FIB publication instrumental in identifying fraud
ICC’s Financial Investigation Bureau (FIB) publication “Preventing Financial Instrument Fraud: The Money Launderer’s Tool” has proved valuable in identifying key elements of several recent fraud operations.
Using information from this publication, the FIB has discovered numerous “Red Flag” warnings in a supposed Private Debt Bond said to be originating from the Portuguese Orthodox Catholic Church. Upon close examination of the bond, the FIB noted multiple references typical to fictitious financial instruments. FIB Assistant Director Jon Merrett said: “Investors should be careful if offered any sort of Private Debt Bond said to be associated with the Portuguese Orthodox Catholic Church. In addition to the ‘Red Flag’ warnings, our research indicates that these bonds are being offered by brokers as collateral for large construction projects across South America.”
Those approached to purchase such a bond should note that in this particular instance, the most glaring suggestions of fraudulent activity are as follows:
- An incorrect reference to ICC rules and regulations;
- The use of the term ‘divisible’;
- A maturity date of two years plus one day.
In addition to identifying warning signs found in fraudulent financial documents, ‘The Money Launderer’s Tool’ has been used to assist in the prosecution of fraud perpetrators such as the recent conviction and appeal denial of Norwegian serial fraudster August Mohr. The court compared the trading scams evidenced in the Mohr case with the “Red Flag” warnings documented in “The Money Launderer’s Tool” and found enough similarities to determine that Mohr’s documents were fraudulent. The court ultimately concluded that Mohr played a key role in criminal schemes deliberately intending to deceive investors. Originally found guilty in 2002, Mohr’s latest appeal was rejected. He must now serve the remainder of his initial six-year jail term.