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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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Czech Police Charge Officials in Corruption Investigation

Czech Police Charge Officials in Corruption Investigation | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The Czech police have charged seven people after a nationwide raid of government and company offices, intensifying an apparent anticorruption crackdown that has led to the arrest of several officials, including a senior aide of the prime minister, the CTK news agency reported Friday...

The raids on Wednesday and Thursday by an organized crime unit threatened the fragile coalition government of Prime Minister Petr Necas, which has been shaken by a series of disagreements. Among those arrested was Jana Nagyova, the prime minister’s chief of staff.

The chief state prosecutor from Olomouc, Ivo Istvan, told reporters on Friday that Ms. Nagyova had been charged with misuse of office and bribery. Police officials said her motive appeared to be personal. Two former members of Parliament, Petr Tluchor and Ivan Fuksa, were charged with accepting a bribe and bribery, Mr. Istvan said.

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Lionel Messi and his father accused of tax fraud in Spain - Telegraph

Lionel Messi and his father accused of tax fraud in Spain  - Telegraph | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The player widely regarded as the greatest of his generation and his father, Jorge, face up to six years in jail and a fine of more than £40 million if found guilty of filing fraudulent tax returns during 2007 to 2009.

Prosecutors in the eastern region of Catalonia yesterday filed papers in which Barcelona and Argentina icon Messi and his father were accused of using a complex network of companies in Britain and Switzerland, and tax havens such as Uruguay and Belize, to hide from the authorities income relating to image rights.

The alleged fraud, which involves three separate offences, was said to have commenced before Messi came of age and while his father was in charge of his financial affairs.

Messi, estimated to be the 10th highest-paid athlete on around £13 million a year – which is almost matched by the value of his endorsements – issued a statement on wednesday via his official Facebook page denying any wrongdoing.

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Seeing green: Mere exposure to money triggers a business decision fram and unethical outcomes

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How I 'stole' $14 million from a bank: A security tester's tale

How I 'stole' $14 million from a bank: A security tester's tale | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
In early 2010, Nish Bhalla sat down at his computer with one objective: steal a huge amount of money from a bank.
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Former Mexican official's boasts add fire to corruption probes

Former Mexican official's boasts add fire to corruption probes | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
MEXICO CITY — It was the kind of big-man boast that would have made Jay-Z or Bo Diddley proud: He owned 300 suits, he said. Four hundred pairs of pants, 1,000 shirts and 400 pairs of shoes.

 

Granier's comments were surreptitiously recorded in October at a Mexico City party, and they have not helped his current predicament: State and federal prosecutors are pursuing criminal investigations of whether Granier and his team mishandled millions of dollars in state funds before leaving office in December.

The probes appear to be heating up. On Saturday, federal officials arrested Granier's former state treasurer, Jose Saiz, at the U.S. border on suspicion of embezzlement. Earlier this month, a photo of Saiz with a red Ferrari surfaced. His attorney said Saiz bought the car with money he earned in the private sector.

On Wednesday, Granier — who has said his recorded boasts were untrue and made while drunk — was in Mexico City, where he planned to give a declaration to federal prosecutors behind closed doors. He asserted his innocence shortly after flying in from his home in Miami.

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CBOE Neither Admits Nor Denies SEC Charge, To Pay $6 Million Penalty - Corporate Crime Reporter

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and an affiliate for various systemic breakdowns in their regulatory and compliance functions as a self-regulatory organization, including a failure to enforce or even fully comprehend rules to prevent abusive short selling.

CBOE will pay a $6 million penalty to settle the charges, but neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings.

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SEC’s Cohen Predicts Major Whistleblower Awards Soon - Corporate Crime Reporter

In its three years of existence, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) whistleblower program has produced only one $50,000 payout.

But within the next couple of months, it will produce “incredibly impactful cases” with “some extremely significant whistleblower awards.”

That’s the take of Stephen Cohen, Associate Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

“There will be a likely change in the discussion about the magnitude of some of these awards over the next six to twelve months,” Cohen said.

