Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been arrested as part of a huge fraud inquiry into the state oil company Petrobras.
His house was raided by federal police agents and he was brought in for questioning.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who left office in 2011, has denied allegations of corruption.
The long-running inquiry, known as Operation Car Wash, is probing accusations of corruption and money laundering at Petrobras.
Dozens of Brazilian executives and politicians have been arrested or are under investigation on suspicion of overcharging contracts with Petrobras and using part of the money to pay for bribes and electoral campaigns.
Police said they had evidence that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 70, received illicit benefits from the kickback scheme.
His institute said in a statement the “violence” against the former president was “arbitrary, illegal and unjustifiable”, as he had been co-operating with the investigations.
Officials said some 33 search warrants and 11 detention warrants were being carried out by 200 federal police agents in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Bahia.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s house in Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo, was raided early on Friday. The headquarters of his institute in Sao Paulo was also targeted, as were his wife, Marisa, and sons, reports said.
One of the lines of inquiry is that construction companies targeted by the operation could have favored Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the development of a ranch and a luxury beachfront apartment.
Raids in the cities where these properties are located have also been carried out.
“Ex-president Lula, besides being party leader, was the one ultimately responsible for the decision on who would be the directors at Petrobras and was one of the main beneficiaries of these crimes,” a police statement quoted by Reuters news agency said.
“There is evidence that the crimes enriched him and financed electoral campaigns and the treasury of his political group.”
Supporters and opponents of the former president clashed in front of his house following the raids.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from the Workers’ Party, served two terms as president and was succeeded in office by his political protégé, Dilma Rousseff.
He led Brazil during a time of rapid economic growth and is credited for lifting millions of people out of poverty.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva still is a well-liked figure and has been considered as a potential candidate in presidential elections in 2018. However, his popularity has been hit by recent allegations that he either had knowledge or involvement in the wrongdoings.
On March 3, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s institute said the former president had never committed any illegal acts before, during or after his presidential term.
The corruption scandal threatens the government of Dilma Rousseff, who has faced repeated impeachment calls, analysts say.
Dilma Rousseff has denied having any knowledge of wrongdoings.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak has been cleared of corruption in a long-running financial scandal that has gripped the country.
According to the attorney-general’s office, the $681 million that Najib Razak received in his bank account was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family.
Critics had alleged the money came from state-owned investment fund 1MDB.
Najib Razak has consistently denied these accusations, but has faced pressure to resign over them.
Anti-corruption officials have previously said he received money as a gift from a foreign funder.
Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said in a press statement on January 26 that the amount was a “personal donation” from the royal family in Saudi Arabia, transferred between the end of March and early April 2013.
He added that anti-corruption officials had met witnesses including the person they identified as the donor to confirm it.
“I am satisfied that there is no evidence to show that the donation was a form of gratification given corruptly,” Mohamed Apandi Ali said, adding that evidence did not show the donation was used as an “inducement or reward” for Najib Razak to do anything in his capacity as prime minister.
Malaysia held its last general election in May 2013, which returned Najib Razak’s party to power but with one of its poorest showings on record.
The attorney general also said no criminal offence was committed by Najib Razak in relation to three other related investigations and that no further action would be taken.
Ex-United Nations General Assembly President John Ashe has been arrested in New York after being charged with taking $1.3 million in bribes from Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng.
New York prosecutors said John Ashe “converted the UN into a platform for profit” as he helped real estate mogul Ng Lap Seng gain government contracts.
John Ashe is accused of taking $1.3 million and spending the cash on luxury goods.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “shocked and deeply troubled” by the allegations.
“In return for Rolex watches, a basketball court and bespoke suits, John Ashe sold himself and the global institution he led,” said US Federal Attorney Preet Bharara.
“United by greed, they converted the UN into a platform for profit.”
Prosecutors say John Ashe used his position as permanent resident to the UN for Antigua and Barbuda and General Assembly head to introduce a United Nations document supporting a multibillion-dollar UN-sponsored conference centre that Ng Lap Seng hoped to build as his legacy in Macau, where he lived.
