Nov. 30 (UPI) — The Justice Department said Thursday it’s started giving $695 million to investors who lost money in the Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff, believed to be the largest such scam in history.

The third phase of the distribution comes almost two weeks before the 10th anniversary of Madoff’s arrest. Authorities believed the fraud was estimated at $65 billion.


[December 11 2010 Mark Madoff Takes Own Life   ]

Medea gig at Mark Madoff Suicide

Medea gig at Mark Madoff Suicide

TV and press at Mark Madoff suicide scene

TV and press at Mark Madoff suicide scene

Bernard Madoff’s son Mark was found dead in his SoHo apartment Dec,11 Officers were called to 158 Mercer Street around 7:30 a.m. to respond to a report that Mark Madoff was hanging in his apartment.
The younger Madoff, 46, was found by the stepfather of Mark’s wife, Stephanie. With him in the apartment was his 2-year-old child Madoff was hanging from a dog collar attached to a pipe in the apartment ceiling.


Société Générale (PC) (SCGLY) will pay a total penalty amount which is the second-largest imposed on a financial institution for violations of U.S. sanctions. From 2003 to 2013, the bank executed billions of dollars in illegal transactions to parties in countries subject to embargoes or otherwise sanctioned by the United States, including Iran, Sudan, Cuba and Libya, the authorities said. The bank agreed to pay $1.34 billion to settle investigations into its handling dollar transactions in violation of U.S. sanctions against Cuba and other countries. Additionally, the bank said it agreed to pay $95 million to settle another dispute over violations of anti-money laundering regulations.

forex 3

A key question raised by the Antitrust Division’s foreign exchange trial loss is whether the Criminal Division – which has been taking the lead in the LIBOR investigation and has already successfully tried multiple cases as part of this investigation – will assume a greater role in the foreign exchange investigation or other financial services investigations that are or may be conducted by the Antitrust Division. We may soon know the answer to this question given that the Antitrust Division has a pending case against another foreign exchange trader that could go to trial next year.


[ October 26 2018  “The Cartel” acquitted of all charges   ]

Chris Ashton, Rohan Ramchandani and Richard Usher, who worked at Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co, respectively, were acquitted of all charges by a jury in Manhattan federal court after a trial of conspiring to violate the Sherman Act, a federal antitrust law.


]October 23 2018   “The Cartel” USDCNY foreign exchange case nears end   ]

The jury could start deliberations as soon as Wednesday, October 24 or Thursday.
In the U.S. probe into the multitrillion-dollar foreign exchange market,”The Cartel” consists of the following:

Richard Usher, who went by the moniker “Feston” in chat-room conversations, Rohan Ramchandani, known as “Rug” or “Ruggy,Christopher Ashton, nicknamed “Robocop,”The manipulation has reportedly cost global banks $14 billion in penalties so far.

The one-count indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charges Richard Usher (former Head of G11 FX Trading-UK at an affiliate of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, as well as former Managing Director at an affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Rohan Ramchandani (former Managing Director and head of G10 FX spot trading at an affiliate of Citicorp) and Christopher Ashton (former Head of Spot FX at an affiliate of Barclays PLC) with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in the FX spot market.
Unlike the US, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office dropped its investigation into currency rigging last year citing insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

Philippe Chow NYC - Wheels Up Wine Cellar

Kifano Jordan, 36, was charged with assault, attempted assault, and weapon possession for the Oct. 26 shooting inside Philippe, a sophisticated Beijing style cuisine restaurant on Madison Ave. and E. 59th St.    Jordan — whose nickname is “Shottie” — allegedly grabbed a chair and slammed it over the head of one of Grainge’s security guards, prosecutors said. “(Jordan) struck a private security guard in the head with a chair after being refused entry into a restaurant where a business meeting was to occur,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Gilbert Rein said.    The security guard, retired police officer,  whipped out a licensed pistol and shoot Jordan twice in the torso.


