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Waste and Fraud in Afghanistan: A Greatest Hits Collection

Waste and Fraud in Afghanistan: A Greatest Hits Collection | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The government watchdog has 318 ongoing cases, according to its latest quarterly report.///

 

Allegations of waste, fraud, and mismanagement in U.S.-backed efforts in Afghanistan are catching Congress's attention.

Since fiscal 2002, the United States has allocated more than $102 billion for relief and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. And as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction looks through that 11-digit spending bill, its reports suggest a pattern of misused funds.

The military is livid over SIGAR's reports, accusing it of missing the mark and even setting up its own "4 Phase Plan of Action to be 1st with the truth" aimed at defending its programs and point of view.

But thus far, it hasn't been enough to stave off calls for action from member of Congress, including Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who said SIGAR's latest quarterly report "stresses the dire need for increased scrutiny and reforms" for U.S.-backed reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.

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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

*** 10 members of Congress took trip secretly funded by foreign government

*** CORRUPTION AND THE NEW UK GOVERNMENT

*** Guatemala wiretaps lead to fraud, bribery allegations that touch highest levels of government

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Global ranking on corruption and justice aims to promote good governance

Global ranking on corruption and justice aims to promote good governance | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Denmark topped the list in a new study ranking countries on how the rule of law is experienced by citizens. Britain came 12th and Venezuela trailed in last place.

The World Justice Project (WJP) says that its Rule of Law Index, which ranks 102 countries, is the most comprehensive of its kind and the only one to rely on primary data. The scores are based on responses from 1,000 people in each country, who were asked questions about corruption, basic freedoms, regulation and other governance issues, and on testimonies from local legal experts.

The reports’ authors said their work had informed ongoing discussions around the post-2015 development agenda, which places greater emphasis on good governance and rule of law as agents of economic and social progress.

The proposed sustainable development goals (SDGs), meant to guide development priorities until 2030, include commitments to promote the rule of law, ensure equal access to justice, end corrup
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The FIFA Scandal - The Details on "The Enterprise"

The FIFA Scandal - The Details on "The Enterprise" | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
 The more you dig into the details of the prosecutions that have been announced into world football (what is called soccer in the U.S.), so the more one understands the staggering scale of the conspiracies.
“Let me be clear: this indictment is not the final chapter in our investigation,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie of the Eastern District of New York. Indeed, there are likely to be many more cases, not just in the U.S. and Switzerland, but in other countries as well. The Senate in Brazil, for example, is launching its own investigations.
“Corruption of the enterprise became endemic,” according to the 161 page court filing detailing the 47 indictments brought against 25 conspirators, including former top FIFA officials and leading international sports marketing companies and their executives.
On announcing the indictments, U.S. Attorney-general Loretta Lynch drew attention to the real victims of these crimes. She said: – “It has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organizations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game make those rights valuable.
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VENEZUELA: Impunity

VENEZUELA:  Impunity | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Impunity is not an empty word , abstract. Impunity is the child who can not drink milk, the patient does not get pain relievers in the blackouts that affect families. To prevent impunity also be forgotten, Transparency Venezuela convened a group of prominent Venezuelan journalists to answer what happened to the corruption scandals that have shaken the country in recent years. Mission Impunity is born, to expose possible corrupt and demand justice in the country.
 
Corruption with No Remedy
Lissette Cardona – At least 400,000 kilos of medicines expired between 2010 and 2014 without fulfilling their goal: curing or alleviating the conditions of people with a disease. The drugs were not distributed to the hospitals throughout the country. More info here

The PAE Scam
Jesús Yajure – A special report by the Comptroller General revealed in 2013 that the School Food Program (PAE), managed by the Ministry of Education, worked without minimum supervision. The document also noted that cooperatives were overbilling Ministry.  More info here
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Don't Throw Guatemala's Baby Out with the Corruption Bathwater

Don't Throw Guatemala's Baby Out with the Corruption Bathwater | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A growing chorus of voices demands that the president step down for allegedly being implicated in widespread corruption. But this understandable demand is often accompanied with calls not to hold the general elections, and instead to convoke a constituent assembly to dictate new laws to completely renovate the current political system.+

In general, it is organizations of the far left that have demanded this break, which would without doubt signify a leap into the unknown similar to that taken by Venezuela, Bolivia, and other countries, with the terrible consequences that we all know. Some analysts have disingenuously supported the idea of a constituent assembly, ignoring the importance of any nation maintaining a minimum degree of respect for institutions.+

