Guess Who Leads the Bribery World?
The USA is the most corrupt country in the world and I have 10,000 posts that point heavily to that fact…

US sees corruption in Philippines a ‘big’ problem August 29, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Corruption in the Philippines and Pacific Rim economies is among the key issues the United States seeks to address under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a senior American diplomat said.

Robert Wang, US senior official for APEC, said regional leaders such as China and the US see corruption is a “big” and “pervasive” problem hindering economic exchanges, free trade and development in the region.

“How do you continue to sustain growth without dealing with this issue? Because it essentially produces unfair sort of disparity of wealth and no rule of law, so in the long term, you really have to deal with it,” Wang said in a press briefing in Washington on Wednesday.

He said that the US and China regard an anti-corruption program among APEC nations a “high priority” reflected in current and future agenda and activities of the forum.

The US and China have initiated a network of law enforcement officials involved in anti-bribery efforts in the APEC region as a way to share information and best practices.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales represented the Philippines in the first APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Enforcement Agencies meeting earlier this month in Beijing.

Wang said that the drive intends to understand the various legal systems, rules and regulation in the region to determine how involved countries can stem corruption.

APEC leaders are expected to come out with a set of principles on anti-bribery and enforcement that will hopefully be adopted by involved economies, Wang said.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales attending the APEC anti-corruption network meeting in Beijing, China on August 17, 2014. APEC

“[The guidebook] will be something that will be essentially directed by the leaders for us to do in the coming year,” he said.

Wang will soon visit the Philippines, which will host the APEC Summit next year, and meet with fellow diplomatic and trade leaders.

“[The Philippines is] very, very eager to begin to prepare for next year’s agenda and how we can follow through from this year,” he said.

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CBI gives virtual clean chit to Virbhadra Singh, says I-T can probe alleged irregularities August 27, 2014

NEW DELHI: The CBI has virtually given a clean chit to former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh with its affidavit in the Delhi high court saying it has “not found any evidence for registering an RC (regular case)” in its probe into charges of corruption. However, the agency said the “income tax department can go ahead with issues related to it” and that it would register an FIR, if the court so ordered.

The CBI’s affidavit in the court is in contrast with the reply of the government which had earlier said there is prime facie evidence against the Congress leader.

Sources said the investigation team did not find enough evidence to probe any criminal aspect in the allegations against Singh. “The issue relates to tax evasion and income tax department can deal with it. However, we will go by the court ordrs,” said a senior officer.

CBI has been probing allegations of money laundering and bribery against Singh since October last year and had even questioned him.

Appearing for the government, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain had recently told the Delhi High Court that “prima facie there is material on record to say that a money laundering case is made out against Virbhadra Singh”. The ASG was responding to the submission by Prashant Bhushan, who is representing NGO Common Cause, that an undue delay has been caused by the agency in registering an FIR to prosecute the former CM. The CBI had earlier told the high court that it can probe allegations of corruption and bribery against Singh during his tenure as Himachal CM in 2002 after the court issues necessary orders.

CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) last October on a complaint by State Trading Corporation (STC) asking it to probe payments made to STC officials by private companies. Later Prashant Bhushan wrote to the CBI Director and filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, alleging that several documents like income tax returns and affidavits filed during nomination pointed to the Congress leader’s “dubious transactions” and investments involving large sums of money when he was a Central minister.

It was alleged that Singh filed the IT returns for assessment year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 showing agricultural income of Rs 735,000, Rs 1,500,000 and Rs 2,500,000 respectively, which is exempt under the Income Tax Act. “In 2012, in order to explain the unaccounted money, Singh filed revised IT returns for assessment year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 showing revised agricultural income, showing an 18 to 30-fold increase of income in the three years. The total increase in agricultural income amounted to Rs 6.10 crore,” Bhushan said in his petition last year.

Singh had denied the allegations.

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State rests in expressway authority bribery case

An Orange County judge on Wednesday will decide if the bribery case against former expressway authority board member, Scott Batterson, is strong enough to continue.

Batterson’s attorney Amy Tingley said the state’s case was “at best, a circumstantial evidence case” with “nothing to overcome a reasonable hypothesis of innocence.”

Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday after calling five witnesses. Among them was Mark Callahan, a longtime consultant with the engineering firm CH2MHill. The state’s case hinged on the details of a conversation between Batterson and Callahan at a sports bar in Orlando’s Baldwin Park neighborhood in July 2013.

According to Callahan, he and Batterson agreed to meet to discuss the recent appointment of Marco Peña to the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority board. But instead, Batterson turned the conversation to a “coveted” $5 million-a-year agency contract, Callahan said in court.

“He indicated to me, asked me in a way, would CH2MHill be interested in a general consulting contract with the expressway authority,” Callahan said. “It was the type of contract a firm like ours would be very interested in.”

According to Callahan’s testimony: Batterson said he had the influence to give Callahan’s company the contract, provided Callahan would work with certain people Batterson wanted. Those people, however, were never specified.

Wednesday, Circuit Judge Jenifer Davis will determine if the case should be thrown out of if the defense will go on to present their case to the jury.

Batterson was appointed to the board of the expressway authority by Gov. Rick Scott in August 2011. He is free on $3,000 bail. If convicted, Batterson faces up to 30 years in prison for his charges.

dstennett@tribune.com or 407-420-5447

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Tanzanian Anti-Corruption Bureau Recovers US $24 Million in One Year

Tanzania’s Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) recovered nearly 40 billion shillings ($24 million) that had been misappropriated through corrupt transactions between July 2013 and June 2014, Tanzania’s Daily News reported Tuesday (August 26th).

“Through these investigations, different operations and follow-ups [on] development project work, we successfully recovered money amounting to 38.96 billion shillings ($23.4 million),” PCCB Director-General Edward Hoseah said during the bureau’s annual meeting. “We will carry on with these efforts in a bid to recover money that is being stolen by villains who lack morals and patriotism for the well-being of our country.”

The recovered money amounts to roughly a 34-billion shilling ($20 million) increase compared to the same period between 2012 and 2013, Hoseah said, adding that the money has been redirected to the Treasury for proper allocation.

The PCCB has also formed an Asset Tracing and Recovery unit to ensure that illegally acquired property is nationalised and used for the benefit of Tanzanians.

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Prosecution questions Virginia ex-governor in corruption trial


RICHMOND Va. (Reuters) – Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell testified on Monday that his finances were in good shape as he underwent prosecution questioning in the fifth week of his federal corruption trial.

McDonnell, 60, testified under cross-examination that he did not need money from businessman Jonnie Williams Sr. The dietary supplement entrepreneur is alleged to have given McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, $177,000 in gifts and loans to promote his company.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Dry pointed to emails from Maureen McDonnell and the governor’s sister expressing concern about financial problems.

Dry asked McDonnell, a Republican, if both his wife and his sister were exaggerating financial problems.

“Yes,” the former governor said.

“You’re not broke, right?” Dry asked during a tense exchange with McDonnell.

“Yes,” said McDonnell, who is in his fourth day of testimony.

Dry then pointed to the $50,000 loan that Williams gave Maureen McDonnell and the $70,000 in loans to McDonnell through the corporation that McDonnell and his sister had set up to run beach properties.

McDonnell said he and his sister had agreed to borrow money rather than invest their own funds.

Dry said McDonnell and his sister also had borrowed $50,000 from a friend and more than $100,000 from their father. They also had several mortgage loans with financial institutions, he said.

McDonnell said his wife had not asked for Williams’ $50,000 loan but Williams had offered it.

He said he was confident that his wife would be able to repay the loan because she was earning $36,000 a year on the board of a non-profit group founded by a campaign donor.

McDonnell and his wife face a 14-count indictment for allegedly taking the gifts and loans from Williams in exchange for promoting his company, Star Scientific Inc, and its dietary supplement product Anatabloc.

Under questioning from one of his wife’s attorneys, McDonnell said he had urged her to had get mental health counseling to help control her frequent angry outbursts.

McDonnell’s strained marriage is a key part of the defense strategy in U.S. District Court. Lawyers for the couple contend that they could not have conspired since they were barely on speaking terms.

If convicted on all charges, the McDonnells could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and face hefty fines. McDonnell’s four-year term as governor ended in January.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Bill Trott)

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