LONG LAKE - One person is dead and another is in critical condition after an at Alberta's Nexen Long Lake facility.   (CBC)  MORE:   Explosion at oilsands site   Worker ID'd     

Cost of doing business

OTTAWA - Engineering giant SNC Lavalin made nearly $118,000 in illegal political donations to federal political parties between 2004 and 2011, Elections Canada has revealed.   (Global) 

Compliance agreement

SNC-Lavalin awarded

SNC-Lavalin  

Aecon    Darlington Nuclear Station

'Integrity' rules relaxed 

SNC says haven't softened rules enough    

Corruption case settlement

Bribery now a Canadian value? 

Canada needs anti-corruption agreements

For every bribe, there's an outstretched hand

Judge acquits 

Billions to a national embarrassment

World Bank blacklist of corrupt companies

Doesn't have to reveal info

World Bank

2016 SCC 15

Guilty plea

Charged

World Bank listing of ineligible firms

Canada tops World Bank blacklist

Canada has gone from squeaky clean  

Ex-execs face criminal charges    

Billions in federal contracts

Too big to fail

Board's actions as scandal unfolded

Charged with corruption, fraud

Charged  

Punish takers and payers

Will companies be held responsible

Choc v. HudBay Minerals Inc

Arrest

Former CEO arrested

Former exec investigated

Dam project

Watan   CIDA

Dahla Dam

Greed & Corruption Quebec

Mafia 

Corruption threats

Jacques Cartier Bridge

Suspected kickbacks 

Another contract awarded to SNC

Accused released from jail

National Post: Cynthia Vanier

Saadi Gadhafi

RCMP grilled Canadian

Mexico 'stops entry'

Hospital suffering from deficit, scandals 

Execs accused of hiding commission fees 

The capital of corporate corruption

WB: Governance & anti-corruption

Canada ignoring corruption  

4 major nations are lax on bribes

War-hit nations head corrupt list

'Allowing corruption to go unchecked'  

Cambodia added to list

Amnesty to whistleblowers offer

Probe hushed up

Move to freeze assets  

Some of missing millions found

RCMP probe

'Project consultancy costs'

Political financing

Web of illicit payments  

SNC-Lavalin

Suspect arrested

Charged and allowed to leave Canada

Anti-corruption squad makes arrest

How plans became a scandal 

Bribe Payers Index 2008   .pdf

Political donations

Formally charged

SNC-Lavalin, MUHC and $22M

MUHC executive summary

Fraud allegations  

Hammer interviewed former Senator

Hospital project suspected of corruption

MUHC  

David Angus

Raid targets McGill Hospital

Exec a scapegoat

Bodyguard ordered deported

SNC sell off

Taskforce descends on MUHC offices 

SNC brass hire own counsel  

407 ETR E

Highway 407

CPP Investment Board

Cyndy who?

Federal building audit

Atomic Energy of Canada

SNC-Lavalin defends building prison

World Bank suspends SNC  

RCMP investigating  

Shady deals  

AECL

SNC got a deal

No Candu for federal government

AECL sold for $15M

Raid on English superhospital offices  

SNC scandal and new CEO

'Tackle WB graft charges in 2 ways’ 

Feds spend $6B to maintain buildings

Former director investigated

Court sides with SNC  

ACC

Bridge 'conspiracy'  

Padma Bridge

Ferrovial  

SNC probes mystery payments  

Husband of ambassador a 'player'

Accused dies

MONTREAL - Arthur Porter, the former hospital administrator at Montreal's McGill University who was accused in a $22.5M kickback scheme, has died in a Panama City hospital following a battle with cancer.  (CBC)

Death confirmed by UPAC

RCMP probe PMS appointment

Consulting fees

Porter criticizes inquiry

To be extradited

Courts freeze assets  

Arrested

Arrested

Ex-McGill hospital boss arrested

Fishing trip 

McGill University superhospital

McGill bribery case 

Arrest warrant

Timeline of a corruption scandal    

Arthur Porter

SIRC

Caesar's wife and government

Jim Judd   

Former CSIS watchdog now a wanted man

Warrant issued

Porter denies any wrongdoing

Casting light on our spies

Ari Ben-Menashe  

Business dealings raise eyebrows

6th person charged

National Post: MUHC scandal

Montreal Gazette: MUHC timeline

Golden exile of Porter  

'Mega-hospital' lauded  

Plot to defraud government

Former spy watchdog wanted

Too ill to travel to Canada

Spinning concerns

Feds willing to expand CSIS mandate

Bixi sold

MONTREAL - The city has sold the international branch of Bixi to Montreal businessman Bruno Rodi.   (CTV)  

Bixi will ride again

Bonuses

Bixi goes bust    

No surprise

Green light for bike share plan

Law gets in the way

Program aims to avoid mistakes

Government funding as model

BIXI:  $42M debt, $6.5M deficit

Auditor slams city's deal with BIXI     

Tremblay defends Bixi bailout  

City council approves bailout

Bixi boondoggle

Judge rules against city hall

Stripped

OTTAWA - Former media baron and convicted fraudster Conrad Black has been stripped of the Order of Canada.  On the recommendation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he will also be removed from the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.   (CBC)    

