What Should The US Do If One Of The Biggest Banks In Ireland Blatantly Defrauded US Investors?
Since I'm not a securities attorney, let's get a basic understanding of where I'm basing my allegation - after all, I could definitely be wrong as a layman. From Wikipedia:
Securities fraud, also known as stock fraud and investment fraud, is a deceptive practice in the stock or commodities markets that induces investors to make purchase or sale decisions on the basis of false information, frequently resulting in losses, in violation of securities laws. Offers of risky investment opportunities to unsophisticated investors who are unable to evaluate risk adequately and cannot afford loss of capital is a central problem.
Securities fraud can also include outright theft from investors (embezzlement by stockbrokers), stock manipulation, misstatements on a public company's financial reports, and lying to corporate auditors.
Characteristics of victims and perpetrators
Any investor can become a victim, but persons aged fifty years or older are most often victimized, whether as direct purchasers in securities or indirect purchasers through pension funds. Not only do investors lose but so can creditors, taxing authorities, and employees.
Potential perpetrators of securities fraud within a publicly traded firm include any dishonest official within the company who has access to the payroll or financial reports that can be manipulated to:
- overstate assets
- overstate revenues
- understate costs
- understate liabilities
So, with that layman's understanding of what securities fraud is (along with my emphasis added), let's move on.
The Bank of Ireland
In the 2008 Annual Accounts (Irish version of Annual Report) of Bank of Ireland (see attached, page 178) it states the bank gave a first floating charge in favor of the Central Bank of Ireland (an arm of the European Central Bank) and the Financial Services Authority of Ireland over the Banks ‘right, title, interest, benefit, present and future, in and to certain segregated securities listed in an Eligible Securities schedule.’
Fact: The BoI 2008 Irish accounts (~annual report) refer to the charges in their Disclosure Section (see attached page from 2008 accounts) where they describe the charge as being over ‘certain segregated securities.’
Of paramount importance for US investors and regulators, there is an absolute omission of this information in the Bank of Ireland SEC 20F returns for 2008.
Other Discrepancies In Disclosure
The Bank of Ireland 2008 Irish Annual Accounts refer to the charges in their Disclosure Section (see attached page from 2008 accounts) where they describe the charge as being over ‘certain segregated securities,’ but no mention of ‘right, title, interest, benefit, present and future, in and to certain segregated securities listed in an EligibleSecurities schedule.’
There is also no mention of any information related to this floating charge in the Bank of Ireland SEC 20F returns for 2008.
It appears that this floating charge was not disclosed at the time of the stress testing of the bank conducted by the European Banking Authority.
It is possible that I may have overlooked such, and because of that possibility I have made the SEC 20F available for all who want to check over my work. Here is the UBI 2008 accounts and here is the SEC 20f-2008 for the Bank of Ireland.
Now of course, to constitute fraud there has to be a loss on the part of the one being defrauded or a gain on the part of the one being defrauded - at least according to Wikipedia. Otherwise, it would be a hoax. That's the Irish banking system, and not this bank in particular. So...
If you believe that the information above actually identifies a gross misrepresentation of fact, omission or outright fraud, simply contact the SEC and let them know that Reggie Middleton suggested they look into it. You can actually use this form to convey my message.
Remember, extreme wealth concentrates, so you don't have to... Coming from a "Cyprus'd" bank near you!
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