Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO'S NARCO-NEPHEWS' CONVICTION AND 18-YEAR SENTENCE UPHELD IN NEW YORK


The defendants on trial.

If you were wondering what happened to the drug case against Campo Flores and Flores Freitas, the nephews of Venezuelan NĂ­colas Maduro and his wife, Celia Flores, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals just affirmed their convictions. They are presently serving 18-year sentences for conspiracy to smuggle 1700 pounds of cocaine into the United States. They were arrested by the DEA in Haiti.



Monday, April 6, 2020

PALESTINIAN ACCOUNTS IN MALTA HOLD FUNDS STOLEN & DIVERTED FROM EU AND INTERNATIONAL AID TO PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY



While the European Union focuses on Malta, an EU Member state, due to its rampant money laundering and corruption issues, there is an additional problem that has not yet been adequately discussed in local media: the existence of substantial bank accounts owned or controlled by Palestinians, containing funds stolen and diverted from aid sent to the Palestinian Authority.  Some may find it ironic that Malta, an EU member, allows its banks to hold millions stolen from EU and international aid programs. Perhaps the European Council or Parliament might want to open an investigation.

Malta has had a long relationship with the Palestinians; it recognizes the non-existent "State of Palestine," which maintains an embassy in Valetta, and there is a small Maltese diplomatic presence, a Representative Office (Consulate) in Ramallah, the provisional capital of the Palestinian Authority (PA). There is a sizable Palestinian expat colony in Malta; their role in covertly moving money into Malta is suspected .

 Malta has been the longtime home of Suha Arafat, widow of the late leader of the PA, and the reputed recipient of a substantial portion of the billions of Euros and Dollars, in Palestinian aid funds diverted or stolen by her husband. Her brother, Gaby al-Tawil, is the former Palestinian Ambassador to Malta. The current ambassador is Fadi Hanania.

Senior officials in Fatah, the Palestinian Authority's nationalist political party, known to be allied with Arafat and later his successor Abbas, are known to have regularly siphoned off cash diverted from EU aid programs, and a portion of that money was secreted in Maltese financial institutions. According to reliable sources, it is substantial. Therefore, exercise caution when dealing with Maltese nationals seeking to deposit major sums into new accounts. Please also note that HAMAS has been depositing cryptocurrency raised from its supporters into Maltese accounts.

 Compliance officers at international banks that are opening accounts for Maltese passport holders who are found to be speaking Arabic, and not Maltese, please note the CBI issue. We do not know how many Palestinians hold Malta IIP passports, acquired through the country's Citizenship by Investment program, and whether the true place of birth of the holder is always correctly entered, but know that the risk levels of such individuals should be taken as elevated, and Source of Funds be documented to rule out EU aid money stolen by Palestinian PEPs.


ALI SAED BIN ALI EL-HOORIE : KHOBAR TOWERS TERRORIST BOMBER


SHOULD THE EUROPEAN UNION SUSPEND MALTA FOR SYSTEMIC THREATS TO EU VALUES ?



Article Seven of the Treaty of Nice provides that the European Council, by majority rule of the Members of the EU, may recommend that any Member state be suspended for "serious and persistent breach" of the Council's guidance. This includes voting rights within the Council.

Given that the Council has taken Malta to task for its Individual Investment Program (CBI/IIP), as well as noting that the EU revoked the banking license of Pilatus Bank,  for corruption and money laundering, and not a single individual has been charged with any of the multiple crimes that they committed in these matters, is it now not high time for the Council to consider Suspension ? Neither the report of the Egrant Magisterial Investigation, nor the conviction of Pilatus Bank owner Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, has resulted in ANY action by Maltese law enforcement, or government prosecutors.

When corrupt PEPs receive millions of dollars, and in return dispense favorable treatment to the donors, effective government for the sole benefit of the public goes out the window. Ali Sadr should never have received a bank charter; a number of high-risk individuals should never have been issued Malta passports under the IIP. Perhaps the European Council can now take a hard look at Suspension as a means through which true reform can be eventually achieved in the Repubblika ta' Malta.




READ THE OPEN LETTER FROM THE DEPARTING INSPECTOR GENERAL TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY MICHAEL ATKINSON





Sunday, April 5, 2020

SEMION MOGILEVICH - FORMER MOST WANTED FRAUDSTER EVADING JUSTICE IN MISCOW.


AMERICAN ACCOUNTANT IN THE PANAMA PAPERS SCANDAL TO BE SENTENCED IN N.Y. FEDERAL COURT



Richard Gaffey, the US-based accountant who used what the US Attorney describes as "criminal services" of the Panama law firm Mossack and Fonseca to commit tax evasion on behalf of a wealthy German client living in Key Biscayne, entered a guilty plea in his case, pending in US District Court in New York.

