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Tag: bribes

Talk of County Exec. Jack Johnson Taking Bribes Came Up During FBI Probe into Dirty Cops

Jack Johnson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

WASHINGTON — An investigation into dirty cops and untaxed cigarettes and liquor in Prince George’s County, a suburb of Washington, grew after some targets of the probe mentioned to an undercover FBI agent that County Executive Jack Johnson was open to taking bribes, a law enforcement source told ticklethewire.com.

Johnson and his wife, Leslie, a county council member, were arrested last Friday for evidence tampering after they tried to hide evidence  linked to bribes from a developer.

On Monday, three county cops including Sgt. Richard Delabrer and six others including a liquor store owner with links to Johnson were arrested in connection with an undercover FBI probe into dirty cops and the sale of untaxed cigarettes and liquor. One officer is charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine.

One key figure in the probe is  Prince George’s County Police Sgt. Richard Delabrer, who authorities say helped protect and deliver untaxed liquor to Tick Tock Liquor and Restaurant in Langley Park, where he worked off duty as a security guard.

The owner of the liquor store,  Amrik S. Melhi, owns other businesses in the county and has links to Johnson.

During the probe, the undercover FBI agent and a confidential source worked with the cops who were protecting and delivering  illegal cigarettes and liquor. The FBI had wiretap and recorded conversations.

In one instance, the owner of Tick Tock Liquor, told the undercover agent  that he once paid Johnson $40,000 to take care of a permit problem he had with one of his properties, according to the law enforcement source. Melhi said the problem was taken care of in one day.

In another instance, Sgt. Delabrer told the agent  that he had to make sure the Tick Tock Liquor owner was happy because the owner has Johnson on his payroll, the source said. Delabrer went on to explain  that in one instance his superior was mad at him and wanted to transfer him. But the liquor store owner contacted Johnson, who put the kabosh on the transfer.

Delabrer told the agent that Johnson is all about the money and that the liquor store owner provided liquor to Johnson any time the county executive had a party.

Johnson insisted last Friday that he has done nothing wrong and will be cleared of any charges.  More charges are expected to be filed.

His attorney Billy Martin did not immediately return a phone call for comment.  Attorneys for Delabrer  and Melhi also did not immediately return calls to ticklethewire.com for comment Thursday morning.

Read more »

Automaker Daimler to Pay $185 Mil in Fines for Bribing Foreign Officials in at Least 22 Countries

Mercedes_logo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — German carmaker Daimler has apparently been up to no good.

The New York Times, attributing information to “a person familiar with the case”, reports that Daimler will pay $185 million in fines and and two of its subsidiaries “will plead guilty to bribing foreign government officials, to settle a multiyear corruption investigation.”

The Justice Department, in documents released Tuesday, accused Daimler of bribing foreign officials “in at least 22 countries, including Russia and China, between 1998 and 2008,” the Times reported.

The New York Times reported that the government alleged that the company ”made hundreds of improper payments worth tens of millions of dollars to foreign officials” in return for assistance ”in securing contracts with government customers for the purchase of Daimler vehicles worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Consequently, the company pocketed at least $50 million in profits from the schemes, the Times reported.

For Full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Sends a Message and Cracks Down on Foreign Business Bribes

Unfortunately, in so many foreign nations, bribes are an accepted, and often necessary part of doing business. But the Justice Department isn’t accepting the business as usual. The Washington Post Carrie Johnson takes a snapshot of the latest effort to crackdown on the practice.

Pocketing Some Cash

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities want companies to know that the cost of paying bribes to win overseas contracts is growing steeper by the day.

Long a priority of the FBI and the Justice Department, efforts to police corrupt business payments have intensified in recent weeks, with multimillion-dollar corporate settlements and coordinated arrests of individual executives accused of attempting to grease the skids.

On Friday, BAE Systems, the world’s second-largest defense contractor, agreed to pay $400 million to resolve decade-old allegations that it misled the Defense and State departments about its efforts to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law bars companies from bribing government officials to win lucrative contracts and other favorable treatment.

The BAE deal came weeks after the FBI unveiled its first FCPA sting operation, which culminated in the arrests of nearly two dozen businessmen employed in the defense and law enforcement equipment industry.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Louisiana Judge Pleads Guilty in Fed Court To Taking Bribes in Scheme to Release Inmates Without Bond

District Judge Wayne Cresap

District Judge Wayne Cresap

Anytime a judge gets busted for taking a bribe it reminds us how vulnerable the legal system is. It also makes us wonder about other judges.

