Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, January 19, 2022


Mr. Strickland has kindly submitted to the blog an update on the Times of Malta case.We present it here in the complete text, without any edits or changes:

The Maltese Legal System is somewhat arcane and normally only allocates 30 minutes max for each hearing of a civil court case before putting off the case for a further 3/4 months time for another short hearing.   Cases can takes years - which is attritious for the plaintiffs involved and some cases have even been going on over 40 years. 

However, in my particular court case, (regarding the improper transfer of the majority shareholding of Malta's leading media group to an entity which cannot even own the shares), we now have a new Judge Franco Depasquale appointed.  We understand this Judge is determined to get cases heard and decided within five years from start to finish.  This is good as our shares case has been in Court for six years already since it was first filed in 2015.    

Furthermore any judgment can be appealed, as happened with my first court case (regarding the self serving interpretation of my Aunt's will by her executors).  This case was filed in 2010, decided in 2018 and appealed in 2018.  The first appeal hearing of this case is not expected until 2024 at the earliest because of the worsening backlog of court cases.  This situation can also be manipulated by unscrupulous parties as appeals can be filed without any valid grounds ever being given.

COVID has not helped the system in Malta but,  when our solicitors tried to cancel my shares case hearing last week (because of an upsurge of COVID infections in Malta), we insisted on it being held remotely, by zoom, and luckily the Judge granted this facility. We hope to get a decision on this case within a year or two as we have effectively closed our evidence and are awaiting any evidence from the defense but we do not believe they can possibly produce anything to support their illegal transfer of the majority shareholding of the newspaper group.   We are also awaiting copies of evidence submitted to Court by the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority) last week, at our request.   

UK and European observers of this case have noted that if this case had been heard in the UK, I have been told that it would have been decided in a single sitting and the shares awarded to me (as the sole heir of my Aunt), because there has never been any valid instrument of transfer produced and The Strickland Foundation,  as a 'body corporate', cannot own any shares in Allied Newspapers Ltd.  This is because Allied  Newspapers Ltd, as a family company (known as a private exempt company in Malta), has the standard restrictions in its Company Articles restricting shareholders to private individuals and disallowing any 'body corporate' from owning shares.  These articles cannot be changed without the approval of all of the shareholders, including myself.  This would have been an open and shut case in the UK.  Hopefully the judge  in Malta will come to the same conclusion.

Until the outcome of the shares case is known, effective control of the major media group in Malta currently rests with the four person council of The Strickland Foundation which excludes any Strickland but includes, perversely, a politically exposed person (PEP) who is a serving minister with the political opposition in Malta.  As such he should be nowhere near any media group, for obvious reasons, especially one that built its reputation on being independent from political parties. This 'undue influence' had been exercised both by his father before him (also a PEP), and now by himself, ever since my Aunt's death 30 years ago. In the last eight years the newspaper group has also been the subject of a succession of fraud and money laundering allegations against three of its managing directors all appointed by these PEPs.  This has left the paper my family founded and ran, until my aunt's death,  a shadow of its former self, and brings into question its entire reputation for independence.  

This is a major Maltese scandal that you rarely hear about in newspapers in Malta and certainly never in our family papers. Malta is a small island and only has two dominant political parties.   If the Media is the fourth pillar of democracy then this self censorship is at risk of undermining our fragile democracy in Malta.   

Robert Hornyold-Strickland
Mabel Strickland; gone but not forgotten


Tuesday, January 18, 2022






Predatory lenders, working as auto title loan companies, continue to exploit consumers, through bait & switch, obscenely excessive fees, refusing to work in good faith with consumers, jacking up interest rates as high as 175% (yes, that constitutes Usury), and many, many more unethical or illegal tactics, all designed to extract money from unsuspecting consumers, many of whom are elderly, handicapped, ill and infirm. These companies deserve to lose their licenses, and their operators should be going to prison, for putting their clients through financial hell.

One such financial nightmare is LOAN MART, the trade name of  WHEELS FINANCIAL GROUP LLC, located in Van Nuys, California. It is also known to operated under 800 LOANMART, 1800LOANMART, and W.F.G. NEED CASH NOW.COM. HUGO DONNER is listed as its CEO; ANNALISA CLEARIHUE a/k/a ANNIE PIRAINO, as compliance officer;  CARLOS CARDONA a/k/a JOE CARDONA as Title Service & Collections Manager. The Director of Compliance is JESSEN CALLOWAY (818) 285-2129. All of these officers have been accused by their victims of criminal activity, specifically making usurious loans (Loansharking).

