Political Corruption

News & Analysis as of

Local Campaign Finance Reform: Can Local Agencies Wean the Baby From “Mother’s Milk?” (Part 1)

It is an issue that has been with us since the earliest days of politics: The wealthy tend to have disproportionate influence over our political leaders in contrast to the poor and middle class. In the immortal words of the...more

Dismissal of Charges Against Former Virgina Governor McDonnell is Another Lesson in Prosecutorial Discretion

On September 8, 2016, the United States moved to dismiss the charges against Robert F. McDonnell and his wife Maureen McDonnell. The reason given for the decision was short but thoughtful: "After carefully considering the...more

SEC Resolves FCPA Action With LAN Airlines

The SEC resolved another FCPA action centered on the entry of LAN Airlines S.A. into Argentina. Previously, the Commission settled with the CEO of the company who agreed to the entry of a cease and desist order based on...more

The Ethics Advisor: It’s Getting Hot in Here

Ah, summertime. Beaches, BBQs, visits with familia, ethics developments, balmy nights … Wait – ethics? Yes, it’s true. The world of ethics and conflicts of interest es muy caliente this summer, with a couple of...more

The McDonnell Case: Limitations on public corruption prosecutions and a victory for the social compact of representative...

On Monday June 27, 2016, the US Supreme Court published a unanimous opinion reinforcing what is quickly becoming a contemporary trend in both public corruption and campaign finance regulation cases across the country. By...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Reverses McDonnell Conviction

Earlier this week the United States Supreme Court handed former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell a big victory by reversing his 2014 conviction for “accepting payments, loans, gifts, and other things of value from [Johnnie]...more

High Court Clarifies “Official Act” in Former Gov. Bob McDonnell Decision

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the bribery convictions of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell should come as a no surprise to anyone versed in the high Court’s recent public corruption jurisprudence. However,...more

Court Holds Drafting Contracts Violates Sarbanes-Oxley

Section 802 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act added the following provision to 18 U.S.C. § 1519: “Sec. 1519. Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy - Whoever knowingly...more

The McDonnell Case: Supreme Court Weighs Limiting Bribery Statute

We all suffer from a little myopia. Following FCPA enforcement and compliance issues makes a lot of sense in today’s enforcement environment. However, there is plenty of domestic enforcement of bribery laws – the New York...more

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in McDonnell Public Corruption Case

Last week, United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer framed the overarching issues facing the Court during oral argument in United States v. McDonnell this way: “One, political figures will not know what...more

Private Equity and the Och-Ziff Enforcement Action

Since 2010, the Justice Department and the SEC have been “investigating” a number of private equity and hedge funds for FCPA violations. The launch of the inquiries was a big deal with lots of fanfare and focus on private...more

SC Public Policy Update - April 2016

What's New - SENATE - The Senate took furlough this week and did not meet in statewide session. The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, April 5th, at noon....more

Africa Update - March 2016 #2

Leading the News - Cote d’Ivoire - On March 13th, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) gunmen armed with assault rifles stormed the beach hotels in Grand-Bassam, a region population with Ivoirian and Western...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Definition of “Official Act” in McDonnell Appeal

Late last week the United States Supreme Court agreed to take up former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s appeal from his 2014 conviction in a widely followed public corruption prosecution. The outcome of this appeal could...more

Australian Anti-Bribery & Compliance Trends

Today we welcome Ted Williams, Partner, Piper Alderman. Ted, can you share some of your background and experience? TW: Thank you, Richard, for the opportunity to engage with your community, and it was a pleasure to...more

Africa Update - October 2015 #4

Leading the News - Tanzania: On October 25th, voters in Tanzania went to the polls to vote for a candidate to replace outgoing President Jakaya Kikwete, who was unable to run for a third term under the country’s...more

Africa Update - October 2015 #3

On October 17th, members of the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council urged all Libyan parties to endorse and sign the recently finalized political agreement for the creation of a Government of National Accord. The Security...more

Africa Update - October 2015 #2

Leading the News - Libya: On October 8th, The Washington Post provided an update on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) activities in Sirte, Libya. Since taking hold of Sirte earlier this year, ISIL...more

Africa Update - October 2015

Leading the News - Burkina Faso: On October 1st, authorities in Burkina Faso said General Gilbert Diendere, the leader behind a recent coup attempt in the country, was in the custody of security forces. According to...more

Africa Update - September 2015 #4

Leading the News - Burkina Faso: On September 17th, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice condemned the unconstitutional seizure of power by elements of the Presidential Security Regiment in Burkina Faso and...more

Africa Update - September 2015 #3

Leading the News - Burkina Faso: On September 16th, elements of Burkina Faso’s military declared they were in control of the nation after presidential guards stormed a cabinet and seized President Michel Kafando,...more

Africa Update - September 2015 #2

Leading the News: South Sudan - On September 9th, the United Nations (U.N.) Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) announced ramped up efforts to reverse dire malnutrition in South Sudan. The...more

Guatemalan President Resigns

As of yesterday, Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre is the new president of Guatemala, following the abrupt resignation of Otto Perez Molina. Mr. Perez Molina now faces an arrest warrant on charges of corruption for conspiring with...more

Africa Update - August 2015 #4

Leading the News - South Sudan: On August 25th, a panel of United Nations (U.N.) experts monitoring U.N. sanctions on South Sudan released a report disclosing evidence that South Sudanese solders raped children,...more

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): Israel Beware – Trends in Enforcement.

Intuitively, Israeli companies and their directors would likely assume that their businesses are immune to investigation and the assessment of penalties by US regulators that are separated by a vast ocean and located more...more

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