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S.E.C. Freezes Assets of Thai Trader in Smithfield Inquiry

S.E.C. Freezes Assets of Thai Trader in Smithfield Inquiry | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
The Securities and Exchange Commission froze the assets of a trader based in Bangkok on Thursday, as it investigates a purported insider trading scheme tied to Smithfield Foods’ $4.7 billion sale to a Chinese meat processor.

 

The complaint calculates his investment return at more than 3,400 percent. Regulators noticed the trading before Mr. Badin could withdraw the money from his brokerage account.

It is the second instance of significant suspicious trading ahead of a cross-border merger this year. Investigators continue to examine a series of big purchases of call options tied to H.J. Heinz ahead of the ketchup maker’s $23 billion takeover by Berkshire Hathawayand the Brazilian-backed investment firm 3G Capital.

According to the S.E.C. complaint filed on Thursday, Mr. Badin first sought to open a trading account at Interactive Brokers on May 10, succeeding six days later. From May 21 to May 28, the day before the Smithfield deal was announced, the trader bought 3,000 call options tied to the American pork processor’s stock, which were exercisable at $29 to $30 a share.

At the time, Smithfield’s shares were trading below $26.50, rendering the options out of the money. But the purchases comprised the vast majority of trading volume in Smithfield options for that week and for all of May, essentially cornering the market in those securities.

He also bought 2,580 single-stock futures contracts and 100 common shares of Smithfield. All told, Mr. Badin paid about $95,450.84, though he also posted more than $1.3 million in margin.

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Doing Life For A White-Collar Crime - The Tale of Christian Allmendinger

Doing Life For A White-Collar Crime - The Tale of Christian Allmendinger | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Christian Allmendinger, founder of A and O Life Fund, was found guilty at trial in 2011 and received a prison term of 45 years. This was his first brush with the law, and apparently his last.

 

...the Federal Sentencing Guidelines can put a first-time, non-violent offender behind bars for the remainder of their life.  Ponzi schemes such as those run by Bernard Madoff (150 years in prison) and Allen Stanford (110 years in prison) are notable cases where the public hardly batted an eye at those prison terms due to the harm done (billions lost) to so many people (thousands) over a long period of time (decades).  However, the threshold that will get you a life sentence is much lower than a billion dollars.

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Why is it OK for the Government to bribe public servants, but not for journalists to pay them? – Telegraph Blogs

Why is it OK for the Government to bribe public servants, but not for journalists to pay them? – Telegraph Blogs | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

If it is OK for the Government to bribe public servants to hush up scandals, why is it wrong for newspapers to pay public servants to expose scandals? Which side is committing the greater legal or moral offence? Surely if it is illegal for journalists to pay officials to speak out, then it should be illegal for the State to pay them to shut up. Also, if the State uses bribery with taxpayers’ money to cover up scandals, then how else will public scandals ever be exposed without the press encouraging people to talk?

The Telegraph says half a million pounds and probably far more has been paid out by Trusts to silence NHS whistle-blowers from exposing such matters as the institutionalised manslaughter that went on at Stafford Hospital. This was done with the Government’s acquiescence. There has been no CPS inquiry, no dawn arrests and no two years on bail. Compare this with journalists. They (allegedly) pay for information about the very sort of public interest scandals the Government pays to have hushed up and end up in the Old Bailey.

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Chinese former minister Liu Zhijun's trial on corruption charges begins

Chinese former minister Liu Zhijun's trial on corruption charges begins | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun went on trial on Sunday charged with corruption and abuse of power, state media said, in a case seen as demonstrating President Xi Jinping's resolve to crack down on graft.

State radio said the trial had begun at a Beijing courthouse under heavy security. If found guilty, Liu could face the death penalty or life in jail. Liu was formally charged in April with abuse of power, taking bribes and malpractice.

