Closing Comments on Anti-Corruption Investigations

      Closing Comments on Anti-Corruption Investigations


       You can download a full copy of the slides from this webinar. 




      Full video transcript available below:

      Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar, hosted by me, Joe Boyhan, of MCO, and international tax expert, Selva Ozelli. Today's webinar is titled Is This Bribe Tax Deductible? I'm now gonna pass you on to Selva, who's gonna start today's webinar.

      Now, let's refer to page 10 of the presentation. This could cover the multijurisdictional bribery, money laundering, wire fraud, RICO, tax evasion, FCPA investigations conducted in the United States. These investigations are conducted simultaneously by various regulators, which include the Department of Justice, Securities Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigations, US congressional committees, the Department of Defense's Criminal Investigative Service, the treasury department, FINCEN, the Office of the Controller of Currency, and SIGAR, as well as the independent prosecutor. These regulators aim to find corruption and tax evasion regarding corporations, politicians at the highest level.


      Please note that the Department of Justice has been working more closely and much more frequently with foreign regulators through multiple units, and is using the latest technology, commercial imagery satellites, drones, data analytics, smart phones, social media, and more, to gather evidence about activities that only intelligence agencies could observe in the past. While Department of Justice's FCPA unit focuses on the conduct of the bribe payer, the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative actually freezes forfeits recovered and repatriates the proceeds of corruption by foreign officials, which is the bribe receiver.


      US regulators are adept at uncovering covered up financial transactions, and this became even all the more apparent on July 27th, when FINCEN, in coordination with the Department of Justice IRS Criminal Investigation Division, FBI, US Secret Service, and Homeland Security indicted BTCe, which is a $4 billion Bulgaria-based Bitcoin exchange. BTCe is one of world's biggest, largest virtual currency exchanges by volume. FINCEN assessed a 110 million civil penalty for willfully violating US anti money laundering laws. Two days earlier, on July 25th, Greek prosecutors also arrested Russian national Alexander [inaudible 00:45:54] who was one of the operators of BTCe. FINCEN fined him 12 million for his role in the violation. FINCEN said that BTCe hid its location as well as ownership to evade US anti money laundering laws and handled transactions involving tax refund schemes, public corruption, and drug trafficking. Instead of trying to prevent such illicit activities, apparently BTCe and its operators embraced the pervasive criminal activity conducted at the exchange by failing to obtain required information from customers beyond a username, a password, and an email address.


      FINCEN said the company was required to comply with US anti money laundering laws and regulations, as a foreign located money service business, and report all suspicious activity requirements, and comply with record keeping requirements. There is really no hiding from the US regulators. In addition to tax evasion charges, you should note that bribery and corruption investigations can lead to various other criminal penalties, which are disclosed in this presentation. It's undeniable that companies are now operating in a newly transparent environment from a corruption and tax compliance perspective, in numerous ways. I've procured a table that summarizes the transparency legislation enacted by countries around the world. You may ask Joe for a copy of it, after the end of this presentation.


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