Navinder Singh Sarao

Britain’s High Court denied a renewed application to appeal against extradition by Navinder Singh Sarao, who did not attend the High Court hearing, and he is due to be sent to the US within 28 days. Theresa May, the Home Secretary at the time, signed off his extradition in May, but the process was delayed when Mr Sarao appealed.

The High Court judges will set out their reasons for rejecting his appeal “in due course”. Navinder Sarao, a 37-year-old from Hounslow, has been fighting the US authorities’ bid to extradite him since he was arrested at his home in April 2015.

He has been charged with 22 offences that come with a maximum sentence of 380 years in total. His trading strategies, run from his bedroom in his parents’ home, generated $40m (£32m) in profits, prosecutors allege


[August 19 Manipulating BBSW-based derivatives prices, Bank bill swap rate, the Australian equivalent of Libor, by a posse of banks? Big Short Guy ]


Richard Dennis

PMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley ,BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Macquarie Group Ltd., Royal Bank of Canada and Credit Suisse Group AG. Brokers ICAP Plc and Tullett Prebon Plc are also defendants. Sonterra Capital Master Fund Ltd., various FrontPoint Financial funds and Florida-based derivatives trader Richard Dennis are complainants.

The case, filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York by attorney Vincent Briganti,
Dennis et al v. JPMorgan Chase & Co. et al
New York Southern District Court
Judge: Lewis A Kaplan
Case #: 1:16-cv-06496
Nature of Suit 410 Other Statutes – Antitrust
Cause 15:1 Antitrust Litigation (Monopolizing Trade)
Case Filed: Aug 16, 2016

Derivatives trader Richard Dennis , legendary American commodity speculator and a hedge fund firm depicted in the The Big Short movie for earning billions betting against US subprime mortgages are plaintiffs suing Australian banks in New York for allegedly manipulating market interest rates.

Dennis made his name taking huge bets on commodity futures such as grain, soybeans and pork belly in the 1970s and 80s and went on to help pioneer the renowned Turtle quantitative trading strategy.

“He was the most famous person in the [trading] pits in Chicago back then,” Brian Procter, a floor operations manager for Mr Dennis in the 1980s and now a managing director at US investment firm EMC Partners, told The Australian Financial Review on Thursday in the US.

“He would take gigantic positions, as big as the exchange would allow him.”

Mr Dennis, 67, is a class action plaintiff suing 17 international banks, including the big four Australian banks and Macquarie Group, for allegedly artificially fixing local Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW)-based derivative prices from 2003 onwards, according to a claim submitted in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York this week.

Florida-based Mr Dennis traded hundreds of Australian dollar futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

[August 10 Block release of HSBC money laundering report



DOJ asked 2d USCA on July 21 to block release of an  HSBC money laundering report,   HSBC Holdings Plc is working to improve its money laundering controls after the British bank was fined $1.92 billion.In the 2012 settlement, HSBC admitted to violating U.S. sanctions laws and failing to stop Mexican and Colombian cartels from laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in drug proceeds through the bank.

HSBC agreed to monitoring by former New York prosecutor Michael Cherkasky, now the executive chairman of the compliance company Exiger. One of the bank’s mortgage customers filed a motion to unseal Cherkasky’s report to find out whether the bank continued to engage in what the customer claimed were unsafe business practices.
“Public disclosure of the monitor’s report, even in redacted form, would hinder the monitor’s ability to supervise HSBC,” the government’s court filing said, adding that bank employees would be less likely to cooperate with the monitor if they knew their interactions could be released. n an earlier court filing, the government said that while HSBC has made significant progress since the agreement, it is still not doing enough to thwart money laundering.

The case is U.S. v. HSBC Bank USA NA et al, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-308

[June 1 Deaths of Martin Senn and Paul Wauthier

The cantonal police confirmed an application May 27 to run the investigation.

Martin Senn is said to have shot himself. The cantonal police confirmed an application May 27 to run the investigation.   He had quit as chief executive of Zurich Insurance Group in December following a series of profit warnings and a botched takeover of British rival RSA. His death follows the suicide of Zurich’s finance chief Pierre Wauthier in August 2013.

Pierre Wauthier, the 53-year-old chief financial officer of one of the world’s biggest underwriters, Zurich Insurance Group ZURVY, was found hanging in the Wauthier family home, in the small upscale Zurich exurb of Walchwil, Two suicide notes, one to his family, the other to the company. At first glance, the second looked like a business communiqué, typewritten under the heading, “To Whom It May Concern.”

[April 5 2016 FCA fine prompts U.S. charges ]


Ross McLellan

McLellan, Pennings and others conspired from February 2010 to September 2011 to add secret commissions to fixed income and equity trades performed for the six clients of a unit of the bank to overcharge their clients by millions of dollars through secret commissions on trades worth billions of dollars.
Ross McLellan former State Street executive vice president, McLellan was released and is due in court again on May 19.
Edward Pennings, a former senior managing director at State Street who is believed to be living overseas and was not arrested,
The case followed a 2014 settlement between State Street and the UK Financial Conduct Authority in which the bank paid a fine of £22.9 million (about $37.8 million) for charging the six clients “substantial mark-ups” on certain transitions. The case is U.S. v. McLellan, 16-cr-10094, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

[December 21 2015 Tom Hayes conviction upheld ]


[November 23 Spoofing Forex]

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office is investigating the posting of false bids and offers in the foreign exchange options market for emerging market currencies, a person familiar with the matter said on November 23.
Subpoenas were issued last week to four brokerages: BGC Partners (BGCP.O), GFI Group, TFS-ICAP (IAP.L) and Tullett Prebon Financial Services (TLPR.L). U.S. authorities have increased their scrutiny of so-called ‘ghosting’ or ‘spoofing,’
This month, a jury in Chicago convicted a high-frequency trader of commodities fraud and spoofing in the U.S. government’s first criminal prosecution of the trading practice.The trader, Michael Coscia, was convicted under a relatively new statute that was part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulatory overhaul, although as a state official Schneiderman operates under different legal authority.

[November 13 SFO: like Libor, so Euribor

Christian Bittar, eblink

Christian Bittar, eblink

Euribor is the average rate at which large banks lend to each other in euros. It is a daily reference rate and is published by the European Banking Federation. 10 people are charged by the SFO on November 13 for manipulating Euribor:
Christian Bittar (Deutsche Bank)
Achim Kraemer (Deutsche Bank)
Andreas Hauschild (Deutsche Bank)
Joerg Vogt (Deutsche Bank)
Ardalan Gharagozlou (Deutsche Bank)
Kai-Uwe Kappauf (Deutsche Bank)
Colin Bermingham (Barclays Bank)
Carlo Palombo (Barclays Bank)
Philippe Moryoussef (Barclays Bank)
Sisse Bohart (Barclays Bank)

[November 10 LIBOR RBS Rabobank]
caption width=”413″ align=”aligncenter”]Anthony Conti, 46, senior trader Anthony Conti, 46, senior trader[/caption]

A Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc executive told a client at Brevan Howard Asset Management as early as August 2007 that banks were setting Libor rates to support their own trading. Property Alliance Group, which is suing RBS over losses from interest-rate derivatives pegged to the benchmark, cited the evidence as it asked a London judge for permission to add allegations of fraud Thursday. Ex-RBS head of corporate Johnny Cameron sent an e-mail to other executives after meeting with the Bank of England in April 2008 that officials “wanted banks to play U.S. Libor very straight,” according to Lord.
The message was sent around by another RBS employee who said it was “Best not to forward this please. Just verbally update the troops please,”

Rabobank traders guilty
Anthony Allen and Anthony Conti, both UK citizens, participated in a five-year conspiracy at Rabobank to rig Libor rates in dollar and yen at the Dutch Rabobank They will be sentenced next March and were not remanded in custody. Of 13 people charged by the Justice Department with offences related to Libor rigging, seven are former Rabobank traders, including Allen and Conti, who earlier this year waived their right to extradition to fight the charges. Lawyers for Allen and Conti argued that while others at the bank may have been trying to rig Libor, their clients had submitted honest rate estimates. Rabobank was fined £662m by regulators in October 2013 over the Libor scandal, sparking a move by the bank’s chairman, Piet Moerland, to step aside earlier than he had planned.

[October 13 LIBOR trial assigned to Judge Jed S. Rakoff USDC SDNY begins]
The trial of Anthony Allen, 44, and Anthony Conti, 46, in federal court in Manhattan marks the first in a case by the U.S. Justice Department spilling out of a global investigation into whether various banks sought to manipulate Libor.
U.S. v. Allen, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-cr-00272.
Allen, Rabobank’s former global head of liquidity and finance, and Conti, a senior trader, were indicted in the United States in October 2014, a year after the bank reached a $1 billion deal resolving related U.S. and European probes.

Their trial follows an earlier one in London involving alleged yen Libor manipulation that led to the conviction of Tom Hayes, a former UBS AG (UBSG.VX) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) trader who was sentenced in August to 14 years in prison.

This case is assigned to Judge Jed S. Rakoff, United States Southern District Court of New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl St., New York, NY 10007-1312.

The indicted defendants include:

[1] Paul Robson
[2] Paul Thompson
[3] Tetsuya Motomura
[4] Takayuki Yagami
[5] Anthony Allen
[6] Anthony Conti
[7] Lee Stewart

Sentencing has been set for Paul Robson on June 9, 2017, at 4:00 PM before Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

On March 23, 2015, Lee Stewart, of London pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 9, 2017.

On March 20, 2015, Anthony Allen, the Global Head of Liquidity and Finance at Rabobank’s London desk, made his initial appearance and was arraigned. He pleaded not guilty to a superseding indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and eighteen substantive counts of wire fraud filed in an October 2014 superseding indictment. Allen is the first defendant charged in the LIBOR cases to waive extradition and be arraigned with the intention of contesting the charges. The court released Allen on a $500,000 bond and set a trial date for Oct. 5, 2015.

On October 16, 2014, Anthony Allen, the global head of liquidity and finance at Rabobank’s London desk; Paul Thompson, Rabobank’s head of money market and derivatives trading for Northeast Asia; Tetsuya Motomura, a senior trader and head of global financial markets trading-Tokyo at Rabobank’s Tokyo desk; and Anthony Conti, a senior trader on Rabobank’s money markets trading desk in London, were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and various substantive counts of wire fraud. Two co-defendants have pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme. The charges stem from a scheme to manipulate and attempt to manipulate LIBOR.

On August 18, 2014, Paul Robson, a former rate setter and senior trader at Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud charged in an April 2014 indictment. The charge stems from a conspiracy to manipulate Rabobank’s Yen LIBOR submissions to benefit trading positions.

On April 24, 2014, three former senior traders at Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank), Paul Robson of the United Kingdom, who was also a rate setter; Paul Thompson of Australia; and Tetsuya Motomura of Japan, were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and various substantive counts of wire fraud relating to a conspiracy to manipulate LIBOR. The defendants initially were charged by complaint in January 2014.

According to the superseding indictment, at the time relevant to the charges, LIBOR was an average interest rate, calculated based on submissions from leading banks around the world, reflecting the rates those banks believed they would be charged if borrowing from other banks. LIBOR was published by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), a trade association based in London. LIBOR was calculated for 10 currencies at 15 borrowing periods, known as maturities, ranging from overnight to one year. The published LIBOR “fix” for U.S. Dollar and Yen currency for a specific maturity was the result of a calculation based upon submissions from a panel of 16 banks, including Rabobank.

LIBOR serves as the primary benchmark for short-term interest rates globally and is used as a reference rate for many interest rate contracts, mortgages, credit cards, student loans and other consumer lending products.

Rabobank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice on Oct. 29, 2013, and agreed to pay a $325 million penalty to resolve violations arising from Rabobank’s LIBOR submissions.

According to allegations in the superseding indictment, Allen, who was Rabobank’s Global Head of Liquidity & Finance and the manager of the company’s money market desk in London, put in place a system in which Rabobank employees who traded in derivative products linked to USD and Yen LIBOR regularly communicated their trading positions to Rabobank’s LIBOR submitters, who submitted Rabobank’s LIBOR contributions to the BBA. Motomura, Thompson, Yagami and other traders entered into derivative contracts containing USD or Yen LIBOR as a price component and they asked Conti, Robson, Allen and others to submit LIBOR contributions consistent with the traders’ or the bank’s financial interests, to benefit the traders’ or the banks’ trading positions. Conti, who was based in London and Utrecht, Netherlands, served as Rabobank’s primary USD LIBOR submitter and at times acted as Rabobank’s back-up Yen LIBOR submitter. Robson, who was based in London, served as Rabobank’s primary submitter of Yen LIBOR. Allen, in addition to supervising the desk in London and money market trading worldwide, occasionally acted as Rabobank’s backup USD and Yen LIBOR submitter. Allen also served on a BBA Steering Committee that provided the BBA with advice on the calculation of LIBOR as well as recommendations concerning which financial institutions should sit on the LIBOR contributor panel.

The charges in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[September 2 Tom Hayes appeal: the Libor benchmark rigging allegations are novel.]

Far from London in Tokyo trading yen

Sir Jeremy Lionel Cooke (born 28 April 1949), styled The Hon Mr Justice Cooke at the Queen’s Bench in the High Court, ,sentenced Tom Hayes to 14 years of imprisonment on eight counts of conspiracy to defraud, separating Hayes’ conduct at each of the banks where he worked, making the sentences in respect of each consecutive rather than concurrent After the judge finished his remarks, the guard took Mr. Hayes, toting a blue-green duffel bag packed with his clothes and other belongings, into custody. He began serving his sentence immediately. Hayes will no doubt appeal the sentence, and the Court of Appeal will need to consider whether the sentence is wrong in principle or manifestly excessive in its totality. The Libor benchmark rigging allegations are novel.

The 14-year sentence eclipses those handed out in some other high-profile financial-crime cases. In 2012, Kweku Adoboli, who was convicted of fraud in causing a $2.3 billion trading loss at UBS, was sentenced by a British court to seven years in jail. Hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, convicted in the U.S. for insider trading, received an 11-year sentence.The 35-year-old Briton argued that his behavior while at UBS Group AG and Citigroup Inc. was in line with industry standards, that his bosses knew about and condoned what he was doing and that he never realized his behavior was improper.
His case was closely followed—the riverside Southwark Crown Court, anticipating capacity crowds, issued tickets in advance—as the first instance of a trader being put on trial for manipulating Libor.
Replay of the LIBOR fraud. The first detail is that after LIBOR became well-established as a basis for interest rates on loans, the finance industry began to use LIBOR as the basis for lots of more complex financial transactions: for example, “exchange-traded eurodollar futures and options available from Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group, and over-the-counter derivatives including caps, floors, and swaptions (that is, an option to engage in a swap contract).” I won’t plow through an explanation of those terms here. The key takeaway is that the benchmark LIBOR interest rate wasn’t just linked to about $17 trillion in US dollar loans. It was also linked to $106 trillion in interest rate swap agreements, and tens of trillions more in interest rate options and futures, as well as cross-currency swaps. As a result, if you had some information on how LIBOR was likely to change on a day-to-day basis–even if the change was a seemingly tiny amount that didn’t much matter to borrowers or lenders–you could make a substantial amount of money in these more complex financial markets.

The second detail involves how LIBOR was actually calculated. Banks did not actually submit data on the costs of borrowing; indeed, someone at a bank responded to a survey each day with an estimate of what it would cost that bank to borrow–even though on a given day many of these banks weren’t actually borrowing from other banks. In addition, during the financial crisis as it erupted in 2007 and 2008, no bank wanted to admit that it would have been charged a higher interest rate if it wanted to borrow, because financial market would be quick to infer that such bank might be in a shaky financial position.

So on one side, LIBOR is a key financial benchmark that affects literally tens of trillions of dollars of continuously traded and complicated financial instruments. On the other side, you have this key benchmark being determined by a survey of the opinions of fairly junior bank officers who have some incentive to shade the numbers. The British court found that Tom Hayes led a group of traders who sent messages to the bankers who responded to the LIBOR survey, requesting that the LIBOR rate be jerked a little higher one day, or pushed a little lower another day. Again, those who were just using the LIBOR rate as a benchmark for loans probably wouldn’t even notice these fluctuations. But traders who knew in advance how the LIBOR was going to twitch up and down could make big money in the options and futures markets.

In a similar scandal from earlier this year, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS pled guilty to felony charges for their actions in foreign exchange markets. Again, these are very large markets, and so small acts of dishonesty can add up to large amounts. As the US. Department of Justice described it:

“According to plea agreements to be filed in the District of Connecticut, between December 2007 and January 2013, euro-dollar traders at Citicorp, JPMorgan, Barclays and RBS – self-described members of “The Cartel” – used an exclusive electronic chat room and coded language to manipulate benchmark exchange rates. Those rates are set through, among other ways, two major daily “fixes,” the 1:15 p.m. European Central Bank fix and the 4:00 p.m. World Markets/Reuters fix. Third parties collect trading data at these times to calculate and publish a daily “fix rate,” which in turn is used to price orders for many large customers. “The Cartel” traders coordinated their trading of U.S. dollars and euros to manipulate the benchmark rates set at the 1:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. fixes in an effort to increase their profits.

As detailed in the plea agreements, these traders also used their exclusive electronic chats to manipulate the euro-dollar exchange rate in other ways. Members of “The Cartel” manipulated the euro-dollar exchange rate by agreeing to withhold bids or offers for euros or dollars to avoid moving the exchange rate in a direction adverse to open positions held by co-conspirators. By agreeing not to buy or sell at certain times, the traders protected each other’s trading positions by withholding supply of or demand for currency and suppressing competition in the FX market.”
A trader at Barclay’s reportedly wrote in the group’s electronic chat room: “If you aint cheating, you aint trying,”

[August 5 Tom Hayes faces 9½ plus 4½ years]
Justice Jeremy Cooke sentenced Tom Hayes, a 35-year-old who worked for UBS in Tokyo trading yen, to serve nine and a half years in prison on four counts of conspiracy to manipulate a global benchmark interest rate known as Libor, to be followed by another four and a half years in prison on the remaining four counts for 14 years in total. Mr. Hayes faced as much as 10 years in prison on each count.
During his four years at UBS he was paid £1.3million/$ 2, 028, 390 in total. But ‘dissatisfied’ he quit for Citigroup in 2009, where he earned £3.5million/$ 5, 461, 400 before being sacked after nine months when his methods were discovered.
British authorities have been criticized in the United States for not being as aggressive as the Justice Department when it comes to pursuing financial crime.

[May 26 First Libor criminal trial begins]

Tom Hayes, trial starts nine years after first accused

Tom Hayes, 35, pleaded not guilty in December 2013 to four counts related to UBS, between 2006 and 2009, and four related to Citigroup, between 2009 and 2010 in relation to Libor, the benchmark rate at which banks lend to each other. Trial began in a London court on May 26. Conspiracy to defraud carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
His trial, which is expected to take more than two months, comes nine years after he is first accused of rigging the rate.

[April 26 Spoofing is good because it prevents front running?]

HFT is now reckoned to account for three-quarters of trading on US stock markets. More trading in more places, some think creates more activity, which leads to enhanced pricing that benefits everybody. But HFT firms whose goal is to “profit from regular investors by “front running” their orders – use computers to spot trading patterns and get in ahead of them. This can be reduiced by allowing spoofing. “Nav” Sarao used a system called “layering” – for example sending out a series of “sell” orders he intended to cancel but

I am the target text.

which created the illusion of downward pressure on the market. As other computers reacted to that artificial pressure, Navinder Singh Sarao, proprietor of Nav Sarao Milking Markets Ltd. [Nevis] would profit by buying at a lower price and then selling when prices returned. He figured out that the machines that execute the stock market trades of others might be gamed — and he gamed them.






[April 22 Spoofing Brit out on bai]l

British trader Navinder Singh Sarao has been given conditional bail until May 26,  must remain at his home in Hounslow, London, and provide £5.05 million security.

British trader Navinder Singh Sarao has been given conditional bail until May 26, must remain at his home in Hounslow, London, and provide £5.05 million security.

[August 28 Sarao delay request denied]

District judge Quentin Purdy ruled the expert evidence was of “no assistance to this court” as he had to decide whether the US charges would also be offences under British law, not the facts of the case. The date for the extradition hearing has been set for 25 September.
[April 21 Dynamic Layering yielded $40 m and an arrest – the Hounslow connection]

Hounslow home

Hounslow home

Navinder Singh Sarao, 37, faces US extradition after allegedly ‘spoofing’ global financial markets by placing £134m of false trades from his Hounslow home. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said that Sarao and his company profited by more than $40m (£27m). The DOJ detailed a series of supposed coups, including episodes where Sarao is said to have made profits of more than $820,000 during a day’s trading.
Sarao allegedly employed a “dynamic layering” scheme to affect the price of E-Minis. By allegedly placing multiple, simultaneous, large-volume sell orders at different price points—a technique known as “layering”—Sarao created the appearance of substantial supply in the market. As part of the scheme, Sarao allegedly modified these orders frequently so that they remained close to the market price, and typically canceled the orders without executing them. When prices fell as a result of this activity, Sarao allegedly sold futures contracts only to buy them back at a lower price. Conversely, when the market moved back upward as the market activity ceased, Sarao allegedly bought contracts only to sell them at a higher price. Also. one count of “spoofing,” a practice of bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before have made profits of more than $820,000 during a day’s trading.
Sarao allegedly employed a “dynamic layering” scheme to affect the price of E-Minis. By allegedly placing multiple, simultaneous, large-volume sell orders at different price points—a technique known as “layering”—Sarao created the appearance of substantial supply in the market. As part of the scheme, Sarao allegedly modified these orders frequently so that they remained close to the market price, and typically canceled the orders without executing them. When prices fell as a result of this activity, Sarao allegedly sold futures contracts only to buy them back at a lower price. Conversely, when the market moved back upward as the market activity ceased, Sarao allegedly bought contracts only to sell them at a higher price. Also. one count of “spoofing,” a practice of bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution.

one Alex (Oleksandr) Milrud

Aleksandr Milrud has been accused by U.S. officials of recruiting stock traders in China and Korea to place high-speed buy or sell orders and then quickly cancel them, known as layering or spoofing, Aleksandr Milrud is charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud for manipulating stock prices through a process called “layering,” according to federal prosecutors. Layering, also known as “spoofing,” is a form of manipulative, high-speed stock trading in which a trader places non-bona fide orders to buy or sell securities and then quickly cancels them before they are executed. The case is the first of its kind to be brought against a trader in the stock market. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a separate civil case against him. Critics have warned that high-speed trading could make it easier to engage in practices such as “layering” or “spoofing,” both of which involve placing fake orders to create the appearance of increased activity in a stock or other asset in order to move its price.
Milrud used a network of overseas traders and brokerage accounts to place fake orders for individual stocks to move their prices in a particular direction. The fake orders would be canceled before they could be filled, but traders working for Milrud would also make real trades in the stocks to take advantage of their temporarily inflated or depressed prices.
According to prosecutors, Milrud hired a software company to program “hotkeys” so orders could be made and canceled using just a few keyboard strokes. Milrud allegedly believed his fake orders would be untraceable, but U.S. authorities convinced the owner of an offshore broker-dealer he was using to cooperate with their investigation.

[December 9 2014 Spoofing, canceled bids and offers, and Icap]

Michael Spencer and Sarah Milford Haven  formerly married to  to Prince Philip's cousin, the Marquess of Milford Haven, termed Sarah, Marchioness of Milford Haven,  is seeing moneybroker Michael Spencer, 53, Spencer stood down as treasurer and member of the board of the Conservative Party in October 2010 , formerly considered to be the most powerful man in the City of London.(2008)  ICAP’s chief executive, Michael Spencer has cut hundreds of jobs once held by voice brokers—who take orders and execute trades manually by phone or computer—while expanding electronic-trading services.

Michael Spencer and Sarah Milford Haven formerly married to to Prince Philip’s cousin, the Marquess of Milford Haven, termed Sarah, Marchioness of Milford Haven, is seeing moneybroker Michael Spencer, 53, Spencer stood down as treasurer and member of the board of the Conservative Party in October 2010 , formerly considered to be the most powerful man in the City of London.(2008) ICAP’s chief executive, Michael Spencer has cut hundreds of jobs once held by voice brokers—who take orders and execute trades manually by phone or computer—while expanding electronic-trading services.

