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.

BEMA International

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)

February 22
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 statements — and to state charges of a theft scheme over $100,000 and misconduct in office. Sentencing in the state case is scheduled for next month.

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.
Xinis imposed a 48-month sentence for the first charge and 36 months for the second, to be served concurrently. She said his state sentence also should be served concurrently.
“He has arguably put a black mark on Montgomery County,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Sullivan, noting that Bang stole from a department tasked with bringing economic development to the Maryland suburb of 1.1 million people. “Are businesses going to come to Montgomery County when they know this type of malfeasance has occurred?”
Bang’s wife, Youn Jung, and his pastor both spoke at the hearing, emphasizing his role as a family man, albeit with psychological issues.
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.”

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