Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, February 24, 2021



Matthias Krull, the convicted Swiss banker who was a major participant, instrumental in the massive money laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars diverted from Venezuela, and funneled through Miami and Malta, has once more had his reporting date, to prison to begin serving his sentence, delayed. In this case, Krull, who will begin a ten year sentence, has been given a delay until July 2, 2021 to surrender. 

Krull is believed to be a principal witness against targets in Malta, Venezuela, and the United States. The fact that the Government wants him readily available, and not within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Prisons, where obtaining him for debriefing or trial preparation can be problematic, means that his participation is considered essential. He is a critical witness to detail how the proceeds of crime were laundered, and who were the conspirators involved.

Criminal defence attorneys already retained by the money laundering targets, located in Malta, Dominica and Venezuela, most likely have already noted the importance of the Order that appears below,  have most likely increased their monitoring of new District Court filings, and instructed their clients to notify them if taken into custody, or detained for any reason.


                              JM in Custody 2022; The Count of Monte Christo  by COSIMO

If you were wondering why cashiered former Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat never took the plum CEO job a Maltese catering company promised him in Dubai, there is a reason. You may recall that Muscat, who has neither training nor experience in the food service industry, was supposed to start right after New Years' Day 2021, and he has been seen with officers of that firm, as well as a hotel executive of a related Malta business. 

Our sources have claimed that the job was a no-show position, where he would draw an impressive weekly check without requiring his physical presence on site. One insider has asserted that the compensation he was to receive was a simple laundering technique, allowing him to receive bribe payments, disguised as salary.

So what happened ? His "employer" was specifically warned, by representatives of a foreign government, that it would not be in their best interests to hire Muscat, for any purpose. That's the closest that most people get to a direct threat. The reason the warning was obviously heeded is that the party initiating it was French Intelligence, which our source stated was the DGSE, the Directorate General for External Intelligence. Obviously it was acting upon official orders. That's why Muscat is still hanging around Malta with his Merry Men of Bedlam, and why has has not moved to the UAE. He has become toxic to legitimate business.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021





                                        My Kingdom for a Key Card ! by COSIMO

We are pleased to note that this week, at least in Malta, the proverbial chickens are all coming home to roost. In plain English, a sin committed long ago has come back to haunt an individual who has, in the meanwhile, gone on to greater things, and now has everything to lose. The lack of accountability for prior sins and transgressions, which until recently was the hallmark of Maltese public life, is about to change in a big way. 

There's a reason why crimes involving bank robbery always result in the offenders receiving serious prison time, no matter what country the crime is committed in; they tear at the very fabric of our financial structure. Even peripheral players in those cases end up receiving major sentences, notwithstanding that you are of ministerial rank.


                                 Hong Kong Shanghai Banking What ? by COSIMO

To make matters worse, he is not the only person implicated by a cooperating individual; the other one could easily place Malta's most prominent former government official away for Life, should he decide that he does not want to die in prison. As one of my favorite law enforcement officers was fond of saying,  it's going to get ugly real fast; Buckle up.


                                                Hiding in Plain Sight by COSIMO








Due to the demand from our readers that we keep the informed about Maria Efimova's continuing investigation into the disappearance of her DHL parcel intended for INTERPOL in Lyon, France, we have discussed the matter with her, and have been advised that DHL has not given her a satisfactory explanation  as to why its records show a delivery, with the package signed for at its destination, when in truth and in fact, this was simply not the case.

To quote Ms. Efimova," Below is also a reply my husband received from DHL office in Athens.  They repeatedly ignore his question about the reason why he wasn't informed about the delivery failure when it actually happened, and why it is still marked as 'delivered' at DHL site." [We have the correspondence in the original Greek].

We do have the statement, taken by the Lyon Police, taken from the DHL courier, who stated that the package, together with another also destined for INTERPOL, originating from Panama, was also stolen. To add to the mystery, the other package was also shown as 'delivered.' How can two stolen packages going to a law enforcement agency be listed as arriving when they didn't ?

Our question: who knew that Ms. Efimova was sending evidence to INTERPOL, and was the other package taken to confuse investigators ?  Who was behind this crime ?




 It's bad enough that America's foreclosure mills, companies that authorize mass foreclosure actions on behalf of some of our dodgy banks, are victimizing our senior citizens, with the assistance of law firms which engage in mass-production foreclosure filings;  now, we are seeing that the funding available due to companies suffering the effects of COVID-19,  is financing their borderline illegal activities.