Executives from three of the biggest market-making firms say an electronic bait-and-switch tactic known as spoofing, which is already the focus of a manipulation allegation at a futures exchange, needs to be investigated in cash Treasuries.. Spoofing in Treasury bonds and related futures contracts has cost traders $500,000 to $1 million a day, an executive at one of the market makers said. Spoofers try to make money by feigning interest in buying or selling at a certain price, creating the illusion of demand in an attempt to get other traders to move the market. The spoofer cancels the original trade and buys or sells at the new price to make a profit. It’s sometimes called “pull and hit.”
The market for trading cash Treasuries by institutional investors is dominated by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s ESpeed system and BrokerTec, owned by ICAP Plc. (IAP) Earlier this year, ESpeed touted shaving 100 millionths of a second from data delivery to lure traders to its service.Committee members, who weren’t named in the minutes of the meeting, told the group that like stocks and currencies, “fixed income markets had begun to see a noticeable increase to volumes traded electronically.” They added: “Some committee members also suggested that the liquidity provided in the market through electronic trading was small.”

That’s not what brokers say. Two years before the meeting, Michael Spencer, the CEO of ICAP, said that slightly less than 55 percent of the volume on BrokerTec is conducted via high-frequency trading, which is also known as HFT.
In the CME complaint, a Chicago trading firm called HTG Capital Partners LLC filed an arbitration claim asserting damages from a pattern of canceled bids and offers allegedly meant to mislead traders in Treasury futures, according to people familiar with the matter. Allston Trading LLC, a Chicago-based proprietary trading firm, was identified by CME in that arbitration as a counterparty to the HTG transactions, according to people familiar with the matter. The arbitration is ongoing.

[December 5 3 from ICAP plead not guilty to LIBOR manipulation]
Three former brokers at ICAP, the brokerage run by Michael Spencer, pleaded not guilty on December 5 to criminal charges that they attempted to manipulate the Libor interbank benchmark rate.
Colin Goodman, Darrell Read and Danny Wilkinson all entered their not-guilty pleas to a packed courtroom at Southwark Crown Court on December 5 to charges of conspiracy to defraud brought by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
Mr Read, a Briton who lives in New Zealand, entered his plea via video link. The others appeared in the dock, together with three brokers from RP Martin and Tullett Prebon, with whom they are all set to face a 12-week jury trial scheduled for September 2015. All six are on conditional bail.
All six brokers are accused of conspiring to manipulate the yen-denominated Libor rate to benefit a trader who worked at UBS and then at Citibank.
That trader, who has pleaded not guilty in a parallel case brought by the SFO, faces his own jury trial that is due to begin in May. It will be the first in the world of a defendant charged with Libor-related offences.
The US Department of Justice has also charged 10 people, including seven Britons. That number includes the three ICAP brokers and the former UBS trader. They have not had the opportunity to enter pleas to the DoJ’s charges. Typically if British defendants face similar charges over the same alleged wrongdoing in the UK as well as in another country, they will be safe from extradition.
In the SFO’s case, the former Tullett broker, Noel Cryan, has not yet had a formal opportunity to enter a plea to the charge against him, although he appeared in the dock on Friday. He only had his first magistrates appearance in October.
Gillian Jones, prosecuting for the SFO, confirmed that Mr Cryan would be joined with the other five defendants to face trial in September.The US Department of Justice announced plans to prosecute the three brokers at Icap, the brokerage run by Michael Spencer,(the world’s biggest money brokers he founded in 1986, of which he owns 22 per cent) for colluding to manipulate Libor to benefit a client at UBS who generated lucrative business for Icap

[Novemberr 19 Swiss FINMA: criminal investigations over alleged manipulation in the foreign exchange market]



On November 19, FINMA said it had started enforcement proceedings against 11 former and current UBS employees as part of its forex investigation.Switzerland’s public prosecutor has opened criminal investigations into several individuals over alleged manipulation in the foreign exchange market, becoming the third country to do so after the United States and Britain, but said on November 20 that the investigations did not involve any banks.
The investigations were based on suspicion of “unfaithful financial management”, punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine, and “violation of professional secrecy”, which carries a penalty of up to three years in jail or a fine. The public prosecutor is exchanging information with Switzerland’s financial watchdog, FINMA in its investigations and is also in contact with Switzerland’s competition commission, WEKO, which is investigating possible collusion in the forex market by several banks.

[September 13 LIBOR investigation: A fat rising balloon]
Trial balloon: In the year since the scandal surfaced, regulatory authorities have yet to show proof of criminal activity or manipulation of benchmark exchange rates so maybe a settlement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on the basis of banks acknowledging lax internal compliance, oversight failures and market conduct breaches by individual employees, but not deliberate manipulation of the $5 trillion-a-day market.

[August 23 Robson pleads to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud
A Rabobank trader became the second to plead guilty in a criminal plot to manipulate a global financial benchmark used to set rates on trillions of dollars in loans.

United Kingdom citizen Paul Robson, pleaded guilty, admitting he helped manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate for Japanese yen between May 2006 and January 2011 in a plot to boost trading profits for himself and others.

Rabobank agreed in October to pay $1.07 billion to international regulators to settle a Libor probe. Mr. Robson, along with former Rabobank yen Libor derivatives traders Paul Thompson and Tetsuya Motomura, was charged with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud as well as substantive counts of wire fraud, according to the DOJ. Robson pleaded guilty August 18 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud

[August 6 Deutsche Bank AG, Europe’s largest investment bank. denies unreasonable involvement]

 Anshu Jain

Anshu Jain

“According to the current status of the investigation, no member of the Executive Board was unreasonable in any way an acting or earlier involvement in reference to interest rates,” the bank spokesman said, reiterateing earlier statements.
Germany’s financial regulator, BaFin, is extending investigations into alleged interest-rate manipulation at Deutsche Bank AG, Europe’s largest investment bank.
BaFin mandated audit company Ernst & Young LLP to discover more about when Anshu Jain, the company’s co-chief executive officer, learned first about a potential manipulation of benchmark interest rates in the industry and at Deutsche Bank, according to information from the mandate description. The regulator defined 10 areas at which the auditors are supposed to take a closer look, with Jain being listed as a key person in six of them.

[August 1 Lloyds fine cost of banking? Profits up 32%]

Lord Blackwell, a former Downing Street adviser to Margaret Thatcher and John Major, is chairman of the state-backed Lloyds Banking Group.

Lord Blackwell, a former Downing Street adviser to Margaret Thatcher and John Major, is chairman of the state-backed Lloyds Banking Group.

Lloyds posted a 32 percent gain in first-half earnings today after bad loans fell, and said it’s setting aside 1.1 billion pounds for legal redress. Lloyds reported an underlying profit for the six months to the end of June of 3.8 billion pounds ($6.4 billion), up 32 percent from a year ago.

The U.K.’s biggest mortgage lender suspended traders Clive Jones, John Argent and Udit Dewan in London, said the person, asking not to be identified as the details are private. Jones, who joined Lloyds Bank in 1977, was appointed global director of money markets following the merger with HBOS Plc in 2008, according to the lender’s website. Argent returned to work in mid-2012 after being suspended that year amid a probe of potential manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, Jones rejoined Lloyds in mid-2012 as global director of money markets after being suspended for presumably manipulating Libor.

“In the end, the traders win. They always win, because higher-ups don’t get their fat paychecks and bonuses unless the traders make a killing.” Shah Gilani

[July 29 Lloyd’s axed 22 people over $370 million fine]

Lloyds Banking Group has suspended seven employees after it was hit with a £226m bill from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic for rigging LIBOR -crucial interest rates. Among those suspended by Lloyds on July 28 were three of the four unnamed individuals cited by the FCA who may have been involved in depriving the Bank of England of emergency funding fees of almost £8m.

A total of 22 people are understood to be bound up in the latest regulatory crackdown on benchmark manipulation; six had already been suspended before Monday and the rest have already left the bank.

July 28 Libor, the benchmark interest rate: Lloyds fined $105 million by the CFTC, $86 million by the DOJ]


Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s penalty is less than the 290 million pounds Barclays Plc (BARC) paid in June 2012 when the London-based lender became the first to settle Libor-manipulation claims. Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond was forced to resign in the aftermath of the settlement. UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, has paid the most, settling with U.S., U.K. and Swiss regulators in 2012 at the cost of $1.5 billion.
Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY), bailed out by British taxpayers during the financial crisis, will pay 218 million pounds ($370 million) in fines to U.K. and U.S. regulators after manipulating benchmark interest rates.
The lender will pay $105 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $86 million to the Department of Justice and 105 million pounds to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, according to a statement today. Lloyds has also paid a further 7.8 million pounds in compensation to the Bank of England after the actions of its traders reduced the fees the central bank received from one of its emergency-rescue packages. At least nine financial firms have been fined about $6 billion for manipulating Libor, the benchmark interest rate for more than $300 trillion of securities worldwide.

[March 14 Libor manipulated in 2008: FDIC joins the action, sues 16 banks

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sued 16 of the world’s largest banks on March 14, accusing them of collusively suppressing interest rates. Named as defendants were Bank of America Corp, Barclays PLC, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings PLC, JPMorgan Chase & Co, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and UBS AG. Other defendants in the lawsuit include Rabobank, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Societe Generale, Norinchukin Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and WestLB AG.

The case is Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, et al, v. Bank of America Corp, et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-1757.

The lawsuit also named as a defendant the British Banks’ Association, the U.K. trade organization which during the period at issue administered Libor. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is a United States federal agency created in 1933 in response to widespread bank failures in the 1920s and early 1930s. The FDIC’s mission is to maintain stability and consumer confidence in the United States banking system by insuring deposits, monitoring the health of financial institutions and managing receiverships.

[January 21]

 The trial of Hayes, who last December was also charged with fraud-related offences by U.S. prosecutors

The trial of Hayes, who last December was also charged with fraud-related offences by U.S. prosecutors

Three former Rabobank bankers were charged by US authorities on January 13 with allegedly manipulating Libor and other key benchmark interest rates as the criminal investigation widened to include another wave of individuals.
The US Department of Justice announced criminal conspiracy and fraud charges against Paul Robson, a former senior rate trader and submitter in the UK who left the Rabobank in 2008, Paul Thompson, an Australian who headed the bank’s derivatives desk in Singapore, and Tetsuya Motomura, a senior trader and supervisor in Japan. They are accused of conspiring to manipulate the yen Libor rate.

The charges announced January 13 follow Rabobank’s settlement in October 2013 with US, UK and Dutch authorities in which it paid $1bn and admitted that 30 employees around the globe manipulated several different interest rates, Euribor and Libor for the US dollar, yen, and pound sterling.
Previously the US charged Tom Hayes and Roger Darin, his former colleague at UBS, for allegedly manipulating Libor. Mr Darin, a Swiss citizen, has not entered a plea to the charges. His lawyer has previously declined to comment.
Tom Hayes has pleaded not guilty to the UK charges and has not entered a plea to the US case.
Three former employees of inter-dealer broker ICAP have also been charged: Darrell Read, Daniel Wilkinson and Colin Goodman. They have not entered pleas.
None of the former Rabobank traders charged are based in the US, which could set up another turf battle with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, which is also investigating the bank and, specifically, Mr Robson’s role.
The SFO indicated last year that it would identify Mr Robson and 21 others as co-conspirators within an indictment that was to be filed against Mr Hayes. The SFO later narrowed the charges and did not include the names.
US authorities allege Rabobank submitters manipulated rates to help their own positions, at times it is alleged that they helped other banks, including UBS, attempt to manipulate rates.
Mr Robson, Mr Thompson and Mr Motomura allegedly entered “ridiculously” high and “silly” low Libor submissions to benefit their own positions, DoJ said.
In May 2006, according to DoJ, Mr Thompson emailed Mr Robson asking him to “sneak your 3m libor down a cheeky 1 or 2 bp” because “it will make a bit of diff for me” on a large position he held.

[December 13 2013]The first three men to face trial in connection with a global investigation into a rate-rigging scandal that has rocked the financial industry pleaded not guilty in court on December 10, being prosecuted by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office.

Tom Hayes, a former UBS and Citigroup trader has been charged with eight counts of conspiring with staff from at least 10 major banks and brokerages to manipulate Libor benchmark interest rates between 2006 and 2010.

Farr and Gilmour, former RP Martin brokers who were arrested alongside Hayes in Britain last December and later also charged with two and one count of conspiracy to defraud respectively by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, also pleaded not guilty. All three are on bail.

The pleas pose a challenge to SFO head David Green, who has staked his reputation on the success of high-profile investigations such as the sprawling investigation into the manipulation of benchmarks such as Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate).

U.S. and European authorities have fined 10 banks and brokerages around $6 billion to date and charged seven men with criminal offences in connection with the rate-rigging scam. Regulators are also now investigating how other benchmarks are set, such as in foreign exchange and swaps markets.

Libor rates, designed to reflect the wholesale cost of loans, are used to help to price hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of financial products worldwide, ranging from derivatives to mortgages.

Prosecutors allege Hayes conspired to defraud with staff of UBS, Citigroup, JPMorgan, RBS, ICAP, Tullet Prebon, at least one employee of Deutsche Bank,

Rabobank and HSBC, Farr and Gilmour and another employee of RP Martin while he worked in Japan.

“They dishonestly agreed to procure or make submissions of rates … which were false or misleading in that they were intended to create an advantage to the trading position of Tom Hayes and others and deliberately disregarded the proper basis for the submission of those rates, thereby intending to prejudice the economic interests of others,” the indictment alleges.

Judge Jeremy Cooke set a London trial date for Hayes for January 2015. The trial of Hayes, who last December was also charged with fraud-related offences by U.S. prosecutors, could take 12 weeks, lawyers said.

The provisional trial date of Farr and Gilmour, which is expected to take around 6 weeks, has been set for September 2015, in part to allow the SFO time to bring a case against further alleged co-conspirators.

The SFO’s head Green had been hoping to charge more individuals in connection with the Libor investigation around this autumn.

UBS, which paid $1.5 billion to U.S. and European regulators last year to settle Libor-rigging charges – the biggest Libor-related fine to date – declined to comment as did Citigroup and ICAP.

RP Martin, Deutsche Bank, Rabobank and JPMorgan also declined to comment. Tullett Prebon and HSBC did not immediately respond to requests for a comment.

Hayes joined Swiss bank UBS in Tokyo in 2006, becoming a senior trader of interest-rate derivatives indexed to yen-denominated Libor. In late 2009, he left UBS to join Citigroup in Tokyo. He left the U.S. bank less than a year later.

While Hayes was at UBS, Farr and Gilmour are alleged to have conspired with him and other UBS employees, another RP Martin employee, an employee of Rabobank and one at HSBC, among others, by trying to influence yen-denominated Libor.

Farr is also charged with conspiring with Hayes and others while Hayes worked at Citibank.

[January 11 2013]

The Deutsche Bank documents, handed to investigators by a former employee of the bank and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, show for the first time the scope and manner in which a bank painstakingly constructed a string of trades in hopes of profiting from small changes in various rates.
Deutsche Bank AG DBK.XE -0.34% made at least €500 million ($654 million) in profit in 2008 from trades pegged to the interest rates under investigation by regulators world-wide, internal bank documents show.
The German bank’s trading profits resulted from billions of euros in bets related to the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and other global benchmark rates.
Regulators have been investigating allegations that more than a dozen banks, including Deutsche Bank, rigged Libor and other interest rates underpinning trillions of dollars in loans and other financial contracts. The probe has already produced settlements totaling nearly $2 billion with BarclaysBARC.LN +1.51% PLC and UBSUBSN.VX +0.83% AG.

[December 27]
Hong Kong’s de facto central bank said it is investigating possible misconduct by UBS over its submission of interbank rates, raising the possibility that the bank could face more fines a day after it agreed to pay $1.5 billion (922.3 million pounds) for its role in the Libor scandal.


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said in a statement on December 28 that it had received information from overseas regulatory authorities about possible misconduct by UBS involving submissions for the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (Hibor) and other reference rates in the region.


On December 25 [HK], the Swiss bank admitted to fraud and bribery in connection with efforts to rig Libor and other benchmark interest rates and agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to regulators in the United States, Britain and Switzerland.


While the bank will hope that settlement will draw a line under its role in Libor manipulation, it remains at risk of action from regulators elsewhere for possible rate rigging.


Besides Hong Kong, an investigation is still ongoing in Singapore into possible manipulation of benchmark interest and foreign exchange rates.


A spokesman for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on December 27 that banks on rate-setting panels in the city-state, including UBS, are still conducting reviews into their rate-setting processes.


“The reviews are ongoing, and it is premature to speculate on the outcome of these reviews at this stage”.

[December 20]
—UBS Securities Japan Co. Ltd. (UBS Japan), an investment bank, financial advisory securities firm, and wholly owned subsidiary of UBS AG, has agreed to plead guilty to felony wire fraud and admit its role in manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), a leading benchmark used in financial products and transactions around the world, Attorney General Eric Holder announced today. The criminal information, filed today in U.S. District Court in the District of Connecticut, charges UBS Japan with one count of engaging in a scheme to defraud counterparties to interest rate derivatives trades by secretly manipulating LIBOR benchmark interest rates.
As part of the ongoing criminal investigation by the Criminal and Antitrust Divisions of the Justice Department and the FBI into LIBOR manipulation, two former senior UBS traders also are charged. Tom Alexander William Hayes, 33, of England, and Roger Darin, 41, of Switzerland, were both charged with conspiracy in a criminal complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court earlier today. Hayes is also charged with wire fraud, based on the same scheme, and a price fixing violation arising from his collusive activity with another bank to manipulate LIBOR benchmark rates.
UBS Japan has signed a plea agreement with the government admitting its criminal conduct and has agreed to pay a $100 million fine. In addition, UBS AG, the parent company of UBS Japan headquartered in Zurich, has entered into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with the government requiring UBS AG to pay an additional $400 million penalty to admit and accept responsibility for its misconduct as set forth in an extensive statement of facts and to continue cooperating with the Justice Department in its ongoing investigation. The NPA reflects UBS AG’s substantial cooperation in discovering and disclosing LIBOR misconduct within the financial institution and recognizes the significant remedial measures undertaken by new management to enhance internal controls.
Together with approximately $1 billion in regulatory penalties and disgorgement—$700 million as a result of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) action; $259.2 million as a result of the U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA) action; and $64.3 million as a result of the Swiss Financial Markets Authority (FINMA) action—the Justice Department’s criminal penalties bring the total amount of the resolution to more than $1.5 billion.

[December 19]
UBS AG (UBSN)’s $1.5 billion fine for rigging global interest rates expands the scandal to include bribery and highlights the influence of a trader in Tokyo who colluded with other banks to align their submissions.
The employee led efforts to influence Japanese Yen Libor submissions by paying brokers as much as 15,000 pounds ($24,400) a quarter and offering a payment to another for helping him keep that day’s rate low. The banker, identified by regulators as Trader A, worked at UBS in Tokyo from 2006 to 2009 and directly contacted employees at other banks to influence their submissions at least 80 times.
Trader A wrote to the broker on Sept. 18, 2008, referring to six-month yen Libor. “If you do that … I’ll pay you, you know, $50,000, $100,000… whatever you want … I’m a man of my word,” according to transcripts released by the U.K. Financial Services Authority today.

[December 13]
Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO) said on December 13 it wanted to play a role administrating overhauled interbank lending rates. In September, Martin Wheatley, FSA managing director, recommended changes to how Libor was set, governed and supervised. A replacement for the BBA as Libor administrator is now being selected by an independent panel.
[December 11]
Three British men were arrested on December 11 as part of the Serious Fraud Office investigation into the manipulation of Libor. The three are understood to be Thomas Hayes, who has worked at several institutions including UBS and Citigroup, along with Terry Farr and Jim Gilmour. The latter pair are understood to work for RP Martin, a broker which facilitates trading between banks and other financial firms.

The SFO would only say that three men, aged 33, 41 and 47, were taken to a London police station in the early morning after the three properties were searched.

The SFO and City of London police arrested three men aged 33, 41 and 47 after searching a house in Surrey and two properties in Essex.

The three were taken to a London police station to be interviewed “in connection with the investigation into the manipulation of Libor”.

The SFO’s investigation into Libor rigging was sparked by the $450m fine levied on Barclays in June, which led to the departures of the bank’s chairman Marcus Agius, chief executive Bob Diamond and newly promoted chief operating officer Jerry del Missier for allowing traders to rig it and Euribor and for low-balling rates during the 2007/08 credit crunch.

[November 9]
UBS and RBS are next in line to settle with the regulators, people familiar with the case have said.. “Obviously when we first received it there was anxiety that execution of the request could mop up SFO resources,” he said.
“We are anxious to execute it” and will “certainly” assist, he said. Green said the agency, while working closely with the DOJ, is also competing to bring charges first in order to handle the prosecution of any British citizens in the U.K., reducing the chance of extradition.
U.K. prosecutors are poised to arrest former traders and rate setters at UBS AG (UBSN), Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) and Barclays Plc within a month for questioning over their role in the Libor scandal, a person with knowledge of the probe said.
The arrests will be made by police under the direction of prosecutors at the Serious Fraud Office within the next month, said the person, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Arrests in the U.K. are made at an early stage of the investigation, allowing police and prosecutors to question people under caution and may not lead to charges.
The SFO has 40 people working on the probe into manipulation of the London interbank bank offered rate, a benchmark for financial products valued at $360 trillion worldwide, and has involved the City of London Police, said David Green, the agency’s director.

[August 13] Jay Merchant, the former Barclays employee who has come under federal scrutiny in the Libor manipulation scandal, has left his position as head of swaps trading at UBS, a spokeswoman at the bank confirmed.

(August 12)Former UBS traders and other employees who had relatively junior-level jobs have been offered deals in return for their cooperation with the escalating investigation of suspected interest-rate manipulation, according to a person close to the probe.
No more than a few of the UBS employees under investigation for alleged interest-rate manipulation still work there, and the company has fired or suspended about 20 traders and managers as a result of the four-year inquiry.

[July 25]Appearing before the House financial services committee,US treasury secretary Tim Geithner told the committee that press reports and the New York Fed’s own investigations had convinced him that there was a risk that Libor was designed to give “not just the incentive to under report but also the opportunity”.

“I personally raised this with the governor of the Bank of England,” said Geithner. “We felt, and I still believe this, that it was really going to be on them to fix this.”
[july 18]Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England , has written a letter sent July 18 to members of the Economic Consultative Committee, which he heads, suggesting a dinner on Sept. 9 in Basel, Switzerland, as the forum for exchanging ideas on how to deal with Libor’s shortcomings,

[July 16] When Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in 2008, as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, advised the British about improvements in LIBOR setting, he was acting on messages from U.S. ‘market participants’ –banks.

as market participants have questioned whether the rates contributed by panel banks accurately reflect the rates at which they could actually obtain funds.

(Most of the banks consulted were likely U.S.-based institutions, as several of the recommendations are aimed at giving more power, not surprisingly, to U.S. banks.)

[July 15]The NY Fed knew that banks were lying about their Libor rates back in 2008, according to transcripts of phone calls released today.
[July 10]Whether the BoE instructed Barclays to lower its submissions or not, regulators had a pretty clear motive for wanting lower LIBOR: British banks, in effect, were being shut out of the markets.

[July 9]Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker said no government minister or official pressured him to instruct Barclays Plc (BARC) or any other U.K. commercial bank to lowball its Libor submissions during the financial crisis.

“Absolutely not,”

[July 6]The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed that it has formally launched an investigation into the rigging of inter-bank lending rates. Regulators are continuing to look into possible rate manipulation at other banks, while the US Department of Justice is carrying out its own criminal investigations.

[July 5]U.K. lawmakers grilled former Barclays CEO Robert Diamond for three hours July 4 about what he knew about the rating-fixing scandal that led to his resignation earlier this week. In late 2008 Barclay’s – and, Diamond alleges, other banks – apparently low-balled the rates they reported for LIBOR averaging so as to make the banks’ finances look more stable than they were. The idea was to put out a false image of stability to prevent market panic and stave off calls for additional regulation or even nationalization, a solution that looked increasingly likely during the height of the financial crisis. The direct effect for consumers here was to make loans cheaper, but the indirect effect, or the intended one at least, was to lessen chances of government action against the banks. So the banks manipulating LIBOR weren’t just messing with peoples’ finances – they were trying to mess with the peoples’ laws.

[July 3]Two big implications: One is the obvious accusation that the BoE pressured Barclays Plc to lower its stated borrowing rate. The other the implication that EVERY other bank was doing the same thing, since the gist of the call between Diamond and Tucker was that Barclays needed to get into line with the other banks. more

[earlier July 3]Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond resigns with immediate effect. Barclays’ newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Jerry del Missier, resigns from the bank.