Of course, Loan Mart can no longer fund small consumer loans in the State of California, due to, among other things, making usurious loans in violation of state and Federal law. The company signed a Consent order with the California Department of Financial Protection and innovation on December 14, 2021.

Nevertheless, LoanMart continues to operate outside of California; victims allege unethical behavior, Annual Percentage rates over 150%;harassing consumers over the telephone; altering credit reports; wrongful repossession of consumers' automobiles; Alteration of Annual Percentage Rates; tacking on charges to insure that loans will literally never be paid off; installing illegal tracking devices on consumers' vehicles; deception; failure to release titles after payment in full have been made; and many more consumer complaints filed with regulatory agencies, online complaint websites, and consumer protection groups.

This is the first of a series of five articles.We will be covering LoanMart's criminal operations in future stories, focusing upon actual consumer statements, regulatory action, litigation, and details about specific cases of misconduct. Actual cases will be detailed, with the names of victims redacted to preserve their privacy.We shall also profile its officers and directors; Stay tuned. 

What follows is the State of California Consent Decree, which details the company's criminal conduct leading to its termination of services within the state. It will give the reader insight into how this predatory lender operates.





Monday, January 17, 2022



 One of the many victims of the California fraudster RALPH SANDERS has taken an important step to strike back at this career criminal who targets and exploits single women and mothers. She was able to locate her Mercedes Benz automobile, which Sanders  deceptively acquired from her, and failed to return.  It was located after Sanders filed a fraudulent police report that disclosed the address where it could be found.

The automobile was seized by a repossession agent, at the home of a female co-conspirator who may or may not be an additional Sanders victim, and who was profane and rude to the individual executing the recovery. More importantly, evidence that further incriminates Sanders was later found within the vehicle, and it has been reported that this evidence is extremely damaging, regarding additional crimes committed by Sanders in the State of California.

Readers who are not familiar with Ralph Sanders, who uses several aliases, such as RAFAEL SANDERS, RAPHAEL SANDERS, SEAN SANDERS, SHAWN SANDERS, SEAN BLACK, RALPH S, RALPH 6'6" OVERSEAS SANDERS, and RALPH INNICHINA SANDERS.

We have thirteen prior articles about Ralph Sanders on this blog; you can access them by typing "Sanders" into the white search box at the top left-hand corner of this page.




Sunday, January 16, 2022


To properly and correctly report on the details of complex financial crime cases, especially money laundering, the journalists who write those articles should, with rare exception, be attorneys. We are seeing, time and time again, errors and mistakes when the cases are reported by journalists whose educational backgrounds generally do not go beyond the humanities. Rarely will you find a practising journalist who has even taken criminal law cases at the undergraduate level, as most of them concentrate on a programme designed to train them in the preparation of all types of stories. I note with approval that the Times of Malta has an attorney-journalist, but they are rare in the industry.

I do not make this claim because of my own qualifications; readers, especially professionals who might be able to glean something of use regarding their representation of their own clients, deserve accuracy, please. If there is something that occurred in a case of great public interest, report it accurately.

Look at the current issue of Malta Today,  which contains an important story entitled "Pilatus Money Laundering: Arrest Warrants not yet Served to Bosses," written by Matthew Vella. In that article, Mr. Vella that Pilatus Bank owner/CEO/Chairman ALI SADR HASHEMI NEJAD was "acquitted" of sanctions busting charges. He further stated "charges were dropped,"  which leads readers to conclude, erroneously, that Sadr was NOT convicted by a jury of his crime, which occurred. It was only due to reputed Prosecutorial Misconduct (failing to timely deliver evidence to defence counsel, a  Brady violation) that the verdict was set aside and the case Nolle Prosequi, which means the Government decided not to go forward with its case. He only mentions the truth, the conviction, in a sideboards on Page 4, but on Page 1 he asserts an acquittal, which did not occur.

Knowledge of specific criminal law statutes, which is as far as most journalists go when examining a complex criminal case, fails to consider the subject of Criminal Procedure. It is the rules of procedure which are often the reason a court may enter a specific ruling, regarding Substantive Law. and the failure of non-attorney journalists to grasp procedural issues often result in errors in reporting. Many journalists use the term "innocent" when reporting on Sad'r case; in truth and in fact, he was anything but that. A jury of his peers found him guilty; that result was reversed only because the trial judge, already upset because the aggressive prosecutors at SDNY had allegedly violated Brady, either the spirit or the letter of that decision, had learnt of late-delivered Discovery.

