Politicial Bribes

Top 10 Bribery and Corruption Stories of 2020 (So Far)

Even with much of the world under partial lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has not been a dearth of cases of bribery and corruption in the first half of 2020. Each of these stories shows clearly that organizations need to put in place appropriate controls to prevent bribery. and corruption. The ISO 37001 standard on anti-corruption management systems offers a comprehensive approach to mitigate corruption risks. Organizations of all sizes and in all sectors should take action now to ensure that they do not end up on a future list of top bribery and corruption scandals.

In no particular order, here are 10 of the top bribery and corruption stories we’ve seen in 2020 so far.


In February, France-based Airbus agreed to pay a record $ 4 billion in fines for alleged bribery and corruption spanning at least 15 years. The company has entered into a plea deal with UK, French and US prosecutors. According to prosecution documents, Airbus used a global network of agents or middlemen for corrupt transactions, including payments disguised as commissions to push aircraft sales.

The fallout from the Airbus corruption scandal reverberated around the world on Monday as the head of one of its major buyers temporarily resigned and investigations were launched in countries aggrieved at being dragged into the an increasingly political quarrel. ” (Reuters, 2020)


While the investigation into suspicion of corruption at Novartis began seven years ago, it looks like 2020 will be the year when the company can finally close this damaging chapter in its history. Resolution comes at a high cost. The Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company will pay the astronomical sum of $ 1.3 billion as part of a settlement for bribes, bribes and price fixing.

“The latest regulations cover two different cases. In the first, federal prosecutors say Novartis used “tens of thousands” of speaker programs and events – some involving exorbitant meals – as a disguise to offer bribes to doctors. The goal, according to prosecutors, was to encourage doctors to prescribe his drugs, including Lotrel, Valturna, Starlix, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Diovan and Exforge. (Fierce Pharmacy, 2020)

Ohio House speaker Larry Householder

While political corruption is nothing new, his constituents were nonetheless shocked when Ohio House President Larry Householder was arrested, along with four suspected co-conspirators, in a $ 60 million probe. dollars on racketeering and corruption. The alleged scheme is described as one of the largest public corruption cases in Ohio in US history.

“All of the charges relate to what federal prosecutors said was a criminal enterprise dedicated to securing a bailout for two nuclear power plants in northern Ohio owned by Akron’s FirstEnergy Solutions. The bailout is expected to cost state utility taxpayers $ 1 billion. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 2020)

Alexion Pharmaceutical

Accused by the SEC of violating the FCPA by bribing officials in Turkey and Russia, Alexion Pharmaceuticals will pay $ 21.4 million to resolve an investigation that began in 2015. The Connecticut, US-based company, was also accused of failing to keep accurate financial records in its subsidiaries. in Brazil and Colombia.

“In Turkey and Russia, Alexion paid officials and doctors in public hospitals to promote the use of his blood disease drug, Soliris. Alexion retained a consultant in Turkey from 2010 to 2015 with links to health officials. Alexion Turkey paid the consultant more than $ 1.3 million for “consulting fees and alleged expense reimbursements,” the SEC said. … In Russia, Alexion paid more than $ 1 million to doctors in public hospitals from 2011 to 2015 to increase prescriptions for Soliris. … Corruption resulted in Alexion’s “unjust enrichment” of about $ 6.6 million in Turkey and $ 7.5 million in Russia, the SEC said. (FCPA Blog, 2020)

Secretary General of the Taiwanese Presidency Su Jia-chyuan

In Taiwan, a scandal involving some prominent lawmakers prompted the secretary general of the presidential office, Su Jia-chyuan, to step down. Su Jia-chyuan’s nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Su Chen-ching is reportedly under investigation in a corruption case related to the ownership of a department store. Su Jia-chyuan said he had “nothing to hide” and insisted that he stepped down to avoid letting the controversy continue to affect the president.