The conference centre was supposed to function as a satellite operation for the world body.
The scheme unfolded between 2011 and 2014, including John Ashe’s tenure as General Assembly head, prosecutors said.
John Ashe also set up meetings with government officials in Antigua and Kenya to help the real estate developers land big development contracts, Preet Bharara said.
He is also said to have evaded tax on the bribe money he received and allowed the businesspeople pay for him and his family to stay at an $850-a-night hotel in New Orleans.
John Ashe was arrested on October 6. Five others including Ng Lap Seng are also being held.
They include another diplomat, Francis Lorenzo from the Dominican Republic, and two naturalized US citizens who live in China who allegedly helped facilitate the scheme, who have been charged with offences including bribery of a UN official and conspiracy to launder money.
Preet Bharara said the investigation was continuing and more arrests were likely.
China’s former Ministry of Public Security Zhou Yongkang has been jailed for life after being found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and “intentionally disclosing national secrets”, Xinhua news agency reports.
Zhou Yongkang – the most senior politician to face corruption charges under Communist rule.
Until his retirement in 2012, Zhou Yongkang was one of China’s most powerful men.
Zhou Yongkang was put under investigation one year later as part of President Xi Jinping’s major anti-corruption campaign.
State TV showed a clip of Zhou Yongkang, 72, pleading guilty at a closed-door trial in the northern city of Tianjin. When responding to the judge, he said he would not launch an appeal.
Zhou Yongkang said: “I’ve realized the harm I’ve caused to the party and the people. I plead guilty and I regret my crimes.”
He was tried behind closed doors on May 22 because the case involved state secrets, Xinhua agency reports. There was no public announcement until the conviction was reported on June 11.
In a breakdown of the ruling, Xinhua reports that Zhou Yongkang received a life sentence for accepting bribes worth 130 million yuan ($21.3 million), seven years for abuse of power and four years for “deliberately releasing state secrets”.
All political rights have been stripped and his property confiscated, the news agency added.
Zhou Yongkang was charged in April, nine months after a formal investigation was announced.
He has since been expelled from the Communist Party.
Zhou Yongkang was once head of the Ministry of Public Security, as well as a member of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.
It is the first time such a senior Chinese figure has been convicted of corruption since the Communist Party came to power in 1949.
President Xi Jinping vowed to end endemic corruption when he came to power in 2012.
Since then, a number of Zhou Yongkang’s former associates from his time working in the oil industry and as Communist Party chief in Sichuan province have been investigated or prosecuted as part of Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown.
The Xinhua report did not refer to Bo Xilai, a former protégé of Zhou Yongkang’s and former Chongqing Communist Party chief, who is currently in prison on charges linked to his wife’s murder of a British businessman.
Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been sentenced to eight months in jail for fraud and breach of trust, a Jerusalem court rules.
Ehud Olmert was convicted at a retrial in March of accepting illegal payments from an American businessman while he served as mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister.
In 2014, Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison for accepting bribes.
Ehud Olmert has denied any wrongdoing and will remain free until his appeals against both convictions are heard.
A Supreme Court decision on the first appeal is expected in the next couple of months.
If he is unsuccessful, Ehud Olmert will become the first former head of government in Israel to be jailed.
Ehud Olmert served as Israel’s prime minister from 2006 to 2009.
He was forced to resign amid a flurry corruption allegations, which ended his political career and disrupted the peace process with the Palestinians.
In 2012, Ehud Olmert was acquitted of fraud, concealing fraudulent earnings and breach of trust in connection with donations received from a New York-based financier, Morris Talansky between 1997 and 2005.
However, a retrial was ordered after a former aide, Shula Zaken, accepted a plea bargain and testified against Ehud Olmert. Shula Zaken gave prosecutors diary entries and tape recordings of conversations in which Ehud Olmert referred to receiving the money.
Ehud Olmert, 69, was found guilty of fraud and breach of trust in March and on May 25 was sentenced to eight months in jail. He was also given a suspended sentence of an additional eight months and fined 100,000 shekels ($25,000).
