Friday, October 23, 2020

U.S charges Swiss firm named in Panama Papers with stock manipulation


Two executives and a Swiss firm linked to shell companies in the Panama Papers data leak were charged in the U.S. with scamming investors in pump-and-dump schemes.

Blacklight SA and the executives bought shares of small publicly traded companies and then publicized false information such as pending merger deals, prosecutors said. As shares surged on the fake information, their positions were dumped at inflated values, making them millions in profits, according to the U.S.

The Swiss firm was set up as an asset management company. It was at the center of 14 shell companies incorporated in British Anguila, Samoa and elsewhere, according to the Offshore Leaks Database maintained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The shell companies were incorporated in 2014 and 2015, after, according to prosecutors, the pump-and-dump scam had started.

The Panama Papers refers to the leak of 11.5 million documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The documents detailed financial and attorney information for more than 214,000 offshore entities.

- Advertisement -

Also charged in the Blacklight case are Kenneth Ciapala, a dual citizen of the U.K. and Switzerland who founded the company, and Ulrik Debo, identified as a Danish national living in Europe and working for a Cayman Islands-based financial services firm. Both have been arrested in the U.K., and the U.S. is seeking their extradition.

It’s not clear whether either of the men have lawyers in the U.S. Contact information for the company couldn’t be immediately found on the internet or in financial data bases.

Ciapala and Blacklight were also charged with money laundering. They’re accused of disguising the proceeds of the scheme with fake invoices to justify wire transfers through the financial system. Some of the transfers were sent directly to third-party sellers of luxury goods and automobiles, prosecutors said.

The charges were filed by prosecutors in New York under seal last month. They were made public on Thursday.

- Advertisement -


Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in foreign agent case linked to 1MDB

Major Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty Tuesday to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting millions...

Germany issues international arrest warrant for founders of law firm at the centre of Panama Papers

Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the...

Latest News

This Week

Berkshire Hathaway to pay $4.1m to settle Iran sanctions violation

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has agreed to pay roughly $4.1 million to settle allegations that a Turkish subsidiary violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. The U.S. Treasury Department on...

La Joya Housing Authority former maintenance director charged with fraud

The former maintenance director for the La Joya Housing Authority is the latest person to be indicted in a case in which the former...

Goldman to pay over $2 billion in DOJ’s 1MDB Probe

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has reached a long-awaited pact with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay more than $2 billion for the bank’s...

Newark city councilman charged in bribery and kickback scheme

Joseph A. McCallum Jr., a city councilman in Newark's West Ward, has been accused of taking part in a "bribery and kickback" scheme involving...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks