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If you were a Chinese official, would you be corrupt?

If you were a Chinese official, would you be corrupt? | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

"Want to understand corruption? Get inside the minds of the corrupt. That seems to be the thinking behind a quiz developed by a Chinese scholar and published online by state press.

Professor Di Xiaohua, head of the Crime Prevention and Control Research Institute at Nanjing University, interviewed 47 Chinese prisoners and analyzed the results of 200 surveys to get a better sense of what leads officials astray, reports China Daily. Then, working with local officials, Di developed a 34-part questionnaire designed to test corruptibility. Here are some head-scratchers, translated from the Chinese..."

 

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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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Nonprofit contracting official indicted on bribery charges

Nonprofit contracting official indicted on bribery charges | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The former chief of contracts for International Relief & Development (IRD) in Arlington Va., one of the largest non-governmental organizations to work in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been indicted on federal bribery charges.

George E. Green, 57, was charged with steering contracts to an Afghan subcontractor as part of an agricultural program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). IRD had received a cooperative agreement to administer the agricultural program for the federal agency.

Green did not respond to an email seeking comment Friday.

“He pled not guilty at his arraignment and we will investigate the case and prepare a defense,” said Green’s lawyer, assistant federal defender Robert Arrambide. His attorney declined to discuss the charges.

Prosecutors say Green accepted $66,000 in bribes in exchange for directing work to the Afghan subcontractor. Some of the money was wired to a car dealer in San Severino Marche, Italy, in an attempt to conceal the payments, according to the indictment. Green, of Carrollton, Tex., allegedly structured cash deposits into his bank and credit card accounts to avoid federal currency reporting requirements.

Green was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in Texas, charged with one count of conspiracy to structure financial transactions, one count of wire fraud and three counts of receiving bribes in connection with a program receiving federal funds. If convicted on all counts, Green faces a maximum of 55 years in prison.

In recent years, IRD has been one of the largest recipient of grants and cooperative agreements of any nonprofit organization funded by the USAID. The majority of IRD’s funding — 82 percent of $2.4 billion–went to USAID projects in the war zones, most of them in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Spain's Princess Cristina to face tax fraud trial

Spain's Princess Cristina to face tax fraud trial | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Cristina de Borbon, sister of Spain's King Felipe VI, will stand trial on charges of tax fraud, the first Spanish royal to face prosecution in court.
Her father Juan Carlos abdicated in June after a series of scandals including an investigation into the affairs of Princess Cristina's husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin, who is accused of embezzling public funds.
Princess Cristina, 49, and Urdangarin are among 17 people ordered to stand trial in the case involving his Noos Foundation charity, the High Court of the Balearic Islands said on Monday.
Cristina and her husband have both denied any wrongdoing.
Urdangarin has been charged with breach of legal duty, embezzling public funds, fraud, influence-peddling and money-laundering. The princess is accused of two tax crimes.
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The couple have been ordered to deposit funds with the court to cover possible liabilities - 2.6 million euros ($3.2 million) in the case of Cristina, and nearly 15 million for Urdanganrin.
They now have 20 days to deposit the money, according to a written court ruling, or face having assets seized.
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Remarks for Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell Press Conference Regarding Alstom Bribery Plea

Remarks for Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell Press Conference Regarding Alstom Bribery Plea | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Today represents a significant milestone in the global fight against corruption.  It demonstrates the Department of Justice’s strong commitment to fighting foreign bribery and ensuring that both companies and individuals are held accountable when they violate the FCPA.  The guilty pleas and resolutions announced today also highlight what can happen when corporations refuse to disclose wrongdoing and refuse to cooperate with the department’s efforts to identify and prosecute culpable individuals.

Let me first explain how the scheme worked.  To conceal that it was the source of payments to government officials, Alstom funneled the bribes through third-party consultants who did little more than serve as conduits for corruption.  Alstom then dummied up its books and records to cover up the scheme. 

