Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos reported to prison January 08, 2019 to begin serving his four-year and three-month prison term for a corruption conviction at the federal prison at Otisville, New York. Adam Skelos, 36, will also serve four years behind bars at Federal Correctional Institution Danbury in Connecticut,

[  October 24 2018 Skelos gets 3 months less in second trial   ]

Dean Skelos, was sentenced Wednesday, October 24, to four years and three months in prison. The extra three month-stint due to the ex-GOP legislator’s “repeated mischaracterizations and lies” on the witness stand during his retrial. Skelos was sentenced in 2016 to five years in prison at the first trial.
Skelos was once one of Albany’s “Three Men in a Room” who controlled the state budget. The Nassau County Republican pressured businesses with interests before the state to give Adam jobs worth $300,000.

[ July 17 2018  Preet Bharara on second conviction of Skelos   ]


Dean Skelos, former New York state Senate leader, and his son were convicted on July 17 of extortion, wire fraud and bribery charges that they pressured businesses to give the son no-show jobs or else risk losing the powerful Republican’s political support. It was the second trial for the father and son. They were convicted in 2015 of extortion, conspiracy and bribery, but a new trial was ordered by a federal appeals court in Manhattan after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the law regarding public corruption as it reversed the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. The trial was one of the most important in a spate of recent cases that have cast a harsh light on corruption in Albany. Former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, was convicted in May of corruption.

December 11, 2015
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara :
“The swift convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos beg an important question – how many prosecutions will it take before Albany gives the people of New York the honest government they deserve?”


Real Adolf’s stuff

Three watercolour paintings attributed to the former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler have been seized by German police.

The works were up for sale at the Kloss auction house in Berlin, but taken on suspicions of forgery, police say.

The separate works depict a mountain scene, a river and a distant figure sitting beneath a tree.

Who the hell buys a painting by Hitler? There’s still a major worldwide market in Nazi memorabilia, although most of the artifacts don’t have such a direct connection with the Führer.

[September 30 2017   $35K Renoir lifted off wall   ]


A painting by the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, “Portrait of a young blonde girl”, was stolen Saturday from the small auction house of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines), the day before being auctioned , according to a police source. The painting, valued at between 25,000 and 30,000 euros($29,000 to $35,000), was stolen while it was on display in anticipation of an auction scheduled for Sunday October 1. The robber unhooked it from the wall and left the scene without being seen, according to the source.
Presented in one of the catalog of the sale, this small oil on canvas of a dimension of 14 cm by 12.2 cm(5 inches by 4 inches) had to be one of the highlights of these auctions. On the catalog, it is described as “AR monogram on the top left.” On the back, on the canvas was a label ‘Chaussegros’ and a label marked ‘022’ “. The Yvelines departmental police intend to search the images of the video surveillance to identify the thief.



[January 12 Wildenstein wins tax case on art placed in offshore trusts ]


French judges cleared art dealer Guy Wildenstein of charges that he concealed paintings worth hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore trusts to avoid taxes, dealing a setback to the country’s crackdown on tax dodging that spans from banks to politicians and soccer stars.

Judge Olivier Geron said Thursday that there wasn’t enough proof to rule that Wildenstein was guilty of fraudulently underestimating inheritance taxes after his father placed assets worth hundreds of millions of euros in offshore trusts before his death.


[May 15 2015 Matisse and Liebermann works returned from “Schwabing Art Trove” ]


“Genuine and responsible Germans were, I believe, rather sensitised by this case, There are private persons who are re-examining their collections.”

German court approved for release the £60 million Matisse, Seated Lady to the descendents of Paul Rosenberg, who include Anne Sinclair, DSK’s ex-wife
It also ruled that Max Liebermann’s Two Riders on a Beach from 1901 will be returned to the descendants of art dealer David Friedman.
They are the first works from the Gurlitt collection to be returned to families of the original owners.. The Matisse was one of more than 400 paintings stolen by the Nazis from the “first family” of art in Paris in the ’20s and ’30s.

[May 6 2014 Hildebrand Gurlitt’s scandalous art cache: son dies, 81]
Cornelius Gurlitt died May 5, age 81, in his apartment in Schwabing, in the presence of a doctor, In April, a German court formally released the trove under a deal with Gurlitt and his lawyers.
This allowed a task force of art experts to continue examining the works to establish their province and whether some may have been stolen or extorted from their original owners, many of them Jewish, durig the Nazi era.
Gurlitt’s father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, was permitted by Adolf Hitler to buy and sell confiscated works – so-called ‘degenerate art’ – to fund Nazi activities. German investigators last year found hundreds of works, including paintings by Picasso, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. Further pictures were found later in Salzburg, Austria.The hoard was given an estimated value of €1bn.

