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Bribery advice from John McAfee

Dear FCPA Blog,

Not sure if you’ve been following the John McAfee story in detail but I’ve been reading his blog (which he’s writing while on the lam) and he had two posts back to back about corruption.

As you know, McAfee is famous for developing anti-virus software. On November 10, his neighbor in Belize, Gregory Viant Faull, was found dead from a gunshot to the head. Police wanted to question McAfee but he ran. There’s now a warrant out for his arrest as the prime suspect in Faull’s murder.

McAfee’s bizarre blog is mostly about his drug trafficking days. But it’s also a very detailed account about how to bribe third-world officials. It’s not clear how much is true, but it looks authentic and even insightful:

The real art of producing documentation [cash] is the subtle play of how much to produce. In some countries, a policeman makes less than a dollar an hour. At a checkpoint, a policeman will usually share his proceeds with the other officers lounging by the side of the road and with the police Chief. The Chief will get about 25% in countries like Columbia and Panama, so if there are three officers total, then a ten-dollar contribution will end up with about $2.50 in each person’s pocket – a good take for someone making about a dollar an hour in legitimate salary.

He’s also quite philosophical at times:

In order to make the most of your travels, you need to first understand that, throughout much of the Third World, there is a smoothly functioning “system” in place that has evolved over centuries. From the First World perspective it is a “corrupt” system, and indeed, at the higher levels there is no other word for it, and this blog’s purpose is to remove the brutality and horror of such high level corruption. At the lower levels, however, the system contains an element of grace and humanity, and this lower lever is all that most people will ever encounter.

A second post specifically on corruption is here.

I don’t know if the FCPA Blog can do anything usable with this, but I thought it was a pretty interesting read nonetheless — and wild stuff, considering McAfee’s current situation.


[name withheld by request]

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