Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, April 18, 2021

APPEALS COURT HEARS HALKBANK ARGUE IT IS IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

 


Oral Argument was recently held before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the Halkbank case, where the issue is whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act applies to criminal cases. There is a split of authority amongst the two circuits that have weighed in, and the Government argued at the hearing that the pending criminal case against the bank, in the Southern District of New York, should proceed to trial. The bank has sought, for several years, to delay or end the case, on various grounds. the lower court case has been stayed pending a decision by the 2nd Circuit.

It is alleged that the bank was co-defendant Reza Zarrab's primary vehicle to evade US and international sanctions on payment to Iran for oil sold illegally on the world market. There are a large number of sealed documents in the court file, which raises the presumption that there are additional defendants outside the United States with sealed indictments on file against them. 

When a decision is published, we will update our readers accordingly.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

MALTA'S WHISTLEBLOWER, IN INTERVIEW, SLAMS CORRUPT GOVERNMENT, PILATUS BANK LAUNDROMAT, MICHELLE MUSCAT

 

 Maria Efimova, the bank employee who blew the whistle hard upon Malta's Pilatus Bank, after the bank cheated her out of her salary and later filed bogus criminal charges against her to avoid paying her, was recently interviewed in Greece by Reporters United. As a public service to the people of Malta, we are summarizing relevant portions of her extensive interview, in the hope that it will eventually result in the dismissal of bogus criminal charges fled against her and her husband, Pantelis Barnabas, which were obviously filed to discourage Maria from personally giving damning evidence against Pilatus Bank officers and directors, as well as certain corrupt government officials and PEPs.

Her key points, as translated from the original Greek:

(1) After three months on the job at Pilatus Bank,  Maria was terminated; she left her employment and awaited her back pay, a figure just short of €6000. When she later contacted the bank, they told her, " we are sorry, but you have never worked at our bank. What you did here was just practical." She was later arrested and charged with the theft of fifteen thousand Euros. The charges were politically motivated, to deter her from either collecting her money, or of giving any damaging testimony against Pilatus. When that did not work, Corrupt officials in Malta, in coordination with Pilatus, had her husband charged with bogus crimes in Cyprus, obviously for political reasons.

(2) What did she know ? That the bank never inquired as to its depositor's Source of Funds, and she was often asked to create bogus documents.  There was panic at the bank when the FIAU, the banking analyst agency, came for a visit. Maria, to protect herself. started copying documents, not to blackmail anyone, but to protect herself. She said the bank, which never had more than 130 customers in total, half of whom were Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), many from Azerbaijan.

(3) One day, the Financial Intelligence Analyis Unit (FIAU), the government regulator, visited, and she recalls that there was "panic in the office." She feared that she might be involved in illegal activities, with signatures "that she has never really put herself."

(4) She reached out to Daphne for help, as a foreigner alone in Malta. She already was familiar with Pilatus Bank's issues, "and was looking for additional resources." " She only wanted the truth to be known."

(5) On Michelle Muscat and Egrant, when Daphne publicly accused the prime minister's wife " she was considered " a madwoman who wanted to eat the prime minister."  Maria  gave her testimony anonymously, to an assistant judge, but the next day all her testimony was published, due to Malta's systemic corruption. She named Michelle Muscat at the Beneficial owner of Egrant.

(6) Two "private detectives" visited Maria's family in Russia, suggesting that she leave Malta. Daphne, whom they stated should also leave, was murdered shortly after that.

Will Malta's utterly corrupt and dysfunctional government ever dismiss the bogus, politically motivated charges filed against her and her husband ? Will Whistleblower status ever be conferred upon her ? We cannot say, but she remains the Conscience of Malta, notwithstanding the government's amoral efforts to silence her.


 


THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 APPROACHES

 


WHICH BANKS IN MALTA WILL BE CHARGED WITH TERRORIST FINANCING ?

 


 If you read the crime stories in the Maltese media regularly, you know that the authorities are constantly seizing cash, in Euros and other currency, that bulk cash smugglers are attempting to sneak into Istanbul. While some of the smugglers are acting for tax evaders. or common criminals, a large portion of the cash is bound for Hamas' foreign operations centre, which is located in Turkey. Money collected globally, as donations from well-meaning donors, or extorted by Palestinians from affluent expats, finds its way into Malta's financial institutions. Malta's socialist government's open sympathy for Palestinian causes means that there will not be any regulatory or law enforcement inquiry into this flow of illicit capital. Palestinians resident in Malta are involved in the collection, and subsequent movement, of the funds to Hamas in Turkey.

Therefore, any local Maltese banks that are accepting these funds from abroad, and converting the wire transfers into cash, for handing off to the smugglers, are exposed to terrorist financing charges in several other countries, notably the United States, especially where US Dollars are involved. The individual bankers who supervise those accounts can also be charged for willful blindness, as well as facilitating the operations of a designated terrorist organization.

What will it take for this illegal movement of terrorist funding through Malta ? Increased airport surveillance, perhaps supplemented by technical assistance provided by European or North American law enforcement agencies, could take a bigger bite out of the smugglers' operation. Maltese regulators cannot be trusted to police the banks, unless bankers begin to be arrested in Malta, which is doubtful. The problem remains, unfortunately, and Hamas continues to receive funding for its terrorist operations in Israel, and elsewhere. 

A note to travelers: if anyone asks you to carry a package to Turkey, politely decline.

 



Friday, April 16, 2021

LET HER MEMORY BE A BLESSING AND AN INSPIRATION

 

                                                         "Follow Me" by COSIMO

May we never forget her, and honor her memory by rooting out corruption wherever it exists.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

GOVERNMENT OF ST. LUCIA CENSORS NEWS FROM THE UNITED STATES AND THREATENS U.S. SEARCH ENGINE

 

 


Saint Lucia Government officials and attorneys acting on its behalf have threatened GOOGLE with totally blocking its content and Search Engine on the island, unless it took down our news article, which originated in the United States, reporting on rampant official corruption among judges, lawyers and senior government officials. Reportedly, Google removed an article, without specifically advising the American author of either the groups for removal, or the process for appealing the action.

Our article, Corrupt Judge and Attorneys who Implemented Saint Lucia Land Theft named,  which was published on this blog, "Kenneth Rijock's Financial Crime Blog." on April 14, 2021, identified a number of professionals and government officials who conspired to steal real estate from citizens of St. Lucia who were living abroad, or who had deceased relatives. The article does not violate any of the provisions of Google's published Community Guidelines, nor does it libel or slander any of the officials named.

 Press freedom in Saint Lucia is limited, and subject to self-censorship and government intimidation, and there are a number of unsolved homicides of individuals who have opposed the current government, which most observers have accused of violating the Civil, Human and Constitutional Rights of its citizens.

We have notified the appropriate US Government agencies of Saint Lucia's actions. Please note that St. Lucia is still under US sanctions in place against security forces, pursuant to the Leahy Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA). The sanctions apply to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, and any military, reserve, border guards, customs police, or any other units authorized to use force, for what the law describes as Gross Violations of Human Rights, for Extrajudicial Killings.

 

 

CONTROVERSY ERUPTS IN PILATUS BANK U.S. DISCOVERY CASE

 

 


The attorneys for Pilatus Bank, which is seeking to make Discovery upon Lawrence Connell, the former Competent Person, who was supervising the defunct Pilatus Bank in Malta, refused to allow Connell's lawyers additional time to reply to Pilatus' filing. The Court, apparently wondering why Pilatus counsel would refuse to extend professional courtesy to another attorney, gave Pilatus a very short window to explain.

The answer can be found at the end of the Response,. it appears that Pilatus counsel disagrees with Connell's characterization that Pilatus' Reply contains "New Issues."  Don't look for any cooperation from Connell's counsel on the Discovery. This looks to be a contested matter, with Connell's counsel not agreeing to produce any of the evidence Pilatus claims it needs to sue the European Central Bank. The Court has not yet ruled on the issues presented by the latest version of the petition.