 

Conrad Black

SEC settles with Black

$4.1M in restitution  

Honours removed

Canada strips Conrad Black of award 

Preliminary settlement

WASHINGTON - Volkswagen's deliberate cheating on emissions tests will cost it a record $14.7B. And that's just the start of its problems.  The settlement is only a preliminary step in the case; the automaker still faces possible criminal charges, as well as civil penalties for Clean Air Act violations.  (CNN) 

Volkswagen emissions scandal

EPA's notice of violation

Volkswagen faces fine

Volkswagen

2 exposed the scandal

VW manipulated tests in Europe

New CEO

Diesel levels of pollution

   

Russia ordered to pay

HAGUE - An international court on Monday ordered Russia to pay more than $50B to the former majority shareholders of now defunct oil company Yukos  (CP)  

Russia forced to pay $50B to shareholders

Russia to appeal

Good luck collecting the $50B

Sentenced to death 

TEHRAN - A court in Iran has sentenced to death Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani and 2 accomplices for embezzlement  in a case closely watched due to the billionaire's prominent role in helping the government evade oil sanctions.   (Guardian UK)

NIOC

Settlement

Settlement sentencing 

Sentenced for violation of US sanctions

France warns US

BNP Paribas  

Looming fine unnerves bankers

US DOJ: BNP Paribas agrees to plead guilty

Bankers will still get their bonuses 

 

Unsealed lawsuit documents

NEW YORK - In blunt testimony former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Trump's insights.  (NY Times)   MORE:   Texas decision to drop fraud investigation political    

Germany shuts down bank

FRANKFURT - The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) said Sunday it was shutting down the German arm of Maple Bank, which is part of Canada;s Maple Financial Group. (DW)   MORE:   Canadian bank tied to money laundering   National Bank writes off $165M stake in Maple Bank   National Bank of Canada   ON Teachers' Pension Plan, National Bank watching legal problems facing Maple investment   

   

Licence suspended

TORONTO - The Ontario government has suspended the licence of Everest College of Business, Technology and Health Care Canada, a day after the US parent company Corinthian Colleges was suspended from trading on the New York stock exchange.  (Toronto Star) MORE:   Facing criminal probe    College files for bankruptcy protection in Canada  

Misleading advertising

OTTAWA - The Competition Bureau has settled a misleading advertising case against the Avis and Budget rental car companies but came away with much less than originally sought when its allegations were announced early last year.  (CP)  MORE:   Avis and Budget to ensure prices advertised are accurate   Deceptive acts   Go Public investigation   Consumer Protection BC probe

   

Argentina settles

NEW YORK - Argentina has signed an agreement with US hedge funds to settle a protracted dispute over its failure to repay $95B worth of bonds.  The creditors were led by hedge funds NML Capital and Aurelius Capital Management.    (BBC)   MORE:   Hedge fund to make $2.4B profit    Argentine debt restructuring 

Turn off your smartphone

Samsung called a worldwide halt to the sale and exchange of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, citing continued safety concerns, and advised all customers to stop using the device immediately.   (AFP)   MORE:   Samsung stops Galaxy Note 7 production   Don't mail your Samsung   Banned from aircraft   Galaxy Note 7   Next scandal?

   

Too big to fail

DOVER - Dow Chemical and DuPont will attempt to merge in an all-stock deal that would create a colossal chemical producer worth $130B.   (CP)   MORE:   Megamerger   Rise of the investment activists

Linkedin settles class action

'Would you like to join my professional network on LinkedIn?'  Or would you rather have $1,500 US for the inconvenience of having your contacts incessantly pestered with requests to join? (CBC)   MORE:   Class action settlement

   

Anti-trust case

BRUSSELS - The European Commission has accused Sky TV in the UK and 6 major Hollywood studios of breaking EU competition rules by blocking access to movie content in other EU countries.  (BBC)  MORE:   EC's press release 

Force to payback severance

VANCOUVER - Justice Emily Burke found Herbert Anderson breached his fiduciary duty to Impark by changing and then concealing an agreement which paved the way for him to set up a rival company with former consultant Michael Menzies.   (CBC)

   

Price fixing fears

LONDON - Britain's top model agencies have been raided amid fears that they are price fixing.  Investigators from the CMA started an investigation into a number of firms in March.  It is alleged some modelling agencies have been operating a secret cartel to drive up appearance fees.   (Telegraph UK)   MORE:   Cartel squad raids model agencies

Spotlight on mattress business

OTTAWA - The federal Competition Bureau is investigating whether Canada' two major department-store retailers have touted bogus discounts of their mattresses.  Many of the products are made by the industry's 2 dominant manufacturers: Tempur Sealy International and Serta Simmons Bedding (Advent International).   (Globe & Mail) 

   

Toshiba execs quit

TOKYO - Toshiba's CEO and 8 other executives resigned Tuesday to take responsibility for doctored books that inflated profits at the Japanese technology manufacturer by $1.2B over several years.  Toshiba Corp. acknowledged a systematic coverup, which began in 2008.  (CP)

