A news release from the US DoJ on 8 June advised that a now-retired nun – Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, of Los Angeles – who was the principal of a Catholic elementary school in Torrance has agreed to plead guilty to fraud and money laundering charges for stealing more than $835,000 in school funds to pay for personal expenses, including gambling trips.
On 8 June, the EU Commission announced a new public consultation ahead of a new initiative to fight the abusive use of shell companies, i.e. companies with no or minimal substantial presence, or real economic activity. It says that recent media investigations have brought the issue to the attention of the general public, and have been followed by calls for action from the European Parliament, from citizens, NGO, journalists and civil society in general. The consultation runs to 27 August.
On 8 June, a report from OCCRP alleges that the Sandesara family, on the run from over $700 million in fraud and money laundering charges in their homeland, have been protected by Albania and Nigeria. It says that family members were swiftly granted citizenship in Albania after pledging to invest over $33 million in construction projects with their local partner. Judges in Albania and Nigeria have rebuffed India’s attempts to extradite them, arguing the charges against them are politically motivated. However, Indian state companies continued to buy oil sourced from the Sandesaras’ Nigerian company after the family went on the run. The Sandersaras had been on the run since 2017, when authorities in India accused them of defrauding local banks out of loans worth over $700 million.
On 7 June, The Independent reported that the Council of Europe has said that the UK Government has ignored instructions to strengthen UK anti-corruption laws, in a scathing report published after series of scandals. The 42% compliance rate in the GRECO report represents a significant backsliding on the UK’s previous record, representing the worst rating the UK has ever achieved in a GRECO’s evaluation rounds, which started in 2000. Successive British governments have previously always met between 75% and 100% of previous recommendations. GRECO concludes that the UK had implemented satisfactorily or dealt satisfactorily with 5 of the 12 recommendations contained in the Fifth Round Evaluation Report of the UK. Of the remaining recommendations, 4 have been partly implemented and 3 have not been implemented. GRECO notes that further progress is necessary to demonstrate an acceptable level of compliance with the recommendations within the next 18 months, and the UK has to report back by 22 September 2022.
On 7 June, OCCRP reported that a new Human Right Watch report says that combination of corporate greed and government failures in relation to the expanding palm oil plantations in Western Indonesia harmed surrounding communities and caused mass environmental destruction. The report examined the conduct of PT Sintang Raya – a subsidiary of South Korean Deasang Corporation.