Global Corruption
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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.<br>                                                                         - Gerald E. Caiden <br>
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Payback Time: Bank of America’s Reckoning -- K@W

Payback Time: Bank of America’s Reckoning -- K@W | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Despite the Justice Department’s ruling in the Bank of America mortgage case, it’s unlikely those hurt most will get any money...

 

...the settlement doesn’t directly compensate those hurt and punish those accountable, say experts.“In this settlement, the core is defrauding the investors in securitization transactions,” notes David Skeel, a University of Pennsylvania Law School corporate law professor. “I understand the desire to help homeowners, but litigation based on other wrongs seems to be a really indirect way to them. It’s very political and a bit arbitrary.”

Kent Smetters, a Wharton professor of business economics and public policy, points out that those punished by the big-dollar settlement — BoA’s current shareholders — aren’t necessarily the ones who violated the law. “Probably my biggest concern is the conflict of interest faced by both parties negotiating. The government has the incentive to collect a lot of fine revenue, and bank executives have the incentive to write large checks, especially if there is an implicit understanding that the government won’t really pursue additional civil or criminal charges. But I am concerned that the bank’s shareholders are not being properly represented.”

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USA: SOUTH CAROLINA - House Speaker Bobby Harrell indicted on nine counts in corruption probe

USA: SOUTH CAROLINA - House Speaker Bobby Harrell indicted on nine counts in corruption probe | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

House Speaker Bobby Harrell doctored flight records, reimbursed himself for flights that he didn't take and unlawfully paid himself tens of thousands of dollars from his campaign account, according to indictments filed Wednesday...

 

The indictments say Harrell doctored documents, reimbursed himself and abused his position. Specifically, the charges allege that Harrell:

• Reimbursed himself for "non-existent" round trip flights from Charleston to Columbia on Jan. 8, 2009, March 13, 2009, May 4, 2009 and Sept. 9, 2009. Harrell claimed the trips were official trips on campaign finance disclosure forms. Harrell faces separate charges for each alleged made-up flight.

• Unlawfully paid himself $70,286 from his campaign account, which appears to have been used to pay an assistant at his private business. "Defendant claimed these expenditures were for an administrative assistant when in get Defendant gained an unlawful personal benefit," the indictment says.

• Committed misconduct in office. The indictment alleges Harrell from around Jan. 1, 2009 through Jan. 10, 2013, used campaign funds to benefit himself an breached his "duty of good faith an accountability to the public."

• Committed misconduct in office. For the same dates as above, an indictment alleges that Harrell "knowingly committed" crimes by misrepresenting travel and other expenditures.

• Falsely reported campaign expenditures. The indictment says Harrell spent about $1 million between 2009 and 2012. Of that total, Harrell reimbursed himself $294,335 and claimed legislative or campaign expenses. According to court papers, $93,958 was used for Harrell's private airplane. Also, $70,286 was paid to an administrative assistant for the speaker's private State Farm business, the indictment alleges. Some travel reimbursed for $96,381 was personal, according to court papers.

Harrell also used that money to "pay for goods or services for his home, family and friends" unrelated to his official duties, prosecutors allege. The speaker also sought to cover up the payments by changing entries in his pilot logbook, creating schedules of flights for the basis of payments and "misinforming" law enforcement and the House Ethics Committee about the reasons behind the reimbursements.

• In March 2009, Harrell allegedly traveled and reimburse himself $3,874 to fly to a high school baseball tournament in Florida. He allegedly marked the trip as "legislative travel." The indictment characterizes the trip as being on his private airplane that carried himself, friends and family.

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Chinese news site accused of massive protection racket

Chinese news site accused of massive protection racket | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A popular Chinese news site has been accused of extorting hundreds of millions of yuan from a large number of companies using threats of negative news reports, state media said Wednesday. The 21st Century Business Herald website, owned by one of China's largest media groups -- Southern Media Group -- obtained "protection fees" from listed or pre-IPO companies which were willing to pay for "a shut-up" on unfavorable news reports or for writing positive news about the company, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. Earlier, the Shanghai police department said several journalists from the 21st Century Business Herald website, including the site's president, as well as some senior executives at public-relations firms, had been detained or arrested for their alleged involvement in the massive "journalistic blackmail" scheme, thanks to public tip-offs.

