High Tide: From Nuclear Deception to Pussy Riot Sanctions


A roundup of corruption-related news from Dow Jones and other sources. You can also receive a newsletter version of Corruption Currents here.

Bribery:


Mike Lucas

The chief executive of TeliaSonera AB staked his job on his denial of bribery or money laundering in its purchase of a 3G license. (Reuters)

The corruption trial of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick opened Friday. Prosecutors say Kilpatrick lived a luxurious lifestyle fueled by bribes and kickbacks he got while in office. He said in August he’s “absolutely not” corrupt. Nine counts of bribery and money laundering charges against Kilpatrick’s co-defendant, contractor Bobby Ferguson, were dropped, though he still faces 13 counts. More here. (AP, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press)

A verdict in the Wang Lijun case is expected by Monday. More here. (Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera)

A bribery probe of a unit of EADS is fouling up a planned merger with BAE Systems PLC . (This is Money)

Transparency International looks into the “paranormal” in an story about bribery over aircraft in Hungary.

The FCPA Blog celebrates our anniversary (thanks guys!), weighs in on the deferred-prosecution agreements debate, reads tea leaves for the next FCPA enforcement focus and notes that a Chinese official was fired over an inappropriate smile.

Tom Fox asks where the Wal-Mart Stores Inc . bribery case will lead on FCPA enforcement. The FCPA Professor has his weekly roundup. Mike Volkov profiles corruption in Mexico and scolds health-care companies, telling them to improve their compliance.

The former chief of a local union in Queens, N.Y., was indicted earlier this week on charges he abused his power in a battery of ways, including allegations that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a company he contracted to run the union’s health care plan. He pleaded not guilty. (NY Times)

A New York City parks official who took $30,00 in bribes was sentenced to 12 weekends in prison. (news release)

Money Laundering:

The beneficial ownership proposal, which would mandate that financial institutions collect information on account-holders, issued by FinCEN earlier this year got a deep look from The Wall Street Journal as the Treasury’s financial crime enforcement arm holds a hearing next week in Chicago on it. More here.

Bulgaria overturned money laundering convictions on an industrialist and five others in a case closely watched by the European Union over how well the country fights fraud. (AFP)

A study shows how easy it is to set up a shell company to launder money. What’s the hardest part? All the paperwork. (Economist, NPR)

The mayor of a Spanish city was arrested on money laundering and other corruption charges. The leader of the Socialist party in the region said he believes in the mayor’s innocence and wants the issue resolved quickly. (Hispanically Speaking)

A Mexican drug trafficker who pleaded guilty to money laundering was sentenced to seven years in jail and has to surrender his 10% stake in future profits from a planned prequel to “The Passion of the Christ.” (AP)

A U.S. Senate panel slammed Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Co . for using tax avoidance schemes. The companies denied wrongdoing. (BBC)

Sanctions:

Iran, which is preparing its own version of the Internet, admitted to sometimes providing false information on its nuclear program in what Tehran said was a bid to fool spies. The official who made the admission didn’t say what information was false, nor did he say when it was given or to whom. More here. (Washington Post, NY Times, Tablet Magazine)

Meanwhile, Iran held a military parade and warned the U.S. and Israel against aggression in the region. The U.S. fired back at the United Nations, and a war game was written up. Tehran was slammed at the U.N. for supplying weapons to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in violation of sanctions. Iran and Israel faced off at a meeting of the U.N. atomic agency. Iranians being denied U.S. visas are caught in a political crossfire. The Iranian revolutionary guard had something to say about economic sanctions. (AFP, news release, Washington Post, Reuters, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, Al Monitor)

The husband of one of the jailed members of the Russian punk collective Pussy Riot is seeking U.S. sanctions on officials involved in prosecuting the musicians. (AP)

Iraq blocked a Syria-bound North Korean plane it suspects had weapons in its cargo. The U.S. State Department said it disagreed with the assertion of a senator who said aid to Iraq should be conditional to its support on Iran. (Reuters, Reuters)

NATO doesn’t believe military intervention in Syria would improve the security situation there, a top general said. (AFP)

Whistleblowers:

Would Bradley Birkenfeld get stiffed under Dodd-Frank? In light of Birkenfeld’s case, three undeniable truths about whistleblowers are here. (Forbes, Corporate Counsel)

General Anti-Corruption:

Republican lawmakers lauded the Justice Department inspector general’s report on Fast and Furious, though their target is now Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. The report said former Attorney General Michael Mukasey wasn’t briefed on the operation. The inspector general defended his report. More here and here. (Wall Street Journal, Main Justice, Main Justice, Blog of Legal Times, NPR, NY Times)

A member of the European parliament said the mafia has infiltrated Bulgarian soccer. (Sofia News Agency)

The breakup of Team Anna is “sad,” according Arvind Kejriwal, who said the two parted ways because Anna Hazare is entering politics. More here. (BBC, IANS)

Nigeria’s largest airline, Arik Air, says it has canceled all domestic flights over government corruption. More here. (BBC, AP)

Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change said it’s widening its corruption probe. (Financial Gazette)

Transparency International tackles corruption in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the World Bank said it could reconsider its decision to cancel a $1.2 billion loan for Padma Bridge over corruption allegations. (Transparency International, AFP)

A former anti-fraud officer at Lloyds Banking Group was jailed for fraud. More here and here. (Financial Times sub req, SKY News, AFP)

U.S. and U.K. investors want South Africa to pass stronger anti-corruption laws. (Business Day Live)

Transparency International is on the frontlines of corruption in Europe. More here.

Should the head of Thailand soccer fall on his sword? (Jesse Fink)

Leaders in Maine are making new efforts on ethics reform. (Center for Public Integrity)

The Zetas drug cartel is replenishing its membership by breaking people out of jail. (McClatchy)

Quebec’s anti-corruption probe is continuing to do its work. (Toronto Star)

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