Alstom’s corruption spanned the globe, and was its way of winning business.  For example, in Indonesia, Alstom and certain of its subsidiaries used consultants to bribe government officials – including high-ranking members of the Indonesian Parliament and the state-owned and state-controlled electricity company – to win several contracts to provide power-related services.  According to internal documents, when certain officials expressed displeasure that a particular consultant had provided only “pocket money,” Alstom retained a second consultant to ensure that the officials were satisfied. 

In Saudi Arabia, Alstom retained at least six consultants, including two close family members of high-ranking government officials, to bribe officials at a state-owned and state-controlled electricity company to win two projects valued at approximately $3 billion.  As evidence that Alstom employees recognized that their conduct was criminal, internal company documents refer to the consultants only by code name.  

Alstom similarly used consultants to bribe officials in Egypt and the Bahamas, and again Alstom employees clearly knew that the conduct violated the law.  In connection with a project in Egypt, a member of Alstom’s finance department sent an email questioning an invoice for consultant services and, in response, was advised that her inquiry could have “several people put in jail” and was further instructed to delete all prior emails regarding the consultant.

If approved by the court, Alstom’s criminal penalty of $772 million represents the largest penalty ever assessed by department in a FCPA case.  Through Alstom’s parent-level guilty plea and record-breaking criminal penalty, Alstom is paying a historic price for its criminal conduct -- and for its efforts to insulate culpable corporate employees and other corporate entities.  Alstom did not voluntarily disclose the misconduct to law enforcement authorities, and Alstom refused to cooperate in a meaningful way during the first several years of the investigation.  Indeed, it was only after the department publicly charged several Alstom executives – three years after the investigation began – that the company finally cooperated.   
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Rousseff Says Brazil Must Stamp Out Corruption, Not Companies

Brazil must punish people without destroying companies, President Dilma Rousseff said in comments about the corruption scandal at state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

“We must know how to punish the crime, not harm the country or its economy,” she said today in Brasilia. “We must close our doors -- all our doors -- on corruption without shutting them on growth or progress and employment.”

Petrobras (PETR4), as the oil company is known, is at the center of the country’s biggest corruption and money laundering scandal that has spread to the nation’s largest construction and engineering companies. An avalanche of kickback allegations from former company executives and contractors has prompted calls for Chief Executive Officer Maria das Gracas Foster and top managers to step down.

The company has said it is a “victim” in the case dubbed Car Wash by investigators. Foster has offered to resign and will remain in her job until Rousseff decides to replace her, she told reporters Dec. 17 in Rio de Janeiro.

The government is concerned the scandal will slow the pace of projects and hinder economic growth and job creation, Labor Minister Manoel Dias told reporters today.
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Britain targets financial fraud with anti-corruption police unit

Britain targets financial fraud with anti-corruption police unit | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Britain is to set up a specialist police unit focused on corruption and bribery, aiming to bolster its defences against white-collar crime in the financial sector as part of a wider plan to stamp out fraudulent business practices.

Banks and other financial players account for about a tenth of the UK economy's output but the sector has been damaged by a succession of scandals, making it important for the government to show it is clamping down on wrongdoing.

The new unit will sit within the National Crime Agency (NCA), Britain's equivalent to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and will pull together experts from within the NCA and specialists from other government agencies.

"As host to one of the world's largest financial centres, the UK has a moral duty and global responsibility to ensure that corrupt officials and organised criminals do not abuse our systems," said Business Minister Matt Hancock.

The new unit, due to be established by April 2015, is intended to boost capacity to handle corruption cases.

The government said it would work in cooperation with the existing Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which has led the investigation and prosecution of serious or complex fraud and corruption, but did not say how this would happen in practice or how the responsibilities of the two bodies would be defined.

Earlier this month the SFO secured the conviction of three men in a 23 million pound ($36 million) biofuel investment scam. The organisation is also investigating a number of high-profile cases, such as the manipulation of interbank interest rates and bribery allegations linked to aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc.
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20 arrested in insurance fraud sweep; 2 fugitives still at...