The Jerusalem District Court said the sentence recognized Ehud Olmert’s contributions to Israeli society, but noted that “a black flag hovers over his conduct”.
Ehud Olmert’s lawyer Eyal Rozovsky said they were “very disappointed” by the sentence.
The former prime minister has always insisted that he is innocent and has described the allegations against him as “a brutal, ruthless witch-hunt”.
He is also appealing against the six-year sentence he was given in May 2014 in connection with a real estate deal at took place when he was mayor of Jerusalem in the 1990s.
Ehud Olmert was convicted of accepting bribes in return for speeding up a controversial residential development, known as Holyland, in Jerusalem.
Zhou Yongkang, who oversaw China’s security apparatus and law enforcement institutions, has been charged with bribery, abuse of power and the intentional disclosure of state secrets, state media report.
The former security chief was, until his retirement in 2012, one of China’s most powerful men.
Zhou Yongkang headed the Ministry of Public Security and was a member of China’s top decision-making body.
Once Xi Jinping took over as president in 2013, however, Zhou Yongkang was put under investigation.
A formal probe was announced in July 2014, after months of rumors, and he has since been expelled from the Communist Party.
Zhou Yongkang’s case had been sent to a court in Tianjin, a northern port city, Xinhua news agency reported.
The head of China’s top court said last month he would have an “open trial”, though no date has been announced.
In a brief statement, China’s top prosecution body said that the allegations against Zhou Yongkang were “extraordinarily severe”.
“The defendant Zhou Yongkang… took advantage of his posts to seek gains for others and illegally took huge property and assets from others, abused his power, causing huge losses to public property and the interests of the state and the people,” the statement said.
Zhou Yongkang, who is in his 70s, is the most senior official to be targeted in decades.
He was previously one of nine members of China’s highest organ, the Politburo Standing Committee. It has since shrunk to seven members.
Zhou Yongkang has not been seen in public since late 2013, when rumors of a probe first emerged.
A number of his former associates from his time both in the oil industry and as Communist Party chief in Sichuan province are already being investigated or prosecuted as part of Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown.
Zhou Yongkang’s former protégé, former Chongqing Communist Party chief and high-flyer Bo Xilai, is currently in prison on charges linked to his wife’s murder of a British businessman.
Analysts say the investigation into Zhou Yongkang allows Xi Jinping – who took office as president in March 2013 – to consolidate his power base, remove people opposed to his reforms and improve the image of the Communist Party.
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez has been charged with corruption.
The Democrat is accused of using his influence to illegally benefit a Florida eye doctor, who he admits is a long-time friend.
Bob Menendez is charged with 14 counts including bribery and conspiracy, but insists he did nothing wrong.
He is the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s policies relating to Iran and Cuba.
The 14 counts include conspiracy and making false statements, as well as eight counts of bribery.
Bob Menendez is considered one of the most influential Hispanic American lawmakers in Congress, and is the lead author of legislation that would tighten sanctions imposed against Iran.
The multi-year investigation first came to light in 2013, when federal authorities raided the office of Dr. Salomon Melgan – who was also indicted.
Their investigation focused on whether Bob Menendez used his office to advocate in favor of Dr. Salomon Melgan including by intervening in a Medicare billing dispute.
Dr. Salomon Melgan attracted more attention last year when government data revealed that he had received more money from Medicare reimbursements in 2012 than any other doctor in the United States.
He donated large sums of money to Bob Menendez’s re-election campaign.
“We celebrated holidays together,” he once told journalists.
“We have been there for family weddings and sad times like funerals and have given each other birthday, holiday and wedding presents, just as friends do.”
Bob Menendez has admitted to taking multiple trips to the Dominican Republic on the doctor’s private jet and initially failed to properly pay for the trips. In 2013, he reimbursed Dr. Salomon Melgan for two of the flights.
Later, his office admitted to another flight on the jet – from Florida to New Jersey in 2011 – and said that the senator had repaid Dr. Salomon Melgan for it.
Bob Menendez, 61, has served in the Senate since 2006, and was in the House of Representatives for more than a decade before that.
Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been found guilty in the Morris Talansky case after a corruption retrial.
The Jerusalem District Court on March 30 found Ehud Olmert guilty of fraud and breach of trust.
The judges noted that new evidence provided to the court disproves Ehud Olmert’s version of events, according to which he claimed the money involved in the case was “political money” and not a personal bribe.
All three judges ruled unanimously in finding Ehud Olmert guilty. His sentence will be determined on May 7.
Ehud Olmert had been acquitted in 2012 of taking envelopes stuffed with money from a US-based supporter.
However, a retrial was ordered after the emergence of recordings in which he referred to receiving the money.
Ehud Olmert, who served as Israeli prime minister from 2006 to 2009, is currently appealing a conviction for bribery in 2014 for which he was sentenced to six years.
His lawyers say they are considering appealing the latest conviction.
Maureen McDonnell has been sentenced to one year and one day in jail for her part in a corruption case, a court has ruled on February 20.
Virginia’s former First Lady was convicted, alongside her husband Bob McDonnell, for taking more than $165,000 in exchange for promoting a vitamin firm.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was sentenced in January to two years in prison.
Bob and Maureen McDonnell remain free pending an appeal against their convictions.
In court, Maureen McDonnell apologized to her family and Virginians, saying said she takes full responsibility for her mistakes.
“I would ask in your sentence today that you consider the punishment I’ve already received,” she said.
“My marriage is broken, my family is hurting and my reputation is in shatters.”
The six-week trial exposed the McDonnell family’s strained marriage and shaky finances.
Jurors heard the former governor was in financial need and traded on his position to win gifts of travel and cash from Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie Williams, in exchange for promoting his company’s nutritional supplements.
Jonnie Williams testified, under immunity, that Maureen McDonnell asked him for money and to pay for high-end shopping trips, offering to connect him to the governor in return.
Defense lawyers argued the McDonnells could not have conspired to extract bribes from Jonnie Williams because they were barely communicating.
Prosecutors had requested an 18-month prison term, while the defense requested 4,000 hours of community service and probation.
On February 20, Judge James Spencer called the case “puzzling and bizarre”.
He said there appeared to be two versions of Maureen McDonnell – a loving mother and devoted wife but also the first lady “who belittled and terrorized employees” at the Virginia executive mansion.
Maureen McDonnell, the wife of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, could become the first modern-day governor’s spouse sent to prison for felonies she was convicted of committing while she held the mostly ceremonial position.
Maureen McDonnell will be sentenced on February 20 in US District Court on eight public corruption counts.
Federal prosecutors have recommended an 18-month prison term – six months less than Bob McDonnell got when he was convicted on 11 counts last month. Maureen McDonnell’s attorneys are asking for probation and 4,000 hours of community service.
More than a century ago, a former West Virginia first lady was acquitted more on charges of forging her first husband’s signature. None, however, has confronted the prospect of a prison term for a felony conviction.
More recently, former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, faced questions over whether she was personally enriched by the relationship. Neither has been charged.
Bob and Maureen McDonnell were convicted in September 2014 of doing favors for the CEO of a nutritional supplements company in exchange for $165,000 in gifts and loans.
Maureen McDonnell’s lawyers said in court papers that she was never comfortable in the role of first lady, and she cracked under the pressure and the fear of letting her husband down.
China’s ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang has been arrested and expelled from the Communist Party, state media reported.
Zhou Yongkang is the most senior Chinese official to be investigated for corruption.
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s top prosecuting body, said it had opened a formal probe against him.
Before he retired two years ago, Zhou Yongkang was the head of China’s vast internal security apparatus.
Many of his former associates and relatives also face corruption probes.
Since coming to power, Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a high-profile campaign to weed out corruption among party and government officials.
Zhou Yongkang was accused of several crimes, including “serious violations of party discipline”, “accepting large sums of bribes”, “disclosing party and state secrets” and “committing adultery with several women” as part of corrupt transactions, Xinhua news agency reported.
His arrest was announced in a statement by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, released late on Friday night.
Indian politician Jayaram Jayalalitha has been found guilty of corruption charges in a high-profile case which has lasted for 18 years.
The chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu and one of India’s most colorful and controversial politicians was found guilty of amassing wealth of more than $10 million which was unaccounted for.
Analysts say Jayaram Jayalalitha will now have to resign as chief minister.
A former actress, her life has been marked by a series of high and lows.
The verdict was delivered by a special court in Bangalore amid tight security.
Jayaram Jayalalitha has been found guilty of corruption charges in a high-profile case which has lasted for 18 years
The prosecution argued that Jayaram Jayalalitha and three others committed an offence against society, the Indian Express reported.
It said that supporters of AIADMK party were forcibly dispersed by police as they tried to make their way to the court.
The corruption case focused on Jayaram Jayalalitha’s personal wealth and was brought by a rival political party,
Jayaram Jayalalitha has always argued that it was politically motivated.
Known by her followers as Amma or Mother, Jayaram Jayalalitha inspires intense loyalty, even adoration.
However, she has been associated with a lavish lifestyle.
Jayaram Jayalalitha’s foster son’s wedding almost 20 years ago broke world records for its sheer scale – including 150,000 guests.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, have been found guilty of corruption.
Bob McDonnell, who left office in January 2014, was once a rising star of the Republican Party.
A federal jury concluded that he and his wife – who say they are now estranged – used his office to endorse the dietary supplements of a businessman in return for lavish gifts and loans.
They will be sentenced on January 6.
Bob McDonnell, 60, was convicted on 11 charges, including wire fraud and receiving property based on his official duties.
Maureen McDonnell, 60, was found guilty on nine of the charges.
They were both found not guilty of falsifying financial statements.
Both bowed their heads and wept as the jury delivered their verdicts of guilty.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, have been found guilty of corruption (photo AP)
Although the McDonnells can appeal, they could face years in prison.
“This is a difficult and disappointing day for the commonwealth and its citizens,” said the US Attorney for Virginia’s Eastern District, Dana Boente, outside the courthouse in the state capital Richmond.
“Public service frequently requires sacrifice and almost always requires financial sacrifice.”
Bob McDonnell was once considered a possible running mate for presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.
But earlier this year he and his wife were charged with doing favors for a wealthy vitamin executive, Jonnie Williams, in return for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans.
Prosecutors say Bob McDonnell was in financial need and traded on his position to win gifts of travel and cash from Jonnie Williams, for whom he arranged meetings with state officials.
His defense team argued Bob McDonnell’s marriage was frayed and he was hardly on speaking terms with his wife who had a “crush” on Jonnie Williams and had accepted gifts from him.
Bob McDonnell had apologized for his own “bad judgment” and said he regretted accepting the gifts and loans, but stressed he paid it all back with interest and broke no laws.
The governor left office in disgrace in January at the end of his term.
Virginia governors are barred from running for a second consecutive term, and Bob McDonnell was succeeded by Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
Donald Tusk’s government has won a parliamentary vote of confidence sparked by a scandal over leaked tapes of Polish senior officials.
PM Donald Tusk had told parliament that without a pledge of majority support he would not be able to effectively represent Poland in the EU.
The apparently secret recordings have been released by Wprost magazine.
In one, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski allegedly says that Poland’s alliance with the US is worthless.
Donald Tusk’s government has won a parliamentary vote of confidence sparked by a scandal over leaked tapes of Polish senior officials
In another, Central Bank head Marek Belka and Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz are apparently heard discussing how the bank could help the governing party win re-election in 2015; such action would be in violation of the bank’s independence.
All have said their words were taken out of context and they deny any wrongdoing.
Wprost said it obtained the recordings from a businessman.
In Wednesday’s vote, Donald Tusk’s centre-right two-party coalition received backing from 237 lawmakers, with 203 against in the 460-member parliament. The prime minister needed a simple majority of 231 for the vote of confidence to pass.
Donald Tusk had called for the vote before heading to the EU summit in Brussels later this week.
The secret recordings were made over several months at locations including high-end Warsaw restaurants.
In a speech to parliament earlier on Wednesday, Donald Tusk said he believed a criminal group was behind the recordings.
