Tag Archives: corruption

Israel: Knesset passes law to shield grifters like Netanyahu from police mention

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Israel’s parliament has voted to approve controversial legislation restricting police powers. The law prevents investigators from recommending whether the attorney general should charge suspects in some of the most high-profile cases. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would protect innocent people. But critics said the legislation was an attempt to reduce scrutiny of corruption investigations into Mr Netanyahu himself. … Mr Netanyahu is a suspect in two corruption investigations. One concerns alleged meddling in the media industry; the other gifts he allegedly received from wealthy businessmen.
He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying he is the victim of a politically motivated witch hunt.” (12/28/17)


South Korea: Prosecutors demand 12-year prison term for Samsung heir

Source: US News & World Report

“South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday demanded a 12-year prison term for Samsung’s jailed billionaire heir, Lee Jae-yong, who maintained his innocence during an appeal of his conviction on bribery and other charges. In August, a lower court sentenced Lee to five years in prison for offering bribes to former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her confidante while Park was in office. Both Lee and prosecutors, who earlier had requested a 12-year prison term, appealed that ruling.” (12/27/17)


South Africa: Court rejects Zuma’s bid to block corruption inquiry

Source: New York Times

“President Jacob G. Zuma of South Africa suffered a stinging legal defeat on Wednesday when the country’s High Court rejected his efforts to block an inquiry into accusations of influence-peddling so widespread that it is known as ‘state capture.’ The decision came days before a major gathering to choose Mr. Zuma’s successor as leader of the governing African National Congress. After the findings were read aloud in court, the public gallery burst into applause and cheers, according to local news media reports. The allegations center on accusations that Mr. Zuma has been complicit in a scheme by three businessman that allows them to influence the appointment of government ministers in order to tilt the awarding of contracts in their favor.” (12/13/17)


Brown sentenced to five years for fraud, tax evasion

Source: The Hill

“Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for her connection to a fraudulent charity that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to multiple reports from Jacksonville, Fla. news outlets. Brown was convicted in May on 18 counts of financial crimes including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, tax crimes and hiding income she should have publicly reported.” (12/04/17)


Saudi Arabia: Prince freed after reportedly paying bribe of more than $1 billion


Source: CNBC

“Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, detained earlier this month in a corruption crackdown, has been released after paying authorities more than $1 billion for his freedom, according to media reports. Once seen as a contender to the throne, Prince Miteb was among hundreds of other political and business figures rounded up in a sudden anti-corruption purge at the start of November. The 64-year old cousin of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was said to have been released on Tuesday after reaching an ‘acceptable settlement agreement’ …” (11/29/17)


Israel: Police interrogate Netanyahu for four hours in graft probes

Source: Times of Israel [Israel]

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was grilled by police on Sunday for over four hours in a pair of criminal investigations involving suspicions he received illegal gifts and favors from businessman for advancing their business interests. … Channel 10 reported that police confronted Netanyahu with evidence from the driver and personal assistant of Arnon Milchan, an Israeli film producer suspected of giving the Netanyahus tens of thousands of shekels worth of gifts. Last week, Netanyahu was also grilled by police for over four hours at the Prime Minister’s Residence, in his first questioning in the investigation since March.” (11/19/17)


Menendez faces Senate ethics probe after mistrial

Source: Politico

“The Senate Ethics Committee will resume its investigation into Sen. Bob Menendez, a move that came just hours after a mistrial was announced in the New Jersey Democrat’s bribery and corruption case. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had called for an ethics probe of Menendez as soon as a mistrial was declared by U.S. District Judge William Walls. The deadlock in the criminal proceedings was a huge legal victory for Menendez, who grew emotional as he spoke about the case with reporters.” (11/16/17)


Source: FBI opens inquiry into Whitefish’s Puerto Rico contract

Source: CNN

“The FBI has opened a preliminary inquiry into the $300 million Whitefish Energy Holdings contract secured by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, according to a source with knowledge of the inquiry. The energy firm was contracted to rebuild the damaged electrical grid that was destroyed by hurricanes that struck the island. … The company is based in and named after the small hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and the CEO is an acquaintance of the secretary. An investment firm that owns a major stake in the company is run by a donor to Trump’s presidential campaign.” (10/31/17)


Menendez formally seeks mistrial in bribery case

Source: Politico

“Lawyers for Sen. Bob Menendez — on trial in federal court for bribery and other corruption charges — formally declared in a new court filing Sunday that they will seek a mistrial, declaring the judge overseeing the case is biased and has prevented the New Jersey Democrat from presenting his case. Menendez and his co-defendant, Dr. Salomon Melgen, were charged in April 2015 with bribery following a lengthy FBI probe. Menendez is alleged to have accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in improper gifts and campaign contributions as bribes in exchange for using his office to help Melgen, a close friend and donor.” (10/29/17)


Puerto Rico’s utility cancels controversial $300 million contract with Montana firm hired to repair electrical grid

Source: Washington Post

“Puerto Rico’s utility canceled the controversial $300 million contract with a Montana firm hired to repair its electrical grid. The announcement by the island state-owned utility came hours after Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello called for the contract with Whitefish Energy to be canceled. … Whitefish Energy, which had just two employees the day Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, now has about 325 people working on restringing transmission lines, clearing debris and erecting fallen poles. It has been working under contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Whitefish, Mont., is the home of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, although the company said he played no role in securing the business. One of Zinke’s sons worked for Whitefish Energy over the summer.” (10/29/17)