Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, May 31, 2020

FLORIDA SUPPORTER OF ISIS SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS FOR PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO TERRORISTS



A US District Judge in Fort Myers, Florida sentenced ALISON MARIE SHEPPARD a/k/a AIISHA ABDULLAH to five years and ten months in Federal Prison, after she pled guilty to one count of Attempting to Provide Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization (ISIS), a 20-year felony. She also received a term of fifteen years of Supervise Release.

The defendant:

(1) Purchased cellular telephones, to ship to ISIS, for use as detonators for improvised explosive devices (IED), to be used in so-called "pressure cooker" bombs.
(2) Counseled and assisted individuals on how to join ISIS, and provided detailed instructions.
(3) Published repeatedly on Facebook and social media jihadi pro-ISIS videos, repeatedly glorifying violence and ISIS.
(4) Communicated with individuals whom she believed were supporters of ISIS. They were undercover agents of American law enforcement.

Readers who wish additional information, may access the defendant's Plea Agreement here.

AL-MUGHASSIL, LEADER OF HEZBOLLAH IN SAUDI ARABIA, WANTED FOR KHOBAR TOWERS ATTACK ON AMERICANS


Saturday, May 30, 2020

SUPREME COURT OF CYPRUS ORDERS THE EXTRADITION OF A WANTED HEZBOLLAH MONEY LAUNDERER TO MIAMI



The Supreme Court of Cyprus has affirmed a lower court order of extradition, by dismissing an appeal filed in the case of a member of Hezbollah wanted on Federal money laundering charges in Miami. Reports indicate that the defendant was arrested in 2019 upon arrival at Larnaca international Airport. He is currently being held in detention, awaiting extradition to the United States

The pending charges, which have not been verified, as his US Court proceedings are most likely sealed, are said to be:
(1) Money Laundering in excess of $100,000.
(2) Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.
(3) Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitter.
(4) Illegal use of wireless commnications.

Mansour, Diab & Ammar


Due to privacy restrictions, the court apparently  only identified the defendant by his surname, "Diab." While this is not confirmed, the individual is most likely GHASSAN DIAB, against whom an arrest warrant was issued in Miami in 2016, and who is associated with Hezbollah money launderers MOHAMMAS AHMAD AMMAR and HASSAN MOHSEN MANSOUR, all of whom allegedly coordinated the movement to Miami of $500,000 in Australian drug profits, via Dubai and Hong Kong.

DNI RELEASES SUMMARIES OF MICHAEL FLYNN'S CONVERSATIONS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR



The new Director of National Inteligence, John Ratcliffe, has released the declassified summaries of conversations between General (Ret.) Michael Flynn, the national security advosor to then President-elect Donald Trump, and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to committees of the US Sanate, who released them to the media. Only the name of the originating agency and recipents' identities are redacted. It makes fascinating reading, and the 27-page document may be accessed here.   

Friday, May 29, 2020

NORTH KOREAN BANKERS WHO MOVED MONEY TO EVADE SANCTIONS CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING

DPRK Financial Intellignce Unit


Twenty-six North Korean bankers, who moved $2.5bn, in violation of US and international sanctions, using front companies and undercover bank branches abroad, have been charged in US District Court in the District of Columbia in a 50-page indictment recently unsealed.

The charges:
1. Money Laundering
2. Continuing Financial Crimes Enterprise
3. Money Laundering Consipracy
4.  WMD violations
5.  DPRK Sanctions Violations
6. Bank Fraud
7. Conspiracy
8. IEEP Act  Violations
9. Intl. Money Laundering

The covert branches were located in Russia, China, Libya, Kuwait, Austria, and Thailand.


Here are the names of the defendants:






Thursday, May 28, 2020

READ US GOVERNMENT LIST OF RUSSIAN PEPS

This is the unclassified list, from the CAATSA Report, of individuals labeled by the US Government as Politically Exposed Persons, or PEPs. The US Govt refers to them as Senior Foreign Political Figures (31C.F.R.§1010.605), and notes that they fall in one of these categories:

(1) Senior members of the Russian Presidential Administration.
(2) Members of the Russian Cabinet.
(3) Cabinet-Rank Ministers.
(4) Heads of other major executive agencies.
(5) Other senior political leaders, including leadership of the State Duma and Federation Council.
(6) Members of the Russian Security Council.
(7) Senior executives at state-owned enterprises.