Barclays Bank chairman Marcus Agius, who on July 1 had also quit, was to return to the lender in the position of executive chairman until a new CEO is appointed, Agius faces increasing pressure over the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

[June 27]

 Marcus Agius

Marcus Agius

 Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond ,  Chief Operating Officer Jerry del Missier,  and corporate and investment banking chief Rich Ricci

Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond , Chief Operating Officer Jerry del Missier, and corporate and investment banking chief Rich Ricci

Holger Seger, global head of short-term interest rates trading,

Holger Seger, global head of short-term interest rates trading,

Chris Lucas

Chris Lucas

Libor May 2008

Libor May 2008

Barclays Plc (BARC) was fined 290 million pounds ($453.2 million), the largest penalties ever imposed by regulators in the U.S. and U.K., to settle U.S. and U.K. probes into whether it sought to rig the London and euro interbank offered rates. . Derivatives traders requested the false submissions in the Libor and Euribor setting process, as they were “motivated by profit and sought to benefit Barclays’ trading positions,” Britain’s Financial Services Authority said.

As well as Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond , Chief Operating Officer Jerry del Missier, Finance Director Chris Lucas and corporate and investment banking chief Rich Ricci are also forgoing bonuses this year.
[March 7]The Feb. 27 letter to U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan was made public yesterday and is the first public acknowledgment by the Justice Department of the criminal investigation of benchmark lending rates such as the London interbank offered rate, known as Libor.
Buchwald cited the letter at a March 1 hearing in which she denied a request for documents related to the investigation by investors suing Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), Bank of America Corp. and other companies over claims they artificially suppressed Libor.
“The Department of Justice is conducting a criminal investigation into alleged manipulation of certain benchmark interest rates,” including those for “several currencies” on the Libor exchange, according to the letter signed by lawyers from the fraud section of the Justice Department’s criminal division and its antitrust division.
UBS traders and cash brokers conspired to influence the Yen London interbank offered rate from 2007 to 2010 to profit on interest-rate derivatives linked to the benchmark. Regulators worldwide are investigating whether banks attempted to manipulate the London, Tokyo and euro interbank offered rates, known as Libor, Tibor and Euribor. The lender is the cooperating party referred to by Canada’s Competition Bureau in court papers filed by the regulator with the Ontario Superior Court in May. UBS has also suspended a number of employees including Yvan Ducrot, co-head of rates, and Holger Seger, global head of short-term interest rates trading,ubs

[February 9]Japan’s regulators said Citigroup traders engaged in “seriously unjust and malicious” conduct in the first findings as authorities in Asia, Europe and the U.S. conduct widening inquiries into whether employees at some of the world’s biggest banks sought to manipulate the London, Tokyo and euro interbank offered rates, known as Libor, Tibor and Euribor, respectively. The rates were used by investors to gauge the ability of firms to borrow money at the height of the 2008 credit crisis and can play a key role in derivatives trades. Regulators are investigating whether rate bids were low- balled during the financial crisis, if traders at banks and hedge funds sought to influence rate-setters to profit on interest-rate derivatives and whether traders received advanced word about which direction rates would move, the FT reported, without saying how it got the information.
[10 February]Traders at different banks appeared to be trying to influence the movement of Libor and similar benchmarks to profit from derivatives tied to the rates, citing information submitted to regulators. According to people familiar with the probe, the CFTC is examining whether traders placed bets on future yen and dollar rates and colluded with bank treasury departments, who help set the Libor index, to move the rates in their direction. It is also looking at whether some banks lowballed their Libor submissions to make themselves appear stronger.

All 16 banks on the London panel in 2007 and 2008 have received information requests. The investigation is being handled by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, Japan’s Financial Supervisory Agency and the U.K. Financial Services Authority. European Union antitrust regulators and the Swiss Competition Commission are also examining Libor rates. Credit Suisse Group AG, Bank of America Corporation, J.P. Morgan Chase andamp; Co., HSBC Holdings plc, Barclays Bank plc, Lloyds Banking Group plc, WestLB AG, UBS AG, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, Deutsche Bank AG, The Norinchukin Bank, and Citibank, N.A., have been named in two separate class actions alleging fraud and the manipulation of LIBOR Rates and Exchange Traded LIBOR Based Derivatives.

Latest Woman

The Latest Woman/

Svetlana Travis Zakharova, the woman accused of blackmailing former Gov. Eliot Spitzer allegedly extorted $400,000 over two years, court records show, though they do not name her target or targets.

The Other Woman

The Other Woman

More Eliot Spitzer

[October 8 “Fat boy is locked and loaded,”:Joseph Percoco public-corruption charges ]


Peter Galbraith Kelly, Jr


The complaint asserts that it was Percoco who proposed having Competitive Power Ventures pay his wife. The couple recently had bought an $800,000 home in Westchester County at about the time Lisa Toscano-Percoco gave up her job as a New York City public school teacher. Family income fell from about $13,000 a month to about $9,000, while expenses held at about $20,000.

Percoco was alarmed about his personal finances as fall approached in 2012 and was pressing Kelly to hire his wife, according to the complaint. Percoco, Kelly and an associate discussed the matter over a $386 dinner at a Danbury restaurant on Sept. 26, 2012, according to the complaint. Kelly picked up the check.

Weeks later, the continuing email exchange shows that Kelly and Competitive Power Ventures had agreed to hire Toscano-Percoco. Kelly, a big, heavy-set man, is referred to in the email as “Fat boy.” Percoco and the associate frequently referred to Peter Galbraith Kelly, Jr  as “Fat man” or “Fat boy” in their conversations. In addition, Percoco often referred to dollars as “Ziti,” according to the complaint.

“Fat boy is locked and loaded,” the associate told Percoco in another email. The agreement was to be finalized at a meeting “7Thursday at the estate.” Percoco wanted to know, “is he bringing the check?? Lol.” The associate wrote, “… need 7,500 boxes of zitti!!” and Percoco responded, “Yes 7500/month is her old salary.”

The complaint said that Kelly told two top executives at Competitive Power Ventures that Cuomo’s office had given him an opinion asserting that there would be no ethical conflict if the energy company were to hire the spouse of an aide who could influence regulatory decisions. Investigators were unable to confirm that such an opinion had been sought or provided to the energy company.


[September 8 “Ziti” for “Herb”:Joseph Percoco, Cuomo aide, center of public-corruption charges ]


Peter Galbraith Kelly, Jr.

Federal corruption charges were filed September 22 against the former aides, Joseph Percoco and Todd R. Howe, and the state official, Alain Kaloyeros. In emails and other correspondence, Mr. Percoco and Mr. Howe referred to the bribes as “ziti,” according to the complaint. Mr. Percoco apparently used the name “Herb” while discussing the arrangement.

[earlier]Joseph Percoco, who for decades was one of Mr. Cuomo’s most senior aides and closest friends has been at the center of a probe by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office concerning allegations of bribery and kickbacks in connection with an economic-development program known as the Buffalo Billion, Mr. Cuomo described Mr. Percoco as a “good man.” “I would be shocked if he did anything wrong,” Public-corruption charges against a number of other individuals are expected in connection with the wide-ranging investigation Another part of the investigation has centered on an energy company that had business before the state and had a project that employed Mr. Percoco’s wife, Lisa Toscano-Percoco,

More Percoco

[September 9 McDonnell no retrial: boys stay free

New Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is described by associates as “obsessed with fear’’ in the wake of Bharara’s charges against then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

New Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is described by associates as “obsessed with fear’’ in the wake of Bharara’s charges against then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell won’t be retried on corruption charges accusing him of accepting more than $175,000 in money, luxury goods and trips in exchange for helping a Virginia businessman, the Justice Department announced September 8. The Supreme Court had said a more limited interpretation of the term “official act” leaves room for prosecuting corruption while not subjecting officials to prosecution — without fair notice — for the most commonplace interactions with constituents.

[June] “While we are reviewing the McDonnell decision, the official actions that led to the convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos fall squarely within the definition set forth by the Supreme Court today,” Bharara spokesman James Margolin said in a statement. Silver was found guilty in November of masking bribes as legal referrals that provided him over the years with $4 million in kickbacks. In turn, Silver used his power as the speaker of the Democratic-led Assembly to provide state grants and other sweeteners to a doctor who then directed patients to the law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, where the Manhattan lawmaker drew a paycheck in an “of counsel” capacity. In the Skelos case, the Nassau County Republican was found guilty of aiding his son Adam’s business interests through official actions, including a $12 million contract for a storm sewer project, as well as to the benefit of Glenwood Management, a real estate firm whose founder is a prolific campaign donor.

[June 28 McDonnell overturned: boys stay free ]
From the majority opinion: “In addition to being inconsistent with both text and precedent, the Government’s expansive interpretation of “official act” would raise significant constitutional concerns.”
Lawyers for Silver, the former New York State Assembly speaker, said in a statement the McDonnell decision “makes clear that the federal government has gone too far in prosecuting state officials for conduct that is part of the everyday functioning of those in elected office.”

Silver, 72, was convicted of taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for various favors, including directing state grants to a particular doctor who passed on leads to him about potential law clients. Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

“The McDonnell decision will be central to Mr. Silver’s appeal,” his attorneys, Steven Molo and Joel Cohen, said.

May 30 William Rapfogel in prison at home

Lincoln Correctional Facility

Lincoln Correctional Facility

As part of his work-release program, William Rapfogel can now spend Wednesday through Sunday nights at “an approved residence,” state prison officials said. Sources say that is at home with his wife, Judy Rapfogel.
From the letter pleading for a lenient sentence for Sheldon Silver from Judy Rapfogel, Silver’s former Chief of Staff, with a state pension worth an estimated $87,000 a year:
“I could write volumes about the good work Shelly did for the people of the State of New York.”

William Rapfogel spends Monday and Tuesday nights after work at Lincoln Correctional Facility, a Manhattan work-release lockup on Central Park North in the former New Lincoln School at 31 West 110 Street. Lincoln’s population includes other white-collar criminals. “It’s more than a little ironic that quite a few of them have probably spent time in some of Central Park’s tonier and better-known addresses.”

read more

[May 26 McDonnell: the boys get the summer off

Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly and State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate

Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly and State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate

Prosecutors with Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office agree to wait for a potentially pivotal Supreme Court decision to be handed down before arguing whether Skelos and his ne’er-do-well son Adam should be allowed to remain out of jail pending appeal of their corruption convictions.
Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni on Wednesday agreed to delay Sheldon Silver’s surrender date to Aug . 31 from July 1.
Former Senate Democratic leader John Sampson’s sentencing postponed from Thursday to June 22 by Brooklyn federal judge.

Issue: Whether “official action” under the controlling fraud statutes is limited to exercising actual governmental power, threatening to exercise such power, or pressuring others to exercise such power, and whether the jury must be so instructed; or, if not so limited, whether the Hobbs Act and honest-services fraud statute are unconstitutional.

[May 13 Skelos out on bail, Sampson sentencing May 17

Basil Skelos was arrested May 13 for grabbing a Daily News reporter’s phone, throwing it across the street and grabbing her wrist

Basil Skelos was arrested May 13 for grabbing a Daily News reporter’s phone, throwing it across the street and grabbing her wrist

Wood has yet to decide on a surrender date. The judge asked both sides in the case to submit briefs on whether or not father and son should remain free pending appeal of their prison sentences. Just after the government began to make its final case before Wood, Dean Skelos’ wife, Gail, appeared to become overwhelmed and stood to leave. As Gail passed Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was sitting in the back of the courtroom throughout the sentencing Thursday, she told the federal prosecutor, “You can go to hell.”

[May 5 Skelos sentencing May 12, Sampson May 17]
Dean Skelos  to be sentenced on May 12; a week later, John L. Sampson, a former leader of the Senate Democrats, will face his own sentencing.
more Skelos
On March 10, 2016, the Appellate Division First Department suspended John L. Sampson from the practice of law.
U.S. District Judge Dora L. Irizarry refused to overturn jury verdicts convicting New York State Sen. John L. Sampson of obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents in a corruption case over his embezzlement of real estate funds, finding enough evidence to convict him on February 26, 2016,. Sampson moved in September 2015 to overturn his convictions on obstruction of justice and for lying about the check document, arguing the obstruction conviction is invalid because the charge was brought under the wrong statute and claiming he didn’t believe his statements to the FBI were literally false. USA v. Sampson, case number 1:13-cr-00269, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
more Sampson

Sheldon Silver gets twelve years



A compilation of lawmakers in New York state who have faced legal or ethical charges since 2000.


read percoco

[May 2 Andrew Cuomo was unaware Percoco was taking in money as a consultant while managing his campaign for Governor ]


Joseph Percoco, about $125,000 in consulting fees



[April 15 Sheldon Silver inamorata Patricia Lynch, former aide ]

On April 14, , U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni ordered that documents related to the conviction of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges last fall be unsealed. Prosecutors say that the documents show Silver carried on extramarital affairs with at least two women—one of whom had business before the state legislature, and one of whom he helped get a government job.

“Sealed Party A” Sources identified the lobbyist as Patricia Lynch, a former top Silver aide who founded the once powerhouse firm of Patricia Lynch & Associates.

[ April 12 Sheldon Silver disbarred: sentencing postponed ]



The sentencing for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been postponed again until May 12th. Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is being challenged for her Assembly seat in the Primary April 19.

[March 31]
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is no longer a lawyer, a state appellate court ruled March 29.

The disgraced ex-Assemblyman was stripped of his law license March 29 after a panel of Manhattan Appellate Division judges ruled that, based on Silver’s conviction on fraud and extortion charges in November, he was essentially automatically disbarred.

The court ruled Silver should be “stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law in the State of New York” as of Nov. 30, 2015, the date of his conviction.
In the Matter of Sheldon Silver, an attorney and counselor-at-law: Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Sheldon Silver, (OCA Atty. Reg. No. 1670736) Respondent.
More silver

[January 30 Hillary: the curious incident of the cleared bathroom]

O'Malley deputy campaign manager Liz Smith and Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer

O’Malley deputy campaign manager Liz Smith and Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer


Eliot Spitzer and his mother, Anne, threw $100,000 at a Martin O’Malley super-pac, Generation Forward PAC, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on January 29.

Perhaps significantly, the donation came in late September, when Spitzer was still dating Lis Smith, O’Malley’s deputy campaign manager. They have since broken up.

Generation Forward raised $514,000 in the entire second half of last year — about 20 percent of that came from the Spitzers. O’Malley is currently polling just over 2 percent nationally.
Hillary Clinton returned late to the Democratic debate stage December 16 in Manchester, New Hampshire because she was using the restroom
She allegedly waited for the restroom to be completely cleared out so that she wouldn’t have to share with Lis Smith, a Martin O’Malley staffer inside.
Smith is the girlfriend of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.

more skelos

[January 26 Skelos move for acquittal on all counts and a new trial]

Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly and State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate

Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly and State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate

In a three-page filing January 25, Lawyers for former New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, who were convicted in December on public-corruption charges, move for acquittal on all counts and a new trial. “The defendants are seeking an acquittal because the evidence submitted at trial was insufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the offenses charged against them,”


[December 12 2015 Guilty, The Skeloses face sentencing March 3 at 10 a.m.]


Though the winds of Bharara’s storm have not blown on Cuomo’s executive branch yet,
[December 11 Skelos jurors asked to rehear some wiretap and other secret recordings]
Deliberations started December 10 at the Manhattan trial of the Long Island Republican and his 33-year-old son, Adam Skelos. At the outset, jurors asked to rehear some wiretap and other secret recordings central to the case.

Skelos offers no defense,

Skelos and his son opted against testifying in their own defense. Defense lawyers called no witnesses December 8 after the prosecution finished its case. Defense lawyers say Skelos and his son will be vindicated.

Skelos has retained his Senate seat but relinquished his leadership position.

Defense lawyers are scheduled to deliver closings Wednesday.

The summations cap a three-week trial that’s featured numerous recordings of father-son phone conversations as well as chats between the defendants and others.

The case is being tried before Southern District Judge Kimba Wood.


[December 2 Silver’s  Chief of Staff Judith Rapfogel given notice]


Silver’s eight remaining staffers — including Chief of Staff Judith Rapfogel — have been given their six-week notices, officials said.   Silver is still in line for a hefty state pension worth an estimated $87,000 a year.   But prosecutors with Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office have warned that they would try to seize it if he can’t make restitution.




[December 1 Election for Sheldon Silver’s seat will be held on April 19]

 Rapfogel’s salary remained constant even as she transitioned from the speaker’s office to Silver’s personal legislative staff

Rapfogel’s salary remained constant even as she transitioned from the speaker’s office to Silver’s personal legislative staff Judy Rapfogel, $180, 503-a-year

Governor Andrew Cuomo has set a special election to fill former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s seat following his conviction November 30 on federal corruption charges. It will be held on April 19. Meanwhile, Silver’s attorneys say they will file an appeal to get the verdict overturned. The 71-year-old was found guilty on charges of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering.
Within the space of less than a week, Silver, the former New York Assembly speaker, was found guilty on seven counts of corruption charges, while his old pal Rapfogel, the disgraced former CEO of New York’s Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, was released from prison.

[November 15 Day #1 State Senator Skelos goes on trial

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tatiana Martins promised the jury would hear “dozens” of wiretap recordings of Dean and Adam Skelos bragging of the family’s power and warning of the consequences of crossing them.
“I’m going to be president of the Senate,” Skelos boasted in one of those recordings, according to the criminal complaint. “I’m going to be majority leader. I’m going to control everything. I’m going to control who gets on what committees, what legislation goes to the floor, what legislation comes through committees, the budget, everything.”
Quoting this statement, Martins said: “As Dean Skelos’ power grew, Adam Skelos’ wallet grew too.”
To avoid detection for their political favors, the Skeloses spoke in “code words” and used “burner phones,” Martins said, referring to disposable prepaid cellphones commonly used by drug dealers.
Attorneys for Dean Skelos, a Republican from Nassau County, acknowledge that he helped his son get jobs with the Scottsdale, Arizona-based environmental firm AbTech and the medical malpractice insurance company PRI, as prosecutors allege.
The senator’s attorney Robert Gage, from the firm Gage, Spencer & Fleming, LLP, cast this as the behavior of a “concerned and involved father, not a criminal conspiracy.”

Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly and State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate

Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly and State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate

[November 16] State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate goes on trial

State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the former Republican leader in the Senate, and his son, Adam Skelos, have both pleaded not guilty; jury selection beain on November 16.
Their trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan on an eight-count indictment that includes bribery and extortion charges is scheduled to begin just as the unrelated corruption case against Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly, enters its third week.

November 9 Convicted ex-NYS Senator Malcolm Smith turned himself in to prison\

malcolm smith

Convicted ex-NYS Senator Malcolm Smith turned himself in to a rural Pennsylvania prison October 27 to begin serving his 7 year prison sentence for trying to buy his way onto the ballot to become mayor of New York

Sheldon Silver trial continues


The case against Silver will turn on whether prosecutors can produce and explain evidence that the ex-speaker’s maneuverings and deals rose to the level of criminal activities rather than an extreme form of routine Albany deal-making politics. “There are two sides to every story, and we haven’t heard [Silver’s] side” yet, wrote Mel Miller in a Wall Street Journal op-ed column earlier this year. Will Silver and Skelos be convicted? If they are, will they be sent to prison? The historical record may give both men cause for hope.
Silver can appeal

Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno was indicted by federal authorities for wire and mail fraud and other corrupt actions in 2009. Five years of trials, convictions, appeals, and challenges to the constitutionality of the laws that were the basis of prosecution resulted in acquittal. Bruno held a press conference to declare he had been completely exonerated and that the whole thing had been “persecution, not prosecution.” New York taxpayers wound up footing most of Bruno’s legal bills because state law allows officials to be reimbursed for “reasonable” legal fees if they are acquitted of crimes pertaining to their official duties.

One-time Assembly Speaker Melvin Miller and his law partner were convicted in 1991 of federal charges of cheating legal clients out of some of the profits from investments in cooperative apartments in New York City. The charges were unrelated to Miller’s legislative work but the conviction meant automatic expulsion from the legislature. Miller was sentenced to community service which he performed at the Henry Street and University Settlements in New York City, working on mental health and other problems. Two years later, the conviction was overturned on appeal. Miller’s actions “may not have been a model of candor and disclosure,” the court said, but they did not constitute crimes. Miller decided not to run for office again but continued his legal practice and also worked as a lobbyist.

In 1975, Assembly Speaker Stanley Steingut and his son were indicted on charges that they had promised to assist a donor to the younger Stenigut’s campaign for City Council to obtain an unsalaried city job in return for a $2,500 contribution. The exact nature of the position was never clear; press speculation was that it was an honorary deputy police commissioner or unsalaried adviser to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The Steinguts apparently did not deliver the promised position and the aggrieved donor — or someone else, it was never entirely clear — complained to the district attorney. He brought charges under a seldom invoked statue that said an office holder could be charged with “corruptly using” his position in exchange for a benefit, usually cash. It was a shaky case at best.

Steingut denied the accusation and refused to resign as Speaker. Two years later, the Count of Appeals dismissed the indictment on the grounds that there was no evidence of “a materially harmful impact upon governmental processes.” Steingut was elated but his vindication led to overconfidence and neglect of politics in his home district. In 1978, he lost his Assembly seat in a primary election.

Then-Assembly Speaker Perry B. Duryea and several others were indicted in 1973 for “vote siphoning.” Prosecutors asserted that they set up a phony Liberal Party committee to print and distribute literature for Liberal candidates in marginal legislative districts in order to draw votes away from Democratic candidates, thereby aiding Republicans.

Duryea proclaimed his innocence and refused to step down as Speaker. The next year the charges were dismissed when the section of the election law requiring sponsors of political literature to identify themselves was ruled unconstitutional. Duryea believed the whole thing was a scheme by political opponents to derail his pursuit of the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1974. Four years later, out from under the cloud of the voting scandal, he secured the nomination but lost the election to Governor Hugh Carey.

Senator Arthur Wicks of Kingston became majority leader in 1949 and, in 1953, also began serving as acting Lieutenant Governor after the incumbent resigned. Press investigative reports that fall disclosed that he had made several visits to Joseph Fay, a labor union leader imprisoned in Sing Sing prison for extortion. Wicks made a paid TV broadcast on Oct. 18, 1953, saying that he had once asked Fay’s help “to see that [a union] jurisdictional fight terminated” and other times had asked him “to keep labor peace in my district.”

Wicks compared the visits to Fay to the President negotiating with Communist leader Joseph Stalin — unpleasant but necessary. That analogy didn’t wash with Governor Thomas Dewey or most state senators. Wicks was never formally charged with wrongdoing but consulting with a felon at Sing Sing hardly seemed appropriate for one of the state’s top officials. Dewey convinced him to resign as majority leader and acting Lieutenant Governor. But he held on to his Senate seat, and was re-elected in 1954.

In 1910, Senator Benn Conger accused Majority Leader Jotham P. Allds of having taken a bribe to kill a piece of legislation back in 1901, when both were serving in the Assembly. Allds proclaimed his innocence, the Senate investigated, and an eyewitness testified that he had seen Allds take a $1,000 bribe in Conger’s presence. “I guess it’s all right, Conger, it feels good!” Allds had said as he put the envelope with the bribe into his suit pocket. Allds resigned from the Senate just before a vote that had been scheduled to expel him. But he was never prosecuted.

The Senate investigation that unseated Allds also revealed that S. Frederick Nixon, Assembly Speaker from 1899 to 1905 had often taken bribes to advance or kill legislation. He was at the head of a corrupt system of “bill-killing and law-getting,” in the words of a contemporary journal article. By 1910, though, Nixon was dead, so only his reputation was tarnished.

History suggests that neither party is more inclined to corruption than the other. Silver, Miller, and Steingut are Democrats; Skelos, Bruno, Duryea, Wicks and Allds, Republicans.

Silver has been speaker since 1994, the second longest tenured speaker in history, and some people have suggested that is too long, leading to arrogance and a sense of entitlement.

[May 12 Republican State Senator Dean Skelos resigns from his position as majority leader]

 State Senator John Flanagan, a Skelos ally who chairs the Senate Education Committee, is said to be his replacement

State Senator John Flanagan, a Skelos ally who chairs the Senate Education Committee, is said to be his replacement

Senate Republicans succeeded in convincing State Senator Dean Skelos to resign from his position as majority leader.  Skelos has maintained his innocence and repeatedly said he had no plans to step down until persuaded otherwise by editorial boards and other political leaders. State Senator John Flanagan, a Skelos ally who chairs the Senate Education Committee, is said to be his replacement. In January, the Assembly starred in a nearly identical bit of resignation drama; Sheldon Silver stepped down from his role as speaker after being arrested on federal corruption charges. Skelos, who will still serve in the Senate he led since 2008,decided to give up his leadership post because he recognized he was becoming a “distraction.

