INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CRIME & CORRUPTON
Georgetown University Course Number LL.M Seminar 877G or J -08
(2 credit hours)
Ethan S. Burger, Esq.
Home Telephone: (301) 652-4016
E-mail address email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Class will meet every Tuesday during the semester (except for March 25th) from 7:55 p.m.
to 9:55 p.m., Hottung Room 5027.
At this time, there are no plans for canceling any class or establishing arrangements for
any make-up classes.
Office Hours: After class and by special arrangement. I will also try to respond by e-mail
within 48 hours.
* * * * *
Required Book Purchase:
Peter Reuter and Edwin M. Truman, Chasing Dirty Money: The Fight
Against Money Laundering (Institute for International Economics 2004)
Possible Book Purchases:
Peter Andreas and Ethan Nadelmann, Policing the Globe: Criminalization and
Crime Control in International Relations (Oxford 2006) (hereinafter
Raymond W. Baker, Capitalism’s Achilles Heel (Wiley 2005) (hereinafter
Margaret E. Beare, ed. Critical Reflections on Transna
Crime, Money Laundering and Corruption (Toronto Press 2003) (hereinafter
The line dividing legitimate international business activities and illicit conduct is
becoming increasingly blurred. The organizations typically invo lved in facilitating
legitimate international commerce (law firms, accounting firms and banks) are
increasingly assisting corrupt regimes, and international crime groups. Many
governments and international organizations regardtransnational organized crime
(including terrorism) as posing the principal national security threat of the 21st
This course will examine both the institutional and legal framework for combating
this threat. Some of the topics to be addressed include (i) domestic law (e.g. RICO)
and governmental structures for combating corruption, human trafficking, narcotics
(cultivation and distribution), tax evasion through the use of offshore tax havens, and
illegal weapons exports; (ii) the role of international institutions and instruments in
this area, and (iii) how private service providers (accounting firms, law firms and
banks) aggravate the situation.
There will be no examinations in this class. Rather students will research, brief and
prepare terms papers (approved in advance by the professor) related to the subject
matter of the course.
Prior to submitting their papers, students will have an opportunity to submit a draft,
which the professor will review and provide comments in strike and underline format.
Students whose first language is not English are especially encouraged to take
advantage of this offer.
The goal of the course is to help students to understand current trends in international
economic crime, the U.S. and multi-national law and institutions to combat it, and the
hurdles to achieving a more effective policy. The course will provide the students an
opportunity to improve their ability to write analytical memos and succinctly “brief” topics
to policymakers and judges.
Prior course work in private or public international law, criminal law, or international
organizations is expected. Professional experience will usually be acceptable in lieu of
formal law school study. Note the word “or” – students need not have a detailed
knowledge of each area, but should have an appreciation of at least one of aforementioned
areas of the law so that classroom discussions will reflect a range of ideas and knowledge.
The course requirements are:
Staying current in the course readings – we only meet once a week, so students
are expected to be prepared. If a student will not be in class, the student should
notify the professor of that fact and the student will prepare a 2-3 page
summary (double spaced) of at least one of the issues discussed in the readings
assigned for that class. This short paper is due within two class of the
scheduled class session.
All students shall meet in person or communicate by telephone with the
professor at pre-arranged times at least twice during the semester to provide
feedback on the course to date and their progress in selecting a paper topic,
should the student opt for the paper as opposed to the exam option. The first of
such meetings shall occur not later than after the fourth class session. The
second of such meetings shall occur not later than after the eighth class session.
Preparation of Research Papers -- Students are to research and write a 15-18
page paper (single spaced) covering subjects such as: (i) international white-
collar crime in the banking, securities or commodities trading sectors, (ii) illegal
weapons export (including components of weapons of mass destruction) – the
roles of the producers, governments/international organizations, and criminal or
terrorist group, (iii) the legal status mercenaries when used by private
companies for security purposes, separatists and national governments under
international law, (iv) trafficking in women and children, (v) instances of
criminal groups have taken over portions of or entire countries, (vi) the
interplay between criminal and nationalistic groups, (vii) criticisms of how
national legislation may hinder international law enforcement, or (viii) the
subordination of a country’s law enforcement objectives to other foreign policy
goals. Please Note that students need not restrict themselves to seminar paper
topics involving the aforementioned countries. References should be in Blue
As an alternative to writing a Research Paper, students at their option may
choose to take a take-home Exam. The exam will be in essay format. The
Exam will NOT be a traditional law school exam. It will be more analytical
and ask students for policy recommendations or react to statements.