The situation is dynamic and changes from day to day, meaning that it’s difficult to predict its unraveling. But Guatemala has woken up from its political lethargy, and now shows a resolve for renewal which — in spite of the risks — is encouraging for its future and the rest of Latin America, which also suffers the same evils that afflict this small Central American nation.+
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Venezuelan Police Seize Top Narco, Supreme Court Justice at Airport

Venezuelan Police Seize Top Narco, Supreme Court Justice at Airport | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
former Supreme Court Judge Miriam Morandy, and one of her companions, Richard José Cammarano Jaime, were arrested by drug-trafficking police. Venezuelan officials claimed that the CCTV image dated to April 23, but the details of Saturday’s events were no less striking.+

According to Venezuelan outlet RunRun.es, both arrived at Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, just north of Caracas, to board a TAP airlines flight for Portugal. The Venezuelan National Guard’s Anti-narcotics Unit swooped in and seized Cammarano, Morandy, and her assistant Tibisay Pacheco as they got out of a taxi. Cammarano is wanted by a high-level Caracas criminal court for his alleged role in international drug trafficking.+

The scandal has shaken the government, but no Venezuelan official has yet issued a statement regarding Morandy’s involvement with Cammarano, known as “the foreign minister,” who is also wanted by US judicial authorities for theft.+

The focus on Morandy appears to stem from a power struggle within the administration of President Nicolás Maduro: broadly divided between officials and institutions loyal to him and his wife, and those that answer to Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly and Chavista strongman.+

The former member of the the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court has a long-standing friendship with First Lady Cilia Flores, and is godmother to Flores’s children from her first marriage.+
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Costa Rica’s Anti-Corruption Trajectory: Strengths and Limitations by Bruce M. Wilson

Costa Rica’s Anti-Corruption Trajectory: Strengths and Limitations by Bruce M. Wilson | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Abstract:     
In spite of the economic and social policy successes of Latin America’s longest surviving democracy, corruption has become a major problem shaking Costa Ricans’ confidence in appointed and elected public officials. In response to the apparent rise in corruption since the start of the new millennium, governments have introduced new laws and created new agencies to combat corruption at all levels of society, with an emphasis on combating particularism by elected and appointed public officials. This report evaluates the apparent increase in corruption, the efforts to limit, expose, and prosecute corrupt acts, and the factors that have facilitated the rise in corrupt actions on the part of state officials and private citizens. In short, acts of corruption that may have previously gone unnoticed (at least unproven) are now exposed by a more aggressive media and prosecuted by new and/or stronger state anti-corruption agencies and laws in response to multiple major political corruption scandals of the early 2000s. State prosecutors show no deference in their investigations of corruption and/or illicit enrichment by public officials and private figures, no matter how powerful. The only limitation is the level of resources available to these agencies. The contemporary increase in the scope of corruption is not in the quotidian actions of low-level officials directly affecting the lives of ordinary citizens, but in influence trading and manipulation of formal processes. A separate, more recent and growing corruption problem comes from international drug cartels that have amplified their activities and money laundering in Costa Rica that some fear might outstrip the state’s capacity to keep corruption under control.
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Unfair cop

Unfair cop | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
“THE message to every Wall Street banker is loud and clear,” cried Elizabeth Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, last year. “If you break the law, you are not going to jail.” After the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s, Ms Warren pointed out, over 1,000 people were prosecuted, and more than 800 convicted. Yet since the financial crisis of 2007-08, which did far more damage to the economy, no senior banker has been convicted of any crime related to it. America’s regulators and prosecutors, Ms Warren complained, were not only failing to pursue those responsible; they were also declining to take the banks themselves to court. Instead, they were negotiating murky settlements, in which financial firms agree to pay big fines if prosecutors promise not to press charges.

Events this week have only made the senator more apoplectic. Regulators and prosecutors announced settlements with six international banks for alleged manipulation of currency markets (see article). The six agreed to pay some $5 billion in fines. Two did not admit to any crimes related to this abuse; the other four did, but received waivers shielding them from the consequence that would normally follow—the loss of an all-important banking licence. This week also marked the end of a 90-day period the Department of Justice (DoJ) had given itself to decide once and for all whether it could launch any prosecutions related to the financial crisis. The DoJ says only that it is reviewing the results of the review.

