Friday, August 12, 2011

Congress Enables Embezzlers

Congress just made it easier to steal from the government.

In a reform to the Ley Orgánica del Tribunal Superior de Cuentas (TSE), the national auditing body, they removed imprisonment as a punishment for embezzling government funds, for amounts under a million lempiras (about $52, 770 ).

Now an embezzler who steals less than a million lempiras can only be fined up to the amount they embezzled, or, if they lack the funds, a lien can be put on their property.

There's practically no incentive not to steal, since the worst they can do is ask for the money back-- without interest!-- if they catch you.

Good job Congress! You've streamlined petty corruption in a bold reversal of all those old-fashioned good government initiatives intended to discourage this traditional political pastime.

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