COURSE MATERIALS AND READINGS
In addition to the assigned readings, the professor will sometimes distribute materials in
class for discussion purposes, tying the assigned readings to current events.1 All required
readings will be on reserve at the William Bennett Library.
Students will use Internet sources to prepare for class and for assistance in selecting their
paper topics. With respect to U.S-centric or broad international topics, I would recommend
that students visit the following web sites: the Egmont Group at
http://www.egmontgrou p.org/; the Financial Activities Task Force on Money Laundering
All papers should have the following organization: introduction [short statement of the issue examined],
background [context for understanding the topic – where appropriate use charts and other graphics],
methodology [what sources you are using and why, did you experience problems with obtaining relevant
information/data and is such information/data reliable], discussion [presentation of facts, data, discussion of
likely future developments, your observations/analysis], and conclusion [what have you learned and what
should a reader remember if s/he wants to look at this topic in the future?]. Of course, students may use a
less structured format if they feel it to be more suitable.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN – within the U.S. Department of the
Treasury); the International Monetary Fund at http://www.imf.org/; Transparency
International at http://www.transparency.org/; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at
http://www.dea.gov/; International Police Organizati n at http://www.interpol.int/;
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at http://www.unodc.org/unodc/index.html;
United Nations Register of Conventional Arms Sales at
http://disarmament.un.org/cab/register.html; the World Bank Anti-Money Laundering
and Financing of Terrorism at
http://www1.worldbank.org/finance/html/amlcft/index.htm and Governance and Anti-
enuPK:1740542~pagePK:64168427~piPK:64168435~theSitePK:1740530,00.html I .
have merely scratched the surface of that which is available on the web. In addition, this
course does not make use of ANY reported decisions in the money laundering area.
Students will probably want to look at cases in this area in the course of researching their
papers or preparing for classroom discussion.
There are numerous law and business journals, as well as non-academic business
magazines, which will contain relevant news stories and be a source of ideas for seminar
topics including: The International Lawyer (published by the American Bar Association’s
International Law and Practice Section), Journal of World Business, BusinessWeek, the
Economist, Fortune Magazine, and International and Comparative Corporate Law Journal
(published by Kluwer Academic Publishers).
To help them in the selection of their seminar paper topics, students are encouraged to skim
The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times’ Business Section, and The [London]
Financial Times. For example, in the October 11, 2006 issue of The Financial Times (at 8),
there is an article about password stealing software by organized crime that permits them
“steal data and make money.” Cybercrime is a major priority of law enforcement in most
During the semester, I hope to have one or two guest speakers who works in this area who
will speak for part of the session.
BASIS OF COURSE GRADE
The student’s grade will be determined as follows:
-- 25% for class participation (classroom discussions of readings); and
-- 75% for the term paper (and presentation) OR TAKE HOME EXAM.
All students are required to familiarize with and follow all provisions of Georgetown
University Law Center’s Academic Integrity Code.
TOPICS TO BE COVERED
I. Money Laundering and the Framework for Combating It -- (Class Sessions
1 and 2) <January 15 & 22, 2008>.
Session 1 – <January 15, 2008>
DM, Chapters 1 & 3 (READ – Please identify most interesting topics for
discussion in class and take note of the major idea in each chapter.) (On
Session 2 – <January 22, 2008>
RB, pp. 1-161 (SKIM – identify most interesting topics for discussion in class
and take note of the major idea in each chapter; review last week’s reading).
Classroom Discussion: We will review the course’s objectives, requirements and
syllabus. Reuter and Truman provide a good introduction to the topic of economic
crime and the legal framework for combating it. Then we will examine Raymond
Baker’s thesis that in a global economy nationally organized law enforcement is
ineffective and that international corporations can facilitate illicit activity (corruption,
the drug trade, trafficking in women and children, etc.
