Friday, January 24, 2014

Harvard Manager Detained in Romania for Corruption?

Harvard Manager Detained in Romania for Corruption?

1. Context.
2. Press Release.

1. Context.

This is the key allegation of a Press Release from the group which is watching Harvard University’s investments.

The press release may be read below.

Too much of the environmental horrors being inflicted on the Charles River are very clearly related to or a spinoff of Harvard University’s empire building in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, MA, USA, across the Charles River from Cambridge, MA.

Currently of major interest is $24 million bond authorization included as “Historical Parkways” by the Governor in the presently pending House Bill H3332 in the Massachusetts state legislature. This would destroy hundreds of trees on Memorial Drive lining the Charles River in Cambridge, MA, between the Magazine Beach Playing Fields and the Longfellow Bridge three bridges east of Magazine Beach.

The falsely named Charles River “Conservancy” has been roping people into “support” for this destruction claiming they are seeking support for a $4 million “underpass” project under the next three bridges to the west. They do not mention that the two are connected. They are thus talking about one project and sneaking in a project six times the size which the CRC has described and incidental to the “underpasses”. $24 million of tree destruction is incidental to $4 million of underpasses?

That is the way things are done in the environmentally reprehensible City of Cambridge, MA.

To make it worse, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, responsible for the “underpass” project, condemns the “underpasses" as environmentally destructive on their own.

2. Press Release.

CONTACT: Sandra Korn,, (732) 796-8052



Managing director of Scolopax accused of accepting bribes

Cambridge, MA—On Tuesday, Romanian authorities detained Drago? Lipan Secu, the managing director of the Harvard-owned forestry company Scolopax SRL, along with his wife Mariana, for illegal business practices.

Romanian news sources reported that between 2007 and 2008, Mariana and Drago? Lipan Secu accepted bribes totaling to 4.450.000 leu, or more than $1.3 million USD, in addition to 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.

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

Scolopax is the fourth Harvard-owned company to recently come under scrutiny for corporate misconduct. Last summer, Harvard-owned Agricola Brinzal was found guilty of illegal destruction of native forests in Chiloe, Chile. In October 2013, the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition and the Oakland Institute exposed irresponsible labor and environmental standards at two of Harvard’s timber plantations in the Argentinian wetlands, EVASA and Las Misiones.

Agricola Brinzal, EVASA, Las Misiones, and Scolopax are all 99.9 or 100% owned by Harvard, according to the university’s tax filings.

Harvard currently has no verifiable system of oversight or accountability for the practices of its fully-owned companies,” said Aryt Alasti from the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition. “We are demanding that Harvard adopt a Position of Responsible Ownership that works to maintain legal compliance, fair environmental and labor practices, respect for land rights and non-discrimination policies, and transparency in corporate governance.”

Thus far, Harvard President Drew Faust has failed to respond to RI@Harvard’s request.


The Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition is a group of students, alumni, professors, and workers advocating for the university’s endowment to become more responsible, transparent, and accountable.