 

Suspect jailed in 2002

TORONTO - More than a decade ago Salim Damji convinced thousands of Ismaili Muslims to invest in his fake teeth whitening product - a $100M scam dubbed at the time to be the largest of its kind in Canadian history.   (Toronto Star)   MORE:   He's at it again   Damji-Cooperman Investment Fraud    

   

Ad exec quits

TORONTO - Miles Nadal, founder of Toronto-based advertising group MDC Partners Inc, announced his resignation as CEO amid an ongoing investigation by the US SEC into executive pay and the company's accounting practices.  (AP)   MORE:   CEO steps down 

Class action settlement

TORONTO - Canadian consumers are getting a $20 break.  Anyone who bought a computer, printer, personal digital assistant, MP3 player or video game console in that period can collect $20 by filling out a form on themoneyismine.ca.  (QMI)

   

Shrinking size

TORONTO - Cineplex is shrinking soft drink sizes at its theatres and while the hulking large cup will disappear, moviegoers will be paying the large price for a drink that's 12 ounces smaller.  Ontario's Making Healthier Choices Act, set to be introduced in 2017, also factored into the decision.  (CP)   

Supplier questions

BURLINGTON - Several business-owners told CBC that Canada BankCard Systems took money from their bank accounts without adequate explanation, several times a month - sometimes several times on the same day.   (CBC)  MORE:   BBB F rating   Ripoff report: Lease Finance Group/Canada Bankcard      

   

Jailed for fraud

HYDERABAD - An Indian court has sentenced the former head of Satyam Computers and 9 others to 7 years in prison.  (BBC)   MORE:   7 years   10 found guilty   B Ramalinga Raju    Satyam

Zombie debt industry

Aggressive collectors buy credit card accounts from original lenders that have been written off as in default and impossible to collect on.  (Guardian UK)  PREVIOUS:   FTC cracks down on debt collectors        

   

RCMP crackdown 

OTTAWA - The RCMP says it is more aggressively pursuing Canadian companies that pay bribes to win lucrative contracts overseas and, in future, more cases will lead to real jail time for individuals rather than just fines for companies.  (CBC)

Illicit profits

WASHINGTON - Aleksandr Milrud, 50, recruited stock traders in China and Korea to place high-speed buy or sell orders and then quickly cancel them, known as layering or spoofing.   (AP)   MORE:   FBI press release   Canadian charged     

   

Class action lawsuit

A number of class-action lawsuits filed in several provinces claim electronics' giants have acted as a cartel to 'wring' $480M in illegal profits from Canadian consumers for almost a decade.   (CP)  

Arrested

TORONTO - OPP say Nicholas Smirnow, of Lake of Bays, and his wife Dianna were arrested on outstanding warrants after getting off a plane from the Philippines. (CP)   PREVIOUS:   Pathway 2 Prosperity scam 

   

CCAA failed

TORONTO - When Target Corp. announced plans to retreat from Canada, the company chose a surprising legal route for its exit.  The big US retailer's Canadian division applied for court protection under the CCAA, an insolvency law that was designed to be used by companies seeking to restructure their finances and stay in business.   (Globe & Mail)   MORE:   Target claims $1.6B tax break from failed Canadian launch  

Project manager guilty

TORONTO -  An Ontario Superior Court judge found Vadim Kazenelson guilty of 4 counts of criminal negligence causing death.  Metron Construction Corp, pleaded to criminal negligence causing death and was eventually fined $750,000 plus a victim surcharge.  Ottawa-based Swing N Scaff Inc, was fined $350,000 for failing to ensure the platform was in good condition.   (CP)   PREVIOUS:   Workers die in plunge    Company fined

   

Fined $7M

TORONTO - National Energy Corporation has been the subject of thousands of complaints by regulatory bodies.  (CBC)   MORE:   Just Energy   Fined for business tactics   

Energy cutting billions from spending

TORONTO - Canadian have seen their household energy bills climb by 5% this year, an increase that will divert $4B from other spending.   (Globe & Mail)     

   

Fined 

WASHINGTON - The French firm Alstom SA has pleaded guilty and will pay $772M in criminal penalties to settle charges with the US Justice Department alleging the company bribed government officials to win business around the world.  (Reuters)    

Class action lawsuit

TORONTO - An unprecedented class action lawsuit striking at the economic foundations of junior hockey in Canada alleges the Canadian Hockey League and its teams 'conspired' to force young players into signing contracts that breach minimum wage laws.  (Toronto Star)  

   

11 charged

TORONTO - 11 Ontario residents have been charged with various offences in an alleged investment scam in which scores of international investors lost a total of $4.4M.  The company was National Detection Clinics Ltd., formerly known as Discovery Biosciences and which became TGC Ventures Inc.  (CP) 

More charged

OTTAWA - Investigators with the RCMP's National Division announced bribery charges against Robert Barra and Dario Berini, the former CEO and COO of Cryptometrics Inc, the US parent company of Cryptometrics Canada.  (CBC)   MORE:   Foreign nationals charged   3 years   3 years 

   

