Consider these recent financial fraud-related settlements:
- SAC Capital Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading and Will Pay $1.8 Billion;
- Johnson & Johnson to Pay More than $2.2 Billion to Resolve Criminal and Civil Investigations;
- Rabobank Admits Wrongdoing in Libor Investigation, Agrees to Pay Over $1 Billion.
And this: HSBC Hit with Record $2.46 Billion Judgment in Securities Fraud Class Action.
And that SNL Financial recently reported that big banks already have agreed to settle financial crisis cases for over $65 billion – with more large settlements expected.
We can go on and on:
- $2 Billion Settlement by Mortgage Servicing Giant Ocwen Financial
- Credit Suisse Sued Over Sale of More than $10 Billion in Mortgage Backed Securities
- 8 Banks Fined $2.3 Billion by European Commission in ‘Shocking’ Interest Rate Scandal
- One Bank’s $4 Billion Litigation Loss Cuts All Banks’ Third Quarter Earnings. Can You Say JPMorgan Chase?
- 3 Key Takeaways from the $13 Billion JPMorgan Settlement, and What It Means for the Future of Financial Fraud Cases
- JPMorgan Chase Reaches Record $13 Billion Mortgage-Backed Securities Settlement
- Court Orders MF Global to Pay over $1 Billion in Restitution to Its Customers
The point, of course, is that “billion” is the new “million,” and that financial fraud-related lawsuits, settlements, and judgments now seem to be most newsworthy when they involve billions of dollars, rather than millions.
Not every billion dollar settlement may be what at first glance it appears to be – you can read what Peter Eavis had to say about the Ocwen settlement in his article in The New York Times, Behind the Headline Numbers of a Mortgage Settlement – and certainly there will be major settlements that do not involve millions of dollars (take a look at these recent examples from the Financial Fraud Law Blog: Merrill Lynch Settles SEC Charges of Misleading CDO Investors, and Will Pay $131 Million, Royal Bank of Scotland Fires Senior Bankers and Will Pay $100 Million for Violating Iran and Sudan Sanctions, The Reach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: German Engineering Firm to Pay $32 Million Criminal Penalty).
But the eye-popping numbers, beginning with "b," cannot be ignored – and they will continue.
And that gives us #5 in Financial Fraud Law for the year:
#5: Billion Dollar Lawsuits, Settlements, and Judgments.
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- #9 in Financial Fraud Law for The Year Is…
- #10 in Financial Fraud Law for the Year Is….
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