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USA: A Whistleblower's Story

The following is the first of a three-part blog series covering my story about being a Bank of America/Countrywide Financial Corporation whistleblower.

I have been called the whistleblower who "conquered Countrywide” by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times. I have also been referred to as “Wall-Street’s Greatest Enemy: The Man Who Knows Too Much” in a revelatory article by David Dayen in Salon. However, I do not feel like a conqueror at all. I feel like a victim who has been repeatedly re-victimized by a system that allows legal loopholes, misrepresentations, and fraud on a trial and appellate court.

On May 8, 2014, I was informed that Bank of America (BofA), a $100,000,000,000 company, had placed a lien on my Thousand Oaks home for $96,523.29. This continues the retaliation that I experienced from Countrywide Financial and successor BofA for eight years. My offense? When they defrauded and abused employees, homeowners, shareholders and taxpayers, I stepped up, challenged them vigorously and took them to court. I won a convincing legal victory. Somehow over two years later, the company had my strong jury verdict and court affirmation reversed, and I was recently forced to pay this behemoth’s court costs of over $96,500, including nearly $65,000 for a bond that was ordered by the court, not requested by me.  

In this three-part blog series, I'm going to detail the whole twisted, sordid tale: what I saw, why I initially prevailed, and how justice was ultimately stolen from me. If you are a lawyer reading these pieces and can help, I am in need of your assistance to right this wrong.

- See more at: http://whistleblower.org/blog/093910-whistleblowers-story#sthash.nFtDvQwU.dpuf
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GSK Facing Multimillion Dollar Settlement Or Fines Because Of US Probe

GSK Facing Multimillion Dollar Settlement Or Fines Because Of US Probe | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (GSK) China has been part of a large-scale global investigation for bribery practices by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission since 2012; if proven guilty, the company may face hefty fines.

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Remarks at the Good Society and Corruption Conference

Remarks at the Good Society and Corruption Conference | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Combating corruption is as difficult as it is important. In the United States, we know this from our own history. We fight every day to live up to the immortal words written in our Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and as such, all Americans have the self-evident right to equal protection under the law. These ideals are also at the forefront of Romania’s democracy. Romania’s constitution opens with the declaration that this country is “governed by the rule of law, in which human dignity, citizens' rights and freedoms, the free development of human personality, justice and political pluralism represent supreme values…” These democratic values—preserving and defending rule of law, protecting the right to free media, guaranteeing an independent judiciary and providing a clean, accountable and transparent government—are the basis of our Euro-Atlantic community.

Both Americans and Europeans know the corrosive effects that corruption can have on the ability to deliver the prosperity, security and liberty that our citizens deserve. In Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans—where so much progress has been made in the last 25 years to shore up these common values—corruption remains one of the top obstacles to reaching our dream of completing a Europe whole, free and at peace.

The reasons are simple. Corruption undermines economies, erodes democracies, and threatens security throughout the region. It drains away public resources at a time when every penny is needed to shore up Europe’s economic recovery. Every Euro, Forint, or Leu that is diverted for personal enrichment is one that is not used to help fund hospitals, improve schools, and build roads. Citizens who witness corruption lost faith in their leaders and government. Tax evasion rises. Foreign direct investment is decreases. And many of the most able-bodied and highly-educated workers—doctors, engineers, and scientists—emigrate abroad where their talents are rewarded instead of squandered. Economic growth stagnates or declines. The victims who suffer the most are the most vulnerable. The effects and influence of corruption are so dangerous to economic prosperity that the World Bank has labeled corruption “public enemy number one.”