20 arrested in insurance fraud sweep; 2 fugitives still at... | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
nnsylvanians for a variety of unrelated insurance fraud offenses that are among some of the most commonly committed crimes.
The recent sweep is the result of investigations by the Office of Attorney General's Insurance Fraud Section, Kane said.
"Insurance fraud is one of the most costly white-collar crimes in America today, with estimated losses in the billions of dollars annually," Kane said. "This sweep demonstrates the severe penalties for committing these crimes, which increases costs for everyone, including seniors."
Two targets of the sweep, Steven Henderson and Jaimie Rice, are still at large, and fugitive warrants have been issued for their arrest, according to Kane.
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Madoff’s Inner Circle Faces Sentencing for Largest Ponzi Scheme in History – The Madoff Affair - FRONTLINE

Madoff’s Inner Circle Faces Sentencing for Largest Ponzi Scheme in History – The Madoff Affair - FRONTLINE | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The first of five members of Bernard Madoff's inner circle to be convicted in connection to the epic fraud case has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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Bhutan's king issues corruption warning

Bhutan's king issues corruption warning | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The king of Bhutan on Thursday (Dec 18) urged his people to be on their guard against corruption as their once isolated Himalayan nation grows more prosperous.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck said corruption - a scourge of Bhutan's wealthier neighbours India and China - was the greatest potential threat to his country's development. "The highest probable risk to development that I foresee is corruption," he said in a national day speech. "Our national development efforts will be hindered by unchecked corruption."

Bhutan is the only country in the world to pursue "Gross National Happiness", a development model that measures the mental as well as material well-being of citizens. The king said that while it was good for the country to have ambitions of greater wealth, "we must also realise that increased workload compounds associated risks".
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China Police Chief Who Released Drunk Son Charged With Corruption

China Police Chief Who Released Drunk Son Charged With Corruption | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The former police chief of a major city in northern China has been charged with corruption, state media said on Thursday, after he was sacked for allowing his drunk son to be set free, despite having attacked a policeman.

Li Yali was the top police officer in Taiyuan, which lies about 500 km (300 miles) southwest of Beijing, until last year, when footage of his son's drunken violence went viral on the Internet.

His son, Li Zhengyuan, was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in October 2012 and was found to be drunk at the wheel. He attacked one of the police officers, who then walked him home instead of arresting him, state media said.

A Communist Party investigation found that Li Yali had abused his power while handling his son's case, and he has now been arrested and charged with accepting bribes, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
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NIGERIA: Confronting centuries of corruption

NIGERIA:  Confronting centuries of corruption | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
If history is any guide, confronting corruption rooted in centuries of development does not happen overnight. It is a slow and fragile process, requiring concerted efforts steered by a committed leadership. Of late, Nigeria faces a bitter battle against a growing insurgency, yet the nation—under the astute governance of the current administration— has come a long way in moving forward.

Policies emplaced and measures continually underway reflect the president’s steadfast commitment to establishing transparency and credibility across all government institutions. He has uncovered and seized fraudulent money from corrupt officials, dismissed judges for abusing their powers, led Nigeria as one of the first signatories to an anti-money laundering act, passed legislation to permit open scrutiny of government businesses, and established partnerships to ensure credibility in the country’s electoral process. 

The groundwork in place to confront corruption has enabled the government’s success in responding to domestic threats. As the Ebola outbreak rampaged the country’s major cities, President Jonathan partnered with state governments and international NGOs to provide medical aid and develop innovative approaches to treat Ebola victims, successfully containing the virus in-country while deploying Nigerian volunteers to lead efforts abroad. His Victims Support Fund provides relief for those impacted by Boko Haram violence and his Safe Schools Initiative, and subsequent construction of hundreds of schools, serves to protect Nigeria’s academic system and ensure children’s right to education, most among Nigeria’s northeastern region where school enrollment lags behind other areas.

