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Corruption often not punished – Auditor General

Corruption often not punished – Auditor General | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

“Irregular expenditure… still is a major problem,” he said on the sidelines of the Institute of Internal Auditors’ forum at Emperors Palace.

“A larger part of that problem is about deviations from supply chain management processes, among others… That is a reflection of a lack of proper and strong internal controls.”

He said one of the key problems was that there was very little or slow movement in addressing the findings from previous audits.

This was evident because findings in the 2012/13 general report was “evidence and pronouncements” that have been around in the general report for the last five to 10 years.

“It brings back the question of how much more needs to be exposed for there to be action,” said Makwetu.

“I think the point is — once the consequences that come with somebody who has not done the right thing are in place, over a period of time we might start seeing some of these things disappear.”

Makwetu said he could not specify about alleged corruption in municipalities until the report from his office is released.

CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors SA Claudelle Von Eck said more rules and regulations were needed to fight corruption.
She said not enough was being done and those often charged with corruption are not the leaders.

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Global Corruption
Corruption is a particularly viral form of cancer. It is caught here and there but it reappears somewhere else as soon as vigilance is relaxed. It is not eliminated, just driven underground. The corrupt merely suspend their operations temporarily. It lingers, hovering always in the background for its next opportunity.
- Gerald E. Caiden
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Corruption Eruption E-Magazine > > > "On Planet Corruption every day a new Eruption"

Corruption Eruption E-Magazine >   >  >            "On Planet Corruption every day a new Eruption" | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

*** Key findings from PwC's 17th Annual Global Economic Crime Survey

*** Cyber crime: the Achilles heel of the business world
*** Ukraine’s $19-billion question of debt and corruption

*** FBI announces campaign to crack down on public corruption

*** Ukraine’s $19-billion question of debt and corruption

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USA - Georgia: Who's telling the truth in Deal ethics scandal?

USA - Georgia: Who's telling the truth in Deal ethics scandal? | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The most crucial question: Is state ethics chief Holly LaBerge telling us the truth?

LaBerge claims that two years ago, on July 17, 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal’s top staff threatened the ethics commission with retaliation unless it produced the verdict that they demanded on an ethics case involving Deal’s 2010 campaign, and on the schedule that they also demanded.

That’s a serious charge, especially in light of a poll released this week by Channel Two Action News. It shows Deal trailing Democrat Jason Carter by a startling eight points in his bid for re-election, which may be the consequence of this ongoing ethics controversy. It certainly suggests that Deal is in for a real fight.

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Former Texas hospital chief's fraud trial to begin

Former Texas hospital chief's fraud trial to begin | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Hospitals operated by a Dallas businessman improperly billed Medicare 80 percent of the time and continued the fraudulent billing even after being warned by government auditors, prosecutors contend in federal court records.

Details of the prosecution's case against Dr. Tariq Mahmood were disclosed in the recent court filings. Mahmood's trial on charges of fraud conspiracy began Friday with jury selection and will continue this week in Tyler.

Federal indictments say he conspired to submit more than $1.1 million in false billings to enrich himself even as his hospitals in East Texas and elsewhere lacked funding to operate effectively, TheDallas Morning News reported (http://bit.ly/1u859HZ ).

Mahmood has pleaded not guilty to health care-billing fraud and aggravated identity theft counts. He faces more than two decades in prison if convicted on all 15 fraud counts.


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/21/6571176/former-texas-hospital-chiefs-fraud.html#storylink=cpy

 

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Britain's fraud office launches criminal probe into FX rigging

Britain's fraud office launches criminal probe into FX rigging | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Britain's anti-fraud agency said on Monday it has launched a criminal investigation into alleged rigging of the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market.

"The director of the Serious Fraud Office has today opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the foreign exchange market," the agency said in a statement.

Around 15 authorities around the world are investigating allegations of collusion and price manipulation in the largely unregulated foreign exchange market.

It is alleged that traders used online chatrooms to collude in the fixing of benchmark prices.

Scrutiny is focused on activity around London's 4 p.m. currency fix, a 60-second window where key exchange rates are set. These prices are used as reference rates for trillions of dollars of investment and trade globally.

Banks including Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Lloyds (LLOY.L), Citigroup (C.N), Barclays (BARC.L) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM.N) have fired or suspended - and in some cases reinstated - foreign exchange traders in the discourse over alleged manipulation.