Now more than ever, we see how corruption threatens not only the economy but security and sovereignty as well. At its worst, corruption hollows out military and border services; allows malevolent coalitions to build across borders in ways that undermine democracy; and enables criminals and hostile states to infiltrate and control strategically important sectors like energy. Today, in view of the crisis in Ukraine, the urgency could not be greater.

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11 places where bad guys stash their cash

11 places where bad guys stash their cash | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Ever wondered where the profits from dodgy deals and crime end up? Here are eleven places that have been used to hide ill-gotten gains.

As we launch a new campaign to stop the Trillion Dollar Scandal that deprives people in developing countries of more than $1 trillion each year, we’re digging into the web of secrecy that makes it all possible.

Some were easy to find, but as you might expect others were tougher and took investigators years to track down.

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Technology a game-changer in fight against corruption

Good governance is critical for all countries around the world today. When it doesn't exist, many governments fail to deliver public services effectively, health and education services are often substandard, and corruption persists in rich and poor countries alike, choking opportunity and growth.It will be difficult to reduce extreme poverty - let alone end it - without addressing the importance of good governance.

But this is not a hopeless situation. In fact, a new wave of progress on governance suggests we may be on the threshold of a transformational era. 

Countries are tapping into some of the most powerful forces in the world today to improve services and transparency. These forces include the spread of information technology and its convergence with grassroots movements for transparency, accountability and citizen empowerment. In some places, this convergence is easing the path to better-performing and more accountable governments.

The Philippines is a good example of a country embracing good governance. During a recent visit, I spoke with President Benigno Aquino about his plans to reduce poverty, create jobs, and ensure that economic growth is inclusive. He talked in great detail about how improving governance is a fundamentally important part of their strategy. 

The Philippine government has opened government data and contract information so citizens can see how their tax money is spent. The Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, launched after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), offers a real-time look at pledges made and money delivered for typhoon recovery. Geo-tagging tools monitor assistance for people affected by the typhoon....
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USA - GEORGIA: Ethics commission fires LaBerge as executive director.

USA - GEORGIA:  Ethics commission fires LaBerge as executive director. | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The state ethics commission on Monday voted unanimously to fire its executive director, Holly LaBerge.

The move comes less than a week after a Fulton County Superior Court judge said LaBerge had been “dishonest and non-transparent” over the course of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by her predecessor.

LaBerge was placed on leave, with pay, on Friday.

Judge Ural Glanville on Wednesday sanctioned the Attorney General’s Office and LaBerge and ordered each to pay $10,000 in fines for failing to turn over key documents in the lawsuit filed by former ethics commission director Stacey Kalberman.

Commission Chairwoman Hillary Stringfellow said Glanville’s order shows LaBerge’s conduct “fundamentally conflicts with the specific mission and purpose of this commission and therefore with her own duties and responsibilities as executive secretary.”

“Ms. LaBerge must be regarded as disqualified from continuing to serve as a representative of this commission,” Stringfellow said.

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KENYA: The young people are the pill to corruption

The current society has been bedeviled by corruption. In most if not all the cultures around the world, the menace of corruption sweeps across the societies, with both the old and the young getting involved. The wider perception has always been than corruption is only intense among the government institutions, the legal fraternity and the police. However, it is important to note that it take more than an individual for a practice of corruption to be undertaken. Addressing this culture has been a major challenge in the society mainly because of lack of commitment, inclusivity and goodwill from all the quarter. Corruption has turned to be a livelihood. The young people have for a long time been excluded in the fight against corruption yet there is a lot they can do to end it.

Being a culture, corruption is often acquired from one generation to the other. This means that for it to be stumped out there is need for us to begin with the young people so as to cut the link. The young people need to embrace and instill the culture of anti corruption in their daily operations. Being the ‘future leaders’ as it is always said, the young people must take up the responsibility of clearing the path for a corruption free future. There have been perceptions that corruption is too much an issue to engage the young people in. contrary to this, the young people posses a greater power and influence that can effectively end the corruption monster in the society. They can easily use their connectivity and networked contacts to carry out sensitizations and mobilization against corruption acts.