In this section
India’s one-man band
How to scotch it
The other battleground
The new Saudis
Unfair cop
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Trials
Crime and law
Criminal trials
United States
Elizabeth Warren
Ms Warren is wrong on many things; on this, she is spot on. (Well almost: one senior banker has been convicted of fraud linked to the financial crisis.) If banks have been involved in acts serious enough to qualify for billions of dollars in penalties, then a few more executives must surely have committed a crime. Negotiated settlements are no substitute for criminal proceedings. For one thing, the punishment falls on shareholders, since the bumper fines come straight out of profits. For another, the lack of trials means there is no proper public examination of the merits of the cases or the calculus behind the penalties; no firm precedents are set indicating how banks should behave in future and what penalties they can expect if they transgress.

Yet this is the way the Obama administration has handled all manner of alleged misdeeds at banks, from turning a blind eye to money-laundering to helping customers get round American sanctions. Even its campaign against banks that abet tax evasion, the one financial crime it is widely reckoned to have tackled with firmness and consistency, looks muddled on close scrutiny
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Former Chief Compliance Officer of Long Island Brokerage Firm Indicted on Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

Former Chief Compliance Officer of Long Island Brokerage Firm Indicted on Fraud and Money Laundering Charges | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A two-count indictment was unsealed this morning in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging William Michael Quigley, the former Chief Compliance Officer of a registered broker-dealer in Woodbury, New York, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy in connection with a fraudulent investment scheme. Quigley will be arraigned later today before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the United States Courthouse in Central Islip, New York.

The charges were announced by Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).

“Quigley and his co-conspirators allegedly engaged in a coordinated and sophisticated scheme built on lies and deceit to defraud overseas investors. Rather than use his training and expertise to protect these investors who were told that their money would be invested in well-known U.S. companies and funds, Quigley helped his co-conspirators steal the funds by transferring them to the Philippines and using them for his personal use,” stated Acting United States Attorney Currie. “We are committed to holding accountable those who abuse their positions of trust to deceive the investing public.” Mr. Currie thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission for its significant cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

“Operating under false pretenses, Quigley and his co-conspirators assumed the role of registered brokers who were working in close coordination with regulatory authorities here in the United States. In doing so, they allegedly carried out a scheme to siphon funds from victim investors overseas—a scheme that fueled their own greedy desires. Today’s indictment is a step forward in restoring the public’s trust and a reminder that this type of dishonorable behavior will not go unpunished,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez.
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Tom Hayes, 'ringmaster' of Libor fraud, given $2.5m to stay at UBS, court hears

Tom Hayes, 'ringmaster' of Libor fraud, given $2.5m to stay at UBS, court hears | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The former head of investment banking at UBS personally approved a $2.5m (£1.6m) bonus for the man described as the “ringmaster” of the Libor fraud scandal, a jury heard today. Jerker Johansson, who was the chief executive of the Swiss group’s investment bank unit until April 2009, agreed to increased incentives for Tom Hayes after being told that the star trader was being offered a $3m-a-year package to defect to rival Goldman Sachs.

Hayes denies charges that he conspired with individuals at eight banks and two brokerage firms to manipulate the Libor interbank lending rates over a four-year period.

On the third day of his trial at Southwark crown court, the prosecution claimed he pushed more than £330,000 of alleged bribes through two brokers during a single year. By 2008, Hayes was earning tens of millions for his Swiss employer.

Sascha Prinz, a senior executive at UBS, wrote to Johansson in June 2008 asking for bigger rewards for the Tokyo-based trader, saying: “One of my most talented traders in Tokyo, Tom Hayes, is being aggressively pursued by Goldman Sachs ... They are offering Tom a larger role with significantly more responsibility plus a $3m guarantee for 2008.”

Prinz stressed that Hayes was making big contributions to profits at UBS. “He made approximately $30m last year and is already up $45m ytd [year to date] in a segment of the market where very few desks on the street make any money at all.” Following the plea from Prinz, Hayes received a letter offering him $2.5m in cash and share options if he agreed to stay at UBS.

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Hayes is the first person to face trial after a long-running investigation into Libor manipulation, which has already led to a handful of banks and brokerage firms paying fines of $7bn. The case is seen as a big test for the Serious Fraud Office and its effectiveness in policing banking fraud.