Yet despite this remarkable progress, Nigeria faces the constant peril of an escalating terror threat. Centuries of civil unrest fueled the evolvement of Boko Haram, the terrorist organization that has claimed thousands of innocent lives over the past four years. Since 2013, the president has instituted a state of emergency in three Nigerian northeastern states facing the worst of Boko Haram’s threat. He has established anti-terror measures to better equip and effectively train the military. And he has engaged in active negotiations to secure the release of the Chibok girls—all the while protecting the country from the very terrorists ravaging its soil.
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ARGENTINA: ‘Private corruption affects the country’s development’

ARGENTINA: ‘Private corruption affects the country’s development’ | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said that the recent Christmas message by the Argentine Episcopal Conference that warned about “corruption and lack of exemplariness” referred to private corruption and not to the government as media outlets suggested.
“Media outlets attempt to foist the responsibility on the government but they are trying to evade their own responsibility,” the chief of ministers said in his daily press conference at the government house. “Private corruption affects the country’s development and exemplariness,” he said in a clear reference to CEA’s statement.
The official pointed out that “tax evasion affects ethics and it prevents (the government) from guaranteeing social inclusion strategies.” Capitanich highlighted the liability of private companies and businessmen that are behind “crimes punishable by law” and he said that they are part of a “moral crisis.”
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Seven indicted for fraud involving Shaker Hts surgical center

Seven indicted for fraud involving Shaker Hts surgical center | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A five-count indictment was filed charging seven people and a Florida company for their roles in a multi-million dollar health-care fraud conspiracy involving an experimental form of chiropractic manipulation, law enforcement officials said.

Indicted are: Physicians Surgical Group (PSG), a medical billing company headquartered in Boca Raton, FL.; Christopher Liva, 36, Edward Liva, 64, Carolyn Via, 51, all of Boca Raton, FL; Mark Fritz, age unknown, of Coral Springs, FL.; John Nickels, 60, Highland Heights; John Fortuna, 41, of Avon, and Antony Simone, 40, of Cleveland.

The Livas, Fritz, Nickels, Fortuna, Simone and the company are charged with one count each of conspiracy, wire fraud and health care fraud.

Those six people are also charged with one count of money laundering. Ed Liva, Chris Liva and Via face an additional count of money laundering.

PSG was owned by Christopher Liva, Edward Liva and Carolyn Via. Those three people, along with four others not named in the indictment, also owned Shaker Heights Surgical Center, located at 3235 Lee Road.
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Meet Peru’s New 'Narco-Governors'

Meet Peru’s New 'Narco-Governors' | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Following December 7 run-off elections, Peru has now elected at least six governors under investigation or facing charges for crimes ranging from embezzlement to drug trafficking, which undermines the legitimacy of regional government in many parts of the country. 

In spite of the stir created by revelations in the run-up to Peru's October elections that hundreds of candidates had either been convicted of a crime or linked to the drug trade, voters elected at least six governors allegedly involved in criminal activity. InSight Crime profiles some of Peru's new "narco-governors," as one analyst called them, as well as some of the country's other allegedly criminal elected leaders.
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Alstom to pay record $772 million to settle bribery charges with U.S.

Alstom to pay record $772 million to settle bribery charges with U.S. | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The French firm Alstom SA (ALSO.PA) has pleaded guilty and will pay $772 million in criminal penalties to settle charges with the U.S. Justice Department alleging the company bribed government officials to win business around the world.

The settlement announced by the Justice Department on Monday marks the largest-ever criminal fine levied by the United States against a company for violations of foreign bribery laws.

The fine will resolve charges related to a "widespread scheme involving tens of millions of dollars" in bribes around the world, including countries such as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Bahamas, the DOJ said.

 
The Justice Department said Alstom paid more than $75 million to secure $4 billion in projects around the world. It said Alstom admitted to its criminal conduct.

DOJ said Alstom pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information filed in a federal court in Connecticut and that Alstom's Swiss unit also pleaded guilty to criminal charges that it conspired to violate federal bribery laws.

Alstom's U.S. power and grid units each entered into deferred prosecution agreements with the DOJ and admitted to conspiring to violate bribery laws, the Justice Department said.

"We will not wait for countries to act responsibly," Leslie R. Caldwell, assistant attorney general of the criminal division, said at a news conference.