II. International Legal Framework – (Class Sessions 3 and 4 – January 29
and February 5, 2008)
Session 3 - <January 29, 2008>
a) Policing (Chapter 1 at 17-58 (Read) and Chapter 6 at 223-253 (Read). (On
b) UN Conventional against Transnational Organized Crime, available at
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/crime_cicp_convention.html (identify the
topics covered in this website, but only read major provisions, but bring to
class for discussion).
Session 4 - <February 5, 2008>
a) Policing (Chapter 3, 105-55 (Skim), Chapter 4 at 187-88 (Skim) and
Chapter 5 at 189-222 (Read). (On Reserve).
Classroom Discussion: We will cover in class the legal framework for combating
international organized crime and discuss practical issues involved in implementing
extradition and other relevant subjects.
III. Financial Crime and Human Rights, Corruption and Development -- (Class
Sessions 5 and 6 –February 12 and 26, 2008>.
Session 5 – <February 12, 2008>
a. DM – Chapter 4 and 7 (Read) (on Reserve).
b. Ethan Burger and Mary Holland, Getting Our Priorities in Order: Human
Rights and International Law for the 21st Century,
available at http://law.ubalt.edu/asil/burger.html.
Classroom Discussion: What policy recommendations would you make to U.S. and global
anti-money laundering policies more effective? What if any role should human rights have
in policies aimed at combating international economic crime?
! ! ! ! FACULTY RETREAT ON FEBRUARY 19TH – NO CLASS ! ! ! !
Session 6 - <February 26, 2007>
a. Students should read: RB – Skim 162-277 (identify for class most
interesting topics for classroom discussion>; and
b. Students should skim: Ethan S. Burger and Mary Holland, “Will the OECD
Anti-Bribery Convention Fulfill its Goals or Must the Private Sector Lead the
Fight Against Foreign Bribery in International Business?,” 30 FORDHAM
INT’L L. REV. 45 (2006).
Classroom Discussion: What is the impact of corruption on development? Does domestic
or international criminal law have much of an impact? If not, why not? What are the roles
of national governments, private corporations, international organizations and NGOs?
! ! ! ! NOTE THAT SPRING BREAK IS MARCH 1-9 AND THERE WILL BE NO
CLASS ON MARCH 25 – OUR LAST CLASS IS EXTRA-LONG TO ALLOW FOR
ALL THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS ! ! ! !
IN ANY EVENT, ALL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WATCH THE
DOCUMENTARY “The World History of Organized Crime (2-Disc Series).” IT IS
AVAILABLE THROUGH NETFLIX AND MANY VIDEO STORES. I WILL TRY
TO ARRANGE FOR THE LIBRARY TO GET A COPY AS WELL
IV. International Institutions and Moneylaundering -- (Class Session7) <March 11,
a) Students whose first letter of their last names are between A and L should
mine the FATF website – available at http://www.fatf-
particular attention to the original anti-money laundering recommendations and
those additional recommendations adopted after9/11. How effectively does
FATF fulfill the role for which it was created?
b) Students whose first letter of their last names are between A and L should
mine the World Bank’s websites dealing with money laundering and corruption
at available at http://www1.worldbank.org/finance/html/amlcft/index.htm and
Governance and Anti-Corruption available at
Classroom Discussion: What recommendations would you make to policy makers to
influence the corruption problem by attacking money laundering? Do you agree with
FATF’s and the World Bank’s approach and analyses. Students will make short 2-3
minute oral presentations on their thoughts,
V. Legal Framework for the War on Drugs and Its Consequences -- (Class Session
8) <March 18, 2008>.
a). Students whose first letter of their last names are between A and L should
mine this website -- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration available at
http://www.dea.gov/ for data, rationale for their activities, and legal basis for their
b) Students whose first letter of their last names is between M and Z should
mine this website -- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime available at
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/index.html for data, rationale for their activities, and
legal basis for their activities.
