In the last five years, an international scam has been exposed.
At the centre of it all is a mysterious firm known as Cambridge Financial Management, which is based in the US, and which is responsible for more than $1.5 trillion in assets in more than 120 countries.
The firm has over 3,000 employees, is one of the biggest providers of financial advice, and has a presence in more countries than most of the world’s biggest banks.
Cambridge is currently being investigated by the US authorities for its role in a global conspiracy to defraud investors of millions of dollars by manipulating asset prices, making risky bets on global financial markets and making millions of fraudulent claims on government bonds.
The UK and US governments are also probing the firm’s activities.
But what’s behind this scam?
The scam that Cambridge was caught up in has become so famous that many of its members have gone public.
It’s been dubbed the “biggest financial scam in the history of the planet”, and the UK and the US have been pursuing its perpetrators for almost five years.
The US has charged the firm with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering conspiracy, and wire fraud, among other charges.
According to the UK authorities, the firm has been responsible for at least $2.2 trillion in fraudulent activity since its inception in 1999.
And that’s not all.
According a joint investigation by Al Jazeera and the BBC, the scandal is more widespread than previously thought.
The BBC reported that Cambridge has “bought up hundreds of other firms and organisations that were involved in similar schemes”.
These include hedge funds, asset management firms, real estate companies, insurance companies and other financial institutions.
The investigations have also led to the seizure of more than 3,200 documents and emails from the company, including the company’s financial statements and internal memos.
Cambridge has denied wrongdoing.
The scandal, however, is only the latest example of a global financial fraud that is increasingly becoming an increasingly important tool for global elites to manipulate the markets and exploit gullible investors.
According the BBC: “They [the global elites] know what the market will do, what will happen and what will be rewarded.
They can make it do what they want to.
That’s why it’s so tempting to buy it in and to try to manipulate it to their advantage.”
The BBC report said the scandal has already cost the US Treasury billions in legal fees.
“If you go back to the 1980s, we were going through some sort of crisis,” says Mark Pryce, a former senior executive at the US Federal Reserve Bank.
“It was really hard to do that now because they’re so successful at manipulating the markets.”
This global financial crime has created a huge opportunity for politicians and regulators to use their power to exploit the vulnerable, Pryce says.
The banks that were complicit in the scandal include HSBC, Barclays, and Royal Bank of Scotland, among others.
The financial services industry has been trying to downplay the impact of this financial crime, arguing that the scandal’s widespread scope has nothing to do with the frauds that are being investigated.
HSBC has even admitted that it did not commit the crime it was accused of, but rather its “responsibility” is due to the way it operates.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, HSBC admitted: “We have worked hard to identify and remove all potential risks, and we have not been able to prove our responsibility.
We recognise the gravity of this matter and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
In a related story, in April 2016, Barclays announced it was taking over responsibility for its UK operations from the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA).
It had also agreed to pay the FSA a £4.4 billion fine.
The FSA said it had received “several hundred thousand complaints of misconduct by Barclays in its UK branches and other branches in the UK”.
“The FSA has established that Barclays has been involved in at least six different frauds and/or schemes in the past 20 years,” the statement said.
In its statement to the FSA, Barclays acknowledged that it “failed to prevent at least three of these fraudulent schemes from being carried out”.
In June 2017, the FSA issued a statement in response to questions about the fraud allegations, saying that it had “no intention” of imposing sanctions on the bank.
It also added that it was “committed to ensuring that it is compliant with UK laws and regulations”.
In a press release issued after the FSA’s announcement, the bank said it was committed to “protecting the integrity of our trading environment, our clients and our employees”.
“We are committed to being transparent with regulators, including regulators in the United Kingdom and Ireland,” the bank’s statement said, “and are confident that we will be.”
Barclays said in a statement that it agreed to the terms of the FSA investigation.
“We will fully cooperate with all appropriate authorities, including those in the U.K. and Ireland, in our ongoing