[May 4 Dean Skelos and his son Adam surrender to Feds]

New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, center, and his son Adam, right, arrive at FBI offices, Monday, May 4, 2015, in New York. The pair surrendered to face charges including extortion and soliciting bribes amid a federal investigation into the awarding of a $12 million contract to a company that hired his son

New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, center, and his son Adam, right, arrive at FBI offices, Monday, May 4, 2015, in New York. The pair surrendered to face charges including extortion and soliciting bribes amid a federal investigation into the awarding of a $12 million contract to a company that hired his son

[April 30 Judy Rapfogel, $180, 503-a-year; Firm in Skelos Probe Hires Defense Attorney]

 Rapfogel’s salary remained constant even as she transitioned from the speaker’s office to Silver’s personal legislative staff

Rapfogel’s salary remained constant even as she transitioned from the speaker’s office to Silver’s personal legislative staff

AbTech Industries, an Arizona company caught up in a federal investigation into New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos has retained defense attorney Randy Mastro to provide counsel to the president and the company.
Nassau County legislators who approved a large contract that federal prosecutors reportedly are scrutinizing as part of a corruption probe into State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said they did not know the winning bidder had employed Skelos’ son. AbTech Industries, an Arizona company received a $12 million storm-water treatment contract from Nassau County, even though another company submitted a lower bid. The senator, 67, and Adam, 32, live in houses near each other in Rockville Centre.
Silver’s friend and chief of staff, Judy Rapfogel, has been raking in $180, 503-a-year and even received a $10,000 raise in the month prior to Silver’s arrest. Rapfogel’s salary, which exceeds the $179,000 earned by Gov. Cuomo, remained constant even as she transitioned from the speaker’s office to Silver’s personal legislative staff, with her responsibilities diminishing.

read more

[February 1 Republican state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Ruskin, Moscou Faltischek
US Attorney Preet Bharara’s ongoing investigation of Albany corruption is closely examining the relationship between Republican state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Ruskin, Moscou Faltischek, the Long Island law firm that has been paying him as much as $250,000 a year.
More on Skelos

New Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is described by associates as “obsessed with fear’’ in the wake of Bharara’s charges against then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

New Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is described by associates as “obsessed with fear’’ in the wake of Bharara’s charges against then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

New Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) has retained Silver’s veteran staff, including Counsel James Yates and Program and Policy Secretary Lou Ann Ciccone. Communications Director Michael Whyland has also been asked to stay. In 1997 his mother, Helene, was arrested by the Bronx district attorney and charged with embezzling $197,000 from a nonprofit called the Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Center.The organization was funded entirely by tax dollars and was supposed to provide home health care to Medicare and Medicaid recipients. Helene Heastie was a high-level employee there for many years Helene Heastie ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree grand larceny, a felony, and was sentenced to five years’ probation.

[February 6 Malcolm Smith guilty on bribery charges]
A White Plains federal found Malcolm Smith, guilty on bribery charges. The trial was actually the second for Smith — the first one last year ended in a mistrial for him, but resulted in the conviction of one of their co-conspirators, former city Councilman Daniel Halloran. More below.

More on Skelos
anuary 31 State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos next after Silver?]
A probe from information provided by a tipster is on into state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ outside income. Mike Avella, a lobbyist who is close to Skelos and other GOP senators, is partners with Brian Meara, a veteran lobbyist who helped the feds bust Silver. US Attorney Preet Bharara is looking at his connections to various real estate deals.

NY State Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos’ office released a statement saying “Last night’s thinly sourced report by WNBC is irresponsible and does not meet the standards of serious journalism,”

Earlier, Skelos denied he would replace Sen. Thomas Libous as his deputy.
1 Jul 2014: Republican state Sen. Thomas Libous of Binghamton, was arraigned on charges of lying to the FBI about using his influence to get his son a job with a Westchester County law firm in exchange for the senator’s promises to steer business to the firm. Prosecutors also believe the senator arranged for a lobbying firm to pay the law firm $50,000 a year to defray the cost of “the inflated salary that Libous requested” for his son, according to the indictment.

[January 29 Silver to resign: Weitz & Luxenberg was shocked — shocked0

“We were shocked to learn about the allegations against him of impropriety in the referral of cases to our firm. We have asked Mr. Silver to take a leave of absence until these allegations are resolved,” said Perry Weitz, founder and president of Weitz & Luxenberg

“We were shocked to learn about the allegations against him of impropriety in the referral of cases to our firm. We have asked Mr. Silver to take a leave of absence until these allegations are resolved,” said Perry Weitz, founder and president of Weitz & Luxenberg

[ January 28 Silver to resign “I believe very deeply in the institution”]


Sheldon Silver January 27 agreed to resign as Assembly speaker .   Silver’s decision to step down came amid calls from fellow Democrats to do so.
“I will not impede the process. . . .I believe very deeply in the institution.”

A NYC speaker has long been the tradition. The last upstate speaker was Binghamton’s James Tallon, who only held the position for a few days after the conviction on federal fraud charges of former Speaker Mel Miller, who was later exonerated. Tallon, as majority leader, automatically rose to the position of interim speaker when Miller was convicted, but he was quickly deposed by Assemblyman Saul Weprin, of Queens. Mr. Miller, who now works for former Sen. Al D’Amato’s lobbying firm, Park Strategies, said he speaks with Mr. Silver occasionally.
Majority Leader Joe Morelle said with a throng of Democrats standing behind him. “The members will come out on the floor. We will set Feb. 10 as the election date for the new speaker.” The Feb. 10 vote for speaker will be the first in 21 years. Elected to the chamber in 1976, Silver was picked by his colleagues.
Silver has presided over the state’s budget negotiations for two decades as speaker. New York state’s budget process is highly condensed with the state’s fiscal year starting on April 1, compared with July 1 for most other state. That means any delay runs the risk of overshooting the deadline.

“This is truly unchartered territory,” said McMahon. “The executive state budget is a big unwieldy document, so in such a compressed budget period every day counts.”

The Ways and Means Committee, the body responsible for negotiating the budget on behalf of the Assembly, is still missing a permanent secretary, and the fate of Silver’s counsel Jim Yates, a key budget negotiator, is now also uncertain.
[January 22 Feds seize $3.8 million of  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’ money]

“There is probable cause to believe that Silver received approximately $4 million in payments characterized as attorney referral fees solely through the corrupt use of his official position.” Mr. Silver did essentially no work for the payments.

Prosecutors seized approximately $3.8 million of Mr. Silver’s money on January 22 morning.
His longtime Senate counterpart, Joseph Bruno, was acquitted of taking bribes disguised as consulting fees from an upstate businessman.
One of Silver’s predecessors as speaker, Mel Miller, was convicted of corruption in the early 1990s but the conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court.
Two former state Senate Democratic leaders, John Sampson and Malcolm Smith, are facing criminal charges.

Judy Rapfogel family

Judy Rapfogel family

Federal investigators arrested state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who represents the Lower East Side and has been the speaker for more than 20 years,  January 22 on corruption charges. Silver was being held Thursday at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan. He was afforded the right of self-surrender, as opposed to a public “perp” walk, owing to his status as a veteran state lawmaker.

Silver is expected to appear in court for arraignment later in the day

[January 5 New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and 421a tax breaks]

There are 1,294 active petitions for reassessment of property taxes by real estate developers retaining Goldberg & Iryami as counsel. At least 27 of those properties separately receive §421a tax breaks. Many of the petitions for reassessment were submitted by large developers including Leonard Litwin and Baruch Singer.

[January 1 Silver and money not listed on the Assembly speaker’s annual financial disclosure forms]

01/01/15: Assembly Speaker Sheldon predicted the Democrat-dominated Assembly would re-elect him to the post he has held since 1994.
“Members of my conference have confidence in me, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on this matter,” Mr. Silver said.
[December 30}
Goldberg & Iryami, is said to have paid New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver money over the course of about a decade. The payments, however, were not listed on the Assembly speaker’s annual financial disclosure forms. How much money Silver received from the firm is unclear, but the sum is thought to be “substantial”. Goldberg & Iryami, has two lawyers, has represented owners of properties across New York City, including the owners of several large co-ops on the Lower East Side, the home of Silver’s political base. The firm has tried to lower real estate taxes on Silver’s co-op, the Hillman Housing Corp., and the building across the street that houses his campaign committee.

Rep. Michael Grimm to pleads guilty to felony count of tax evasion, resigns

Very photogenic Assemblywoman , a far more attractive candidate

Very photogenic Bay Ridge-Staten Island Republican-Conservative Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis

House Speaker John Boehner said Grimm had made an “honorable” decision in stepping down.

“I know it was made with the best interests of his constituents and the institution in mind, and I appreciate his years of service in the House,” he said.

In a 20-count indictment in April, prosecutors accused Grimm of paying employees with envelopes of cash and of lying under oath about his responsibility for handling payroll.

He pleaded not guilty at the time, insisting he was the target of a political witch hunt and said he would fight tooth and nail until he was exonerated, but changed his mind after discussion with Boehner December 29.
[December 22]Rep. Michael Grimm to plead guilty to felony count of tax evasion, sources say
The Staten Island Republican was charged in a 20-count indictment with hiding more than $1 million in income and wages at a Manhattan restaurant he co-owned

[October 3 Rob Astorino places daisy attack ad just once, gets lots of web talk]

Republican Rob Astorino has released a TV spot that mimics a 1964 ad against Goldwater to attack Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
[July 29 City Councilman Dan Halloran guilty ]

Dan Halloran April 2

Dan Halloran April 2

Former City Councilman Dan Halloran was found guilty Tuesday of masterminding a failed $200,000 bribery scheme to get Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith the Republican line in last year’s mayoral election. A White Plains federal jury deliberated for less than an hour and a half before finding the disgraced Queens Republican guilty on all five counts of bribery, wire fraud and racket eeriing charges that he faced. Afterwards, federal prosecutors accused Halloran of committing perjury on the witness stand and Judge Kenneth Karas also said he doubted the pol’s “candor” under oath. [June 27 Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, Washington Heights, resigns, gets a year and 18 months in jail under plea]

The chief of staff for disgraced City Councilman Miguel Martinez, who resigned then it was discovered he was funneling Council money to nonprofits he and family members were connected to.

Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa (D-Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill) pleaded guilty June 27 to committing marriage fraud 18 years ago to become a U.S. citizen. Rosa was the chief of staff for disgraced City Councilman Miguel Martinez, who resigned when it was discovered he was funneling Council money to nonprofits he and family members were connected to. As part of her guilty plea in Manhattan federal court, Gabriela Rosa agreed to immediately step down as representative of the 72nd Assembly District covering Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill. She was elected in 2012. Ms. Rosa, 47 years old, said in court that she lied to immigration officials about her marital status in 1996 and lied on her bankruptcy petition 13 years later about her and her second husband’s incomes. “I married this person and it was not a real marriage,” Ms. Rosa, 47 years old, said before Judge Denise Cote in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Each count carries a maximum five year sentence. But under the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to recommend that Judge Cote sentence Ms. Rosa to between a year and 18 months in jail and fine her up to $30,000. Ms. Rosa was released on $100,000 bail. After court, Ms. Rosa said, “The decision I am making today to step down it is not related to my performance as a member of the assembly.” [June 19] The federal bribery case against New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith ended in a mistrial on June 17, giving the former majority leader a chance to seek an eighth term in office before he is retried in January. for Messrs. Smith and Tabone opted to start over, and a new trial date was set for Jan. 5 2015. A federal judge granted a mistrial motion for Smith in the $200,000 bribery case, as well as a top Queens Republican operative, after not enough jurors were willing to serve more than a month longer than expected to resolve issues with recently disclosed taped calls by the government’s star witness. Mr. de Blasio told reporters today that he will not endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary for the uptown and Bronx-based seat held by Congressman Charlie Rangel. Mr. de Blasio who managed his campaign in the 1990s, simply said “no” when questioned about his endorsement. Mr. de Blasio was long rumored to remain neutral in the race or even back Mr. Espaillat–both the city comptroller and speaker of the City Council already endorsed Mr. Espaillat–but his decision to not endorse Mr. Rangel.

[June 5] Diana Durand of Houston, The ex-girlfriend of New York Rep. Michael Grimm ]

 charges she was involved in campaign straw donor scheme

charges she was involved in campaign straw donor scheme

Diana Durand of Houston, The ex-girlfriend of New York Rep. Michael Grimm , pleaded not guilty to charges she was involved in his campaign straw donor scheme, through her lawyer on June 2 in federal court in Brooklyn. Many believe that U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C, Brooklyn-Staten Island) will stick it out and still have a fair chance of getting re-elected in November in the very heated race with Democrat Domenic Recchia. The national ultra-negative perception of Michael Grimm and his alleged misdeeds differs substantially from that of Staten Island.

Very photogenic Assemblywoman , a far more attractive candidate

Very photogenic Bay Ridge-Staten Island Republican-Conservative Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis

Bay Ridge-Staten Island Republican-Conservative Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis says she will not enter the race (if Grimm leaves the ballot) “because we already have a congressman.” There remains the outside possibility that the very photogenic Assemblywoman Malliotakis, a far more attractive candidate could be a congressional nominee in November. She’s smart, personable, with a good sense of humor, and she isn’t afraid of challenging her critics when she feels she’s not being fairly treated. To win her first term, she had to defeat very talented incumbent Democrat Janele Hyer-Spencer, who had every bit of support possible from Democratic Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver. [June 2] Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes – “Even my players aren’t players” – Casey Stengel

Mr. Hynes, 78, who served 24 years in office before being defeated by Kenneth Thompson

Mr. Hynes, 78, who served 24 years in office before being defeated by Kenneth Thompson

The city Department of Investigation has found that former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes possibly used more than $200,000 of assets seized during criminal investigations to pay political consultants, the agency said in a report released June 2. DOI investigators found “possible criminal conduct” concerning the source of payments made to the firm of Mortimer Matz, a longtime spokesman and consultant to the district attorney’s office, the report said. The funds were paid during Mr. Hynes’s failed 2013 re-election bid, the report said. Mr. Matz’s services appear to have been paid for, in part from the state forfeiture fund. Between January 2011 and November 2013, Mr. Matz’s public relations firm, Matz, Blancato & Associates submitted approximately 80 invoices to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the report said. The description section of each invoice charged a $536.40 daily rate and noted it was for public relations and communications services, the report said. Investigators said the invoices bill the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office $2,682 a week. The office issued an average of two or three checks of that size to Mr. Matz’s firm monthly, and that the money appears to have been paid from a subaccount called “asset forfeiture,” the report said. The specified reason for each check was “office consultants (not case related),” the report said. Between 2012 and 2013, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office paid Matz, Blancato & Associates $219,924 total, the report said. Office personnel told investigators that between 2003 and 2013, the district attorney’s office paid Mr. Matz’s firm approximately $1.1 million out of the state asset forfeiture funds. Mr. Hynes, 78, who served 24 years in office before being defeated by Kenneth Thompson this fall, also used office emails for campaign purposes and enlisted workers, some high-ranking, to help in his re-election bid during office hours [May 22]

Nelson Castro, l, Eric Stevenson, r

Nelson Castro, l, Eric Stevenson, r

Former Bronx state Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was sentenced to 3 years in prison o n May 21 by a federal judge who said he had “betrayed” his constituents by taking $22,000 in bribes from four businessmen – Igor Belyansky, Rostislav Belyansky, Igor Tsimerman and David Binman – to operate and build adult day-care centers in New York City’s Bronx borough. “The crimes of conviction were selling an assemblyman’s core functions for money,” Manhattan U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska told Stevenson, 47, a two-term Democrat. As part of the investigation, prosecutors secured the cooperation of another state legislator, Assemblyman Nelson Castro, a Bronx Democrat, who wore a wire as part of a deal to avoid perjury charges related to statements he made when he was a candidate in 2008. Castro resigned from office in April 2013 when the Stevenson case became public. Although it was more than Stevenson wanted, the sentence fell well short of the four-plus years requested by prosecutor Preet Bharara. [May 14]

Councilman Ruben Wills

Rasheida T. Smith, Dunton Consulting

Rasheida T. Smith, Dunton Consulting

Rasheida Smith, Rep. Charles Rangel’s campaign manager helped create a nonprofit for City Councilman Reuben Wills. “With no decision-making authority, my firm acted as a filer for several non-profits in this administrative capacity only with no continuing role with any of these entities after the initial filings,” Smith wrote. Smith is the founder of her own consulting firm, Dunton Consulting, and previously worked for at least two other politicians facing corruption charges, state Sens. Malcolm Smith and John Sampson. [May 8] Councilman Ruben Wills, 42, of Jamaica, Queens, was arrested Wednesday on charges including scheming to defraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records. Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) — for whom Wills once worked as chief of staff —steered a $33,000 legislative appropriation known as a “member item” to a charity Wills controlled, New York 4 Life, which had vowed to use the money to attack childhood obesity, help single dads and moms, and revitalize neighborhoods. The charity held one event costing $14,000 — and Wills took the rest “for personal benefit,” Ruben Wells also is charged with theft from his 2009 campaign. He created a shell company called Micro Targeting that billed Wills’ campaign $11,500 for work that was never performed. After receiving payment, Wills wrote a $6,800 check to New York 4 Life. Wills then withdrew that money or used it for purchases, such as the Vuitton bag, which he bought at Macy’s.



[April 23]

William Rapfogel, who led the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty before resigning in August, leaves court in Manhattan on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, after pleading guilty to first-degree grand larceny in a plea deal that calls for him to receive a 3- to 10-year prison sentence and repay a charity $3 million.

William Rapfogel, who led the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty before resigning in August, leaves court in Manhattan on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, after pleading guilty to first-degree grand larceny in a plea deal that calls for him to receive a 3- to 10-year prison sentence and repay a charity $3 million.

Judy Rapfogel family

Judy Rapfogel family

Judy Rapfogel is married to William Rapfogel and is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief of staff and longtime confidant. She earns $153,385 a year and is widely seen to be among the speaker’s most loyal aides. The fact that Vito Lopez, former member of the New York State Assembly, and the former chairman of the Democratic Party of Kings County, told one of his alleged victims that Silver and Rapfogel had an affair doesn’t make it true. She not attend the hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court

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[January 16]

more Spitzer


Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer have filed for divorce.

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer have filed for divorce.

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer have filed for divorce. According to his 2011 and 2012 tax returns, Spitzer received a total of $350,000 in compensation for his work at Spitzer Engineering, plus nearly $5 million in real estate rents, and trusts and partnership income. He also received $2 million from his failed stint at as a talking head on CNN. Silda Wall is principal of NewWorld Capital Group, LLC NewWorld Capital Group is a private equity firm focused on investing in the rapidly-growing environmental opportunities sector, principally in the United States and Canada. NewWorld makes growth equity and control investments in mid-sized and smaller companies in energy efficiency, clean energy, water resources and reclamation, waste-to-value, and related environmental services. The Firm does not accept technology risk and invests only when a strong partnership can be formed with company management. NewWorld comprises a group of experienced investors and business builders from General Electric, McKinsey, and several private equity firms. [August 15 2013] William Rapfogel was canned after his board found “financial irregularities and apparent misconduct in connection with the organization’s insurance policies,” the organization said. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Controller Thomas DiNapoli confirmed they are investigating, but declined to further comment. Rapfogel is believed to have purchased insurance policies at inflated prices using the Met Council’s money and then received kickbacks from the agent, Century Coverage Corp., that sold them, a source said. The arrangement has been going on since at least 2009, the source added more Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, is backed by 25 percent of Democratic voters, followed by 16 percent for William C. Thompson Jr., a former city comptroller, and 14 percent for Bill de Blasio, the public advocate. Anthony D. Weiner garners the support of 10 percent. Many voters have a visceral dislike for her. She generates the strongest negative emotions of any of the top Democrats. In private, another Ms. Quinn can emerge: controlling, temperamental and surprisingly volatile, with a habit of hair-trigger eruptions of unchecked, face-to-face wrath. She has threatened, repeatedly, to slice off the private parts of those who cross her. It’s going to be difficult for Quinn to reverse this impression between now and September 10. It may even be impossible, given her prominence as City Council speaker and the messy sausage-making that comes with the job [August 6] Billionaire George Soros endorsed New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio for mayor. Soros said de Blasio, a 52-year-old Democrat, would work to reduce economic inequality and guard against too much influence over elections by corporations and wealthy individuals. Soros, who has given the campaign $2,000, was unavailable for interviews. He lives in Katonah in Westchester County, where he’s registered to vote. De Blasio placed second to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a July 29 Quinnipiac University poll of likely Democratic mayoral voters, with 21 percent to Quinn’s 27 percent. Former city Comptroller William Thompson ranked third with 20 percent; former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner had 16 percent; and current Comptroller John Liu, 6 percent. The poll had a 4.6 percentage-point margin of error. De Blasio has raised $6.3 million from 5,631 donors, according to his July statement to the city Campaign Finance Board, which yesterday awarded him $2.2 million in 6-to-1 matching funds on donations of $175 or less. As of July 15, he’d spent about $1.9 million, and had a balance of $4.3 million. Board regulations place a $6.4 million spending limit on the primary election. [July 18]

More Spitzer

More Spitzer

Weiner by 3, not significantly

Weiner by 3, not significantly

Anthony D. Weiner and Christine C. Quinn remain at the front of the pack among Democratic candidates for mayor Mr. Weiner, a former United States representative who resigned after exchanging sexually explicit messages with women he knew only online, captured 25 percent of the vote among registered Democrats. He was followed closely by Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, with 22 percent. The difference between Mr. Weiner and Ms. Quinn was not statistically significant, because it was within the poll’s margin of sampling error. Mr. Weiner’s high standing was in part the result of strong support among black Democratic voters. Nearly a third supported him; only 14 percent supported Mr. Thompson, who is black and had been expected to be the most formidable candidate within the city’s African-American electorate. None of the candidates for mayor seems to have anything near the 40 percent required to avoid a runoff; if no candidate receives 40 percent of the vote in the primary, the two leading candidates will face off on Oct. 1. [July 10]

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The Other Woman

The Other Woman

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer leads Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer by nine percentage points in the race for New York City comptroller. Among registered Democrats, including those who are undecided but leaning toward a candidate, Mr. Spitzer outpaces Mr. Stringer 42% to 33% in the Democratic primary, the poll showed. Nearly a quarter of voters were undecided, but two-thirds of Democrats, or 67%, said they believe Mr. Spitzer, who resigned as governor five years ago after he was caught patronizing prostitutes, should be given a second chance. [July 1]

Speaker Sheldon Silver

Speaker Sheldon Silver

The Assembly ended its session without acting on a bill to bar the state from entering into confidential settlements — despite Speaker Sheldon Silver’s vow in the wake of the Vito Lopez scandal to pass the measure. Silver promised to push the bill at a news conference in May, part of his mea culpa over ex-Assemblyman Lopez. The Manhattan Democrat has been heavily criticized for entering into a secret $103,000 taxpayer-funded settlement with the first two women who accused Lopez of harassing them . Some of Silver’s Democratic members were worried that a total ban on confidential settlements could keep sex harassment victims from coming forward .. Silver has vowed that the Assembly will no longer agree to confidentiality settlements . “Which is it?” one insider asked. “You don’t move the bill because it will keep people from coming forward but then implement it yourself? It makes no sense.” Silver has already admitted it was a mistake to settle the initial complaints against Assemblyman Vito Lopez without forwarding the matter to the Assembly Ethics Committee – “one that will not be repeated.” “The speaker is deeply committed to ensuring that all our employees are treated with respect and dignity,” Whyland said in the statement. [June 26]

Candidate for Democratic nomination in Mayoral election

Candidate for Democratic nomination in Mayoral election

Mr. Weiner has passed City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, the longtime front-runner in the crowded Democratic primary, according to a poll released June 25. Mr. Weiner is now backed by 25 percent of registered Democrats, followed by Ms. Quinn with 20 percent, according to the poll, conducted by The Wall Street Journal, NBC New York and the Marist Poll, a rise without the help of any major union endorsement and a testament to just how split the labor vote could be in the primaries. But the newest poll adds flame to the fear of Democrats when Weiner first stirred speculation of a run with the New York Times Magazine profile on him and his wife, Huma Abedin: that his entry could lead to a runoff and, as a result, hand the election to the Republicans. [June 11]


Schneiderman, left

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said June 10 no final decision has been made on whether the state attorney general will represent him in two sexual-harassment lawsuits filed by former staffers against the speaker and ex-Assemb. Vito Lopez. The lawsuits, filed in federal and state courts last week, claim that Lopez (D-Brooklyn) routinely groped and harassed young female staffers and that Silver (D-Manhattan) abetted Lopez by quietly settling similar claims made by previous Lopez staffers. Asked if Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, also a Democrat, would represent him or if he’d turn to outside counsel, Silver said: “The matter is in litigation and is being sent to the attorney general as is every litigation against a state officer. . . . We have not concluded with the attorney general, but it is the ordinary course of business.” [June 6]

Ed Cox family

Ed Cox family

Judy Rapfogel family

Judy Rapfogel family

State GOP Chairman Ed Cox called JCOPE “toothless” and reiterated his call for a special prosecutor to investigate Silver. The Daily News scoop that an omitted email from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics report on the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal accuses Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of carrying on an inappropriate relationship with an aide has given Republicans a new opening to criticize. State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox used the news to excoriate not just Silver, but aslo Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not seeking a new investigation into the powerful Assembly speaker.

