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FCPA-like U.S. Travel Act grounds Swiss fraudsters over bribe-based pump-and-dump scam

Jan 14 2013 Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

Roland Kaufmann, a Swiss citizen and chief executive of Dubai-based Axius Inc., a purported business incubator, pled guilty Friday to scheming to bribe U.S. broker-dealers to manipulate the price of Axius shares, federal authorities said. The case shows how U.S. authorities can creatively use federal law against conduct committed outside the United States that can affect financial transactions within the country. The FCPA prohibits bribing foreign government officials, but liability under the Travel Act does not depend on whether the bribe recipient is domestic or foreign, or whether the recipient holds a business or governmental position. Kaufmann pled guilty before Brooklyn federal judge John Gleeson to one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, which prohibits using the U.S. mail, or interstate or foreign travel, for the purpose of engaging in specified criminal acts, including bribery. Mike Emmick, a white-collar defense specialist at the Los Angeles office of Sheppard

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