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Chiropractor faces IRS bribe charge

Chiropractor faces IRS bribe charge | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A 55-year-old Lowell chiropractor was arrested Thursday on a charge of bribing an IRS auditor to ignore two improper deductions -- payoffs to two women he inappropriately touched during medical appointments -- on his 2011 income-tax form.

A probable-cause hearing is scheduled for March 5 in U.S. District Court, according to U.S. District Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Stephen D. Jacobs, of Lowell, is charged with bribery of a public official. The complaint alleges Jacobs paid an auditor $5,000 in cash to ignore the deductions, which were in fact payments Jacobs made to two different women because he touched them inappropriately during medical treatments in 2011 and 2012.

Jacobs could not be reached for comment at his Lowell office, his cellphone or via email.

According to court documents, an IRS agent was assigned to examine Jacob's federal income-tax form for 2011. The agent reviewed a number of issues, including Jacob's student-loan expenses, business expenses, gross receipts, bank statements and other expenses.

Before their initial meeting, Jacobs allegedly called the agent to confirm the appointment. During the conversation, Jacobs inquired whether the agent had the authority to handle issues on his own.

During the Aug. 6 meeting at Jacobs' office at 16 Pine St., Lowell, several expenses were questioned. Jacobs allegedly admitted he made $5,000 in payments to two different women because he touched them inappropriately during medical-treatment sessions in 2011 and 2012, according to court documents.

When the agent disallowed the expenses, Jacobs allegedly became agitated and asked the agent, in essence, if there were anything he could do for him.

Jacobs allegedly asked, "... you are on the front line, can't we just deal with this...''

On Aug. 13, the agent made a recorded call to Jacobs, advising him they could deal with the $5,000 payments to the women at their next meeting.

During a Sept. 25 meeting, Jacobs was told the $5,000 in payments to the women were disallowed expenses. When the agent then requested other documentation for other personal and motor-vehicle expenses, Jacobs became upset, saying, "...do you want a bribe. Do you want me to pay you..."

The agent acknowledged he was willing to accept cash to terminate the examination. Jacobs allegedly offered the agent $5,000 to end the examination. They agreed to meet later that day to complete the transaction.

Later that day, at a meeting telectronically recorded by video and audio, Jacob allegedly paid the agent $5,000 in cash and the agent handed over a "no-change" audit letter.

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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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Iconic Fraud Triangle endures

Iconic Fraud Triangle endures | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Two individuals who probably deserve the most credit for the fraud model are early criminology researchers Edwin Sutherland and Donald Cressey. Sutherland developed the "differential association" theory of why people commit crimes. In his view, criminal behavior is linked to a person's association with a criminal environment. He believed that people encounter various social influences throughout their lives. Some individuals have social interactions with individuals having criminalistic tendencies and so become criminals as a consequence of this association. The major elements of Sutherland's differential association theory can be summarized as follows (Sutherland and Cressey, 1978):

Criminal behavior is learned; it's not inherited, and the person who isn't already trained in crime doesn't invent criminal behavior.Criminal behavior is learned through interaction with other people through the processes of verbal communication and example.The principle learning of criminal behavior occurs with intimate personal groups.The learning of crime includes learning the techniques of committing the crime and the motives, drives, rationalizations and attitudes that accompany it.A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions (or personal reactions) favorable to the violation of the law.
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Despite Exposure of Madoff Fraud, New Ponzi Schemes Emerge

Despite Exposure of Madoff Fraud, New Ponzi Schemes Emerge | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Financial regulators say a new Ponzi scheme operator is found nearly every week, and legal actions are brought against about 100 such questionable investment operations every year...

 

despite efforts by the authorities, particularly after the unmasking of Bernard L. Madoff in 2008 in the largest Ponzi scheme in history, these frauds still surface distressingly often around the country. State and federal financial regulators say a new Ponzi scheme operator is found nearly every week, and legal actions are brought against about 100 such questionable investment operations every year.

“Every other day, you see new schemes uncovered that involve big dollar amounts,” said Jordan D. Maglich, a Tampa, Fla., lawyer who follows Ponzi schemes. He started ponzitracker.com in 2009 after working with his law firm to help recover the $350 million that a Sarasota, Fla., hedge fund manager, Arthur G. Nadel, defrauded from investors, and realized there was no central point of information on such frauds.

Over the last five years, Mr. Maglich said, he has followed about 500 Ponzi schemes on his site, which includes links to legal documents, including those filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which posts some of them on its website; theCommodity Futures Trading Commission; and state financial authorities.

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We need an international court to stamp out corruption

We need an international court to stamp out corruption | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court would hold leaders accountable...

 

.In too many nations, corruption is endemic at the highest levels of government. Then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan was correct in characterizing such behavior as an “insidious plague” in his 2003 statementupon the adoption of the U.N. Convention Against Corruption.