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USA: Standard corruption operating procedure exposed

"...the jury was convinced that the governor had sold his office by instructing subordinates to interact with Mr Williams or address his company’s issues shortly after receiving gifts from him...

The perks Mr McDonnell enjoyed might not raise eyebrows in states like Illinois, whose governors have a well-known record of corruption. But no Virginia governor had ever even been charged with a crime before, and the state’s lax disclosure laws have historically kept cosy dealings between politicians and businesses out of the public eye. Only under the scrutiny of a federal investigation did the scale of favour-trading in the state house come to light.

Before Mr McDonnell’s trial, Virginia lawmakers had balked at tightening the state’s ethics rules. Even after Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, was elected to succeed Mr McDonnell, the Republican legislature resisted calls for reform—perhaps because policies intended to keep the governor in line could also ensnare members of the state assembly. But with legislative elections looming next year and the Republican brand tarnished thanks to the party’s wayward former governor, the political climate may at last be ripe for a reform that is long overdue.

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Uganda: 'MP Absenteeism Is Corruption'

The inspector general of government has described chronic absenteeism from Parliament by MPs as a quiet form of corruption...

 

In her 2014 Report on Tracking Corruption Trends in Uganda, IGG Irene Mulyagonja laments that despite rampant dereliction of duty, absentee MPs continue to receive their full salaries and entitlements. Launched at Hotel Africana recently, the report also points out that this form of "corruption" seems to be gaining acceptance as normal.

The report notes that sometimes Parliament has failed to pass crucial legislations due to lack of quorum. The full effect of the rampant absenteeism spilled into public view recently, when the Constitutional court nullified the Anti-Homosexuality Act because it was passed without quorum.

The report also quotes Gen Moses Ali, the deputy leader of government business in Parliament, who attacked MPs last December for dodging parliamentary sittings. Ali argued that MPs were engaging in a form of 'quiet corruption.'

 
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US SEC Charges Minneapolis-Based Hedge Fund Manager With Bilking Investors and Portfolio Pumping

US SEC Charges Minneapolis-Based Hedge Fund Manager With Bilking Investors and Portfolio Pumping | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Minneapolis-based hedge fund manager, his investment advisory firm, and an accomplice with bilking investors in two hedge funds out of more than $1 million under the guise of research expenses and fees. 

 

The SEC alleges that as the management fees earned by Archer Advisors LLC were shrinking due to the funds’ worsening performance, the firm’s owner Steven R. Markusen and an employee Jay C. Cope implemented a scheme to enrich themselves at the expense of investors in the funds.  Markusen routinely caused the funds to reimburse Archer for fake research expenses, and he eventually routed much of that money to his personal checking account and spent it on country club dues, boarding school tuition, and a Lexus among other luxury items.  Furthermore, Markusen devised a way to essentially charge fund investors twice for the same fake research expenses.  First, he billed the funds directly by falsely claiming that Archer had paid Cope to conduct “research” for the funds.  Second, he and Cope improperly diverted soft dollars from the hedge funds to Cope for the same purported “research” under the additional pretense that Cope was an independent consultant.  Soft dollars were supposed to be used to buy third-party investment research that benefited the funds.  Cope conducted no third-party research as an Archer officer whose main duties were placing trades and helping Markusen find new investors.

 

The SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Minneapolis also charges Markusen and Cope with conducting a separate scheme to manipulate the stock price of the funds’ largest holding in order to inflate the monthly returns reported to investors and conceal the true extent of the funds’ mounting investment losses.

 

“Markusen and his firm had an obligation to manage investor money in the hedge funds fairly and honestly.  Instead, he and Cope exploited their control of the funds to engage in long-running schemes to misappropriate fund assets and artificially pump up the value of the poorly-performing funds,” said Robert J. Burson, Associate Director of the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office. 

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Jillian Kay Melchior - Bad Rep

Jillian Kay Melchior - Bad Rep | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

In late August, a great crack resounded across Philadelphia’s Democratic establishment when Gregory Naylor, a prominent political consultant, entered a guilty plea in federal court, implicating not only himself but also a U.S. congressman and several of his key allies in a sordid and complex fraud scheme involving taxpayer dollars and campaign finances.