Biased audit claimed

Resolute Forest Products is suing the Rainforest Alliance because their draft audit recommended the company's FSC certificate - an environmental stamp of approval for the industry - be suspended.   Resolute is also suing Greenpeace after that environmental group released a report that was also critical of its forestry practices.   (CBC)

Dual citizen charged

NEW YORK - Gregg Mulholland, 45, has been criminally charged with running a stock manipulation fraud that generated $300M of illegal profit, and included a pump-and-dump scheme that caused the market value of little-known Cynk Technology to rocket past $6B.   (Reuters)   PREVIOUS:   Mystery of Cynk Technology 

   

Predatory payday loans

VICTORIA - The Cash Store, which also operates as Instaloans, has been ordered to repay more than $1M to BC customers who were charged exorbitant interest rates on payday loans.  (CBC)   MORE:   Consumer protection BC: Cash Store

Alleged scam

CALGARY - After an extensive RCMP investigation into an alleged scam that saw 1,300 people swindled out of $23M, Varun Aurora and David Humeniuk are each facing three counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count of theft over $5,000. 

   

Stock market fraud

TORONTO - The RCMP says 2 former executives of Onco Petroleum Inc. are facing charges in an alleged $30M stock market-related fraud.   (CP)   MORE:   ONCO fallout continues   Ontario Securities Commission must go   Top officer suspended

Gladiator School

BOISE - The FBI has launched an investigation of the Corrections Corporation of America over the company's running of an Idaho prison with a reputation so violent that inmates dubbed it 'Gladiator School.'  MORE:   FBI investigates private prison 

   

'Organized crime type fraud'

MINNEAPOLIS - The owners of the Minnesota Vikings were ordered to pay nearly $85M in damages to former business partners they defrauded with "evil motive", and will face a criminal investigation into their actions, which a judge declared violated racketeering laws.    (Deadspin)   Zygi Wilf

FBI investigating 

NEW YORK - The FBI has launched a wide-ranging investigation into high-speed trading with an eye on whether some firms are acting on fast-moving market information that isn't available to other traders.   (WSJ) MORE:   High-speed traders investigated   High-frequency trading

   

Just one more fix

2/3 of cartels are in industries in which the top 4 firms have 75% of the relevant market.  (Economist)   PREVIOUS:   Business cartel  

    Market prices 'manipulated'

NEW YORK - In truth, of course gold and silver markets are manipulated - as is virtually every other market on the planet.   (Mineweb)

   

Collection agency fined

TORONTO - One of the largest collection agencies in the country has been hit with a $500,000 fine from the CRTC.   (CBC)  MORE:   iQor Canada

Competition bureau accuses

OTTAWA - The Competition Bureau has accused Leon's Furniture Ltd. and The Brick Ltd. of "deceptive marketing practices."  (CTV) 

Co-op shambles laid bare

LONDON - The shambolic state of the Co-operative Group was laid bare in a scathing verdict warning that the survival of Britain's biggest mutual organisation was at stake.   (Guardian UK) 

Shareholder lawsuit

NEW YORK - A shareholder of BlackBerry Ltd. sued the company and two of its executives accusing them of inflating the stock price by painting a misleadingly rosy picture of the business prospects of its BlackBerry 10 smartphone line.  (CBC)

Price fixing

WASHINGTON - 9 more Japan-based companies have agreed to plead guilty to fixing prices on auto parts and will pay more than $740 million in criminal fines.   (WSJ)   MORE:   Guilty plea to fixing prices   .pdf  

Penny stock fraud

NEW YORK - 4 Canadians and 5 Americans have been indicted in what US officials call one of the largest international penny stock frauds in history.  (CP)   MORE:   9 individuals indicted    Hamilton man wanted  

Man of mystery

KAMLOOPS - He boasts 4 citizenships – and could rightfully claim title as an international man of mystery. Today, Mr. Wolf is accused of being a middleman in an arms-related bribery scheme that culminated in the June 5 conviction in Ljubljana of Slovenia’s former prime minister, Janez Jansa. (Globe & Mail)   Walter Wolf  Patria affair

US legal industry

NEW YORK - Jacoby & Myers was a pioneer in fighting in the 1970s for lawyers’ right to advertise. Today, the firm is trying to win another suit to change the rules of America’s legal industry, which generated revenues of $261B in the 12 months to September. If successful, the suit would allow non-lawyer investors to put money in a law firm.  (Economist)

Africa loses billions

Africa is losing more than $50B every year in illicit financial outflows as governments and multinational companies engage in fraudulent schemes aimed at avoiding tax payments to some of the world's poorest countries, impeding development projects and denying poor people access to crucial services.  (Guardian UK) 

Africa plundered

Africa progress report 2013

'Biggest single plunder of diamonds'

Robert Mugabe

Reap What You Sow   .pdf  

UNECA

Takeover bid

LONDON - Beer and soft drink maker Anheuser-Busch InBev has confirmed it has made a takeover approach to rival SABMiller.  According to reports in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, the merger would create a company that controls one-third of all the beer produced in the world.   (CP)  Class-action lawsuits   InBev brands   Too big to fail   Anatomy of an Oligopoly: the Beer industry

