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Two charged in ongoing investigation into PennDOT corruption and fraud

Two charged in ongoing investigation into PennDOT corruption and fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The Attorney General's Office is charging two men with conspiring to steal more than $3.6 million in taxpayer money through their affiliations with PennDOT. 

These are the latest charges in an ongoing investigation into potential corruption and fraud involving PennDOT District 6, which includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

The Office of Attorney General began its investigation of possible illegal activity at PennDOT District 6 in March of 2013. Evidence and testimony regarding the case was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.

Contractor Thanh Nguyen, 62, 405 Ashton Drive, King of Prussia, Montgomery County, who has received $26 million in contracts for PennDOT maintenance since 2009, was charged today for allegedly stealing at least $3.6 million in public funds.
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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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Holder Warns of Charges Against Bankers, Seeks Informants

Holder Warns of Charges Against Bankers, Seeks Informants | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is bearing down on Wall Street, warning of charges against individual bankers and pushing for bigger rewards for executives who come forward with evidence of financial crime.

“A corporation may enter a guilty plea and still see its stock price rise the next day. But an individual who is found guilty of a serious fraud crime is most likely going to prison,” Holder said in a speech today in New York.

Holder called for a new law to boost rewards for whistleblowers who provide evidence of wrongdoing. He also said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation needs more forensic accountants to pursue misconduct.

Holder’s Justice Department is still fighting criticism it didn’t do enough to punish Wall Street executives who helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis. Prosecutors have active investigations into individuals at major banks and could file criminal charges against them in the coming months, he said. While regulators and prosecutors have repeatedly cited the need to sanction individuals, executives have been largely absent from recent major cases.

Under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act -- a law that has been used against banks that sold faulty mortgages -- whistleblowers can receive a maximum of $1.6 million. That amount is insufficient to persuade bankers to risk their careers, Holder said.
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SEC.gov | Former Hedge Fund Manager in Bay Area Charged With Taking Excess Management Fees to Make Lavish Purchases

SEC.gov | Former Hedge Fund Manager in Bay Area Charged With Taking Excess Management Fees to Make Lavish Purchases | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against a former hedge fund manager accused of fraudulently taking excess management fees from the accounts of fund clients and using their money to remodel his multi-million dollar home and buy a Porsche. 
An SEC Enforcement Division investigation found that Sean C. Cooper improperly withdrew more than $320,000 from a hedge fund he managed for San Francisco-based investment advisory firm WestEnd Capital Management LLC.  While WestEnd disclosed to clients the withdrawal of annual management fees of 1.5 percent of each investor’s capital account balance, Cooper actually withdrew amounts that far exceeded that percentage.  He then transferred the money to personal bank accounts so he could spend it freely.  Cooper’s misconduct occurred for a two-year period until he ceased misappropriating fund assets when the SEC began an examination of WestEnd in April 2012.

WestEnd, which expelled Cooper and reimbursed the hedge fund once it became aware of his scheme, is being charged separately by the SEC for failing to effectively supervise him.  The firm agreed to pay a $150,000 penalty to settle the SEC’s charges.

“Cooper betrayed the hedge fund’s investors by lining his own pockets with fund assets that he had not earned,” said Marshall S. Sprung, Co-Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit.  “His fraud went undetected because WestEnd had no internal controls to limit Cooper’s ability to withdraw excessive amounts from the fund.”
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Ebola epidemic spawns black market in survivors’ blood

Ebola epidemic spawns black market in survivors’ blood | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
As the deadly Ebola virus continues to ravage a wide swath of Western Africa, some of the infected are turning to an illicit trade in survivors’ blood, despite warnings from the World Health Organization.

Having already killed 2,400 people and infected nearly 5,000 others, and with no cure in sight, the Ebola virus has triggered the growth of a black market in what is known as convalescent serum, the protein base of blood that has been collected from survivors of the epidemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

The serum is considered to be especially rich in antibodies that fight against the disease, and has already been administered to some patients, including Rick Sacra, an American health worker who has received transfusions from a survivor of the deadly virus.
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USA-GEORGIA: Another DeKalb official indicted for corruption

USA-GEORGIA: Another DeKalb official indicted for corruption | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A former janitorial services manager for DeKalb County and the Georgia World Congress Center has been indicted on public corruption charges.