Soon after his promised pay rise, Hayes organised the first of an alleged 14 trades whose sole purpose, the prosecution claimed, was to earn fees for brokers prepared to help him manipulate Libor – the London interbank offered rate. Hayes traded in contracts that placed bets on lending rates between banks for Japanese yen. The 14 “wash” trades would involve UBS and another bank placing identical bets against each other in two separate contracts. Whichever way the market moved, neither bank would win or lose, but the broker would collect a fee for arranging the otherwise pointless trades.
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Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption - US Department of Justice

Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption - US Department of Justice | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

"The Defendants Include Two Current FIFA Vice Presidents and the Current and Former Presidents of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF); Seven Defendants Arrested Overseas; Guilty Pleas for Four Individual Defendants and Two Corporate Defendants Also Unsealed

 

 47-count indictment was unsealed early this morning in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.  The guilty pleas of four individual defendants and two corporate defendants were also unsealed today.

The defendants charged in the indictment include high-ranking officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the organization responsible for the regulation and promotion of soccer worldwide, as well as leading officials of other soccer governing bodies that operate under the FIFA umbrella.  Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner – the current and former presidents of CONCACAF, the continental confederation under FIFA headquartered in the United States – are among the soccer officials charged with racketeering and bribery offenses.  The defendants also include U.S. and South American sports marketing executives who are alleged to have systematically paid and agreed to pay well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments.

The charges were announced by Attorney General Lor

The Racketeering Conspiracy

The indictment alleges that, between 1991 and the present, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the enterprise by engaging in various criminal activities, including fraud, bribery and money laundering.  Two generations of soccer officials abused their positions of trust for personal gain, frequently through an alliance with unscrupulous sports marketing executives who shut out competitors and kept highly lucrative contracts for themselves through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks.  All told, the soccer officials are charged with conspiring to solicit and receive well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for their official support of the sports marketing executives who agreed to make the unlawful payments.

Most of the schemes alleged in the indictment relate to the solicitation and receipt of bribes and kickbacks by soccer officials from sports marketing executives in connection with the commercialization of the media and marketing rights associated with various soccer matches and tournaments, including FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the CONCACAF region, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League, the jointly organized CONMEBOL/CONCACAF Copa América Centenario, the CONMEBOL Copa América, the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores and the Copa do Brasil, which is organized by the Brazilian national soccer federation (CBF).  Other alleged schemes relate to the payment and receipt of bribes and kickbacks in connection with the sponsorship of CBF by a major U.S. sportswear company, the selection of the host country for the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 FIFA presidential election.
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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier exposing the organisation's dark heart

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier exposing the organisation's dark heart | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Near the beginning of the 161-page indictment, a telling sentence offers a glimpse of what is to come. It says that the Fifa officials and the other defendants, who mainly worked for large sports marketing companies which sold the rights to tournaments, conspired with one another to co-ordinate schemes “involving the solicitation, offer, acceptance, payment, and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, bribes, and kickbacks”.

While acknowledging that they managed to do this while also keeping Fifa on track with its goals of promoting football in developing countries and holding world class tournaments, the document says they ultimately “corrupted the enterprise” through their extensive criminal activities.

They were able to get away with it by using a series of “trusted intermediaries” –including bankers, financial advisors and currency dealers –to facilitate illicit payments, the document says. They also used shell companies and bank accounts in tax havens, smuggled cash in bulk and made use of safe deposit boxes.

The indictment points out that the damage the men did to the game of football was “far-reaching”. By pocketing so much of the cash generated by the sport through marketing rights, the men deprived national teams, youth leagues, and development programmes all over the world of what was rightfully theirs, it says.

“The corruption of the enterprise became endemic,” the document adds.
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The Disturbing Indictment Against Dennis Hastert

The Disturbing Indictment Against Dennis Hastert | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been indicted on charges of lying to FBI agents and evading federal financial-reporting requirements.

Hastert, an Illinois Republican, was speaker from 1999 to 2007. BuzzFeed’s John Stanton, who first reported on the indictment, notes that there were several high-profile congressional scandals in those years. Illinois is also a notorious hotbed for political corruption, as Roland Burris, Rod Blagojevich, George Ryan, and Jesse Jackson Jr. can attest.

But reading between the lines of the indictment against Hastert suggests a darker story than political corruption. In or about 2010, according to the indictment, Hastert—a former high-school teacher and coach—met with an unnamed individual from Yorkville, Hastert’s hometown. They “discussed past misconduct by defendant against Individual A that had occurred years earlier.” In effect, Hastert fell victim to blackmail, the indictment alleges: He “agreed to provide Individual A $3.5 million in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A.” (Since leaving the House, Hastert has become a highly paid lobbyist.)