Polish prosecutors say they have charged two people with illegally recording conversations and were questioning two more.
Thai anti-graft body has indicted ousted PM Yingluck Shinawatra over a controversial rice subsidy scheme.
The case will now be voted on at the Senate. If impeached, Yingluck Shinawatra will be barred from politics for five years.
On Wednesday, a Thai court ordered Yingluck Shinawatra and several cabinet ministers to step down over separate charges.
Thailand has been in political turmoil since anti-government protests erupted in November 2013. In February, snap elections were annulled.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) unanimously voted to indict Yingluck Shinawatra, the commission’s chief said on Thursday.
“The committee has investigated and there is enough evidence to make a case … We will now forward it to the Senate,” Panthep Klanarong said.
Thai anti-graft body has indicted ousted PM Yingluck Shinawatra over a controversial rice subsidy scheme
The NACC is also considering whether to file criminal charges against Yingluck Shinawatra.
Yingluck Shinawatra has previously said she was only in charge of formulating the policy, not the day-to-day running of the scheme, and has said that the commission treated her unfairly.
Under the rice subsidy scheme, the government bought rice from Thai farmers at a much higher price than on the global market.
However, it resulted in the accumulation of huge stockpiles of rice and hit Thailand’s rice exports hard.
Critics said the scheme was too expensive and vulnerable to corruption.
Separately, on Wednesday, Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled that Yingluck Shinawatra acted illegally when she transferred her national security head to another position in 2011.
Yingluck Shinawatra stepped down, and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan replaced her as prime minister.
Her supporters believe the courts are biased against her.
Yingluck Shinawatra leads the ruling Pheu Thai Party, which won elections in 2011.
It commands strong support from rural voters, especially in Thailand’s north and north-east.
However, anti-government protesters, who tend to be urban and middle-class voters, have protested against Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration for months, occupying official buildings and disrupting elections in February.
They say ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who is also Yingluck Shinawatra’s brother, is still controlling the government, and that the ruling party has been buying votes with irresponsible spending pledges aimed at its support base.
Both sides have planned rallies this week, and there are fears that clashes could occur.
Thailand’s government has scheduled elections for July 20 after the February vote was declared unconstitutional.
However, the opposition says it will not contest the polls and that political reforms need to be introduced first.
Patrick Cannon, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, has resigned on Wednesday night after only 114 days in office.
Patrick Cannon, 47, was arrested on federal corruption charges that allege he accepted tens of thousands of dollars from undercover agents, at least once in the mayor’s office itself.
“I regret that I have to take this action, but I believe that it is in the best interest of the City for me to do so,” Patrick Cannon, a longtime Democratic member of the City Council who was inaugurated as mayor in December, said in a letter to the city manager and the city attorney.
Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes, a five-term Democratic member of the City Council, immediately becomes mayor of a booming city that’s bigger than Boston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Denver.
Patrick Cannon was arrested on federal corruption charges that allege he accepted tens of thousands of dollars from undercover agents (photo USA Today)
Patrick Cannon was released on $25,000 bond pending his indictment Wednesday at a brief hearing before US Magistrate Judge David Keesler in Charlotte. He wouldn’t comment as he left the courthouse Wednesday.
If convicted of all three counts of theft and bribery, wire fraud, and extortion, Patrick Cannon could face as long as 50 years in federal prison and fines up to $1.5 million, the US attorney’s office said in a statement.
In an affidavit attached to a 46-page criminal complaint, the FBI disclosed that it began investigating Patrick Cannon in August 2010, when he was a member of the City Council and Charlotte’s mayor pro tem.
Over the next three-plus years, the FBI alleges, Patrick Cannon solicited and accepted bribes of about $48,000 in cash and other assets – including airline tickets, a hotel room and use of a luxury apartment – from undercover agents posing as commercial real estate developers and investors.
The “businessmen” wanted favors from city zoning, planning and permitting officials – who are highly influential in Charlotte, one of the South’s biggest business and commercial centers.