Earlier on Monday, a unit of Alstom and two employees were also charged by the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom with bribing officials from 2002 through part of 2010.
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Alstom Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Pay $772 Million Criminal Penalty to Resolve Foreign Bribery Charges

Alstom Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Pay $772 Million Criminal Penalty to Resolve Foreign Bribery Charges | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Alstom S.A. (Alstom), a French power and transportation company, pleaded guilty today and agreed to pay a $772,290,000 fine to resolve charges related to a widespread scheme involving tens of millions of dollars in bribes in countries around the world, including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Bahamas.

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson of the District of Connecticut and FBI Executive Assistant Director Robert Anderson Jr. made the announcement.

“Alstom’s corruption scheme was sustained over more than a decade and across several continents,” said Deputy Attorney General Cole.  “It was astounding in its breadth, its brazenness and its worldwide consequences.  And it is both my expectation – and my intention – that the comprehensive resolution we are announcing today will send an unmistakable message to other companies around the world: that this Department of Justice will be relentless in rooting out and punishing corruption to the fullest extent of the law, no matter how sweeping its scale or how daunting its prosecution.” 

“This case is emblematic of how the Department of Justice will investigate and prosecute FCPA cases – and other corporate crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “We encourage companies to maintain robust compliance programs, to voluntarily disclose and eradicate misconduct when it is detected, and to cooperate in the government’s investigation.  But we will not wait for companies to act responsibly.  With cooperation or without it, the department will identify criminal activity at corporations and investigate the conduct ourselves, using all of our resources, employing every law enforcement tool, and considering all possible actions, including charges against both corporations and individuals.”

“Today’s historic resolution is an important reminder that our moral and legal mandate to stamp out corruption does not stop at any border, whether city, state or national,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Gustafson.  “A significant part of this illicit work was unfortunately carried out from Alstom Power’s offices in Windsor, Connecticut.  I am hopeful that this resolution, and in particular the deferred prosecution agreement with Alstom Power, will provide the company an opportunity to reshape its culture and restore its place as a respected corporate citizen.”

“This investigation spanned years and crossed continents, as agents from the FBI Washington and New Haven field offices conducted interviews and collected evidence in every corner of the globe,” said FBI Executive Assistant Director Anderson.  “The record dollar amount of the fine is a clear deterrent to companies who would engage in foreign bribery, but an even better deterrent is that we are sending executives who commit these crimes to prison.”

Alstom pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, charging the company with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by falsifying its books and records and failing to implement adequate internal controls.  Alstom admitted its criminal conduct and agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $772,290,000.  U
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Ponzi Scheme Paid for Cars, Freezing Dead Wife, U.S. Says

The head of a New Jersey investment firm that claimed to make annual returns of 24 percent on foreign currency trades and gold was charged with bilking customers out of more than $5 million, some of which he used to buy luxury cars and to have his dead wife cryogenically frozen.

Whileon Chay, 38, the founder and manager of 4X Solutions Inc., lost $2.3 million of investors’ cash on bad trades in commodities and forex, without reporting it, and used their money to finance a luxurious lifestyle, according to an indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court.

Chay is a fugitive who didn’t show up in court for a related case against his company filed last year by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Chay, who was accused in that suit with operating a Ponzi scheme, never responded to that complaint and a default judgment was entered against him in July, court records show. Chay doesn’t have a lawyer, the agency said.

Chay, who may be on the run in South America, regularly “would show up to meet with investors in different luxury cars,” Donna Harris, a spokeswoman for New York division of the Postal Inspection Service, which was involved in the case, said in a phone interview.

The claims, including commodities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, stem from Chay’s false marketing materials used to attract fresh cash, much of which was used to repay earlier customers instead of investing, according to the indictment.

Chay told prospective customers their inv
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UPAC, Quebec's anti-corruption unit, makes strides in 2014

UPAC, Quebec's anti-corruption unit, makes strides in 2014 | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The head of Quebec’s anti-corruption unit, UPAC, says investigators made headway in 2014, with a total of 15 arrests on charges including fraud against the government.

UPAC commissioner Robert Lafrenière said another 42 investigations are still underway.

In a report summarizing UPAC's activities in 2014, Lafrenière also underlined the importance of citizens coming forward with information. In the past year, more than 1,000 people assisted in their work.