By Chris Kirkham
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — A longtime St. Bernard Parish judge who handled some of the parish’s most high-profile civil lawsuits pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to taking part in a judicial bribery scheme that allowed inmates to get out of jail without paying any bond money.

Judge Wayne Cresap, of the 34th Judicial District, netted more than $70,000 over five years as a result of the scheme that also involved two St. Bernard Parish lawyers, Victor J. “V.J.” Dauterive and Nunzio Salvadore “Sal” Cusimano, who also pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

As part of the plea before U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon, Cresap will resign his judgeship before he is sentenced in January. The crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

For Full Story

Soon to be a Motion Picture? Hollywood Husband and Wife Producer Team Convicted of Bribing Thai Official For Film Festival

Yes, bribing foreign officials is illegal. The husband and wife producer team gave the Thai tourism authority $1.8 million in bribes to secure contracts for a local film festival there. Can they at least make a movie out of this?

hollywood

By Ben Fritz
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGLES –– Hollywood may be in for tighter government scrutiny of its overseas operations.

Producers Gerald and Patricia Green were found guilty late Friday on charges of bribery and money laundering related to their running of a local film festival in Thailand, a decision that experts say could lead to further investigation into the huge amounts of business film studios do overseas.

The two were convicted of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, eight counts of violating the act and seven counts of money laundering. In addition, Patricia Green was found guilty on two counts of falsifying U.S. tax returns related to the bribes.

For Full Story

Read Original Complaint and FBI Affidavit

Mexico Drug Dealers Operate in Prison and Bribe Their Way Out

It’s pretty simple: If you round up violent drug traffickers, lock them up and then let them go, it doesn’t do a lot of good. Mexico and the U.S. need to work more closely to deal with this issue.

jail

By MARC LACEY
New York Times
MEXICO CITY – The surveillance cameras captured it all: guards looking on nonchalantly as 53 inmates – many of them associated with one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels – let themselves out of their cells and sped off in waiting vehicles.

The video shows that prison guards only pulled out their weapons after the inmates were well on their way. The brazen escape in May in the northern state of Zacatecas – carried out in minutes without a single shot fired – is just one of many glaring examples of how Mexico’s crowded and cruel prison system represents a critical weak link in the drug war.

Mexico’s prisons, as described by inmates and insiders and viewed during several visits, are places where drug traffickers find a new base of operations for their criminal empires, recruit underlings, and bribe their way out for the right price.

For Full Story

The Growing Problem: U.S. Border Agents For Sale

Border Patrol

The drug trade along the Mexican border continues to show disturbing signs of corruption and death. Apparently some U.S. Border agents can be bought. That is very very dangerous.

By The Associated Press
McALLEN, Texas — Corruption along the U.S.-Mexican border takes many forms.

It can start as simply as a smuggler’s $50 gift to the child of a reluctant federal agent, quickly escalating to out-and-out bribes.

”Everyone does it,” the agent, now in prison, recalls telling himself. Other times, county sheriffs greedily grab thousands from drug dealers. In a few instances, traffickers even place members in the applicant pool for sensitive border protection jobs.

An Associated Press investigation has found U.S. law officers who work the border are being charged with criminal corruption in numbers not seen before, as drug and immigrant smugglers use money and sometimes sex to buy protection, and internal investigators crack down.

For Full Story

More on The N.J. Corruption: A Made for Hollywood Movie

Well Hollywood, have it. This case has it all —  and then some. I nominate Joe Pesci to play one of the small town mayors.

Hoboken MAyor Cammarano/city photo

Hoboken Mayor Cammarano/city photo

By Ted Sherman and Joe Ryan
The Newark Star-Ledger
NEWARK — The bribes went down in diners, living rooms and parking lots. New Jersey Assemblymen took them, mayors took them, and so did dozens of others.

Orthodox rabbis, acting more like crime bosses than religious leaders, laundered millions through synagogues and yeshivas in Deal, one of the state’s wealthiest towns. And a Realtor tried to sell an informant a black market kidney for $160,000.

Those were some of the allegations federal prosecutors made today (Thurs) in what could prove to be the biggest New Jersey scandal of them all.

The revelations came after hundreds of federal agents swept across the state, arresting public servants and religious leaders as part of a two-year investigation into corruption and international money-laundering that authorities described as unprecedented – even in a state known for its scandals.

It was a sting operation that could have been taken from the pages of an Elmore Leonard novel: the FBI and IRS agents arrested five rabbis, two New Jersey state legislators, three mayors, political operatives, and many others, as part of a probe that spanned from Hoboken to Israel.

For Full Story

U.S. Attorney, FBI hold press conference on corruption arrests