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Madoff Video, Ex-UBS Banker, Turner on Banks: Compliance

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Five former employees of Bernard L. Madoff on trial accused of taking part in his $17 billion Ponzi scheme sought court permission to show the jury a video of Madoff telling an audience about the “impossibility of committing fraud.”

Madoff in October 2007 told a New York conference on the future of the stock market that securities fraud had been made impossible by the regulatory environment. The video shows the “aura of utter normality” displayed by Madoff when he lied, Eric Breslin, one of the defense lawyers, wrote in a filing Feb. 10 in federal court in Manhattan.

“We seek to illustrate for the jury what these defendants saw, what the SEC saw, what KPMG saw and what countless others saw when Mr. Madoff perpetuated his lies with ease and practice in the days when his reputation and his word were unimpeachable,” Breslin wrote.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who is overseeing the trial, will decide on the video. The video was taken around the time Madoff duped inspectors from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 14 months before the scheme collapsed.

The case is U.S. v. O’Hara, 10-cr-00228, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Compliance Action

Two Hong Kong Firms to Pay $11 Million on Insider-Trading Claims

Two Hong Kong-based asset-management firms agreed to pay about $11 million to settle U.S. regulatory claims related to improper trades made before China-based Cnooc Ltd. said it would acquire Canadian energy firm Nexen Inc.

Citic Securities International Investment Management HK Ltd. and China Shenghai Investment Management Ltd. were the last two firms holding assets that were the subject of a 2012 Securities and Exchange Commission probe of illegal trades ahead of the merger announcement, the agency said in a statement yesterday. The SEC has collected almost $30 million in illicit profits and penalties in the case.

Citic Securities agreed to pay $6.6 million and China Shenghai will pay $4.3 million, according to the statement. In settling the claims, the firms didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing.

Robert Giuffra, an attorney for Citic Securities, said in an e-mail that the company has cooperated with the SEC and is “pleased to have this matter resolved.” Marc Litt, a lawyer representing China Shenghai, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Courts

Ex-UBS Banker Lack to Enter Guilty Plea in U.S. Tax Case

Martin Lack, a former UBS AG banker indicted in 2011 on a charge of helping wealthy Americans evade taxes, agreed to plead guilty in Florida after turning himself in to U.S. marshals Oct. 14.

He is set to plead guilty on Feb. 26, according to court records.

The plea makes the Swiss resident and independent investment adviser the latest offshore enabler to admit wrongdoing in a five-year tax evasion crackdown that has led to charges against about three dozen people and investigations of 14 banks.

Peter Raben, an attorney for Lack, couldn’t be reached for comment Feb. 10 and is out of the country, according to his office. A Justice Department spokeswoman, Dena Iverson, declined to comment on the plea.

The Lack case is U.S. v. Lack, 11-cr-60184, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Fort Lauderdale).

Ex-JPMorgan Traders Not Entitled to Case Evidence, SEC Says

Two former JPMorgan Chase & Co. traders accused in the U.S. of hiding more than $6.2 billion in losses in wrong-way derivatives bets aren’t entitled to evidence collected by the government because both men are “fugitives from justice,” the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout have failed to appear in the U.S. to face criminal charges and civil claims and shouldn’t be given access to evidence or allowed to question witnesses as part of the government’s case, the agency said in a memo filed Feb. 7 in Manhattan federal court.

Martin-Artajo now lives in Spain. Grout, a French citizen, is in France, according to his lawyers. At a hearing in the case last month, their lawyers denied the men are fugitives.

Martin-Artajo and Grout were named in a federal indictment filed in Manhattan in September.

Edward Little, a lawyer for Grout, said in an interview that the fugitive assertion is “absolutely ridiculous.”

The cases are SEC v. Martin-Artajo, 13-cv-05677, and U.S. v. Martin-Artajo, 13-cr-00707, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Interviews/Commentary

Turner Says Curbing Credit to Economy Can Be Good Thing

Former Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner discussed private debt, bank capital ratios and central bank forward guidance.

He spoke from Frankfurt with Anna Edwards and Mark Barton on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.”

For the video, click here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carla Main in New York at cmain2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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