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Professor Cited as Corruption Expert Sentenced for Money Laundering in Venezuela

Brad Fulton

Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, a professor cited as a corruption expert is sentenced for money laundering in Venezuela. Read the full story and more news below.

Top Story

Professor Cited as Corruption Expert is Sentenced for Money Laundering in Venezuela

Bruce Bagley, a former University of Miami professor and noted corruption expert, has been sentenced for his role in bribery and corruption schemes in his home country of Venezuela. Bagley received a 6-month prison sentence for money laundering by a federal judge in Manhattan this week. “I am ashamed of my irresponsible behavior,” Dr. Bagley said via Zoom before Judge Jed Rakoff of U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to The Associated Press. “I have spent my life as an academic working to understand and improve conditions in many countries in Latin America, and to be here today is the greatest departure from the life that I have aspired to.”

Government

Labor Leader Convicted in Corruption Trial

John Dougherty, a Philadelphia labor leader, and Bobby Henon, a Philadelphia City Council member, were convicted of corruption charges this week. Dougherty is accused of continuing to pay Henon the salary he made as an electrician in the labor union after he quit to become a council member. He was kept on the payroll to help his union win construction jobs. Their convictions come following an FBI investigation of activities within the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Rabobank Punished Over Lack of Anti-Money-Laundering Checks

Dutch bank Rabobank has been ordered to remedy its anti-money laundering compliance practices by De Nederlandsche Bank, the national Dutch bank, in what is being called a “punitive enforcement procedure”. The bank allegedly has multiple deficiencies in its anti-money laundering practices, which allowed criminals to launder millions through its bank in 2018. In that case, the bank paid more than EUR 775M.

Business

SEC Investigates Developer of Alzheimer Drug

Cassava Sciences, an Austin-based biotech company, is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly manipulating research data for its in-development  Alzheimer’s drug. Cassava Sciences stock price rose drastically earlier this year by individual investors on promises of its drug becoming an approved treatment for Alzheimer’s. The company is accused of manipulating images of results of its drug’s effect and including the manipulated images in released research reports.

Texas Woman Pleads Guilty to Schemes to Procure Adoptions from Uganda and Poland through Bribery and Fraud

A Texas woman pleaded guilty today to engaging in schemes to procure adoptions of children from Uganda and Poland by bribing Ugandan officials and defrauding U.S. authorities. Debra Parris, of Lake Dallas, TX, was a program manager at an international adoption agency. Parris paid-off probation officers, court registrars and judges to ensure the adoption of chidren through her agency, as well as providing false information to the U.S. State Department. Parris will face sentencing in March, 2022.