‘ Senate Committee Hearing on Dark Money ‘

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES – June 11 – CRP ‘s Work Prominent in Senate Dark Money Hearing

anguskingcrpchart.jpgWednesday’s Senate Rules Committee hearing on dark money in the 2014 election highlighted Centre for Responsive Politics tallies and and analysis of dark money spending, including the fact that non-disclosing groups have already reported spending three times more than they had at this point in in the 2012 elections — a presidential cycle when higher spending would be expected.

CRP provided written testimony for the hearing, which was chaired by Sen.

Angus King (I-ME), shown above holding a CRP graphic.

Additionally, in a report just released, the Wesleyan Media Project, in partnership with with CRP, finds that of ads aired by interest groups in Senate races so far in the 2014 election cycle, more than half have been sponsored by dark money groups. »

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‘ Four New York Strippers Accused of Drugging Wealthy Clients and Running Up Huge Bills on Credit Cards ‘

#AceFinanceNews – Four New York strippers have been accused of drugging wealthy clients and running up huge bills on their credit cards at topless clubs.

​The victims – a banker, a hedge fund executive, a doctor and a real estate lawyer – collectively lost $200,000 (£120,000) in the scam.

The women have been charged with grand larceny, assault and forgery.

They met victims at upmarket bars in Manhattan and Long Island, then spiked their drinks with a powerful powder form of ecstasy called Molly, authorities said.

The victims were then taken to two strip clubs, Scores in Manhattan and the Roadhouse in Queens, where tens of thousands of dollars were charged on their credit cards while they were too "wasted" to stop it.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said: "The defendants were banking on the victims being too afraid to contact the police, but as the indictment and arrests show, they made a serious miscalculation."

The victims reported waking up in their cars or in hotel rooms with little or no memory of the encounters.

If somebody tried to dispute the bills, the strippers blackmailed them by threatening to go public with their transgressions, authorities said.

The clubs allegedly paid the women for the visits, but they were not facing criminal charges.

However, according to the New York Post, a Roadhouse manager was charged with conspiracy, grand larceny and tampering with physical evidence.

Though none of the victims were named in court papers, an attorney for Dr Zyad Younan, a New Jersey cardiologist, confirmed his client was one of them.

Read More: Sky US News


‘ Vladimir Putin Warns Ukraine Against Refusing a Reduced Gas Price Offer ‘

#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – June 11 – Recent reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine against refusing a reduced gas price offer, amid a long-running dispute over the price of Russian gas deliveries.

​Putin made the remarks on Wednesday, as the two countries were holding gas supply talks in the Belgian capital, Brussels.

The Russian president added that Kiev is leading the negotiations into a “dead end.”

Putin also said the final price for every 1,000 cubic meters of Russian natural gas is USD 385, which includes the discount.

The Russian president has ordered Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to decide future actions that Moscow should take after Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk rejected a discount of USD 100 on per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.

Medvedev has threatened Ukraine with pre-payments, if Kiev fails to clear its outstanding debts.

According to Russia’s state-run energy giant, Gazprom, Ukraine’s total gas debt stands at USD 5.2 billion, with its last month’s consumption included.


‘ United States Most Corrupt States and Costs to American Taxpayers ‘

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES – June 11 – A new study by researchers at Indiana University and City University of Hong Kong identifies the most corrupt and least corrupt states in the United States and calculates that government corruption costs American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year.

​The study demonstrates that corruption goes hand-in-hand with excessive state spending. In the 10 most corrupt states, simply reducing corruption to an average level would lower annual state spending by $1,308 per person — or 5.2 percent of state expenditures. Corrupt states also spend more on construction and capital projects and less on services, including education.

​"The Impact of Public Officials’ Corruption on the Size and Allocation of US State Spending" will appear in the May/June 2014 issue of Public Administration Review and can be read now on-line. It presents the first research on the impact of public officials’ corruption on spending by U.S. states.

Authors are Cheol Liu, assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong, and John Mikesell, Chancellor’s Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University Bloomington. Liu earned his Ph.D. from SPEA at IU Bloomington.

"Policy makers should pay close attention that public resources are not used for private gains of the few but rather distributed effectively and fairly for various purposes," they write, arguing that reducing corruption can be a tool to restrain spending as when states struggle to balance their budgets.

To establish which states are most corrupt, the researchers examined more than 25,000 convictions for violations of federal anti-corruption laws between 1976 and 2008 and created a "corruption index" by comparing convictions with the number of government employees. Convictions were not correlated to state differences in police, prosecution and court resources, suggesting they were a reflection of the extent of corruption, not of law enforcement effort.

Read More: Press Release


‘ Charity Commission Opens Inquiry into Registered Charity My Community UK ‘

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED KINGDOM – June 11 – The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into My Community UK (registered charity number 1137137).

The charity is based in Manchester and its objects include ‘to relieve poverty, advance education and promote good health of individuals in need’.

Concerns were raised with the commission in December 2012 that the trustees were failing to properly manage conflicts of interest and that people closely connected to the trustees were obtaining unauthorised private benefits.

The regulator carried out an inspection of the financial books and records of the charity, and met with the trustees twice during 2013. In the course of its compliance case, although the charity did take some corrective steps including adopting a conflicts of interest policy, the Commission became increasingly concerned about the trustees’ continuing inability to properly account for the charitable expenditure of the charity and properly manage conflicts of interest. As a result, a statutory inquiry was opened on 3 February 2014.

The investigation is examining:

  • whether the trustees have properly managed conflicts of interest
  • the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees, including its relationships with companies linked to the trustees and the accountability of significant funds that were held in the charity’s bank account
  • the circumstances and propriety of payments made by the charity to various connected parties
  • whether, and to what extent, there was mismanagement or misconduct on the part of the charity’s trustees
  • whether, and to what extent, the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees

It is the commission’s policy, after it has concluded the inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the commission are available on its website.

View the charity’s details on the register of charities.

UK Government Press Release.