The plea memorandum mentions only “Elected Official A,” but numerous details corroborate the identity of Representative Chaka Fattah, one of the most powerful men in Philadelphia. 
 received funding from Sallie Mae...

 

...Fattah nonetheless found himself short of cash and sought to overturn Philadelphia’s $5,000-per-individual, $20,000-per-political-committee campaign-contribution caps, but the state appeals court ruled against him.

So, the plea memorandum says, Fattah “engaged in a scheme to violate the applicable Philadelphia campaign finance laws and contribution limits by secretly arranging for and receiving a $1 million campaign contribution in the form of a personal loan from long-time friend and political supporter, Person D.”

The plea memorandum does not identify this million-dollar donor, but thePhiladelphia Inquirer reported that “according to numerous sources, the loan was provided by Alfred Lord,” who until 2013 was the chief executive of Sallie Mae, the quasi-governmental student-loan corporation. Lord did not return repeated phone calls from National Review Online, but according to the Inquirer, he had earlier donated $100,000 to Fattah’s mayoral exploratory committee.

To obtain this unlawful campaign cash, the plea memorandum says, Fattah turned to another political consultant, “Person B,” who served as the middleman, guaranteeing the $1 million loan and funneling it to Naylor, who in turn spent $600,000 of it on media buys and “street money” on Election Day.

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10 pointers for fighting fraud

10 pointers for fighting fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, founder and Chairman of the ACFE, offered suggestions for fraud examiners during the 25th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference, his last.

 

BE NICE AND SMILE OFTEN

Fighting fraud is an adversarial process. You are trying to prove that someone has done something wrong. No one is going to fight you harder than a person who may lose his or her liberty. If you don't have the stomach for it, find another job. This is not a profession for wimps.

But that doesn't mean you can't be nice. As a matter of fact, the best fraud examiners and investigators I've met are also the nicest. They smile a lot, even when staring down crooks. It completely disarms them.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST

If you have an allegation of fraud, don't go talk to the suspect before you've done your homework. Learn how to use the Internet and to locate public records. I'm often surprised when fraud examiners — who should know better — talk to the suspect first, when that's normally the last person you talk to. Or, as they say here in Texas, just hold your horses for a bit.

DEVELOP A FRAUD THEORY

I once worked with an FBI agent named Roy. He seemed like a hard-working guy. When he retired, I inherited all of his cases. But as I looked through one of his files after another, it became clear that he didn't even know what he was investigating. There was no method to his work — no rhyme or reason. So, in order to successfully investigate a fraud case, it's vital to have a theory of what occurred.

Every type of case, from bribery to embezzlement, has unique signs. You must learn what those are. Then it is your job to prove or disprove your own theory by examining these unique signs. In the end, it doesn't matter if you prove it or disprove it because in both situations, the truth will come out.

DON'T OVERCOMPLICATE A CASE

One of the surest signs of a rookie is to see vast criminal conspiracies behind every rock — to make a case complicated when it's not. That isn't to say that people don't conspire. But the majority of fraud cases are committed by one person, acting alone, trying to conceal the crime from everyone, including family members. If you investigate enough frauds, you will learn that the offender almost always finds the easiest way to commit the crime, and that is the method, which is consistently used.

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USA: Powerful South Carolina House speaker indicted

USA: Powerful South Carolina House speaker indicted | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R) was indicted Wednesday on nine charges of violating campaign finance law and misconduct by a public official.

Documents filed in Richland County accuse the powerful House speaker of using campaign funds for personal expenditures and for using his office to benefit a business he owns.

The complaints come two years after the Charleston Post and Courier raised questions about more than $325,000 Harrell transfered from his campaign account to his personal account for reimbursements without reciepts or itemized invoices.

An investigation into Harrell’s actions conducted by Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) devolved into a constitutional showdown that went all the way to the state Supreme Court. That court ultimately ruled in July that Wilson could investigate Harrell.