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N.Y. immigration groups to close over alleged fraud

N.Y. immigration groups to close over alleged fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Two of the largest non-profit immigration service groups in the United States will shut down after being accused of defrauding thousands of clients, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Monday.

The International Professional Association will close immediately and the International Immigrants Foundation within two years, Schneiderman said. Their remaining assets of $2.2 million would be used to provide restitution to clients.

Schneiderman's predecessor, now-Governor Andrew Cuomo, filed a lawsuit in 2010 against the groups and Edward Juarez, their president. He claimed they charged exorbitant fees for their services, including securing work permits and residency, and that their workers falsely claimed to be lawyers.

Juarez allegedly used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle and give jobs to his former wife and children.

“Organizations like IIF and IPA prey upon vulnerable individuals who seek a better life in this country," Schneiderman said in a statement.

Samuel Ehrenfeld, who represents the groups and Juarez, did not return a request for comment.

The settlement is the latest setback for Juarez, who for three decades has been a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues. Prior to the 2010 suit, he was a radio host and columnist for the Spanish-language newspaper El Diario.

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The corruption at the head of Hamas

The corruption at the head of Hamas | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
According to Palestinian news agency WAFA, the Hamas movement is in the throes of an economic crisis in its political, military and social institutions, after a number of corruption affairs within it were exposed. Public anger has forced the movement to bring many activists accused of corruption to justice, to avoid a revolution in the Gaza Strip. Some of the cases involved bribery in the justice system itself.

According to one report, the Hamas political bureau held several meetings to discuss the many corruption affairs connected to the financing of the movement's institutions in the Gaza Strip, the financing of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and especially payments of activists' wages. Moreover, the movement's financial statements show that bad investments were made in real estate in Saudi Arabia, in Syria, and in Dubai, leading to the loss of tens of millions of dollars that had been earmarked for rehabilitating the Gaza Strip.
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Demmer's bill for more transparent audits now law

Demmer's bill for more transparent audits now law | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A bill requiring Illinois cities and counties to get annual audit presentations was signed into law Thursday. The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon.

House Bill 5503 unanimously passed both chambers of the state Legislature on May 22.

The bill, Demmer has said, was inspired by former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell’s theft of nearly $54 million over 2 decades.

The new law requires that, within 60 days from the close of an audit of a local government’s funds and accounts, the auditor must provide a copy of any financial statements to each member of the city council or county board, and present the information to the council or board in a public meeting.

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Local Perspectives: Anti-Corruption Efforts in Venezuela, Argentina and Chile

Local Perspectives: Anti-Corruption Efforts in Venezuela, Argentina and Chile | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

These comments make clear that national anti-corruption laws and institutions vary across the region, as do enforcement practices. Chile’s laws, institutions and enforcement are well considered, while Argentina and Venezuela are reported to struggle with institutional deficiencies in the judiciary and ineffective implementation of existing laws.

The variation in obligations imposed on companies is particularly interesting. Argentine counsel notes that Argentine law does not require that companies have anti-corruption programs, though there is precedent for such requirements under anti-money laundering laws. In contrast, Chilean law provides for criminal liability for corporations that commit certain corrupt acts, and also encourages compliance programs by providing a safe-harbor provision.

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China's Underground Bank - Global Financial Integrity

China's Underground Bank - Global Financial Integrity | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Reforms will need to be further-reaching and institutionally minded if China hopes to truly curb corruption and illicit financial flows...

 

The coverage of China’s financial sector has been quite the roller coaster of late: from President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign to bad loan collateral to CCTV’s exposure of the Bank of China’s “money laundering” schemes, it’s hard to discern the emerging country’s financial status.

However, one thing remains eminently clear: China has a deeply systemic illicit financial flow problem. It comprises both the individuals singled out in Xi’s purge (and a myriad of those who are not) as well as the corporations that facilitate this illegal behavior. According to our research, China remains the largest exporter of illicit money, with over a trillion dollars flowing illegally out of the country from 2002-2011:

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Local Perspectives: Anti-Corruption Efforts in Mexico and Brazil

Local Perspectives: Anti-Corruption Efforts in Mexico and Brazil | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Mexico’s experience suggests that reform is moving incrementally, with the passage of new laws followed by slow adoption and the exposure of gaps in the system that has been created.