This is just one of many errors I typically find in articles discussing Federal cases, whether criminal or civil, because the writer did not understand the importance of a procedural point. In US vs. Bruce Bagley, all the reporters noted that Professor Bagley received a mere six month sentence for money laundering, apparently due to his advanced age and poor health. What the Judgment and Notice of Commitment (the sentence) actually stated was conviction on two counts, with six month sentences, to be served concurrently, meaning simultaneously. 

 He also was not given any post-sentence Supervised Release, which is extremely rare. Supervised Release keep tabs on defendants after they have served their sentences. A lawyer-journalist would have pointed out the significance of these details. Most reporters ignored them altogether, as well as Bagley's relationship with his client, Alex Saab Moran, who is awaiting trial in Miami on money laundering charges.

I note with approval that there are some media that do employ seasoned journalists who have acquired the necessary tools; the Miami Herald's  Jay Weaver, with over 20 years of experience is the exception; his excellence in reporting Federal Court cases is based upon that experience. Most are young reporters short on knowledge of the criminal justice system they are covering. That way, the media doesn't have to pay them huge salaries.

Let's have more lawyers, especially those with criminal defence experience, make a career change, ald lateral over to reporting on a field which they are intimately familiar with; complex criminal cases, whether they be local, Federal or appellate. Nobody else is better qualified to tell those stories.


Saturday, January 15, 2022







Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S., more commonly known as HALKBANK, the Turkish-government owned bank accused by the US of assisting in a massive Iran sanctions evasion programme, will apparently be filing a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reportedly stayed the District Court criminal case, allowing the bank to seek redress in the High Court. Both the District Court (SDNY) and the Second Circuit held that the Sovereign Immunity Defence would not apply to the bank, under the Commercial Activities exception. 

Given that the Government has secured the cooperation of the Iranian-Turkish dual national, REZA ZARRAB, and has had several years to accumulate documentary evidence, the outcome of any jury trial against the bank is fairly certain, although one can never predict what a judge or jury will do.

Given the established law on the Commercial Activities Exception to the FSIA, and the fact that the Court found that Halkbank qualified under all three categories, the bank's ploy with SCOTUS may only delay the inevitable trial in New York, which will probably impact the already poor relations between the United States and an increasingly authoritarian Turkey, now labouring under Strongman rule, as it ignores the Rule of Law.

When the petition has been filed, we will update our readers accordingly.

Friday, January 14, 2022




Existing, under construction and planned future buildings, Miami's Brickell Avenue District

If you haven't visited Miami recently, it is in a state of rapid change. The Brickell Avenue financial district, now as densely packed as Manhattan, due to a massive commercial and residential building boom, is featuring still more extremely tall condominiums, hotels and office buildings. The Magic City is once again living up to its name.

While progress has been Miami's hallmark in recent decades, due to its climate and geography, additional new factors, such as the relocation of a large number of professionals working remotely, the emergence of a high tech sector in the local economy, due to a favorable tax environment, and the targeting of ultra-high net worth clients by luxury residential developers, have all created a perfect storm of constriction at a torrid pace.  

What this means for compliance officers is that several multi-million dollar condominiums and office buildings are coming available each month for purchase. The buyers, most of whom are foreign nationals, will result in huge potential profits for the developers, but they also represent a high level of risk. While closing those transactions are the objective, insuring that sophisticated financial criminals accomplish the placement of the Proceeds of Crime in those projects, through effective enhanced Due Diligence policies and procedures, is a major goal that may or may not be achieved without unusual measures.

If you know your history, or are old enough to have seen what happened to Miami in the "Miami Vice" era of the 1980s, what is often referred to as the Golden Age of Money Laundering occurred, and drug money laundering was rampant, out of control, and unmanageable for the financial sector, as well as law enforcement. It took several years, the passage of the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986, and the shift in the movement of narcotics, which mainly entered through Florida, towards Mexico, before the problems lessened here. To say it was a difficult period is being kind; it was rough.

The city fathers in Miami sorely want us to forget about the trials and tribulations of those years, but today's bankers and compliance officers were not here 40 years ago, and therefore never had to painfully learn the lessons of that dark period. Whether they are adequately prepared to fend off the money launderers of the 21st century, who use the Internet to facilitate bulletproof strategies and tactics, advanced technology, corrupt foreign officials, and tradecraft completely unknown to the average compliance officer, we cannot say, but it will challenge them in ways they must cope with, on a real-time basis, for today's compliance officers, realtors, bankers and developers can all end up in Federal Prison for Willful Blindness, should they fail to interdict dirty money.

