Two Detroit-based contractors have each been sentenced to more than two years in prison for their roles in a US$1.4 million kickback scheme involving work on a library. James Henley and Ricardo Heam received 27 months and 28 months respectively. Their sentences follow last year’s conviction of former Detroit Public Library executive Timothy Cromer, who will spend 10 years in jail for his role in the scheme.
A United States-based start-up online dealer of Chinese construction equipment has filed an antitrust lawsuit against construction manufacturer Caterpillar and three other companies. International Construction Products (ICP) alleges that that the defendants conspired to hinder the progress of the new venture by limiting its ability to “efficiently bring its products to market”.
Malaysia Airlines became the latest victim of hacker group Lizard Squad when its website was hacked earlier this week. The airline’s home page was replaced with the covert group’s logo, a lizard in a tuxedo, top hat and monocle, with the message “Hacked by LIZARD SQUAD – OFFICIAL CYBER CALIPHATE”. A member of the group took responsibility for last month’s attacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live.
An Indonesian judge found guilty of bribery has received the lightest sentence ever given for such a case, which remains ongoing. Former judge Pasti Serefina Sinaga received four years in jail, and an additional two months if she is unable to pay the US$16,000 fine. The jail time is under half what most others have been given in similar cases.
A Romanian judge has been arrested following allegations that he abused his power to obtain bribes and set up an organised crime group. The judge is also alleged to have used intermediaries to manage an ostrich farm in Romania despite not being allowed to have commercial dealings due to his position. Judge Toni Grebla has been part of Romania’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, since 2013 after serving as a senator since 2008. In return for winning favour from public clerks, he is alleged to have demanded a BMW as well as 20,000 flyers for his election race and two expensive dressers from a local businessman.
The President of South Korea has encouraged officials to root out graft in the country, saying that corruption perpetuates a lack of public trust and poor national cohesion. President Park Guen-hye’s call to fight corruption comes days after an arrest warrant was issued for a judge who allegedly took bribes from a loan shark in exchange for legal favours. The last time a sitting judge was investigated for bribery in South Korea was eight years ago.
A health and safety scandal involving a Chinese meat supplier caused significant reputational damage to a number of global fast-food brands in 2014. Given the unique risks associated with the food industry, this case highlighted the need for companies to know more about their supplier’s suppliers.
The President of Indonesia has said that he will delay the appointment of Budi Gunawan as police chief until after the conclusion of an investigation into corruption and money laundering, in which Gunawan is a suspect. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) publicly named the would-be police chief as a potential guilty person this week. President Joko Widodo said: “Because Commissioner General Budi Gunawan is facing a legal process, I believe it is necessary to delay his appointment … [but] it’s delayed, not cancelled. That needs to be underlined.”
Whether abiding by rules, regulations, standards, ethics or best practices, all businesses operate within a set of confines. Business leaders define these confines and then help the business and its employees work within them. And, if defined well, such confines can make the compliance function far more effective, says Compliance Insider® Editor-in-Chief Scott Lane.
German carmakers and United States technology companies are among a number of multinational corporations to have been targeted by Chinese regulators over the last few months for abuse of the country’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). Although in some cases it has not been clear which laws have been violated, compliance professionals at large multinational corporations must be prepared to cope with any perceived lack of enforcement transparency.
Significant progress was made last year in encouraging and protecting those brave enough to report misconduct in India. But despite new legislation, and regulator support, much still needs to be done in the country.
The compliance profession has attracted a higher percentage of female talent than many other industry sectors. While it is applauded for this, the challenge lies in retaining that talent. Compliance Insider® reviews some of the initiatives that companies have pursued to address this.
A television producer in China is the latest in her family to be investigated for corruption following her husband’s sacking from his role in government because he was the brother-in-law of the disgraced Ling Jihua, the former senior aide to President Hu Jintao. China Central Television (CCTV) business channel executive Luo Fanghua is also the latest of the network’s senior producers, executives and journalists to be subject to the Chinese’s government’s corruption crackdown.
The United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is moving forward with plans that will require publicly owned companies to disclose their cybersecurity vulnerabilities and data breaches. Under the new regime, companies will find themselves under pressure to improve their online security systems as the SEC will release information about the effectiveness of such systems to the general public.
The United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (DBIS) has published a list of companies that are failing to pay their employees the minimum wage. The 37 companies ‘named and shamed’ on the list, which is the largest to date, will be fined a total of £51,000 (US$78,000) and have to reimburse affected staff a total of £177,000 (US$269,000). The most high profile brands exposed include H&M and Welcome Break. Although the former was commended for cooperating with the DBIS, it blamed the logging of time errors as reason for the fault. Welcome Break, meanwhile, pointed to problems with its IT systems.
Sony Pictures may have given bribes to allow its 2010 movie ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ to be distributed in China. The allegations have been made public by leaked documents that appeared online after the company was hacked at the end of last year. According to the documents, the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoenaed Sony in June 2013 for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA).
China’s campaign to catch those who have committed economic crimes and have fled abroad, dubbed ‘Operation Fox Hunt’, has netted 680 suspects according to the country's Ministry of Public Security. The 680 individuals captured between July and December 2014 represent 4.5 times the number caught in the whole of 2013. Of those repatriated, 117 of them have been fugitives for over a decade.
Reports that the Israeli police have begun an investigation into allegations that a missing former government media consultant participated in money laundering are untrue, according to Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The Foreign Minister insisted that the reports are “a flood of nonsense, invention and fictions”.