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Virginia Does Not Fare Well in SWAMP Index (WVTF)

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It all started with corruption trial of former governor Bob McDonnell. Shruti Shah at the Coalition for Integrity was blogging about the trial, and she realized that state laws governing what kinds of gifts elected officials can receive were pretty thin. That gave her an idea. “I should come up with a comparative scorecard on certain ethics and transparency related legislation in the 50 states and DC,” Shah remembered. “So that really was the inspiration for what is now the SWAMP Index.” The SWAMP index gives Virginia a score of 35, which Shah points out is a failing grade.   SWAMP is an acronym for States With Anti-corruption Measures for Public officials. Read More

 

Does Idaho need to drain the swamp? State lags in national anti-corruption ranking (McClatchy News)

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Far from the reaches of Washington, D.C., there may be another swamp in need of draining: Boise. Idaho’s anti-corruption rules are the third-worst in the country, according to a new national ranking called the S.W.A.M.P. Index, giving elected officials less incentive to avoid ethical violations.

The Index is a project produced by the Coalition for Integrity, a nonpartisan advocacy group that analyzes state laws governing ethics agencies, gift giving and campaign contribution reporting. Idaho scored 16 points out of 100 in the ranking of various anti-corruption laws, placing it ahead of only Wyoming (12 points) and North Dakota (0 points). Read More

Which US state is most corruption-prone? Look away, North Dakota (Quartz)

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The US public has spent the past two years riveted by high-level corruption scandals and allegations in Washington, DC. They should also be looking closer to home, according to a new report by anti-corruption NGO Coalition for Integrity. The NGO graded all 50 states plus Washington, DC, on the strength of their anti-corruption laws and regulations, and found that only sixteen got a passing grade of 60% or more. North Dakota came in last with 0% and Wyoming behind it at 12%. Read More

 

Washington state tops list of states with tough corruption laws (Washington Post)

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Washington state may share a name with the nation’s capital, but there’s no big swamp that needs to be drained in the Pacific Northwest, according to a new independent ranking of anti-corruption laws. The state topped the inaugural S.W.A.M.P. Index’s list of states with tough corruption laws, impressing the Coalition for Integrity with the strength of its ethics agency and measures to prevent lobbyists from plying elected officials with gifts. Read More

New ‘SWAMP’ Index Ranks States on Public Corruption Laws (Wall Street Journal)

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A new index from the group formerly known as the U.S. chapter of Transparency International ranks the “state of ethics” in each U.S. state. The organization, now known as the Coalition for Integrity, analyzed the laws of the 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the scope, independence and power of ethics agencies, as well as the acceptance and disclosures of gifts by public officials, transparency of funding expenditure and client disclosures for legislators. Read more

S.W.A.M.P. Index

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The States With Anti-Corruption Measures for Public officials [S.W.A.M.P.] Index is a comparative scorecard which rates 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the laws and regulations governing ethics and transparency in the executive and legislative branches. Read more and see how your state stacks up here.

Shruti Shah appointed President & CEO of Coalition for Integrity

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Coalition for Integrity’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Shruti Shah as President & CEO of the organization effective June 1, 2018. Under Shruti’s leadership, we will continue to combat corruption in the United States and overseas. We are looking forward to collaborating and engaging with all of you as we continue our journey. Read more

Growing bipartisan interest in beneficial ownership transparency (FCPA Blog)

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently renewed Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that temporarily require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies that pay “all cash” for high-end residential real estate in select markets. This is the third time the GTOs have been extended. Read more

Trump sold $1.5 billion of condos to potential money launderers thanks to this gaping loophole (Quartz)

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Shell companies can provide an extraordinary level of secrecy, making it impossible for even the seller to know who they’re making a deal with. That helps out a huge array of people who want to hide illicit funds. As Shruti Shah of anti-corruption NGO Coalition for Integrity puts it, shell firms’ secrecy makes them “a favorite tool for just about any criminal from tax evaders and money launderers to drug traffickers and kleptocrats.” Read more

Secret Money: How Trump Made Millions Selling Condos to Unknown Buyers (Buzzfeed news)

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“It’s not that common for someone to buy expensive real estate with cash, and if it’s a shell company, you want to find out who the buyer is and the sources of their funds,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of programs and operations at the Coalition for Integrity, an anti-corruption group. “It could be illicit money from foreign corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking – all sorts of bad things.” Read more