Tuesday, October 13, 2020



Is the international accounting and consulting firm that approved Ali Sadr Hasheminejad for Malta, after what was supposed to be a thorough enhanced due diligence investigation of his background and qualifications to obtain a license to operate a financial institution, liable,for professional negligence.what we commonly call malpractice ? This issue deserves to be discussed given that Pilatus Bank was operated, from the moment it opened, as a money laundering center. not only the Malta brick-and-mortar facility, but the London letterbox (virtual) branch, which advertised itself to high net-worth individuals, and which was obviously designed to take full criminal advantage of the EU branch banking loophole.

Let's take a hard look at Sadr as a target individual:

(1) He was a young Iranian national, with no prior experience in operating a financial institution. he had no formal education in the field of international banking. His work experience was in operating a shopping center, and setting up an investment business.

(2) His efforts to achieve citizenship in the United States, through his alleged opposition to the regime in Tehran, failed because there was no factual basis for his clam. In truth and in fact, he had traveled into and out of Iran several times, and had not been arrested or even detained. In fact, while he moved his extended family to the US, after an obvious marriage of convenience to an Iranian-American lawyer got him his residency,  his wealthy father remained in Iran. No wonder the US denied his petition. The accounting firm did not think this relevant ?

(3) The Source of Funds for the bank was later determined by law enforcement to have been the proceeds of crime. Just how did the accounting firm actually verify that the organizational funding for Pilatus Bank was legitimate ? Where is the firm's work product on its Source of Funds inquiry, we wonder.

(4) Allegations that Sadr paid government officials in Malta bribes to expedite approval of his bank license application, including but not limited to Muscat and Schembri, were apparently common knowledge, How did the accounting firm respond to corruption issues, and how did it rule them out ?

(5) Finally, where is the actual firm Work Product on its Enhanced Due Diligence , meaning its files, copies of materials accessed and obtained, and written conclusions and recommendations. I fear we will either not be able to locate its recommendation document, or there will be some other excuse on why a copy cannot be produced. Where's the file,  please ?

When all the dust settles in Malta, after multiple arrest warrants are issued against the Malta money laundering defendants, and some true reformers are placed in power, someone should take a good look at this issue. there may be a cause of action available in a suit for damages, since if someone had done their job properly, Pilatus Bank would never have been granted a license, and millions of dollars of dirty money would not have flowed through Malta.  It is humbly suggested that the accounting firm notify its insurance carrier forthwith.

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