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Keeping Foreign Corruption Out of the United States: Four Case Histories

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Location: Room 342, Dirksen Senate Office Building



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Member Statements

Agenda

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing, "Keeping Foreign Corruption Out of the United States: Four Case Histories," examined how some politically powerful foreign officials, their relatives, or close associates – referred to in international agreements as “Politically Exposed Persons” or PEPs – have used the services of U.S. professionals and U.S. financial institutions to bring millions of dollars in suspect funds into the United States to advance their interests. Four case histories presented at the hearing illustrated how some PEPs have used U.S. lawyers, realtors, escrow agents, lobbyists, bankers, and others to circumvent U.S. anti-money laundering and anti-corruption safeguards. It also looked at how some U.S. professionals have actively helped PEPs avoid bank scrutiny or facilitated suspect transactions with no questions asked. The hearing also examined whether U.S. policies and practices to combat foreign corruption and money laundering need strengthening.  Hearing witnesses included government agencies, including the State Department, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), as well as lawyers, a realtor, and representatives of financial institutions.

In conjunction with this hearing, the Subcommittee Staff issued a report entitled, "Keeping Foreign Corruption Out of the United States: Four Case Histories."  The Report is available via the link located at the top left corner of this webpage. 

Witnesses

Panel 1

  • MICHAEL JAY BERGER (No Prepared Remarks)
    Attorney for Equatorial Guinea Cabinet Minister Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue
    Beverly Hills, CA
  • GEORGE I. NAGLER (No Prepared Remarks)
    Attorney for Equatorial Guinea Cabinet Minister Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue
    Beverly Hills, CA
  • JEFFREY C. BIRRELL (No Prepared Remarks)
    Registered Agent for the Republic of Gabon
    The Grace Group
    McLean, VA

Panel 2

  • NEAL BADDIN
    Realtor for Equatorial Guinea Cabinet Minister Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue
    West Hollywood, CA
    Download Testimony (13k)
  • BRENDA K. COBB
    Vice President
    Insured Aircraft Title Service, Inc.
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Download Testimony (177k)
  • WILLIAM J. FOX
    Senior Vice-President and Global Anti-Money Laundering and Economic Sanctions Executive
    Bank of America
    Charlotte, NC
    Download Testimony (90k)
  • WIECHER H. MANDEMAKER
    Director, General Compliance, Personal Financial Services, Anti-Money Laundering Compliance
    HSBC Bank USA, N.A.
    Washington, DC
    Download Testimony (161k)

Panel 3

  • The Honorable David T. Johnson
    Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
    U. S. Department of State
    Washington, DC
    Download Testimony (34k)
  • JANICE AYALA
    Assistant Director, Office of Investigations
    Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)
    Washington, DC
    Download Testimony (139k)
  • JAMES H. FREIS, JR.
    Director
    Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
    Vienna, VA
    Download Testimony (131k)