Mariann Wang, attorney for complainants against Lopez

Mariann Wang, attorney for complainants against Lopez

Judy Rapfogel

Judy Rapfogel

email from lawyer for groped women

email from lawyer for groped women

An email claims Lopez “repeatedly” told one of the women “that he wanted their relationship to be the same as Mr. Silver’s to his Chief of Staff and was explicit in what that meant. The state ethics committee that investigated sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez omitted it from its final report. Silver’s chief of staff is longtime confidant Judy Rapfogel, who earns $153,385 a year and is widely seen to be among the speaker’s most loyal aides. Rapfogel, who is married to William Rapfogel, chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, called the comments in the email “absurd and insulting to all women.” Salted away in the fine print was $687,000 for the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty — twice the $340,000 salary of Met Council executive director William Rapfogel, the husband of Silver’s $154,000-a-year chief of staff, Judy Rapfogel. Chief Executive Officer: William E. Rapfogel William E. Rapfogel has served as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) since 1992. During the past two decades, it has grown into one of New York City’s largest and most efficient non-profits. Met Council and its grassroots network of Jewish Community Councils provide over 100,000 New Yorkers with immediate relief and lasting solutions to poverty. Mr. Rapfogel’s advocacy and expertise on the evolving issues surrounding Jewish poverty has won praise and recognition at national, state and city levels, including White House recognition. Through his leadership, Met Council continues to be on the cutting edge in its development of innovative comprehensive social services and community development to aid, sustain, and empower those in need. Prior to joining Met Council, Mr. Rapfogel served as Executive Director of the Institute for Public Affairs of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. He also served as Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, Metropolitan Region. Mr. Rapfogel spent several years as Assistant New York City Comptroller under Harrison J. Goldin, and three years in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch. A graduate of Brooklyn College and the Columbia University Graduate Institute for Non-Profit Management, he serves on the board of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Kingsborough Community College Foundation, and as Vice Chairman of Senior Health Partners. He also served on the New York State Food Policy Council, and also serves as a member of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Consumer Council. The document — a Feb. 14, 2012, email sent to Assembly lawyers from an attorney representing two Lopez staffers who accused Lopez of groping them — suggests Silver had an inappropriate relationship with a top aide. Lopez “repeatedly” told one of the women “that he wanted their relationship to be the same as Mr. Silver’s to his Chief of Staff and was explicit in what that meant.” The email also claims that the groping victims were so afraid of Silver and his chummy relationship with Lopez — and so upset that the Assembly had failed to “fully investigate” their allegations — that they declined an offer to take another job in the Assembly. The note from lawyer Mariann Wang, does not offer any proof that the Democratic speaker had a relationship with his chief of staff beyond the third-hand account attributed to Lopez, who was using it in an effort to seduce a staffer. Wang, who declined to comment, apparently invoked the alleged relationship to buttress her suggestion that the close ties between Silver and Lopez made her clients feel unsafe. “As I said to you on the phone last week,” Wang wrote to Assembly lawyer William Collins, “we do want to make clear that, from our perspective, the Assembly’s failure to fully investigate the allegations or take any correction action . . . combined with the fact that we understand that Mr. Lopez is quite close to Mr. Silver makes it difficult, particularly for (the victim) to feel safe or secure in returning to the Assembly.” The email is embarrassing to Silver both because of the allegation about his personal life and because it documents the women’s alarm over the Assembly’s “failure” to investigate their complaints. That alarm offers a direct contradiction to Silver’s repeated claim that the only reason he never sent the women’s allegations to the Assembly Ethics Committee was because the women wanted to keep the matter quiet and preferred to settle their complaints rather than see them move forward. The email was among documents turned over to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, known at JCOPE, when it started looking into the Lopez matter after two other women came forward with allegations against the former Brooklyn Democratic Party boss. But when the commission released its blockbuster report last month, there was no mention of the Feb. 14 email. The email also was not among the hundreds of supporting documents made public by the ethics commission in conjunction with the report, though several other email exchanges between Wang and Collins were disclosed. The report, which accused Lopez of a “pervasive pattern of abuse” that saw him grope and torment at least eight female staffers since 2010, forced Lopez to resign his Assembly seat last month. It also prompted Silver to apologize for his handling of the matter after the report found Silver and Assembly lawyers ignored the chamber’s own sexual harassment policy by not sending the complaints to the Assembly’s Ethics Committee for investigation. The report found Silver exposed more women to harassment from Lopez by instead settling the case in a deal that cost taxpayers more than $103,000. But the Joint Commission has been criticized for not more aggressively scrutinizing the speaker’s actions. A JCOPE spokesman wouldn’t comment on whether the email was deliberately omitted. “The Joint Commission issued a comprehensive report which included critical evidence related to allegations that Vito Lopez violated the state public officers law, and it was released in its entirety,” said spokesman John Milgrim. Silver has admitted it was a mistake to not send the initial complaints to the ethics committee but has repeatedly maintained it was done to protect the anonymity of the victims. “The only instance in which a complaint would not be handled by the ethics committee would be if a victim insisted for reasons of personal privacy that it not go before the committee,” the Assembly said in a statement last August. “The Assembly would only keep such a matter confidential at the express insistence of the victim.” As recently as last month, Silver insisted his actions were done to protect the victims. “That I allowed this system to be bypassed in the first instance, even though I believed I was acting in good faith, was a failure on my part, and now that we know the atrociousness of the misconduct, it only makes the failure more glaring,” Silver said at a press conference. JCOPE, in its report, notes a Jan. 19, 2012, email Collins sent to Wang complaining that her clients had not responded to repeated Assembly requests for guidance on what actions they wanted the Assembly to take. The report also includes Wang’s immediate reply that it was the Assembly’s responsibility — not her clients’ — to determine what steps to take regarding an investigation. No mention is made, however, of the stronger language in the Feb. 14 email. Silver spokesman Michael Whyland downplayed the significance of the Feb. 14 email and JCOPE’s decision not to mention it in its report. “This is correspondence between lawyers many weeks into a settlement process requested by the employees’ attorney and months after the allegations were first made,” Whyland said in a statement. “The JCOPE report shows we clearly reached out to the victim to determine how she wanted to proceed. In retrospect, this decision was wrong, and, as we have stated, we should have immediately forwarded the initial contact from the victim to the Assembly Ethics Committee,” he continued. “As we said from the start, we have made mistakes in the way this was handled, and we are making major changes in the Assembly to ensure that they do not happen again.” Wang’s email marked the second time Silver has been publicly accused of having inappropriate relations with staff members since the Lopez scandal erupted. In trying to beat back the charges against his client, Lopez attorney Gerald Lefcourt wrote in a submission to JCOPE that “stories of the speaker’s serial and sometimes overlapping personal relationships with his own staff have long circulated in Albany.” Whyland called those allegations “despicable and false.” [May 28] While Schneiderman opposed the settlement as unfair and inadequate, saying losses to shareholders were $6.6 billion. He argued that a prior appeals court ruling meant that approval of the class-action settlement would preclude the state from obtaining damages. Then he dropped the damages claim, the state cited the settlement and the desire to “avoid further delay.” An attorney for Greenberg now argues that by dropping its pursuit of money damages, the lawsuit is fatally flawed. New York “long ago abandoned” any claim for an injunction, such as a bar from the securities industry, Greenberg attorney David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP wrote in an April 26 letter to the appeals court. [May 22]

Speaker Sheldon Silver

Speaker Sheldon Silver

A New York ethics commission found that Assemblyman Vito Lopez violated state law by sexually harassing four female staff members, and that Speaker Sheldon Silver and his staff concealed the charges in a bid to avoid negative publicity. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, in a long-anticipated, 70-page report released Wednesday, described in graphic detail the accounts of four women who worked for Mr. Lopez, including allegations that he made demeaning comments about their appearance and dress, required them to send him flattering text messages and pressed them for intimate contact. The commission found that Mr. Lopez’s conduct violated three provisions of the state’s public officers law, and referred the matter to the Assembly’s Legislative Ethics Commission, which can fine the assemblyman $10,000. In a statement, Mr. Lopez’s called the report’s findings “fallacious,” saying its findings “are simply not true.” Silver spokesman Michael Whyland, in a statement, noted that Silver has already admitted it was a mistake to settle the initial complaints against Assemblyman Vito Lopez without forwarding the matter to the Assembly Ethics Committee – “one that will not be repeated.” “The speaker is deeply committed to ensuring that all our employees are treated with respect and dignity,” Whyland said in the statement. Silver, according to Whyland, reiterated his call for Lopez to resign. more

Christine Quinn plugs her new book

Christine Quinn plugs her new book

In the thick of the heated mayoral race, in which Christine Quinn is the Democratic front-runner but has seen her lead ebb somewhat recently, and ahead of a Quinn memoir that will be released on June 11, 2013 perhaps with voters’ questions in mind, Quinn, 46, said she went to rehab at 26 for bulimia and considers herself a recovering alcoholic to this day; that after leaving rehab, she drank rarely — perhaps a glass of wine a month — for years and then stopped altogether about three years ago. Bulimia, or a compulsive cycle of binge eating and then inducing vomiting can be associated with gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and other problems.

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NY Sens. Smith, Sampson, Espada

NY Sens. Smith, Sampson, Espada

[May 9] UPDATE: Schneiderman’s office sent the following statement from spokesman Damien LaVera: “Throughout his career, Attorney General Schneiderman has demonstrated a commitment to rooting out political corruption. He was the first prosecutor to indict Shirley Huntley last summer. Shirley Huntley’s reference to him in her sentencing statement appears to be an attempt at retaliation against Attorney General Schneiderman, who has never hired Melvin Lowe or used his services. He will continue to use every tool at his disposal to ensure New Yorkers have the open and honest government they deserve.” [May 7]

Sampson Criminal Complaint

Referees Deeds

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,on May 6, said, “The charges announced today are very serious, and if true, disturbing.” Schneiderman was part of the deal that installed Sampson, Smith and Pedro Espada as leaders of the New York State Senate in 2010 Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) is identified in court papers as asking ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) to wield her influence on behalf of a businessman who held a Kennedy Airport lease in March 2012 In 2010, Inspector General Joseph Fisch said the selection in January of Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) by Governor David Paterson, Senate Democratic Conference leader John Sampson, Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver followed a process that removed lobbying restrictions and let campaign cash flow to decision makers.Senate leaders leaked an internal memo containing competitors’ bid information to AEG, originally a low-ranked bidder, helping it move up. “These actions by Sens. Sampson and Smith potentially implicate the Public Officers Law’s prohibitions of unduly conferring benefits or favoritism and acting in violation of their public trust,” Fisch said in the report. The statute of limitations on federal crimes such as fraud or bid-rigging is five years. Should Mr. Sampson indeed be charged as expected, his arrest will follow State Senator Malcolm Smith, State Senator Pedro Espada and State Senator Carl Kruger, Councilman Dan Halloran, Councilman Larry Seabrook, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, all charged or convicted in bribery or embezzlement schemes. Furthermore, Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. was indicted for stealing public funds May 3.


Jia Hou conspired to help wealthy Liu backers evade a $4,950 limit on individual contributions by using straw donors to pass along their money to his campaign, according to the federal complaint filed by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office.

The 12-member jury found Xing Wu (Oliver) Pan guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and attempt to commit wire fraud, while Jia (Jenny) Hou was found guilty of the latter charge, attempted wire fraud, obstruction of justice and making false statements.[ [April 18]

Kevin Kim may run for Dan Halloran's Assemblyman seat

Kevin Kim may run for Dan Halloran’s City Council seat

Former Democratic City Council candidate Kevin Kim may run for the position currently held by Republican Councilman Dan Halloran, who was arrested earlier this month on bribery charges. In 2009, Kim defeated a crowded field of candidates — including Paul Vallone and Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece — in the Democratic Primary. The general election campaign against Halloran was particularly nasty and racially-charged. Critics said Halloran was pandering to anti-Asian sentiment in a district that is undergoing demographic changes in recent years.The Asian population has surged in northeast Queens, especially in the areas of Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone, Little Neck and Douglaston. [April 9]

Mark Stern

Former Gov. David Paterson believes a “lower caliber type of legislator” is now inhabiting Albany but his criticism of the Legislature does not extend to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Paterson, speaking on an Albany radio show this morning, offered a very vocal show of support for Silver and rejected the notion – floated in a media report Monday – that Gov. Cuomo is working behind-the-scenes to remove the powerful Manhattan Democrat. [April 4] At a meeting with Mark Stern, while allegedly promising at least $20,000 in City Council pork in exchange. on Sept. 27, 2012, an undercover agent said he had funneled $6,500 in illegal contributions to Halloran’s Congressional campaign, by paying off straw donors so that the agent’s name wouldn’t appear in official documents. The issue of straw donors has attracted Federal authorities’ attention for years. Straw donors are used to circumvent limits on campaign contributions. The campaign treasurer and a fundraiser for another Queens politician, City Comptroller John Liu, are going on trial April 15 for that very practice. Moses “Mark” Stern, The Satmar Hasid from Monsey teamed up with an undercover federal agent in the sting as part of a secret cooperation agreement is according to the Jewish Daily Forward, a “key Orthodox power broker” in the upstate Jewish community. The State attorney general Eric Schneiderman’s office said Stern never directly contributed funds to the attorney general’s campaign, but acknowledged a connection between the two. Stern and Schneiderman were so close that Stern helped fundraise for the attorney general and attended his 2011 inaugural party. Stern, a father of nine who lives in a gaudy mansion, has a penchant for expensive liquor, cigars and fancy cars. Stern is also a cousin of Tuvia Stern — the notorious swindler who threw lavish a bar mitzvah in his jail cell in the Tombs in 2009. Before he was locked up, Tuvia spent 20 years on the lam after he was busted in 1989 for stealing $1.7 million. more [April 2]

Dan Halleran arrested for corruption

Dan Halleran arrested for corruption

State Senator Halloran, April 2

Councilman Halloran, April 2

City Councilman Dan Halloran, a 42-year-old lawyer and former city cop, ran for Congress last year, but lost to then-Assemblywoman Grace Meng. During that campaign, the state Board of Elections had referred his campaign to the Albany DA for investigation and possible prosecution because he had not filed state campaign-finance reports for more than two years. Halloran later filed the appropriate forms. During the campaign, Councilman Halloran said:”“In my race, my opponent had her father arrested and indicted in federal court yesterday for scamming $80,000 out of a Chinese businessman, on tape, by FBI. And he bundled one quarter of her money for her race, but they don’t even mention her! Don’t even mention her!” Mr. Halloran was likely referencing a report that Mr. Meng had fundraised “heavily” for his daughter, although the exact amount he helped raise isn’t easy to ascertain. “If that had been me, it would have been as if I committed the crime,” he added. “Why? Because I’m a Republican.” According to the indictment unsealed April 2, Mr. Halloran set up a meeting at which the undercover agent and the witness met Joseph J. Savino, the Bronx GOP chairman, and Vincent Tabone, vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, and negotiated the amounts of the bribes for the documents. In exchange, Mr. Halloran sought and received more than $20,000 in cash for himself, prosecutors said. Mr. Tabone and Mr. Savino were paid cash bribes of more than $40,000 and were promised $40,000 more, and they in turn, agreed to use their official capacities with Republican Party county committees to obtain the documents Mr. Smith would need to run for mayor as a Republican. Mr. Smith, in exchange for help from Mr. Savinio and Mr. Tabone, agreed to use his senate office to help win state funds for a road project in Spring Valley that would benefit a real estate project that Senator Smith believed was being built by a company belonging to the undercover agent. The complaint said that on Nov. 16, Mr. Smith met the undercover agent and the cooperating witness at a hotel in White Plains and asked the witness to contact a Republican Party county chairman identified in the charges only as “County Chairman #1” to try to “change him” by persuading the chairman to support Mr. Smith rather than another mayoral candidate whom the chairman had publicly supported. Later that day, the person said, Mr. Halloran met the undercover agent at a Queens restaurant in order to receive a bribe in exchange for taking what the charges refer to as some unspecified “unrelated official action.” During that meeting, the agent asked Mr. Halloran if he knew “County Chairman #1” and Mr. Halloran said that he did, and that he knew Mr. Savino. Mr. Halloran agreed to ask the county chairman and Mr. Savino what they would want in exchange for their support for a mayoral candidate, the complaint said. And on that same day, the undercover agent met Mr. Smith at a hotel in Manhattan, and told him that the agent could arrange a meeting with “County Chairman #1” and Mr. Savino during which the agent would attempt to negotiate their support for the senator, the complaint said. Mr. Smith, the complaint said, told the undercover agent: “You pull this off, you can have the house. I’ll be a tenant.” Several months later, Mr. Smith met the cooperating witness in Rockland County, the complaint said. As they sat in a parked car, the witness told Mr. Smith that getting the certificates from the Republican county committee leaders would cost “a pretty penny,” the complaint said. In response to the question, “it’s worth any price?” the senator, according to the complaint, responded: “Look, talk to me before you close it. But it’s worth it. Because you know how big a deal it is.” Two weeks later, Mr. Halloran met the undercover agent and the witness at a Manhattan hotel and told them that Mr. Savino wanted $25,000 “in an envelope” in exchange for signing the certificate, the complaint said. Mr. Tabone, the person said, wanted $50,000 — half of the money before he signed and the balance afterward. The arrests immediately reverberated through the mayor’s race. Mr. Tabone is a paid consultant to the Republican mayoral campaign of John Catsimatidis, the grocery store magnate. Records show Mr. Catsimatidis has paid Mr. Tabone $3,000 so far this year. Another Republican mayoral candidate, Joseph J. Lhota, recently welcomed the endorsement of Mr. Halloran, who was also arrested on Tuesday morning. [earlier] To get on the GOP ballot in the election for Mayor, State Senator Malcolm Smith allegedly enlisted Halloran, a Republican, to set up meetings with party leaders and negotiate thousands of dollars in bribes. The money was masked as payments for legal and accounting services. Halloran allegedly collected thousands in bribes for himself along the way. He is separately charged with taking bribes from a consultant in return for up to $80,000 in City Council discretionary funding. The feds were already investigating Halloran when they got wind of the alleged ballot-manipulating plan in November, the sources said. Smith met with his alleged co-conspirators as recently as February. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is expected to detail charges later Tuesday. Smith, a Democrat, was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2000 in a special election. He was elected minority leader in 2007, succeeding David Paterson. Authorities say New York State Senator Malcolm Smith and New York City Councilman Dan Halloran were arrested Tuesday morning as part of an ongoing corruption case. They will be arraigned later today in federal court in White Plains. Also arrested were Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret. Two others, identified as Vicent Tabone and Joseph Savine, are also facing charges in the corruption probe. Jimmy Meng, 69, , a former State Assemblyman whose daughter is a newly-elected Congresswoman from Queens was sentenced March 12 to a month in prison for accepting a fruit basket stuffed with $80,000 from a defendant who was hoping to buy a shorter sentence in a tax-fraud case. He was also fined $30,000, ordered to serve two years of supervised release after completing his prison term and given 750 hours of community service [March 18]


Jia Hou conspired to help wealthy Liu backers evade a $4,950 limit on individual contributions by using straw donors to pass along their money to his campaign, according to the federal complaint filed by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office.