[December 8 2010   Ronni Chasen: no cartridge casings found at murder scene   ]

Ronnie Chasen

Ronnie Chasen

The gun used to kill the Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen appears to match the gun a man used to kill himself when police officers approached him for questioning at an apartment building last week, according to preliminary ballistics tests, police officials said on Wednesday. Chief Snowden said that no casings were found at the scene of Ms. Chasen’s death. NYT

An initial coroner’s report stated , obtained by local station KTTV, said one 9mm bullet was pulled from Chasen’s back in the hospital, and the 64-year-old had been shot multiple times. CBS
A law enforcement official, who was not authorized to speak about the case so asked for anonymity, told The Associated Press that Smith used a revolver to shoot himself. The official did not say what caliber bullets the gun fired but noted it was not a 9 mm weapon. AP

bogucki - Edited

Robert Bogucki,


Robert Bogucki, 45, was charged over his role in a multimillion-dollar scam that defrauded Hewlett-Packard Co. for a scheme to defraud a client of Barclays through a method commonly referred to as “front-running” on January 16 2018. In September and October 2011, Bogucki misused information provided to him by HP, which had hired Barclays to execute a foreign exchange transaction related to the planned acquisition of a UK-based company. Barclays was selected to execute the foreign exchange transaction – which required the sale of 6 billion British pounds worth of options – in September 2011. The defendant and other Barclays employees assured HP and its employees that they understood the need to keep the planned transaction, which was exceptionally large, and therefore “market-moving,” confidential. Instead, Bogucki and other Barclays employees allegedly used the confidential information they received to manipulate the price of “volatility,” a metric that affects the value of foreign exchange options. During conversations with Bogucki, one Barclays trader stated that he and other traders would “bash the sh*t out of” and “spank the market” to depress the price of volatility. Other Barclays traders also discussed “hammer[ing] the market lower” in order to decrease the value of the HP’s options.

Pending Count 18:1343 & 2 Wire Fraud Affecting a Financial Institution and Aiding and Abetting(2s-7s) None
Pending Count 18:1343 & 2 – Wire Fraud and Aiding and Abetting(2-7) None
Pending Count 18:1349 Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud Affecting a Financial Institution(1s) None
Pending Count 18:1349 – Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud(1)

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S APPLICATION FOR ISSUANCE OF RULE 17(C) SUBPOENA: Granting 94 Motion as to Robert Bogucki (1). Signed by Judge Charles R. Breyer on 8/30/2018. [to subpoena documents from Hewlett Packard to aid his defence]

United States v. Bogucki (3:18-cr-00021) District Court, N.D. California

a former foreign exchange trader fired by Barclays, said that he was a ‎scapegoat. He claimed that the British bank dishonestly contrived his ‎dismissal to divert attention from its own failings related to ‘last look’.‎

cordie - Edited

The embankment where the body of Meighan Cordie was found near Highway 18 in Dayton on Aug. 23. Photographed on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. 

Berry said that it appears Weathers kept driving after Cordie exited the vehicle, did not call police right away and was not honest with investigators about where her daughter was last seen.

As “tragic” as the case is, Berry said the issue before him was whether criminal activity led to Cordie’s death.

He said investigators found no evidence that was the case.

“Clearly, leaving her daughter there —I think if we are talking right versus wrong — I don’t have a problem saying that it’s hard for me to fathom that someone could do that,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean I have a crime.”

Weathers was charged with DUI and reckless endangerment for driving drunk with her granddaughter in the car the night of Cordie’s death.

[ August 26 2018  body on Oregon Route 18.   ]


The embankment where Collins found Cordie’s body was 8-10 miles from where Cordie’s mother said her daughter got out of the car. Cordie left her shoes and phone in the car.

She was last seen around 10:30 p.m. at the intersection of Upper Island Road and Grand Island Road, which is where they stopped their car. It’s unclear what Cordie and her mom were fighting about or what her mom did after she got out.

How Cordie got from her mother’s car to the embankment near Hwy 18 is something investigators — as well as family and friends — are still trying to piece together.

Police in Yamhill County, Oregon confirmed the body of Meighan Cordie was discovered by joggers early Thursday, August 23, along an embankment on Oregon Route 18.

The location is roughly eight miles from the Dayton wedding venue where Cordie and her family were celebrating with relatives before she disappeared after darting out of the car on the drive home.

