New York Fed Tells Scotiabank to Fix Anti-Money-Laundering Deficiencies

U.S. regulators are compelling Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest bank by assets, to overhaul its anti-money-laundering controls to correct “deficiencies” in the lender’s compliance program.

Toronto-based Scotiabank has entered into a written agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the New York State Department of Financial Services to fix problems ranging from oversight to the monitoring of suspicious activity.

The written agreement, which the New York Fed released Tuesday, didn’t include any monetary penalties against the bank.

The enforcement action comes at a time when Canadian banks are facing increased pressure from global regulators to root out potential sources of money laundering and terrorist financing from their operations.

“We have a strong risk-management culture throughout the bank,” Scotiabank spokesman Andrew Chornenky in an emailed statement. “Scotiabank is firmly committed to global Anti-Money-Laundering standards and serious about fixing the issues identified by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

Toward that end, Scotiabank has hired “a third-party firm to provide best-practices” and to ensure that the require changes to the bank’s controls are made as soon as possible, the spokesman said.

As part of its agreement with the New York Fed, Scotiabank has agreed to start a review of its New York agency’s wire-transfer activity over a period spanning July 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2014. The purpose of the review is to “determine whether suspicious activity involving high risk customers and transactions at, by, or through the Agency was properly identified and reported in accordance with applicable suspicious activity reporting regulations,” the agreement stated.

In addition to a written report of those findings, U.S. regulators told Scotiabank to beef up its corporate governance and oversight to ensure that its anti-money-laundering controls are compliant with U.S. federal and state laws.

Scotiabank, like other big Canadian banks, is also facing pressure to tighten controls in its home market.


Police Say Framingham Woman Used Children To Help Shoplift Jewelry

NATICK (CBS) — Police said a mother used her children to help her shoplift from the Natick Mall over the weekend.

Christine M. Taylor, 34, of Framingham, pleaded guilty in Natick District Court Monday to one count of larceny of property worth more than $250. She was ordered to pay a $50 monthly probation fee and a $90 victim/witness fee, as well as to stay away from the Natick Mall.

Christine M. Taylor. (Photo credit Natick Police Department)Prosecutors said store security watched Taylor grab more than $350 worth of jewelry from the Natick Mall Macy’s Saturday, hiding the items in a baby stroller. Her children, aged 2, 5, 8, and 14, accompanied her.

 The four children are now under the custody of the Department of Children and Families.


Three charged in fake Indian jewelry scheme

SANTA FE, N.M. — Three New Mexicans were arrested on conspiracy charges stemming from alleged violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act – essentially, importing and passing off as Native American-made jewelry that actually was created in the Philippines.

U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, right, announces the arrest of three New Mexicans charged with conspiring to import and fraudulently sell Filipino-made items as Native American-made jewelry

U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez and Nicholas Chavez, regional law enforcement chief for U.S. Fish and Wildlife, on Thursday announced 16 search warrants executed and the unsealing of an indictment, though copies of both remained unavailable many hours after the documents had been unsealed by U.S. District Court.

The indictment charges Nael Ali, 53, of Albuquerque; Christina Bowen (Sandoval), 41, of Los Lunas; and Mohammed Abed Manasra, 53, of Albuquerque. Ali and Bowen appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kirtan Khalsa on Thursday morning and were released. Manasra was arrested in Long Beach, Calif.

Ali owns jewelry stores Gallery 8 and Galeria Azul in Albuquerque’s Old Town, Bowen is an ex-employee and Manasra is the wholesaler of what was held out to be Native American jewelry.

Harvey Pratt, chairman of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, said the board has been working with Fish and Wildlife to gather complaints and seek documentation to substantiate the claims.

The federal law, intended to protect the livelihood of Indian artisans, eliminate unfair competition and protect consumers, is punishable by up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

“It provides a level playing field for Native American craftspeople,” he said.

Officials said the two-year investigation has international implications because the faux Native jewelry comes from the Philippines.

“The Indian Arts and Crafts Board sees this as a landmark investigation,” Pratt said. “It’s a billion-dollar business.”

The IACA prohibits the offer to sell or the sale of products in a way to falsely suggest that it is Indian-made.

It covers all Indian and Indian-style traditional and contemporary arts and crafts produced after 1935.

Martinez said the case is “not only about law enforcing the law, but also about protecting and preserving the cultural heritage of Native Americans. The cultural heritage of American Indians is a precious national resource and it is critically important that we provide the proper respect to those whose creations are seen by some as simple retail commodities to be exploited for profit.”