Lafrenière also stressed the importance of prevention, as well as fostering a culture change in Quebec institutions and government. Investigators met with 8,000 people, including mayors, officials and councillors as part of that goal.

"Prevention is the basis of deep and lasting change," he said.

In its annual report, UPAC also highlighted the links it established with anti-Mafia organizations internationally, including groups in Italy with similar mandates.

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Franciscan Order On Verge Of Bankruptcy After Financial Fraud Uncovered

Franciscan Order On Verge Of Bankruptcy After Financial Fraud Uncovered | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
One of the largest Franciscan religious orders, founded on the humble teachings of St. Francis of Assisi more than 800 years ago, announced it is on the brink of bankruptcy after admitting some of its friars embezzled funds from its accounts.

The Italian news magazine Panorama on Friday (Dec. 19) reported that tens of millions of dollars were missing from the Order of Friars Minor and had been invested in offshore companies.

Panorama also claimed Swiss prosecutors had seized Franciscan accounts in Switzerland because the account holders had allegedly invested in illegal operations that could include arms and drug trafficking.

Brother Michael Perry, the American head of the order, said an internal inquiry was begun in September and revealed “a number of questionable financial activities that were conducted by friars entrusted with the care of the patrimony of the order.”

In a letter posted on the order’s website, Perry said the order was in “grave, and I underscore grave, financial difficulty, with a significant burden of debt.”

The letter, addressed to all friars and published in both English and Italian, said the order’s general treasurer Father Giancarlo Lati had resigned but gave no further details.

Lati was also reportedly responsible for managing Il Cantico, a luxury Rome hotel owned by the order, whose website promises to use profits to help the poor, street kids and AIDS centers.

“Because of the scope and magnitude of these activities, they have placed the financial stability of the General Curia at grave risk,” Perry wrote.

“The systems of financial oversight and control for the management of the patrimony of the order were either too weak or were compromised, thus limiting their effectiveness to guarantee responsible, transparent management. We have initiated steps to address these concerns.”
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Jackson loan officer indicted in large-scale mortgage fraud

Jackson loan officer indicted in large-scale mortgage fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A federal grand jury has charged a loan officer for a mortgage company with supplying fake documents to help unscrupulous buyers get millions of dollars in mortgages.

The indictment, returned on Thursday, charged Joseph DiValli of Jackson with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and six counts of wire fraud in an alleged scheme that ran for nearly two years, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.

DiValli was one of nine people arrested in January as part of an alleged long-term mortgage fraud scheme that cost the affected financial institutions $10 million in mortgages that wound up being defaulted on because the buyers couldn’t afford them.

The indictment alleges DiValli conspired with five others to secure a mortgage on a house on Smith Street in Elizabeth owned by one of the other defendants in the case, Jose Seguero, 36, of Elizabeth and Verona.

The six wire fraud charges relate to a claim that DiValli submitted fake paperwork to get a loan modification on his home in Jackson.
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Watch The Full Program Online | The Madoff Affair | FRONTLINE | PBS

Documentary on the greatest Ponzi Scheme in history

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NIGERIA: NUC Identifies Causes Of Corruption - Nigerian News from Leadership Newspapers

NIGERIA: NUC Identifies Causes Of Corruption - Nigerian News from Leadership Newspapers | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The National Universities Commission(NUC) has identified poor incentives and poverty as some of the root causes of corruption in public institutions.

The executive secretary, NUC, Prof Julius Okojie stated this at the opening ceremony of a one-day seminar on Corruption and its Effects in the University System in Abuja.

The seminar was organised in partnership with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Represented by the deputy executive secretary, Prof. Chiedu Mafiana, Okojie said that corruption undermines democracy and creates instability.

“Corruption entails unethical practices such as stealing, impropriety, lying, indiscipline, lawlessness, among others.

The root causes of corruption are weak government institutions, poor incentives, lack of transparency, absence of key anti-corruption rules, poverty and scramble for resources,’’ he said.

He said that NUC established anti-corruption unit in 2008 and had ensured that all vice-chancellors set up anti-corruption units in their respective institutions.

According to him, the fight against corruption led to the closure of illegal universities and screening of documents to guard against forgery.

