Five Stages of Corruption and Myriad Internal Controls Failures: Compliance Takeaways From the VimpelCom Settlement

VimpelCom’s historic settlement with U.S. and Dutch authorities was notable for many reasons, among them the enormous penalties and disgorgement paid and the DOJ’s attendant civil forfeiture suit. But beyond the settlement itself, which was discussed in the first part of this two-part article series, the underlying bribery scheme is noteworthy – and informative – as well. Over and over the company’s weak internal controls enabled employees to make corrupt payments to a government official in Uzbekistan. Here, we take a close look at the five stages of corruption that were outlined by the DOJ in its criminal information. The underlying facts show the mechanics of how corrupt payments can be made and how strong internal controls could have prevented them. See “Examining New DOJ Compliance Counsel Hui Chen’s Four Elements of a Successful Compliance Program” (Jan. 13, 2016).

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