At least once, Patrick Cannon accepted a large cash bribe in the mayor’s office itself, when he took $20,000 in cash in a leather Fossil briefcase on February 21, according to the affidavit.
In one of their meetings, Patrick Cannon told an undercover agent a few days before he attended a meeting of new mayors with President Barack Obama in December that “I’m still in play” and offered to raise the agent’s purported concern over an extension of a transit line with Obama, according to the FBI.
Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra has been summoned by an anti-corruption panel to hear charges of negligence over a government rice subsidy scheme.
Yingluck Shinawatra’s opponents, who are seeking to replace her, say the program was rife with corruption.
If found guilty, the prime minister could be removed from office and face a five-year ban from politics.
Thailand’s political crisis has become increasingly violent since mass anti-government protests began in November.
Yingluck Shinawatra, who flew to the northern city of Chiang Rai on Wednesday, will not attend the hearing at the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in person.
NACC officials say she will be represented by her lawyer, who will hear the charges set against her.
The prime minister, who denies the corruption charges, says she is willing to co-operate with the NACC “to establish the facts”.
Yingluck Shinawatra has been summoned by an anti-corruption panel to hear charges of negligence over a government rice subsidy scheme
The rice subsidy programme – a flagship policy of Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration – saw the Thai government buying farmers’ crops for the past two years at prices up to 50% higher than world prices.
The policy was originally popular with farmers. However, it has led to Thailand’s rice exports being badly hit and accumulated losses of at least $4.4 billion.
Recently, the scheme has left many farmers out of pocket, as the government cannot borrow money to make the payments until a new parliament has convened.
Yingluck Shinawatra says she was only in charge of formulating the policy, not the day-to-day running of the scheme. She has also complained that the commission has treated her unfairly.
The family of former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, who was convicted of corruption, vows to pay back an estimated $154 million of corruptly-obtained assets.
The former dictator’s son said the family would hand over various assets in restitution to the state.
A former military general, Chun Doo-hwan was leader from 1979 to 1988 after a coup.
In 1996 he was convicted for treason, corruption and mutiny, but pardoned in 1997 and ordered to pay compensation for the slush fund he had amassed.
Part of the charges against the 82-year-old former leader involved collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes during his term in office.
The family of former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, who was convicted of corruption, vows to pay back an estimated $154 million of corruptly-obtained assets
He was originally ordered to pay 220 billion won ($202 million) in restitution to the state. He paid some of the money, but said he did not have enough to settle the rest.
Chun Doo-hwan’s four children will hand over assets that include expensive art and a house in the capital, Seoul, where Chun and his wife are currently staying, reports say.
His son called a news conference to apologize to the nation following months of renewed efforts by prosecutors to recover the money.
“I bow my head in apology on behalf of the family for having caused concerns regards to the issue of penalty payment,” Chun Jae-kook, Chun Doo-hwan’s eldest son, said in the capital, Seoul, on Tuesday.
“The family will co-operate as much as possible so that the authorities’ actions to collect penalty payment can be completed smoothly and we will also respond conscientiously to any investigations.”
British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) made “illegal” transfers, say Chinese police as they released details of an investigation into bribery allegations.
Four senior Chinese executives from GSK have been held, said Gao Feng, head of the economic crimes investigation unit.
Gao Feng said GSK had transferred as much as 3 billion yuan ($489 million) to travel agencies and consultancies since 2007.
Chinese police said GSK had transferred as much as $489 million to travel agencies and consultancies since 2007
GSK has said it has not found any evidence of corruption.
However, the company said in a statement last week that it was co-operating with authorities.
On July 11, the Ministry of Public Security said GSK executives had confessed to bribery and tax violations. Authorities said they suspect GSK of offering bribes to officials and doctors to try to boost sales in China.
On Monday, Gao Feng did not go into how much of the money was spent allegedly bribing officials and doctors.
He did, however, say that the probe had found that GSK was mainly responsible for the bribes which included cases of s**ual bribery.
“We have sufficient reason to suspect that these transfers were conducted illegally,” Gao Feng said.
“You could say the travel agencies and GSK were criminal partners.”