“Some of the manifestations of inflation in the university system include inflation of contracts, forgery of certificates.

“A few of our erstwhile colleagues were sent packing for forgery; we have closed lots of illegal universities.

and we inspect and monitor universities to ensure that anti-corruption rules are followed,’’ Okojie said.

Earlier, Mr Nta Ekpo, ICPC Chairman, said that the approaches to combating corruption in the country had not been perfect but was improving.

Ekpo, who was represented the Mr Kwasi Justin, the Head of Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit, ICPC, expressed optimism that Nigeria would over the challenges of corruption.
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USA: Agencies look to Montana corruption probe as model

USA: Agencies look to Montana corruption probe as model | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
An aggressive anti-corruption campaign in Montana that has targeted the theft of federal funds from American Indian reservations should be replicated elsewhere, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday.

But they said more work needs to be done on the front end, to identify embezzlement, theft and other problems before they spin out of control.

The Montana campaign, known as the Guardians Project, began three years ago. So far. it's netted felony convictions of 35 individuals and companies doing business on five reservations.

Against that backdrop, inspectors general from the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and other agencies gathered with federal prosecutors this week in Great Falls to map out their next steps.

They credited the successes so far in Montana to collaboration between investigators, prosecutors and agencies that distribute millions of dollars annually to tribes.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said similar partnerships could help agencies deal with conflicts along the U.S.-Mexico border and address issues within the Bureau of Prisons health care system, both of which span multiple agencies.

Horowitz said he intended to talk to his staff in field offices across the country and to inspectors general from other agencies to encourage them to look to Montana as a model.
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Illegal and legal corruption in Illinois

Illegal and legal corruption in Illinois | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Corruption in Illinois has been well-documented for decades, perhaps more so in the media than any other state. But how exactly can something intangible like corruption be measured?

The majority of corruption cases in the U.S. originate within state and local government, but adequately measuring corruption is a tricky task, which is evident in a recent study conducted by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

The most commonly used measure of state and local corruption derives from the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Report to Congress on the Activities and Operations of the Public Integrity Section.” However, the Center for Ethics notes the report’s data is flawed for numerous reasons, particularly because it only takes into account federal conviction rates and not corruption cases prosecuted at the state and local levels. Additionally, measuring corruption based on conviction rates leads to highly variable results for states with smaller populations.

Using an alternative approach, the Center for Ethics surveyed hundreds of journalists who cover state politics to create a perception-based index that measures two forms of corruption: illegal and legal:

As defined by the study’s authors:

Illegal corruption - private gains in the form of cash or gifts by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups. 
Legal corruption - political gains in the form of campaign contributions or endorsements by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups, be it by explicit or implicit understanding (e.g., super PAC donations by unions, corporations and individuals).
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Illinois corruption: Why illegal & legal corruption both matter

Illinois corruption: Why illegal & legal corruption both matter | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Illinois has a notorious reputation for criminal convictions of elected government officials.  But government corruption can be accomplished legally as well as illegally.  They both matter, in turn, for the quality of life for residents and taxpayers.

A recent study published by the Edmond Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University ranked the 50 states on both “legal corruption” and “illegal corruption.”  The authors described the shortfalls in relying exclusively on legal measures like conviction rates, and defined “legal corruption” as “political gains in the form of campaign contributions or endorsements by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups. …”

After ranking the 50 states on both measures, the study identified seven states that appeared in the list of both “most legally corrupt” states and “most illegally corrupt” states.  The study also identified 7 states ranking among the least corrupt states in both categories
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Robert Davis to be sentenced in Highland Park schools fraud case today

Robert Davis to be sentenced in Highland Park schools fraud case today | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A Detroit-area labor activist known for repeatedly suing Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit officials to stop the use of emergency managers faces sentencing in a federal fraud case.

Robert Davis was accused of misappropriating $200,000 from the financially struggling Highland Park public schools while serving on the school board.

The FBI says Davis used his position as a board member and president to have checks written to companies he controlled in 2007-2010. It says he had money redirected to an organization he controlled and used it for personal expenses.
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