The Arizona Corporation Commission Corporations’ Division celebrates a groundbreaking achievement in its collaboration with the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Originally setting a goal to digitize 3.5 million microfiche images from 1912-1980, the project has successfully digitized over 4 million images from microfiche records, some of which predate Arizona’s statehood. These images have been through a conversion process using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, making the records fully searchable. This partnership, aimed at promoting online public exploration and utilization of historical record collections, preserves the life of Arizona's microfiche records in perpetuity.

A married couple from New York City pleaded guilty today to money laundering conspiracies arising from the hack and theft of approximately 120,000 bitcoin from Bitfinex, a global cryptocurrency exchange.

Ilya Lichtenstein, 35, and Heather Morgan, 33, were arrested in February 2022 after the government seized approximately 95,000 of those stolen bitcoin from cryptocurrency wallets in the defendants’ control. At the time of the seizure, the recovered funds were valued at approximately $3.6 billion. Since their arrests, the government has seized another approximately $475 million tied to the hack.

Fitch Ratings - London - Fitch Ratings has downgraded the United States of America's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'AA+' from 'AAA'. The Rating Watch Negative was removed and a Stable Outlook assigned. The Country Ceiling has been affirmed at 'AAA'.

A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.

Key Rating Drivers

Ratings Downgrade: The rating downgrade of the United States reflects the expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years, a high and growing general government debt burden, and the erosion of governance relative to 'AA' and 'AAA' rated peers over the last two decades that has manifested in repeated debt limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions.

Federal Judge Issues Permanent Injunction and Orders Registration, Trading Bans

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California charging William Koo Ichioka, a New York City resident, with fraudulently soliciting and misappropriating more than $21 million from over 100 commodity pool participants’ funds.

Ichioka does not contest his liability on the CFTC’s claims, and has agreed to the entry of a proposed consent order of judgment admitting his liability on the charges in the complaint. In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks full restitution to defrauded pool participants, a civil monetary penalty, permanent trading and registration bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged.

The CFPB issued an Interim Final Rule related to the LIBOR transition.

The 2023 LIBOR Transition Interim Final Rule updates the CFPB’s previous 2021 LIBOR Transition Rule to make changes consistent with the Adjustable Interest Rate Act of 2021 (LIBOR Act), enacted in March 2022. Those changes include 1) conforming the terminology used to identify the replacement indices and 2) adding an example of a 12-month LIBOR tenor replacement index that meets certain standards in Regulation Z.

By Lesley Fair
Senior Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

For many people, buying a franchise has proven to be a good choice, but like any other financial decision, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question “Is a franchise right for me?” Buying a franchise involves a major financial outlay and owning one often requires an “all in” lifestyle commitment. If you’re thinking about whether your future could be in a franchise, follow the FTC Business Blog for a series we’re calling Franchise Fundamentals. We’ll explore some of the factors to consider as you investigate franchise opportunities. The first topic: debunking myths and misconceptions about becoming a franchisee.