Hastert then allegedly began withdrawing cash from his bank accounts to pay to the individual. But federal laws require financial institutions to report transactions greater than $10,000, and Hastert made a series of them. In April 2012, the indictment alleges, employees of Hastert’s bank questioned him about the withdrawals, and he promptly reduced his withdrawals to smaller amounts, to escape the requirement. Authorities were already watching, however, and they began investigating Hastert for structuring currency transactions to evade federal requirements—itself a crime.

When FBI agents questioned Hastert about it, he allegedly lied in his response:

Specifically, in response to the agents’ question confirming whether the purpose of the withdrawals was to store cash because he did not feel safe with the banking system, as he previously indicated, JOHN DENNIS HASTERT stated: “Yeah ... I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing.” Whereas, in truth and in fact, as JOHN DENNIS HASTERT then well knew, this statement was false ...
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Cardno caught in government-contract probe

Cardno caught in government-contract probe | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

SINESS


Cardno calls in investigators after raising alarm about payments tied to contracts 
 “We are taking the matter really seriously,” acting Cardno CEO Graham Yerbury.
INFRASTRUCTURE consultancy Cardno has raised the alarm that one of its subsidiaries could be entangled in a corruption scandal involving Ecuador-government contracts.

Contracts with state-owned businesses in the South American nation are also under investigation by “independent external advisers” appointed by Cardno, the Brisbane-based company told the stock exchange on Monday afternoon.

The review is examining who received the payments from the subsidiary, if they were illegal, and when they occurred.

“We are taking the matter really seriously,” Cardno’s acting chief executive officer Graham Yerbury told The Courier-Mail.

Cardno, which employs more than 8000 people, has worked on projects from Brisbane’s Legacy Way toll road to helping a US air base comply with air quality checks.


Cardno bought Ecuador-based specialist engineering operation Caminosca in 2012, taking on 400 staff of a South American firm specialising in areas including mining, water supply, sewage and urban development.

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PHILIPPINES: 10 senators sign subcommittee report vs Binay

PHILIPPINES: 10 senators sign subcommittee report vs Binay | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
In the case of the Vice President, the subcommittee recommended the filing of plunder charges because he was the principal signatory in the contract for the first three phases of the project and “for his involvement in the kickback system discussed earlier.”

Based on the testimony provided by former Makati City vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, the Vice President, then the city mayor, took a 13 percent kickback from various infrastructure projects undertaken by the city government.

The three bags that Mercado said contained the kickbacks amounting to P52 million were delivered to Binay Jr., who was councilor at the time, by Eduviges Baloloy, who was a trusted aide of the Vice President, and Gerardo Limlingan, another aide of Binay.

Mercado testified that the money was for the family of the Vice President, his personal use and for the campaign of Binay in the 2010 elections where he ran and won as vice president.

The subcommittee noted that the system of kickbacks allegedly bankrolled the construction of a vast property in Rosario, Batangas, which Mercado alleged is owned by the Vice President.

The same property was claimed by Chinese-Filipino businessman Antonio Tiu as his own, which he calls the Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park.

The subcommittee also recommended the filing of plunder charges against members of the BAC: former city administrator Marjorie de Veyra, Lorenza Amores, Gerardo San Gabriel, Pio Kenneth Dasal and Ulysees Orienza.
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The Brazenly Illegal Behavior of Big Banks

The Brazenly Illegal Behavior of Big Banks | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
As one banking scandal topples upon another, so it appears that the tone at the top of some of the world's largest banks has been set by that character Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas in the 1987 movie Wall Street, who declared: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works."

The men that run the banks that are pleading guilty to crimes are not being personally prosecuted. They are not being fired. They continue to take home multi-million dollar pay checks. Their institutions are repeat offenders, yet they face no danger of losing their banking licenses -- "Three Strikes and You're Out" does not apply in the world of finance.

For example, Jamie Dimon is both the chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of the world's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, which has been embroiled in vast scandals, including the very latest one, yet he continues to run Chase. And, Dimon's total compensation continues to exceed an annual $20 million.
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Nigeria’s corruption challenge

On 29 May, General Muhammadu Buhari will be sworn in as president of Nigeria. He vowed to fight corruption during his campaign, which has remained rampant under his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan.

