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Entries in The BOTA Foundation (16)

Tuesday
Mar072017

The BOTA Foundation Revisited -- Part Three: Why was BOTA So Successful?

As noted in my previous post, BOTA has been cited by several major newspapers in recent months as the most successful example that the United States has for accountable, transparent and effective return of recovered corruption assets, and in its final report on the foundation, the World Bank called BOTA “a remarkable achievement.”  

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Monday
Feb272017

The BOTA Foundation Revisited -- Part Two: BOTA – A Quick Recap

The agreement to start the Foundation emerged in 2007 after more than two years of discussion between the Governments of the United States, Switzerland and Kazakhstan (known as “the Parties”) about the disposition of $84 million, plus interest, that had been frozen in a Swiss account since 1999. 

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Monday
Aug312015

On the ground in Cambodia: Was my antibribery fight just dust in the wind?

Cambodian child in the classroom (Image by Anna Issakova via iStock)I led an anti-corruption program in Cambodia a few years ago funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The corruption situation in the country was and remains terrible.

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Tuesday
May052015

We support using BNP penalties for victim restitution

The recently announced BNP sanctions settlement is remarkable in so many ways: the behavior is outrageous, the $9 billion criminal penalty is record-setting, and 13 employees were terminated. However, the most interesting part of the story may be the idea that the DOJ is exploring ways to use the forfeited funds to compensate individuals who may have been harmed by the sanctioned regimes of Sudan, Iran and Cuba.

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Wednesday
Apr292015

The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Twelve, conclusion): Future BOTAs and the FCPA

Aaron Bornstein wrote in the prior post of the potential to use recovered bribe proceeds or stolen assets to fund BOTA-inspired programs in developing countries. That possibility is real, and important.  But recognize that the majority of FCPA settlements do not involve traceable and recoverable assets -- the money is typically long gone. So if we are to create more BOTAs, we must fund them with the money that is available in your more typical FCPA settlement.

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Tuesday
Apr282015

The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Eleven): Future BOTAs and dictators' money

The BOTA Foundation was able to take the $115 million from the corruption case associated with James GIffen and use it effectively and efficiently to assist more than 200,000 poor children, youth and their families in Kazakhstan. 

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Monday
Apr272015

The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Ten): Lessons from BOTA

BOTA was the first foundation established to restitute assets associated with an FCPA prosecution to victims of corruption. What were its key lessons that could be relevant to future foundations established for the same purpose?  

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Wednesday
Apr222015

The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Nine): How effective was BOTA?

The BOTA Foundation surpassed most of the expectations that its founders had for it. BOTA was able to efficiently and effectively return more than $115 million (the original $84 million associated with corruption plus accrued interest frozen Pictet and Cie Swiss bank account) to poor children, youth and their families. 

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Tuesday
Apr212015

The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Eight): BOTA's Grants and Scholarship Program 

BOTA had three programs, with its largest, the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program, briefly explained in the previous post. Funds from the Pictet and Cie bank account associated with James Giffen and President Nazarbayev were used in two other ways to help poor children and youth in Kazakhstan: via a NGO grants program, called the Social Service Program (SSP), and through a scholarship program known as the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). 

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Monday
Apr202015

The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Seven): BOTA's Conditional Cash Transfer Program

The background of BOTA Foundation was explored in previous posts. Starting with this post I would like to explain what BOTA actually did in its five and a half years of operation.

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Wednesday
Apr152015

The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Six): How was BOTA set up?

BOTA was the first foundation ever established as a result of an FCPA case, and the question explored in this post is how it was set up.

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Tuesday
Apr142015

The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Five): The roles of the U.S., Switzerland, and the World Bank in BOTA's creation

In the case of BOTA, it took four to tango: the governments of Kazakhstan, the United States, Switzerland and the World Bank. For Kazakhstan, as explained in the previous post, BOTA provided a face-saving "out" for President Nazerbayev. Talks between the U.S., Switzerland and Kazakhstan on the disposition of the $84 million, plus accrued interest, in the Swiss Pictet and Cie Bank, started in 2003, shortly after James Giffen was arrested and charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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