Democratic mayoral contender Comptroller John Liu’s numbers are actually worth boasting about. Though the raw amount he’s raised doesn’t compare to his rivals, when you factor in publicly-matched contributions, Mr. Liu appears to be sitting on the second-highest pile of campaign cash behind only Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has already raised the maximum amount allowed for the primary [March 11] John Liu, who is the City Comptroller objected to the mayor’s take on to the shelter system: “Only an out-of-touch mayor who travels by private jet and limo would make such a tone-deaf wisecrack about a homeless crisis that has only worsened under his careless watch,” the mayoral candidate says. Patrick Markee, of the Coalition for the Homeless, took offense to the mayor’s dismissive tone: “It’s pretty ludicrous to claim that there are people flying in private jets and taking private limos to the shelter system,” he says. Later adding: “He didn’t seem to want to take responsibility for the fact that there are more than 50,000 people sleeping in city shelters, including 21,000 children.” [February 11] on January 8, Oliver Pan, a donor to current Comptroller John Liu‘s mayoral campaign, was ruled competent to stand trial. There had previously been some doubts after Mr. Pan was involuntarily committed for mental health reasons, but now the joint trial against Mr. Pan and Jenny Hou, Mr. Liu’s former campaign treasurer, will proceed as planned on April 15th. [February 6] A trial of City Comptroller John Liu’s former campaign treasurer and a fundraiser that has seemed to temper enthusiasm for his expected mayoral run got delayed indefinitely February 5 after one of the defendants was involuntarily hospitalized for treatment of a mental health condition. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan announced the development at a hearing a day after the trial was originally scheduled to start. Sullivan did not elaborate on the illness of the former fundraiser, Xing “Oliver” Wu Pan, except to say he was undergoing treatment and it was unclear when he would be recovered enough for trial. He sealed some records related to the illness. But he said he would direct authorities to seek a diagnosis and opinion on Pan’s mental competency for trial by Friday. If the hospital cannot provide it, the judge said he would seek to appoint an expert to determine Pan’s status. The judge set an April 15 date for the trial but said he reserved the right to begin it sooner if Pan is ready. He asked Gerald Lefcourt, the attorney for Liu’s campaign treasurer and co-defendant — Jia “Jenny” Hou — if he wanted to renew a request he had made last year for a separate trial. He said he did not because he hopes to question Pan on the witness stand on his client’s behalf. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty. They were charged with conspiring to use straw donors to evade campaign finance laws. [January 7] “Just make sure the handwriting looks as close to the donors’ as possible,” Ms. Hou wrote in an electronic message to Jorge Fanjul, who, like Ms. Hou, worked in Mr. Liu’s government office. “If too difficult, don’t take risk.” “Gotcha,” Mr. Fanjul replied. February 4 Trial begins for Jia “Jenny” Hou, ex-treasurer for New York Comptroller John Liu’s campaign, and fundraiser Xing Wu Pan. more [December 7 12] In the run for Mayor, with no candidate close to the 40 percent threshold, a runoff looms: Council Speaker Christine Quinn leads with 23 percent, with former City Comptroller Bill Thompson at 15 percent, Comptroller John Liu at 9 percent, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at 8 percent and Undecided voters—at 37 percent—dominate the field. [October 13] Prosecutors have rejected claims that authorities tried to pressure a former fundraiser for New York City’s comptroller into helping “manufacture” a case against the comptroller. The U.S. Attorney’s office filed papers in Manhattan federal court October 10. It offered a defense of the tactics used in the probe that’s led to the indictments of the former fundraiser, Xing Wu Pan, and an ex-campaign treasurer for John Liu. The U.S. Attorney’s office allegedly put pressure on John Liu fundraiser Xing Wu (Oliver) Pan prior to his arrest last November to force him into helping them “manufacture a criminal case” against the embattled controller, An idea floating in political circles says the federal government is really seeking bigger fish in its case against Jimmy Meng, a former assemblyman allegedly caught red-handed taking an $80,000 bribe for influence peddling — the bigger fish being City Comptroller John Liu. The idea is that the elder Meng may know something that would help make a case against Liu, whose campaign treasurer, Jia “Jenny” Hou, is under indictment for allegedly using straw donors to beef up his war chest for a mayoral run and lying about it to the FBI. Liu fundraiser Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan was also indicted, but the comptroller himself — who still refuses to pay the city half a million dollars in fines for posting illegal campaign signs — has not been charged. Meng and Liu are not exactly political allies, in “Asian politics” in Flushing. But that doesn’t mean Jimmy Meng might not have damaging information on Liu, [August 23] Citing cost problems associated with a similar Parking Meter arrangement in Chicago. John Liu predicted rates would rise “all because of the mayor’s misguided belief that private firms do a better job than city workers.” “If the controller had it his way, city government would function as a full-time employment agency for as many unionized workers as the taxpayers could fund” says Mayoral spokeswoman Julie Wood. Former Queens Assemblyman Jimmy Meng – the first Asian-American elected to the state Legislature – was charged with wire fraud July 24 for claiming he could bribe prosecutors to fix a criminal case, authorities said. Meng, whose Assemblywoman daughter is running for Congress, was pinched outside his Flushing lumber yard July 24 as a cooperating witness – who had been secretly recording their chats for months – handed him a fruit stuffed with $80,000. “I am shocked and deeply saddened by these allegations. Prior to this afternoon’s reports, I had no knowledge of my father’s actions or the investigation,” said Queens assemblywoman and congressional candidate Grace Meng, in a statement. “I am independent of my father — always have been, always will be. Until more facts emerge and we have a better understanding of the situation, the only thing further I’ll say is that I urge my father to fully cooperate with all authorities.” Meng has retained with Abbe Lowell, who successfully represented former Sen. John Edwards recently in a federal corruption trial in North Carolina. [June 2]The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, has ruled NYC Comptroller John Liu ignored the data he collected on wages of similar workers in the industry and just applied the rates from a union’s collective bargaining agreement to the movers. As comptroller, Liu sets the prevailing wage rate that city contractors are required to pay their employees. The goal is to protect workers and keep companies from driving down wages by lowballing contract bids. Liu would review the pay of those in several different occupations receive and set the salary accordingly. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says an audit on New York City’s 911 system shows “a new level of intellectual dishonesty” by Comptroller John Liu. Liu said this week that a contractor hired by the city to overhaul its 911 system may have received millions in unjustified payments. Bloomberg said Friday on WOR Radio that the contract was registered with Liu’s office and finished under the budget approved by Liu’s office. He questioned if Liu even read the contract. Liu has asked prosecutors to investigate whether there was any criminal fraud associated with the contract. The mayor said “what Liu missed” is that the city now has a brand new, state-of-the-art 911 system. “It’s pretty hard to answer something as stupid as this charge.” [Apr.29] UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK . UNITED STATES OF AMERICA . SUPERSEDING . INDICTMENT . XING NU PAN, S1 12 Cr. 153 (RJS) a/k/a “O1iver Pan,” and JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” Defendants..– – – .. – – COUNT ONE — The Crand Jury charges: . The Defendants – – 1. At all times relevant to this Indictment, XING wu. PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” the defendant, was an individual who sought to raise money for the 2013 campaign of a candidate (the – “Candidate”) for citywide elective office in the City of New York (the “City”). . . 2. From at least in or about December 2010, up to and including at least in or about February 2012, JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendant, was the treasurer JIA HOU for the 2013 campaign of the Candidate. . The Scheme to Defraud 3. “Straw Donors” are individuals who, in violation of campaign finance laws, make campaign contributions in their own names with money they have received from other individuals orl for which?they receive reimbursement from other individuals. 4. XING WU PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” and JIA HOU, . a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendants, together with others known and unknown, engaged in a scheme to defraud the City by using Straw Donors, and by taking steps to conceal the use of Straw Donors, to attempt to obtain campaign matching funds through interstate ‘wires to support the Candidate’s campaign for Citywide elective office. Statutory Allegations 5. From at least in or about 2009, up to and including in or about February 2012, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, XING WU PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” and_JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendants, and others known and nunknown, willfully and knowingly combined, conspired, confederated and agreed together and with each other to violate Section 1343 of Title 18, United States Code. 6.. It was a part and object of the conspiracy that XING WU PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” and JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendants, and others known and unknown, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, willfully and knowingly would and did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing 2 . – such scheme and artifice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. OVERT ACTS I In furtherance of said conspiracy and to effect the illegal object thereof, the following overt acts, among others, were committed in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere: a. On or about July 10, 2011, JIA HOU, a/k/a I “Jenny Hou,” the defendant, spoke to a volunteer for the Candidate’s campaign about imitating the handwriting of campaign donors on donor contribution forms. .- b. On or about July 14, 2011, HOU offered to reimburse an individual if the individual made a campaign donation to the Candidate. c. On or about August 17, 2011, XING wU PAN, – a/k/a “O1iver Pan,” the defendant, during a fundraising event I (the “Event”) for the Candidate, collected from Straw Donors completed fraudulent contribution forms and caused the forms to be submitted to HOU. . d. On or about August 17, 2011, during the Event, HOU and PAN reviewed the fraudulent contribution forms collected from Straw Donors. (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.) . – 3 . The Grand Jury further charges: 8. From at least in or about 2009 up to and including` in or about February 2012, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, XING WU PAN, a/k/a “Oliver Pan,” and JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendants, having devised and intending – to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, . representations, and promises, willfully and knowingly did transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice and attempting to do so, to wit, PAN, HOU, and others engaged in a scheme to defraud the City by using – Straw Donors, and by taking steps to conceal the use of Straw Donors, to attempt to obtain campaign matching funds through interstate wires, in order to support the Candidate’s 2013 campaign for Citywide elective office. (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1349, 1343, and 2.) COUNT THREE The Grand Jury further charges: 9. From in or about December 2011, up to and including the present, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendant, willfully, knowingly, and corruptly, did obstruct, influence, and impede I official proceedings and attempt to do so, to wit, in response to Grand Jury subpoenas, HOU did not provide the Grand Jury with documents that she knew contained information that was responsive I to the subpoenas in order to conceal that information. (Title United States Code, Section coum Fcuk The Grand Jury further charges: . 10. On or about February 27, 2012, in the Southern District of New York, JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the defendant, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, willfully and knowingly, did I. falsify, conceal, and cover up by trick, scheme, and device a material fact and did make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, and did make and use a false writing and document knowing the same to contain materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and entries, to wit, HOU falsely claimed to special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the list of intermediaries publicly I disclosed by the Candidate’s campaign on or about January 17, 2012, contained the names of all intermediaries that HOU knew about and no one was left off, and that in response to Grand . I 5 – Jury subpoenas, HOU had produced all responsive documents, after, among other things, looking at every single email in her email account. – – (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.) FORFEITURE ALLEGATION 11. As a result of committing one or more of the wire fraud offenses alleged in Counts One and Two of this Indictment, wu PAN, a/k/a “Oliver and JIA Hou, a/k/a ??Jenny the defendants, shall forfeit to the United States, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 981(a)(1)(C) and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461, all property, real or personal, constituting or derived from proceeds traceable to the wire fraud offenses alleged in Counts One and Two of the Indictment. Substitute Asset Provision 12. If any of the above-described forfeitable . property, as a result of any act or omission of.the defendants: . a. cannot be located upon the exercise of due diligence; b. has been transferred or sold to, or deposited with, a third person; I c. has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the Court; – – d. has been substantially diminished in value; or 6 . e. has been commingled with other property which cannot be subdivided without difficulty; it_is the intent of the United States, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(p), to seek forfeiture of any . other property of the defendants up to the value of the above forfeitable property.` (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 981, 1343 and 1344; Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(p); Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461.) FOREPERSON I PREET BHARARA . United States Attorney


Game vulnerable

“After a lot of soul-searching and honest reflection I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA Tour or compete in Turkey,” Woods said. “My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be.

Sir Nick Faldo. “Tiger has been having problems getting out of his golf cart this week,” Faldo said at the conclusion of the 2016 Ryder Cup. “So I don’t know how he’s going to go out and play 72 holes.”


[October 8 Tiger Woods officially commits to Safeway ]


Vonn has new video

Tiger Woods confirms participation in Safeway Open


[October 2 Tiger Woods in 2016 Safeway Open, Oct. 13-16? ]


47-year-old Tiger Woods battling a 30-year-old Jordan Spieth for major championships?    Cal Berkeley sophomore Collin Morikawa, 19, has received a sponsor’s invitation to play in the Safeway Open, The Safeway Open will be Morikawa’s second PGA Tour-sanctioned event of 2016, as he lost in a playoff at the Tour’s Air Capital Classic.


[October 2]


Lindsey Vonn buys 4,000 sq ft home near Hollywood

Woods, 40, announced on Wednesday that he hopes to make his long-awaited return to golf at the 2016 Safeway Open, Oct. 13-16, at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.
“My rehabilitation is to the point where I’m comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do,” Woods said on “Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.” Woods’ long absence from the game – which will have reached nearly 14 months by the time the Safeway Open comes around.
I’m hoping we can get paired together,” Mickelson remarked. “That would be really fun. I would love it. It’s great to have him back, and hopefully he’s physically able to practice the way he needs.”
Olympic alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn has dropped $3.55 million on a contemporary-style home for sale in Los Angeles, CA. Vonn’s new home, built in 2016, is a four-bed, five-bath custom home Measuring 4,018 square feet,

September 12 Woods and Nordegren have a solid relationship ]



Elin Nordegren brought her ex-boyfriend Chris Cliner reunited about a month ago after the 57-year-old coal tycoon’s split from Kelly Crosby Heyniger.   Kelly Crosby Heyniger is the CEO of Age Reverser LLC .   The duo dated for a year before calling it quits in August 2014. It was Nordegren’s first serious relationship since her 2010 divorce from Woods, 39, in the wake of his cheating scandal.

In a recent interview with Time, Woods gushed over Nordegren, his ex-wife, revealing they currently have a solid relationship. The parents of daughter Sam, 8, and son Charlie, 6, are “best friends” now, Woods revealed. “Having the relationship that I have now with her is fantastic,” he added. “We’re able to pick up the phone, and we talk to each other all the time. We both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then.”


[May 11 Elin Nordegren’s Cline needs $23.6 million before May 17 ]

elin derby

Both of Tiger Woods’ exes, Elin Nordegren and former girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, were making the rounds over Kentucky Derby weekend — and party organizers were ordered to keep the two blondes apart.

lindsey derby

A rep for Vonn insisted that she didn’t ask to be seated away from Nordegren, adding the two women are on “great terms” and spoke at different events over the weekend.

Chris Cline’s St. Louis-based coal miner Foresight Energy LP said it lost $41.7 million in the first quarter, or about 32 cents per common unit. That compared to profit of $42.3 million, or 33 cents per common unit, in the same quarter last year. It announced a tentative plan last month to restructure its debt but last week extended the deadline to finalize the agreement to May 17.

[May 2]


10 March Elin Nordegren back with Cline. Wall Street will be paying particular attention when Foresight Energy LP (NYSE:FELP) issues their next quarterly report which is anticipated to go out on or about 2016-05-05 for the period ending on 2016-03-31.


Tiger Woods has registered for the U.S. Open, which is to be played at Oakmont Country Club June 13-19, 2016.   But that doesn’t necessarily mean he will tee it up at the Pennsylvania course where he tied for second in 2007.   Woods was required to register by Wednesday’s deadline if he wants to play. According to the United States Golf Association, he registered at 4:33 p.m. on April 4 — three weeks ago.   All 51 players who are fully exempt for the 116th U.S. Open have registered, including defending champion Jordan Spieth and Jason Dufner.


[April 13

Foresight Energy Lp  Extended term of forbearance agreement that was entered into on Dec 18 with certain holders of issuers’ 7.875 pct senior notes due 2021 . As a result of extension, forbearance period runs through April 15, 2016, unless further extended – SEC filing. FELP and bondholders are near a deal in which billionaire founder Chris Cline would inject cash to repay the creditors. FELP, which is attempting to resolve the dispute with bondholders who claim they are owed more than $600M, needs an agreement to help stave off bankruptcy.


Champion’s Dinner April 5


[March 14] Billionaire Christopher Cline, 57, hailed as the savior of the Illinois coal industry, is the founder of Foresight Energy LP, which has until March 15 to pay $23.6 million of overdue bond interest.

read more Cline


[February 29 Vonn injury ]

Vonn fracture

Lindsey Vonn being carried off

[February 16 Lindsey Vonn perfect weekend is the first after her return to racing ]
[April 21 2015 Tiger wins $155,000 for Masters 2015]

Tiger Woods 17th place finish at the Masters 2015

Tiger Woods 17th place finish at the Masters 2015 Apr 9 The Masters T17 $155,000

Amanda Boyd Dufner purchased a Jupiter, Florida, three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 3,000 sq.-ft. home for $675,000 in May 2015 nine miles from Tiger Woods estate.
Woods, who won only $610,775 in an injury-plagued 2014 season, topped the list with $55.1 million in earnings.

[December 10 2015]

The indisputable speed queen, Lindsey Vonn scored World Cup career wins 68, 69 and 70 at the FIS World Cup speed season opening at Lake Louise, her perfect weekend is the first after her return to racing from a long series of injuries. Only in October, she opted out of the season kick-off on the Austrian glacier to give her ankle – injured in a training crash at a snow camp – more time to heal. With her three wins, Vonn now leads the overall World Cup rankings after six races so far this season.

Friday, Dec. 4 – Audi FIS Ski World Cup ladies’ downhill 1
Saturday, Dec. 5 – Audi FIS Ski World Cup ladies’ downhill 2
Sunday, Dec. 6 – Audi FIS Ski World Cup ladies’ Super G

[October 27 2015 Tiger Woods had back surgery on Sept. 16 and is hopeful to return to competitive golf early in 2016.]

[August 24 Tiger Woods 10th-place finish — his first since 2013 at Wyndham]

Jason Dufner and Tiger Woods playing a practice round  July 13

Jason Dufner and Tiger Woods playing a practice round July 13

The 10th-place finish — his first since 2013 …a triple bogey at the 11th and a bogey at the 12th [earlier]For the first time in more than two years, Tiger Woods is in the lead at a golf tournament, Wyndham Championship. He shares the top spot — with a rookie pro, Tom Hoge

[August 20 Lindsey Vonn breaks ankle, back home]

[August 17 returning from practice in New Zealand]

” crashed today and have a small fracture in my ankle. Headed home”

[July 20 Tiger Woods:Exits british open]

Woods.more‘ odds on Bovada were moved from 40-1 after the US Open to 20-1 after the Greenbrier. That’s what a 7-under score of 273 will do for you.

[Juiy 4 Greenbrier Classic July 4. Tiger in the mix – Lindsey in makeup]
Tiger Woods will play the weekend at the Greenbrier. Tiger Woods followed up his 66 in the first round with a 69 in the second at the Greenbrier Classic in round two. He’s now had as many rounds in the 60s this week as he had all season up to this point.

Lindsey Vonn nominated for two ESPY awards, July 15

Amanda Boyd (left) and Lindsey Vonn (right) watch their other halves in The Presidents Cup in 2013.

Amanda Boyd (left) and Lindsey Vonn (right) watch their other halves in The Presidents Cup in 2013.

July 3

Tiger Woods dropped a 4-under 66, his lowest round of tournament golf since March 2014 at the Greenbrier Classic July 2.

[July 2 Tiger to take another endorsement slide?]

University of Alabama student Amanda Boyd of Millbrook, Ala. and husband

” They are not even acquaintances.” -Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg
Amanda Boyd of Millbrook, Ala. and groom

Woods, 39, is said to be dating Amanda Boyd, 27, Jason Dufner’s ex-wife
They began seeing each other after they ‘flirted’ on the tour circuit
Pair have now developed a ‘serious relationship’ according to one source
He reportedly flew her to Seattle as he prepared for last month’s US Open
But Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg says the allegations are a ‘complete lie’
In May revealed Vonn dumped Woods because he cheated
Boyd and Dufner divorced in April after ‘irretrievable marriage breakdown’
Woods allegedly cheated in February, Dufner and Boyd split same month

Tiger Woods still made the most money in golf in 2014, according to the Golf Digest 50, an annual ranking of those making the most in the game.

Woods earned $55,110,775 in 2014, according to the magazine, with endorsements making up an astounding 98.8 percent of his take.

It’s the least money Woods has earned in a single year since 2000, when the magazine says he made $49 million.

Woods, who has been at the top of the list for all 12 years it has been published, had three years — from 2007 to 2009 — where he made more than double what he made last year. He pulled in $121.9 million in 2009 but took a huge slide after his extramarital affairs were revealed late that year.


May 3 Woods splits with Vonn, Elin Nordegren gets Florida award]

Place of Hope welcomed more than 600 guests to its 2015 Hope Bash, which honored local philanthropist and child advocate Elin Nordegren with the inaugural Harris L. Weinstein Hero of Hope award. Elin Nordegren and Chris Cline May 2015

Place of Hope welcomed more than 600 guests to its 2015 Hope Bash, which honored local philanthropist and child advocate Elin Nordegren with the inaugural Harris L. Weinstein Hero of Hope award.
Elin Nordegren and Chris Cline May 2015

Place of Hope is a faith-based, state-licensed child welfare organization.
The Lindsey Vonn-Tiger Woods relationship that began about three years ago has ended, with each athlete citing their hectic schedules as a contributing factor. Woods’ 2010 split with Elin Nordegren cost him handsomely

[April 21 Tiger wins $155,000 for Masters 2015]
Tiger Woods 17th place finish at the Masters 2015 Tiger Woods 17th place finish at the Masters 2015 Apr 9 The Masters T17 $155,000

[March 16 Nordegren’s Chris Cline sells out for $1.4 Billion]
In exchange for $1.4 billion cash, billionaire Chris Cline, 57, is selling 50% of publicly traded Foresight Energy LP and an 80% interest in Foresight’s general partner. The buyer is Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal miner in the country, controlled by cantankerous, 75-year-old Robert Murray. “This is a great day for American coal,” said Cline, in a statement.
Elin Nordegren

February 24 Vonn crashes at Marbor, her surgically repaired right knee wasn’t hurt]

MARIBOR, SLOVENIA (Feb. 21, 2015)— In Vonn’s first giant slalom back on the World Cup circuit, she ran 18th and was leading in the first split by nearly six tenths before going down on her right hip and crashing back-first into the b-net.    Vonn, the most successful woman skier of all-time, lay on the snow for a while, raising fears that she might be in trouble but the U.S. Ski Team later said she was alright.   “She hit her back on the B-net poles pretty hard but should be all good,” Riml said after Vonn had a medical checkup, adding her surgically repaired right knee wasn’t hurt either.

MARIBOR, SLOVENIA (Feb. 21, 2015)— In Vonn’s first giant slalom back on the World Cup circuit, she ran 18th and was leading in the first split by nearly six tenths before going down on her right hip and crashing back-first into the b-net. Vonn, the most successful woman skier of all-time, lay on the snow for a while, raising fears that she might be in trouble but the U.S. Ski Team later said she was alright. “She hit her back on the B-net poles pretty hard but should be all good,” Riml said after Vonn had a medical checkup, adding her surgically repaired right knee wasn’t hurt either.

[February 5 Elin’s Swedish island from Woods on the block]

Tiger Woods never completed the purchase of a Swedish island that was being developed for him and Elin Nordegren.

Tiger Woods never completed the purchase of a Swedish island that was being developed for him and Elin Nordegren.

62-acre island has six private tees for golf practice and ultimate privacy, about an hour by boat from Stockholm.
The property in Lake Malaren features a 2,500 square-foot main house, a 900 square-foot hunting lodge, and a landing strip for a propeller plane
The Florida Woods family home near Orlando was sold to golfer Bubba Watson in 2012.

[January 25 Lindsey Vonn gets 64th World Cup victory in super-G at St. Moritz]

Lindsey Vonn won the Super-G in St. Moritz with 0.24 seconds ahead of Austrian Anna Fenninger, her 64th World Cup victory.

Lindsey Vonn won the Super-G in St. Moritz with 0.24 seconds ahead of Austrian Anna Fenninger, her 64th World Cup victory.

Lindsey Vonn won the super-G on January 19 to stand alone atop the list with win No. 63.

Lindsey Vonn won the super-G on January 19 to stand alone atop the list with win No. 63.

[ January 18 ]

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. is airborne as she clears a gate to win the women's World Cup Downhill skiing race in Cortina D'Ampezzo January 18, 2015..

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. is airborne as she clears a gate to win the women’s World Cup Downhill skiing race in Cortina D’Ampezzo January 18, 2015..

[January 15 Lindsey Vonn 10th in Cortina d’Ampezzo]

Lindsey Vonn struggled with the thick fog and finished 10th in the World Cup downhill event in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

Lindsey Vonn struggled with the thick fog and finished 10th in the World Cup downhill event in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

[December 22 2014 Lindsey Vonn lands on elbow in a World Cup Super-G]

Lindsey Vonn of the USA after her crash during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Super-G on December 21, 2014 in Val d'Isere, France

Lindsey Vonn of the USA after her crash during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women’s Super-G on December 21, 2014 in Val d’Isere, France

The four-time World Cup champion crashed out of December 21’s super-G race after entering a gate slightly too wide in Val d’Isere, France.

Although Vonn did no damage to her troublesome right knee, she landed heavily on her right elbow.
December 7

Lindsey Vonn finished second in a World Cup super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Sunday, completing her first weekend of races this year with two podium results.

Vonn was .37 of a second slower than Swiss winner Lara Gut on Sunday, one day after Vonn won her first race in nearly two years in a downhill.

Slovenia’s Tina Maze finished third, increasing her World Cup overall lead. Tiger Woods shot 72, finished at even par in first tournament back.

[December 6 Lindsey Vonn won the downhill at Lake Louise in one minute 50.48 seconds]

American skier Lindsey Vonn claimed victory in just her second race back after almost a year out through injury.
The four-time overall World Cup champion won the downhill at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, in a time of one minute 50.48 seconds.
The 30-year-old’s time was nearly half a second quicker than USA team-mate Stacey Cook, with another American, Julia Mancuso, in third.

[December 6 Tina Maze wins Lake Louise Ladies Downhill December 5 -Lindsey Vonn finishes 8th]

Lindsey Vonn finished eighth in her first race in nearly one year, a World Cup downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, on December 5.“I skied really well in the technical parts,” Vonn said. “I definitely can clean up some turns for tomorrow (another downhill in Lake Louise), but I think it was a really solid start. I’m happy with it.”

Alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn of US restarts to ski during a training session on the Oetztal glacier in Solden, Austria on Oct 4, 2014. US speed queen Lindsey Vonn makes her return to the World Cup circuit this season

Alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn of US restarts to ski during a training session on the Oetztal glacier in Solden, Austria on Oct 4, 2014. US speed queen Lindsey Vonn makes her return to the World Cup circuit this season

Vonn is skipping a World Cup giant slalom race in Aspen November 29,30 to focus on training for the speed events, two downhill races and one super-G,

next week.

December 5 – 6 Decembre
LADIES/DAMES SUPER-G December 7 Decembre

[November 14]
For months, the four-time overall World Cup champion had planned to return around the races in Lake Louise, Alberta, during the first week of December. After some solid training days, Vonn said she is considering coming back for the events in Aspen, Colo., over Thanksgiving weekend. “I’m a little more tentative still on the more difficult terrain,” said Vonn, who will wear a knee brace this season. “That just comes with time. With more training and more confidence, I’ll be good.”
FIS Alpine World Cup Ski Racing: Women’s World Cup ski racing returns to its regular spot on the Aspen events calendar this year. The giant slalom is on November 29 and the slalom is on November 30, with both events held at Aspen’s historic ski racing venue on the Lift 1A side of the mountain. The top female ski racers in the world, including Mikaela Shiffrin and Anna Fenninger, are expected to make starts over the weekend.

[September 15 Coal in doldrums, Elin splits]
Speculation of Elin-Woods get riposte:




Elin Nordegren 34, and 54-year-old coal tycoon Chris Cline have split after one year of dating,

Chris Cline, owner of The Cline Group, is the majority owner of Foresight Reserves, which is part of the Carlyle Group, a global assent management firm.
Foresight Energy Partners,is a subsidiary of Foresight Reserves

Murray Energy Corp. sued a Foresight Energy LP (FELP) unit, claiming it used confidential information to acquire property and mineral rights directly in the path of Murray’s operations in southern Illinois.The tracts “provide no mining potential to Williamson,” Murray said. “The only economic value of these purchases to Williamson is to frustrate MEC’s ability to execute its mining plans.”In 2008, Murray disclosed its longwall strategies to Williamson as it considered selling off operations in three Illinois counties, according to the complaint. Williamson was allowed to see the information only after agreeing to not disclose it or otherwise use it to acquire mineral or property rights related to Murray’s operations for eight years, according to the complaint.

When the companies failed to reach a deal, Williamson and its affiliates allegedly started overpaying for mineral rights in Murray’s planned longwall path in 2009 and continued to do so as recently as 2013. Murray said in the complaint that the tracts aren’t sufficient to support independent mining.