Capital flight

MOSCOW - Russia's central bank governor Sergey Ignatyev has said that $49B left the country illegally last year.  A study by Washington-based Global Financial Integrity found that an average of $62B in income earned from illicit activities has entered or left Russia each year since 2004.  (BBC)   REPORT:   Russia: Illicit financial flows

Cross-border shopping numbers

OTTAWA - Cross-border shopping by Canadians in the US accounted for 1.7% of total Canadian retail sales in 2012.  (CP)

Consumers don't support high wages, taxes

Conference Board of Canada

Driven away

Cross-border shopping, 2006-2012      

Banks misleading

TORONTO - Canadians already pay some of the highest mutual fund fees in the world, but poor transparency from some financial institutions may be costing customers even more.  (CBC)

Price-fixing

The European Commission has imposed a record 1.47B-euro ($1.92B) fine on a number of TV makers for price-fixing.   (BBC)   MORE:   TV and monitor cartels

Adios to Canada

Employment is up 40% in Mexico's auto sector in the past 8 years, as international companies have poured $7B worth of investment into the country. Contrast that with Canada, which is struggling to find commitments to replace expiring assembly lines at GM, Toyota and others.   (CBC)

Automotive industry in Canada

Assembly plants in Canada - 2015  

Pay to 'play'

Taxpayers provide 

There are no good reasons for handouts

Harper renews $250M auto innovation fund

Bribery

Spotlight on water heaters

TORONTO - Canada's Competition Bureau is seeking $25M in penalties from two water-heater rental companies that the watchdog alleges gouge customers by making it next to impossible to return water heaters and get out of contracts without exorbitant fees.  (CBC)   MORE:   Bureau press release

Budget car rip off

VANCOUVER - 3 former Budget Rent a Car employees have contacted Go Pubic to allege the Vancouver-area operation systematically and intentionally rips off customers, by grossly overcharging for minor repairs that sometimes aren’t even done.  (CBC)   PREVIOUS:   Rental car scams

Barriers to competition

OTTAWA - Canada should eliminate barriers to market entry if it wants to foster the innovation.   (Macdonald-Laurier Institute)   REPORT:  Public policy to encourage innovation and productivity  .pdf

Company fined

TORONTO - Metron Construction has been fined $200,000 in the death of 4 workers in a scaffolding mishap.  (CP)  MORE:   3.5 years   Construction manager gets prison  

'Civil conspiracy'

VANCOUVER - A class action lawsuit alleging Canada's major banks and credit card companies are engaged in a 'civil conspiracy' involving credit card fees, has been certified by the BC Supreme Court.   (CBC)   

Class action lawsuit 

Tribunal rejects changes

Bureau alleges anti-competitive conduct by Visa and MasterCard 

Users could face higher costs

Card fees settlement

Credit card dispute

Melanie Aitken 

Settlement

OTTAWA - The federal government quietly spent $75M to settle with victims and creditors affected by the Lac-Megantic rail disaster - a contribution that also shielded it from lawsuits related to the deadly crash.  (CP) 

New charges laid

Deaths were avoidable

TSB

Railway investigation report R13D0054

Another state secret

There is no money

Lac-Megantic derailment 

An 'immediate threat'

Rail safety documents kept secret 

New liability standards 

Workers face charges

Overzealous arrest      

Agency reverses decision

Licence suspended

Ed Burkhardt 

MMA files

Evacuees homeless for at least a year

Lac-Megantic before & after   

Buying off the US government

NEW YORK - Back in March, when the SEC agreed to settle a big insider-trading case involving SAC Capital Advisors, one of the biggest hedge funds in the country, I mischievously suggested that Steven A. Cohen, SAC’s mercurial and publicity-shy boss, was effectively buying off the US government for $616M. (New Yorker)     

 

Steven A Cohen 

Fraud charges

US v. SAC Capital Advisors indictment   .pdf

Crude artifice

LONDON - Even if a European Commission investigation into alleged manipulation of reported energy prices comes to nothing, it highlights a strange marketplace. In the global energy trade, billions of dollars change hands on the basis of "best guess" benchmarks. As with Libor, the energy market is based on voluntary disclosures of imperfect information - a dangerous way to set prices. 

Brent Crude

Platts 

'BentGate' will be large

Price 'rigged for a decade'

Platts a major player in setting oil prices

Platts in the spotlight

'Limp-wristed and lettuce-like'

EU price probe

Revolution in oil production

Bum deal

Misplaced generosity updated

Alberta Energy

Better than home release 

Industry dependent on tax credits

HALIFAX - Those working in NS' film and television industry sounded the death knell for its future after the provincial government cut a tax credit many say they rely on for their survival.   (CP)  

$10M a minutes in subsidies

Corporate 'welfare'

Corporate welfare flourishes in lean times   

Addicted to welfare

Corporate welfare

Sights on industry associations

OTTAWA - The ongoing investigation by Ottawa’s competition watchdog into an alleged price-fixing scheme that may have added thousands of dollars to the cost of new homes across the GTA is unlikely to be the last.   (Toronto Star)