Corruption is extraordinarily costly, consuming more than 5 percent of the global gross domestic product. Developing regions lose more than 10 times in illicit financial flows than what they receive in foreign aid. Russia’s corruption-fueled “shadow economy” makes up an estimated 44 percent of its GDP.

Corrupt governments also often provide havens for international criminals, including drug lords in Mexico and terrorists in countries such as Afghanistan and Yemen.

 

Nevertheless, the most serious consequence of grand corruption is that it destroys democracy and devastates the human rights that governments are constituted to protect. Countries recognized as among the world’s most corrupt — including Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq and Syria — repeatedly violate the human rights of their citizens. The poor and powerless are victims of corrupt regimes throughout the world.

 

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Renaissance Avoided More Than $6 Billion Tax, Senators Say

Renaissance Avoided More Than $6 Billion Tax, Senators Say | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

 A Renaissance Technologies LLC hedge fund’s investors probably avoided more than $6 billion in U.S. income taxes over 14 years through transactions with Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, a Senate committee said.

The hedge fund used contracts with the banks to establish the “fiction” that it wasn’t the owner of thousands of stocks traded each day, said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The maneuver sought to transform profits from rapid trading into long-term capital gains taxed at a lower rate, he said.

“It meant enormous profit for both the banks and the hedge funds,” Levin told reporters yesterday in Washington. “Ordinary Americans had to shoulder a tax burden of billions of dollars, a burden that was shrugged off by those hedge funds.”

PARTNER INSIGHTSWHAT'S THIS?Special Report: Multistate Tax Reports® 2014 Survey of State Tax DepartmentsNexus-Creating Activities from Bloomberg BNA’s Annual SurveyState Taxation in the Digital Age
   

The panel urged the Internal Revenue Service to collect taxes from the fund’s investors at the higher rate that Americans pay on wages and salaries. It said Congress should remove legal obstacles to audits of hedge funds and other large partnerships, whose returns the committee said are rarely questioned.

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Supreme Court fraud case reveals corruption in art market

Supreme Court fraud case reveals corruption in art market | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Up to 30 per cent of the artworks offered in the Australian art market could be forgeries, the Supreme Court has been told in a case that threatens to lift the lid on dubious practices in the art world.

The plaintiff, Louise McBride, a Sydney barrister, is suing auction house Christies as well as classic car and art dealer Alex Holland and her own art consultant and former friend, Vivienne Sharpe, over the purchase in May 2000 of a painting entitled Faun and Parrot, said to be painted by late Australian artist Albert Tucker.

The case is unusual because most cases of art fraud settle before trial to avoid embarrassment and damage to the art dealers' reputation.Many never come anywhere near court – owners usually choose to quietly put the painting back into the market. In 2012, three fake Whiteleys surfaced and one buyer began legal proceedings but settled with the auction house before the trial. 

 

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Global crackdown on offshore secret tax accounts yields €37bn

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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How UK business enables corruption in poor countries

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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INDIA: Parliament uproar over 'corruption'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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China warns officials against aping Western morality

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Venice is Sinking Under a Tidal Wave of Corruption

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

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

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

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How To Pay A Bribe: Solutions that Explode

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

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

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

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The key elements of a Ponzi scheme

The key elements of a Ponzi scheme | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from White Collar Crime: Core Concepts for Consultants and Expert Witnesses, Chapter 10 by Scott M. Richter, CPA/CIA, CFE, edited by Debra K. Thompson, CPA/CFF, CFE, and Randal A. Wolverton, CPA/CFF, CFE.

The Ponzi scheme is named after Carlo “Charles” Ponzi, who in 1919, devised a simple investment vehicle. Effectively, Ponzi planned to take advantage of weakening foreign currencies by purchasing international postal coupons overseas that could be redeemed for U.S. postage stamps. He would then sell the U.S. stamps and make a profit. However, Ponzi was unable to reap any meaningful profits due to the bureaucracy and administrative burden involved in redeeming these coupons.

Instead of abandoning this unsuccessful (but legitimate) investing method, Ponzi refined his pitch to potential investors, saying he could return a 50% profit on their investment in 45 days or double their money in 90 days. Ponzi advised investors that he would achieve such returns through a “network of international agents,” who would purchase the postal reply coupons on his behalf. He withheld further details of how he would achieve such returns “due to competitive reasons.” In reality, Ponzi was merely paying off early investors with new investors’ funds while making no new purchases of postal reply coupons.

In the short eight-month duration of his scheme, Ponzi collected as much as $15 million from 40,000 investors. News reports at the time described huge crowds lined up outside Ponzi’s Boston office waiting to invest. However, after the scheme unraveled, Ponzi was $7 million in debt, with assets that included a mere $61 in postal reply coupons. In the decades since Ponzi launched this brazen scam, thousands of other fraudsters have pursued schemes with the same common denominator: Earlier investors are paid off with funds from new investors.