 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

WHAT WILL MALTA LOOK LIKE IN 2025? HERE IS ONE POSSIBLE SCENARIO TO BE CONSIDERED

                                                       
 

Peering into the crystal ball, a future Malta looks dark indeed. Not only is the Labour Government gone, but the party has been outlawed by a United Nations Administrator ruling Valletta with an iron hand, supported by a small army of UN Military Police from seven member countries, who enforce the law, for the first time in memory. There is no more sovereign state; it's under UN supervision.




Malta's omnipotent local version of the Mafia has been stripped of all its senior leaders, known murderers and Enemies of the State. Mafiosi are being kept in very crowded facilities, and criminal charges are being prepared against them by experienced Anti-Mafia prosecutors recruited from Italy. EUROPOL has a major enforcement operation headquartered there, to help clean up the criminal class.

Many of the members of the Muscat and Abela Cabinets are awaiting trial in pretrial detention centers in the United States. Joseph Muscat, the onetime King of Malta's Corrupters, is serving a Life Sentence, without the possibility of parole for Providing Financial Support to a Terrorist Organization. Muscat moved criminal proceeds for a Palestinian organization that supported Hamas, which used the funds to conduct a terrorist operation in Israel that resulted in several deaths. He was lucky that he didn't receive the death penalty. Palestinian expats found to be funding terrorism are convicted,  Hezbollah associates deported to Lebanon.


 

The Bank of Valletta was returned to its original shareholders; Times of Malta to its rightful heir. Government agencies were cleansed of Labour Party hacks. The Constitution Party was reestablished; the Nationalist Party was renamed the Reform Party. Tourist flights from the UK were finally back, after a four year absence, and the US Army permanently moved its AFRICOM headquarters to Malta.


 


 The former British naval facility, which is now the home of the United States Sixth Fleet,  is the center for counter-terrorism operations in Africa. Malta has not been removed as a member of the European Union, but only because complicated legal proceedings to accomplish that goal would take many years.


 

All IIM (Citizenship by Investment) passports have been revoked, and CBI consultants found to have played a role in the sale of passports to white collar criminals forced to disgorge all their profits, with interest, causing their financial ruin. All offshore corporation corporation laws have been declared void, and most of the corporate services companies closed down on the orders of the UN Administrator, who also disavowed major loans owed to China and Azerbaijan, as they were not arms length transactions, and were infected with bribes and kickbacks.

This is just one possible future; what happens to Malta by 2025 ? It may all sound like fantasy, but current affairs will have a tremendous impact on a future Malta. It's up to its people to decide what the future brings. Govern yourselves accordingly.



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

TROUBLE IN PARADISE: MICHELLE MUSCAT, FEARING THE LONG ARM OF JUSTICE, SPLITS FROM HER HUSBAND

 

                               Joseph and Michelle leave the Garden of Eden by COSIMO
 

A source inside Malta's Labour Party has reported that MICHELE MUSCAT, the wife of disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, has split from her husband, and moved out of the family home. Mrs. Muscat, said to be on the verge of hysteria at the prospect of prison time for money laundering, is known to fear the long arm of American justice.

The basis for the marital crisis is well known. Friends of Michell Muscat have asserted that she hates her husband for involving her in a complicated system of laundering  his bribes and kickbacks, as well as cleaning his share of the profits of Malta's many criminal operations, which he received, similar to that of Mafia Dons, as he ordered. Their marriage, known to be purely for political reasons, is more of a business arrangement than a romantic relationship.

We have previously detailed Mrs. Muscat's involvement in laundering the proceeds of crime through luxury fashion houses; she has also been linked to a number of other laundering schemes, and is one of Malta's most prominent targets of investigations conduced by foreign law enforcement agencies.

Joseph Muscat is said to be extremely depressed as the result of his marital strife. He remains out of the public eye, in truth and in fact shut in at home, awaiting his dark future.

Monday, April 12, 2021

JUDGE IMPLICTED IN MASSIVE SAINT LUCIA LAND FRAUD SCANDAL WAS FROM DOMINICA; WAS THERE SIMILAR FRAUD PERPETRATED THERE ALSO ?

 

                                                          Judge Albert Matthew   
 

If you have been reading our series on the land fraud scandal we are investigating in Saint Lucia, be advised that Justice, (then Judge), ALBERT MATTHEW, was a native of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Because of the seriousness of the allegations against the late jurist, investigators are reaching out to their confidential sources inside Dominica, to determine whether the St. Lucia land theft type of criminal activity has been perpetrated against Dominica landowners.

We have a report that Judge Matthew was a close friend of Dominica Prime Minister ROOSEVELT SKERRIT, and we have advised the investigators to inquire as to whether Skerrit, or any member of his extended family, acquired title to real property through inheritance from, or through,  a non-relative. Was any real estate acquired by the Skerrit family from a Dominica family who were deceased. or living abroad ? That was the method employed in St. Lucia, where land records were changed, forged or fabricated.

 


 

PM Skerrit is known to have very extensive real estate holdings in Dominica, which cannot be explained by his small annual salary and assets. While most outside observers believe that he purchased the properties with the Proceeds of Crime ( bribes, payments for diplomatic passports, money laundering), it is possible he, or his family members, were involved in land fraud similar to that now being exposed in Saint Lucia. We shall continue to investigate Judge Matthew's role; stay tuned.


Sunday, April 11, 2021

WHY MALTA'S RULERS FEAR ALI SADR HASHEMI NEJAD MORE THAN THE UK AND USA

 

             Haunted by Daphne's Ghost, Dr. Muscat falls into Hellfire below by COSIMO

Four long years ago, Iranian-owned and controlled- Pilatus Bank imploded; the European Central Bank pulled its license, and the bank's primary mission, laundering the Proceeds of Crime from Venezuela, Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia and God knows who else, was publicly exposed. The bank was a supreme embarrassment to Malta, and to a lesser extent, the European Union, which had fast-tracked the license, with Maltese Government urging.

Now, four years later, notwithstanding that the Magistrate's Report recommended charging the Officers and Directors of the Bank with money laundering,and the Police Commissioner's promise to file them within 30 days, absolutely nothing has been done. the Maltese and foreign nationals who were Directors still reside in Malta,and are free to continue their dark deeds with impunity.


 

The tepid excuse unofficially offered by Government officials is that they are waiting for the US Federal case filed by the Bank, which is a request to make Discovery from the former Competent Person, to be dismissed. This is just one more Government trick to run out the Statute of Limitations on any possible criminal charges, for if Sadr was to cooperate in a Malta criminal case. he might implicate disgraced PM Joseph Muscat, PM Robert Abela, and several others who pushed the bank application, in exchange for bribes and other illegal compensation. Sadr would force Malta to name all the dirty players, and Malta's Labour Party, without its "Champagne Socialist" corrupt leaders, might disintegrate.

Therefore, since Malta's leaders still doubt that United States and the United Kingdom will actually do anything to bring them down, they play the dilatory legal game, praying that they can get away with it. How wrong they are.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

VICTIMS OF FRAUDULENT FORECLOSURES BROUGHT BY FAY SERVICING IDENTIFY THE ATTORNEYS WHO FILED THOSE CASES

 

                                       Edward Fay, the reputed owner of Fay Servicing LLC

If you follow this blog, you have seen a number of articles regarding Fay Servicing LLC, the Chicago-based mortgage servicing firm alleged by victims to have brought numerous illegal and fraudulent mortgage foreclosure actions during the COVID-19 Pandemic, most of which reportedly resulted in the loss of their homes, due to what victims say were material misrepresentations of fact, and illegal conduct. We have posted links to some of those stories at the end of this article, for your further reading.

The victims have identified two attorneys who have filed a large number of these foreclosure actions, which they assert were either filed when the underlying mortgages were not in default, or were filed after  fraudulent and illegal actions were committed by Fay Servicing, or its agents and representatives. Many of the victims were Senior Citizens without any education or experience in legal matters, and who were allegedly manipulated, misdirected, and lied to by Fay Servicing, which sought to illegally deprive them of their homes. It has been reported that there are a number of investigations into alleged misconduct by law enforcement and regulatory authorities in several states. Some observers have dubbed the company a "Foreclosure Mill. " operating to acquire real estate through litigation initiated for illegal purposes.  Additionally, COVID-19 Relief funds may have been used to support the salaries and overhead of staff members and attorneys who brought these allegedly illegal actions, which is a violation of the law and provides severe penalties.

We are identifying these attorneys as a public service, without making any representations as to their conduct in filing and bringing these mortgage foreclosures. If your residence was foreclosed during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and one or more of these lawyers was involved, you are advised to secure the professional services of a competent attorney to protect your interests, and to make the appropriate inquiries with Federal, state and local authorities, with special attention to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). and to violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Fla. Stat. §559.

                                                                Arnold Graff, Esq.

ARNOLD L GRAFF, State Bar of California License 269170,WRIGHT, FINLAY & ZAK, 4665 MacArthur Court, Suite 20, Newport Beach, California 92660.


                                                            Kristina Pelletier, Esq.


KRISTINA M.PELLETIER,  State Bar of California License 279533. WRIGHT, FINLAY & ZAK,  4665 MacArthur Court, Suite 20, Newport Beach, California 92660.

You may also need this information: FAY SERVICING LLC, 939 West North Avenue, Suite 680, Chicago, Illinois 60642.  

For Further Reading:

Deceptive Mortgage Servicing Company Fay Servicing exploits and cheats borrowers  

See also Meyer v. Fay Servicing. LLC, 385 F.Supp. 3d 1235 (M.D. Fla.2019); Alexander v. Fay Servicing, Case No.18-252 (D.N.H.).

 



Friday, April 9, 2021

COMPLIANCE OFFICERS: DO NOT RELY UPON ESTABLISHMENT MEDIA IN CORRUPT JURISDICTIONS

 

 The commercial-off-the-shelf databases of high risk persons and entities rely extensively upon articles and feature stories by the world's major media, as they are generally thought to be accurate, the information verified and confirmed, and trustworthy for due diligence purposes. That is usually true for the most part, but compliance officers should not trust media, no matter how establishment they appear to be, if located in jurisdictions where corruption reigns.

Allow me to explain why: leaders in countries with rampant, systemic corruption, often exert substantial influence upon local media, even those with long histories of accuracy. Their purpose is to minimize, or even eliminate, any stories that expose official corruption, and paint the regime in an unfavourable light, which might prove disastrous at election time. Therefore, corrupt leaders, through their officials who place lucrative official notices and adverts in media, thus supporting their operation, pressure editors to ignore, or kill, negative stories. That revenue might make the difference between making a profit, and being forced to close due to income generated that is insufficient to keep the newspaper open and running. Some jurisdictions give cooperating media additional opportunities, such as television exposure on captive state-controlled media, as an additional incentive.

Other methods in common use, which illustrate why you simply cannot rely upon local newspapers and online news resources in countries where corruption rules:

(1) The regime promises, and delivers, imports interviews with government officials, only so long as the news source plays ball with them.

(2) The regime threatens to revoke licenses and permits necessary to the daily operation of the newspaper, unless it publishes what amounts to propaganda, press releases disguised as news stories. 

(3) The owners of the newspaper or news website may actually be members of the ruling party, and have a stake in the future of the regime in power. Therefore, all the news it prints about government action is shown as positive, and critical stories are killed in the newsroom.