A federal agent, left, removes evidence from the Gold House Fine Jewelry store on Old Santa Fe Trail in downtown Santa Fe Wednesday as an officer with New Mexico Game and Fish stands by. At least two other nearby stores and a jewelry store in Albuquerque's Old Town area were also raided in operations led by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service over several hours, but no information was available from state or federal agencies. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Search warrants also were executed at three jewelry stores in Gallup, three in Santa Fe, and a jewelry production shop in Zuni. Federal agents also executed a search warrant at a jewelry store in Calistoga, Calif.

Three federal seizure warrants were executed on bank accounts in a Charlotte, N.C., bank and a San Francisco bank. In addition, the Philippines National Bureau of Investigations conducted a series of investigative interviews at two factories in Cebu City, Philippines.


Port Jefferson Man Arrested for Jewelry Theft

oseph Hermida, 47, of 30 Piedmont Drive, Port Jefferson, was arrested on Nov. 23 at 11 a.m. for burglaries at a Merrick home, the Seventh Squad reported.

Port Jefferson Man Arrested for Jewelry TheftAccording to detectives, a 75-year-old man noticed jewelry was missing from his Frankel Boulevard residence. A camera system revealed that Hermida removed jewelry in excess of $100,000 between July 20 and Oct. 15. A subsequent investigation led detectives to the defendant’s place of employment, and he was brought to the Seventh Precinct where he was placed into police custody without incident. There were no injuries reported.

More from Port Jefferson Patch

Hermida is charged with third degree burglary and second degree grand larceny. He was to be arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on Nov. 24.


Victoria’s Secret a fashion event unlike any other

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2015 was more like a rock concert than a fashion review. Instead of the somber fashionistas who sit stage side during fashion week, saving their polite applause for the finale, the Victoria’s Secret audience was on its feet throughout the show, clapping and shouting its approval.

There were actual pop stars on stage. The Weeknd performed. So did Selena Gomez, and Ellie Goulding.

But the supermodels stomping down the runway in stilettos, lace – and little else – were of course the stars of the show.

Kendall Jenner made her Victoria’s Secret debut, with proud mom, Kris Jenner, watching from the front row. Her bestie Gigi Hadid also strutted the runway.

With the seats pulsating from a soundtrack that ranged from De La Soul to Pat Benatar, the models shimmied, clapped and waved from the runway, their props and costumes akin to what one might see during Carnival in Brazil or Trinidad. .

There were giant pink billowing wings, mammoth poufs of plumage, bedazzled body stockings and one model sporting a spinning pin wheel on her back. Divided into several “acts,’’ from “exotic  butterflies,” to “ ice angels,” to “pink USA” and “fireworks,”  the attire illustrated the various themes, from the silver one piece and helmet simulating an astronaut’s cosmic wear, to the wild west motif represented by a turquoise lace brief accented with a white cowboy hat.

At a time when Dove and Lane Bryant are calling for a celebration of more diverse body shapes, Victoria’s Secret stayed true to form, with a parade of rail thin models. But the ethnic diversity was striking, and a welcome respite from the homogeneous runways still all too common in the upper echelons of fashion.

From the paper snow that fell on the audience, to the finale where the models came out and danced before making their final exit, it was a great party. And in December,  when the show is scheduled to be televised, the whole world will have an all access pass.


Nights of Art, Fashion and Film

“THE DIFFERENCE REALLY is the vibe,” said Whitney Museum of Art trustee Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo, last Tuesday night, of its annual Art Party, held for the first time at its new downtown New York location. To be fair, the event, hosted by the museum’s younger fundraising committee, has always been an unstuffy, below-14th-Street affair. But no SoHo loft space has ever offered the chance to, say, take in a Frank Stella retrospective, like the one currently on the museum’s fifth floor, when you need respite from dancing. “It’s an amazing show,” said artist Chuck Close, who was joined in the museum’s glass-walled ground floor atrium by guests including blogger Pari Ehsan and jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher. Mr. Close, wearing a leather jacket and Hermès scarf and traces of a lipstick kiss on his cheek, savored the night’s energy. What he appreciates, he said, “is that I’m still alive and I’m not too old to go.”

Alex Ahn

Two nights later, in Los Angeles, Web retailer Net-a-Porter joined forces with Cate Blanchett and her stylist Elizabeth Stewart to unofficially kick off awards-show season. For the occasion, West Coast insiders including stylist Rachel Zoe and Rodarte co-designer Laura Mulleavy gathered at the Chateau Marmont. Despite her reputation as the Queen of the Red Carpet, Ms. Blanchett—in the midst of a press tour for her new film, “Carol”—played down fashion’s role in her life: “It doesn’t rule my every waking hour. It’s the fun, frivolous end of what I do.” So, is a relaxed attitude the secret to always knocking them dead? Well, that and a bit of work. Ms. Stewart mentioned that the actress had a fitting in an hour for upcoming press events. She added, “It’s going to be a late night.”


