Family Corruption In The Big Easy

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Archive for the ‘bribery’ Category

SoCal Bribery Case Upheld

Posted by familydynamics on December 29, 2007

VENTURA, Calif.—A state appeals court upheld a $10 million award in a lawsuit that said a trash company and a billboard firm bribed a San Bernardino County official in the 1990s to get contracts worth millions of dollars.The 2nd District Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the judgment made three years ago in the county’s suit against former Chief Administrative Officer James Hlawek and officials from the Norcal Waste Systems and the Oakridge billboard company.

“Their criminal conduct did not involve a single act, but rather a pattern of deceit in a well-formulated and complex scheme that required continuous manipulation of the county over an extended period of time,” appeals Justice Steven Z. Perren wrote.

Hlawek, Norcal Vice President Kenneth James Walsh and Harry Mays, a former county administrative officer who became a Norcal consultant, were found liable in 2004 for fraud and other improprieties. A Ventura judge ordered them to pay nearly $10 million in damages and restitution.

Hlawek, Walsh and Mays also pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.

Former county Supervisor Jerry Eaves, who also was accused of taking bribes from the billboard firm, pleaded guilty in 2004 to violating state conflict-of-interest laws.

Billboard company owner William McCook was acquitted of federal charges and the state court case against him was dismissed.

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Exjudges Will Begin Sentence In Bribery Scheme

Posted by familydynamics on December 27, 2007

Two corrupt judges will begin their sentence for bribery today:

Former Circuit Judge John Whitfield and former Chancery Judge Wes Teel, both of Harrison County, were convicted in March of bribery and mail fraud.

Whitfield, 45, was sentenced to more than nine years. Teel, 57, was sentenced to almost six years.

Paul Minor, who was convicted of bribing the two, already is serving an 11-year sentence in a federal prison in Tallahassee, Fla. The 61-year-old Minor once was considered among the top trial lawyers in Mississippi, amassing a fortune from tobacco, asbestos and other litigation.

Prosecutors say Minor orchestrated a complicated scheme in which he guaranteed loans for the judges, then used cash and third parties in an attempt to conceal the fact he paid off the loans. The judges were convicted of giving Minor’s clients favorable rulings in civil cases in exchange for the money.

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Bribed Officials Served After 2001

Posted by familydynamics on December 25, 2007

The El Paso County commissioner who allegedly was bribed by an investment banker who pleaded guilty to a bribery charge last week was in office sometime between 2001 and 2007, according to a public record that became available Monday.

However, the federal “information” document used to detail the charge against Christopher Chol-Su Pak, known in El Paso as Chris Pak, does not say if the commissioner is still in office.

Pak, a vice president for Bear Stearns investment company, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of engaging in a scheme to bribe an elected county commissioner. A second investment banker, Robert “Bobby” Ruiz, also with Bear Stearns, pleaded guilty to a combined four counts of fraud and bribery charges.

The guilty pleas are part of the ongoing public corruption case that so far has had six people plead guilty and has implicated dozens of other El Pasoans.

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Major and Wife Held on Bribery Charges

Posted by familydynamics on December 19, 2007

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A federal judge has refused to release an Army major and his wife accused of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering in the handling of Defense Department contracts.

U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson declined a request Tuesday to release Maj. John Cockerham and his wife, Melissa. The couple and the Army major’s sister, Carolyn Blake, were arrested in July and accused of accepting bribes, laundering cash and trying to cover it up.

Blake, who is from Dallas, was released on bond, but the Cockerhams were ordered held after prosecutors argued they posed a flight risk and could use their release to obstruct justice.

The Cockerhams and Blake are accused of taking at least $9.6 million in bribes while Maj. Cockerham was stationed in Kuwait and working as a contracts officer. They were allegedly given kickbacks in 2004 and 2005.

Prosecutors accuse Melissa Cockerham and Blake of accepting the bribes and laundering the money on Maj. Cockerham’s behalf.

The trial is scheduled to begin April 21.

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Japan Ex-Minister Charged With Bribery

Posted by familydynamics on December 18, 2007

AP–Prosecutors charged a former top defense official Tuesday with allegedly accepting free golf trips and other bribes in exchange for contracts and other favorable treatment.Former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya has been charged with accepting a dozen free golf trips over several years, knowing that favorable treatment in contracts was expected in return, the Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office said.

Investigators alleged that Moriya had taken golf trips worth about $34,500 between 2003 and 2006 from two defense trading companies led by Motonobu Miyazaki, a former executive of Yamada Yoko Corp.

Prosecutors also suspect Moriya of accepting $32,000 in cash gifts from Miyazaki and his aide between 2004 and 2006.

Moriya allegedly had Miyazaki and his assistant deposit $20,000 into his wife’s bank account in 2004, and $12,000 into a New York bank account held by his daughter, according to the prosecutors.

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SEC Charges Schnitzer Chairman With Bribery

Posted by familydynamics on December 17, 2007

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Robert Philip, former chairman and CEO of Portland, Oregon-based Schnitzer Steel Industries, with breaching anti-bribery provisions of the USA’s foreign corrupt practices act (FCPA) by approving cash paymentssteel mills to entice their business. and other gifts to officials at Chinese government-owned

Philip has agreed to return $US169,863.79 (₤84,103.40) in bonuses and pay $US16,536.63 in prejudgment interest and a $US75,000 civil penalty, and has also agreed to an order directing him from future violations of the FCPA.

SEC’s complaint, filed in the Portland district court, alleges that, from at least 1999 to 2004, Philip authorised payments of more than $US200,000 in cash bribes and other gifts to managers at government-owned steel mills in China to induce them to purchase scrap metal from Schnitzer.

Was he punish severely enough?

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