Murray said those purchases have forced it to pay more for its own acquisitions, caused it to relocate equipment and threaten its ability to meet production contract requirements.

[April 25 Tiger Woods with Elin Nordegren and Lindsey Vonn]

Tiger Woods (in blue) with Elin Nordegren and Lindsey Vonn (in pink)

Tiger Woods (in blue) with Elin Nordegren and Lindsey Vonn (in pink)

[January 15]

first day recovering from knee surgery

first day recovering from knee surgery

Florida for Vonn

Florida for Vonn

Vonn, the reigning Olympic and World Cup downhill skiing champ, will not compete in next month’s Winter Olympics, according to a post Tuesday on her official Facebook page.
January 07, 2014
I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi. I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level. I’m having surgery soon so that I can be ready for the World Championships at home in Vail next February. On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold. Thank you all so much for all of the love and support. I will be cheering for all of the Olympians and especially team USA! XO Lindsey

[January 5]

For the moment, there’s no question of thinking about skiing,” US women’s team head coach Alexander Hoedlmoser told the Austrian APA news agency.

Vonn had another scary run during the World Cup downhill in Val d’Isere, clutching her knee in pain after losing her balance and missing a gate on December 21. But shortly afterward, she said no new damage had been done to the surgically repaired knee and her plans for the Sochi Olympics were still intact.

“I didn’t hurt myself more than I’m already hurt,” said Vonn, the reigning Olympic downhill champion. “It was a small compression, and it was fully loaded on the right ski and my knee just completely gave out. I tried to pressure the ski again and it gave out again. I had no chance of making that gate, unfortunately.”

With boyfriend Tiger Woods watching from the bottom of the slope, Vonn skied out after her left ski came up in the air, putting all her weight on the troublesome right leg. There are three downhill races on the World Cup circuit in January. Her appearance in at least one of those would seem essential to Vonn the competitor. Vonn the brand, however, may be impervious.
[December 12]

Lindsey Vonn will skip December 14 World Cup stop at St. Moritz, Switzerland, and is planning to return to the circuit in a downhill at Val d’Isere, France, Dec. 21.
The 29-year-old American returned to competition at Lake Louise, Alberta, December 6, ten months after tearing two ligaments in her right knee and breaking a bone in that leg during a crash at the world championships. She also had a setback when she partially re-tore one of those surgically reconstructed ligaments in a fall during practice Nov. 19.

Vonn finished 40th in a downhill December 6 in her World Cup season debut, then 11th in another downhill December 7, and fifth in a super-G on December 8.

Asked after that last event what those 72 hours of racing told her, Vonn replied: ‘‘It tells me that I do need a couple more starts. I want to make sure that I get on the podium at least once, if not win, before . . . Sochi. For me, mentally, I really want to have that in my back pocket.’
[ December 4]

LAKE LOUISE, Canada – The U.S. Ski Team says Lindsey Vonn has been cleared to begin World Cup downhill training. Olympic gold medalist


Lindsey Vonn is skipping the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Austria this weekend, giving herself some extra time to get back into competing form ahead of the Sochi games.

2010 Olympic downhill gold medalist, coming off a knee injury suffered in a crash at the World Championships last season, on September 16, Lindsay Vonn said she felt good training on snow in South America recently, is ahead of schedule with her rehab and may be able to race later this month at the World Cup opener Oct. 26-27 in Soelden, Austria.
In Chile, she eased her way back with two gentle and relaxed training runs. The next day, she revved it up a little more, taking a few gradual turns along the course in Portillo, Chile.

[May 20]

Skier takes Golfer's kids to school

Skier takes Golfer’s kids to school

Vonn married fellow 2002 Olympian, and former U.S. Ski Team athlete, Thomas Vonn on September 29, 2007, at the Silver Lake Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah.[43] In November 2011, it was announced that the couple had begun divorce proceedings after four years of marriage.[44] Their divorce was finalized on January 9, 2013.

[May 12]

Lindsay Vonn attends Players

Lindsay Vonn attends Players

Lindsay Vonn is following Tiger Woods’ group at the Players Championship on May 12 as she watches him try to pick up win No. 4 on the season.

Vonn and Woods, who have confirmed they are dating, made an appearance at the Met Ball earlier this week, and Vonn was spotted every day at the Masters earlier this year.

[April 11]
Lindsay Vonn gets the Enquirer spotlight [April 22]here

Lindsay Vonn at Masters 2013

Lindsay Vonn at Masters 2013

[March 24]

Meanwhile, Lindsay vows to return to ski team by Sochi

Soccer Mom Elin Nordegren

Meanwhile, Tiger is back Number 1

Meanwhile, Tiger is back Number 1

Elin Nordegren, now a soccer mom

Elin Nordegren, now a soccer mom

Parents Elin & Tiger

Miners Games, 164 feet, owned by Chris Cline, Elin's beau, Privacy, 155 feet, Tiger's similar motor yacht

Miners Games, 164 feet, owned by Chris Cline, Elin’s beau, Privacy, 155 feet, Tiger’s similar motor yacht

Elin Nordegren, billionare's wife never thought he might be cheating

Elin Nordegren, billionare’s wife never thought he might be cheating

Tiger’s wife never had a clue, never hit him.Tiger Woods’ 33-year-old ex-wife has been dating 53-year-old billionaire Chris Cline since the holidays.

Age: 55
Source of Wealth: coal, self-made
Residence: North Palm Beach, FL
Country of Citizenship: United States
Education: Drop Out, Marshall University
Marital Status: Divorced
Children: 4


Both Nordegren and Cline — a coal magnate worth a reported $1.2 billion dollars — own homes in a North Palm Beach, Fla. oceanfront community called Seminole Landing.

The reports of Nordegren’s new romance come nearly two months after The National Enquirer claimed that Woods was trying to win back his ex by offering her a $200 million pre-nup. Woods refused to comment on the reports.

In February, the ex-couple was photographed together for the first time in years at a local youth sporting event with their two young children.

Nordegren and Woods — who were married for nearly six years — divorced in August 2010 in the wake of the golfer’s heavily publicized cheating scandal.

Tiger Woods, 33, was unconscious after he struck a fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree about 2:30 Friday morning,November 29, 2009.
The wife of the world’s No.1 golfer Tiger Woods used one of his tools — a golf club — to smash open a window of his crashed SUV and then pulled him out of the damaged vehicle after an early-morning accident Friday outside their Isleworth mansion.

By the time a Windermere police officer arrived about 2:25 a.m., Elin Nordegren Woods had dragged her husband out of his 2009 Cadillac Escalade. He was lying on the ground, dazed and bleeding from his lips and with blood in his mouth.

Elin Nordegren, the Swedish former nanny, purchased a $12.2 million beachfront mansion in North Palm Beach’s Seminole Landing enclave. Coal mogul Christopher Cline owns the property next door to Nordegren’s new digs.
Nordegren took a job in a Stockholm clothing store called Champagne, where she met Mia Parnevik, wife of Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who hired Nordegren as the nanny to their children, a job that required her to move to the U.S.[5] He introduced her to Woods during the 2001 Open Championship. After Woods’s subsequent infidelity was revealed, Parnevik was quoted as having said, “I’m kind of filled with sorrow for Elin since me and my wife are at fault for hooking her up with him, and we probably thought he was a better guy than he is.” [People Magazine] Previously, Woods had asked for a year to be introduced to Nordegren, who was seeing someone else at the time In November 2003, Woods and became officially engaged.

vonn and  woods

The happy couple

Lindsay Vonn's injured knee

Lindsay Vonn’s injured knee

Surgery went well


Lindsay Vonn had surgery on her right knee on February 10 after she shredded two ligaments during a crash last week at the world championships.
The U.S. Ski Team said Dr. William Sterett, a physician for the squad, operated on the four-time overall World Cup champion in Vail, Colo., on Sunday morning.
Sterett was optimistic at a full recovery and said of Vonn: “She will do everything in her power to return as quickly as possible to competitive skiing.”

[February 9]
Lindsay Vonn may be changing her plans for knee surgery to repair the damage caused by her crash at the world alpine championships.
U.S. Ski Team physician Bill Sterett would do her surgery February 10 in Vail. Sterett has treated her since she was 13 years old.
But it was looking like she would seek a second opinion.
“I think there’s a real possibility that she’s going to have it done someplace else,” Vonn had never had a serious knee injury, which is rare for ski racers.
Lindsay Vonn’s father says she may get second opinion before surgery
Vonn tore her anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee. The broken bone was described as a lateral tibial plateau fracture.

“The fracture is called an impaction fracture,” Sterett said. “It should not require any surgery. It just needs to be non-weight on crutches.”

The accident happened after Vonn landed a jump in the opening super-G race at the championships. As she hit the ground, her right leg gave way and she spun forward, throwing an arm out to protect herself. She ended up on her back as she smashed through a gate.

Tiger Woods owns a Gulfstream G550. It is a perfect business jet aircraft. Its unique feature is that it is capable of carrying up to 16 people in standard seating configurations and can fly up to 6,500 nmi (12,000 km). It is the longest range business jet ever made. Chris Cline owns one too,

[December 3, 2009]

General Motors Corp., 24 November, agreed to discontinue a marketing accord with Tiger Woods, the world’s top-ranked golfer, at year’s end as plummeting sales spur cost cuts at the automaker. The golfer was driving a Cadillac Escalade, made by General Motors, when he crashed into a fire hydrant and then a tree at 2am 27 November. A spokesman for GM said that Woods received the car as a prize for winning the Buick Open golf tournament, which was sponsored by GM.


Lula da Silva

Teori Zavascki, Minister of the SFC (Supreme Federal Court), gave authorisation, October 6, for Operation Lava Jato to be split into several targeted investigations. He agreed that one of these would specifically focus on the role ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva may have played in the alleged corruption scandals.

One part of the investigation, so-called the “Quadrilhão” (“The Big Gang”), looks in particular at the political nucleus involved in the Petrobras corruption scheme. In response to a plea by Brazil’s Attorney General of the Republic, Rodrigo Janot, SFC Minister Zavaski divided the trial into four separate investigations.

[February 25 2015 HSBC Swiss accounts: $110m  belonged to individuals linked to Brazil’s  “Operation Car Wash” ]

Lily Watkins Cohen Monteverde Bendahan Safra

Lily Watkins Cohen Monteverde Bendahan Safra

Brazil haslaunched an investigation into whether accounts included in the files are linked to a major corruption scandal which in recent months has engulfed the Brazilian government and state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Analysis of the files indicates that 11 accounts held at HSBC Suisse between 2006 and 2007, which in 2007 had deposits totalling in excess of $110m (£71m), belonged to individuals linked to the investigation, known as “Operation Car Wash”.

Separately, Brazil’s tax authority said on February 13 it would probe 6,600 undeclared accounts with HSBC’s Swiss private bank linked to Brazil.

[February 14 Link between HSBC Swiss accounts, Petrobras scandal and Lily Safra?]
Operation Carwash . Police and prosecutors believe Petrobras contracts were overinflated and the cash either creamed off for personal use or paid off to political parties, including the Workers Party of newly re-elected President Dilma Rousseff. So far more than 40 people have been detained over their involvement in the scandal, which is known in the country as “Operation Car Wash.”
The second source said that “there is a clear link between ‘Operation Car-Wash’ and the HSBC Swiss bank accounts.” He declined to elaborate further and Reuters could not independently verify his account

HSBC’s Swiss unit was largely acquired as part of its purchase of late Brazilian-Lebanese financier Edmond Safra’s Republic New York Corp and Safra Republic Holdings. HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) bought Republic New York Corporation and its sister company Safra Republic Holdings for $10.3 billion (£6.3 billion) – In 1972 Safra used the $40M of capital that he accumulated from dealings in Italy to buy into a small Geneva finance house and, propped up by the assets of his wife, the former Brazilian heiress Lily Monteverdi. The business was eventually to expand and grow into the Trade Development Bank, a large private and trade finance bank, The Safra Group, which comprises a number of European private banks and Safra National Bank of New York, Republic’sTDB French operations and London-based banknote business were sold back to Safra. Safra left 50% of his assets to several charities, with the remainder divided up between his family members and wife who received $ 800 million
Aug 9 13 HSBC Private Bank International has charged Safra National Bank of New York for allegedly poaching seven bankers liable for $4 billion in private banking assets and attempting to steal clients. HSBC has sued Safra and five of the former HSBC bankers, who provided wealth management services for HNW clients in Central America, for allegedly conspiring to help Safra build a Latin American private banking business to compete directly with HSBC. HSBC said that Manuel Diaz and Jose Ortega, presidents of the bank’s Latin American private banking business based in Miami, had been talking with Safra since May 2013, about helping the competitor build a Latin American business. According to the lawsuit, Ortega and six other employees resigned between July 15 and July 31 and Safra has met 11 HSBC employees to offer them a job with a better compensation package. The lawsuit also names former HSBC bankers Jorge Hine, Jessica Valera and Diana Saludes as defendants along with Diaz and Ortega.
read more



Certain Women :Shooting on 16mm, Reichardt creates understated, uncannily intimate dramas nestled within a clear-eyed depiction of the modern American West. An IFC Films release. We then follow Michelle Williams’ Gina, a wife and mother whose efforts to bring her splintering family together on a weekend camping trip become increasingly strained.
October 3 screening only. Unfortunately, the Q&A with Kelly Reichardt on October 4 has been canceled.

[February 18 2015 “Manchester-by-the-Sea,” Zoe Kazan, “In Your Eyes” ]

Williams has signed on to star opposite Casey Affleck in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester-by-the-Sea,”    She will shoot a Kelly Reichardt untitled indie drama in the spring, with “Manchester-by-the-Sea” shooting later in the year.

Williams has signed on to star opposite Casey Affleck in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester-by-the-Sea,” She will shoot a Kelly Reichardt untitled indie drama in the spring, with “Manchester-by-the-Sea” shooting later in the year.

Now, via release on Vimeo, we have In Your Eyes, a Whedon script directed by Brin Hill and starring Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David as two strangers who share an inexplicable telepathic bond.   Kazan plays Rebecca, a pixiesh twentysomething with a teardrop-shaped face, big blue eyes and terrific taste in playful girly-girl dresses.

Now, via release on Vimeo, we have In Your Eyes, a Whedon script directed by Brin Hill and starring Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David as two strangers who share an inexplicable telepathic bond. Kazan plays Rebecca, a pixiesh twentysomething with a teardrop-shaped face, big blue eyes and terrific taste in playful girly-girl dresses.

[April 5 2011 Meek’s Cutoff New York Opening]

zoe kazan

zoe kazan

Michelle Williams, Zoe Kazan, Meek's Cutoff

Michelle Williams, Zoe Kazan, Meek’s Cutoff

The three families in Kelly Reich-
ardt’s “Meek’s Cutoff” keep mov-
ing west on the Oregon Trail—slowly,
tortuously, hungrily, with many stops
and much arguing and occasional talk
of heading back East. They have noth-
ing but three Conestoga wagons and
some oxen, and they’re never far from
despair. The year is 1845, and the fam-
ilies are being led through high desert
by a mountain man in buckskins, a gar-
rulous tall-tale artist named Stephen
Meek (Bruce Greenwood), who may or
may not be taking them to a fertile val-
ley in Oregon. Their immediate prob-
lem, however, is water, both for them-
selves and for the animals. When they
capture a lone Indian (Ron Rondeaux),
Meek wants to kill him, but Emily (Mi-
chelle Williams), one of the wives—a
woman of strong, steady character—
raises a rifle and faces Meek down, pro-
tecting the captive, who just might lead
them out of the desert to a river or a
lake. The terrain is bleak and feature-
less, and Reichardt doesn’t provide
much context. As far as we can see, the
settlers aren’t inspired by religion or by
gold. There’s a discussion among the
men about the politics of settlement,
but the scene is photographed in mid-
dle distance, and remains barely audi-
ble. The journey, seemingly from no-
where to nowhere, and led by a rambling
poseur and a morose Indian, becomes
an absurdist quest. It’s as if John Ford
had been overtaken along the trail by
Samuel Beckett.
Reichardt is trying, as she was in
her previous film, “Wendy and Lucy”
(2008), for a mood of existential objec-
tivity. She takes us from the florid
grandiosity of Western myth to the
bone-wearying stress of mere life. The
movie offers a new kind of feminist and
materialist realism. Reichardt empha-
sizes the families’ monotonous days,
spent walking and walking, and then in
such camp activities as cooking, feed-
ing, mending, and tending the sick.
The work, much of it done by women,
is repetitive and exhausting. Apart
from Bruce Greenwood’s roistering
performance—he might be the star of
a Wild West show—the movie is al-
most punitive to sit through. Reichardt
is a pleasureless artist, an anti-sensual-
ist, but, in her thorny way, she uses
classical film technique—parallel edit-
ing of both camera and people consis-
tently moving west—to indicate that,
despite her many revisions, the pioneer
spirit isn’t quite a sentimental inven-
tion. The families may not know where
they are going or why, but they do
keep moving. Maybe, someday, they’ll
get somewhere.

When I think of actress Zoe Kazan the word that comes to mind is “immersion.” Kazan is in the soon to be released movie “Meek’s Cutoff,” the new movie from director Kelly Reichardt (”Old Joy,” “Wendy and Lucy”). The film takes place in 1845 along the Oregon Trail and concerns a group of pioneers trying to find their way with the help of a mysterious guide, who may or may not be reliable.

Kazan has the unique ability to disappear into her roles so completely that it is not always easy to know that it is her up on the screen. Regarding her secret for achieving this Kazan said, “There’s no intention except playing the part. There’s no greater plan or something. I come from a big theatre background. I think that there’s a big emphasis on transformation rather than representation.” By way of example Kazan expressed admiration for actors Bruce Dern and the late John Cazale, “where you feel like they completely disappear and become someone new.” Kazan said she also admires Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn but pointed out that, “They are more the same in every part. I didn’t get into acting to be like those people so much.”

Part of Kazan’s transformation into a pioneer from 1845 involved attending “Pioneer Camp.” “Basically I am completely useless in a post apocalyptic world…things like shooting a gun don’t come that naturally to me,” Kazan explained. “I was the worst student at ‘Pioneer Camp,’ but I did successfully learn to build a fire without matches.”

Despite her limited success at “Pioneer Camp” Kazan said she romanticizes the time of the pioneers. “The last real push was the push west and the idea that there was all this land that was untamed and unknown and that there were all of these people that the white people hadn’t encountered yet, and cultures that hadn’t yet become extinct and all the plant life and the herds of Bison. It just seems like a different America and I wish so much that I could have seen it. And also the bravery of these people to just go west, and the kind of restless spirit. Reading the journals of people from that time and the idea that people just wanted to be closer to the unknown…Just the idea that there was a line where civilization ended and people then crossed that line. It just seems incredible to me.”

In terms of the gender codes for 1845 Kazan explained, “There’s a real distinct division of the sexes in the movie and that’s historically accurate. People were divided basically by gender in terms of what their work was. The women cooked and gathered firewood and took care of setting up camp, and the men would hunt and lead the oxen. Because their work was so divided, the sexes were really divided. We kind of, I think, unconsciously, in a way, mimicked that on set. Me and Shirley (Henderson) and Michelle (Williams) would sit around and knit all day, and talk, and the boys would play chess.”

Having worked on big budget, as well as lower budget films, like “Meek’s Cutoff,” Kazan said that budget is not an issue for her. Her interest is in character and story. “One thing I really do like about independent filmmaking is there isn’t enough money for everyone to have their own trailer and there isn’t a lot of down time,” Kazan explained. (As a result) “there’s a sense of being thrown together all the time that I actually think engenders better work. I think it’s good for people not to have three hours to go sit alone in their trailers and take themselves out of the movie.” She said that on “Meek’s Cutoff,” “We had one trailer for all nine of us. We were all thrown together and it helped bond us and I think it shows up on screen.”



Myriam l’Affouffir and DSK leaving Kiev

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Karl Rove attended the 13th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting of  Victor Pinchuk, the Ukrainian tycoon who married the daughter of Ukrainian strongman Leonid Kuchma ,this week in Kiev,


[March 31 DSK: organised fraud, misuse of corporate assets and breach of trust ]

myriam l'aouffir and friend

Myriam L’Aouffir and friend

French prosecutors have charged organised fraud, misuse of corporate assets and breach of trust against Paris-listed Leyne Strauss-Kahn and Partners (LSK)
Jean-Francois Ott, former chief of real estate firm Orco, launched the initial complaint, saying he was given false information about LSK and lost 500,000 euros ($560,000) that he invested in July 2014.
Strauss-Kahn has blamed the company’s mismanagement on his business partner, Thierry Leyne, who committed suicide in October 2014.
The company was declared bankrupt a few weeks later.
Strauss-Kahn quit the firm just days before Leyne’s death and accused his former associate of “excessive borrowing”.
The investigators will seek to determine whether he had a direct role in managing the company’s funds, which he denies.
Critics say he must have known about LSK’s financial difficulties, noting that the firm stopped making payments in May 2014.
But Strauss-Kahn said in a letter to the Luxembourg judiciary in November 2014, seen by AFP, that board meetings did not reveal any serious difficulties in the finances, and daily operations were left to Leyne.

more LSK

[February 5  Kiev’s Kredit-Dnipro Bank appoints DSK to independent watchdog ]

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been appointed to the supervisory board of a bank owned by Ukraine’s second-richest businessman Viktor Pinchuk. Kiev’s Kredit-Dnipro Bank said the decision to accept Strauss-Kahn and five others to the advisory body was taken on February 1 and goes into immediate effect. It added that Strauss-Kahn would serve as an independent committee member who does not represent shareholders’ interests. Pinchuk is the son-in-law of former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma and is believed to have holdings worth $1.43 billion (1.29 billion euros).







[December 5 2014 DSK resigned three days before Leyne’s plunge ]

Mémorial is the official gazette of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The Mémorial C on Tuesday 2 December confirmed that Dominique Strauss Kahn did record his resignation from the Presidency of the Board of Directors of the financial holding company Leyne Strauss-Kahn on October 20, is three days before the suicide of teammate Thierry Leyne. The disappearance of the founder of LSK precipitated the collapse of the group implemented between Luxembourg, Switzerland, Tel Aviv and the Channel Islands. The holding company was declared bankrupt on November 7, 2014 by the tribunal of Luxembourg sitting in commercial matters.

“The Board of Directors (…)”. During his October 20 took note of the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the Board with immediate effect. Council entrusts the Presidency of the company to Mr. Thierry Leyne who accepts it,”said an extract from the minutes.

November 6 DSK on the demise of LSK: ‘I think first of the investors and employees.’]
His comments:
It is clear that AK Asset Management had cash-flow problems and had spread payments. This is the reason why the Bâloise reacted.
What happens to the 20% that you held in LSK?
I had more than 15% since an increase in capital which had diluted my participation. I am in the same situation as all other shareholders.
How much have you lost in this case?
I think first to the investors and employees. Regarding me, I probably lost my investment and have never received any remuneration. For me, it is a lot of money.
Under what circumstances did you met Thierry Leyne?
I knew him for a short time, he was introduced to me by a very long time friend who became his companion.
What is the reason for his suicide according to you?
Honestly it’s hard to say. There are obviously some personal reasons which probably I do not know. Nevertheless, everyone knows that he was deeply troubled by the disappearance of his wife. I think also that he had contracted a series of excessive borrowings. -Parisien – Aujourd’hui en France

“After the tragic death of Thierry Leyne, Chairman, the members of the Board of Directors of the company LSK discovered additional commitments within the group of which they had no knowledge and which deepen the delicate financial situation”, said the company in a short release. Le Nouvel Observateur
“Consequently [the board] has decided to declare insolvency.” -WSJ

[October 31 LSK: thousands of shares changing hands on single days in target company]

 Leyne Strauss-Kahn & Partners (LSK) Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his partner Thierry Leyne recently visited Nicosia.

Leyne Strauss-Kahn & Partners (LSK) Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his partner Thierry Leyne recently visited Nicosia.

LSK Partners were is trouble with Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier in Luxembourg and Finma in Switzerland before Leyne’s suicide.
Insch Capital Management made a formal complaint to Swiss regulators Finma claiming that LSK & Partners made “totally unauthorised purchases” of shares in Firstcaution, an insurer of which LSK & Partners owned a majority stake, using $400,000 from the firm’s funds deposited in VP Bank- a private bank headquartered in the Principality of Liechtenstein.
LSK bought back the bulk of the shares in March this year, according to Insch’s letter to the Luxembourg regulator, and also transferred just under €40,000 from LSK to the Insch fund’s account.
Only 10 shares of Firstcaution typically traded on a daily basis in 2011 and there were no trades in 2012 or in the first two months of 2013. Volume then spiked last year, with tens or hundreds of thousands of shares changing hands on single days. The stock was at 7.99 euros on Oct. 27, valuing the company at 18.3 million euros.
Part of this trading included a transaction worth more than $400,000 from Insch’s account at VP Bank, a Luxembourg-based private bank, according to Insch’s letter.

