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The Justice Department has made itself quite clear, much to the chagrin of the corporate bar and the angst on the streets of Frankfurt: If you sign a deferred-prosecution agreement, it expects you to live up to those terms.

Well, you can rest a tiny bit easier, Christian Sewing & co., because it seems that for the DoJ, going Medieval on one’s ass for failing to live up to the terms of an agreement involves having a subsidiary plead guilty to something, and entering into a new agreement, the terms of which look and sound an awful lot like the ones to which you’ve already failed to adhere.

Under a plea deal filed in court, the bank agreed to $35 million in fines and other penalties, a three-year term of probation during which NatWest is required to cooperate with prosecutors and the appointment of a corporate monitor to assess the bank’s compliance practices…. In 2017, a NatWest Markets subsidiary then known as RBS Securities Inc. admitted its traders defrauded counterparties when dealing in mortgage securities and other loan-backed investments; in exchange, the Justice Department agreed not to prosecute the bank.

Well, that will definitely make a bank that has already paid $750 million in money-laundering and market-manipulation fines this month think twice.

NatWest Pleads Guilty to Manipulating Treasury Markets [WSJ]

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By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Prosecutors Spoof Spoofer Into Guilty Plea For Spoofing

For once, things go according to plan for the DoJ.

By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Judges Say Prosecutors Can Spoof Spoofing Probes

At least, they say no one can question whether they’re doing it, which is just as good.

By Swiss Banker [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Turns Out Spoofing Isn’t Harder To Prove Than Racketeering

Prosecutors can save themselves the trouble going forward.

By Federal Bureau of Prisons ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Probation Officials: Sure, Spoofing Is Illegal, But, Like, Not That Illegal

Certainly not prison illegal, really, if you think about it.


The Idea Of Broken Compliance Culture Has Failed To Penetrate The Corporate Defense Bar

Surely the Justice Department can’t be serious about holding companies to account for all of the hundreds of illegal things they’ve done?


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As usual, it’s going to lose money on it.