With more than 90 national chapters / chapters-in-formation since its founding in 1993, Transparency International is a lead group in the fight against the global white-collar crime of public corruption. Transparency International publishes an annual "Corruption Perception Index" which ranks countries on a scale of "1" to "10" based on the perceptions of businessman and analysts. A country ranked as a "10" would be considered to be "highly clean"; while a rank of "1" would indicate a "highly corrupt" country. For example, Transparency International’s 2007 Corruption Perception Index ranked Myanmar and Somalia at the very bottom of its list with a score of only "1.4". Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand however had the highest score of "9.4". Meanwhile, the United States was assigned a score of "7.2".
The Transparency International website additionally explains that corruption is "the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority." Its website also describes the two distinct kinds of corruption, "according to rule" and "against the rule". When a bribe is paid for services the bribe recipient is required by law to provide, then "according to rule" corruption has occurred. "Against the rule" corruption has occurred when a bribe is paid for services the bribe recipient is prohibited from providing.
As has been widely reported, a corruption case was recently brought against Bernard Kerik, who formerly led the largest police department in America as New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner. According to both the U.S. Attorney and Mr. Kerik’s sixteen count indictment, Mr. Kerik was the secret beneficiary of $250,000 in apartment renovations paid for by the principals of construction and waste management companies who sought contracts from New York City. In consideration of said renovation payments, Kerik allegedly lobbied officials to award the sought after contracts. Some of these payments are claimed to have been made even after Kerik had been sworn in as the Police Commissioner. According to a government tax fraud chart, the U.S. Attorney has further alleged that Mr. Kerik also committed tax frauds involving at least $667,222.
As a review of Mr. Kerik’s indictment reveals, Mr. Kerik is essentially charged with committing the following white-collar crimes:
- 18 U.S.C. §1014, False statements on a loan application.
- 18 U.S.C. §1001, False statements to the federal government.
- 18 U.S.C. §1341, Mail fraud.
- 18 U.S.C. §1343, Wire fraud.
- 18 U.S.C. §1349, Conspiracy.
- 26 U.S.C. § 7212 (a), Attempts to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws.
- 26 U.S.C. §7206 (1), Perjury / false statements in a tax return.
- 26 U.S.C. §7206 (2), Aiding the making of false statements in a tax return.
Copyright 2007 Fred L. Abrams