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US banks allowed to handle accounts of pot dealers

US regulators on Friday told banks they can allow marijuana dealers to open accounts, as states around the country begin to legalize the drug for medical and in some cases even recreational use. Wary of being caught up in "drug money" crimes, banks had been reticent to have dealings with legal vendors of pot since the state of Colorado allowed its sale for recreational use in January. But the US Treasury spelled out how banks could have dealings with the vendors without being hit with money laundering or other charges.

Ex-broker pleads guilty to insider trading over 2009 IBM deal

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former stock broker pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges stemming from a conspiracy to engage in insider trading ahead of a 2009 acquisition by IBM Corp <IBM.N>. David Weishaus, 33, told a federal judge in Manhattan that he had traded on a tip a friend got from his roommate that IBM had agreed to buy Chicago-based software company SPSS Inc before the $1.2 billion deal was publicly announced.

U.S. banks may get power to challenge money laundering exams

By Brett Wolf and Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wall Street banks could get greater power to fight back against bad report cards on their efforts to combat money laundering under a proposal being discussed by U.S. regulators and the financial industry. The bank examiner reports can form the basis of multimillion-dollar enforcement actions, and banks complain that they currently have little ability to appeal them.

customs agency-shadow economy

SEJONG, March 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's customs agency said Wednesday that it will beef up its monitoring of business activities underway in the underground economy to help raise more tax revenue for the new government in need of money to finance its campaign promises for expanded welfare programs. To that end, the Korea Customs Service (KCS) said that it will launch a task force in charge of monitoring the underground economy and increase the overall workforce to help in efforts to better regularize the area where many illegal business activities are taking place.

U.S. fighting use of armored cars in money laundering

By Brett Wolf ST. LOUIS, March 6 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Mexican drug cartels are using armored-car firms to help shield their efforts to smuggle and launder billions of cash dollars into legitimate-looking business profits, U.S. authorities believe, and financial regulators are seeking to crack down.

UPDATE 3-Three men arrested in UK insider dealing probe

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Three fund management employees have been arrested in London on suspicion of insider dealing and market abuse after police and regulators launched dawn raids on their homes and offices in the capital, the second such swoop this year. Britain's Financial Services Authority (FSA) said on Wednesday the three men, aged 33, 37 and 39, who are not linked to any other current insider dealing investigation, were in custody awaiting questioning after six premises were searched.

FBI examining possible Heinz insider trades

The FBI is examining possible insider trading in Heinz shares ahead of last week's buyout announcement, after US regulators identified suspicious trades from a Swiss account, a spokeswoman said Tuesday. "We're aware of the trading anomalies the day before the announcement," said Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser. "And we're consulting with the SEC to see if a crime was committed."

SEC alleges Swiss insider trading on Heinz buyout

US regulators Friday obtained an emergency court order to freeze a Swiss bank account they suspect was used for insider trading ahead the Berkshire Hathaway-3G Capital buyout of HJ Heinz. The Securities and Exchange Commission said unknown traders earned $1.7 million in profits through "irregular and highly suspicious" options trades on Heinz shares booked on Wednesday, one day before the announcement that Berkshire and 3G were acquiring Heinz in a $28 billion deal.

UPDATE 4-Schroders UK trader held in insider dealing probe

* Trader among five arrested in latest swoop * Schroders says employee acted alone, no impact on clients * Five expected to be released on bail By Kirstin Ridley and Sinead Cruise LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - British police have arrested a trader at asset manager Schroders and four other men and women in the latest swoop on suspected insider dealing as part of a regulatory crackdown on market abuse.

UPDATE 1-Five arrested in British insider dealing swoop

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - British police and regulators have arrested two men and three women and searched four UK properties in an investigation into insider dealing, as watchdogs attempt to crack down on market abuse. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said on Tuesday that the two men, aged 37 and 62, and three women, aged 39, 51 and 63, were in custody and awaiting questioning by police.
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