Nigeria ranks 136 out of 176 countries with a score of just 27 out of 100 on the 2014 Corruption Perception Index; 85 per cent of Nigerians surveyed believe corruption has increased from 2011 to 2013. 

Corruption hits hardest at the poor in Nigeria who make up more than 40 per cent of the 179 million people. Global Financial Integrity estimates more than US$157 billion in the past decade has left the country illicitly. Corruption is everywhere: even the health and medical services, considered the least corrupt government institution, are considered very corrupt by 41 per cent of Nigerians.

Transparency International chair Jose Ugaz has offered the support of Transparency International in the new government’s fight against corruption in a letter to the new president and will work with its partner organisation in Nigeria, CISLAC, to monitor the new president’s anti-corruption commitments.
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Corruption Scandals Are Water off Chile's Back

Corruption Scandals Are Water off Chile's Back | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Some might say the wide-ranging corruption scandals that have rocked Chile as of late are a sign of the South American nation’s decline. After all, this was supposed to be the model country in the region, an example for those seeking a path to follow toward economic development.+

I could not disagree more. What is happening in Chile is actually a sign of a nation reaching a level of maturity enjoyed by only a select few countries. This is, of course, not the result of corruption itself, but rather the public’s reaction to these scandals.+

People in Latin America tend to have a distorted view of the problems affecting our societies. For example, every time some scandal in the United States turns into world news, we become outraged and say: “Why do such horrible things happen in North America? Nothing like that ever happens here. It must be their culture!”+

Yes, it certainly is the culture. It’s the reason why these sorts of problems become known in the first place, because of the institutions in place to bring them to light: a free press that investigates; an independent and efficient judiciary; and a public that decries the scandal and demands justice.+

A political crisis is not the end of the world, but rather an intrinsic healing process of a republican system. Liberal democracy is the only form of government with mechanisms in place to purge itself of corruption without resorting to violence.+

Some people still believe that if there is no scandal in the press involving politicians, businessmen, or union leaders, it must mean there is no wrongdoing going on in the country.
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Digging for Truth with Data: Computer-Assisted Reporting

Digging for Truth with Data: Computer-Assisted Reporting | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Over 20 years, Computer-Assisted Reporting has helped train and educate thousands of reporters while helping usher in an extraordinary new era of data-driven journalism. With this newly revised, fourth edition, Houston has now expanded on his previous work. We at GIJN are pleased to reprint the introduction to this latest look at how to use the tools of the trade.

It is in computer-assisted reporting where the real revolution is taking place, not only on the big analytical projects, but also in nuts-and-bolts newsgathering. New tools and techniques have made it possible for journalists to dig up vital information on deadline, to quickly add depth and context.
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The Data Sleuths of San José

The Data Sleuths of San José | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
despite her enthusiasm for computer-assisted reporting, Segnini is quick to caution against one-sided reliance on the information that databases provide: “Data is a representation of reality, and it’s not always accurate. Much of the time it’s wrong. So let’s see what reality shows, out in the field.”

“It was Giannina [Segnini] who had the vision,” says Rivera. “She said, ‘First we need to obtain databases — all of them we can get. Immigration, social security, property, phones, scholarships.’ At first I was anxious about using databases. ‘Numbers alone are not enough,’ I said. But experience showed me that the numbers talk about people — people’s thinking, people’s problems, people’s ambitions. People are the key.”

Urbina, for his part, says that he’s secure in the knowledge that his colleagues’ groundbreaking stories have transformed Costa Rica for the better: “I’d say that it’s much harder to keep a corrupt act secret; therefore it’s much harder to be a corrupt public servant today than it was 15 years ago.” “They never thought that someone would be able to discover how they paid the bribes,” reflects Herrera. “And they didn’t understand that when someone uncovered that mechanism, everything would be exposed to the light of the sun.”
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Russian Anti-Corruption Cop Charged with Taking Huge Bribe | Arts and Ideas

Russian Anti-Corruption Cop Charged with Taking Huge Bribe | Arts and Ideas | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
An officer in the Russian police's anti-corruption unit has been detained on suspicion of taking a bribe of $500,000, the Interior Ministry said.

The officer from the Chief Directorate of Economic Security and Combating Corruption had been under investigation by the internal affairs department on suspicion of trying to extort the money from a businessman in exchange for dropping an investigation against him, the ministry said in a statement issued late Wednesday night.