Today, the legal definition of a Ponzi scheme is simply “a phony investment plan in which monies paid by later investors are used to pay artificially high returns to the initial investors, with the goal of attracting more investors” (Alexander v. Compton, 229 F.3d 750, 759 n.1 (9th Cir. 2000)).

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Two charged with fraud after raising nearly $22-million from investors

Two charged with fraud after raising nearly $22-million from investors | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Two Vancouver businessmen committed fraud when they raised almost $22-million from investors without telling them important facts about their group of companies -- including that they were short of cash and near insolvency, British Columbia regulators said.

A British Columbia Securities Commission hearing panel has ruled Michael Lathigee and Earle Pasquill, who operated the Freedom Investment Club (FIC) Group of companies, fraudulently raised $21.7-million from 698 investors between between Feb. 1, 2008 and Nov. 15, 2008, without telling them about severe cash flow problems, including an unfunded $8-million cost overrun on the company’s biggest real estate project in Alberta.

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Coyote windfall: How ruthless human smugglers cash in on wave of illegal immigrants

Coyote windfall: How ruthless human smugglers cash in on wave of illegal immigrants | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Sophisticated, international “coyotes” — often working in concert with drug cartels as they smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. — are the main traffickers behind the wave of 57,000 unaccompanied Central American children flooding the southern border, according to a Mexican-based human rights expert.

And the coyotes are raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars sneaking the kids past the Texas and Arizona borders, according to Victor Clark-Alfaro, a San Diego State University professor and director of the Binational Center for Human Rights in Tijuana, Mexico.

“The international coyotes have contact with Mexican authorities to bribe them, they have safety houses, they pay tariffs to the drug cartels or work for the drug cartels,” Clark-Alfaro told the Herald yesterday.

Clark-Alfaro said international coyotes charge as much as $5,000 to bring someone from Honduras. “Of course, they’re not bringing just one. There’s 20 or 30 of them,” he said. “There’s a lot of money involved in bringing all those children to the border. They bring them to the border to the U.S. side and tell them to look for border patrol.”

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Rapfogel Sentenced for Stealing $1 Million From Charity

Rapfogel Sentenced for Stealing $1 Million From Charity | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The longtime executive director of a prominent and politically connected Jewish charity in New York was sentenced on Wednesday to at least 3 ⅓ years in prison for stealing more than $1 million from the organization.

The director, William E. Rapfogel, who led the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty for two decades, faced a sentence of four to 12 years when he appeared at State Supreme Court in Manhattan before Justice Larry Stephen. But under the terms of a plea agreement he accepted in April, Mr. Rapfogel paid the remaining balance of $3 million in restitution in exchange for a shorter sentence of 3 ⅓ to 10 years.

The agreement actually required Mr. Rapfogel, 59, to pay the full restitution by July 16, the date of his scheduled formal sentencing, or face the longer prison term. But on that day, Mr. Rapfogel’s request for one more week to come up with the money was granted.

The charity, known as Met Council, fired Mr. Rapfogel last August, when an internal investigation of an anonymous tip uncovered evidence that he had engaged in a scheme with the organization’s insurance broker to pad insurance payments and split the surplus.

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CPA Firm Settles Lawsuit with Indiana for $1.8 Million

CPA Firm Settles Lawsuit with Indiana for $1.8 Million | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

An Indianapolis CPA firm has settled a lawsuit with Indiana’s Secretary of State for $1.8 million after it served as the accounting firm of a convicted Ponzi schemer.

The firm, DeWitt & Shrader, agreed to pay the sum, according to an announcement Tuesday by Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office. A former client of the firm, money manager Keenan Hauke, managed Samex Capital Partners LLC and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December 2011 for securities fraud. Although Hauke is now behind bars, Lawson’s office is still trying to return significant portions of investor losses, totaling over $9 million, and brought suit against Hauke’s former accounting firm.

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The Fastest-Growing Global Criminal Activity Is More Disturbing Than You Think

The Fastest-Growing Global Criminal Activity Is More Disturbing Than You Think | Global Corruption | Scoop.it


1. At least 100,000 children in the U.S. are sexually exploited each year, according to estimates.

The Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, however, believe children like "Jewel" number somewhere around105,000 in the U.S., with another 300,000 at risk of exploitation. Around 40 percent are U.S. citizens, while others are trafficked from other countries.

Of course, the exact number of victims can't be known. "If you understand the crime and the manipulation and control behind it, you'll understand why it is difficult to get victims to disclose their history of abuse," Staca Shehan, director of the Case Analysis Division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, explained to The Huffington Post.

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

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

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

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

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

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Former Texas hospital chief's fraud trial to begin

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

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Britain's fraud office launches criminal probe into FX rigging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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N.Y. immigration groups to close over alleged fraud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The corruption at the head of Hamas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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