The International Enforcement Law Reporter

The International Enforcement Law Reporter is a monthly print and online journal covering news and trends in international enforcement law.

Since September 1985, the International Enforcement Law Reporter has analyzed the premier developments in both the substantive and procedural aspects of international enforcement law. Read by practitioners, academics, and politicians, the IELR is a valuable guide to the difficult and dynamic field of international law.

Charges against Professionals Illustrate the Shifting Legal Landscape for Professional Enablers

Thursday, July 29, 2021
Author: 
Austin Max Scherer
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

Two recent cases show efforts of tax authorities to hold professional enablers accountable.  The first concerns the Danish tax authority’s civil fraud charges against U.S. lawyer Michael Ben-Jacob.  The second involves the German government’s criminal tax fraud charges against Hanno Berger. Over the last decade, the world has witnessed increasingly sophisticated financial crimes occurring across borders.  Due to these crimes, the public interest on these issues has grown; this is due to the large coverage given to these financial crimes like the Panama Papers.  The small segment of professionals that generate opportunities to facilitate the commission and/or concealment of such crimes undermine not only the rule of law, but their own profession, public confidence in the legal and financial system, as well as the level playing field between compliant and non-compliant taxpayers.[1]  This article will explain the role of professional enablers, highlight an example of the professional enabler in practice, and raise strategies to deter future professional enablers. 

 



[1] Ending the Shell Game: Cracking down on the Professionals who enable Tax and White Collar Crimes, OECD, https://www.oecd.org/tax/crime/ending-the-shell-game-cracking-down-on-the-professionals-who-enable-tax-and-white-collar-crime.pdf, Feb. 25, 2021 (last visited Jul. 26, 2021).

 

U.S. Grand Jury Returns Superseding Indictment against 9 Chinese Persons for Illegally Exercising Law Enforcement Activities

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 22, 2021, the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York announced the filing by a federal grand jury of a superseding indictment charging nine defendants with acting and conspiring to act in the United States as illegal agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) without prior notification to the Attorney General, and participating and conspiring to participate in interstate and international stalking.  The indictment charged two of the nine defendants also with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.[1]



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Nine Individuals Charged in Superseding Indictment with Conspiring to Act as Illegal Agents of the People’s Republic of China, Press Rel. 21-683, July 22, 2021; United States v. Hi Ju, U.S. District Court E.D.N.Y.,  Cr. No. 21-CR-265 (PKC)(S-1), Superseding Indictment, July 22, 2021.

 

EU Commission Proposes Major Revisions for Countering Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 20, 2021, the European Commission presented a significant set of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) rules.  The proposal will establish a new EU authority to combat money laundering.  The proposals aim to improve the detection of suspicious transactions and activities, and to eliminate the loopholes that criminals use to launder illicit proceeds or finance terrorist activities through the financial system. 

UK’s Westminster Magistrates Court Orders Extradition of UK ‘Batman’ Investor to Germany for Tax Fraud

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 19, 2021, District Judge Michael Snow of the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ordered the extradition of Peter Singh Virdee from the United Kingdom to Germany to face tax fraud charges concerning allegations he operated a criminal gang that stole €125.6 million ($148.2 million) in a carbon credits carousel scam.

U.S. and Allies Blame China for Hacking the Microsoft Exchange

Thursday, July 22, 2021
Author: 
Marwah Adhoob
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On July 19, 2021, the U.S., European Union, and NATO accused China for its involvement in the Microsoft Exchange hack that impacted companies, governments, and organizations. The announcement fell short of any sanctions and was mainly intended to set clear guidelines on what is prohibited. [1]

 



[1] Zolan Kanno-Youngs and David E. Sanger, U.S. Accuses China of Hacking Microsoft, The New York Times, July 19, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/19/us/politics/microsoft-hacking-china-b....

