Kleptocracy Daily: June 20, 2017


Senators are calling on the secretaries of State and Treasury to review whether a potential Russian takeover of petroleum company Citgo could threaten national security and violate economic sanctions.
[Citgo, owned by the government of Venezuela, risks defaulting on a loan from Rosneft, a Russian state-owned energy company. Rosneft could take control of Citgo upon default, giving a company with close ties to Putin command of United States infrastructure.]

Malaysia rejects U.S. claims over assets said stolen from 1MDB, while Leonardo DiCaprio has handed over Marlon Brando’s Oscar statuette and other gifts he received from a production company now under investigation for a multibillion dollar embezzlement scheme involving one of his movies.

Federal investigators probing the lobbying work of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn are focused in part on the role of Flynn’s former business partner.

Barclays and 4 former executives have been charged with fraud over their actions in the 2008 financial crisis, related to the way the bank raised billion of pounds from Qatari investors enabling it to avoid a government bailout.

The Mexican government has deployed sophisticated software to spy on journalists, activists and anti-graft groups as they worked to highlight some of the country’s most notorious cases of crime, corruption and abuse of authority.

Independent Russian news outlet RBC has been bought by oligarch Grigory Berezkin; Berezkin, who already owns several newspapers, signed the deal with current owner Mikahil Prokhorov, who is also owner of the Brooklyn Nets.

Bank of China has paid Italy’s tax authorities $22.3 million to settle a tax dispute connected to a money laundering case involving its Milan branch.

Brazilian state-run oil company, Petrobras, has agreed to settle a shareholder lawsuit by The Vanguard Group to recover corruption-related losses.

Ukraine is looking into new allegations against a prominent judge who recently returned from suspension imposed under a government drive to root out corruption.

Sudan ramped up its Washington lobbying amid a looming deadline on U.S. sanctions.


Does America have a corruption problem?

…and, is Malaysia a kleptocracy?