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Infographic: The Ten Most Transparent Countries in Latin America - Nearshore Americas | The New Axis of Outsourcing

Infographic: The Ten Most Transparent Countries in Latin America - Nearshore Americas | The New Axis of Outsourcing | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Potential investors frequently cite corruption as one of their primary concerns when it comes to doing business in Latin America, so it is imperative to know which countries are among the most and least transparent in the region. One of the clearest guides is the annual Corruption Perceptions Index produced by Transparency International, a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes

corporate and political corruption in international development.

The most transparent nation in Latin America, Uruguay is ranked 19th out of 177 countries in the 2013 Index.

“Despite a few notable exceptions such as Chile and Uruguay, many countries in Latin America score relatively low in the latest edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index. In those countries, corruption is part of the everyday life of citizens,” Transparency International warns.

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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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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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Arlington Doctor Gets 10 Years Jail For Fraud

Arlington Doctor Gets 10 Years Jail For Fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A North Texas physician has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his role in a $3 million Medicare billing scam.
Dr. Joseph Megwa of Arlington was sentenced Wednesday in Dallas. The 60-year-old doctor in May was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and three counts of health care fraud.
Megwa was also convicted of four counts of making false statements over Medicare claims in cases since 2006.
Prosecutors say the government was billed for medical services not needed or never provided.
A home health care manager and registered nurse, Ebolose Eghobor of Grand Prairie, was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud in the case. The 49-year-old nurse was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison.
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Medicare fraud scheme mastermind, doctor plead guilty

Medicare fraud scheme mastermind, doctor plead guilty | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The organizer of a $56 million Medicare fraud conspiracy and a doctor have entered guilty pleas to health care fraud charges in federal court in New Orleans.
The U.S. Department of Justice says 51-year-old Mark Morad, of Slidell, and 53-year-old Dr. Divini Luccioni, of Kenner, each pleaded guilty Wednesday before Chief U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance.
Morad and Luccioni pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Morad also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to falsify records in a federal investigation.

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U.K. Government Report Sets Out 60-Point Plan to Tackle Bribery

A specialist unit to tackle bribery is one of 60 initiatives the government will announce today, in a long-awaited report designed to improve anti-corruption measures in the U.K.

The study, originally intended to be published mid year, will recommend the U.K. National Crime Agency creates the unit, while the Home Office will consult on how to better protect police whistle-blowers, according to Daniel Lyons, a government spokesman.

The report was initiated in light of government concerns over damage to Britain’s reputation after scandals threatened London’s image as a world financial center. The U.K. Serious Fraud Office is investigating cases including the rigging of foreign-exchange rates and interest-rate benchmarks. No companies have been prosecuted under the new U.K. Bribery Act, which came into force in 2011 to help prosecutors tackle corruption.

“All the studies show that corruption is a grave threat to our economic prosperity and national security,” Matthew Hancock, the U.K. business minister, said. “As host to one of the world’s largest financial centers, the U.K. has a moral duty and global responsibility to ensure that corrupt officials and organized criminals do not abuse our systems.”

Other initiatives in the plan include a national risk assessment on money laundering and terrorist financing to be carried out by the Treasury and Home Office. The Department for International Development will create a team to help with legal assistance and asset recovery from other countries.
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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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Prosecutors: Fraud scheme cost public more than $4 million

Prosecutors: Fraud scheme cost public more than $4 million | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Ramsey County prosecutors have charged four people with running a public benefits fraud scheme that bilked the state and investors out of more than $4 million.

The charges, almost 100 in all, stem from a 27-month investigation into businesses run by a Yasmin Abdulle Ali and her husband Ahmed Aden Mohamed, of Fridley.

With the help of two men who worked with them, Ali and Mohamed illegally collected nearly $3.7 million in state payments for personal care assistance and child care assistance, according to charges filed in Ramsey County District Court.

Prosecutors say they hid their business profits, most of which came from Ali's Deqo Family Centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and failed to pay more than $200,000 in taxes and fees. Besides state money, authorities say Ali solicited more than $450,000 from investors in Deqo without giving them any real ownership rights in return.

Ali faces more than half of the 96 total charges, according to the complaint. Mohamed ran day-to-day operations at the St. Paul Deqo center.
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Pediatrician jailed for three years for part in $100 million bribery scheme

Pediatrician jailed for three years for part in $100 million bribery scheme | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A pediatrician has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for allegedly taking bribes as part of a massive kickbacksc scheme.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman's office says Demetrios Gabriel, 47, of Brooklyn, accepted bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services of Parsippany.

Gabriel previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to one count of accepting bribes.

According to Fishman's office, 33 people in all have pleaded guilty in connection with the bribery scheme. Of those, 22 are physicians.

The scheme's organizers "have admitted (it) involved millions of dollars in bribes and resulted in more than $100 million in payments to BLS from Medicare and various private insurance companies," the office said.

Gabriel has admitted he accepted bribes in return for referring patient blood specimens to BLS and was paid more than $4,500 per month, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

He received a flat fee of $3,000 per month, plus additional cash based on the number of patient blood samples his pediatric practice referred to BLS each mont, it said. He also received $1,500 per month through credit card payments to a restaurant he owns, it said.

Chesler also sentenced Gabriel to one year of supervised release and fined him $75,000.
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CHINA: Avon Products Settles Bribery Charges for $135M

The world's largest direct seller of cosmetics, Avon Products Inc., will pay $135 million to settle criminal and civil charges after its China unit pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing officials there.

Avon China entered the plea in federal court in Manhattan, admitting it disguised $8 million in gifts its employees gave to Chinese government officials from at least 2004 through late 2008 to gain access to officials who oversaw direct selling regulations. It admitted concealing and disguising cash, non-business meals, travel and entertainment it provided to obtain business benefits.

Avon, headquartered in Manhattan, agreed to pay $68 million in criminal penalties and nearly an equal amount in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to settle a civil case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

China had outlawed direct selling in 1998 but agreed to lift the ban in 2001.

The SEC said Avon received the first direct selling business license in China in March 2006 as it showered officials with gifts including Louis Vuitton merchandise, Gucci bags, Tiffany pens and corporate box tickets to the China Open tennis tournament.
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