In this episode, James Koukios, a partner at Morrison & Foerster returns to discuss the firm’s newsletter Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for April 2017. In this episode we highlight the three following matters for discussion and what lessons can be garnered from them.  

World Bank Veteran to Change Positions.The World Bank announced that Pascale Helene Dubois would become the new head of the World Bank Group’s Integrity Vice Presidency, known as INT. The INT is an independent unit within the World Bank Group that investigates and pursues sanctions related to allegations of fraud and corruption in World Bank Group‑financed projects. Dubois is well known in the anti-corruption community and has long been a thought leader in this space. In her current post, she has worked to increase transparency and due process at the World Bank generally and in the Office of Suspension and Debarment specifically. Koukios relates how Dubois’s work and that of INT has helped foster greater cooperation between the World Bank and law enforcement agencies around the world.

Engineering Firm and Its Executive Debarred by World Bank for Bribery in Southeast Asia.

In April the World Bank Group announced the debarment of Denmark-based Consia Consultants ApS and its managing director. According to the World Bank, INT’s investigation revealed evidence that the company made payments to officials to influence contract awards in connection with the World Bank-financed Strategic Road Infrastructure Project in Indonesia. The World Bank stated that the company further failed to disclose its agreement and commissions paid to its agent in connection with the project and misrepresented the availability of key staff it has claimed would be assisting with the execution of its technical assistance contract under the project. The World Bank also said it found evidence that the company made corrupt payments in Vietnam in connection with the Hanoi Urban Transport Development Project, in addition to fraudulent misconduct relating to the Second Northern Mountain Poverty Reduction Project. The World Bank debarred the company for 14 years and its managing director for 3.5 years.

Former Diplomat Pleads Guilty to FCPA Charges in United Nations Bribery Case, While Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss FCPA Charges against Another Defendant.

On April 28, 2017, Francis Lorenzo, a former deputy ambassador from the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York to conspiring to violate the FCPA and to pay and receive bribes and gratuities in a bribery scheme allegedly involving Ng Lap Seng, a Chinese national and real estate developer accused of bribing former U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe. Lorenzo pleaded guilty to related charges in 2016 and is expected to testify against Seng at trial, currently set to begin May 30, 2017. Two days before Lorenzo’s guilty plea, on April 26, 2017, Southern District of New York Judge Vernon S. Broderick denied Seng’s motion to dismiss FCPA and related charges against him, finding that the superseding indictment sufficiently presented the essential facts underlying the charges and that the prosecution had made sufficient disclosures concerning the nature of the charged offenses by other means, including through the various complaints filed in the case, extensive discovery, agent affidavits, and a written response to Seng’s letter request for a bill of particulars.

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