SEC Accuses Peruvian Traders of Insider Trading, Charges Anheuser Busch InBev with Whistleblower Protection and FCPA Rule Violations, and Orders an Oil Services Company to Pay $140M Over Accounting Fraud Allegations

SEC Claims Peruvian Attorneys and Broker-Dealer Manager Used Accounts to Insider Trade
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed charges against three people in Peru, accusing them of insider trading prior to the merging two mining companies. The regulator wants penalties, disgorgement, and interest.
 
According to the Commission, HudBay Minerals Inc. employee Nino Coppero del Valle told fellow lawyer and friend Julio Antonio Castro Roca about a tender offer the mining company had turned in to acquire shares in August Resource Corp., which is located in Arizona. Hudbay is based in Canada.
 
Castro then allegedly traded using this materially nonpublic information via a brokerage account that was held by a shell company in the British Virgin Islands. He is accused of doing this so that the trades couldn’t be traced back to the two of them. They  purportedly made over $112,000 in illicit profits. 
 

The SEC claims that Coppero also tipped acquaintance Ricardo Carrion when he went to him for advice about now to conceal the illegal trades. Carrion then purportedly caused his firm to buy shares of August Resource prior to the announcement of the tender offer. That brokerage firm made $73K in profits. 
 
Anheuser Busch InBev Pays $6M to Settle Accusations of Whistleblower Protection and FCPA Violations 
 Anheuser-Busch InBev will pay $6M to settle SEC charges accusing it of chilling a whistleblower that reported its alleged violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The regulator had conducted a probe that found that the company worked with third-party sales promoters to issue improper payments to Indian government officials. The payments were allegedly for the purpose of growing the sales and production of its products in that nation. 
 
The SEC claims that Anheuser-Busch InBev’s own employees complained that the company’s internal controls were not adequate enough to identify and stop these improper payments. It said that the company did not make sure the transactions handled by the promoters were properly recorded. 
 
Additionally, contends the SEC, Anheuser Busch InBev went into a separate deal to prevent a whistleblower from telling the SEC about the possible FCPA violations. A substantial financial penalty would have been imposed on the individual due to strict terms regarding nondisclosure. The company will pay over $2.7M in disgorgement, more than $292K in interest, and an over $3M penalty. 
 
Weatherford International to Pay $140M Penalty to Settle Allegations Of Deceptive Income Tax Accounting
 The SEC said that Weatherford International will pay $140M to resolve charges accusing it of inflating earnings. The Commission said that the oil services company fraudulently decreased its end-of-year provision for income taxes to $100M every year to have its earning results line up better with previous projections and the expectations of analysts. 
 
Weatherford VP of Tax  James Hudgins and tax manager Darryl Kitay are accused of making post-closing adjustments to satisfy the company’s effective tax rate that had been disclosed earlier.  The SEC said that the alleged fraud generated the wrong perception, which was that Weatherford’s tax structure was more successful than what it was in reality.  As a result, Weatherford had to restate its financial statements three time in ’11 and ’12.
 
Weatherford, Kitay, and Hudgins have agreed to the SEC’s order but are not denying or admitting to the investigation’s findings accusing them of violating federal securities laws’ antifraud provisions. Hudgins has to pay over $334K in disgorgement, interest, and penalty, and Kitay’s penalty is $30K.
          Contact our securities fraud lawyers at The SSEK Partners Group today.
          Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (PDF)