LSK itself was just-over-30%-owned by Mr. Leyne, while Mr. Strauss-Kahn owns just over 20%.
October 29 DSK asset-management fling fell 59% in 2014, he resigned, partner jumped]

LSK&Partners, Monaco Bourse

LSK&Partners, Monaco Bourse

Mr. Leyne, 48, jumped off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers

Mr. Leyne, 48, jumped off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers

Strauss-Kahn, 65, gave up the chairmanship at Leyne, Strauss-Kahn & Partners (MLLSK) on Oct. 20 “to dedicate himself to other activities,” the firm said in an e-mailed statement dated October 27.

Strauss-Kahn bought a 20 percent stake in Leyne’s investment-banking and asset-management company in 2013 as part of an effort to rebuild his post-IMF life after a scandal dashed his chance to run for the French presidency. LSK & Partners, as the Paris-listed bank is known, said in March it planned to use Strauss-Kahn’s economic and political knowledge to help start a $2 billion hedge fund.

LSK & Partners shares were halted in Paris on Oct. 23, after falling 59 percent in 2014. Assya Asset Management Luxembourg SA, a unit of LSK & Partners, filed a suspension of payments request on Oct. 24 to a local court, Luxembourg’s financial supervisor said October 27.

[October 24 Thierry Leyne, partner of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a Hedge Fund, jumps out 23rd Story window]
Thierry Leyne, a French-Israeli banker and partner of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former chief of the International Monetary Fund, was found dead on Thursday after apparently taking his own life in Tel Aviv.

Mr. Leyne, 48, jumped off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers, a prestigious residential complex, according to Israeli officials. Strauss-Kahn was slated to become LSK’s [Leyne, Strauss-Kahn & Partners, Compagnie Financière] chairman on Oct. 18 after a shareholders’ meeting, while Leyne would be chief executive officer and would also be the chairman of the group’s units,

[March 21 Dominique Strauss-Kahn trying on a Hedge Fund]

a little lunch


Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a former International Monetary Fund chief and French presidential hopeful, is currently in China making the rounds of global investors and seeking to drum up interest in a hedge fund, Mohamad Zeidan, chief operating officer of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s Luxembourg-based investment firm, LSK & Partners, said by telephone from Shanghai.

[October 20 2013]

On October 16, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accompanied by two people, one who was Minister of Economy and Finance of the government of Lionel Jospin had lunch on the terrace of Olive cafe on the Boulevard Victor Hugo. Nîmes. Decorated with a mix of stonework, exposed beams and contemporary features, Café Olive is one of the ‘in’ places in the heart of Nîmes.

[October 1]
Dominique Strauss-Kahn has accepted to be named Chairman of the Board of Anatevka S.A,, now “Leyne, Strauss-Kahn & Partners, Compagnie Financière” (LSK), to develop an international investment bank activity.

In order to develop such activities, former French Minister of Economy and Finance now wishes to rely on the teams and international presence of Anatevka, a Group founded in 1994 by banker Thierry Leyne (co-founder of Consors, Synthesis Bank, EBPF-Financière de l’Echiquier, Assya, Firstcaution …). ,Assya, a subsidiary of Anatevka S.A, a holding company in Luxembourg. This parent company, which heads the group, focuses on three complementary business lines: asset management, investment capital and insurance.

Strauss-Kahn is slated to become LSK’s chairman on Oct. 18 after a shareholders’ meeting, while Leyne will be chief executive officer and will also be the chairman of the group’s units, according to the firm’s statement.

 Thierry Leyne (co-founder of Consors, Synthesis Bank, EBPF-Financière de l’Echiquier, Assya, Firstcaution …)

Thierry Leyne (co-founder of Consors, Synthesis Bank, EBPF-Financière de l’Echiquier, Assya, Firstcaution …)

[May 21, 2011]

France Soir

71 Broadway

71 Broadway

71 Broadway

71 Broadway

DSK is expected to be released on bail May 20. Assistant DA Artie McConnell tried to get the move to house arrest delayed until the mayor’s office and NYPD could approve the decision because of the disruption Strauss-Kahn’s presence will cause to the neighborhood.
“This location is in downtown Manhattan it’s one or at most two lanes of traffic there. It’s near Ground Zero, and near transit hubs and construction sites,” said McConnell. “It’s an extremely problematic area for the police to control.”

Alleged Victim. Figaro
Ira Judelson said to be the bondsman more
Judge Obus grants bail: Strauss-Kahn has been granted bail on several conditions. He must post a $1 million cash bail, surrender his travel documents and agree to home detention. He must also post a $5 million cash bond.

Justice Micheal Obus

Justice Micheal Obus

Justice Michael J. Obus The Hon. Michael J. Obus currently serves as the Administrative Judge for Criminal Matters in New York County. Upon graduating from the Columbia University School of Law in 1973, Judge Obus joined the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, NY, where he was Chief of the Criminal Appeals Bureau from 1979 to 1986. He received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in 1970.

3 pm est Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been formally indicted,on 7 counts, says NYC DA John McConnell at a bail hearing

Dominique Strauss-Kahn prisoner movement slip

Dominique Strauss-Kahn prisoner movement slip

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Resignation Letter

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Resignation Letter



) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Docket No.: 2011NY035T73

AFFIRMATION OF SHAWN P. NAUNTON IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR ORDER FIXING BAIL FOR THE RELEASE OF DOMINIOUE STRAUSS-KAHN SHA WN P. NAUNTON, affinns the following to be true under penalty of perjury: 1. I am an attorney for Dominique Strauss-Kahn herein and am familiar with the

facts and circumstances surrounding this action. 2. This affidavit is being made, pursuant to N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law ? 530.30, for an

Order of bail pending disposition of the felony charges herein, now pending in the Criminal Court of the City of New York, County of New York. 3. On May 16, 2011, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was arraigned on a felony complaint,

charging Mr. Strauss-Kahn with two counts of criminal sexual acts in the first degree, under PL130.50(1), a class B felony; one count of attempted rape in the first degree, under PL1301130.35(1), a class C felony; one count of sexual abuse in the first degree, under PL130.65(1), a class D felony; one count of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, under PL135.05, a class A misdemeanor; one count of sexual abuse in the third degree, under PL130.55, a class B misdemeanor; and one count of forcible touching, under PL130.52, a class A misdemeanor.


Since May 14,2011, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been confined at various locations in

the custody of the New York City Police Department. Currently, upon information and belief, since his arraignment on May 16, 2011, he is in the custody of the New York City Department of Corrections confined at the West Facility ofthe Rikers Island jail. 5. On May 16,2011, the Criminal Court of the City of New York, County of New

York (the “Criminal Court”), made and entered an order denying Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s application for bail and directing that Mr. Strauss-Kahn be remanded in custody. 6. This application sets forth additional bail conditions that were not before the

Criminal Court, including agreement that Mr. Strauss-Kahn will be confined to home detention at an address in Manhattan 24 hours per day, with electronic monitoring. We respectfully submit that these additional bail conditions eliminate any concern that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would or could leave this Court’s jurisdiction. No previous application has been made to this Court for the relief requested herein. 7. “The policy of our law favors bail because of the presumption that the prisoner is

innocent.” People ex rei. Lobell v. McDonnell, 71 N.E.2d 423, 296 N.Y. 109, 111 (1947); see
People v. Keeper o/City Prison, 49 N.E.2d 498,501,290 N.Y. 393,298 (1943) (“Denial of bail

is no light matter, and needs to be buttressed by a real showing ofreasons therefore.”); People v.
Mohammed, 653 N.Y.S.2d 492, 496 (Sup. Ct. Kings Co. 1996) (“[P]ublic policy favors release

pending a determination of guilt or innocence.”); People v. Bach, 306 N.Y.S.2d 365, 368 (Co. Ct. Dutchess Co. 1970) (“The right to bail is one of our most cherished rights, and the policy of our law from time memorial has always favored it.”); cf People ex reI. Klein v. Krueger, 255 N.E.2d 552, 554-55, 25 N.Y.2d 497, 499-501 (1969) (recognizing that denial of bail presents issues of constitutional dimension).

Consideration of the factors set forth in N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law ? 510.30(2)

strongly supports an Order of release on bail pending disposition of the felony complaint herein.
See People ex reI. Ryan v. Infante, 108 A.D.2d 987, 988, 485 N.Y.S.2d 852, 853 (3rd Dept.

1985) (bail determination “must be upon a rational basis delineated by the criteria listed under CPL 510.30.”); People v. Mohammed, 653 N.Y.S.2d 492,497 (Sup. Ct. Kings Co. 1996) (“The general principle is that the only matter of legitimate concern is whether any bail or the amount fixed is necessary to ensure a principal’s future appearances in court.”) (citing Matter ofSardino v. State Comm In on Judicial Conduct, 448 N.E.2d 83, 58 N.Y.2d 286, 289 (1983)); id (“New York has consistently rejected preventative detention as a bail policy consideration.”); People ex
rei. Bauer v. McGreevy, 555 N.Y.S.2d 581, 583 (Sup. Ct. Rensselaer Co. 1990) (“A court cannot

deny bail solely for the reason that it wishes to protect the community from any possible future criminal conduct of the defendant.”); People ex rei. Bryce v. Infante, 144 A.D.2d 898, 899, 535 N.Y.S.2d 215,216 (3rd Dept. 1988) (holding that “probability of conviction and the severity of sentence” did not justify denial of bail when weighed against “petitioner’s reputation, employment and financial resources, lack of prior criminal record and previous record of responding to court appearances”); People ex rei. Benton v. Warden, 118 A.D.2d 443, 445, 499 N.Y.S.2d 738 (1st Dept. 1986) (holding improper for trial court to increase bail “exclusively on its conviction that petitioner would be found guilty of serious crimes entailing a lengthy term of imprisonment”).

Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s History and Background
9. Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s history and background weigh strongly in favor of an Order Mr. Strauss-Kahn is a loving

of release on bail. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law ? 51O.30(2)(a)(i).

husband and father, and a highly regarded international diplomat, lawyer, politician, economist,

and professor, with no prior criminal record.

He has been married for over ten years to Ms.

Anne Sinclair, and has four children from a prior marriage, including a daughter who resides in New York City. 10. Since November 2007, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been the Managing Director of the

International Monetary Fund (the “IMF”). The IMF, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a specialized agency of the United Nations that works to foster international monetary cooperation. The IMF has 187 member countries. 11. Prior to taking his position at the IMF, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was a member of the

French National Assembly and a Professor of Economics at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. From 2001 to 2007, he was reelected three times to the National Assembly. Mr. StraussKahn has taught economics at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and has been named a visiting professor at Stanford University. 12. From 1991 to 1999, Mr. Strauss-Kahn held various high-level Minister positions

in the French government, including Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, and Minister of Industry and International Trade. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was entrusted with substantial responsibility and authority in these positions, and achieved important political milestones, including managing the launch of the Euro and participating in the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. 13. Between 1993 and 1997, Mr. Strauss-Kahn practiced law in the private sector as a

corporate lawyer. Mr. Strauss-Kahn began his career as assistant professor, then professor of economics at the University of Paris where he was tenured in 1978. He was then appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Economic Planning Agency (1981-1986). Mr. Strauss-Kahn was elected Deputy (Member of Parliament) to the National Assembly in 1986, where he chaired the Finance Commission from 1988 to 1991.


Mr. Strauss-Kahn holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Paris. He As an

also holds degrees in law, business administration, political studies, and statistics.

academic, Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s research fields include household saving behavior, public finance, and social policy. Mr. Strauss-Kahn Has Strong Family Ties To New York 15. Section 51 0.30(a)(iii), which evaluates the defendant’s “family ties and length of

his residence if any in the community,” also strongly supports Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s release on bail pending trial. Mr. Strauss-Kahn has extensive family and financial ties to the United States, both in Washington, D.C. and in New York City. As noted above, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been

married for over ten years to Ms. Anne Sinclair, and has four children from a prior marriage. Ms. Sinclair was born in New York. Ms. Sinclair completed part of her secondary schooling in the United States, before completing her education in France, majoring in politics and law. Ms. Sinclair is employed as a freelance journalist and television interviewer and has reported both on American and international political news, and is currently working on a book about American political life. 16. Mr. Strauss-Kahn and Ms. Sinclair have lived in Washington, D.C. since In

November 2007, when Mr. Strauss-Kahn was named Managing Director of the IMF.

November 2007, the couple purchased a home in Washington, D.C., where they currently reside. A copy of the deed, which is in Ms. Sinclair’s name, is attached hereto as Exhibit A. photograph of the property is attached hereto as Exhibit B. 17. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is very close to all four of his children and is known as a loving A

and involved father. His daughter, Camille Strauss-Kahn, is a graduate student at Columbia University and lives pennanently on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is in requent touch with Camille and visits her often in New York City, when traveling away from Washington, D.C. Mr. Strauss-Kahn Has No Prior Criminal Record 18. Mr. Strauss-Kahn has no prior criminal record in the United States, France, or any

other jurisdiction, a factor that should weigh substantially in granting his application for bail. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law ? 510.30(2)(a)(iv). Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s Employment and ,Financial Resources 19. As noted, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has held the position of Managing Director of the

IMF since November 2007 and has adequate financial resources to post bail. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law ? 510.30(2)(a)(ii). Mr. Strauss-Kahn Does Not Present A Risk of Flight 20. Mr. Strauss-Kahn has no “previous record … with respect to flight to avoid

criminal prosecution,” N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law ? 510.30(2)(a)(vi), and poses no such risk. 21. The felony complaint alleges that Mr. Strauss-Kahn committed the offenses

alleged therein in a hotel room at about 12:00 p.m. on May 14,2011. Mr. Strauss-Kahn checked out of the hotel at approximately 12:28 p.m. and proceeded to a previously scheduled lunch a few blocks away at approximately 12:45 p.m. 22. After lunch, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was driven to John F. Kennedy International

Airport to catch an Air France flight to Paris, which was scheduled to depart at 4:40 p.m. A seat for Mr. Strauss-Kahn had been reserved on that particular flight approximately one week in advance, in anticipation of a meeting Mr. Strauss-Kahn, on behalf of the IMF, had scheduled with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, May 15,2011, and a meeting he had scheduled with various European finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, May 16, 2011.

Prior to the flight’s departure, Mr. Strauss-Kahn contacted the hotel at which he

had been staying in New York to inquire about a cell phone he had left at the hotel. In a conversation with hotel security, Mr. Strauss-Kahn voluntarily disclosed that he was at John F. Kennedy International Airport and was scheduled to depart for France at 4:40 p.m. 24. Mr. Strauss-Kahn also has voluntarily submitted to forensic and scientific testing

for DNA evidence at the request of the District Attorney’s Office. 25. We respectfully submit that the following bail conditions, set forth in the

accompanying proposed Order, eliminate any concern that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would or could leave this Court’s jurisdiction: Mr. Strauss-Kahn will post $1 million in cash bail; Mr. StraussKahn has agreed to be confined to home detention at an address in Manhattan 24 hours per day, with electronic monitoring; Mr. Strauss-Kahn has already surrendered his official French passport to the District Attorney’s Office; in addition, his laissez-passer travel document issued by the United Nations will be turned over to co-counsel William Taylor, who will surrender it to the District Attorney’s Office. 26. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is willing to represent to the Court that he will voluntarily

appear in the Criminal Court of the City of New York, County of New York and in this Court for all proceedings relating to the matters with which he is charged. An affidavit signed by Mr. Strauss-Kahn waiving all rights to extradition proceedings of every kind and character is attached hereto as Exhibit DC.

WHEREFORE. the undersigned respectfully prays for an order, pursuant to N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law ? 530.30, fixing bail for the release of Mr. Strauss-Kahn pending disposition of the felony complaint herein, and for such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Dated: May 18, 2011

~(~ !1~
Shawn P. Naunton Zuckerman Spaeder LLP 1540 Broadway, Suite 1604 New York, NY 10036-4039 Tel.: (212) 704-9600 Fax: (212) 704-4256

Attorney for Dominique Strauss-Kahn

AFFIDA VIT OF DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN ) ) SS. COUNTY OF NEW YORK ) Dominique Strauss-Kahn, having been duly sworn, hereby deposes and says: 1. I am a citizen of the Republic of France. I am over the age of eighteen years and I STATE OF NEW YORK

am competent to make this Affidavit. 2. I acknowledge that I am charged in the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court of

the State of New York, County of New York (the “New York Court”), with felony offenses and that a warrant has been issued from the State for my arrest. 3. I have surrendered my official French passport to officers of the New York Court.

I do not intend to leave the United States of America without the permission of the New York Court until trial of the matters with which I am charged. 4. I acknowledge to the New York Court that I am willing to voluntarily appear, and

I intend to voluntarily appear, in the New York Court for all proceedings relating to the matters with which I am charged. 5. In the event I fail to voluntarily appear in the New York Court for any such

proceedings, I waive the issuance and service of the warrant provided by law for my extradition from the Republic of France or any other jurisdiction. I understand that I have the right to demand that extradition proceedings be initiated and carried out in this matter and I voluntarily waive all extradition proceeding of every kind and character. 6. I understand that this is not in any way a plea of guilty and that I do not waive any of my rights in the trial of the matter with which I am charged in the New York Court.

7f5OMrNK/UE STRAUSS-KA Sworn to and Subscribed before me This _ day May, 2011.

/.1…..?/~ 8tr- – ~



This odd, nasty yet rather funny little film tears apart ideas of sisterhood and female friendship and replaces them with burning hate and gratuitous violence. The knock-down-drag-out pounding that Sandra Oh and Anne Heche exchange not once but three times in Catfight,   The choreography of the outrageously extended fight scenes by stunt coordinator Balint Pinczehelyi is remarkable, with each successive appearance of exhaustion and surrender giving way to another flailing bout of punches and kicks, accompanied by amped-up visceral sound effects. Venue: Toronto International Film Festival (Special Presentations)
Production companies: MPI Media Group

To put it bluntly, TIFF has become a dumping ground, serving up hundreds of new movies with hardly any discernible sense of curation. Aristic director Cameron Bailey seems to accept virtually any film with a couple starry names in the cast — provided that they agree to walk the red carpet, of course.

[May 16 2015 USA Network Dig: following soft ratings, decides to dump ]

Anne Heche stars in One Shot (2015) - Release Info  2015-06-01

Anne Heche stars in One Shot (2015) – Release Info 2015-06-01

Now, as its lead female star, Anne Heche sizes up “Dig” in retrospect a massive production focusing on tales of murder, conspiracy and intrigue in the fields of archeology, politics and religion.
The Jason Isaacs-fronted conspiracy drama was initially envisaged an event series that could return with a different mystery each season, ratings permitting.

However, following soft ratings, the network has decided not to pursue a second season, with Dig now existing as a limited ten-part event series (AKA miniseries).

[May 13 Anne Heche: more secrets, conspiracies and beliefs for ‘Dig’]
Air date Episode 18-49 demo % demo change Viewers (mil) % mil change

Thurs 3/5/2015 01-01 0.56 1.834

Thurs 3/12/2015 01-02 0.42 -25.00% 1.446 -21.16%

Thurs 3/19/2015 01-03 0.40 -4.76% 1.428 -1.24%

Thurs 3/26/2015 01-04 0.38 -5.00% 1.337 -6.37%

Thurs 4/2/2015 01-05 0.21 -44.74% 0.925 -30.82%

Thurs 4/9/2015 01-06 0.26 23.81% 0.948 2.49%

Thurs 4/16/2015 01-07 0.28 7.69% 1.075 13.40%

Thurs 4/23/2015 01-08 0.21 -25.00% 0.937 -12.84%

Thurs 4/30/2015 01-09 0.19 -9.52% 1.085 15.80%

Thurs 5/7/2015 01-10 0.28 47.37% 1.051 -3.13%

-100.00% -100.00%

Season averages 0.32 rating among adults 18-49 1.21 million total viewers

USA Network has’Dig’ up for renewal – or not.

[March 10 religious conspiracy thriller gets sustaining ratings]

Split, Croatia not Jerusalem

Split, Croatia not Jerusalem

Dig is in the realm of the Da Vinci Code, an incredible thriller set in an incredible location. It digs up the secrets, conspiracies and beliefs in a certain part of the world.

Dig is in the realm of the Da Vinci Code, an incredible thriller set in an incredible location. It digs up the secrets, conspiracies and beliefs in a certain part of the world.

The combined runs across all three plays on USA on Thursday March 5:combined L3 audience of 5.8 MM total viewers.In total, a combined audience of almost 9MM tuned in for the premiere of Dig across USA and its sister networks, including Bravo, E!, Esquire and Oxygen from March 5- March 8.
[March 8] DIG, USA’s religious conspiracy thriller — drew a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49 on March 5, with 1.83 million total viewers, was pretty close to the 0.55 rating and 1.75 million viewers USA drew on February 26 in the same time slot with an old Law & Order: SVU.

[September 17 2014
USA Network has made it official, picking up four additional episodes of DIG to bring the upcoming action thriller event series to a total of 10. The network also set a March 5 premiere date for the murder-mystery drama set against the backdrop of modern Jerusalem. FBI agent Peter Connelly under the guidance of his new boss, and occasional lover, Lynn Monahan (Anne Heche).

[September 17 Dig premiere March 5]
USA Network has pushed back the planned fall launch of its six-episode event series “Dig” to 2015 because of the conflict in the Middle East. USA is likely to pick up more episodes beyond the original order of six.

[September 8 USA Network Series Turns Split Into Jerusalem\
That was strange sight. You are walking through Split, enjoying peaceful atmosphere, maybe thinking where to go for a lunch. Suddenly, you find yourself in a Ban Mladen Street, surrounded by signs written in Hebrew, Israeli flags hung on buildings, and restaurant you always knew as Konoba Hvaranin offers a range of Middle East specialties. Finally – to make it even more bizarre – a bunch of Palestinian protesters is stopped by strong police forces. Parallel universe? No, just filming of another big TV production in Split.

[August 20 USA’s ‘Dig’ Moves Filming to Croatia  Sept. 1

Pay the rent

The cast and crew had been lensing on location in Israel since early summer. After fighting broke out between Israel and Gaza in July, however, NBC execs made the difficult decision to pull out their teams, relocating them instead to Albuquerque while scouting for a location whose exteriors could pass as Jerusalem on screen.

They will arrive in the Balkans on Sept. 1 for 13 days of shooting. Interior shots will continue to be filmed in Albuquerque. Croatia was selected.

[July 19 Anne Heche: after the MacGuffin – Cannon Fodder: Israeli zombie movie set in Lebanon]

Heche plays the head of the FBI office in Jerusalem

Anne Heche plays the head of the FBI office in Jerusalem


Anne Heche in 1997’s “Volcano.”

Heche will play the head of the FBI office in Jerusalem in USA Network’s six-episode thriller “Dig,” Heche is coming off a brief run in the NBC comedy “Save Me” and is doing an arc on NBC’s Michael J. Fox Show. “Dig” will be filmed entirely in Jerusalem. The story line follows an FBI agent’s search for a religious artifact linked to a potentially world-changing conspiracy hundreds of years in the making while investigating the murder of a female archaeologist. Any resemblance to a Dan Brown story or an Indiana Jones adventure is of course purely coincidental. UCP produces “Covert Affairs,” “Psych,” “Royal Pains” and “Suits” for USA; “Alphas,” “Defiance,” and “Warehouse 13” for Syfy. Owner(s) NBCUniversal (Comcast Corporation)

The MacGuffin technique is common in films, especially thrillers. Usually the MacGuffin is the central focus of the film in the first act, and thereafter declines in importance. Hitchcock defined a MacGuffin as the object around which the plot revolves, but as to what that object specifically is, he declared, “the audience don’t care”.

The main characters, Commander Doran and his Special Ops Team, are walking-talking stereotypes and the fact they speak Hebrew doesn’t change a thing about this. Writer/director Eitan Gafny doesn’t bother to create a brooding, unsettling atmosphere and seemingly doesn’t want us to have sympathy for any of the characters (including the totally innocent Lebanese population). Painful to watch as a genuine horror fan, the extreme gore and excessive bloodshed is all computer-generated garbage that didn’t require any cinematic craftsmanship.