We’re back! After a short hiatus in December, the monthly TRACE poll is back. And so far 2014 has started out with a bang. Vote for which story you think deserves the top spot:
- Brazil’s New Anti-Bribery Law Comes into Effect. The law, passed last August, establishes direct civil liability for companies for the bribery of both domestic and foreign public officials.
- Alcoa settles Bahraini Bribe Scheme for $384 Million. Alcoa’s subsidiaries allegedly used a London-based consultant, with connections to Bahrain’s royal family, as an intermediary to funnel illicit payments to Bahraini officials and their beneficiaries in order to retain Alcoa’s position as a supplier to a government-operated aluminum plant in Bahrain.
- Charles Duross Leaves US DOJ, Replaced by Patrick Stokes. During his tenure as head of the Department of Justice’s FCPA Unit, the DOJ resolved more than 40 corporate bribery cases, which resulted in approximately $1.9 billion in monetary penalties and the conviction of more than two dozen business executives and money launderers.
- Turkish graft probe intensifies. Several prominent businessmen close to the government and the sons of three ex-ministers have already been detained as part of the inquiry, and the government has purged scores of government employees within the Police Department and the judiciary. Still, the inquiry has been marred by political infighting, and two prosecutors originally in charge of the investigation have already been removed from the case.
- Judge approves Weatherford Company’s $252 million FCPA settlement. – The Swiss-based oil services company allegedly falsified its books and records to conceal illicit payments, including exorbitant trips for government officials and their family members. Weatherford’s Middle East subsidiary also allegedly made more than $1.4 million in improper payments to obtain contracts in the Iraqi Oil-for-Food program in 2002.
- New report highlights offshore tax havens of Chinese elite. A report by a team of media outlets led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), revealed this month more than 37,000 tax haven clients from Greater China, including close relatives of some of China’s top Communist Party members. While offshore accounts are not illegal per se, the report shows how far China’s anti-graft campaign has yet to go in curbing government corruption.