H & M’s Ongoing High-Fashion Experiment

H & M launched its first-ever designer collaboration, with the Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, eleven years ago, in November of 2004. My wife, a fashion illustrator, was sure something historic was in the offing, and she convinced me to go with her to check it out. We arrived at H & M’s flagship store, on Fifth Avenue, shortly before the doors opened, at 9 A.M. A line of men and women, ranging from twentysomethings to senior citizens, and dressed in everything from jeans to luxury labels, snaked down Fifth and around the block. Inside, they fought their way through the crowds, garments heaped over their arms; they stripped to their underwear in the aisles to try things on. In the melee, I managed to grab and try on a black military-style wool-and-cashmere overcoat. Cut long and slim, it elongated my frame, narrowed it, lent it a subtle drama that touched off fantasies of myself as a windswept Byronic wanderer (as opposed to a middle-aged deskbound writer). The price: a hundred and forty-nine dollars. A Lagerfeld original would have cost a thousand dollars. I bought two. I still wear that coat, and strangers still stop me in the street to ask where I got it. The backup, tags intact, is stuffed at the back of my closet, ready to be called into service when the original starts to look shabby.

H & M’s collaborations with designers—including its first, with Karl Lagerfeld, in 2004—have helped erase the line between high and low fashion.My wife and I, not so incidentally, became regular shoppers at H & M. (Before that, we had never set foot in the place; that jaunty red logo seemed to scream cheesy Euro style.) The company, which had planned for the Lagerfeld collaboration to be a one-off event, made the designer collaborations an annual part of its fashion calendar, with subsequent collections by Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Comme des Garçons, Lanvin, Margiela, and Alexander Wang. This week, the chain débuted its collection with Balmain, the exuberantly decorative, sequin-and-embroidery-encrusted clothing line, whose creative director, Olivier Rousteing, I profiled recently in the magazine. The collaborations have proved invaluable to the company, as a way to promote its “brand recognition” and get people into its stores, but they have also helped revolutionize the luxury business, erasing the line between high and low fashion, and turning formerly rarefied fashion designers into something akin to mainstream celebrities.
Donald Schneider, who is now the creative director of H & M, came up with the idea of that first collaboration with Lagerfeld. At the time, Schneider ran a fashion-consulting firm hired by H & M to review its advertising campaigns, and he had worked for eight years as the art director of Vogue Paris. A soft-spoken German now in his mid-fifties, with glinting gray stubble and a bald head, he continues to dream up, and oversee, the collaborations today. When I met with him in June, at a photo shoot for the Balmain launch, I admitted that I had been among the hoards who lined up for the Lagerfeld début, and that I scored the black military-style overcoat. He nodded vigorously and said, “a fantastic piece,” adding that he is still wearing the suit jacket from that collection, and still gets compliments on it. Up to that point, he said, anyone who mentioned an H & M ad campaign would talk primarily about the models. “I wondered, could we do a campaign where people talked about the fashion?”

The idea of partnering with a fashion designer wasn’t totally new. In 1983, Halston, famous for his minimalist seventies party clothes, created a collection for J.C. Penney, featuring cut-price takes on his signature Ultrasuede disco wear. But the collaboration was ahead of its time, and the purveyors of high fashion were not yet prepared to see a luxury designer close the gap between couture and the masses. Bergdorf Goodman promptly dropped Halston, and his name (which he had licensed to J.C. Penney for millions) became a punch line. Not for another twenty years would a high-end designer dare (or deign) to partner with a discount retailer. In 2003—a year before the H & M-Lagerfeld collaboration—Isaac Mizrahi (whose own high-end line had folded five years earlier) agreed to create a collection for Target. By then, luxury designers, mining ideas from hip-hop and sportswear, had narrowed the gulf between high fashion and street clothing, and the mainstream public, schooled by popular TV shows like “Project Runway,” had developed an eye for sophisticated design. Mizrahi’s Target lines, which he produced for five years, were hugely successful, proving that the fashion world had come a long way since Halston’s misadventure. (Target, like H & M, would go on to produce collaborations with high-fashion labels including Alexander McQueen, Rodarte, and Proenza Schouler.)

