Federal prosecutions of white-collar crimes fell to a 20-year low this year. According to researchers at Syracuse University, the government brought 5,173 white-collar cases in the first nine months of fiscal year 2015, down by 4,000 compared to ten years ago. The decline may be due to the number and changing nature of the agencies involved in white collar crimes (which are categorized as violations of tax, securities, bankruptcy, antitrust, federal procurement and other laws). The FBI accounted for 27.8 percent of the prosecutions through June of 2015, Vox.com reported.
The family in charge of the Modell's Sporting Goods store chain is in a legal spat regarding whether to hire a financial advisor who invested some of the family money with Bernie Madoff. Company CEO Mitchell Modell has filed a lawsuit to block his sister-in-law Abby, the wife of his late brother Michael, and her three children from hiring financial advisor Bert Brodsky. Mitchell Modell's complaint claims that Brodsky once asked Abby for a $2.5 million loan, he wanted a spot on the company's board and that he is "hostile" toward Mitchell. The complaint also contends that Brodsky got Abby to invest with Madoff. “Bert Brodsky is not an appropriate successor trustee in that he is self-serving,” Mitchell Modell's complaint states.
The fintech world loves to announce new partnerships and integrations, but Canadian robo advisor Nest Wealth’s new partnership with a newspaper publisher may be the strangest. Metroland Media Group invested $1.5 million of cash in Nest Wealth, making Metroland a part owner. It will also contribute an additional, undisclosed amount for marketing and advertising, a costly but important area for robo-advisors which need massive scale to make up for low fees and account minimums. It’s an untraditional partnership for a financial services company, but Metroland has experience building online brands and offers a widespread distribution platform which could help recognition of the Nest Wealth name.
Financial technology continues to have a major impact not only on the day-to-day practices of advisors, but on the course of national and global affairs. Digital currency news outlet CoinDesk broke down a list of seven politicians who have embraced bitcoin and blockchain technology. The list features several prominent members of Congress, including Republican presidential candidates Rand Paul and Rick Perry. In an interview with the New York Observer last month, Perry stated his support for "regulatory breathing room" for digital currencies. British leaders also make the list, including London mayoral candidate George Galloway, who pledged to use blockchain technology to run the capital's budget.