The officer was detained when the money changed hands, the ministry said.

The suspect will be dishonorably discharged and will face trial, the statement said, adding that his commanding officers will face disciplinary sanctions.
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Everything You Need to Know About FIFA’s Corruption Scandal | WIRED

Everything You Need to Know About FIFA’s Corruption Scandal | WIRED | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
How did FIFA get this corrupt?

It all comes down to how FIFA is organized. Each of the 209 member nations gets a single vote when it comes to electing a federation President and executive committee. That means that the Maldives, Trinidad & Tobago, or Andorra have the same say in federation decisions as Brazil, Germany, or England. The smaller countries, and the (mostly) men who run their countries’ federations, also receive an equal cut of FIFA’s revenues—which means there’s no incentive for them to change any of the structure to the voting process.

Yeah, but shady sports organizations are everywhere. What about the International Olympic Committee? Hell, what about the NFL?

FIFA is uniquely positioned for this kind of epic legal takedown because the Justice Department kind of gets off on this heavy-lifting display of authority even outside American borders over the past decade. Also, it helps that Americans don’t really care about soccer.

Sure, soccer has been riding a growing wave of popularity, and the World Cup is now a more visible event, but it still lags behind many other sports in mainstream popular consciousness. Because of that, American culture just doesn’t revere soccer enough to consider FIFA sacrosanct. But consider the basketball version of this: let’s say FIBA, the world organization for basketball, decided to hold an international tournament in December that meant the NBA would have to suspend its season for a month. American superstars wouldn’t show up, the best team in the world wouldn’t be properly represented, and the world’s biggest TV market for the sport would be in open revolt against the event.
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Fugitive ex-Chinese official, investigated for graft, detained in U.S.

Fugitive ex-Chinese official, investigated for graft, detained in U.S. | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A former senior Chinese official, who went into hiding after being sought by anti-corruption investigators in China, has been detained in the United States, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Thursday.

Yang Xiuzhu, a senior official who oversaw construction projects in the booming eastern province of Zhejiang, is in U.S. custody pending her removal to China, Luis Martinez, a spokesman for the U.S. immigration agency, said in a statement.

"As a foreign law enforcement fugitive, Yang is an ICE enforcement priority," Martinez said.

Chinese authorities could not be immediately reached for comment.

The detention comes as China pushes for talks with the United States on an extradition treaty, which would be a big boost for Beijing's anti-corruption campaign.

According to the immigration agency's database, a Chinese national by the name of Yang Xiuzhu is being held at a detention facility in Hudson County, New Jersey.

Yang, whose detention was first reported by Bloomberg News earlier on Thursday, is one of a number of Chinese nationals suspected of corruption who have fled overseas.

She first fled to Singapore in 2003 before changing her name and flying to New York.

She was eventually detained in Amsterdam in 2005, where China wasn't able to gain custody of her, despite protracted negotiations with the Netherlands. In addition to the United States, China lacks an extradition treaty with the Netherlands.

It was not immediately clear how Yang ended up in the United States or how U.S. authorities managed to detain her.
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FIFA scandal highlights culture of corruption in World Cup, Olympics bidding

Soccer's World Cup is big business for host countries, and the game's organizational structure does little to prevent graft, mismanagement and cost overruns, according to experts who say that driving factors such as tourism, global exposure and long-term infrastructure are chief motivators for some countries to fight — not always fairly — for the right to host.

The stunning indictment by U.S. and Swiss officials Wednesday of top board members of FIFA, soccer's Zurich-based governing body, has focused new light on the corruption and financial skulduggery that regularly occur at big-time sporting events, especially heavily sponsored, globe-spanning gatherings like soccer's World Cup or the Olympic Games.

Countries looking to break into the big time are willing to overpay for the "privilege" of hosting an Olympics or World Cup. The small group of largely unelected sports bureaucrats who decide which bid wins quickly realize their votes are valuable.

"I think there's some true economic motivation, especially when you're a country like the U.S. and England, the other two main bidders besides Russia and Qatar" for upcoming World Cups, said Victor Matheson, an economist at College of the Holy Cross. "In those cases, this would have just been a cash cow for these places. The U.S. and England were perfectly set up to host the World Cup at almost no additional cost."

However, the motivations for other countries are not the same, said Mr. Matheson.