Patrick Jackson, 55, is charged with bribery and mail fraud. U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Jackson accepted bribes in exchange for helping his company net government contracts.

Prosecutors said that from 2006 to 2012, Jackson was simultaneously employed by DeKalb County and the GWCC, but was still in touch with his former employer, identified only as Company A. Company A provided janitorial services to Jackson's employers.

According to the indictment, Jackson used his position to benefit the interests of Company A in business dealings with his two employers. In exchange, Company A paid for and furnished Jackson's luxury apartment. Yates said Jackson did not tell DeKalb County or the GWCC that Company A provided him with an apartment.

Jackson was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 9 and will go on trial at a lat

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Argentina - Constructive Citizenship - Integrity & Anti-Corruption

On September 10, 2014, Frank Vogl spoke at the BCS Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He asked the question: Why should things be different? And he responded - The answer rests in the fact that over the last 20 to 30 years the world has changed in revolutionary ways. Now, as never before, the train heading for open and decent government is on the tracks and gaining speed. If you do not see it coming you will be shocked and surprised. If you have the wisdom to see where it is going, then it is time that you jumped on board.

The presentation concluded as follows: -

The issue for business people today goes far beyond regulatory anti-corruption compliance. To check the boxes on the compliance forms is no assurance that anything will change.

Integrity in business starts with the tone at the top of the enterprise. The example that leaders of business provide by their own activities can do more than anything else to build corporate values, to establish trust with business partners, at home and abroad...

 

...

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Man pleads not guilty to fraud in 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak | Reuters

Man pleads not guilty to fraud in 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak | Reuters | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

BOSTON (Reuters) - A pharmacist who worked for the Massachusetts company that sparked a 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people pleaded not guilty on Thursday to the first criminal charges...

 

Federal prosecutors contend that Chin approved the shipment of 17,000 tainted vials of the medication, used for back pain, despite knowing they had not been properly sterilized or tested by his employer, the New England Compounding Center...

 

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The outbreak pushed NECC, of Framingham, Massachusetts, into bankruptcy and led to stricter national regulation of custom medication makers, which had previously escaped the tight oversight that drug manufacturers face.

A federal bankruptcy court in July approved a deal to settle scores of lawsuits against NECC, which could pay out as much as $100 million to victims and their families and creditors.

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Ponzi Schemes 101: How You Can Avoid Being a Victim

Ponzi Schemes 101: How You Can Avoid Being a Victim | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

By the time a Ponzi scheme is exposed, investors generally only recoup about 5 cents on the dollar of their money. Here's how to avoid that painful fate...

At the heart of every classic Ponzi scheme are two things: an investment with (allegedly) an exceptionally attractive return, and a great story about just why the returns can be so extraordinary. Promissory notes are many times offered at high rates of return -- so high that they should set off alarm bells among potential buyers. When an investment promises a guaranteed compounded monthly return, you can almost guarantee you are in trouble. These fraudulent promissory notes are never collateralized with anything of real value.

But the scam then must produce returns as promised for its investors, and usually, they do, for months or even many years -- double digit rates of return year after year with no loss. How? With fraud, of course!

In most of these cases there is never any actual investing being done (though in some cases, there are initial attempts at legitimate investment in the short term). Instead, the "profits" come via the old "robbing from Peter to pay Paul" method. New investors' money goes right back out the door to pay older investors, thus keeping them happily unaware that their original capital is at serious risk. Or rather, some of the money is used to pay returns to investors; much of it goes into the con artists pockets.

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USA: Realtor accused of $5M mortgage fraud, arrested on immigration charges

USA: Realtor accused of $5M mortgage fraud, arrested on immigration charges | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

South Florida realtor Christopher White was already in trouble. Then, federal authorities said, he made things worse for himself by lying on a citizenship application form.