For H & M, Schneider wanted to recruit a designer more successful and respected than Mizrahi or anyone else: he wanted the imperious high priest of haute couture himself—Lagerfeld. The company figured he would never do it. But Lagerfeld, who had been at the forefront of marrying high and low fashion (he had, starting in 1983, resuscitated Chanel by fusing youthful street looks—rapper chains, sneakers, micro-minis—with Chanel’s ladies-who-lunch jersey knits), agreed instantly. “He said, ‘Oh, that’s what I always wanted to do with the future of fashion—only high and low and everything in the middle disappears,’ ” Schneider recalled. “He only had one question. He said, ‘Am I the first one you’re asking?’ I said yes.”
Marketed with a barrage of billboards, magazine ads, and TV spots that featured Lagerfeld prominently, the collaboration marked a new level of visibility and fame for the designer. His gessoed pony tail, shades, high-collared white shirts, and skinny black ties became part of an iconography as recognizable, to everyday people, as Mickey Mouse—a comparison that Lagerfeld himself drew when I interviewed him a year later for a profile in this magazine. At the time, we happened to be sitting in a room in his Paris mansion, where the sole décor was a life-size cardboard cutout of Lagerfeld from the H & M marketing campaign.

Subsequent collaborations have not resulted in instant renown for every designer who participates, but they have significantly raised every designer’s profile—sometimes, Schneider told me, to the designer’s chagrin. Rei Kawakubo’s mystique, as the creative director of the avant-garde design label Comme des Garçons, relies in part on her invisibility. When she created an H & M collection, in 2008, she declined to submit to the kind of marketing the brand had deployed for Lagerfeld. Likewise Isabel Marant, who created a popular collection of her French boho-chic line, in 2013. “Isabel is a very private person,” Schneider told me, “but after her collaboration with us she gets stopped all the time on the street by tourists. They want to take selfies with her.”

Rousteing, whose success as creative director of Balmain relies to no small degree on his flair for self-promotion (he has over a million followers on Instagram, where he frequently posts selfies featuring his “besties,” the Kardashians and Jenners), has no such reservations. Like Lagerfeld, his face is featured heavily in promotional billboards, magazine campaigns, and TV commercials, and he has made himself highly available to the press. (Last spring, he flew twenty-six hours round-trip from Paris to Las Vegas to pose with Kendall Jenner for a red-carpet announcement.) And with his army of reality-star friends lending themselves to the advertising campaign, the current collaboration is expected to be one of the most successful since the Lagerfeld.

But the mood inside the H & Ms I visited on Thursday morning was a far cry from the frenzied atmosphere I remember from the Lagerfeld launch. At 8 A.M., when the doors opened at the store on 86th and Lexington, there was a long line stretching down the block but only a few people actually in the store. Nowadays, H & M allows only thirty customers at a time into the collaborations; they’re allowed to shop for a strictly enforced fifteen minutes, and can buy only two versions of any single item. These draconian restrictions are designed to prevent the bulk buying of items—many of which pop up instantly on eBay, priced at a massive markup. At the flagship store, on Fifth Avenue, a few hundred people stood, grim-faced, around the small, penned-off selling area, waiting their turn while a hand-picked group of people moved between the racks.

Some customers, emerging from the store with big black bags stuffed with merchandise, told me that they had lined up as early as 6 P.M. the day before, and spent the night on the sidewalk. One heavy-set young man dressed in black sweats and a baseball cap said that he’d dropped eight hundred dollars on a green army overcoat, some biker jeans, and other items, but that he might return most or all of it. He had only three days to decide: with each collaboration, H & M seems to shorten the deadline for returns—allowing people less and less time to nurture their buyer’s remorse. (Prices for the collaborations have crept up since the inaugural event; in the Balmain collection, a wool overcoat comparable to the Lagerfeld one I own is priced at two hundred and ninety-nine dollars.) One young woman I spoke to clutched a number of bright-green sequinned minidresses. I asked if she planned to keep them. She snorted and glanced down at her faded jeans and converse sneakers. “Do I look like I’d wear this stuff?” she said. “My friend and I are selling it on eBay.” Between them, they’d managed, somehow, to snag ten dresses, for two hundred dollars each. “I’m from Poland,” she continued. “My friend is from Germany. We know we can get a thousand dollars for each dress in Europe.”

Indeed, despite H & M’s best efforts, within minutes of the collection going on sale, hundreds of “new with tags” pieces from the collection appeared on eBay. Last I checked, the price of a black-and-white beaded blazer worn by Kendall Jenner at that promotional event in Vegas had climbed to four thousand and twenty-five dollars, with the bids continuing to roll in. H & M sells the piece for five hundred and forty-nine dollars.


