Press review
17 March 2023

Press review – Week of 13 March 2023

This week in the press review, first in criminal business law, Pakistani investor Arif Naqvi lost his appeal against extradition to the US for fraud, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker convicted of bribery and money laundering and the indictment of Adrien Labi for tax fraud and money laundering. Then, in criminal law, a former executive of 21th Century Fox faces 40 years in prison in the FIFAGate case for fraud, corruption and money laundering. Then in compliance, the stricter regulation of lobbying by former MEPs following the QatarGate affair. Finally, in data protection, the UK is relaxing its data protection rules by leaving the GDPR.


Abraaj founder loses challenge to U.S. extradition on fraud charges

The founder of failed Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group has lost his appeal against extradition to the US to face fraud charges. Mr Arif Naqvi declared he was suffering from severe depression and was at risk of committing suicide if extradited, however according to the judge such risk is manageable id held in prison. Nevertheless, the US government has assured that it will not oppose bail before the trial. US prosecutors accuse the Pakistani businessman of being behind a plot to defraud investors by raising more than $100 million over three years from US-based charities and other US investors. > Read article


Former Goldman Sachs Investment Banker Sentenced in $2.7B Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme

A jury in New York federal court found Roger Ng, the former head of the investment bank in Malaysia, guilty of helping his former boss, Tim Leissner, embezzle $4.5 billion from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, launder the funds and bribe officials to obtain contracts. The court sentenced him to 10 years in prison.. > Read article


Adrien Labi, “ghost” owner of the Paris Golden Triangle, under investigation for tax fraud

Following complaints from the tax authorities and a 2015 investigation by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, businessman Adrien Labi, owner of the Paris-based Foncière immobilière du Triangle d’Or, has been indicted for “tax fraud” and “money laundering”. He spent two days in police custody at the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption and Financial and Fiscal Offences (OCLCIFF) and is now under judicial supervision with the obligation to post a 30 million euro bond. > Read article


Fifagate. Fraud, money laundering, bribes: former 21th Century Fox executive faces 40 years in prison

A federal court in New York found Hernan Lopez, former head of 21st Century Fox, guilty of fraud, money laundering and paying more than $30 million in bribes to officials at Fifa and the South American Football Confederation. The payments were made to obtain television rights to the Copa Libertadores and to friendly and qualifying matches for national teams in the Americas. > Read article


US FinCEN issues new rule on beneficial ownership reporting under the Corporate Transparency Act

As of January 1, 2024, companies operating in the United States will be required to report information about their beneficial owners to FinCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network). > Read analysis

Qatargate: the lobbying of former MEPs now better regulated

The European Parliament has published a new ethical rule banning lobbying by former MEPs for the first six months after leaving the office. The so-called “cooling-off period” rule follows the Qatargate affair, in which former Italian Socialist MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri engaged in misleading lobbying of his former parliamentary colleagues on behalf of Qatar and Morocco. It was common for former MEPs to lobby without declaring their activities to the Parliament’s transparency register. > Read article


Out with the GDPR: the UK relaxes its data protection rules

The UK government has announced that it will be reviewing its data protection regulations in order to simplify data collection by businesses and remove certain obligations that have been described as “bureaucratic red tape”. At the time of the Brexit, the GDPR had been retained in domestic law. > Read article


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