Articles Tagged with Bribes

Russian telecom companyRussia-based Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (MTS), the largest mobile telecommunications company in that country and an issuer of publicly traded securities in the United States, has settled with the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) paying $850 million to resolve charges of paying bribes in Uzbekistan.  A former Uzbek official who is the daughter of the former president of Uzbekistan and the former CEO of Uzdunrobita LLC, another MTS subsidiary, were said to have participated in a bribery and money laundering scheme involving more than $865 million in bribes from MTS, VimpelCom Limited (now VEON) and Telia Company AB (Telia) to the former Uzbek official in order to secure her assistance in entering and maintaining their business operations in Uzbekistan’s telecommunications market.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman of the Southern District of New York, Special Agent in Charge Raymond Villanueva of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. and Chief Don Fort of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

Gulnara Karimova, 46, a citizen of Uzbekistan, was charged in an indictment filed in the Southern District of New York on March 7 with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Karimova is a former Uzbek official who allegedly had influence over the Uzbek governmental body that regulated the telecom industry.  Bekhzod Akhmedov, 44, a citizen of Uzbekistan and the former Uzbek executive, was charged in the same indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), two counts of violating the FCPA, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Karimova’s and Akhmedov’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York.

college admissions chargesParents of college-bound students have been accused of being involved in a college admission scheme worth millions, including two prominent actresses, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. This scheme was set into place in the hopes of helping ensure their children had a better chance of getting into prominent universities by fabricating their credentials and arranging brides for athletic directors and test administrators.

While parents were responsible for paying for these fraudulent actions, the person running the scam was an individual named William Rick Singer. Singer is a California resident who owned and operated Edge College of Career Network LLC, as well as stood as acting CEO of the non-profit charity corporation Key Worldwide Foundation. With these two organizations under his control, he was able to act on the parent’s wishes to improve their child’s chances of entrance into desirable universities while using KWF as a way to move shady funds around as charitable donations. Clients of Singer, including the two well-known actresses, would pay anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million for his services.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,”, Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, stated. “They include, for example, CEOs of private and public companies, successful securities and real estate investors, two well-known actresses, a famous fashion designer, and the co-chairman of a global law firm.”

Pharmacy fraudHolly Blakely, a former San Antonio pharmaceutical rep in Texas, plead guilty and confessed her involvement in an $8.8 million healthcare fraud scheme.

Initially, Holly Blakely was charged in a 30-count indictment. This allegedly means that she paid more than $400,000 in bribes and kickbacks to clinicians for prescribing compounded medications. Compound medication is basically personalized medications produced in order to fit an individual’s exact medical needs. In this case, these compound medications, in particular, were designed to ease pain, but the people these were being given to did not require them.

Blakely confessed that she worked with two compounding pharmacies in order to push prescriptions for compound drugs. The pharmacies would then submit claims to health plans such as Tricare. In exchange for her part of the fraud, Blakely was paid $1.15 million.