Sunday, February 24, 2019
Corruption. Corruption is a global issue. February 2019
Corruption is a global issue.
In the U.S. Systems designed with at a minimum three major components: monitoring\detection, prosecution, and incarceration.
Other nations do have monitoring\detection established, but little if any prosecution or incarceration. Without use of entire components corruption has an appearance of cultural acceptance and a way of doing business.
Make the change.
Ex-Montgomery County official gets 4 years in federal prison for embezzling $6.7 million
Peter Bang, front, walks into the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt on Friday with his lawyer, Gerald W. Kelly Jr. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
Byung Il “Peter” Bang, the former Montgomery County economic development official who admitted to stealing $6.7 million from the county, was sentenced Friday to four years in prison.
In a hearing that stretched for more than two hours, U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis underscored the seriousness of the offense — which she called a “doozy” — while also noting Bang’s role as a devoted husband and father, and his efforts to seek help for the gambling addiction that prosecutors say motivated him to steal from government coffers.
“This was a purposeful plan that involved the largest theft in Montgomery County history, and I cannot look away from that,” Xinis said.
Bang pleaded guilty Nov. 16 to two federal charges — one of wire fraud and the other of fraud and false
In the moments before Xinis made her ruling, Bang addressed the court, repeatedly saying he took “full responsibility” for the years-long theft. But he quibbled with some points raised during the hearing, arguing, for example, that a shell company prosecutors say he set up to further the scheme was actually initially created for legitimate purposes.
“At this point, I have no excuse,” Bang told the judge, lawyers and spectators in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt. “I want to express remorse, shame and offer apologies to my former employer and colleagues.”
He said he hasn’t gambled since 2016 and has been undergoing treatment with a psychologist, who diagnosed him as a “compulsive gambler with deep-rooted emotional and mental issues.”
Prosecutors had asked Xinis to sentence Bang to five years on the first federal charge, with an additional three years to run concurrently on the second.
In a soft, halting voice, his wife recounted her life with him. “I asked him why, and my husband said, ‘I don’t know,’” she said as Bang stared straight ahead, his fingers interlaced before him.
Bang’s attorney, Gerald W. Kelly Jr., of Columbia, had requested three years in prison for his client.
“A gambling addiction and untreated mental health condition directly related to his conduct,” Kelly said to the judge. “Mr. Bang stands before this court with sincere remorse for his crimes.”
But Deputy County Attorney John Markovs, speaking for Montgomery County, called Bang’s crime “a case of public corruption at the highest level.”
“While Mr. Bang may be a loving husband and father, that belies his intentions,” Markovs said. “His embezzlement of county money is not a victimless crime.”