Brazil’s experience is the result of a dramatic change: the passage of the new law has galvanized attention and energy regarding anti-corruption compliance. This approach has comes with some risks – Brazil has committed to a course that provides for harsh consequences despite a lack of clarity regarding obligations and mitigating factors.

The local efforts to address corruption in both countries is hopeful, and their experiences present alternatives to other countries also considering reforms. With that in mind, a subsequent post will summarize local counsel views regarding anti-corruption efforts in Argentina, Chile and Venezuela.

- See more at: http://fcpamericas.com/english/brazil/local-perspectives-anti-corruption-efforts-mexico-brazil/#sthash.0PLBEQaw.dpuf

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Ex-CalPERS CEO admits he's a crook

Ex-CalPERS CEO admits he's a crook | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A kickback scandal at America’s largest public pension included $200,000 of cash stuffed into shoeboxes and paper bags.

When former CalPERS CEO Fred Buenrostro was charged more than a year ago by both federal and state officials with fraud and obstruction of justice charges, something didn’t seem right. The allegations focused on how Buenrostro had forged documents to help placement agent pal Alfred Villalobos get paid by some of his private equity clients, but there was no mention of Buenrostro personally benefiting (beyond a $300k per year job with Villalobos upon retirement from CalPERS). Not was there any evidence that Buenrostro improperly influenced investment decisions at CalPERS.

But it seems he did both things, according to his guilty plea last Friday in a San Francisco courthouse.

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Does Bribery Pay? For Whom? And How Much?

Does Bribery Pay? For Whom? And How Much? | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Anticorruption advocates—including those in the private sector who have taken the fight against corruption seriously—insist that bribery is bad for business. That’s likely true in the aggregate, and perhaps it’s true for some individual firms. But it’s probably not true for all firms—otherwise, why would so many of them pay bribes? But it’s hard to know how much firms benefit from bribery. Likewise, while would be useful to know more about the factors that affect the size and probability of bribery, figuring this out is a challenge because of the secrecy of corrupt transactions.

In a recent working paper, Yan Leung Cheung, P. Raghavendra Rau, andAris Stouraitis try to get at these questions by looking at enforcement data for anti-bribery laws–both laws that apply domestically and those (like the U.S. FCPA and the UK Bribery Act) that prohibit foreign bribery. In particular, the study examines a subset of reported cases where (1) a bribe was (allegedly) paid for a particular, identifiable public contract, announced on a specific date, (2) there is stock and financial data for the firm, available on a day-to-day basis, and (3) the enforcement data contains information on the size of the bribe paid to secure the contract. Armed with that information, the authors reason that we can use the abnormal increase in firm market capitalization that coincides with the announcement of the contract as a measure of the gross benefit of the bribe to the firm (the authors assume that bribe-paying firms would not have gotten the contract without paying the bribe). We can then subtract the size of the bribe from that gross benefit to get the net benefit of bribery for the firm. On top of that, the authors reason that we can learn something about how the total gains from the bribe transaction are allocated between the firm and the corrupt public official by dividing the size of the bribe payment by the sum of the bribe payment plus the gross benefit of the bribe. The higher this ratio, the more the benefits of bribery go to the public official; the lower this ratio, the more the benefits of bribery accrue to the bribe-paying firm.

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Tax evasion sting recovers Sh25bn from multinationals

Tax evasion sting recovers Sh25bn from multinationals | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) audit has forced a number multinationals to rewrite their financial statements, turning losses into profits in a review that has yielded Sh25 billion in tax revenues...

 

Several multinationals had used the transfer pricing mechanism to declare losses, which effectively disqualified them from paying income tax.But a KRA audit of 40 conglomerates discovered widespread abuse of transfer pricing – which refers to prices charged when one unit of a multinational group buys or sells product from another part of the same group but in a different country.The culprits are expected to agree with KRA on a payment schedule that will enable them to clear the tax.

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Global crackdown on offshore secret tax accounts yields €37bn

Global crackdown on offshore secret tax accounts yields €37bn | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Governments across the world have collected more than €37bn of tax from secret offshore accounts since 2009, it emerged on Monday as new details were unveiled of the next phase of the global crackdown on tax evasion.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development published its global standard for automatic information exchange, aimed at removing the secrecy that provides evaders with safe havens for their cash.

The new rules on automatic information exchange are the latest move by governments mounting a concerted attack on evasion in the wake of the global financial crisis and a series of tax scandals.

“Today’s launch moves us closer to a world in which tax cheats have nowhere left to hide,” said Angel Gurría, OECD secretary-general.

 

 

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How UK business enables corruption in poor countries

How UK business enables corruption in poor countries | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Corrupt business deals cost developing countries millions from their annual spending budgets and undermines international aid...

 

UK professionals are acting as enablers for corrupt deals in developing countries. It happens in a number of ways and involves a range of industries, including law, banking and accountancy. For example, a corrupt state official from a developing country may seek out the services of a UK-based solicitor or accountant to process their spoils and, importantly, confer legitimacy to their actions.

British professionals working in less regulated markets may encounter corruption or suspicious transactions when arranging business deals, or those in the UK could unwittingly handle the proceeds of illicit transactions. There are concerns that corrupt foreign public officials use the British housing, luxury goods and private education markets to launder stolen funds.

For example, after the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, questions were raised over hisson’s £10m Hampstead house complete with swimming pool and cinema.

There are shocking case studies of corrupt deals that lose poor countries significant proportions of their annual spending budgets. The amount lost to the DRC in five suspicious mining deals, for example, was equivalent to their total health and education budget (pdf).

These transactions undermine the money that the UK government rightly spends on overseas development assistance. Fixing this problem and the broader issue of illicit financial flows would allow poorer countries to benefit from properly resourced public services and richer ones to spend less on aid.

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Citi’s Banamex, regulator clash over who played key role in loan fraud

Citi’s Banamex, regulator clash over who played key role in loan fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Preliminary findings of a probe by Citigroup’s Mexican unit, Banamex, into how it lost more than $500 million in a corporate loan fraud differ markedly from the results of a separate investigation by the Mexican banking regulator.

Banamex has zeroed in on Jose Ortega, a middle manager the bank fired in 2012, as a key person in the fraud involving Mexican oil pipeline maintenance company Oceanografia, according to two people familiar with its probe.

But the Mexican bank regulator, Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV), has poured scorn on this suggestion and says Ortega probably played only a bit part. The real problem was with the bank’s institutional failure to have proper controls in place, the CNBV says.

Reuters has learned that Banamex accuses Ortega of changing a manual that employees used when deciding whether to make loans to suppliers to Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex. That meant Banamex staff stopped calling Pemex to verify invoices, reducing their level of scrutiny of loans to Oceanografia and other suppliers, the people familiar with the probe said.

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INDIA: Parliament uproar over 'corruption'

INDIA: Parliament uproar over 'corruption' | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

There has been uproar in the Indian parliament over a former Supreme Court judge's allegations of corruption in the judiciary.

Markandey Katju said a high court judge was promoted after pressure from an ally of the former Congress government.

He also said some senior judges had made "improper compromises" in allowing the judge to continue in office.

A regional party protested in the parliament against "political interference in judicial appointments".

The Congress-led government was in power for 10 years before losing the May general election to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The ally that Mr Katju has alluded to was the ruling party in Tamil Nadu state.

Writing in The Times of India newspaper, Mr Katju said a judge of the Madras high court in Tamil Nadu was promoted and given an extension to continue in office despite "several allegations of corruption" after pressure from an ally of the then-ruling Congress party.

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China warns officials against aping Western morality

China warns officials against aping Western morality | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

China's ruling Communist Party will step up ideological education of officials to prevent them from aping Western moral standards and strengthen their faith in communism to help in the fight against pervasive corruption, state media said. "Profound social-economic changes at home and abroad have brought multiple distractions to officials who face loss of faith and moral decline," the official Xinhua news agency cited a statement from the party's powerful Organisation Department, which oversees personnel decisions. "The conviction and morals of officials determine the rise and fall of the Communist Party and the country," Xinhua added, in a report late on Sunday. President Xi Jinping has mounted a sweeping campaign against deeply-rooted corruption since assuming office last year, warning, like others before him, that the party's rule could be threatened if it does not stop the rot from graft...

