Casey Michel ('15): US/Azerbaijan: Lobbyists Continue to Flout Travel Rules

Monday, April 25, 2016
Harriman alum Casey Michel ('15) discusses, on the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project's (OCCRP) website, Azerbaijan's exploitation of a U.S. lobbying loophole in financing a congressional trip to Baku.
"The scheme was simple enough. In May of 2013, the government of Azerbaijan, via its State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), injected $750,000 into an obscure Texas-based non-profit, the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan (AFAZ).

The assembly then flipped the funds into a series of secondary non-profits – a constellation of US-based 501(c)(3) organizations scattered across America, all pushing Turkic interests."

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