“Taipei prosecutors on Saturday filed a petition to detain Su Chen-ching, along with four other lawmakers, former and incumbent, in an investigation into allegations of corruption against six current and former lawmakers and their staff . The court hearing on whether to accede to prosecutors’ request to detain them was underway at press time last night. The DPP’s anti-corruption committee called a meeting at 8 p.m. to discuss the sanctions imposed on Su Chen-ching and former lawmaker Mark Chen, who was also involved in the case and was released on $ 500 bail. 000 NT dollars early Saturday. (Taipei Times, 2020)

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

In connection with the 1MDB corruption scandal, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was found guilty of seven counts, including money laundering, abuse of power and breach of trust. Investigators said he transferred around $ 10 million from a 1MDB subsidiary to his own bank accounts, and Malaysia’s High Court agreed. Razak was forced to step down in 2018 during the scandal.

“In 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that Najib had deposited around $ 700 million worth of 1MDB into his personal accounts. He has always denied the allegations. He faces further trials in Malaysia on at least 35 additional bribery counts. The judge on Tuesday imposed a 12-year prison sentence on Najib, 67, but suspended it on any appeal. (FCPA Blog, 2020)


A multi-year, multi-million dollar corruption and money laundering investigation involving Alstom Indonesia has resulted in more indictments this year. Reza Moenaf, former chairman, and Eko Sulianto, former sales manager, for Alstom Indonesia were indicted along with a former deputy general manager of the overseas electrical projects department of Marubeni Corporation. They are accused by the US Department of Justice of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and of conspiring to commit money laundering.

“According to the Ministry of Justice, Kusunoki, Moenaf and Sulianto have engaged in a conspiracy to bribe officials in Indonesia – including a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and President Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the state and state corporation. controlled power company in Indonesia – in return for assistance in securing a $ 118 million contract, known as the Tarahan project, for Alstom Power and its consortium partner, Marubeni, to provide electricity-related services to Indonesian citizens. (Compliance week, 2020)

Los Angeles City Councilor José Huizar

Corruption in local politics is still a major problem, especially in a large city like Los Angeles, in the United States. He now faces a long list of charges after a federal grand jury rendered an indictment of 34 counts against Huizar.

“Huizar was charged last month with conspiracy to violate Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law. Thursday’s indictment charges Huizar with the following counts: 12 counts of honest service wire fraud; two counts of honest service mail fraud; four counts of inter-state displacement for the benefit of racketeering; six counts of corruption; five counts of money laundering; one count of structuring cash deposits to conceal bribes; one count of misrepresenting to a financial institution; one count of misrepresenting federal law enforcement; and one count of tax evasion, prosecutors said. (CBS News, 2020)

Asante Berko, former Goldman Sachs executive

Former Goldman Sachs executive Asante Berko has been indicted by the SEC following his investigation into his alleged corruption plot. Berko is accused of FCPA violations in his efforts to help a Turkey-based energy company secure a contract for a power plant in Ghana. He was indicted in a civil lawsuit in New York, United States, for “aiding and abetting violations of the FCPA’s anti-corruption provisions.”

According to the SEC, Berko helped the Turkish energy company pay at least $ 2.5 million to a Ghana-based middleman, ‘all or most of which was used to bribe Ghanaian government officials’ in order to ” obtain approval for a power plant project. … In 2015, Berko negotiated a contract for the Turkish energy company to pay the middleman $ 2.5 million initially, and up to $ 42 million over five years, according to the complaint. (FCPA Blog, 2020)

Cardinal Health

Ohio-based Cardinal Health on Friday paid the SEC $ 8.8 million to settle FCPA violations related to a Chinese subsidiary that provided marketing services. Cardinal Health allegedly violated book and record keeping provisions, as well as internal accounting controls. Cardinal Health started doing business in China after acquiring an existing company and renaming it. It appears the company has made voluntary disclosures and has taken proactive steps to address corruption issues within its ranks.

“In 2016, Cardinal China learned that marketing employees and the dermocosmetics company had disguised certain ‘marketing payments’ that were routed to healthcare professionals who provided marketing services, as well as to other employees at state-owned retail entities. Public entities had an influence on purchasing decisions related to the products of the dermocosmetics company. Cardinal took action to stop suspicious payments in 2016 when he learned of the misconduct, the SEC said. In December 2016, Cardinal voluntarily disclosed the results of his internal investigation to the SEC. (FCPA Blog, 2020)

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