In my recent previous posts on the BOTA Foundation, I recapped its history and provided what I think were some of the critical factors which led it to be recognized as the most successful example the United States Department of Justice has had to date in returning recovered corruption assets.… Continue Reading
As noted in my previous post, BOTA has been cited by several major newspapers in recent months as the most successful example that the United States has for accountable, transparent and effective return of recovered corruption assets, and in its final report on the foundation, the World Bank called BOTA “a remarkable achievement.” … Continue Reading
The agreement to start the Foundation emerged in 2007 after more than two years of discussion between the Governments of the United States, Switzerland and Kazakhstan (known as “the Parties”) about the disposition of $84 million, plus interest, that had been frozen in a Swiss account since 1999. … Continue Reading
What happens when recovered assets that were stolen by kleptocrats are not simply returned to the government currently in power, but used to benefit victims of corruption — the poor?
What if the mechanism to return these assets is a foundation, monitored by civil society activists as well as a multilateral finance institution like the World Bank?… Continue Reading
I led an anti-corruption program in Cambodia a few years ago funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The corruption situation in the country was and remains terrible.… Continue Reading
The BOTA Foundation was able to take the $115 million from the corruption case associated with James GIffen and use it effectively and efficiently to assist more than 200,000 poor children, youth and their families in Kazakhstan. … Continue Reading
BOTA was the first foundation established to restitute assets associated with an FCPA prosecution to victims of corruption. What were its key lessons that could be relevant to future foundations established for the same purpose? … Continue Reading
The BOTA Foundation surpassed most of the expectations that its founders had for it. BOTA was able to efficiently and effectively return more than $115 million (the original $84 million associated with corruption plus accrued interest frozen Pictet and Cie Swiss bank account) to poor children, youth and their families.… Continue Reading
BOTA had three programs, with its largest, the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program, briefly explained in the previous post. Funds from the Pictet and Cie bank account associated with James Giffen and President Nazarbayev were used in two other ways to help poor children and youth in Kazakhstan: via a NGO grants program, called the Social Service Program (SSP), and through a scholarship program known as the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). … Continue Reading
The background of BOTA Foundation was explored in previous posts. Starting with this post I would like to explain what BOTA actually did in its five and a half years of operation.… Continue Reading
BOTA was the first foundation ever established as a result of an FCPA case, and the question explored in this post is how it was set up.
There are two important facts to keep in mind as background: Kazakhstan was in a disadvantaged position in the negotiations (it needed BOTA to solve a political problem discussed in Part Three); and, the U.S.… Continue Reading
The BOTA Foundation explained (Part Five): The roles of the U.S., Switzerland, and the World Bank in BOTA’s creation
In the case of BOTA, it took four to tango: the governments of Kazakhstan, the United States, Switzerland and the World Bank. For Kazakhstan, as explained in the previous post, BOTA provided a face-saving “out” for President Nazerbayev.… Continue Reading