 

The party has sought to curtail everything from bribery and gift-giving to lavish banquets to assuage public anger over graft and extravagance, and state media has published lurid accounts of officials with multiple mistresses and illegally amassed wealth.

However, the party has shown no sign of wanting to set up an independent body to fight graft, and Xi has also overseen a tough crackdown on those who seek to challenge the party's right to govern or push for more freedoms.

Xinhua said that party officials would have to receive education that "strengthens their political, ideological and emotional identity in socialism with Chinese characteristics".

Officials will have to be "noble, pure and virtuous persons who have relinquished vulgar tastes", it added.

"Chinese officials should safeguard the spiritual independence of the nation and avoid becoming an echo of western moral values," Xinhua said.

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Venice is Sinking Under a Tidal Wave of Corruption

For Venetians, who pride themselves on centuries of history dating back to the Venetian republic of the 16th century, this brings shame and disgrace.

All levels of society, high and low, appear to be involved. Even the gondoliers. Nicola Falconi, the president of their cooperative, Ente Gondola, has been arrested. Meanwhile, the former governor of the Veneto, Giancarlo Galan, a member of parliament for Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, has been charged as well as several members of the regional council for prime minister Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic party. Both left and right are involved.

Two former heads of the Magistrato alle Acque have been arrested. The investigation also involves its judges and auditors. The police appear to be involved, as well. Two former senior members of the finance police, both former members of Italian intelligence, have been charged with spying on prosecutors in exchange for bribes.

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How To Pay A Bribe: Solutions that Explode

How To Pay A Bribe: Solutions that Explode | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Over the past few weeks I have had a chance to read How To Pay A Bribe, Thinking Like a Criminal to Thwart Bribery Schemes (2014, edited by Alexandra Wrage, Seven Wirz), and while I have enjoyed a number of the chapters, including those by Andrew Feintsein and Matteson Ellis (which is the subject for this post), I did find the book’s title to be somewhat confusing. I think there is a difference between serious academic and practical treatment of bribery issues, which this book clearly represents, versus a subtitle of “thinking like a criminal” to thwart future schemes. In any case, I have a great deal of respect for Ms. Wrage’s organization, as having had the recent pleasure of being a co-panelist with Eileen Radford (Director, Advisory Services, Trace International) at the C5 Anti-Corruption Forum in London; thus, I draw this distinction not in a negative context but just to call attention to my own observations.

As Mr. Severin Wirz states in the preface, “given that so few foreign bribery cases actually make it to trial, where the facts might come to light, how are we to lay bare the ways in which corruption actually functions in the real world?” While Mr. Wirz speaks of bringing in the voices of “authors, researchers and investigative journalists,” as well as “practicing lawyers and former prosecutors” here is my own attempt to “breathe life into the corruption literature,” by commenting on Mr. Ellis’ chapter “Regional Flavor: Crosscutting Corruption Issues In Latin America.”

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Company co-founded by Nancy Pelosi’s son charged with securities fraud

Company co-founded by Nancy Pelosi’s son charged with securities fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged a company cofounded by Paul Pelosi Jr. with fraud on Wednesday after learning that two convicted criminals were running the business.

Paul Pelosi Jr., the son of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), was the president and chief operating officer of Natural Blue Resources Inc., an investment company he cofounded that focuses on “environmentally-friendly” ventures.

The SEC charged four individuals with fraud, including former New Mexico Gov. Toney Anaya, and suspended trading in the company’s stock. Pelosi owned over 10 million shares in the company in 2009.

The SEC said Wednesday the company was “secretly controlled” by James E. Cohen and Joseph Corazzi, both of whom had previous fraud convictions. Corazzi violated federal securities laws and was barred from acting as an officer or director of a public company. Cohen was previously incarcerated for financial fraud.



Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/17/company-co-founded-nancy-pelosis-son-charged-secur/#ixzz37pB7IkxX ;
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter.
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Report: Broke States Just Might Have Political Corruption To Blame

Report: Broke States Just Might Have Political Corruption To Blame | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A legacy of political corruption is costing a number of U.S. states much more than their reputation, according to a new study.

The study, authored by Cheol Liu of the City University of Hong Kong and John Mikesell of Indiana University and published in the May/June 2014 issue of Public Administration Review, links political corruption to excessive state spending in the nation's 10 most corrupt states. The result is what essentially amounts to an annual "corruption tax" estimated at $1,308 per person, based on the researchers' analysis of about 25,000 corruption-related convictions between the years 1976 and 2008.