The laundrymen barbarians will be at the gates of Miami; the question is, will the gatekeepers keep them out in 2025 ?

Thursday, January 13, 2022



If you are a compliance officer at an international bank, following up on some suspicious transactions you discovered, involving a professional (attorney, accountant, financial service provider), don't bother conducting an Internet search for any negative information on Google or other search engine. If it exists, it has cunningly been buried behind page after page of websites, usually constructed by an Internet reputation restoration technician. This individual has cleverly thrown a wide variety of Internet fluff, from many different places of origin, depicting your target multiple times as an honest, experienced professional, whose services are available to the legitimate public, extolling his qualifications, experience, charitable and public service achievements, and every type of Internet entry you can imagine. 

All this Web garbage, which invariably fills several pages, serves to convince even the most diligent inquirer that his target is clean & legitimate. It serves to push any news of a negative nature, such as an arrest for money laundering or other financial crime abroad, way, way back, where most people, thinking that page 10 or 30 cannot contain relevant entries, never venture into. Therefore, they give their target a clean bill of health, and their suspicions remain only questions, not supported by information that might require an enhanced due diligence inquiry, where the truth might just come out.

I am making this point because recently, I checked on a number of individuals, who have never been arrested, but are strongly suspected by yours truly of moving the proceeds of crime through the global financial structure. All of them had obviously used the services of some reputation restoration service to pollute the Internet with many, many entries, all of which were designed to insure that whatever negative information existed, it was deeply buried behind the huge volume of websites created solely for the purpose of creating a bogus Internet presence that told the reader their target was a legitimate, and thoroughly boring, individual, not that he was, in truth and in fact, a prolific money launderer. 

 The truth has been  pushed way back, where you won't see it, unless you have the rare habit of reading web search entries to the bitter end. Perhaps you might want to read your Internet search results backwards, from the least relevant; you might be surprised at what you find.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022


ALAR, Roman Anatolyevich, Moscow, Russia; DOB 17 Jan 1973; nationality Russia; Gender Male; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled By U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214; Passport 719869648 (Russia) expires 25 Jun 2022 (individual) [NPWMD]. 
CHOE, Myong Hyon (a.k.a. CH'OE, Myo'ng-hyo'n), Vladivostok, Russia; DOB 20 Jan 1966; nationality Korea, North; Gender Male; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled By U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214; Passport 836210034 (Korea, North) issued 26 Apr 2016 expires 26 Apr 2021 (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SECOND ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES). 
KANG, Chol Hak (Korean: 강절학) (a.k.a. KANG, Ch'o'l-hak), Shenyang, China; DOB 06 Sep 1962; nationality Korea, North; Gender Male; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled By U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214 (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SECOND ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES). 
KIM, Song Hun (a.k.a. KIM, So'ng-hun), Shenyang, China; DOB 10 Apr 1978; nationality Korea, North; Gender Male; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled By U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214; Passport 745235023 (Korea, North) (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SECOND ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES). 
O, Yong Ho, Moscow, Russia; DOB 25 Dec 1961; nationality Korea, North; Gender Male; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled By U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214; Passport 108410041 (Korea, North) issued 13 Oct 2018 expires 13 Oct 2023 (individual) [NPWMD]. 
PYON, Kwang Chol (a.k.a. PYO'N, Kwang-ch'o'l), Dalian, China; DOB 16 Sep 1964; nationality Korea, North; Gender Male; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled By U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214 (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SECOND ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES). 
SIM, Kwang Sok (a.k.a. SIM, Kwang-so'k), Dalian, China; DOB 16 Sep 1971; nationality Korea, North; Gender Male; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled By U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214; Passport 745120331 (Korea, North) issued 19 Mar 2015 expires 19 Mar 2020 (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SECOND ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES). 

The following entity has been added to OFAC's SDN List: 

PARSEK LLC, Sh. Entuziastov D. 54, Che 0 POM.VII CH K 9, Moscow 111123, Russia; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled By U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214; Tax ID No. 7714789249 (Russia); Company Number 62817585 (Russia); Registration Number 1097746565366 (Russia) [NPWMD]. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022





 Do you know what this is ? It's a medal, awarded to police officers in the Republic of Malta, for Long and Efficient Service. It was given, last February, to Assistant Police Commissioner IAN ABDILLA. The problem is Abdilla, more than anyone else in the Malta Police, is the individual responsible for seeing that his law enforcement agency willfully ignored: (1) the Panama Papers/Schembri/Mizzi scandal (2) Corruption in offshore corporations linked to Yorgen Fenech (17 Black) and Joseph Muscat (Panama) and (3) The Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination.

Mug Shot


Cashiered as the head of the Economic Crimes Unit, for what the Daphne Foundation called "incompetence, lack of initiative and blindness to the crimes of people involved in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia," he was not only not sacked, but he received the above medal. Only in Malta, where corruption is king, Muscat is revered as a God, and bribery & kickbacks are the rule, rather than the exception, would a corrupt police commissioner be so lionised. It is truly The European Union's only Failed State.


Abdilla personifies all that is rotten in Malta's government. Will he ultimately ascend to the top position in the Malta police ? Heaven help the Maltese people if that happens. He will perpetuate what some observers are calling Malta, "the Mafia State."

Il Duce








A review of a large number of the consumer complaints filed publicly against the mortgage servicing company FAY SERVICING LLC, with the Better Business Bureau ( has revealed the full extent of the alleged misconduct homeowners are asserting that the company has committed against them ( N.B. $1.15m in Restitution and Disgorgement). Here is but a small sampling of what we found: 

1. Fay raised the payment amount on a handicapped homeowner's mortgage without notifying him of any legal reason for the increase.

2. Fay annually erroneously and incorrectly threatened a homeowner for not carrying hazard insurance, and improperly added fees to his mortgage, when he had insurance, and Fay had a record of his coverage.

3. Inflating payoff figures with additional penalties and interest fluctuations that show unfair business practices.

4. Fay refused to accept mortgage payments, and then charged foreclosure fees for a mortgage that was not in default.

5. Fay does not report on time payments on mortgages to credit reporting agencies; they only report it if the account is delinquent.

6. Fay is holding insurance funds in a loss draft account that are needed to make fire damage repairs. This denies the homeowner the right to repair or retain his home, whole actively seeking foreclosure.

7. Fay signed up a homeowner for deferred payments, without his knowledge or consent, resulting a  drop in his credit score.

8. Fay refused to assist homeowner complete a Short Sale.

There are many, many more. Feel free to access the BBB site to see the double-talk Fay responses; in many cases, they blame the homeowner for their lack of communication, or deny the truth of the situation. Why is this company not yet shut down by regulators ? It has permanently given Wells Fargo, who assigned servicing on many of its loans to Fay, a black eye with consumers.


NOTE: readers who are not familiar with Fay Servicing may want to review at least some of our 12 prior articles on the subject:

1. Has the California Department of Justice targeted Fay Servicing ?

2. Victims Allege that Fay Servicing Attorneys made Material Misstatements of Fact in Foreclosure Proceedings  

3. Making America Homeless Again 


RESEARCH NOTE: Using the white search engine feature to access the other cases, enter "Fay." 






In a Baltimore Federal case certain to draw the attention of the national criminal defense bar, a lawyer who represented a lawyer in a money laundering prosecution ended up also charged with a Federal felony. KENNETH RAVENELL, a local criminal defense attorney, was represented at trial by Joshua Treem, who was charged with Obstruction of Justice, in connection with an affidavit and letter submitted to Court that were allegedly misleading. A private investigator, Sean Gordon, was also charged. 

Both Treem and Gordon were acquitted; Ravenell himself was convicted of money laundering conspiracy, although he was acquitted on several other counts, involving Racketeering, narcotics and Obstruction of Justice. apparently, the local criminal defense bar took offense to the indictment of one of their own while defending a lawyer-client, as improper conduct and a threat to lawyers in general.

Monday, January 10, 2022





FRANCISCO ILLARRAMENDI, a former Venezuelan hedge fund manager/convicted Ponzi schemer from Connecticut, is currently residing in a Baltimore halfway house, according to Bureau of Prisons records, as you can see above, but he is at least two years from release, and he was a problem defendant and inmate from the start. What's wrong with this picture ?

illarramendi's pretrial release was cancelled, due to financial misconduct while out on bond; he went through lawyers like water, causing extensive delays, and he has the gall to demand release after his conviction . How can this a defendant who repeatedly tried to game the system, be given such favorable treatment ?  There must be something more to the story.

Our best educated guess is that he is somehow being used in an important DC District Court money laundering case, involving Venezuelan nationals. He may even be part of the Nicolas Maduro case. Tha's probably why he is being kept close to, but not in, Washington. He will be a trial witness against some major target. That's why such a problem child is receiving such good treatment.