The counts brought against the defendant included:
(1) Wire Fraud.
(2)  Tax Fraud.
(3)  Money Laundering.
(4)  Aggravated Identity Theft.

His sentencing date has been set for June 29; his client, Harald Joachim Von der Goltz, will be sentenced on June 24.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS RAN MALTA'S PILATUS BANK LIKE A MONEY LAUNDERING OFFSHORE TAX HAVEN BANK

Former Pilatus Bank Chief Operating Officer and Director Luis Felipe Rivera

Anyone who questions whether the officers and directors of Pilatus Bank should be indicted for money laundering is invited to review the 1501-page Egrant Magisterial Inquiry. A large portion of the Inquiry is in English, and the number of acts detailed that are specifically in furtherance of money laundering operations is just too numerous to mention.

Here are just a few of the most egregious acts that Pilatus bank officers and staff engaged in:

(1) Keeping literally two sets of books of account, and failing to disclose the existence of the second set when Maltese regulators audited the records. This is the essence of not only criminal conduct, but dishonesty, on the part of bankers who are fiduciaries, at the highest level.

(2) Reportedly maintaining an "underground" (and unlicensed) shadow banking facility for clients in Turkey. The officer in charge of the back-office "wealth management" operation in Turkey is known to have been LINET ESTIROTI. Given Turkey's long history of facilitating Iranian oil sanctions evasion, having any financial facility, legal or not, in Turkey, is extremely dangerous.

(3) Reliable sources have stated that Pilatus did not actually book all of its clients ib the bank's records. These are upper-tier clients located abroad, whose assets are held under the names of nominees at the bank. Media in Malta dubbed it a "Hidden Filing System."

If you retained anything from your law classes at the university, it is that "Directors must direct." We note that some of the directors actually resided in Malta. They are held strictly liable for allowing criminal conduct, on a massive scale, to occur. Also, what on earth are American financial professionals doing affiliated with a bank owned by Iranian interests, and with an Iranian as the most senior executive, given the US sanctions currently in effect ?  Do they not appreciate their exposure to criminal charges ?

Pilatus Bank headquarters in Malta

As we have previously stated, where are the US indictments for money laundering and corruption, against the Pilatus Bank officers and directors ? Let us hope that the sealed filings, Post-verdict, in the Ali Sadr case, indicate that he is cooperating with US law enforcement against the other Pilatus laundrymen.


READ CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST RUSSIAN RAPPER CHARGED WITH LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROCEEDS THROUGH BITCOIN

Boiko online with some of the cash

Maksim Boiko, a/k/a Gangass, a twenty nine year old Russian cybercriminal, was arrested when he and his wife entered the US in Miami this year, in possession of $20,000 in cash. He is a known affiliate of the QQAAZZ criminal organization, which is active in Eastern Europe and the independent republics of the former Soviet Union.

Readers who wish more detail may review the 29 page Affidavit in Support of Criminal Complaint filed in US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania here.

Friday, April 3, 2020

ATTORNEYS FOR HALKBANK ENTER A PLEA OF NOT GUILTY IN IRAN SANCTIONS EVASION CASE



The newly-appointed law firm of Williams & Connolly HAS appeared, via teleconference, on behalf of the Turkish-owned bank, Halkbank, and entered a not guilty plea on the bank's behalf. The Court set a Status Conference for June 9, 2020, after defense counsel advised that he needed to travel to Turkey to consult with his client.

CHINESE HACKERS WANTED IN USA FOR THEFT OF TRADE SECRETS


Thursday, April 2, 2020

HOW MALTA'S PILATUS BANK EMPLOYED A VIRTUAL OFFICE IN LONDON TO DECEIVE THE FINANCIAL WORLD



Ali Sadr's Pilatus Bank was licensed in Malta, reportedly due to some backroom maneuvering believed to include the payment of substantial bribes to government officials. However, when you went to its Internet sites, you saw a London address, located in the pricey Mayfair district, and were, most likely, assured of the bank's legitimacy. After all, Mayfair addresses connote prestige.

4 Old Park Lane
Actually, the bank, given that it was licensed within the European Union, was free to locate a Registered Branch anywhere within in EU, and its official UK location, 4 Old Park Lane, sounded even more establishment. That address remains of record, should you check with Companies House today.





