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Police Bribery

New Directions in Anti-Kleptocracy: Expanding the Anti-Corruption Enforcement Paradigm



This panel, featuring speakers Berit Berger, Thomas Firestone, and Gary Kalman, moderated by Matthew Murray, Esq., is from our New Directions in Anti-Kleptocracy Forum held on April 2, 2019.

About the Speakers:

Berit Berger is currently Executive Director at the Columbia Center for Advancement of Public Integrity (CAPI). Prior to joining CAPI, Berit worked as a federal prosecutor for over 11 years in the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Berit covered a wide variety of federal criminal matters including terrorism, violent crime, corruption, fraud, and racketeering. She conducted many jury trials in addition to briefing and arguing appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Berit held numerous supervisory positions within the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Chief of the General Crimes Unit and Organized Crime and Gangs Unit. Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, Berit was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and worked as a law clerk in the Southern District of New York for the Honorable James C. Francis IV. Berit is an alumna of Columbia Law School.

Thomas Firestone is a Partner at Baker & McKenzie and Co-Chair of the firm’s North American Government Enforcement practice. He is also a member of the Firm’s Global Compliance & Investigations Steering Committee. Firestone represents clients in matters involving anti-corruption and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), internal investigations, and transactional due diligence. Prior to joining the Firm, he spent 14 years at the US Department of Justice, where he worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and prosecuted transnational organized crime cases. He also worked as Resident Legal Adviser and Acting Chief of the Law Enforcement Section at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. In the latter capacity, he facilitated US-Russian law enforcement cooperation, assisted the Russian government in drafting new criminal legislation, advised the US government on policy issues related to criminal justice in Russia, and twice won the U.S. State Department Superior Honor Award.

Gary Kalman is the executive director and founding member of the FACT Coalition in Washington, DC. Prior to joining FACT, Gary was the executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), where he oversaw CRL’s federal policy and legislative work across all of their issues, including mortgage and homeownership, small-dollar loans, and other forms of predatory lending. Prior to CRL, Gary directed the federal legislative office for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). While at U.S. PIRG, he was a leading voice for congressional ethics and lobbying reform having sat on a special bipartisan task force convened by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was a founding member and executive committee member of Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 200 organizations, which, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, led the successful fight for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill. He has served as a political consultant and taught advocacy and development at LaSalle University’s Nonprofit Center and at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Matthew Murray is currently Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and member of the Joint Independent Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of Afghanistan. Throughout his career, Mr. Murray has worked at the intersection of U.S. foreign policy, international law, commerce, and political economy. From 2012 – January 2017, Mr. Murray served the Obama Administration as a Senior Advisor on Governance and Rule of Law, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at the U.S. Department of Commerce. During the prior two decades, Mr. Murray’s career spanned roles as Associate Attorney at the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie; founder of Sovereign Ventures, Inc., a management consulting firm countering corruption risk; co-founder of the Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance; and Corruption Risk Manager at TNK-BP Management Ltd., then the third largest producer of oil and gas in Russia. He also acted as Research Assistant to Dr. Leslie Gelb at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and subsequently served as Legislative Assistant for National Security to Senator Edward Kennedy. Murray earned his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in 1979. In 1984, he was awarded a scholarship as an International Fellow at the Columbia University School of Public and International Affairs and graduated in 1988 with an MIA and JD from Columbia Law School.


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Police Bribery

How The Supreme Court Got So Powerful




Thank you to Scentbird for sponsoring today’s video! Use WISECRACK55 to get 55% off your first month at Scentbird

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What’s the deal with the Supreme Court?

If you passed seventh grade social studies in the United States, you probably know that the Supreme Court is one of the most venerated institutions in the country. But actually looking at how its functioned over the years might make you wonder: Why do we give nine people this much power? Let’s dive in with this Wisecrack Edition: How the Supreme Court Became So Powerful.

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Written by CorRi Vaughan
Hosted by Michael Burns
Directed by Michael Luxemburg
Editing and Motion Graphics by Jackson Maher
Produced by Olivia Redden and Griffin Davis

Music courtesy of Epidemic Sound

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Police Bribery

History of Frank Lucas in Timeline – Frank Lucas profile




Frank Lucas (September 9, 1930 – May 30, 2019) was an American drug trafficker who operated in Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was known for cutting out middlemen in the drug trade and buying heroin directly from his source in the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia. Lucas boasted that he smuggled heroin using the coffins of dead American servicemen,[4][5] as depicted in the feature film American Gangster (2007) which fictionalized aspects of his life. This claim is denied by his Southeast Asian associate, Leslie “Ike” Atkinson.[6] In 1976, Lucas was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 70 years in prison, but after becoming an informant, he and his family were placed in the Witness Protection Program. In 1981, his federal and state prison sentences were reduced to time served plus lifetime parole. In 1984 he was convicted on drug charges, and was released from prison in 1991.


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Police Bribery

New York's Second In Command Arrested For Fraud




Brian Benjamin resigned from the second highest position in New York government this past week after being arrested for bribery and fraud.

Welcome to Legal Dissent. Where we educate and inform you of your constitutional rights before they are taken away.

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00:00 – Intro
02:05 – The Set Up
03:19 – The Red Flags
03:52 – The Indictment
07:39 – The Response
08:39 – Conclusion


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