Tag Archives: corruption

Judge dismisses corruption charges against Menendez following request from prosecutors

Source: Reading Eagle

“A federal judge dismissed all charges against Sen. Robert Menendez Wednesday, following a request from prosecutors — a legal surrender in a high-profile test of the Justice Department’s enforcement of public integrity laws. Prosecutors filed a short motion asking U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares to ‘dismiss the superseding indictment’ against Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and the request was granted hours later. … Salomon Melgen, a Menendez political donor, was also on trial. Prosecutors said Menendez took gifts from Melgen, a Florida eye doctor, including a luxury hotel stay, private jet flights and campaign donations, in exchange for which he tried to help Melgen get U.S. visas for his girlfriends, intervened in the eye doctor’s $8.9 million billing dispute with Medicare and assisted with a port security contract of Melgen’s in the Dominican Republic. … The first trial of Menendez and Melgen ended in a mistrial in November, with 10 of the 12 jurors voting to acquit him, according to a member of the jury.” (01/31/18)


FL: Mayor sought illegal funds for political allies, records allege

Source: South Florida Sun Sentinel

“Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper, who was removed from office Friday after being snared in an FBI sting, solicited illegal campaign contributions not only for herself but for two political allies, court documents say. Gov. Rick Scott suspended Cooper on Friday, a day after she was arrested and accused of accepting contributions funneled through Alan Koslow, a once prominent attorney who has since been disbarred after a conviction on federal charges. … Cooper, 57, has been charged with money laundering, official misconduct and exceeding the limit on campaign finance contributions — felony charges that each carry a maximum five-year sentence. She also has been charged with soliciting contributions in a government building, a first-degree misdemeanor with a one-year maximum sentence.” (01/26/18)


Judge dismisses four charges against Menendez in corruption case

Source: The Hill

“A judge on Wednesday dismissed seven charges in the corruption case again Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and his co-defendant, according to a court filing. Judge William Walls struck down charges dealing with alleged bribery involving political donations that Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen made to Menendez. Four of the seven dismissed charges applied to Menendez, according to a court filing. Menendez still faces nine counts, including charges of bribery, fraud and lying on Senate disclosure forms. The Justice Department announced last week it intends to re-try Menendez after a deadlocked jury resulted in a mistrial in November.” (01/24/18)


Congressional corruption: Courts reject Brown’s bids to stay out of prison

Source: Orlando Sentinel

“Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown can’t stay free while she appeals felony convictions and she can’t delay reporting to prison, a pair of orders from separate federal courts said Monday. Brown’s motion to stay free was rejected by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta the same day that the judge in Jacksonville who sentenced Brown to five years behind bars turned down a request to delay the start of her sentence by another month. Brown, a Democrat who represented parts of Orlando, remains scheduled to enter prison by noon Jan. 29, the same deadline set for the founder of One Door for Education, a bogus charity Brown was convicted of using to enrich herself. … Brown was convicted in May of 18 felonies, most involving fraud or tax crimes. The bulk of the charges involved misuse of money that Brown, a 12-term congresswoman, helped raise for One Door, which received more than $800,000 over several years but spent little on actual charitable projects.” (01/23/18)


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)