See also "CAATSA Report List of Russian Oligarchs, " published on this blog yesterday (5/27/20).

ABDULLAH ABDULLAH - LED US EMBASSY AFRICA TERRORIST ATTACKS - $10m REWARD


APPEALS COURT IN MALAYSIA AFFIRMS 38 YEAR SENTENCE FOR FIRST CONVICTION UNDER 2001 MONEY LAUNDERING LAW



The Court of Appeal of Malaysia has affirmed the first conviction, together with the 38 year sentence, ever obtained under the country's Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. Doctor Hamimah Idruss, who forged signatures on promissory notes, in order to rise capital for her pharmaceutical business, and service its debts, also has her fine increased by the appellate court.

The defendant was convicted in 2012, in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, on ten forgery counts, and eight money laundering counts. In a world where money laundering sentences are often litttle more than a slap on the wrist, placing the offender back in play in a few short years, where they often commit subsequent financial crimes, Malaysia's sentence, which may actually deter, rather and encourage, others is a welcome change.



When was the last time you saw anyone receive a 20-year sentence in the United States for money laundering ?  the truth is, it rarely happens, and deterrence is not established. If a banker or businessman knew that he would be spending two decade in Federal Prison for cleaning the proceeds of crime, he or she might think twice about engaging in such conduct.  


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

LEADERS OF HURRAS AL-DIN - $5m REWARD FOR FORMER NUSRAH FRONT


CAATSA REPORT LIST OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS

In its Report to Congress, pursuant to the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanction Act, Treasury included its list of Russian Oligarchs. These are individuals, all of whom qualify because they are known to possess more One Billion ($1,000,000,000) Dollars, all of which was diverted government property, for which they paid little or nothing, at the time of the dissolution of the former Soviet Union.

Needless to say, these are not individuals that you ever want to meet in a dark alley at midnight, for their bodyguards would probably shoot first, and ask questions later. Should you encounter any documents referring to any one of these Oligarchs, for any reason, are grounds to immediately conduct enhanced due diligence upon your client and all counterparties, the transactions involved, and whether there have been any prior references to that individual in transactions, records or correspondence, You should also seek the advice of the bank's outside attorneys, or other competent legal counsel.















FRENCH POLITICIAN BALKANY AND WIFE, CONVICTED OF MONEY LAUNDERING, LOSE THEIR APPEAL

Patrick & Isabelle Balkany

Patrick Balkany, the former right-wing mayor of the Paris suburb of Levallos-Perret, and his wife Isabelle, who appealed their convictions for money laundering and aggravated tax fraud to the Court of Appeal (Cour d'Appel de Paris), had their convictions affirmed and Balkany's sentence actually increased. They now have sentences of five and four years, respectively, are ineligible for political office for a decade, and each has a fine of €100,000, plus €1m in damages.

The couple, who evaded both France's Wealth Tax (ISF), as well as income tax, and reportedly ove €4m, may have a possible appeal to the Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation). They allegedly stole millions of Euros of public funds while in office, and are said to be worth €16m, with extensive properties abroad, including in Morocco and the French West Indies, with funds stashed in offshore accounts.

The defendants have  prior convictions, dating back in 1996, for using municipal employees for personal matters, including one as a chauffeur. Their principl allegations, that their wealth was largely inherited, was not accepted by the court. Given that French politicians guilty of white-collar crimes are rarely charged let alone spend time in prison, the case is a significant money laundering conviction.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

COURT DECLINES TO ALLOW ALLEN STANFORD TO APPEAL HIS LATEST POST-JUDGMENT PLOY


The trial judge most be losing patience with the convicted master Ponzi schemer R Allen Stanford; his many frivolous post-trial actions, none of which, objectively, the Court found to be meritorious, keep on coming. His most recent motion, to amend or correct his Judgment was not only denied, but the Court ominously stated "The issues raised here are not debatable among jurists of reason, could not be resolved in a different manner, and do not deserve encouragement to proceed further [emphasis added]", in failing to issue a Certificate of Appealability. 