Competition Bureau

John Pecman 

Price-fixing allegations

Price-fixing investigation

Directory of Canadian Associations 

Real estate fee victory  

What's at stake

Watchdog targets MLS changes

Light shines on real estate industry

TREB   MLS

ReMax    Royal LePage

Fracking earthquake

VANCOUVER - A 4.6 magnitude earthquake emanating from the gas fields in NE BC during the summer was caused by hydraulic fracturing and is the largest induced seismic event ever recorded in the province, the BC Oil and Gas Commission has confirmed.  (Globe & Mail)

August seismic event determination  .pdf    

Secret plot against fracking

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Fight for rights 

Fracking

RCMP defends response

More protests begin 

Foreign money is radicalizing 

Withdrawal

Further fallout expected

Anti-fracking protest spreads

Protesters clash with police

First Nations

Pipeline projects

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government has approved the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and Enbridge's Line 3 replacement.  The Liberals rejected Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, which would have transported Alberta oil through the Great Bear Rainforest to Kitimat, BC.   (Toronto Star)

Optimism and anger

Grizzly Bear Spirit case to SCC

OPEC to cut oil production  

Dakota Access Pipeline protests

Protesters see bias after Oregon verdict 

Clark in the hot seat

FN say they have the power to stop expansion 

NAFTA claim

New rules don't reach 'world class'

Approval overturned

NAFTA claim filed

NEB recommendation

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline

BC approves pipeline expansion

Story of Kinder Morgans approval 

Panel steps down

National Energy Board

Keystone XL Pipeline

Enbridge  

Pipeline primer

Northern Gateway Pipelines

Keystone Pipeline

Ordered to stop work 

Report tabled 

2015 fall reports of the Commissioner

NEB needs to fix oversight

NEB failing to enforce safety conditions

NAFTA

Obama rejects pipeline project

Obama rejects Keystone Pipeline

Obama vetoes Keystone bill

Extraordinarily dirty

Crude oil train derailment

US reliance on oil transported by rail

Town sees green energy plans fall apart

BC reacts

Next battle is in the courts 

$252M national conservation plan   

Kitimat votes no

First Nations reject plan

Yinka Dene Alliance     

Whistleblower validated

Anti-pipeline protesters arrested

Pipelines vs trains    

AB royalty review

Current royalty rates are appropriate

Trudeau says job is to bring people together   

None of BC's conditions for approval

Oil by rail disaster fears

Russia-China deal a train wreck for BC

China - Russia gas deal

More time

Executive Order 13337    .pdf  

BC officially opposes pipeline

Fuel for thought

AB oilsands 

Lack of confidence

Over-the-top attack ad 

Pipeline report

Approval with conditions

Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline

Opponents set sights on feds, courts  

West-to-East pipeline

Pipeline won't increase development

Keystone XL pipeline process 2012  

Keystone report provides grounds

Oilsands to benefit all provinces

Conference Board of Canada

Potential pipeline taxes

'Scruffy little outfit'

Bill McKibben

350.org 

NEB TransCanada audit  

Political swamp 

Pipeline report sees 'no objections'

Buffett would profit from cancellation

Canada looks to Asian markets  

Keystone Pipeline

Council of the Federation

US investigating oil spill

Enbridge oil spill  

Trans Mountain

Mackenzie Valley Pipeline

Leaving the gateway open 

Panel releases conditions

199 conditions  

Keystone XL project:  summary   .pdf

Taxpayers on the hook, again

WHITEHORSE - Yukon Supreme Court justice Ron Veale approved a clean up plan for the abandoned Mount Nansen mine site, last spring - to be paid for by Ottawa.    (CBC)

