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Bribery and Corruption Casebook: The View from Under the Table by Laura Hymes, Joseph T. Wells

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CHAPTER 35

Kickbacks on Demand

PHILIP LEVI

Mike Blanchard did not look as surprised as he should have been. The police approached him as he pulled into his driveway at home. Two officers brandished their badges and waved a warrant to enter his personal residence while three other strangers, whom he did not know at the time, stood by and watched. I was one of those three non-police participants, and we were there to seize anything deemed relevant to the fraud allegations against Mike.

I realized that he was not surprised but relieved; his ordeal had finally come to an end.

Mike was in his late 20s, married with two grade-school children. He had worked in the plastics industry since leaving high school and felt that he had accomplished a lot with his life. Unfortunately, he hadn’t accomplished it all the old-fashioned way.

Food Products Inc. was a Montreal-based manufacturer of plastic dishes, cutlery and cups. Annual sales were approximately $40 million; its sister company in the United States, which manufactured the same products, had annual sales of about the same.

The company employed two full-time purchasing agents responsible for identifying the best supplier and price. They were also responsible for preparing and issuing the purchase order and then matching it with the receiving report (from the receiving department) and the supplier’s invoice, which they approved for payment.

The Anonymous Informant

On February 13, Arthur Phixer, a director, officer and shareholder of Food ...

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