AVIS SUR LES SANCTIONS FRAPPANT LE COREE DU NORD




Directives actualisées sur les moyens de faire face aux pratiques illicites de transport maritime de la Corée du Nord, ici. 

THE ZIMBABWE BOND FRAUD RETURNS TO THE UNITED STATES




This fraud was seen in the US last year, in a slghtly different form, and now it is back in miami. I have been receiving multiple calls of late from interested investors, all wanting to get on board, and seeking to engage an expert (me) to tell them that it is legitimate and high-yield. I am afraud it is only the 2020 version of last year's bond scam.

Here's how it works:

(1) The victim is approached by a local fraudster with a "too-good-to-be-true" story of the availability of a lucrative investment in bonds issued by the Government of Zimbabwe, and backed by US currency, or the full faith and credit of the United States, depending upon who solicits you.

(2) the story: the original bonds are in a safety-deposit box in Switzerland where, coincidenitally, equipment exists to "authenticate" the bonds, prior to making a demand for payment, also in Switzerland, sttangely enough.

(3) The victim, who is asked to sign a contract in the US to purchase them at a discount, must thereafter fly to Switzerland to validate/authenticate them, prior to redeeming them, and then to sell at a major profit. That is the represantation made by the fraudsters.

(4) Greed takes over objectivity; the victim buys the "investment, " and travels to Switzerland to obtain his purchsse after validating it, only to find that fees and costs, not previously mentioned, are required to gain access to the purported authentication machine. The fees are substantial.

(5) Of course, the bonds proffered are just color photocopies of original instruments that are worthless; the victim has spent money on his travel,  and still more money to validate his bogus and worthless "bonds." He will sustain a total loss.


READ US TREASURY GUIDANCE ON NORTH KOREAN CYBER THREAT



Read the DPRK Cyber Threat, which is a joint advisory also issued by the Department of State, DHS and the FBI here.  

Monday, May 25, 2020

US DEPT. OF COMMERCE ADDS 24 CHINESE-CONTROLLED COMPANIES TO ENTITY LIST




Last week the Department of Commerce added twenty four mainly Chinese companies to the restricted Entity List, which prohibits exports of American products t them. They are suspected of being  purchasing agencies for the Chinese military. No goods, especially dual-use technology that has possible military applications, may be sold to those companies without a special exporters license.

Compliance officers should immediately check to see whether any of their  banks clients appear on the List.  You may access the Supplement No. 4 to Part 744 here.




MEMORIAL DAY 2020 - VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL WASHINGTON D.C.


FREDERICK ARIAS, FUGITIVE WANTED FOR $9m FRAUD - FORMER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER


OFAC DISCLOSES ITS AUTHORITIES FOR DERIPASKA SANCTIONS



The Office of Foreign Assets Control, OFAC, has listed all the unclassified and non-privileged sources of information that it relied upon, first to designate OLEG DERIPASKA, and then in support of its denial of the Plaintiff's Petition for Delisting, and we have placed the lists at the end of this article.

 This document gives the reader a rare look inside the actual OFAC work product, as well as serving as a guide for which media sources the agency considers authoritative and reliable, when conducting investigations. As you can see, the list is extensive, and is obviously the result of a broad-based search online and elsewhere. Readers who conduct enhanced due dliligence investigations should take note of the media sources cited.

Of course, the classified documents, which most likely were the source of the most damning information, remain unavailable and exempt from discovery and disclosure. You can expect Deripaska's attorneys to have a lot to say about their inability to confront that evidence.






Sunday, May 24, 2020

APPEALS COURT IN MALTA CHANGES GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL'S PRISON TERM TO PROBATION



In a case that demonstrates that the courts in Malta, rather than follow the Rule of Law, are not inclined to punish government officials convicted in money laundering and corruption cases, the appeals court recently set aside a four year prison term imposed by the trial judge, and imposed only a three-year sentence of probation, upon former Fisheries and Aquaculture Department official Francis Caruana.The defendant had appealed his conviction and sentence.