[ November 14, 2014  Michael Keith Spell pleads guilty  ]

Michael Keith Spell and  attorney Alfred Avignone

Michael Keith Spell and attorney Alfred Avignone

defense attorney Lisa Banick

defense attorney Lisa Banick

Michael Spell, 25, was guided by his attorney Al Avignone in submitting a plea agreement to the court. That agreement states Spell accepts the deliberate homicide charge in exchange for the state dropping the attempted kidnapping charge. In the agreement, the prosecution will recommend a 100 year sentence with a chance for parole.
Avignone said in court that the defense would ask the judge to have Spell sentenced to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services rather than prison.

With Spell’s admission, the next stage in the murder case is for both men to be sentenced. Court dates for those hearings have yet to be scheduled.

[October 15

District Court Judge Richard Simonton. 7th Judicial District

District Court Judge Richard Simonton. 7th Judicial District

On October 14, the court denied Michael Keith Spell’s petition to be declared unfit for trial.

Spell’s defense team argued he would be unable to understand the case against him due to his developmental disability.

In a unanimous ruling, the court said intellectually disabled persons frequently know the difference between right and wrong, and are able to understand the proceedings and assist in their own defense.

October 4 Sherry Arnold murder hearing on October 1, written order to follow]
Judge Richard Simonton ruled on some defense motions during a hearing October 1, and he will issue a written order on all of the pending motions regarding evidence in the case within a week

{September 15 Sherry Arnold murder hearing on October 1]
Prosecutors asked a state judge to deny a defense request to suppress the suspect’s alleged confession in the Sherry Arnold murder case. Because Spell is mentally disabled, his attorneys say he was not capable of voluntarily waiving his rights to remain silent and have an attorney present. Spell’s attorneys want his statements — and any evidence obtained as a result — barred from his Nov. 17 trial.
Deputy Richland County Attorney T.R. Halvorson wrote in a court brief that law enforcement video shows Michael Keith Spell made his statements voluntarily.
Spell, of Parachute, Colo., is accused of killing 43-year-old Sidney High School math teacher Sherry Arnold during an attempted abduction in the Bakken oil patch.
He allegedly confessed to his involvement during an interrogation by FBI agents following his arrest six days after Arnold’s 2012 disappearance. District Court Judge Richard Simonton. 7th Judicial District , scheduled an Oct. 1 hearing in Glendive.

[December 8 2013]

 defense attorney Lisa Banick

defense attorney Lisa Banick

In an order vacating trial, District Judge Richard A. Simonton noted that on December 3 he was advised by the Montana State Hospital that it could not complete its evaluation and reports within 30 days. In early November, Simonton ordered Spell be transported to the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs for an examination to determine if Spell has the ability to understand the proceedings against him and to assist in his own defense, and whether he is suffering from a developmental disability that renders him unable to appreciate the criminality of his behavior or to conform his behavior to the requirements of the law. Spell was taken to Warm Springs on Nov. 13.

The judge ruled that the examination will be extended to the statutory 60 days.

Simonton wrote, “Accordingly, the Court reluctantly vacates the Jan. 6, 2014, trial and the Dec. 20, 2013, hearing. Upon receipt of the information from the Montana State Hospital, a scheduling conference will be held to determine appropriate dates.”

The Dec. 20 hearing was to determine if Spell is fit to stand trial.
[October 29]

Richland County Judge Richard Simonton on September 27 set a Nov. 4 hearing on whether a Colorado man charged with killing an eastern Montana teacher should be declared ineligible for the death penalty..

Defense attorneys for 24-year-old Michael Keith Spell say he suffers from mental disabilities that preclude a death sen-tence under a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Prosecutors who have filed notice that they intend to seek the death penalty in the case oppose the defense motion. Spell, of Parachute, Colo., is accused of killing popular high school math teacher Sherry Arnold of Sidney in January 2012. Her body was found weeks later buried in a shallow grave in a rural area near Williston, N.D.

Simonton set a second hearing for Oct. 24 on several other pending matters, including a request by Spell’s attorneys to relocate his Jan. 6 trial due to the widespread publicity the case h
The Richland County Attorney’s office has argued that Spell could receive a fair trial in Sidney.
[July 18]
Michael Keith Spell is ineligible for execution under a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling according to a new motion. In that case justices reversed the death sentence of Daryl Atkins, a Virginia man convicted of murder, on the grounds that executing the “mentally retarded” violated the Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
Spell still would face a potential life sentence and a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted of deliberate homicide. He’s also charged with attempted kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Spellt has been examined by a mental health professional and found to meet the court’s definition of mentally disabled. That includes having an IQ of 75 or lower and being incapable of normal mental functions.

