Letter from the Editor, October 2015
In this issue Richard Bistrong, CEO of Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC, talks about his experiences as a sales executive active in countries identified as having corruption problems, and as someone who has served a sentence of imprisonment in the US for a corruption offence.
The problem of ensuring that sales staff far from home comply with anti-corruption policies and procedures is an ongoing one. If you would like a copy of our International Executives Checklist, please contact us.
We are always interested in articles and book reviews written by AFN members and readers. If you would like to contribute to the AFN newsletter or the website, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Burkill: Richard, you have become well-known as an anti-corruption compliance consultant and speaker on the strength of your own personal experience as a sales executive selling in many parts of the world identified as having corruption problems, and as someone who has served a sentence of imprisonment in the US for a corruption offence. Your background provides a unique insight for people responsible for corporate anti-corruption initiatives. Thank you for doing this interview for the Anti-Fraud Network and thank you for your posts on the AFN’s LinkedIn group.
Thank you Nick for the kind words and for the opportunity to address the Anti-Fraud network in this Q and A, as well as the opportunity to be a part of your Linkedin group, which has been the source of very positive discourse and engagement.
Q: You have previously said that you didn’t think you would get caught – how were you caught?
A: In what is a cautionary example for other individuals and multinationals, I was an offshoot of a UN investigation by the Chief of the UN Procurement Task Force (PTF), Robert (Bob) Appleton, where he was investigating (2006-2007) a third-party for potential fraud on a UN contract for the provision of food services. In the course of his investigation, Bob saw my name on e-mails with that same third-party as also indicating involvement in a conspiracy to bribe UN officials on a different (Defence) contract. Thus, the nexus of the investigation was not my own conduct, but that of the agent, which caused investigators to look at other contracts, including the one where I was involved.
In part, as a result of that investigation, I was terminated from my former employer, and was subsequently targeted by the US Justice Department. Almost ten years later, Bob and I are engaged in a number of compliance events, where he now discusses how he shared the findings of his investigation with the Justice Department. Again, another real-world example of how investigators are working together and the real teeth of international law enforcement cooperation.
In addition, UK enforcement authorities, as a result of conduct that occurred while I was living in Manchester, also targeted me as the subject of a criminal probe. Had I not ended up cooperating with the City of London Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, I might have ended up facing extradition to the UK after serving a sentence in the US. Front-line personnel who might weigh the risks and consequences of getting caught should think about those risks across all the jurisdictions in which they operate. Carbon copy prosecution is not just theory; it is very much a real-world dynamic. Continue reading
The Anti-Fraud Network is a network of professionals who specialise in the prevention and investigation of fraud and white collar crime, and the pursuit of claims arising out of the theft or other dishonest appropriation of assets, corruption, misuse of confidential information or similar breaches of duty. Recovering the proceeds of fraud and corruption is one of the truly global problems facing organisations today. Proceeds rarely stay in the country where they have been stolen. For organisations to recover stolen or corrupt assets they need access to lawyers and professionals specialising in their recovery across the world.
The Anti-Fraud Network is dedicated to providing access to trusted points of contact across the globe and offering a unified first-class international service to clients, at a time when experience, speed, co-operation and highly responsive service are most important.
The Anti-Fraud Network has been Highly Commended by the Financial Times in the 2008 FT Innovative Lawyers Awards Report.
Named 2013 “Anti-Corruption Law Firm of the Year in London” by Corporate INTL’s Global Awards Publication.
Corporate INTL, 2013
Nicholas Burkill of Dorsey & Whitney is an expert in bribery and corruption matters, and is widely considered by sources to be an authority on the implications of the new Bribery Act. Sources describe Burkill as “extremely personable, very bright, client-focused and always looking for the best commercial solutions.”
The Dorsey team is an excellent choice for tax and fraud disputes, and group head Nicholas Burkill is ‘an enormously experienced fraud litigator, with great depth of knowledge; intelligent and hardworking, with an excellent sense of humour. One of the best around’.
Legal 500 2010
Dorsey & Whitney’s practice head Nicholas Burkill is a ‘cool-headed and determined litigator’.
Legal 500 2011