The defendant had been charged with money laundering, extortion, misappropriation of funds and fraud, wheh a department internal audit revealed a discrepancy of €32.000. He later admitted to money laundering and fraud, and in addition to the prison term, he was fined €63,000. He admitted that he was guilty of tax evasion, but he was for some reason not chaged with that offense, raising suspicions that he had received favorable treatment from the prosecutor and the court.

On appeal, his counsel argued that since he had repaid the missing money, and in any event he was due an equal sum for overtime, and he should have applied to his department for payment, he should not serve prison time. The appeals court, disregarding the sentence imposed at trial, then pronounced a sentence of three years of probation, and an additional €10,730 for court costs; it was openly sympathetic to the defendant. Was this a miscarriage of justice ? The fact that he was a senior government official, and held to a high standard of conduct, trumps any consideration he should receive as a first offender.



If government officials in Malta know that they can engage in money laundering, and avoid the consequences due to favorable treatment by the local courts, if they are charged at all, then there is no efffective deterrence in Malta, and widespread corruption will continue to be the order of the day.

READ FUNDING TERRORISM WHITE PAPER ON HEZBOLLAH NETWORK


This outstanding article was suggested by a reader; we recommend it. Funding Terrorism: US sanctions imposed on an Extensive Network of Hezbollah Companies supporting its Military-Terrorist Activity, published by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Center. You may access it here.

The white paper details the role Hezbollah's Martyrs Foundation, and the companies owned by it, plays in Lebanon, as well as that of the dozen corporations affiliated with Atlas Holding, which generate profits for Hezbollah in the Lebanese economy, and which are thereafter used to fund its international terrorist activities. Each company is profiled, and its place in the organization explained.

The sanctioned leaders of the Martyrs foundation are examined, and the systematic method used by the Martyrs Foundation to acquire, and maintain, control over military-age manpower, using payments to families of Shaheeds. If you are a compliance officer at an international banks whosew customers trade in Lebanon, or require specific information on hezbollah's terrorist fnancing operations, it is humbly suggested that you review this entire white paper.

YASIN AL-SURI, AL-QAEDA TERRORIST FINANCIER BASED IN IRAN - $10m REWARD


READ GAO REPORT ON TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING



Readers who are compliance officers at financial institutions with clients engaged in international trade should review the new Government Accountability Office 71-page Report to Congressional Requesters on Trade-Based Money Laundering. You may access the complete text here.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

€25m MONET - LE PALAIS DUCAL (THE DOGE'S PALACE) IN LITIGATION OVER NAZI ERA FORCED SALE


Le Palais Ducal, "The Doge's Palace," by the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, completed during his visit to Venice in 1908, is the subject of a civil action in US District Court in Manhatten. Research Note : Bloom et al v. Emden et al,  Case No: 19-cv-10155 (SDNY). The painting is valued at  €25m or more.

The executors of the estate of the current owner have filed what amounts to a Quiet Title suit, against the Chilean family who claims the artwork is theirs, and was the subject of a nominal sale amounting to confiscation during the Nazi era, seeking to obtain clear title to the masterpiece. One of three versions of the work, it is catalogued W1742, and was owned by Max James Emden, a Jewish department store owner and art collector, who died in 1940, and whose grandson has long claimed ownership.

Max Emden
The defendants have moved to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The action was filed pursuant to New York's Long Arm statute, but the Court has not yet ruled.








PHOTOS OF HUSBAND AND WIFE AUTO DEALERS SENTENCED TO DEATH BY IRANIAN COURT SURFACE


Images from the recent trial of the husband and wife automobile dealers VAHID BEHZADI and NAJVA LASHIDAEI, which were the subject of our recent article, Iran Sentences two Money Launderers to Death.  The defendants, who sought to hoard thousands of automobiles, and thereby corruptly drive up the price, were convicted of money laundering and corruption charges, and sentenced to death by Iran's Anti-Corruption Court.



Death sentenes are not unusual in Iran in major corruption cases, as the country attempts to corral the rampant corruption which pervades allmost every aspect of Iranian commerce. Death sentences still hang over the heads of oil sanctions evaders ALIREZA ZIBAHALAT MONFARED, and BABAK MORTEZA ZANJANI.