Unfortunately, it is merely an accommodation, or virtual, address, an office where a reported 151companies reside; it is a mail drop, not a brick-and-mortar address. I know this from personal experience; World-Check had its old office on Dover Street, and I frequented the Hilton on Park Lane regularly. if you turn left when exiting the hotel, you pass Nobu, and end up on Old Park Lane, a side street leading to Piccadilly.  4 Old Park Lane is an office building, and you will not find Pilatus Bank's office there, either now or at any time in the past.

We wonder whether any Pilatus Bank customer ever initiated a due diligence inquiry about the bank, for if they had performed even the most rudimentary search, they would have found this red flag f suspicious activity. Of course, that assumes that the Pilatus client was himself legitimate.  

MOHSIN ZAMIR - WANTED FOR BANK ROBBERY - PROBABLY FLED TO PAKISTAN


AMERICANS WORKING AT AN IRANIAN-CONTROLLED BANK IN MALTA ? SAY IT AIN'T SO, DOJ



This has to be a first; American citizens, who are known to have been officers and directors at Malta's corrupt, scandal-ridden money laundering Pilatus Bank, have thus far not been indicted in the United States, even though the bank's owner has been convicted on multiple counts. The bank's misconduct, which caused it to lose its EU license, was widespread, not the least of which included Iran sanctions evasion.

Ali Sadr Hasheminejad was an absentee owner; therefore, onsite officers and directors obviously committed a number of crimes, using US Dollars, with funds transiting the New York banking center, and conducted by American citizens. Remember, decisions interpreting the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 confer extraterritorial jurisdiction upon such cases.

While legal observers might point out that Federal criminal investigations typically take a number of years to complete, and generally end up with a strong, bulletproof case, why weren't the Americans at the bank charged with Ali Sadr, initially, or through a Superseding Indictment, over the past two years ? What's wrong with this picture ?

Our recent article about bank officers & directors, which included photographs through which compliance officers can properly identify them, takes these individuals out of the shadows, and into the light. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

ALI SADR'S COUNSEL ADVANCES BRADY VIOLATION ARGUMENT POST-TRIAL

As we expected, the late delivery (days after the trial) of a recording of an FBI interview that was conducted in Vancouver has been seized upon by Sadr's counsel as a major Brady violation, though its value as exculpatory does not appear apparent to this observer. The defense may be building grounds for an appeal, though it does not seem to constitute reversible error, on an objective basis. In truth and in fact, the interview looks like it further incriminates Sadr.

Below is the letter from counsel to the Government, setting up their timeline of the alleged violation argument, and pointing to who may be liable.







WANTED TERRORIST - SECRETARY GENERAL OF PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD - RAMADAN SHALLAH


GOVERNMENT IN ALI SADR CASE DELIVERS DISCOVERY AFTER VERDICT, BUT UNFAVORABLE TO DEFENSE

Brady vs. Maryland

On March 31, several days after the verdict was handed down in United States vs. Hasheminejad, Government prosecutors delivered to defense counsel a recording of an interview, conducted in Toronto in January, of the defendant's employee, Bharam Karimi.  Apparently, through a mix-up, the FBI agent holding the recording mistakenly advised that it was "in transit," when it had already arrived.

Readers who have been closely following the case from Malta need not be alarmed, for the FBI notes of the interview were furnished to defense counsel several months ago, so the recording is not a surprise to them. Additionally, Karimi's testimony incriminates Ali Sadr in several places. Inasmuch as it does NOT tend to show or prove his innocence, it did not violate Brady v. Maryland , in our humble opinion, and is not grounds to set aside the verdict on appeal. Had it been available to the defense, it most certainly would not have affected their conduct during the trial, and resulted in an acquittal.

We have read all eight pages of the FBI agent's interview notes, and the statements of Karimi are very damaging to Ali Sadr. Shortly after this interview, Karimi was indicted in the Southern District of New York. The charges filed against him, which could land him in Federal Prison for 65 years are:
(1) Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud.
(2) Bank Fraud.
(3) Making False Statements to Law Enforcement.





Here is the letter from the US Attorney detailing the issue.








READ THE LETTER TO US CONGRESS FROM TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL ABOUT POTENTIAL CORRUPTION IN CORONAVIRUS



This letter contains several important points for the US Congress to consider in the administration of funds to be paid pursuant to Coronavirus relief legislation, including the disclosure of Beneficial Ownership of corporate entities receiving funding, and corruption issues.










READ THE SWEDBANK REPORT ON MONEY LAUNDERING



Readers who have been following the money laundering scandal at Sweden's Swedbank may read the report, entitled Report on Investigation on Swedbank AB, prepared by the law firm Clifford Chance here. 

GOVERNMENT CITES AUTHORITIES IN FRONT COMPANY/SHELL COMPANY ISSUE

If you have an interest in the judicial interpretation of the terms "Front Company" and "Shell Company," look at the decisions favorably construing them in the Second Circuit, cited by the Government in United States vs. Ali Sadr Hasheminejad recently.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

MIAMI $20m FRAUDSTER VICTOR WOLF - BELIEVED TO BE LIVING IN MOSCOW WITH WIFE NATALIA


READ HALKBANK LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION FOR ITS NEW COUNSEL




This letter details the terms and conditions set down by the bank to authorize its new counsel, who will attending the arraignment, to act on its behalf. Note well that the bank is reserving "all of its relevant rights and defenses without waiving any of them."It also states that counsel is authorized to enter a not guilty plea.

BANKS IN BEIRUT STOP EXCHANGING LOCAL CURRENCY FOR US DOLLARS



Financial institutions in Beirut have temporarily ceased exchanging Lebanese currency for US Dollars for customers. The Lebanese Pound has seriously declined of late, and many Beirut residents now routinely exchange their local cash for Dollars. The banks say they will resume making US currency available on April 12, when the international airport, closed due to the Coronavirus, is scheduled to reopen.  

SENTENCING JUDGE DENIES TRUMP ATTORNEY MICHAEL COHEN A RULE 35 SENTENCE REDUCTION

The District Judge who presided over the case of Trump "Fixer" and attorney, Michael Cohen has denied the defendant's Rule 34(b) motion to reduce or modify his three-year sentence for a number of financial crimes to one year, or alternatively, to release him to Home Confinement.  Cohen's attorney alluded to the dangers posed to his client by the Corinavirus, while making arguments that did not persuade the Court.

The Court's reasoning:
(1) Only the Government is authorized to file a Rule 35(b) Motion to Reduce Sentence, which is evident to anyone who has practiced criminal law in Federal Court.
(2) The Government's own failure to file Rule 35(b) Motion speaks volumes.
(3) The defendant made false statements in pre-sentencing filings.
(4) Allegations of Governmental Bad Faith are not grounds under Rule 35.
(5) The defendant is "manifestly ineligible" for Compassionate Release, and he has not exhausted his administrative remedies.



HALKBANK CHANGES ATTORNEYS IN ADVANCE OF THE ARRAIGNMENT

The government-owned Turkish bank TURKIYE HALK BANKASI AS, trading as HALKBANK, has changed attorneys. King & Spalding LLP, the firm which sought, unsuccessfully, to shield its client from the Court's jurisdiction, has been replaced with Williams & Connolly, which will attend the upcoming arraignment.



Monday, March 30, 2020

L'AFA LANCE UN PROJET DE CARTOGRAPHIE MONDIALE DE AUTHORITES ANTICORRUPTION



Global Mapping of Anti-Corruption Authorities. This is a project of the French Anti-Corruption Agency Agence Francaise Anticorruption (AFA) A factsheet can be found here.

ABDULLAH AL-RIMI - WANTED FOR USS COLE BOMBING


WILL THE CORONAVIRUS KILL THE EAST CARIBBEAN CBI PASSPORT INDUSTRY, WHICH WILL DESTROY THE ECONOMIES OF THOSE ISLANDS ?



Given that the countries of the world will be dealing with the Coronavirus for many months, if not years, until a cure and vaccine are developed, tested, distributed and consumed, it is expected that international travel, for business or pleasure, will be limited absolute necessity, due to the dangers that it presents. Why expose yourself and your family to being infected, due to travel to areas which may contain higher risks of infection than you have at home ?

Unfortunately for the five East Caribbean states that have Citizenship by Investment (CBI/CIP) programs, they have become far too dependent upon the fees they collect from applicants; much of it goes to pay their top-heavy salaries of civil servants, many of whom are placed, due to local politics, in lucrative positions, though their duties, and contributions, are minimal.

 Without CBI funding, the East Caribbean states will be forced to conduct mass layoffs, and firings of government staff. This may plunge their fragile domestic economies into chaos, as unemployed government officials will not be able to afford to purchase goods from the service economies that serve them. Most of the consumer items are imported, and without paying customers, local retail will collapse. Food and energy shortages will soon follow, remittances from abroad, already declining, will not save them.

Will the CBI programs be the cause of the failures of the economies of the East Caribbean states ? We cannot say, but we will be watching.


  

INDICTMENT AGAINST NICOLAS MADURO AND OTHERS IN GOVERNMENT

Due to the level of interest, we are showing below the introductory pages from the Superseding Indictment against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.