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Bribery, Corruption, Money Laundering: The Many Investigations into Trump Business Partners (Huffington Post)

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A number of countries where the Trump Organization conducts business rank high on the Corruption Perception Index put out by the international anti-corruption group Transparency International, said Shruti Shah, a due diligence expert at the anti-corruption nonprofit Coalition for Integrity. Shah told HuffPost that these deals were “troubling not just because of the CPI score of the countries mentioned, but also because, in some cases like Azerbaijan, the business partners are closely associated with government officials.” Read more

US lawmakers’ new tactic to finally crack down on secretive shell companies: link them to Russia (Quartz)

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While transparency advocates are very much in favor of the effort, they say tightening laws around shell companies still leaves large gaps in America’s defenses against money-laundering. “The US is getting on the train in the right direction but there’s more work still to do,” says Shruti Shah, vice president of the Coalition for Integrity, formerly the US branch of Transparency International. Read more

Trump’s White House Family Affair Looks a Lot Like the Most Corrupt Nations in the World (Huffington Post)

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“You’ve seen it in countries all over the world where they’ve appointed family members, whether it’s their son, daughter, in-laws — it provides for tremendous opportunities for corruption,” said Shruti Shah, an international anti-corruption expert at Coalition for Integrity, a good-government nonprofit. “People who want to curry favor find their way to provide favors to family members as a way to get closer to the person in power.” Read more

Donald Trump is Making the United States an Anti-Corruption Laughingstock (Mother Jones)

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Convincing lawmakers in corruption-plagued countries to change their laws—and asking prosecutors and law enforcement officials to have the courage to enforce those laws—is a tough enough sell, says Shruti Shah, vice president of programming and operations at the Coalition for Integrity, formerly the US chapter of Transparency International. Having a president who seems blithely unconcerned about his myriad conflicts of interest doesn’t help, she says. Read more

Shruti Shah on the Panama Papers: A year of gains for transparency, but gaps remain (FCPA Blog)

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The Panama Papers leak exposed the harm caused by anonymous companies and spurred global reform efforts. But reform shouldn’t be driven by scandals and leaks. The lesson from the Panama Papers is that the gaps and loopholes that allow anonymous actors to abuse the system need to be closed. Read more

The cellphones were infected with porn. Then the Panama Papers exposed a bribery scheme, this company says (Miami Herald)

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“The Panama Papers highlight how easy it is for criminals and fraudsters to manipulate the global financial system and use the secrecy afforded by these anonymous companies to benefit from their ill-gotten gains,” Shah said. “The whole concept behind a shell company is you cannot figure out who ultimately controls the company or who is deriving economic benefits from it.” Read more

 

 

 

One of the US’s greatest gifts to the global economy is under threat from Trump (Quartz)

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The role of the SEC is to instill internal controls on corruption within companies and ensure their accounting isn’t hiding bribery. It can also force them to turn over any profits made from corruption, sometimes worth hundreds of millions of dollars. If and when Clayton is confirmed, Shruti Shah, vice president at Transparency International USA, says she worries he could start putting resources and personnel into different departments. “That would send all the wrong signals” to companies, she said. Read more

No, The System’s Not Totally Rigged. But That Idea Sure Helped Donald Trump (Huffington Post)

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Transparency International, a group that tracks corruption worldwide, ranks the United States 16th among 168 nations ― on par with other Western, industrialized nations and considerably better than China (83rd), Mexico (95th) and Russia (119th), countries mentioned favorably by Trump during the campaign. “The U.S. doesn’t really do terribly,” said Shruti Shah. Read more

Shah and Heywood: FATF report finds U.S. weak on transparency of beneficial ownership (FCPA Blog)

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The new report on the United States by the global anti-money laundering body known as the Financial Action Task Force or FATF has a number of positive findings. However, the report finds significant weaknesses, with the most important being related to gaps in access to information on the ultimate owners of companies (beneficial owners). Read more

Malaysians worry Trump will drop a corruption investigation into his “favorite prime minister” (Quartz)

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Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak may have hundreds of thousands of his countrymen calling for his resignation—embroiled as he is in a multi-billion-dollar corruption case—but he has one thing to be grateful for: His onetime golfing partner is the next president of the United States, whose justice department happens to be pursuing that very same corruption case.

 

Of course, just because Trump will be president doesn’t mean he can simply order an ongoing case to be dropped. “The justice department enjoys a level of ­independence, even though the attorney general is appointed by, and reports to, the president,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of programs and operations at Transparency International in Washington, DC. Read more