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CHS quizzed over money laundering claims

US SEC opens investigation, offers $25m settlement

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Distributor CHS Electronics is under investigation in the US for money laundering. Hidden deep in the chasms of a financial document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 22 November, the company revealed one of its divisions was under scrutiny in the US for allegedly breaking export laws. According to the CHS submission for the quarter ended 30 September 1999: "The Department of Commerce has commenced an investigation of the export activities of one of the company's subsidiaries and its management." This was "in relation to alleged violations of certain Federal exportation laws and other related violations including money laundering," the company said. The Department of Commerce was said to have offered to settle the matter if CHS agreed to pay a fine of $25 million as well as pleading guilty to the charges. The Department added that the costs for CHS could be much higher if the company was found guilty of having violated the export laws. CHS, based in Florida and with origins in South America, said it intended to vigorously defend itself against the claims. It was not noted which division was affected, or if it was one of the companies CHS still owned or had given back to its original owners. The distributor has been rapidly shedding divisions over the past few months to cut its debts. It was also kept a mystery as to what the "laundering" involved.® Related items: You can find full details of the CHS results on the CHS Web site Receivers called in at CHS Electronics UK CHS losses unveiled in full CHS Latin America sold for cash Computacenter buys Metrologie

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