"When you're a Brazil or a Qatar or a Russia, this is much less about the actual event itself than using the event to either advertise yourself or to use the event as an excuse to build all sorts of general infrastructure for the country. The actual World Cup is more of a three-week event, but it's more like a ten-year building process where you use the World Cup as an excuse to build billions of dollars in general infrastructure."

Money scandals are nothing new to international sporting events. Mitt Romney famously was called in to rescue the troubled Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 after revelations surfaced of extensive bribes by members of the organizing committee to win the rights to the games. Even in ancient Greece, judges at the original Olympic Games were often accused of taking bribes and entering their own horses in equestrian events.

Sports economist and author Andrew Zimbalist, who teaches at Smith College, said the problem runs deeper. It's a system, he told NPR in a recent interview, virtually guaranteed to encourage graft and bribery.

"You have one seller in the case of the Olympics: the [International Olympic Committee]. You have one seller in the case of World Cup: FIFA," he noted. "And you have cities, or countries, from around the world that are bidding against each other, so you have multiple buyers and one seller."

The result: "It's a monopoly situation, and the monopolist takes advantage of that."

 
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How Many Ways Can You Hide A Bribe? The Best Of The FIFA Indictment

How Many Ways Can You Hide A Bribe? The Best Of The FIFA Indictment | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
When the contract for commercial rights to various Copa America was being signed in 1991, here’s what CONMEBOL president Nicolás Leoz told Co-Conspirator No. 2. At the time, this co-conspirator had signed the contract, as had two CONMEBOL officials. Leoz had not.

Thereafter, in a private meeting, LEOZ told Co­ Conspirator #2, in sum and substance, that Co-Conspirator #2 would make a lot of money from the rights he was acquiring and that LEOZ did not think it was fair that he (LEOZ) did not also make money. LEOZ told Co-Conspirator #2 that he would not sign the contract if Co-Conspirator #2 did not agree to pay him a bribe. After Co-Conspirator #2 agreed to make the payment, LEOZ signed the contract. Co-Conspirator #2 caused the payment—a six-figure U.S. dollar payment—to be made to an account designated by LEOZ.
It worked so well he asked for more ...

In approximately 1993 or 1995, the defendant NICOLAS LEOZ began demanding additional bribe payments around the time each edition of the tournament contemplated by the 1991 Copa America Contract was played. Co-Conspirator #2 agreed to make these payments and caused them to be made.
... and even more ...

The defendant NICOLAS LEOZ solicited and received bribe payments from Co-Conspirator #2 in connection with every Copa America edition after that date until 2011. The payments increased over time, and ultimately reached the seven figures.
... and stashed it away in his sham consulting company!

The defendant NICOLAS LEOZ also devised means of concealing the nature of the bribe payments. For example, in or about 2010, LEOZ, through an assistant, directed Co-Conspirator #5 to wire a payment to LEOZ’s personal account at Banco do Brazil and to reference a sham consulting contract as the basis for the transfer. The reference to the consulting contract was designed to make the bribe payment to LEOZ, which was not ultimately sent, appear legitimate and, among other things, thereby evade financial institutions’ anti-money laundering controls.
The complaint goes on to name another company, Bayan Group S. A. (“Bayan”) , a Panamanian company used by another sports media and marketing business, the Full Play Group S.A. principally controlled by Hugo Jinkis and his son Mariano, to pay bribes.
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Moscow investigator detained on suspicion of taking $1 mln bribe

Moscow investigator detained on suspicion of  taking $1 mln bribe | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The Presnensky District Court of Moscow on Wednesday ordered the detention until July 25 of Moscow investigator Sergei Sergeyev who stands charged with taking a $1 million bribe, a RAPSI correspondent reports from the courtroom.

The court has thus supported prosecutors’ allegations that Sergeyev attempted to evade the investigation and influence witnesses and victims.

The defendant complained about severe headaches, the result of a trauma, and asked the court not to place him in detention. His defense lawyer insisted on house arrest.

Sergeyev’s case has become the most high-profile corruption scandal in the Moscow investigative agency. According to the Federal Security Service, Sergei Sergeyev, an investigator at the Izmailovo office of the Main Directorate of the Investigative Committee, was investigating a criminal case between March and May when he allegedly took a bribe in exchange for not taking procedural action. Specifically, he is said to have told a representative of a Moscow bank that he would not authorize a bank audit or hold bank management liable. He wanted $1 million for this, according to investigators.
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