Wedding rings stolen by thieves who took dozens of other goods from Bromyard home The ammolite pendant stolen. An ingot similar to the one stolen from a Bromyard home.

WEDDING rings and diamond encrusted jewellery were among a large collection of items stolen from a property in Bromyard.

Police are appealing for information after a large collection of items were stolen from a property in Oak Close between 1pm and 7.30pm on Friday November 6.
An ammolite pendant with a diamond surround set in 15ct yellow gold was taken as well as an ingot with a silver Concorde stamped onto it. It dated back to 1976 and was marked with a serial number.

A sapphire and diamond ladies engagement ring, a 9ct yellow gold women’s wedding ring, a 9ct yellow gold man’s wedding ring, two Fuji cameras, a Yale electronic safe, and other personal jewellery and cash were among the huge haul of items stolen.
Ammolite teardrop shape earrings in a yellow gold surround, an orocal yellow gold quartz pendant and 18ct yellow gold snake chain were also taken as well as a yellow gold sovereign in a pendant mount on an anchor chain and a yellow gold sovereign bracelet, a ruby and diamond pendant on a twist rope chain necklace and a tennis-style diamond bracelet.


Just Wedding Invite? Jaitley-Rahul Gandhi Meet Sparks GST Buzz

Just Wedding Invite? Jaitley-Rahul Gandhi Meet Sparks GST Buzz

NEW DELHI:  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, reportedly to invite him for his daughter’s wedding next month.

The meeting, five days before the winter session of Parliament begins, sparked speculation on whether the minister also sought Mr Gandhi’s help to clear the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, the government’s big reform that is stuck in Parliament due to opposition from the Congress.

But both BJP and Congress sources said there was no discussion on GST today. The BJP sources however said the party will “open channels” and is “open to any suggestion on GST.”

Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, has maintained that the government should speak with the leaders of the Congress party in the two houses of Parliament – Mallikarjuna Khadge in the Lok Sabha and Ghulam Nabi Azad in the Rajya Sabha – if it wants to discuss the passage of bills.

An all-party meeting is likely on Tuesday, November 25.

Mr Jaitley had earlier this month said that he was willing to reach out to any opposition leader, including Rahul Gandhi, for help to pass the crucial bill. The BJP-led government is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha or Upper House and a number of key reforms have been stalled by the Opposition there.
The Goods and Services Tax, aimed at doing away with more than a dozen state levies to create a single market, is to be enforced from April 1. But the deadline may be missed if Parliament does not pass the constitutional amendment in the winter session.

Once the GST Bill is passed, more than half of the states have to ratify it before Parliament passes another enabling bill to implement the new tax regime.

The Congress is opposed to states being given powers to impose one per cent tax over and above the GST rate. Also, it wants alcohol and petroleum products to be included in the new tax regime.

The Opposition, re-energised by the big defeat of the BJP in the Bihar elections this month, is expected to be doubly aggressive in its efforts to trip the government in the winter session.


can Beyonce’ Get Away With Wearing White to a Wedding?

Beyonce Wears White Dress to Wedding

We all know the golden rule of weddings right? Do not under any circumstances wear white to someone else’s wedding. Unless you’re Beyoncé. Or if your sister or mom wants an all-white wedding, and you’re also Beyoncé.

As the Huffington Post reports, Mrs. Carter got a little Instagram happy at an undisclosed wedding this weekend and showed off her cream and gold-trimmed wrap dress, a screen siren beauty look and Blue Ivy’s adorable dance moves. While baby Blue looked the part of perfectly polished flower girl, was mama Bey possibly committing the biggest wedding faux pas imaginable?

Long thought to be an absolute don’t when it comes to the wedding guest code of conduct, showing up in the same color as the bride can come off like a real diva move. But have the times changed? Is Bey walking the fine line of stealing the bride’s thunder or is she just setting new trends? Or has the Knowles family just had one too many all-white weddings?

Maybe it’s a celebrity thing? After all, Kim Kardashian famously outfitted her sisterly bridal party in all-whitefor both the Kimye wedding extravaganza (which the Carters did not attend) and her first wedding to basketball player Kris Humphries, which also had a strict black-and-white dress code.

We would think Bey and Jay are almost professional wedding guests at this point, so maybe we’re not getting the whole story. It’s Bey were talking about, the girl deserves the benefit of our doubt. Maybe she just misses the good old Destiny’s Child days of girl group matching madness.

Either way, we can all agree that without a doubt, Blue Ivy owned that dance floor. Keep the Knowles-Carter family snaps coming!

What do you think? Did Beyoncé commit a major wedding faux pas or does she get by?