About TRACE Bribe, Swindle or Steal

Bribe, Swindle or Steal

In this podcast, TRACE President Alexandra Wrage explores the world of financial crime – corruption, fraud, money laundering and sanctions. Through interviews with investigative reporters, business people and prosecutors, Alexandra examines different angles of financial crime and explores what motivates people to break the law, how wrongdoers cover their tracks and what can be done to put a stop to the looting.

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Bradley Hope of the Wall Street Journal describes his team’s in-depth and on-going research into Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal- and where Leonardo DiCaprio fits in.

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Previous Episodes

Human Trafficking

Martina Vandenberg discusses the misery caused by trafficking and slavery, including in our own neighborhoods, and describes the work her organization is doing to support those able to break free.

Imprisoned in China

Peter Humphrey and his wife were well-respected compliance professionals active in China when they were arrested, tried and imprisoned for two years.

Bernie Madoff: "The Wizard of Lies"

Diana Henriques drew on her years of financial journalism and extraordinary access to the title character to write the definitive book about Bernie Madoff.  It was turned into an HBO movie earlier this year starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Diana, playing herself.

Fujimori, Montesinos and TI

Before becoming chairman of Transparency International, José Ugaz was the “ad hoc state attorney” (special prosecutor) who brought down Peruvian President Fujimori and his head of intelligence, Vladimiro Montesinos.

The Compliance Whisperer

Hui Chen describes her role as the DOJ's Compliance Consultant, what companies should focus on and why she resigned.

Spoiling Their Shopping Trips

Rob Leventhal of the US State Department discusses the tools available to the US Government to make the lives of kleptocrats more difficult.

"Why They Do It"

Eugene Soltes describes his fascinating research into what motivates white collar criminals and how distance from their victims makes it easier.

The Smartest Guys in the Room

Peter Elkind tells the story of the Enron financial scandal; it’s a timely refresher on that corporate disaster as the Trump Administration rolls back financial regulations.

After You Pay a Bribe

Listen to the riveting first-hand story of a Unaoil executive who found himself at the center of a bribery scheme.

Compliance Challenges in China

Join two legal experts for a conversation about compliance challenges in China.

The Corrupt Underbelly of Sport

Declan Hill discusses the pervasive and sinister nature of match-fixing and how we can prevent sport from being turned into theater.

Understanding Sanctions

Amanda DeBusk walks us through the goal and nature of US sanctions, and the penalties for getting this important issue wrong.

The Congo: A Family-Owned Business

Bloomberg’s Michael Kavanagh describes his research into the extensive holdings of the Kabila family in the DRC.

The Unaoil Story

Nick McKenzie tells the exciting story of his role in the investigation into Unaoil.

Corruption's Toll on Africa

Michelle Gavin, former ambassador to Botswana, discusses corruption on the continent and how the west is perceived.

"Thieves of State"

Sarah Chayes discusses her time in Afghanistan and discusses the link between corruption and national security.

How Criminals Justify Their Conduct

Shaul Shalvi, a professor of behavioral ethics, describes how people convince themselves that their misconduct is OK.

Trump Hotel - Baku

Adam Davidson of the New Yorker joins the podcast to talk about his research into the baffling Trump Hotel deal in Baku.

Madoff and Belfort

Ike Sorkin, lawyer to both Bernie Madoff and Jordan Belfort, talks through their criminal financial schemes and how regulatory safeguards failed. 

The Death of Sergei Magnitsky

Bill Browder of Hermitage Capital describes the brazen fraud and violence of Putin’s Russia.

The FIFA Swamp

Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated discusses how decades of FIFA corruption and self-dealing have undermined the world's favorite sport. 

Siemens' Bribery Scandal

Peter Solmssen, former GC of Siemens, tells their story.  “They didn’t need to pay bribes.   We were perplexed.”

"Fat Leonard"

Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post describes the sleaze and corruption that compromised the top ranks of the Seventh Fleet.

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