Bank Admits for Years It Opened and Maintained Customer Accounts in Violation of Agreement with the Internal Revenue Service; Agrees to Pay $195 Million as Part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Justice Department

Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank Ltd., (Mizrahi-Tefahot) and its subsidiaries, United Mizrahi Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. (UMBS) and Mizrahi Tefahot Trust Company Ltd. (Mizrahi Trust Company), entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the Department of Justice. As part of the agreement, Mizrahi-Tefahot will pay $195 million to the United States.

Mizrahi-Tefahot is one of Israel’s largest banks, with more than 4,000 employees, and is publicly traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. During the relevant period of criminal activity, Mizrahi-Tefahot had branches in Los Angeles, California, the Cayman Islands, and London, England. In 2014, the Cayman Islands branch surrendered its license and was closed.   more...
SAN FRANCISCO – Covidien LP has agreed to pay $17,477,947 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by providing free or discounted practice development and market development support to physicians located in California and Florida to induce purchases of Covidien’s vein ablation products.

The United States alleged that Covidien violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and, correspondingly, the False Claims Act by providing practice development and market development support to health care providers located in California and Florida from Jan. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2014, to induce those providers to purchase ClosureFASTTM radiofrequency ablation catheters that were billed to Medicare and to the California and Florida Medicaid programs.   more...
JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. will pay more than $135 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).

ADRs – U.S. securities that represent foreign shares of a foreign company – require a corresponding number of foreign shares to be held in custody at a depositary bank. The practice of “pre-release” allows ADRs to be issued without the deposit of foreign shares, provided brokers receiving them have an agreement with a depositary bank and the broker or its customer owns the number of foreign shares that corresponds to the number of shares the ADR represents.

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WASHINGTON—The federal bank regulatory agencies announced the annual adjustment to the asset-size thresholds used to define small bank, small savings association, intermediate small bank, and intermediate small savings association under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations.

The annual adjustments are required by the CRA rules. Financial institutions are evaluated under different CRA examination procedures based upon their asset-size classification. Those meeting the small and intermediate small institution asset-size thresholds are not subject to the reporting requirements applicable to large banks and savings associations unless they choose to be evaluated as a large institution.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has voted to adopt new Rule 610T of Regulation NMS to conduct a Transaction Fee Pilot in NMS stocks. The pilot is designed to generate data that will help the Commission analyze the effects of exchange transaction fee and rebate pricing models on order routing behavior, execution quality, and market quality generally. Data from the Pilot will be used to facilitate an empirical evaluation of whether the exchange transaction-based fee and rebate structure is operating effectively to further statutory goals and whether there is a need for any potential regulatory action in this area.

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Washington, DC — A federal court in New York entered an Opinion and Order ( Opinion and Order) on December 3 against defendants Haena Park, her companies Phaetra Capital GP LLC, Phaetra Capital Management LP, and Argenta Group LLC (collectively, Pool Defendants), requiring the firms to pay $22,917,551 in restitution to defrauded investors and the Pool Defendants to pay, jointly and severally a $100,000 civil monetary penalty in a CFTC enforcement action, filed on June 2, 2016 and charging Park Defendants with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of funds, among other charges. This ruling resolves he Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) litigation against the defendants.

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