Fay Servicing LLC, which we have previously exposed on this blog, and its attorneys, received a multi-million dollar loan, notwithstanding years of bitter complaints from victims, allegations of breaches of consumer credit regulations, deceptive actions by staff, and borrowers who alleged that they were misled into conveying their residential interest through fraud. Apparently, COVID loan officers are not conducting enhanced due diligence upon borrowers, due to public pressure to fund all loans forthwith.



 We call upon the Inspector General to open an investigation into  SBA and PPP loans made to unsuitable borrowers who are openly breaking consumer protection laws, and to also check into any payments those foreclosure mills make to lawyers and law firms, for we do not know how extensive the COVID loan fraud is, and whether any of the law firms litigating the suspect claims is also improperly or illegally receiving pandemic funds, but they have received funding.

Question; were any of these loan proceeds used to bring improper, illegal or unethical foreclosure actions against senior citizens ?

For further reading:

Deceptive Mortgage Servicing Company Exploits and Cheats Borrowers 

Making America Homeless Again

The illegal Foreclosure Tactics Employed by Fay Servicing 

Meet Fay Servicing's Foreclosure Pit Pull in California 



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                                              Before the Truth Came Out by COSIMO    

This week's winner of the title Poster Girl for EU Corruption 2021 goes to Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar, who twice sought to influence governmental bodies, while accepting commissions under the table from Yorgen Fenech, and failing to disclose this payment as required by law. Her level of arrogance and blatant corruption, conducted in plain view, is textbook Conflict of Interest. How can any public servant believe that they will get away with it ?

Add to the situation the ongoing relationship between Cutajar and Fenech, and you have an unacceptable political issue. Rumours of trysts on his yacht have long roiled Malta's voters.

 If she fails to resign, then Malta's Prime Minister Robert Abela must step in to remove her. Should he fail to do so, Malta must, in its own way, make him redundant. PM, do your job, or  step aside for someone who will.

 After the Fall  by COSIMO

Sunday, February 21, 2021



                                               KS in the Dock by COSIMO

 For those who were curious about precisely what important "business" was discussed at the recent private meeting of Joseph Muscat and his crew, which we covered here as Muscat and his Merry Men hold Gangland Meeting in Gozo (February 16, 2021), you need only look at the recent coverage of the controversial development plans of the Indian multi-millionaire, Vijay Kumar Berlia. The Dwejra Project was the number one topic set by Mr. Muscat.

.In Malta, back-office meetings in smoke-filled rooms are usually where arrangements are made to evade environmental and planning objections, and who better to pull those strings than Malta's winner of  Europe's Most Corrupt Politician Award for 2019 ?

 Not only was that development the principal topic at the mob-style meeting at the Chinese restaurant  in Gozo, which was attended by five people, according to  a source familiar with the close surveillance being conducted upon the former PM, but Muscat personally knows Berlia from Dubai.  Back on December 18, 2019, Kumar strongly objected to Muscat's resignation, saying "we need him for development Malta."

Whether the strong opposition to the project prevails over the application of Muscat's power base, which includes the current Prime Minister, is doubtful in today's Malta, where rampant corruption generally results in the total disregard of environmental issues. Whether campaigners will  be successful in blocking the development, given the obvious support of the Labour Party, and the fact that the purchase of the land by Kumar will increase the pressure to  build out the area, it is doubtful that the project will be tabled.

Local Gozitans have already voiced strong objections to the project; whether its approval will result in subsequent rampant development of Gozo is a major concern. One source warns that the result may be the construction of what is being called the Michele Muscat Automobile Tunnel being built from Malta to Gozo, resulting in over development of the sister island.



Who will prevail, the forces of corruption or those who have the best interests of the land and the people at heart ?


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                                          Pilatus Bank Risk Manager Antoniella Gauci

 Antoniella Gauci, the KMPG accountant who was brought over to Pilatus Bank by her good friend and colleague, bank MLRO Claude-Anne Sant Fournier, was known to adore both her boss, Chairman & owner Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, and bank CEO, Iranian national Hamidreza Ghanbari. If you work in compliance, that is a recipe for disaster.