 

U.S. Justice Department Brings Forfeiture Action for 10th Century Statute Looted from Cambodia

Thursday, July 22, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On July 15, 2021, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the filing of a civil complaint seeking forfeiture of a 10th Century Khmer sandstone statue – Skanda on a  Peacock – in order to return it to the Kingdom of Cambodia.[1] In approximately 1997, a former member of the Khmer Rouge led a team of looters who store the statute from the Prasat Krachap temple at Koh Ker in Cambodia. Thereafter, antiquities dealer Douglas Latchford allegedly sold it into the international art market.  The statue is considered to be a masterpiece of artistic achievement and a valuable part of the Cambodian cultural heritage.[2]



[1]    U.S. Department of Justice, 10th Century Statute Looted from Cambodian Temple Is Subject of Forfeiture Action Filed in Manhattan Federal Court, Press Rel. 21-181, July 15, 2021.

[2]    United States. V. 10th Century Cambodian Sandstone Sculpture Depicting Skanda on a Peacock, United States District Court Southern District of N.Y., Case 1:21-cv-06065, Verified Complaint for Forfeiture, July 15, 2021, paragr. 1 https%3A%2F%2Fwww.justice.gov%2Fusao-sdny%2Fpress-release%2Ffile%2F1412521%2Fdownload&...  

 

Chilean Woman Living Australia to Face Extradition for Kidnapping Charges

Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Author: 
Marwah Adhoob
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On June 25, 2021, an Australian federal court judge ruled that a Chilean woman living in Sydney must face extradition for her alleged involvement in kidnappings during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship.[1]



[1] Erin Cunningham, Chilean woman should be extradited for alleged kidnappings under Pinochet, says Australian court, The Washington Post, June 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/06/24/australia-chile-extradition-pinochet/.

 

OECD Publishes New Edition of Fighting Tax Crime as More Tax Authorities Prosecute Tax Crimes

Monday, July 19, 2021
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On June 17, 2021, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a new editor of Fighting Tax Crime – The Ten Global Principles (78 pp., ISBN 9789264807143 (EPUB).  Initially published in 2017, the work furnishes the first comprehensive guide to combating tax crimes. It discusses ten essential principles covering the legal, institutional, administrative, and operational aspects necessary for developing an efficient and effective system for identifying, investigating and prosecuting tax crimes, while respecting the rights of accused taxpayers.

Ex-Goldman Banker Settles SEC’s Ghana Bribery Case

Saturday, July 17, 2021
Author: 
Austin Max Scherer
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

A former executive at Goldman Sachs U.K., Asante Benko, settled the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) claims that he funneled at least $2.5 million in bribes to government officials in Ghana to secure a power plant contract for a Turkish energy company.[1]  Asante Benko agreed to pay over $329,000 to resolve the regulator’s enforcement action.  The total money yields from $275,000 in ill-gotten profits and $54,000 in interest.[2]  The SEC accused Benko of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying off members of parliament and key government officials through a Ghana-based shell company.[3]  Goldman Sachs was not named in the complaint due to its full cooperation with SEC’s investigation.[4]  This article will further discuss the violations by Asante Benko, highlight important guidelines and provisions of the FCPA, and the practices of Goldman Sachs’ compliance department. 



[1] Dean Seal, Ex-Goldman Banker Settles SEC’s Ghana Bribery Case, LAW 360, https://www.law360.com/articles/1397083/ex-goldman-banker-settles-sec-s-ghana-bribery-case, Jun. 23, 2021 (last visited Jul. 16, 2021).

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

 

State Department 2021: Trafficking In Persons Report Highlights Impact of Misinformation and Covid-19 on Human Trafficking

Saturday, July 17, 2021
Author: 
Marwah Adhoob
Volume: 
37
Issue: 
7
Abstract: 

On July 1, 2021, the U.S. Department of State released the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) that documents the global effort towards combating human trafficking.

 

In the Report’s opening remarks, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that

 “Through this Report, we call on governments to join the United States in improving our collective efforts to address human trafficking comprehensively. Doing so requires us to mitigate harmful practices and policies that cause socioeconomic or political vulnerabilities that traffickers often prey on.”[1]

 



[1] United States Department of State, 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report - United States of America, July 1 2021 , available at: https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/TIP_Report_Final_20210701.pdf.

 

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