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No One Has Ever Made a Corruption Machine Like This One
There’s graft, and then there’s Odebrecht graft.
By late summer 2015, the men running bribery at the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht SA were plotting another operation—not to rig a contract, which was their bread and butter, or to meddle in the politics of a sovereign nation, as they’d done on many occasions, but this time to save themselves.
Hilberto Silva, Fernando Migliaccio, and Luiz Eduardo Soares were career Odebrecht men. In the past decade or so, their group, the Structured Operations Division, had helped the company secure contracts to build dams, power plants, airports, and refineries across Latin America. They did it by creating fake engineering, construction, and consulting companies that used secret bank accounts to pay fake invoices submitted by fake customers. At the end of the chain, always, were the people in a position to say yes to another Odebrecht bid. read more »
Swiss Banker Prepares U.S. Guilty Plea in Soccer Scandal
A Swiss banker is expected to plead guilty to his role in soccer’s international corruption scandal as investigators intensify their scrutiny of how banks allegedly helped to move millions of dollars in bribe money, according to four people familiar with the matter.
Jorge Arzuaga, an Argentine who worked at Credit Suisse Group AG and Julius Baer Group Ltd., would become the first banker convicted in a scandal that has led to 25 guilty pleas relating to FIFA, soccer’s governing body. Arzuaga would admit to a conspiracy charge as soon as June 15 in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, and also is negotiating a plea to a criminal charge in Switzerland, the people said.read more »
Santander Rescues Troubled Rival in Test of Europe’s New Rules
After the global financial crisis, Europe built a system designed to contain the collateral damage from failing banks. That new system appeared to pass its first test on Wednesday, as authorities efficiently dispatched a troubled Spanish lender.
The relative lack of drama after the failure of Banco Popular, Spain’s fifth-biggest bank, highlighted the large strides made by the eurozone compared with a few years ago, when the problems of even small lenders had the potential to rock financial markets and raise existential questions about European unity. read more »
Santander and RBS haunted by ghost of financial crisis
Royal Bank of Scotland spends £1bn on legal battle and Spanish lender rescues rival as legacy of 2008 hangs over sector
The shadow of the 2008 financial crisis loomed over the banking sector again on Wednesday when a Spanish lender was rescued from collapse by Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland racked up a £1bn bill to end a legal battle sparked by the bailouts by UK taxpayers nearly a decade ago. read more »
South Korea's ex-health minister found guilty of swaying Samsung vote
South Korea's former health minister was convicted Thursday of pressuring the country's pension fund to support a controversial Samsung merger, in one of the first rulings on key players in the corruption scandals that ensnared the country's ousted president and Samsung's heir.
The merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015 was crucial in Samsung's father-to-son leadership succession, but U.S. hedge fund Elliott Associates and other minority shareholders opposed the plan, arguing that it would unfairly benefit Samsung founding family members. read more »
State calls for public meeting amid concerns over Mount Sunapee ski lease
After bribery schemes in Africa led the U.S. government to fine the new operator of Mount Sunapee Resort $412 million last year – one of the biggest penalties ever issued under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – the New Hampshire attorney general wants to hold a public information meeting about plans for the resort.
The resort is part of Mount Sunapee State Park, but ski operations are run by private companies under a lease. That lease was sold recently by its previous owner, Florida-based real estate investment trust CNL, to New York hedge fund Och-Ziff. The sale was part of a reported $830 million deal involving a number of other ski areas, including Okemo in Vermont and Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine. read more »