Global Financial Integrity

 

Is Bulgaria Losing the War on Corruption?

Bulgaria is not only the poorest country in the European Union (EU) but also is the most corrupt; greater financial transparency would help address both challenges. Every year the country loses 14 and 22 percent of its...

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Global Financial Integrity Joins Addis Tax Initiative as Supporting Organization

The Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) this month invited Global Financial Integrity (GFI) as the first Supporting Organization to be added since the initiative was launched in July 2015. GFI joins the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in this role.

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Transnational Crime is a $1.6 trillion to $2.2 trillion Annual “Business”, Finds New GFI Report

Globally the business of transnational crime is valued at an average of $1.6 trillion to $2.2 trillion annually, according to a new report released by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington DC-based research and advisory organization. Titled “Transnational Crime and the Developing World,” the study highlights that the combination of high profits and low risks for perpetrators of transnational crime and the support of a global shadow financial system perpetuate and drive these abuses.

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GFI Engages, Third Quarter 2015

A Quarterly Newsletter on the Work of Global Financial Integrity from June to September 2015

Global Financial Integrity is pleased to present GFI Engages, a quarterly newsletter created to highlight events at GFI and in the world of illicit financial flows. We look forward to keeping you updated on our research, advocacy, high level engagement, and media presence. The following items represent just a fraction of what GFI has been up to since March, so make sure to check our website for frequent updates.
Global Financial Integrity Conference: Illicit Financial Flows: The Most Damaging Economic Problem Facing the Developing World

Based on the culmination of work GFI has done with the support of the Ford Foundation including a book by GFI, the conference included discussions and keynote remarks from experts on the nature of IFFs, country-level perspectives, and how and why curtailing these IFFs should be a priority for the global community.

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GFI Engages, Second Quarter 2015

A Quarterly Newsletter on the Work of Global Financial Integrity from April to June 2015

Global Financial Integrity is pleased to present GFI Engages, a quarterly newsletter created to highlight events at GFI and in the world of illicit financial flows. We look forward to keeping you updated on our research, advocacy, high level engagement, and media presence. The following items represent just a fraction of what GFI has been up to since March, so make sure to check our website for frequent updates.

Joint Conference in Johannesburg: Financial Transparency and Human Rights in Africa

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Global Financial Integrity (GFI), and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) partnered to host a three-day conference in Johannesburg, South Africa fromMay 18-20. The conference featured special expert-level discussion on the connection between human rights and illicit financial flows in Africa and the legal, advocacy, and academic channels for leveraging these connections to effect change.

Panelists and keynote speakers were drawn from around Sub-Saharan Africa and across the globe, covering a broad range of topics within the financial transparency-human rights overlap, including natural resources, violent conflicts, long-term development consequences, and the ongoing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) process.

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What’s Going to Happen to the FIFA Forfeiture Money?

GFI’s Heather Lowe Proposes Reinvesting FIFA Forfeiture Funds in Inner-City Youth Soccer Programs

Following from my blogs on Friday and Monday about different aspects of the FIFA case, I’d like to talk a little bit about the forfeiture funds and penalty payments that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will be collecting in this case and what will happen to them. A proceeding like the FIFA case can result in a really large pile of cash that will be under DOJ control. Unless the Defendants are acquitted of the charges against them at trial or the DOJ decides to drop the case against a Defendant for some reason, we can expect that the DOJ will be collecting from those Defendants the bribe money that they received, anything they bought with that money that will then be auctioned off (for example, check out the list of real estate that will likely go under the hammer in Florida and Georgia from paragraph 343 of the indictment), and, possibly, additional fines in the form of penalties. It is going to add up.

Recouping Expenses

It is obviously critical that the DOJ, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other government agencies that were involved in this case are able to recoup the money they spent working on this investigation over the past few years. Another way of looking at it is that they need to keep a sizable chunk in order to ensure that they have the resources to work cases like this over the next few years. No matter how you slice it, that’s important to American taxpayers as well, who pay less in taxes because the DOJ and other agencies are able to fund part of their work through forfeiture and penalty payments instead of through tax dollars. Win-Win.

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FIFA: The Bribery Case with No Bribery Charge

This was a very exciting week for lawyers who are sports enthusiasts – the Department of Justice indicted fourteen FIFA officials, alleging that they are part of what one could conclude from reading the indictment is a massive, multifaceted, bribery ring. Informal allegations have been made before, and the whispers that FIFA is synonymous with bribery and corruption have been growing louder over the years. But this week the Department of Justice shouted it from the mountain top (or, perhaps more accurately, in front of a lot of the international press corps, which was probably more effective).

There are a number of interesting facets to the case that is now before us. The first is that for a case about bribery, a charge of bribery seems to be conspicuously absent. The Defendants were indicted for a “pattern of racketeering activity,” including charges of violating the Travel Act in aid of racketeering, money laundering, money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and other charges that do not expressly include bribery. Why is that?

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GFI Commends Landmark Agreement to End Anonymous Companies in the European Union

Negotiators Finalize Revisions to EU Anti-Money-Laundering Directive, Including Crucial Measures on Beneficial Ownership Transparency

United States Continues to Lag Behind International Progress on Key Element of Curtailing Illicit Financial Flows

WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) applauded the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union for agreeing yesterday to crack down on anonymous companies, a major conduit for laundering the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion. Just Tuesday, GFI released its annual flagship analysis of illicit financial flows from developing countries, which found that such flows—growing at nearly twice the rate of global GDP—reached a historic high of US$991.2 billion in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available.

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