In truth and in fact according to bank staff, Gauci signaled that she was ready to do whatever senior management asked of her. When Sadr called upon his employees for a volunteer to assist him in spiriting original corporate documents out of the bank in the dead of night, Gauci was the only one who agreed to help him break the law.

As is well known from Daphne Caruana Galizia's articles, a media television crew, which had staked out the Pilatus Bank headquarters, after learning that there were light on at the bank in the middle of the night, Gauci was filmed, together with Sadr, removing files and records from the bank, and taking them with them. When intercepted   In Fragrante Delicto ( caught red-handed), Gauci and Sadr refused to answer questions from media, and fled the scene, all the while being pursued by the journalist and cameraman. They departed in her automobile, according to witnesses.

Everyone in Malta has probably seen that video, which is still on Daphne's website. Gauci can clearly be identified when the light is focused upon her and Sadr during the filming.  Daphne believed that Sadr and Gauci removed the Egrant files, together with corporate documents of companies belonging to Keith Schembri, as well as of Azeri PEPs who laundered funds stolen from government accounts in their country through Pilatus Bank.

The filing of criminal charges against Gauci, who was later promoted to Risk Manager by Sadr, has reportedly been recommended by the Magistrate. Some sources believe that she has what is known in Malta as "Protected Status." meaning that powerful politicians and businessmen have prevented her arrest. It is not known whether she is a target of the American or European investigations into money laundering in Malta.


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Saturday, February 20, 2021



Attorneys for Lawrence Connell, the individual appointed to be the Competent Person by the  Malta  Financial Services Authority (MFSA)  to administer and supervise Pilatus Bank PLC has filed an extensive 27-page Opposition memorandum of law, in response to Pilarus' Petition, seeking Discovery from Connell.

Connell's counsel asserts that the Court should deny the relief sought by the Applicant bank, and has made a highly persuasive case, arguing:

(1)  The Application should be denied for failure to meet the statutory requirements of 28 USC §1782.

(2)  The Application should be denied, because the unfiled and unspecified "Damages" sought is speculative and not within reasonable contemplation.

(3) The Application should be denied because the Discovery sought is privileged.

(4) The Court should exercise its discretion to deny the application.

(5) The Petition should be denied because it seeks documents possessed by likely parties to the comtemplated and pending foreign jurisdictions.

(6) The Discovery should be denied because foreign governments receptive to the assistance, which contravenes Principles of Comity, and may harm reciprocity.

(7) The Application should be denied because it seeks to circumvent Discovery restrictions.

(8) The Application should be denied because it is unduly burdensome.   

A fair reading of the document indicates that several of the above grounds, alone, appear to be sufficient to support a dismissal of the action,  We still don't know whether the Court considers the petition to be dismissed  by the last order of court, for failure to timely serve the respondent  in December.      







 Readers have inquired as to why Maria Efimova, when she was visited in Greece by Malta MEP David Casa, she did not produce any Egrant documents she may have had in her possession, or alternatively have cloud access to. In the interest of uncovering the objective truth about the facts surrounding the Egrant scandal, we are posting the information here, on the record, to put the matter to rest.

We recently asked Ms. Efimova why she did not show any Egrant documents to MEP Casa.   Her reply, "Mr. Casa visited me while I was in jail in Athens, so I couldn't access the documents at that time. "  Ms. Efimova, who was facing bogus fraud charges filed against her in Malta, had turned herself in to the authorities. According to published statement made by Mr. Casa, the European Parliamentarian, she was advised by him that she could count on support from Brussels.

Ms. Efimova has repeatedly stated that she will voluntarily return to Malta to testify under oath, but that she must first be accorded protected whistleblower status by Malta.  She has previously stated that the Beneficial Owner of Egrant was Michele Muscat, the wife of former Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who resigned his position in the wake of information concerning the alleged involvement of his staff in the assassination of investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia. The perpetrators of the bombing of her automobile has not yet been brought to justice.




  The District Judge who dismissed the civil case against Halkbank, filed by victims of terrrorism acts supported by Iran, has ordered the parties to submit to the Court their agreement to file their action in Turkey by March 2, 2021. We have previously advised that the decision was based upon the Doctrine of Forum non Conviens,  inconvenient forum, meaning that three was another jurisdiction (Turkey) better suited to the litigation. The Order appears below.

Readers who wish more specific information should read our prior article, US Court Dismisses Iran Victims Suit against Turkey's Halkbank on Forum Non Conviens grounds,  published February 18, 2021.