(4) Local politicians may actually ghostwrite articles, which appear under the bylines of the newspaper's journalists; That is news management on a grand scale, deceiving the reader.

While the countries of the East Caribbean are among the worst offenders it has been my pleasure to label is having untrustworthy press resources, any country with rampant corruption, such as Malta, also has mainstream press that twists the truth to keep its regime in power, and cover up bad news.

When conducting due diligence, or enhanced due diligence, inquiries, first ascertain whether the jurisdiction has a high level of corruption. If so, avoid relying upon the facts in the articles in local media for truth, even if that material is contained in your customary research material, as it is definitely not accurate or authoritative, for compliance purposes.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

THE MYSTERY SURROUNDING MATTHIAS KRULL'S SEALED FILES GETS EVEN KNOTTIER

 

 If you have been closely watching developments in the case of Swiss banker & convicted money launderer Matthias Krull, you know that a court ruling in the casewas ordered sealed for one year. Considering that Krull is believed to have important information about the money launderers in his Miami Federal case, and in a yet unfiled case in SDNY, involving money launderers operating in the Republic of Malta, any Grand Jury testimony,,(which is sealed by law) he has given, could affect both cases.

 When it was recently unsealed, the year having run, we learned that the defendant received an extraordinary 65% reduction upon his ten year prison sentence. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35(b) allows a defendant's sentence to be reduced for "Substantial Assistance" in the indictment of others, or government acquisition of important assets. Most sentence reductions granted do not exceed fifty per cent.

At the same time of the unsealing of the sentence reduction order from 2020, the Court also sealed yet another document, which now has an additional year before it can be opened by the press and public.What could it be this time ? There is an obscure provision in Rule 35(b) that allows the Court to take a second bite out of Krull's sentence. This section is seldom used, as assistant US Attorneys want defendants to serve a substantial portion of their sentence, and shaving off most of someone's sentence may send the wrong message to the public.

What is in that sealed order with the strange one year measured expiration date ? Most sealed documents in a criminal case are so designated to conceal the identities of other potential defendants not yet named, or other information that the Government cannot release. Is Matthias Krull going to receive a reduction of the balance of his sentence, allowing him to walk out a free man ? Is this possible reduction contingent on Krull testifying in court in a future case ? There is no information available, but the Miami money laundering defendants, as well as the targets in Malta, should be concerned. Krull may be the golden goose for the US Attorney's Office, the person who will be a key witness in their cases, resulting in their convictions. 

MUSCAT BATTENS DOWN THE HATCHES, GOES UNDERGROUND

 

 

                          The Schembri throws the Muscat into the Abyss by COSIMO
 

If you were wondering where Malta's defrocked Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, is hanging out these days, we regret to inform you that the formerly very public ex-public figure has literally locked himself in at home. He has, however, made sure that certain, what are referred to by estate agents as "improvements," have been made to his personal abode. This information comes directly from an individual very close to Mr. Muscat, who disclosed the details to our source, in an unguarded moment.            

First of all, Muscat has two armed security agents on duty, as a protective detail, around the clock. That is the same complement  he had when PM. Are the people of Malta paying for it, we wonder ? We understand he is being driven around in a sedan similar to that which he used whilst Prime Minister. Again, who is footing the bill for this private citizen ?

Second, there are a multitude of CCTV cameras, focused upon both interior, as well as exterior, to monitor the residence. Here's a hint: the cameras are NOT there to keep journalists out.  

Third, there is a door-within-a-door. This means that a blastproof, entryproof and bulletproof reinforced door, located inside the front door. This arrangement serves to delay any intruder, to give defenders time to respond. It also sets up a "Kill Zone," where invaders have no cover or concealment, which reduces their chances of survival.   

We gather that Brother Muscat is expecting an attempt to snatch him, and spirit him overseas, to make a court appearance in a faraway land. Really, are you contemplating the Special Air Service, or Delta Force, Joseph ? You can be so dramatic deep down, you know something untoward is headed straight for you. Last chance for Confession.