If corruption in the nation's 10 most corrupt states -- identified and ranked in order as Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Alaska, South Dakota, Kentucky and Florida -- had been reduced to just an "average" level between 1997 and 2008, spending in those states would have been reduced a total of 5.2 percent of their existing expenditures, according to the study.

On the flip side, the study ranked Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Vermont, Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado and Kansas as the least corrupt states.

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USA: Former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff arrested

USA:  Former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff arrested | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff were arrested and charged Tuesday on allegations ranging from accepting bribes to destroying evidence.

Both were arrested at their Sandy homes by members of the FBI and the Utah Department of Public Safety, and they arrived at the Salt Lake County Jail shortly after 8 a.m.

The state's former top law enforcement officials were charged in 3rd District Court with pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony; and three counts of receiving or soliciting bribes by a public official, a third-degree felony.

In addition, Shurtleff was charged with illegally accepting gifts or loans, a second-degree felony; two counts of receiving bribes by a public official, a third-degree felony; witness tampering, a third-degree felony; tampering with evidence, a class A misdemeanor; and obstruction of justice, a class A misdemeanor.

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USDOJ: Justice Department, Federal and State Partners Secure Record $7 Billion Global Settlement with Citigroup for Misleading Investors About Securities Containing Toxic Mortgages

USDOJ: Justice Department, Federal and State Partners Secure Record $7 Billion Global Settlement with Citigroup for Misleading Investors About Securities Containing Toxic Mortgages | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The Justice Department, along with federal and state partners, today announced a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup Inc. to resolve federal and state civil claims related to Citigroup’s conduct in the packaging, securitization, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) prior to Jan. 1, 2009.  The resolution includes a $4 billion civil penalty – the largest penalty to date under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).  As part of the settlement, Citigroup acknowledged it made serious misrepresentations to the public – including the investing public – about the mortgage loans it securitized in RMBS.  The resolution also requires Citigroup to provide relief to underwater homeowners, distressed borrowers and affected communities through a variety of means including financing affordable rental housing developments for low-income families in high-cost areas.  The settlement does not absolve Citigroup or its employees from facing any possible criminal charges.

 

This settlement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s RMBS Working Group, which has recovered $20 billion to date for American consumers and investors. 

 

“This historic penalty is appropriate given the strength of the evidence of the wrongdoing committed by Citi,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.  “The bank's activities contributed mightily to the financial crisis that devastated our economy in 2008.  Taken together, we believe the size and scope of this resolution goes beyond what could be considered the mere cost of doing business.  Citi is not the first financial institution to be held accountable by this Justice Department, and it will certainly not be the last.”

 

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Is the U.S. as Corrupt as the Third World?

Is the U.S. as Corrupt as the Third World? | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Last week former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin became the latest American politician to be sent to jail for abuse of power, following in the footsteps of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and onetime Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Despite such high-profile convictions, most Americans see political corruption as a problem that plagues the developing world far more than the U.S. The truth is more complex: It’s certainly the case that paying bribes is a lot less common in the U.S. than in Nigeria or Bolivia, for example. But when citizens are asked if corruption is prevalent in their country, they’re thinking about a lot more than bribes. They’re more concerned about whether government and the political system is fair or stacked against them. And on those grounds, there are good reasons to think the difference between the U.S. and developing countries isn’t very big at all.

It doesn’t take a detailed look at Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index to work out which types of countries are viewed to be particularly corrupt by the political risk analysts, aid agency economists, and think-tank staff whose opinions the index reflects...

Nagin wasn’t convicted of taking a bribe. His big crimes were related to steering business to his family’s kitchen countertop company.  That underscores a vital truth: There are lots of different ways to be corrupt. And when you survey people around the world about the problem of corruption in their country, most have a definition of “corruption” that’s broader than bribery. Ask the same people, “Have you paid a bribe,” and then ask, “Is corruption a problem in this country?” and the relationship between the two answers is weak. Again, ask the same companies, “How much do you pay in bribes?” and “Is corruption a major constraint to doing business,” and many who say bribery in their industry is common also don’t see corruption as a problem—while many who don’t pay bribes are convinced corruption is holding them back.

People in

 

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