Classroom Discussion: The websites contain the rationale for efforts to combat illegal
narcotics and discuss the legal basis for doing so. Students are to make 2-3 minute
presentations on what they found interesting on the websites. Some of the readings later
in this course found in “Reflections” call into question these efforts.
! ! ! ! ON MARCH 25TH THERE WILL BE NO CLASS. AS NOTED ABOVE. IF
YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE DOCUMENTARY “THE WORLD HISTORY
OF ORGANIZED CRIME,” PLEASE DO SO DURING THIS WEEK ! ! ! !
VI. The Gray Line Between Organized Criminal and Terrorist Organizations -- (Class
Session 9) <April 1, 2008>.
a. Students should read the first and last chapters of Loretta Napoleoni, Terror
Incorporated: Tracing the Dol ars Behind the Terror Networks (Seven
Stories Press 2004) (On reserve), and
b. Students should skim the U.S. Department of Justice Handbook on Criminal
RICO – students should print out the table of contents – some of the key
provisions will be discussed in class, available at
htm another DoJ Document has not only the statutory language, but DoJ
RICO Guidelines as well, available at
htm-- note that this document was prepared in 1999.
Classroom discussion: From a prosecutorial standpoint, are the Federal Criminal RICO
laws sufficient to deal with organized criminal groups? Is its extra-territorial nature
sufficient to offset the possible obstacles to obtaining the cooperation of foreign law
enforcement. Are the models for organized crime groups appropriate for understanding
PLEASE NOTE THAT STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO FINALIZE
THEIR TOPICS FOR THEIR PAPERS PRIOR TO THIS CLASS. IT IS
ADVISABLE FOR EACH STUDENT TO PREPARE AN OUTLINE FOR
THEIR PAPER AS WELL AS A WRITEN DISCUSSION OF THE
METHODOLOGY AND SOURCES THEY WILL USE FOR FULFILLING
THEIR RESEARCH PLANS. STUDENTS ARE ADVISED TO ARRANGE
MEETINGS WITH THE PROFESSOR TO DISCUSS THEIR PLANS A WEEK
PRIOR TO OR AFTER THIS CLASS SESSION. NOTE THAT CLASS WILL
NOT MEET FOR TWO (2) WEEKS.
VII. The Arms Bazaar and Efforts to Regulate It -- (Session 10) <April 8, 2008>.
a) Students whose last names are between A and L should mine
this website – available at
http://disarmament.un.org/cab/register.htmlfor data, rationale for
their activities, and legal basis for their activities.
b) Students whose last names are between M and Z should mine
this website – available at http://www.export.gov/exportcontrols.html
for data, rationale for their activities, and legal basis for their activities.
c) All students should glance at the website of Transparency
International, which has done a lot of work on the arms trade and its
relationship to corrupt regimes, a god report is available at
ectors/arms_trade but other portions of website contains information on
Classroom Discussion: Do the U.N. Procedures combined with domestic legislation
provide an adequate legal framework to address illegal weapons exports? Other than
exposing illegal or unethical conduct, what can a non-governmental organization like
Transparency International accomplish in this area? What are the implications for
controlling the sale of weapons of mass destruction?
VIII. Enforcement and Effectiveness of Anti-Laundering Policy -- (Class
Session 11) <April 15, 2008>.
a) Report of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, “Money
Laundering and Foreign Corruption Enforcementand the Effectiveness of the
Patriot Act,” 108th Congress, Second Session, July 15, 2004, S. Hrg. 108-633
available at http://www.senate.gov/~govt-aff/_files/ACF5F8.pdf (Read Chapters I-
V, 1-6 at 1-37 and skim remainder, Chapters VI-VIII at 28-113.