But in August, Wil

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AfDB bans UK company for ‘corruption’

AfDB bans UK company for ‘corruption’ | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
African Development Bank bans a British company from doing business with it for 30 months because of corruption in a bank-funded contract with Eritrea

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Va. voters agree with McDonnells’ guilty verdict, want stronger ethics laws, poll finds

Va. voters agree with McDonnells’ guilty verdict, want stronger ethics laws, poll finds | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

More than two-thirds of Virginia voters agree with a jury that last week found former governor Robert McDonnell and his wife guilty of trading the prestige of the commonwealth’s highest office for loans and lavish gifts, and more than half believe the state needs stronger ethics laws, a new poll shows.

According to a survey released Tuesday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, after the verdict was handed down Thursday, 68 percent of voters agreed with the jury, 12 percent disagreed, and 16 percent were unsure.

The numbers fell along party lines with 82 percent of Democrats agreeing with the verdict compared with 52 percent of Republicans. McDonnell, a Republican, was once a leader in the party, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and reportedly a contender for Mitt Romney’s vice presidential choice in the 2012 election.

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EU anti-fraud office unhappy with extra scrutiny proposal

EU anti-fraud office unhappy with extra scrutiny proposal | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A special committee charged with overseeing the EU’s anti-fraud body, Olaf, is unhappy with a European Commission proposal to create an additional watchdog.

After spending nine years in negotiations that led to a major overhaul of Olaf last year, the commission over the summer proposed setting up a "controller of procedural guarantees" to help boost public confidence in the body.

But the head of the supervisory committee, a body of five outside independent experts already tasked to monitor Olaf’s administrative investigations, describes the commission’s idea as superfluous and unnecessary.

“We do not understand the need for such parallelism, which would mean that Olaf and its director-general would have more than one supervisory body,” Johan Denolf told euro-deputies in the parliament’s budgetary control committee on Monday (8 September).

Denolf has been at loggerheads with Olaf in an outstanding issue over access to case information and files. The issue is largely rooted in how Olaf conducted its 2012 probe into former EU commissioner for health, John Dalli.

The supervisory committee at the time complained Olaf had obstructed its role by keeping it in the dark in a case that saw Dalli leave office in disgrace over allegations he had solicited bribes from the tobacco industry via an intermediary.

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Over $30 Billion In Dirty Money Leaves Brazil Each Year: Study

Over $30 billion in dirty money linked to crime, corruption and tax evasion is flowing out of Brazil each year, double the amount a decade earlier...equivalent to 1.5 percent of the country's economic output, averaging $33.7 billion a year in the 2010-to-2012 period, up from $14.7 billion in the first decade of the 21st century.

But these losses probably are even larger, GFI said, because its estimates do not include bulk cash smuggling, a favorite method for drug traffickers and other criminal enterprises; trade in services or financial transfers between arms of multinational corporations...

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff has taken a strong public stand against corruption, removing ministers and officials tainted by reports of graft. But her administration's efforts have been overshadowed by widespread reports of corporate bribery, especially during construction projects for summer's World Cup...

Trade mispricing is the primary way that illicit money leaves the country, accounting for 92.7 percent of the $401.6 billion that flowed out of Brazil between 1960 and 2012, according to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based research and advocacy group for financial transparency.

 
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Gifts And The "Bribery Gaze"

As Professor Akerstrom rightly notes however, the current “bribery gaze,” in which everything seems to be transformed into a hazard, a trap or criminal bribery, is not without social and public policy consequences. She persuasively argues:

“Campaigns to eliminate these gift exchanges are at the same time campaigns to restrict the gamut of courtesy or ritual exchanges. The manifestations of courtesy, gratitude, and social bonds, which are so important as social glue in any cohesive society, are not just called into question, but criminalized.”

In this new era of enforcement of bribery and corruption laws, many are pounding the table for more enforcement, as if the quantity of enforcement was an inherent good regardless of enforcement theories, resolution vehicles, or collateral social and public policy considerations.

