Press review
1 March 2024

Press review – Week of 26 February 2024

This week’s press review covers Washington's adoption of new sanctions against Russia, the involvement of a French municipal agent in a corruption case, the investigation opened against the French Minister of the Economy Bruno Lemaire for forgery and the federal judge's validation of the plea agreement between the crypto asset platform Binance and the U.S. authorities.

 

#Export Control & International sanctions:

United States: Adoption of new sanctions against Russia

To mark the two years of the conflict in Ukraine and following the death of Alexei Navalny, the White House announced new sanctions against Russia on 23 February 2024, targeting more than 500 people and entities from various countries. The U.S. Treasury Department and State Department respectively targeted more than 300 and 250 people and entities, while the Commerce Department added over 90 companies to the Entity List. > Read article

 

#White collar crime

Marseille: 5 years’ imprisonment requested against a municipal agent accused of corruption

A municipal agent of the city of Marseille, nicknamed Mother Teresa of the 2nd arrondissement, appeared before the criminal court with thirteen accomplices and intermediaries for corruption charges. She is accused of having requested bribes of up to 2,000 euros from social housing applicants between 2016 and 2019 in order to have their applications processed, even after she had left her job – for an estimated gain of around 40,000 euros. The public prosecutor requested a five-year prison sentence and a fine of 50,000 euros against the person whom he described as being the core element of this day-to-day corruption. > Read article

Motorway concessions: Bruno Le Maire under investigation for forgery

A preliminary investigation has been opened against Bruno Lemaire, Minister of the Economy, and Claire Landais, Secretary General of the Government, for forgery. In 2023, the environmental activist Raymond Avrillier denounced the opacity of negotiations between the government and private companies during the renewal of the motorway concessions in 2015. According to this activist, there are documents relating to this renewal that the government refuses to communicate. A complaint was filed with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office on the grounds of forgery, but the case was subsequently transferred to the Paris Prosecutor’s Office. > Read article

Cryptocurrencies: the plea agreement between Binance and the U.S. authorities validated by a federal judge

The plea agreement reached between the cryptoasset platform Binance, represented by its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, and the U.S. authorities was validated by a federal judge on 23 February 2024. Initially, Binance’s CEO had pleaded guilty for violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws. Under the terms of this agreement, Binance was sentenced to pay a record fine of 4.31 billion dollars imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice. > Read article

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