“We’re talking about everyday skills, living skills, ability to drive a car, make change, hold a job and be able to learn skills,” Attorney Alfred Avignone said.

Spell told a judge in an initial court appearance last year that he cannot read. His father has said Spell had less education than a kindergartner.

He had traveled with Lester Van Waters Jr to the oil fields of Montana and North Dakota looking for work. Court documents, however, allege the Arnold abduction came just days after the pair left Colorado and after both suspects had smoked crack cocaine during the journey.

Prosecutors have until Aug. 21 to respond to the motion from Avignone and fellow defense attorney Lisa Banick, which was filed under seal.

[March 24]

Attorney Alfred Avignone, for 23-year-old Michael Keith Spell $400,000 was spent last year on death penalty defense work

Harry Freebourn, the agency’s administrative director, said $400,000 was spent last year on death penalty defense work. The agency is asking the Legislature for a $900,000 appropriation to supplement its current $500,000 budget dedicated to death penalty defense.

Most of that money will be spent on the only pretrial death penalty case in Montana, the kidnapping and murder of Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold.

Richland County prosecutors are seeking a death sentence against Michael Keith Spell and Lester Van Waters Jr., two Colorado men accused of abducting Arnold in January 2012 as she was jogging.

[January 12]
Attorneys for Lester Van Waters Jr. and Michael Keith Spell, suspects in the Sherry Arnold case, filed notices warning of their intent to file multiple motions by April 30.. Pretrial motions on both the defendants’ side and the state are due by the end of April. A response is due by June 30 with a final reply July 31 for Waters. A response is due by July 31 for Spell and final reply Sept. 6. State District Judge Richard Simonton appointed Alfred Avignone, Lisa Banick and Eric Brewer as the public defenders for 23-year-old Michael Keith Spell of Parachute, Colo.

[August 28]

 There are 482 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the US,

There are 482 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the US,

  The Roan Plateau, rising 3,500 feet above the Colorado River valley, with the towns of Rifle and Parachute at its feet,

The Roan Plateau, rising 3,500 feet above the Colorado River valley, with the towns of Rifle and Parachute at its feet,

On July 24, a detention officer was assisting Micheal Spell to a room across the hall from his cell for a haircut. While getting his hair cut, an inmate grabbed the attention of the officer who told him he was not allowed to enter the “pod” with Spell unattended. Roughly 15 minutes later, Thomas David Kilbury, 31, Cuba, Mo., and an inmate yelled that something was wrong with another inmate, and they needed immediate help.
The detention officer alerted central control and assessed the situation, sensing a “trap.” Kilbury made a rush and attacked Spell. According to documents, the officer heard Kilbury say, “I got you now,” before landing a punch to Spell’s face as he turned to see what was happening. The officer put himself between Kilbury and Spell to prevent further blows. Additional officers separated the two. Kilbury “cloaking himself as some sort of hero for his actions,” was sentenced to six months in jail with no days suspended
[April 28] An amended complaint filed by Richland County prosecutor Mike Weber on April 27 specified murder charges and said he intends to seek the death penalty against two men accused of kidnapping a Montana teacher whose body was discovered in North Dakota two months after she disappeared. Lester Van Waters Jr., 48, and Michael Keith Spell, 22, both of Parachute, Colorado., are accused of grabbing Sherry Arnold off a street in Sidney, Mont., on Jan. 7 while she was on a pre-dawn run.
On March 19, Waters led FBI agents to where Sherry’s body was located, the new court documents state.

After leading agents out of Williston, Waters directed the agents on to Highway 1804 “until he recognized the area where Sherry Arnold was buried.”

Waters said the burial site was in a shelter belt, and eventually led agents to where her body was buried.

“Waters recognized the burial site and pointed out where the dirt from the hole was deposited,” court records state. “A broken branch was resting over the hole.”

Waters said Arnold had been buried on her side in the fetal position and showed the agents where they had parked the vehicle.