Scolopax and Romanian Forests

Recent updates about Harvard in Romania.

In January 2014, Dragoș Lipan Secu, a former managing director of the Harvard-owned forestry company Scolopax SRL, along with his wife Mariana, were detained by Romanian authorities for bribery and money laundering.

The two are accused of accepting bribes totaling to 4.450.000 leu, or more than $1.3 million USD, between 2007 and 2008. They also received a vacation to Gran Canaria and a Chrysler Sebring car. In exchange, they purchased land on behalf of Scolopax at prices and under conditions favorable to the sellers and unfavorable to Harvard.

Scolopax SRL is fully owned by Harvard University and directly controlled by Harvard-owned holding company Phemus Corporation. Scolopax is the largest private owner of forests in Romania, with over 35,000 hectares of land, making Harvard the single largest owner of Romanian forests.

Read news coverage here:

January 29, 2014, Bloomberg News: Harvard Overpaid for Timber as Romanian Agent Held for Bribery.

January 24, 2014, Charles River White Geese Blog, Harvard Manager Detained in Romania for Corruption? 

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