He took advantage of his position and helped 11 people to either get promotions or win contracts, accepting 64.6m yuan (£6.7m) in bribes between 1986 and 2011, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

While railways minister, Liu helped Ding Yuxin, the chairwoman of a Beijing investment company, and her relatives win cargo and railway construction contracts, "breaking regulations and playing favouritism" to allow Ding and her family to "reap huge profits", the report added.

"Liu's malpractices have led to huge losses of public assets and of the interests of the state and people, and he should be subject to criminal liabilities for bribe-taking and abuse of power," Xinhua said.

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How Online Petitions Combat Corruption Abroad

How Online Petitions Combat Corruption Abroad | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
According to Change.org, 44% of international petitions among the 100 largest petitions on the site target government corruption.

 

When news broke that Spain's former Popular Party (Partido Popular) treasurer had embezzled millions of Euros to pay high-profile party members, including the current prime minister, Pablo Gallego García went online and started aChange.org petition.

That petition, "One Million for the Resignation of the Leadership of the Partido Popular" (Un Millón de Firmas Por La Dimisión de la Cúpula del PP), received its desired 1 million signatures within a week of launching on Jan. 31.

 Although it's the largest international petition on Change.org to date, Gallego García's campaign is one of many anti-government corruption petitions started outside the United States. According to Change.org, 44% of international petitions among the 100 largest petitions on the site target government corruption. In stark contrast, none of the petitions among the 100 largest campaigns that originated in the U.S. focus on corruption.

"Petitions on Change.org are about everything under the sun — education, the economy, health, animals, the environment, sustainable food, etc.," Change.org Communications Manager Charlotte Hill told Mashable. 

"The fact that nearly half of the top international petitions focus on corruption is pretty astounding."

 

 

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New Currency for Bribing Public Officials

New Currency for Bribing Public Officials | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The zero currency note in your country's currency is a tool to help you achive the goal of zero corruption. The note is a way for any human being to say NO to corruption without the fear of facing an encounter with persons in authority.

Next time someone asks you for a bribe, just take your country's zero currency note and hand it to them. This will let the other person know that you refuse to give or take any money in order to perform services required by law or to give or take money to do something illegal.

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Austria corruption crackdown spreading its net wide

Austria corruption crackdown spreading its net wide | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Suspicions of bribery at Austria's central bank have dragged it into a nationwide crackdown on corruption that has shaken confidence in the country's highest ranks of power and prestige.

Vienna prosecutors this week charged nine people, including the deputy governor of the Austrian National Bank, over suspected bribes and kickbacks for banknote contracts with Azerbaijan and Syria.

Wolfgang Duchatczek, 63 and set to retire next month, has denied any wrongdoing, insisting through his lawyer that he was in fact the person who exposed the scandal at a banknote printing unit of which he is chairman.

But the headline-making charges add the central bank to a parade of court cases and investigations into the interplay of money and power in the wealthy Alpine republic.

One regulatory official called the indictments "very embarrassing" for an institution that shares responsibility for overseeing the country's financial sector.

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Labour plans massive increase in fines for corporate fraud

Labour plans massive increase in fines for corporate fraud | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

SFO to be given more resources and companies to be held liable for employees' crimes under crackdown on City corruption...

 

Fines for corporate fraud will rise massively and companies will become liable for employees' misdeeds under Labour plans to tackle white collar crime.

The shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry MP, unveiled proposals from the party's policy review aimed at increasing the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) resources and introducing tougher penalties.

The highest fine for fraud ever imposed by the SFO is £2.2m, she said, while in the US the figure is $3bn. The UK should strengthen its penalty regime so that it is "more in line with other jurisdictions", Thornberry added.

The document, Tackling Serious Fraud and White Collar Crime, has been drawn up in preparation for Labour's 2015 manifesto and reflects the party's desire to raise its profile in combating corruption in the City of London.

The common perception, Thornberry said on Friday, was that "when a man steals your wallet, he gets a stretch in prison; when he steals your pension, he gets away with it".