2017 YKSC 2   .pdf

Bad actors may be held accountable

 Graham C. Dickson  

No real role

Bisha gold mine

Nevsun Resources

CSR

Lawsuit can proceed

Pollution fine

Teck

Plead guilty

Imperial Metals Corp

Cyanide spill

Cyanide spill 5 times larger

Gold mine halted 

China Minmetals Corp 

Estimates of convenience

Legal mining claim

Lawsuit can proceed

2017 BCCA 39

Arbitration battle

OceanaGold 

Awarded

ICSID

Rusoro Mining

ICSID Rusoro Mining v Venezuela 

Activist murders

Global Witness

On dangerous ground

Social responsibility rules

Corporate social responsibility strategy

Canadian investors

Brookfield Asset Management

ISAGEN   

Rules for mining companies

B2Gold

El Limon mine

Barrick Gold  Veladero Mine

Dam break

Toxic sludge reaches the Atlantic

Brazil to sue

Village buried in mudslide

Mine dam bursts

Protests leave 4 dead

MMG Las Bambas

Las Bambas copper mine snaphot

Forced labour built mine

Eritrea

Bisha

Nevsun Resources

2015 Eritrea investment climate

Walking away from clean up 

Tundra mine site

Las Bambas

Fined

Vale Canada Limited

Vale   BHP Billiton 

State of emergency

Anti-mining protest

Another secret exposed

Inside the world of diamonds  

Careless

Gold mine robbed

Company statement

El Gallo 1 mine     

Unigold

Canadian mining project rejected

Gabriel Resources

Barrick faces lawsuit

Tlicho Investment Corporation

Spotlight on Canadian government

Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Gold mine bombed

Bisha

Nevsun

Escobal  

Mining industry of Ghana

Business corruption in Ghana

TI corruption index  

Pascua-Lama

Serious environmental violation

Revolution Resources 

Porgera gold mine

Bribery allegations

Mining in Guatemala: Rights at risk    .pdf    

Rosia Montana

Rosia Montana project 

Charges

Vale

North American energy ambitions

Busting the potash cartel

Region militarized

Tahoe Resources

Office stormed 

Protester burnt alive

Centerra Gold

Kumtor Gold Mine 

Goldmine may be nationalized

Goldcorp

Goldcorp board 

Taxpayers will foot the bill

Wirikuta

Mine fight

Tahoe Resources

Protests grow increasingly violent

Great Slave Lake

Giant Mine

Investors risk use of forced labor

Soaring costs

Mine protests

Protesters arrested

Power grab attempt

Conflict continues at gold mine 

Clashes in Kyrgyzstan

Emergency declared

Police move on protesters

Protesters lift blockade 

Mining protests

Eco Oro

Braeval Mining

Forced labor alleged

Nevsun Resources

Eritrea 

Draft failure

Taseko Mines

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Mine clashes

Kumtor

Centerra

Vestnik  

Dangers of mining

New Conquistadors

Marketa Evans    CSR

Another government agency

Ambush

Activist murdered 

Fortuna Silver Mines

'Sham enforcement'  

PDAC responds   PDAC

Bodies stolen and dumped

Memorial banned

Banks served

Newmont Mining

Peru mining protests

Anti-mining protests escalate

Government takes back

South American Silver

Famer dies in protests against Canadian mine

News reaches Parliament Hill  

Laszlo Tokes  

Rosia Montana  

Gabriel Resources

Intense lobbying

Barrick Gold attacked  

Mine would be harmful

Taseko Mines

Goldcorp  

ICSID

Rusoro Mining

Bribe allegation

Blackfire Exploration

Mounties probe mining firm  

Raid on Blackfire Exploration 

First Majestic Silver

Gang rape allegations

HudBay Minerals

Striking miners led from BC

IACHR   Goldcorp

Mining project halted

Yamana Gold

History of resistance to mining

Mining lobby pushes back    

Canada's top 100 employers  

Mexico shuts down mine

Peru revokes mining licence 

Opposition to mining

San Jose del Progreso  

Creek Mining Corporation

Peru cancels mine operation  

Protest turns deadly  

Mayor blackmailed us

Mining firm at centre of murder probe

Chiapas organizer murdered  

Canadian mining firms face abuse

Copper mesa sued

Lawsuit

Mining Watch Canada

 

Defence sector corruption rife

BERLIN - A new global survey suggests that 70% of countries lack the tools to prevent corruption in the defence sector.  Anti-corruption watchdog TI said that only Germany and Australia had strong overall anti-corruption mechanisms in place for defence.  (BBC)  

Government defence anti-corruption index

Sales of arms and services

SIPRI

Arms sales drop

Global defense spending dips

SIPRI

SIPRI military expenditure database

Government shipbuilding plan 'bizarre'

OTTAWA - The boss of Canada's largest shipyward says a $36B national shipbuilding plan is becoming an 'international embarrassment' with a 'bizarre' costing regime and 'exorbitant' prices, despite producing no ships to date.    (CBC) 

Leaked report

Embarrassment

Shipbuilding Association of Canada

House leader subject to ethics screen

Deal to build patrol ships

Contract

Dominic LeBlanc    

Dysfunctional DND purchasing  

Sole source contract

Putting the 'Armed' back into the Forces   .pdf

Cost estimates

Shipbuilding  

Ottawa's 'step-in' rights  

Backroom fuel deal

Procurement politics   

Lax record-keeping

Halifax wins $25B contract

House of Irvings

Irving Group of companies  

Irving Shipbuilding

Seaspan Marine Corp

 

Deals approved

OTTAWA - The federal government approved the takeovers of Calgary-based Nexen Inc. and Progress Energy Resources by Asian state-controlled firms.  China’s CNOOC and Malaysia’s Petronas received the OK from the government as part of a wide-ranging update of foreign takeover rules. 

Ottawa approves takeovers

Warning of espionage risk 

Ottawa casts wary eye on Chinese telecom 

China's authoritarian capitalism   

FIPA 

Harper, Mulcair spar over trade deal with China

Nexen

CNOOC

US panel urges tighter screening

China cyber-espionage threatens US

Do unto China what China does to us

We are all hypocrites 

US-China security review commission

Put up or shut up

Planning for China's 'fall'

Opposition to Nexen sale  

Zhang Zhirong

CSIS said to be probing

Nexen to be acquired

Christian Paradis

Canada risks Beijing chill

Insider trading

Canada blocks Malaysian takeover deal  

 

Secret world

Ten of the world’s most powerful oil, gas and mining companies own a staggering 6,038 subsidiaries with over a third located in ‘secrecy jurisdictions'.  (BIJ)    

Pin-stripe Mafia    

Britain lost billions in taxes

Energy firms dispute figures

Entertaining distraction  

Prices will continue to rise    

 

Price gap costing billions

The wide gap between oil’s global benchmark price and what Canadian producers can get for their oil is costing Canada $2.5B a month, according to new research that sees the spread remaining for years even if new pipelines are built.  (CBC) 

Economic and fiscal assessment 2010  .pdf

Oilpatch subsidies

Fossil fuels - at what cost?  