White, 44, of Fort Lauderdale, had been cooperating and negotiating a plea agreement for fraudulently obtaining a $5 million mortgage on a Las Olas Isles mansion, prosecutors said in court Monday.

Though the mortgage fraud charge has not yet been filed, prosecutors told a judge they had evidence White lied on his mortgage application for the property on the 2700 block of Sea Island Drive.zen and lied about his income and savings on his 2006 mortgage application, prosecutors Thomas Lanigan and Randy Katz said.

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ISRAEL: Police detain former minister in corruption case

ISRAEL: Police detain former minister in corruption case | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The minister allegedly pushed lucrative contracts toward his associates, police stated...

 

A former minister was detained by police on Tuesday with police revealing that he has been the subject of an undercover investigation over the past year on suspicion of bribery and breaking other corruption laws while in office from 2009-2013.

Police said they also detained several other subjects for questioning on Tuesday morning, as well as carrying out searches in the homes and offices of those being investigated, including confiscating relevant computers and documents.

The police did not reveal the minister's name and it was unclear whether they would formally arrest the minister or release him after questioning

The police said that the investigation began with information revealed in the 2013 State Comptroller report, which dealt with the manner in which the former minister dealt with tenders in his field of responsibility worth millions of shekels. 

The minister allegedly pushed lucrative contracts toward his associates, police stated.

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Corruption trial begins for ex-Homestead mayor

Corruption trial begins for ex-Homestead mayor | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The corruption trial of former Homestead mayor Steven Bateman is getting under way with jury selection in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Bateman faces two counts of unlawful compensation in the trial beginning Monday. Prosecutors say he illegally took a $125-an-hour consulting job with a health company while using his position as mayor to gain necessary city and county permits for the company’s proposed children’s center in Homestead.

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Twin sisters due in court in medical fraud case - The Boston Globe

Twin sisters due in court in medical fraud case - The Boston Globe | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Twin sisters who used to live in Burlington will be arraigned Tuesday on charges of stealing more than $580,000 from state and federal agencies in an alleged scheme that involved identity fraud and conducting unlicensed psychological exams, prosecutors said.
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AUSTRALIA: Napthine government to overhaul anti-corruption watchdog IBAC

AUSTRALIA: Napthine government to overhaul anti-corruption watchdog IBAC | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

THE Napthine government will overhaul its anti-corruption framework after a wave of concern about its failure to do the job.

Premier Denis Napthine today vowed to loosen the threshold test for the $170 million anti-corruption commission to begin inquiries.

The government will also back a uniform requirement for all public sector bodies to notify the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission if they suspect corruption.

This would include the state’s parliamentarians.

Dr Napthine also flagged draft legislation to expunge historical convictions for consensual homosexual acts, after the decriminalisation of gay sex in 1981.

The decision to hand more teeth to IBAC comes after years of criticism of the body’s legislative framework, which was set up to minimise any political fallout.

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Former Mexico official pleads guilty in corruption probe

Former Mexico official pleads guilty in corruption probe | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A former top official in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, whose case became a symbol of Mexican government corruption, has pleaded guilty in Texas to federal money laundering charges, according to court documents.

Hector Javier Villarreal Hernandez was charged in Mexico with using his position as Coahuila's Secretary of Finance to take out nearly a quarter billion dollars in fraudulent loans between 2008 and 2011, using the credit of the state as collateral.  

Villarreal was appointed to the position by Coahuila's then governor, who, for a time, headed the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The former governor has not been implicated in the case.

After his resignation and arrest by Mexican authorities in 2012, Villarreal skipped bond.

He was indicted in the United States on charges that he laundered his ill-gotten millions in banks in South Texas and in Bermuda, and by buying property in San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, and South Padre Island, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
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Attorney General Holder Remarks on Financial Fraud Prosecutions

Attorney General Holder Remarks on Financial Fraud Prosecutions | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
we have often sought to hold the corporation itself responsible.  Because we understand that where institutions themselves have failed – or where pervasive cultures of illegality and irresponsibility have taken hold – it’s necessary to pursue institutional accountability to bring about fundamental changes.

This sometimes has taken the form of civil settlements.  With Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, we achieved three of the largest settlements in the nation’s history for conduct related to the mortgage crisis.  And in addition to imposing significant penalties, we took steps to both ensure accountability and provide relief to many consumers who continue to struggle in the housing market.  We insisted that the financial institutions agree to clear, public statements about the misconduct that gave rise to the resolutions.  The impact of the cases we bring extends beyond those whose wrongdoing is at issue – because we want others to understand what the defendants did, why it was unlawful, and how the conduct affected the American public.  And additional matters remain pending.

In other circumstances, we have pursued criminal charges against corporate actors.  From both Credit Suisse and BNP, we secured criminal guilty pleas to go along with multi-billion-dollar penalties.  After years of speculation that some firms might be considered too systemically important to face criminal charges, the cases against Credit Suisse and BNP proved that no institution is too large to prosecute.  We have put that myth to rest once and for all.  We demonstrated in those cases that prosecutors are capable of collaborating with financial regulators to hold banks criminally to account.  And going forward, we must harmonize our domestic regulatory scheme with its global counterparts.  This will enable us to pursue even more criminal cases against other bad-actor institutions in the future – no matter their size.

In total, the Justice Department has brought over 60 cases against financial institutions since 2009, resulting in recoveries totaling over $85 billion.   Alongside attorneys from the Criminal and Civil Divisions, our U.S. Attorneys have provided critical leadership in this regard – including three of our best – Preet Bharara, of the Southern District of New York; Loretta Lynch, of the Eastern District of New York; and Paul Fishman, of the District of New Jersey – all of whom we’re fortunate to have with us this afternoon.

But whenever we have resolved these cases – whether they were civil or criminal in nature – we have almost always reserved the right to continue our civil and criminal investigations into individual executives at the respective firms.   This is because, when it comes to financial fraud, the department recognizes the inherent value of bringing enforcement actions against individuals, as opposed to simply the companies that employ them.   We believe that doing so is both important – and appropriate – for several reasons:

First, it enhances accountability.  Despite the growing jurisprudence that seeks to equate corporations with people, corporate misconduct must necessarily be committed by flesh-and-blood human beings.  So wherever misconduct occurs within a company, it is essential that we seek to identify the decision-makers at the company who ought to be held responsible.

Second, it promotes fairness – because, when misconduct is the work of a known bad actor, or a handful of known bad actors, it’s not right for punishment to be borne exclusively by the company, its employees, and its innocent shareholders.

And finally, it has a powerful deterrent effect.  All other things being equal, few things discourage criminal activity at a firm – or incentivize changes in corporate behavior – like the prospect of individual decision-makers being held accountable.  A corporation may enter a guilty plea and still see its stock price rise the next day.  But an individual who is found guilty of a serious fraud crime is most likely going to prison. 

Our record demonstrates that when the evidence and the law support it, we do not hesitate to bring charges against anyone.  Between 2009 and 2013, the Justice Department charged more white-collar defendants than during any previous five-year period going back to at least 1994.  Many of these prosecutions – which concerned a variety of individual conduct, including insider trading – were brought in the midst of a department-wide hiring freeze and other serious resource constraints.  Yet these defendants have included CEOs, board members, and other executives of Wall Street firms, hedge funds, banks and other corporations – both within the United States and abroad – including former executives at UBS and Goldman Sachs; from Bank of America to Credit Suisse.

And with respect to mortgage fraud – which was at the heart of the financial crisis – the Justice Department has also taken aggressive action, nearly doubling the number of mortgage fraud indictments and criminal convictions between 2009 and 2010, then increasing them even further the following year.  These statistics reflect a rapid mobilization of department resources during a critical period in the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown.  And, for each of these years, the rate of conviction we achieved in mortgage fraud cases was approximately 93 percent.
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Russian billionaire Yevtushenkov under house arrest in money laundering case

Russian billionaire Yevtushenkov under house arrest in money laundering case | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The main stockholder in the Russian conglomerate AFK Sistema and the country’s 15th richest man according to Forbes, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, has been placed under house arrest on charges of money laundering.

