Tag Archives: corruption

European taxpayers may have paid millions for non-existent offices

Source: Acton Institute
by Kaetana Leontjeva-Numaviciene

“The EU’s decision-making bodies have long been accused of a lack of transparency and being detached from their citizens. A new report has uncovered how the lack of accountability has created a new scandal. Even the means of providing a more direct link between EU citizens and their representatives has become a source of widespread abuse and potential corruption, raising a number of moral and ethical issues. Members of European Parliament (MEPs) receive a tax-free monthly General Expenditure Allowance of around $4,870, or $58,400 a year to maintain offices in their home nations and other expenses. Their national offices are supposed to allow their constituents to communicate with them more easily. The overall cost of the program is $44.9 million (€40 million). But one-third of MEPs’ national offices either do not exist or cannot be located, according to The MEPs Project, run by Investigative Reporting Denmark.” (06/13/17)


DC, Maryland to sue Trump, alleging breach of constitutional oath

Source: Washington Post

“Attorneys general for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland say they will sue President Trump on Monday, alleging that he has violated anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments since moving into the White House. The lawsuit, the first of its kind brought by government entities, centers on the fact that Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became president. Trump said in January that he was shifting his business assets into a trust managed by his sons to eliminate potential conflicts of interests. But D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) say Trump has broken many promises to keep separate his public duties and private business interests.” (06/12/17)


Moldova: Corruption arrests rock pro-EU coalition

Source: Reuters

“A minister in Moldova’s pro-European government and two of his deputies resigned on Monday, after their party withdrew from the ruling coalition over the arrest of its deputy chairman on corruption charges. While the now two-party coalition retains a de facto majority in the 101-seat parliament, the Liberal Party’s exit threatens more instability in the ex-Soviet nation, which has seen three governments fall since 2015. On Friday, the Liberals quit the coalition in protest at the arrest of Chisinau mayor and Liberal deputy chairman, Dorin Chirtoaca, for alleged abuse of office linked to the distribution of parking contracts in the capital.” (05/29/17)


South Korea: Park denies charges in corruption trial

Source: Hindustan Times [India]

“Former South Korea President Park Geun Hye denied corruption charges at the start of a criminal trial on Tuesday that could potentially send the country’s first female leader to prison for life. Police had earlier escorted Park, in handcuffs, into court for her first public appearance since she was jailed on March 31 for corruption allegations that led to her removal from office. … Prosecutors boast of having ‘overflowing’ evidence proving Park’s involvement in criminal activities. They say she colluded with Choi to take about $26 million in bribes from Samsung and was promised tens of millions of dollars more from Samsung and other large companies. Park also allegedly allowed her friend to manipulate state affairs from the shadows.” (05/23/17)


Brazil: President recorded discussing pay-off for witness in corruption case

Source: Newsweek

“Brazilian President Michel Temer gave his blessing to an attempt to pay a potential witness to remain silent in the country’s biggest-ever graft probe, according to plea bargain testimony by a powerful businessman, newspaper O Globo reported on Wednesday. Temer’s office on Wednesday acknowledged he had met in March with the businessman, Chairman Joesley Batista of meat giant JBS, but denied any part in alleged efforts to keep jailed former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha from testifying. The O Globo report, which three sources familiar with the matter said was accurate, threatened to pull Temer into a corruption scandal that has already entangled several of his closest allies and advisors. … Batista used a hidden device to record an alleged discussion with Temer about hush money the executive was paying to Cunha, according to the newspaper.” (05/18/17)


One incumbent falls

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“When former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) was indicted last July on 24 felony counts of fraud and obstruction, she suggested that if the FBI hadn’t wasted time investigating her for milking a charity for personal gain, they might have prevented the Orlando massacre. … Last week, the former congresswoman was convicted of 18 felonies related to fraudulently raising $800,000 for the One Door for Education Foundation, which only spent $1,200 on two small college scholarships — 0.0015 of what was raised … for college scholarships. As the Feds put it, Congresswoman Brown and her congressional chief of staff ‘used the vast majority of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that [her chief of staff] made to Brown’s personal bank accounts.'” (05/16/17)


FL: Brown convicted of 18 felonies, could be sentenced to decades in prison

Source: St. Augustine Record

“A jury convicted former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown today of financial crimes that could put her in prison for years, potentially the rest of her life. The verdict was reached three days after closing arguments in a trial where Brown was painted as living the high life on secret cash that aides deposited in her bank account after passing it through other accounts. … Jurors were told the brash 70-year-old Democratic icon, who spent 24 years in Congress before losing reelection last year, received $141,000 in untraceable cash over several years through sources including the sham charity One Door for Education and her Friends of Corrine Brown campaign committee. An FBI accountant testified Brown, who earned around $175,000 a year as a member of Congress with a pension from the Florida Legislature, spent an average of $1,438 per month more than her reported income.” (05/11/17)


Corruption revisited

Source: Liberty Unbound
by Jayant Bhandari

“In India one must pay a bribe for everything one gets, and paying a bribe is usually not enough; one must grovel at the feet of those in power. Any sane person who wants to survive must stay politically well-connected, learning to exchange favors in an entangled mess. One can understand why Indians who must live in India may need to tone down their opposition either to the backwardness of society or to the tyrants that backwardness creates. Most of the media is indirectly controlled by the government, for without government advertisement revenue it is hard to survive. Meanwhile, India consistently ranks among the most dangerous places for journalists. Freedom of speech in India is a myth, and even the richest and most powerful live in chronic anxiety.” (04/28/17)


Special interests: A crooked tale of two countries

Source: Students For Liberty
by Beatriz Gietner

“Being a Brazilian student in Ireland allowed me to extend my disheartening attitude towards the government across the Atlantic, and while in my mind a voice proclaimed ‘Europe cannot get any worse than South America,’ there are indeed embedded problems along the vast Irish green fields. Bureaucracy, the Catholic church, undernourished respect for private property and insensitive laws, all intertwine before their two almighty judiciary systems with the blessings of front bench politicians. The latest upsetting news to reach us and to affect my friends’ lives directly are always, somehow, related to the newest ‘scandal’ or ‘strike.’ This time the scandal took place in Brazil whilst the strike happened in Ireland.” (04/20/17)


One hundred days of corruption

Source: The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney

“Trump bragged on the campaign trail that he was not beholden to wealthy donors, and pledged to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington. But unlike previous presidents, Trump has failed to release his tax returns or put his business assets in a blind trust. Members of his family, including his daughter, Ivanka —
now an official White House adviser — continue to promote their own private business interests around the world. Trump has signed legislation that would weaken international anti-corruption regulations, has promoted his personal business ventures while in the White House, and faces a record 39,105 public ethics inquiries and complaints before the Office of Congressional Ethics. Here are a few highlights of what might be called Trump’s first 100 days of corruption …” (04/20/17)