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Just the Scent of Money Is Corrupting: Study

Just the Scent of Money Is Corrupting: Study | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Even the mere thought of money can corrupt people, researchers say...

 

The study found that participants who were merely exposed to the concept of a monetary gain were more likely to demonstrate unethical intentions, decisions, and behavior than the students in the separate controlled condition— without the possibility of a financial reward.

 

"The study didn't ask people to do horrible acts, there were more mundane like stealing office supplies," said Smith-Crowe. 

"But it just shows how insidious this can be. These were normal people and this is something we can all be affected by," she said.

Smith-Crowe said that when it comes to making a business decision, the study participants with the promise of money set aside any moral issues.

"They completely lost track of everything else except pursuing their self interests," Smith-Crowe added. "They focused on the cost benefit of their decisions rather than how it might affect other people."

 

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First ever NGO C20 summit calls on governments to turn promises into action

First ever NGO C20 summit calls on governments to turn promises into action | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

 

 Non-governmental organisations should maintain their voice in G20 decision-making given the important role they play in finding solutions to global problems, Transparency International said today at the first ever G20 summit of civil society representatives.

The civil society meeting is hosted by the holder of this year’s G20 presidency Russia where controversial new legislation threatens hundreds of non-governmental organisations working on issues including civil and human rights, corruption and the rule of law.

“Without a robust voice for civil society in Russia, the country will struggle to keep up with its G20 partners in everything from fighting corruption to economic development,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Exec Pleads Guilty - Corporate Crime Reporter

A former executive with Bristol-Myers Squibb has admitted to trading on inside information regarding a public company that BMS was in the process of acquiring.

Robert Ramnarine, 46, of East Brunswick, N.J., pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton, New Jersey federal court to an information charging him with securities fraud.

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Revlon Neither Admits Nor Denies, But Pays $850,000 Penalty - Corporate Crime Reporter

Revlon neither admitted nor denied charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it violated the federal securities laws when the company misled shareholders during a “going private transaction.”

Revlon will pay an $850,000 penalty to settle the charge.

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Ponzitracker - TD Bank Settles Another Rothstein Investor Suit For $70 Million

Ponzitracker - TD Bank Settles Another Rothstein Investor Suit For $70 Million | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A hedge fund specializing in arbitrage trading that had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Scott Rothstein's $1.3 billion Ponzi scheme has reached a settlementvalued at nearly $70 million from TD Bank and others it claimed facilitated the scheme.  Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund, L.P. ("Platinum Partners") was one of hundreds of investors in Rothstein's purportedly lucrative business of investing in confidential structured settlements, ultimately investing more than $400 million along with two of its sister hedge funds.  The fund brought claims against TD Bank and others in the aftermath of Rothstein's collapse, claiming the bank played a vital role in Rothstein's scheme.  In the announced settlement, TD Bank will be on the hook for approximately $44 million which, according to Paul Brinkmann of the South Florida Business Journal, brings the bank's financial exposure thus far to roughly $374 million.

The settlement is a welcome reversal in roles for Platinum Partners, which found itself and two partner  funds, Centurion Structured Growth and Level 3 Capital, the target of a $400 million lawsuit by the trustee appointed to recover funds for Rothstein's victims.  The trustee, Herbert Stettin, filed suit in December 2010 and sought more than $400 million - an amount representing the amount of funds that flowed in and out of Platinum during Rothstein's fraud.  Platinum Partners settled with the trustee in June 2012, agreeing to pay $32 million to the bankruptcy estate, which represented the amount of transfers made during the 90-day period preceding the bankruptcy filing in which Rothstein was legally presumed insolvent.  In exchange, Stettin agreed to allow Platinum Partners to hold claims of $28 million, as well as subordinated claims of $26 million.  

