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Top Story Compliance Related

07/12/2021

IRS on its taxpayer information resources

The IRS on Friday issued a press release listing a number of IRS information tools providing taxpayers with the answers they need.

In addition to 24/7 access to tax forms and instructions, the IRS site allows taxpayers to:

  • Use the File tab on the IRS home page for most federal income tax needs.
  • Access the Interactive Tax Assistant tool that can answer many tax law questions.
  • See their tax account with the View Your Account tool. With this, they can find information such as a payoff amount, the balance for each tax year owed, up to 24 months of their payment history and key information from their current tax year return as originally filed.
  • Use the Get Transcript tool to view, print or download their tax transcripts after the IRS has processed the return.
  • Find the most up-to-date information about tax refunds using the Where's My Refund? tool on IRS.gov and on the official IRS mobile app, IRS2Go. Taxpayers can start checking on the status of their refund 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an e-filed return.

07/09/2021

President continues national Hong Kong and TCO emergencies

Administrative Orders from President Biden continuing the national emergencies with respect to Hong Kong and with respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations were published in the July 9, 2021, Federal Register. The national emergencies were each extended for an additional year, through July 14, 2022, and July 24, 2022, respectively.

07/09/2021

Fed CRA evaluations

The Federal Reserve Banks released CRA evaluation ratings for 18 banks in June. Twelve of those banks received Satisfactory evaluation ratings.

We congratulate the six banks that earned Outstanding ratings:

07/08/2021

Company and two execs charged by SEC for misleading disclosures

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced charges against Parallax Health Sciences Inc. for making misleading statements about its efforts to fight COVID-19. The SEC also charged Parallax’s chief executive officer Paul Arena and its chief technology officer Nathaniel Bradley for their roles in the statements. Each party has offered to settle the charges. The SEC temporarily suspended trading in Parallax’s common stock on April 10, 2020, due to questions about the accuracy of the company’s statements.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Parallax issued a series of press releases in March and April 2020 falsely claiming that its purported COVID-19 screening test would be “available soon” and that it had medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) for “immediate sale.” The complaint alleges that Parallax’s insolvency prevented it from developing the screening test, and that the company’s projections showed that, even if the company had the funds, it would take more than a year to develop the test.

The complaint also alleges that Parallax never had the medical equipment or PPE it offered for sale and that several factors prevented the company from acquiring the equipment, including that it did not have enough money to purchase the equipment and that it lacked the Food and Drug Administration registrations required to import and sell the equipment. Additionally, the complaint alleges that Arena drafted the misleading press releases to boost Parallax’s declining stock price, and that the company’s stock price increased after they were disseminated.

Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, Parallax, Arena, and Bradley consented to judgments permanently enjoining them from future violations of the charged provisions and requiring them to pay penalties of $100,000, $45,000, and $40,000, respectively. Arena also agreed to be prohibited for five years from acting as a public company officer or director and from participating in an offering of penny stock. Bradley, who assisted Arena in drafting two of the misleading press releases, agreed to be prohibited for three years from participating in an offering of penny stock. The settlements are subject to court approval.

07/07/2021

OCC making organizational changes

The OCC yesterday announced organizational changes intended to enhance the agency’s efficiency and effectiveness which are expected to be implemented this summer. It is realigning its Economics, Supervision System and Analytical Support, and Systemic Risk Identification Support and Specialty Supervision units under a new Senior Deputy Comptroller for Supervision Risk and Analysis. Blake Paulson will move from the Chief Operating Officer position to take on this new role. The agency is retiring the Chief Operating Officer role.

As a result of this change, agency bank supervision units (Bank Supervision Policy, Midsize and Community Bank Supervision, Large Bank Supervision, and Supervision Risk and Analysis) and the Office of Management will report directly to the head of the agency.

The agency also will merge its Enterprise Risk Management Office with its Office of Enterprise Governance and Ombudsman. Senior Deputy Comptroller Larry Hattix will take on the additional title of Chief Risk Officer overseeing that function.

07/07/2021

OFAC: Do not forgot your blocked property report

OFAC has posted and emailed a reminder that holders of blocked property under OFAC regulations must provide OFAC a comprehensive list of all blocked property held as of June 30 of the current year by September 30 of each year. Persons that do not hold blocked property as of June 30 do not need to file an Annual Report of Blocked Property (ARBP).

OFAC provides Guidance on Filing the Annual Report of Blocked Property on its website.

07/06/2021

Hedge fund trader charged by SEC

The SEC on Friday announced fraud charges against Sean Wygovsky, a trader at a major Canada-based asset management firm, in connection with a long-running and lucrative front-running scheme that Wygovsky perpetrated in the accounts of his close family members, netting more than $3.6 million in illicit gains.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced criminal charges against Wygovsky.

According to the complaint filed by the SEC, from approximately January 2015 through at least April 2021, Wygovsky repeatedly traded in his family members’ accounts held at brokerage firms in the United States ahead of large trades that were executed on the same days in the accounts of his employer’s advisory clients. On over 600 occasions, Wygovsky allegedly bought or sold a stock for one his relatives’ accounts either before the client accounts began executing a large order for the same stock on the same side of the market, or during the time period when tranches of such a large order were being executed. Then, typically before the client accounts completed their executions, Wygovsky allegedly closed out the just-established positions in his relatives’ accounts, nearly always at a profit.

07/06/2021

FDIC issues three Outstanding CRA evaluations

The FDIC has released its July 2021 list of state non-member banks examined for CRA compliance. Of the 53 institutions listed, 50 received Satisfactory ratings. We congratulate the three banks that received a rating of Outstanding:

07/06/2021

OCC issues five Outstanding CRA ratings

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has released a list of sixteen Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluations that became public in June.

Eleven of the national banks, federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks received ratings of Satisfactory.

We congratulate the five institutions that received Outstanding ratings:

07/06/2021

OFAC sanctions senior officials and families connected to Burma's military

On Friday, OFAC designated 22 individuals connected to Burma’s military regime.

Among the individuals sanctioned are seven key members of Burma’s military, which continues to repress the pro-democracy movement in the country and use lethal force against the people of Burma, including children and members of ethnic minority groups. The other 15 individuals are the spouses or adult children of previously designated senior Burmese military officials whose financial networks have contributed to military officials’ ill-gotten gains. OFAC designated all these individuals under the authority of Executive Order (E.O.) 14014, “Blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma.” These sanctions are not directed at the people of Burma.

For identification details on the 22 individuals designated and on removals from the SDN List, see the July 2, 2021, BankersOnline OFAC Update.

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