The Lost Art Database is run by the Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg, Germany’s central office for the documentation of lost cultural property. It was set up jointly by the Government and the Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany and registers cultural objects which as a result of persecution under the Nazi dictatorship and the Second World War were relocated, moved or seized, especially from Jewish owners.

“Schwabing Art Trove” – Agreement between the Free State of Bavaria, the Federal Government and Cornelius Gurlitt

Joint Press Release 04/07/14

Representatives of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice and of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media have reached an agreement with Cornelius Gurlitt and Christoph Edel, the lawyer who has been appointed by the court to look after Mr Gurlitt’s affairs, on what to do with the artworks of the “Schwabing Art Trove”. In the agreement, in the negotiation of which defence counsel Prof. Dr Tido Park and Derek Setz also participated, Mr Gurlitt stated his willingness to allow provenance research on a voluntary basis once the works are released from police custody. Mr Gurlitt will allow the Task Force to continue researching the provenance of those works in the trove suspected of having been confiscated from their owners by the Nazis or of being works the Nazis considered “degenerate art”. To this end, these artworks will remain in secure custody and on the website However, the Task Force aims to complete the main substance of its provenance research within a year.

[March 26]

Christie’s auction house recently announced that the sale of government-owned artwrks would go ahead in June, despite legal action to prevent the sale of the works and instead have them classified as national heritage. The Portuguese Parliament was set to debate the issue on March 26.

Amid an initial outcry, Christie’s canceled the auction in February, citing legal concerns over whether Portugal was entitled to sell the works.

[February 6]
Protests in Portugal over the planned sale of 85 paintings by Catalan abstract artist Joan Miro, owned by a nationalized bank, turned out to be effective. The auction house Christie’s, which was supposed to sell the works in London, pulled the lots from its Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist sale. Christie’s valued the collection at about $50 million, and art lovers and museum professionals in Portugal said the amount was laughable compared to both Portugal’s total debt of more than $270 billion and the collection’s value as a national treasure. Politicians opposed to the sale took the government to court, and though they failed to obtain an outright ban, a judge ruled that the paintings had been sent to London without proper authorization. Christie’s did not want the risk of further action and will keep the works in storage until something can be decided. The Portuguese government has not asked for the collection to be sent back and is determined to sell it.

[January 29]

first art historian in this position; minister of culture  Monika Grütters: Certainly it is so, that until the turn of the millennium some doubts and objections were justified

first art historian in this position; minister of culture Monika Grütters: Certainly it is so, that until the turn of the millennium some doubts and objections were justified

Gruetters also said there were plans to expand the government-backed mediation panel that now hears disputes about artworks of contested provenance, the eight-member Limbach Commission.

The body, which has former German president Richard von Weizsaecker on its board along with a former high court judge, historians and experts, can make recommendations but no binding rulings.

“I can certainly imagine expanding the Limbach Commission and including representatives of Jewish organisations,” Gruetters told the newspaper.

She also said that the Gurlitt case and the international criticism it sparked had been a wake-up call for many German art collectors.

“Genuine and responsible Germans were, I believe, rather sensitised by this case,” she told the daily. “There are private persons who are re-examining their collections.”

Funding for provenance research of art suspected to have been stolen will be doubled, the new minister of state for culture, Monika Gruetters, was quoted as saying in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

Munich apartment where paintings stored

Munich apartment where paintings stored

[December 9 2013]



more Munich art

more Munich art

more Munich art

more Munich art

Sitting Woman, found among more than 1,400 artworks in a recluse’s Munich flat, is thought to have belonged to Miss Sinclair’s maternal grandfather, the late French art dealer Paul Rosenberg, taken by the Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce (the Nazi art-theft organisation) from the bank vault. However, “degenerate art” was ‘legally’ seized by the Nazis. This law was never abolished and still applies in today’s Federal Republic. New York’s Museum of Modern Art and others have bought such art.

Miss Sinclair, 65, helped pay for her ex-husband’s defence when the womanising International Monetary Fund chief was accused of being a rapist. They divorced in March.
Seated Woman, 1942, probably by Henri Matisse, was taken by the Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce (the Nazi art-theft organisation) from the bank vault of the Paris art dealer Paul Rosenberg. Uwe Hartmann, the head of the institute for museum research at the Berlin State Museums, suggests that Hildebrand Gurlitt bought many of the works from Goebbels’s ministry of propaganda. “According to the legal situation at the time, he was the rightful owner [of these works],”

After the war, Gurlitt said that all of his business papers were destroyed in the bombing of Dresden in 1945. The Allied tribunal charged with “de-Nazification”, which, after 1945, considered how close to the Nazi regime a person had been before issuing any work permits, classified him as “less involved”, and he was able to continue his career.

