Sex, Gambling and… Ice Cream?

credit Got Defense Attorney
credit Got Defense Attorney

People working for Department of Defense, both employees and contractors, have been found to be issuing Department issued credit cards to pay for gambling and “adult entertainment.” The Department spokesperson was quick to point out that that doesn’t mean the Department paid for the activity. The way things work there is that the cards are not directly billed to the Department, instead to the individual and then the individual fills out a form requesting a reimbursement from the Department. This could mean that the employees wanted to hide the activities from their spouses. (From UPI and Politico.)

If that wasn’t salacious enough for your… hahaha… excuse me, I couldn’t help myself. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister was audited by his nation’s Comptroller and found lavish spending. Among the usual types of lavish spending was $2,500 a month on ice cream. That’s right. Ice cream. People have already begun to make fun of this in ways that are hilarious, even if you don’t understand Hebrew.

credit Calcalist
credit Calcalist
credit Israelly Cool
credit Israelly Cool
credit International Business Times
credit International Business Times
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Compliance by death

Global Suicide Rate Map from Business Insider
Global Suicide Rate Map from Business Insider

South Korea has a very high suicide rate. It is second only to Lithuania. (Temporarily Greenland unseated Lithuania with the highest per capita suicide rate, but traditionally it has been Lithuania and South Korea.) South Korea’s suicide rate is more than double the rate in the United States. South Korean culture put a high price on one’s reputation. Once tarnished, the chance of recovery is slim. The work around is death. Forget about wrongdoing, death is the ultimate sacrifice one is willing to make to save his/her family from shame and is traditionally a sign of innocence. Innocence because only the innocent would find it unbearable to subject innocent family members to a tarnished reputation.

A construction executive, Sung Wanjung, had created a “bribery list.” As it sounds, it is a list of bribes he would pay to make his business more successful. He had accidentally left a printed copy of it somewhere and it was discovered. On the list were many of the President’s advisers and aides. The executive was on trial and facing imprisonment. Prison’s in South Korea are not nearly as nice as those in the States. So, he killed himself.

As the story implies, he killed himself out of guilt, not out of innocence. This has been the theme of suicides among politicians and the people in their circles. Former president of South Korea, Roh Moohyun, also killed himself when he was charged with taking bribes and embezzling. He was mourned. But right up until the news of his suicide was reported, most Koreans believed him to be guilty. Even if he was cleared of any wrongdoing, the Korean culture would have made him an outcast.

In South Korea, compliance, it seems, would have to take an extra care to prevent crimes from growing so that the result isn’t suicide.

Jang Jayeon

To prove that innocent suicides are common, or as common as they can be among suicides, a string of entertainers have killed themselves over the past twenty years due to pressures put on them by their management companies. It often happens when expectations for their success gets too high. One rising actress, Jang Jayeon, killed herself because the price she had to continue paying to get roles. She had to sleep with directors and financial backers to keep getting roles. She was a good actress, but with such fierce competition, she found the only way to get roles was to use her body. Victims of other crimes is what often leads to crime-inducing suicide, or, in the case of Jang, directly to suicide.

Sung’s death cannot be compared to Jang’s. Jang was a victim of systemic prostitution. Sung’s was likely a victim of his own guilt.

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One bit of business: I’m actively seeking contributors. If you or someone you know is a professional with at least ten years of experience in financial services with knowledge or opinions about regulation, I would like to invite you to be a guest author.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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China’s New Corporate PR Problem

Corruption in the People’s Republic of China is nothing new to Western media consumers. The usual story is some corrupt politician in one of the ministries or provincial government who has been giving favorable contracts to friends and family for kickbacks. But in the past couple of years, a rise in a new type of corruption has been coming to light: corporate corruption.

https://chinadailymail.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/20-china-corruption.jpg
from China Daily Mail

Major Chinese corporations are generally state-owned and state-controlled. This makes these corporations arms of the government, even though they are participating in the private sector like other private sector firms. So, when corporate corruption takes place, the Chinese government is on the hook for them.

Chinese state-owned enterprises, especially China Construction Corporation (CCC), have been bidding for construction contracts in South Asian, Middle East and Africa against, primarily, South Korea. With the financial backing of the Chinese government, these firms have been winning the contracts for building infrastructure in Africa and private real estate projects elsewhere. Though these firms are working outside of China, their practices haven’t changed. Client-governments have been receiving bills that are twice as expensive as comparable projects, environmental studies and other feasibility studies have not been performed, and local officials have been getting offers to look the other way on these activities.

In a bold move, the Chinese government has primarily taken to defending CCC, asking client-governments to respect the contracts and pay up. Local governments find it hard to swallow such counter-accusations when China won’t produce evidence of work being done properly or at all. The Chinese government has a difficult time with diplomacy under such circumstances because they are considered intimately involved in these firms.

Corruption for Chinese firms like CCC puts Chinese government in a bind because it has been trying to crackdown on corruption in the government and cleanup its image. In the technology sector, firms like Xiomi has been able to prove to the world very quickly that it can compete fairly by producing better phones. If other sectors in China are to attempt to work across its borders, it’ll have to learn to compete with rules it can’t break.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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FATF Means Financial Action Task Force

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. – FATF

FATF is housed at the Organization Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France. It works with the G-7 world leaders, G-20 finance ministers to make policy and enforcement recommendations regarding anti-money laundering, anti-bribery, anti-corruption, anti-terrorist financing and anti-piracy. It is part thinktank and part NGO.

FATF has a membership status for each country. There are thirty five member nations and the rest are either observing the guidelines and recommendations or not actively doing so. FATF also has a Blacklist, a list of banned nations. The usual suspects are listed: Iran, North Korea, etc.

The Treasury represents the United States at the FATF. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is the primary contact for guidance.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


FCPA Means Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a legislation that prohibits publicly traded companies and their agents from bribing foreign officials and related-agents for business. Its goal is to stop bribery in all its forms so that companies compete in the market by lowering prices, producing better goods and providing better services. FCPA is a broadly defined.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) are in charge of enforcement. the SEC has produced a resource guide along with a section of its website dedicated to topics related to this legislation. The legislation was enacted in 1977. The DOJ has also provided the Act in its entirety, but it is good to keep in mind that there is extensive case law that has provided interpretations to the Act’s language. The DOJ provides an extensive database of related opinions to help a professional navigate the changing nature of interpretation.

Bibliography


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.