Classroom Discussion: These hearings are very lengthy, but they will give us a
chance to see how illegal activity was conducted by Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea and
Riggs Bank in Washington D.C. Students are expected to take notes on those portions of
the document of greatest interest for the purposes of discussion. It illustrates the
interaction of “dirty money,” corruption, and how legitimate businesses facilitate illegal
IX. Cynical Observations Solution -- (Session 12) <April 22, 2008>.
All students are to skim Reflections, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 7, 8, and 11 (skim)
Classroom Discussion: Query whether “we” are the enemy in the war on drugs. Crime
can be divided into two types: absolute and relativistic. Absolute crimes are prohibited
everywhere. It is illegal to murder a person or burn down his house. At the same time
vodka is banned in Saudi Arabia and legal in Russia. One can buy hashish in many
Islamic countries, but trying to obtain some in the U.S. will land you in jail. Western
Europeans complain that the U.S. has nearly criminalized smoking. Are the costs for
countering drug efforts too great to sustain? Is the law enforcement bureaucracy too
entrenched to change things? Does the fact that some terrorist groups may finance their
activity through the sale of drugs justify existing policies?
X. Student Presentations and Wrap-up – (Session 13) <April 29, 2008>.
The students will make 5 minute power point presentations covering the main points of
their papers. Students opting for the take-home exam option need not make a Powerpoint
Presentation. In addition to asking questions challenging some of the student’s thesis,
methodology, or conclusions, all students not presenting should make suggestions
concerning possible additional sources of information or other improvements.
MAY GRADUATES’ PAPERS AND EXAMS ARE ON MAY 6, 2008 – EVERYONE
ELSE MUST HAVE THEM TO ME BY MAY 10, 2008. ALL EXAMS AND PAPERS
SEND THEM TO ME BY E-MAIL AT 12:00 P.M. OF THE RELEVANT DATE. MY
EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE ESB34@LAW.GEORGETOWN.EDUAND
ETHANSB@EARTHLINK.NET PLEASE SEND DOCUMENT TO BOTH.
EXTENSIONS OF A FEW DAYS WILL BE PERMITTED IF REQUESTED AND
APPROVED FOR VALID REASONS.
How to Skim Materials for this Course – But Do Not Skim This
by Ethan S. Burger, Adjunct Associate Professor
Georgetown University Law Center
A former Vice President for International Business Development
for IBM once told me that if he merely read his mail (much less
answered it), he could never accomplish the tasks necessary for
him to do his job properly. In recent days, the situation has
only worsened with meaningless ruminations, worthless
information, advertisements, announcements, and occasionally
vital messages sent by e-mail.
This course seemingly has a very demanding reading list. This is
both true and false simultaneously (consistency is the hobgoblin
of little minds). Much of what appears in the syllabus is to be
skimmed. What does this mean? The better question is what does
this mean to the person who gives out the grade in this class and
has the responsibility to make this class something worth trying
hard to do well in.
Skimming means different things to different people and almost
always is contextually dependent. For the purpose of this
course, let me tell you what I mean by skimming. With respect to
a book, it means to me reading the introduction, first and last
chapters as well as the first page and final page (section) of
each individual chapter. It means GLANCING at the rest of the
chapter and only reading what interests YOU. Always read the
table of contents and glance at the index as well.2
With respect to a chapter or an article, read the first and last
sections. Read the first paragraph under each subhead and if
there are diagrams or charts look at them so you know why they
were included. If the chapter interests you, read it more
Remember – there is no test in this course. The primary point of
most of the reading is to provide context – not to provide you
with facts. Most facts you don’t need to memorize – this is not
trigonometry (a totally worthless subject for 99.99% of the world
to study), but you may have to refer to them at some point. The
second point is to help you develop a topic that YOU want to
research for your term paper and class presentation.
It is my hope and expectation that the reading in this course can
be done in 3-5 hours each week. Remember, once you have selected
your topic for your term paper and prepared for the negotiation
What about footnotes? I often find footnotes more interesting than the text. They
often show whether the author has the language ability to be working in the field, it
allows one to assess whether s/he has facts to support his/her argument and finally,
whether the work is original or derivative. An author may be more willing to go out on a
limb in the footnotes than the text. As a general rule, treat footnotes the same way you
treat the regular text.
simulations (which will be discussed in class), the importance of
the reading declines. That being said, all the materials have
been selected for a purpose. I hope this sheet is helpful – try
pinning me down if you have any questions.