Regarding gifts as a form of bribery, Professor Akerstorm asks, “should the ideal society be gift-less?” With the current “bribery gaze,” expanding theories of enforcement, and risk-averse business organizations responding by eliminating most forms of gratitude and generosity, this appears to be where the winds are blowing.

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Bob McDonnell’s self-delusion and arrogance led to downfall in corruption trial

Bob McDonnell’s self-delusion and arrogance led to downfall in corruption trial | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

McDonnell thought he was so clever that he could exploit loopholes in Virginia law to pocket $177,000 in luxury gifts and sweetheart loans without getting caught...

 

When that didn’t work, and corruption charges were brought, he thought he could talk his way out of trouble on the witness stand.

He was fooling himself. Neither the law’s gray areas nor his own eloquence swayed the jurors. They needed just over two days to convict him of 11 felonies and Maureen of nine.

“His happy life is over, whether or not he is exonerated on appeal,” Anne Coughlin, a University of Virginia criminal law professor, said. “A jury of his peers came back and said, ‘You are corrupt.’ That must really conflict with his image of who he is.”

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KENYA: Corruption is the root of insecurity

When we hear of corruption we think of those in power and in office. This is not true.

If our Immigration officers are not corrupt, no one will sneak into the country; If the traffic police is not corrupt, no car will ferry ammunitions; If the judges are not corrupt no one will escape the axe of law.

If MPs are not corrupt, they will not sponsor/protect/sympathize with criminals; If Religious leaders and Rights Activists are not corrupt the rights of all will be protected equally; If the parents are not corrupt, they will give information about their children being terrorists/criminals AND if we are not corrupt, we will be each other's keeper and give to the police the necessary information about criminals and terrorist among us.

We are all either actively or passively corrupt.  We have a long way to fight corruption and insecurity. It is the responsibility and duty of every citizen to make sure the problem of insecurity and corruption is tackled.

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IMF Chief Faces French Corruption Probe

IMF Chief Faces French Corruption Probe | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

 

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who Forbes Magazine calls "the fifth most powerful woman in the world," is now under the cloud of a corruption probe.

The investigation by France’s Court of Justice of the Republic concerns actions taken in 2008 when she served as the nation’s finance minister. The state paid business tycoon Bernard Tapie nearly $526 million to settle a dispute he had with a former state-owned bank, Credit Lyonnais. The bank is now privatized and doing business as "LCL."

Tapie’s career has been filled with controversy. He served as the minister for urban affairs under President Francois Mitterand, but his main focus has been owning sports teams and turning around failing businesses.

His Olympique de Marseille football club won a national championship. In 1997, Tapie served six months in prison for match fixing involving his team. Tapie also owned a cycling team that won the Tour De France twice.

The massive arbitration settlement has triggered accusations that it came about as a "quid pro quo" exchange in response to Tapie’s abandoning his long-term allegiance to the Socialist Party, switching his support to center-right Nicholas Sarkozy’s successful 2007 presidential bid. The corruption probe is examining whether Lagarde was negligent” under the law in allowing the Tapie claim to be settled.

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USA: Corruption is the price of Empire

A New York Times investigation into the influence of foreign money on American thinktanks is causing a Twitter-storm...

A New York Times investigation into the influence of foreign money on American thinktanks is causing a Twitter-storm as I write this, and with good reason. In one particularly egregious example, the report details an explicit agreement, signed by the principals, between the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the government of Norway for the former to propagandize on behalf of doubling a foreign aid program to Norway in exchange for a $5 million donation.

Aside from the brazen corruption of the CGD/Norway relationship, the report focuses on three other Washington DC biggies: the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, all of which receive substantial chunks of cash from rich overseas donors, primarily from the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East. For example, the Times notes:...

Corruption – there is no other word for the buying of America’s thinktanks by rich foreigners – is part of the price we pay for our empire. It won’t stop until we return to our roots as a republic that "seeks honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none."

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