Syncrude

Guilty verdict  

Institute for Sustainable Development

Keep bribing

ROME - Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi criticized prosecutors for arresting Finmeccanica’s ex-chief executive officer, Giuseppe Orsi, and said global companies that shun graft are destined to fall behind.  “Bribes are a phenomenon that exists and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations,” Berlusconi, 76, said in a televised interview.   (Bloomberg) 

Orsi steps down

Alleged bribery scheme

Probe in India ordered

Finmeccanica CEO arrested

Finmeccanica

'Natural things' for the company

Crackdown on dirty money

John Baird  

Combating corruption

Rooted in government

Pompeii restorers in corruption scandal

Afghanistan bribery cost 'increases sharply'

 

Bank settlement

NEW YORK - Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to settle US litigation over allegations it illegally conspired with Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC Holdings Plc to fix silver prices at the expense of investors.  (Reuters) 

Bank settles silver price fixing claims

Deutsche bank admits it rigged gold prices 

JPMorgan Chase

London Whale trading loss

Settlement

SEC 34-70458  .pdf 

Another market manipulation

CFTC

CFTC subpoenas

Corzine 'doesn't know'

'Direct instructions'  

Memo  

MF Global bankruptcy   

MF Global  

Jon Corzine  

Goldman Sachs  

'Sorry'

U of R sues

REGINA - The University of Regina is suing 2 private companies alleging the firms have unjustly claimed exclusive rights to carbon capture technology developed at the institution and are refusing to pay royalties.   (CBC)  

U of Regina breached rules

Carbon business concerns

Officials shocked by flow of money

Doosan

Greed, incompetence, neglect    

ELLIOT LAKE - Decades of incompetence, neglect, greed and dishonesty by a succession of owners, engineers and municipal officials led to the deadly cave-in of a northern ON mall, a judicial inquiry reported.    

Algo Centre Mall

How mall collapsed

Human failure

Charged

Engineer charged

Engineer faces charges

'Structurally sound' report

Inquiry may be complicated by criminal probe

 

5 years 

HONG KONG - Thomas Kwok, once the cochairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties - the world's second most valuable real estate firm, was sentenced to 5 years jail time and fined $500,000 HKD ($74,858). In Canada, Sun Hung Kai Properties operates under its subsidiary Aspac Development based out of Vancouver.  (Globe & Mail)   

Corruption charges

Rafael Hui

Suspicion of corruption

ICAC

Kwok brothers latest to be arrested

Behind the arrest

Asian triads and Sidewinder

Thomas & Raymond Kwok 

Sun Hung Kai Properties

 

Royal bank sued

WASHINGTON - Royal Bank is defending itself against allegations from US regulators that it engaged in hundreds of millions of dollars in sham futures trades to reap tax benefits on its holdings of company stocks.  (CTV)  

 

CFTC charges RBC

Bank denies accusations

US regulators accuse RBC

CFTC

RBC

 

News Corp payout

LONDON - The British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has agreed to settle a string of legal claims over phone hacking.    (IOL)  

News payout  

Victims settle  

News phone hacking scandal  

Rupert Murdoch  

 

Quebec wants money

MONTREAL - Quebec's investment arm wants its money back from a US company that abruptly closed three Canadian call centres laying off more than 1200 workers.  (CBC)  

 

Nashville pulls deal  

Labour ministry investigating  

Surprise

Investigating funding agreement

Bankruptcy

WUXI - Suntech, a Chinese solar-panel manufacturer, skyrocketed to the top of the world solar industry. So stratospheric was the rise in the firm’s valuation after it went public in 2005 that Shi Zhengrong, its founder, was briefly China’s richest man.  (Economist)

Fraud case

SUDBURY - It's alleged the 2 employees with Atlas Copco's Sudbury operation conspired with the company's healthcare provider to produce fraudulent invoices - and shared the proceeds.  More than $16M dollars was stolen, police said.  (CBC)

Travel insurance, isn't

EDMONTON - 2 seniors say they are 'devastated' after their travel medical insurance policy was cancelled, leaving them on the hook for almost $105,000 for a five-day hospital stay in Arizona.  (CBC) 

Risky world  

Another travel insurance failure

Travel insurance

One World Assist

Value of legalese

Travel insurance, isn't

Purchase requires diligence   

Junior bankers laid off for cheating

NEW YORK - Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have sacked dozens of analysts in their New York office after discovering they cheated to pass basic math exams.  (Daily Mail)

Bloomberg News

Goldman Sachs

Merrill Lynch

Embarrassing documents

Screws the pooch

 

 

Prime Time Crime

 Corporate Scandals page 2