The billionaire is accused of acquiring shares in oil producer Bashneft, in the Russian province of Bashkiria, by “criminal means.” 

“Investigators have reasonable grounds to believe that Sistema Board Chairman Vladimir Yevtushenkov is involved in the legalization of property acquired by criminal means. Today he was accused of money laundering,” the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website.

The alleged crime carries a possible penalty of seven years in prison and a fine of one million rubles (US$26,000).

Yevtushenkov must stay under house arrest until November 16. His lawyers have three days to appeal against the Moscow Court decision.

The accusations against Yevtushenkov follow months of investigation.

The decision to place the billionaire on house arrest follows a criminal case opened in April regarding Bashneft shares in 2002-2009. Authorities in Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan suspect that the company underpaid for Bashneft shares in 2009. It sued Sistema for $5.8 billion in damages, but the company has not admitted its involvement in the case.

In August, a Moscow court ruled that Sistema paid $500 million less than agreed with its owner. According to the investigation, the company purchased Bashneft shares for $2 billion, while the contract price was set at $2.5 billion.

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The billionaire is accused of acquiring shares in oil producer Bashneft, in the Russian province of Bashkiria, by “criminal means.”

“Investigators have reasonable grounds to believe that Sistema Board Chairman Vladimir Yevtushenkov is involved in the legalization of property acquired by criminal means. Today he was accused of money laundering,” the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website.

The alleged crime carries a possible penalty of seven years in prison and a fine of one million rubles (US$26,000).

Yevtushenkov must stay under house arrest until November 16. His lawyers have three days to appeal against the Moscow Court decision.

The accusations against Yevtushenkov follow months of investigation.

The decision to place the billionaire on house arrest follows a criminal case opened in April regarding Bashneft shares in 2002-2009. Authorities in Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan suspect that the company underpaid for Bashneft shares in 2009. It sued Sistema for $5.8 billion in damages, but the company has not admitted its involvement in the case.

In August, a Moscow court ruled that Sistema paid $500 million less than agreed with its owner. According to the investigation, the company purchased Bashneft shares for $2 billion, while the contract price was set at $2.5 billion.
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USA: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring sues 13 banks for fraud

USA: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring sues 13 banks for fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The $1.15 billion suit is called the largest financial fraud action taken by the commonwealth...

 

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is suing 13 banks for fraudulently misleading the state’s retirement fund over the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities during the housing boom and bust.

The suit, announced Tuesday, seeks $1.15 billion in damages. Herring called the suit the largest financial fraud action ever brought under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

Herring said the banks included misrepresented the quality of high-risk securities sold to the Virginia Retirement System from 2004 to 2010. Virginia was forced to sell most of the securities built on junk mortgages and lost $383 million, the lawsuit says. The fraud act allows the state to seek “treble damages,” or three times the actual damage, as compensation.

Banks named in the suit are:

Barclays Capital Inc.Citigroup Global Markets Inc.Countrywide Securities Corp.Credit Suisse SecuritiesDeutsche Bank Securities Inc.Goldman Sachs & Co.RBS Securities Inc.HSBC Securities USA Inc.Morgan Stanley & Co. LLCUBS Securities LLCWAMU Capital Corp.J.P. Morgan Securities LLCMerrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

“This message today is clear. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small-time con artist or a multibillion dollar Wall Street bank. If you try to rip off or defraud Virginia consumers or Virginia taxpayers, you will be caught and you will be held responsible,” Herring said in a statement.

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Frank Vogl speech in Argentina (full text)

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Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto Will Confess to Bribery

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto Will Confess to Bribery | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto is expected to sign a plea bargain by the end of the week, confessing that he attempted to bribe the commander of the Israeli national police fraud unit to receive information about an investigation against him.

Barring surprise developments, Pinto is expected to admit to attempting to give hundreds of thousands of shekels to Brig. Gen. Ephraim Bracha, in exchange for a maximum prison sentence of 12 months.

Pinto will also testify for the prosecution in the trial of the outgoing commander of police unit Lahav 433, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Menashe Arviv, for accepting bribes. The Justice Ministry has not officially announced the deal because Pinto has not yet signed it.

The deal with Pinto, who recently enlisted the services of the renowned Jewish-American attorney Alan Dershowitz, has come under fire both within and outside the state prosecutor’s office.

The case against Pinto involves the now-defunct charity Hazon Yeshaya, run by one of Pinto’s associates, Abraham Israel. In 2011, some of the charity’s employees began suspecting Israel of embezzlement and demanded that he resign. Israel refused and sought Pinto’s help, which Pinto agreed to provide.

In December 2011, a complaint to the police sparked an undercover investigation of Israel and Hazon Yeshaya. Pinto soon knew about the investigation, though it isn’t known who told him about it.

The prosecution claims that Pinto began to obstruct the investigation by gathering information about its progress and the people who were conducting it, including senior police officers.

Pinto is said to have met with Arviv in an effort to obtain information about various investigations into the rabbi’s conduct.

Ten months ago, just as an indictment was being drawn up against Pinto, his lawyer told Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein that the rabbi had information about an offense that had been committed by a senior police officer and asked that the indictment be postponed in exchange for the information. State Prosecutor Moshe Lador opposed the postponement and the negotiations with Pinto, but Weinstein agreed and went ahead.

Pinto’s lawyers told the Justice Ministry department for the investigation of police officers that Arviv had accepted a number of favors from Pinto and his followers.

Arviv denied the allegations but resigned from the force. The talks between Pinto’s lawyers and the justice system continued, and the results of a polygraph test administered to Pinto indicated that his claims about Arviv were true.

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Tellers At Multiple Banks Charged With Stealing From Customers In Fraud Scheme

Tellers At Multiple Banks Charged With Stealing From Customers In Fraud Scheme | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Prosecutors Tuesday said hundreds of customers at White Plains bank are victims of theft – and the thieves are tellers who allegedly took their money.

As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, bank robbers usually walk in the front door and announce a stick-up, or hand the teller a threatening note. But this time, prosecutors said it was the tellers themselves who were up to no good.

Customers were stunned to find that their personal information might not be safe – even with bank tellers.

“It’s crazy. It’s insane,” said Bonnie Vulaj of Yorktown. “I mean, how could someone do that?”

“I don’t feel safe not knowing that this was going on, no, I don’t,” said Dawn Marie Rabelye of White Plains.

Westchester County prosecutors alleged that that a ring of five people stole some $850,000 from hundreds of customers in what was the ultimate inside job.

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Mo. couple sentenced in nearly $4 million fraud

Mo. couple sentenced in nearly $4 million fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A northern Missouri couple was sentenced to federal prison after the woman embezzled nearly $4 million from a company where she worked and she and her husband filed false income tax returns.

Federal prosecutors say 61-year-old Donna Preszler was sentenced Monday to five years and 10 months in prison without parole. Her husband, 64-year-old Terrance Preszler, was sentenced to three years without parole.

The couple, formerly from Chillicothe, also was ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution to Burdg, Dunham & Associates Construction Corp. and $1.2 million to the Internal Revenue Service. They also must forfeit a nearly $4 million money judgment, vehicles, several trust accounts and two residential lots.

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Matteo Renzi’s corruption fighting cred in question over new ENI investigation in Italy

Matteo Renzi’s corruption fighting cred in question over new ENI investigation in Italy | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

It's  nearly time for the Sirocco to blow its wet and windy way through the Italian peninsula

Just so, the country's new Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, hoped to sweep through the cobwebbed and corrupt political and business oligarchy that has controlled Italy since the days of Giulio Andreotti.