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ACFE Insights - ACFE Insights - 3 Ways to Spot a Fraudulent Charity

ACFE Insights - ACFE Insights - 3 Ways to Spot a Fraudulent Charity | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The nature of disasters does not leave as much time for performing due diligence checks as most situations — the victims need relief right away. Even so, donors can do some research on an organization in a short amount of time using the following methods:

Search a charity evaluation site for the organization, such as Charity Navigator orGiveWell. These sites use several factors, such as transparency and how funds are used, to rate charities. Additionally, you can find the charity’s authorized contact information to compare to what solicitors have sent you.Check to see if the organization is tax exempt or has had its exempt status revoked using this IRS site (or check with the applicable tax authority).Simply running an online search for “scam” and the name of the charity might bring up revealing results. Charity scams typically involve mass solicitations, and whistleblowers often identify potential scams online.If responding to a solicitation, call the charity using its official contact information to ensure that it is the true solicitor.Check to see if the charity is registered with a state government agency (most states require registration with the State Attorney General’s office or similar agency).
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Dedicated Employee Heads To Prison, The Story Of Denise Browning

Dedicated Employee Heads To Prison, The Story Of Denise Browning | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Denise Browning was a dedicated employee, so dedicated that she would do almost anything for her boss, including committing a felony. She enters prison on June 13, 2013 for 42 months and this is the story of how she got there.

 

When cash got short at Jason Harvey’s new outfit Global, he called on Browning to eliminate certain customers from their quarterly 941s and thus make it look like the amounts due to the IRS were much lower.   To be clear, Global collected the money on its clients’ behalf, they just did not pass it on to the government.  Browning, who had no ownership in any of the Harveys’ companies nor any authority to sign checks, claims that the Harveys, Michael and Jason, were calling the shots.  The only thing Browning was getting out of the deal was holding on to her job to care for her 3 year old son who had ongoing health issues stemming from his 16-week premature birth

Jim Wesberry's insight:

Thus is a very sad story.  I hope this lady will be able to appeal her conviction.

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Auditors Question $464,000 in Payments to Ex-Congresswoman

Auditors Question $464,000 in Payments to Ex-Congresswoman | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A former Republican congresswoman was paid almost a half-million dollars by four U.S. Energy Department laboratories for work that government auditors were unable to verify was performed.

Heather Wilson and Company LLC received about $464,000 mostly from contractor-run Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, the department’s Inspector General Gregory Friedman said today in the report. The contractors, which weren’t able to provide evidence of the firm’s work, have reimbursed the U.S. about $442,000, the report said.

“We were unable to verify that all agreed-to services had been provided” by Wilson’s firm, Friedman said in the report.

Wilson, 52, represented New Mexico in the U.S. House for a decade before making unsuccessful runs for the Senate in 2008 and last year.



Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/new-mexico-congresswoman-payments/2013/06/11/id/509340#ixzz2W1aoJjUo ;
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Malaysia gears up for corruption fight

Malaysia gears up for corruption fight | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Hope and scepticism abound after government vows to tackle endemic graft that continues to anger ordinary Malaysians.

 

Despite promises of reining in corruption, many Malaysians remain sceptical.

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"What we find in corruption cases involving BN members and affiliations is that the court process is purposely lengthened and delayed," said 25-year-old Lee Ee May, a management consultant.

One official, however, told Al Jazeera the government is serious about cleaning up its act.

"I can tell you there is political will to let [the corruption commission] to investigate as much as possible - without fear or favour - and for the Attorney General to prosecute should there be sufficient evidence," said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

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Former US Congressman Convicted On Corruption Charges

Former US Congressman Convicted On Corruption Charges | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi on more than a half dozen corruption charges accusing him of using his office for personal financial gain and looting a family insurance business to help pay for his 2002 campaign.

Renzi, a Republican, represented Arizona's sprawling 1st Congressional District from early 2003 until early 2009. He chose not to run for re-election in 2008 while facing the federal indictment. He was charged with 32 felony counts.

His trial began May 7. The jury reached a verdict Tuesday after about four days of deliberations in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

Federal prosecutors said jurors found Renzi guilty on 17 of the 32 counts against him, including wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators...

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