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Corruption Currents: Criminals Abandoning Bitcoin



By

Samuel Rubenfeld

A collection of Bitcoin tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken Dec. 8, 2017.Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

A daily roundup of corruption news from across the Web. We also provide a daily roundup of important risk & compliance stories via our daily newsletter, The Morning Risk Report, which readers can sign up for here. Follow us on Twitter at @WSJRisk.

Bribery:

Israeli police continue their investigation in a bribery scandal. (Ynet, Haaretz, Ynet)

Local cases: China named a new mayor for the city of Tianjin after the predecessor was felled in a bribery scandal. A Detroit-area judge said she isn’t a target in a corruption case as the investigation continues. (Reuters, DFP, MD)

Cybercrime:

Cybercriminals and gangsters are abandoning bitcoin for more secretive virtual currencies. (Bloomberg, Fortune)

North Korean hackers are hijacking computers to mine cryptocurrencies. (Bloomberg)

The U.S. still fails to protect breach victims. (Gizmodo)

Fraud:

Attorneys for a Florida eye doctor embroiled in a political corruption case say he may have committed Medicare fraud but that doesn’t mean the federal government lost money. (AP)

The former head of European operations for Och-Ziff Capital Management Group was charged with fraud; his lawyer didn’t immediately respond. (Bloomberg)

Money Laundering:

U.K. regulators saw a spike in penalties in 2017. (Times)

Switzerland lifted the asset freeze on ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. (AA)

Malaysian anti-corruption officials say underground bankers are among the biggest accomplices in money laundering. (FMT)

Bangladeshi authorities questioned five people in a money-laundering case. (Star, BDN24)

Chinese and Malaysian people were jailed in the U.S. for operating a brothel and laundering money. (release)

Indian authorities hit shell companies as they pursue money laundering cases. (Hindu, PTI, IT)

Sanctions:

A Turkish banker was convicted of most of the counts he faced in a U.S. sanctions-violations trial. (NYT)

As the U.S. weighs sanctions amid the latest uprising in Iran, the supreme leader blamed foreign enemies. Crude exports haven’t been affected. The U.S. president faces a test on whether to extend sanctions relief. (VoA, Politico, TP, NYT, AC, Reuters)

Russia President Vladimir Putin is considering a cryptoruble as a way to avoid U.S. sanctions. (CD)

A multi-billion dollar Russian sovereign wealth fund has Americans in senior positions despite being under U.S. sanctions. (DB)

Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador amid the dispute over Islamabad’s counter-terrorism efforts. (AFP, Reuters)

Sudan’s president commended the nation’s allies for their help amid decades of U.S. sanctions. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

General Anti-Corruption:

A former Saudi finance minister who had been reported as detained in the corruption purge appeared at a cabinet meeting. (Reuters)

Ivanka Trump’s clothing choices are textbook corruption, said a former ethics chief. The U.S. probes of Russian ties to the Trump presidential campaign continue. (Newsweek, BF, NYT, Politico)

A new BBC TV show called “McMafia” tracks Russian organized crime. (Times, RT)

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte fired cops accused of corruption. (PS)

Vows: South Korea’s justice minister vowed to root out corruption. Albania’s archbishop called on Greeks to end corruption. (KH, TNH)

Foreign agents operating in the U.S. are coming into the light. (WaPo)

Zimbabwe’s president told the country to turn a new leaf. (Herald)

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