Mr Renzi swept into office in February, immediately ordering the sale of 1,500 luxury official cars, including nine Maseratis and two Jaguars, before kicking out the overly comfortable bosses of no fewer than five state-owned companies. At three of them, he put women in the chairmanship. It was unprecedented.

One such company was ENI, a state-controlled oil and gas company, where he kicked out Paolo Scaroni, the long-term chief executive fighting allegations of environmental crime and corruption, and replaced him with the company's exploration boss Claudio Descalzi.

The oustings were extremely bold, and left the cosy business world winded. But did the youthful Mr Renzi hunt wide enough to find new blood for the oil group? Perhaps not. For, on Thursday this week, just four months after Mr Descalzi's appointment, ENI disclosed that he too was under investigation for corruption.

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USA - GEORGIA: Recordings expected during DeKalb CEO’s corruption trial Tuesday

USA - GEORGIA: Recordings expected during DeKalb CEO’s corruption trial Tuesday | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Secret audio recordings are expected to be played during opening statements of DeKalb County's suspended CEO's trial Tuesday morning.

Channel 2 Action News uncovered that detail and many more in the dozens of new court filings Monday.

Burrell Ellis is the defendant facing a 13-count indictment for alleged corruption.

Prosecutors said Ellis used his position as the CEO to strong arm vendors for campaign donations and they believe secret recordings and their star witness will prove it.

The new information filed in court provides a look at what both sides plan to tell jurors.

We have learned the defense plans to say Kelvin Walton, the state's star witness, manipulated Ellis.

In another filing we found out a prosecutor sent at least one witness tips on how she should answer questions.

That witness is Nina Hall.  Hall is the defendant’s former secretary.

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Corruption, Casinos Converge In Complex Cultural Contexts

Corruption, Casinos Converge In Complex Cultural Contexts | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

When discussing casinos, corruption is often the elephant in the room. Author and activist Elizabeth Pisani says stakeholders have to know what kind of an elephant they’re looking at and what would happen if it left.

“If you try to get rid of corruption, what will you replace it with?” Pisani, a journalist turned epidemiologist, asks.

Macau provides a case study. Secretary for Transport and Public Works Ao Man Long was arrested in December 2006 and convicted in January 2008 on charges of bribery, having amassed a fortune in excess of $100 million in local and offshore assets from kickbacks on construction projects. Since Ao’s arrest, development projects, particularly in the public sector, have suffered delays and cost overruns. Macau’s light rail system was supposed to cost $425 million and begin running in 2011; the budget has ballooned to $2.5 billion and the first phase, with no link to the Macau peninsula, may begin operating next year.

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Hendersonville’s AgFeed settles fraud charges for $18M

Hendersonville’s AgFeed settles fraud charges for $18M | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

THE Napthine government will overhaul its anti-corruption framework after a wave of concern about its failure to do the job.

Premier Denis Napthine today vowed to loosen the threshold test for the $170 million anti-corruption commission to begin inquiries.

The government will also back a uniform requirement for all public sector bodies to notify the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission if they suspect corruption.

This would include the state’s parliamentarians.

Dr Napthine also flagged draft legislation to expunge historical convictions for consensual homosexual acts, after the decriminalisation of gay sex in 1981.

The decision to hand more teeth to IBAC comes after years of criticism of the body’s legislative framework, which was set up to minimise any political fallout.

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China takes anti-corruption drive overseas - FT.com

China takes anti-corruption drive overseas - FT.com | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The anti-corruption campaign which has swept across China in the last two years has gone global, as Beijing seeks to enlist the help of western democratic governments in pursuing officials who flee overseas.

Underlining Beijing’s rising economic and political clout, Communist party officials have already launched an investigation into assets and individuals based in New Zealand, a country that counts China as its biggest trade partner. It is unclear whether that investigation was conducted inside New Zealand or from China, but investigators have requested permission to interview people in the country.


In an operation labelled “Fox Hunt 2014”, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, a shadowy organisation with a controversial human rights record, has set up a dedicated office to investigate allegedly corrupt officials who have absconded or sent relatives and assets abroad.

 
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