Thursday, February 18, 2021



                                                Found Guilty by a Jury by COSIMO

 The trial judge in US vs. Hashemi Nejad,  has finally completed her examination of the circumstances surrounding the failure of the attorneys at SDNY to timely disclose what may have been information favorable to the defence as to either guilt or punishment, under Brady vs. Maryland., which requires the prosecution to deliver exculpatory evidence to a defendant's attorneys. 

After reviewing the Declarations of all the prosecutors involved, the Court stated:

"The Court does not find that the prosecutors intentionally withheld documents from the defense, or intentionally misled the Court, and thus will not engage in further fact-finding related to attorney misconduct. " Order entered February 17, 2021 at 3.


It is noteworthy that the Court did "urge(s) a full investigation by the office of Professional Responsibility," and granted the motion of press organizations to intervene, and denied much of the prosecutors' motions to seal the Declarations. Apparently, most of these pleadings will soon be available through the media and online. Whether they contain any evidence not previously made public during the trial is a question court observers have. When the filings are unsealed, we shall have our answer.

Finally, the Court ordered a status report on the use, by the Federal Bureau of investigation, of what was referred to as "raw search warrant returns, " which has been previously cited as one of defects involving the collection of information not later disclosed to the defence. 

We shall be closely monitoring the court file to extract any unsealed documents forthwith they are made available.




                                                          BEFORE by Cosimo

  In the United Kingdom, and in a number of Commonwealth of Nations jurisdictions, compliance departments are required to appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Officer, who is a bank officer tasked with identifying, and ultimately posting, a report to regulators, on suspicious transactions potentially deemed to be money laundering, or related financial crimes. The MLRO at Malta's now-closed Pilatus Bank was Claude-Ann Sant Fournier, who has since moved on to another position elsewhere.

 She was the designated money laundering gatekeeper at a bank many of whose customers were engaged in laundering. We are hearing from some witnesses that she was operating directly under the orders of the bank's owner, Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, and that she did not have access to many of the more substantial transactions. Notwithstanding these facts, she is strictly liable for her utter failure to rein in the bank's officers and directors, and to timely report their sins and transgressions to regulators.

There are persistent reports that, since she left Pilatus, her personal safety has been threatened by unknown parties, should she give information about the bank's operations to law enforcement. We cannot verify that this is true and correct.

We understand that, according to one of Malta's darker customs, she is deemed to be "protected" and immune from criminal charges in Malta, due to two factors. First, that her father is known to be the best friend of Malta's ex-police superintendent, and second, her husband's family is locally prominent and powerful. She reportedly identified by the yet-unreleased Magistrate's Report on Pilatus Bank, as one of the individuals that should be indicted for money laundering activities at the bank.

Malta, like Sicily, has elements of clan culture; it is known as Amoral Familism, and it is common to the formation of Mafia clans in Southern Italy and Sicily. While Malta's adherence to this social system was tempered during British Rule, it has redeveloped since independence.

 Please note however, that local protection cultural norms do not extend to foreign law enforcement, and she faces a potentially long period of incarceration in the United States, should an indictment be filed against her there, and given the amount of money allegedly laundered through the bank, the Guidelines sentence could be as long as the maximum twenty years. US Attorneys typically do not merely fine offenders at this level of culpability, so her influential family will not be able to extricate her from this predicament. Even if cooperating, she's going to be doing a substantial amount of prison time. Her outlook is bleak;  she is advised to retain the services of a competent criminal defence attorney in the US.


                                                                     AFTER by Cosimo





A US District Court Judge in New York has conditionally dismissed the pending suit, filed by hundreds of victims of terrorist groups linked to Iran against Halkbank of Turkey. The Court based its decision upon the established doctrine of Forum Non Conviens  (inconvenient forum), noting that the action should be brought in Turkey. In a 36-page decision, the Court, first explaining that  $10bn in judgments against Iran  were obtained by default, as Iran did not defend them, went on to find that the factors of convenience, fairness and judicial economy all pointed towards the litigation being properly brought in Turkey.

Readers who must have more detail for research purposes may contact this blog to receive a copy of the District Court Opinion and Order. The style of the case is James Owens et al Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. a/k/a Halkbank,  Case No.: 1;20-CV-02648-DLC (SDNY). Our email for your request is: