This week, Michael Flynn becomes the latest indictment on Mueller's list, Uber steps up their corruption game to espionage, and PwC has its first Bitcoin transaction.
And thereby hangs a tale | Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor to President Trump, is expected to plead guilty today to a single charge of lying to the FBI. He’s the latest leading man to hit the limelight in Mueller’s investigation. That list also includes former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy. It makes Walter Shaub's concerns about the administration's ethical shortcomings seem almost quaint. Compliance takeaway here? Don't lie to the federal authorities. Ever.
The truth wins out | For the first time ever, Turkish President Erdogan was implicated in a plot to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. For years, Erdogan has been skirting accusations of money laundering and bribery, but on Thursday, Reza Zarrab, who laundered billions of dollars on behalf of Iran, said the former PM gave the green light on the scheme. It should be noted, however, that he heard that information secondhand, so this is not exactly direct evidence. But it is the first time Erdogan has been linked to allegations at all.
Tinker, tailor, soldier, why? | If you’ve been longing for more news about Uber, the ridesharing app everyone loves to hate, it’s your lucky week. During a court hearing recently, an investigation surfaced regarding a probe into Uber over allegations of espionage. A 37-page letter from a former security employee revealed that a unit called Marketplace Analytics was used to steal trade secrets from rivals. Uber also allegedly trained employees how to “impede, obstruct, or influence” legal investigations, and used a messaging service called Wickr that erased messages automatically. This all came out just before Uber was slated to face Waymo in court over (you guessed it) stealing tech.
Doozy of a week | Bitcoin is making some serious waves. After hitting $11k on Wednesday, it suddenly tanked back to $8k. But by Thursday morning in China, it had regained some of it’s composure at around $10k. Soon after, PwC announced that it had accepted its first bitcoin payment, though this isn’t the firm’s first time supporting the cryptocurrency. Earlier this year they wrote a report detailing how cryptocurrencies could have an impact on multiple industries, like traveling and gambling. There’s been some questions about whether cryptocurrency companies like Bitcoin will be able to become truly legitimate. That uncertainty stems from countries like China and South Korea putting the kibosh on using the digital coffers, and a lack of regulations that would prevent cryptocurrencies from being the avenue of choice for criminal activity, such as money laundering and terrorism financing. But it looks like Bitcoin isn’t paying attention to the #haters, and neither are its investors.
Ads go up in smoke | Well, it only took 11 years, but Big Tobacco is finally waving the white flag and running advertisements to correct the lies they spread to the American people during the 20th century. In a 2006 judgment, companies like RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris were found guilty of breaking anti-racketeering laws, lying about how harmful cigarettes were, and lying about marketing to children (shocker—a cartoon camel might draw in kids’ attention). Now ads will run on television and in print to make “corrective statements.” But not online, where 4 in 10 Americans read the news.
Going down with the ship | A retired aircraft carrier commander, Rear. Adm. Kenneth Norton, has been censured following the biggest corruption scandal in U.S. Navy history. The scandal involves a former defense contractor named Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard" Francis, whose company provided services to Navy ships. Beginning in 2007, Norton repeatedly took gifts from Leonard. Since the beginning of the investigation in 2013, 20 naval officials have been charged with fraud and bribery. They have been accused of accepting cash, prostitutes, and lavish trips in exchange for steering ships to areas where Francis' company operated, which prosecutors say cost U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars.