Panama makes US top 10 corruption list

1,207Views 6Comments Posted 18/01/2016

PANAMA has received the  dubious distinction of appearing on the  top 10  International Corruption list produced monthly by U.S. law firm Morrison & Foerster .

The firm keeps a close watch on investigations, enforcement actions, prosecutions and even sentencings worldwide in major cases involving bribery, money laundering and corruption, including violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

MoFo’s staff  includes two former senior managers from the Justice Department’s FCPA Unit,.  Charles Duross and James Koukios.

Duross served as head of the FCPA group, in charge of enforcement matters in the US and internationally. Under his watch, the unit resolved more than 40 corporate cases and secured convictions of more than two dozen executives and money launderers.. Koukios was senior deputy chief of the FCPA unit.

Their latest Top 10 list includes four matters in Latin America, a region that Duross and Koukios argue has become the most dominant source of international corruption probes. Their list includes  investigations coming out of Venezuela, Panama and Brazil. The pair also highlight the recent unsealing of indictments in the ongoing FIFA corruption investigation in Europe, as well as new lawsuits filed, the release of a DOJ Monitor Report, a new case in the UK brought by Serious Fraud Office, the sentencing of a Russian official in Maryland, and the very rare detention and forced resignation of a top Chinese Communist Party official

Panama’s listing in the “Dirty 10” for December 2015 reads:

  1. Defendant in Panamanian Bribery Scheme Sentenced in San Francisco. Continuing the theme of individual FCPA prosecutions, on December 16, 2015, Vicente Garcia, a former Latin American sales director for a U.S. subsidiary of German software company SAP A.G., was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment following his guilty plea to an FCPA conspiracy charge in August 2015. In pleading guilty, Garcia admitted that he had participated in a scheme to bribe Panamanian officials to secure government technology contracts from 2009 to 2013. Although the charging document, per DOJ policy, anonymized the names of the allegedly bribed officials, both Garcia and Northern District of California Judge Charles R. Breyer reportedly identified former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli as one of the bribe recipients during Garcia’s sentencing. Martinelli reportedly denied the allegations.