Two different categories of work can be found in Cornelius Gurlitt’s scandalous cache: first, the “degenerate art” that was removed from German museums by the Nazis and subsequently confiscated by law in 1938. This law was never abolished and still applies in today’s Federal Republic. The victorious Allies (specifically the US military government) and, later, the newly founded Federal Republic wanted to save private collectors and the art market from endless legal battles over works acquired during the Nazi regime. Even before 1945, much “degenerate art” made its way into museums and collections. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was able to acquire outstanding works formerly in the possession of German museums, as were the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Kunstmuseum Basel, the latter mainly at the infamous auction in Lucerne, Switzerland, on 30 June 1939.

The other works fall into the category of “stolen art”—treasures that were either stolen from their mainly Jewish owners or acquired through pressure and threats. So far, it is unclear how the works in Gurlitt’s possession came together: through purchase or exchange, lawfully or unlawfully, and whether they are owned or just held in trust. To determine this in individual cases will be hard, though no more difficult than in other restitution cases where German public museums are concerned. Hildebrand Gurlitt’s claim that his business papers had been destroyed turned out to be a lie: the documents were found in crates in his son’s apartment. Perhaps they will help to reconstruct the ownership history of individual pieces.

[Jasnuary 20 2012]

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his Blackberry

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his Blackberry

Can you be a feminist and unconditional support to her husband? Anne Sinclair responds strongly to Anne-Cécile Sarfati, deputy editor of ELLE, who conducted the interview: “unconditional support does not exist. The argument is if we decided to support. Nobody knows what happens in the privacy of couples and I deny anyone the right to judge mine. I feel free of my decisions, my actions, I decided my life independently. ”

Throughout the series DSK, women, including feminists, have criticized her attitude. “What women have felt disappointed with me, I am sorry to say, but that’s their problem! “Says the wife of former IMF chief. “I do not understand them, they express the views and feelings, but I listen to the idea that one can judge the attitude of someone in his private life completely foreign to me.” She added:” I claim my choices. That people take ownership of my life unbearable “Faced with the emotion and sometimes indignation, caused by the affair in France, Anne Sinclair responded:” I understand that this case has caused a stir and that ‘it is treated extensively. But I find that on this occasion all the levees that protected privacy have been breached. ” from Elle in French

Billionaire Sun Hongbin, chairman of real-estate developer Sunac China Holdings Ltd., who in a filing in Hong Kong on Jan. 12 shifted most of his stake in the company to a South Dakota Trust Co. on Dec. 31. Longfor Group Holdings Ltd. Chairwoman Wu Yajun, one of China’s richest women, made a similar move in recent weeks, as did the wealthy magnates behind food distributors Dali Foods Group Co. and Zhou Hei Ya International Holdings Co.

All of the four Hong Kong-listed companies but Sunac cited succession planning as the purpose of the transfers. The ownership structures of all four tycoons involve entities in the British Virgin Islands.

screenshot 2019-01-15 at 7.21.48 pm - edited

Source: Company filings complied by Bloomberg
[May 2018]“In the past seven years, South Dakota has seen a steady increase of Chinese visitors to our state,”James Hagen notes that the Department of Tourism is continuing to monitor the Chinese market for potential investment of marketing dollars since the Chinese are typically interested in South Dakota’s monuments, memorials, and Old West and Native American cultures.


Ashley and Harvey  1997

Ashley Judd’s sexual harassment claim against Harvey Weinstein accusing him of sexual harassment in violation of a California law barring such conduct by a person in a “business, service or professional relationship” with another has been dismissed.
In a footnote to his ruling on January 9, District Judge Philip Gutierrez said he was not determining whether Judd was sexually harassed by Weinstein “in the colloquial sense of the term”.
The California Legislature revised the law last year, specifically adding film directors and producers to the categories of people who can be liable under the measure. Judd refiled the harassment claim under the revised law, which took effect Jan. 1.

Gutierrez ruled January 9 2019 that the changes were so significant that they fundamentally modified the California law — making it, in effect, a new law. And because the Legislature didn’t specify that the modified law should be applied retroactively, Judd can’t use it to pursue her sexual harassment claim, he ruled.

[October 28 2017 “There’s no oral sex” Harvey Weinstein on Blue Valentine… ]


Harvey Weinstein took a private jet from Van Nuys Airport bound for Arizona. He’s set to land in the city of Wickenburg near the highly respected Meadows rehab center.


Winona Ryder at Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globe Party in Beverly Hills 01/08/2017 with Stranger Things cast

I have chosen to leave my husband.
Harvey Weinstein’s Wife Georgina Chapman Is Leaving Him: ‘My Heart Breaks for All the Women Who Have Suffered’

“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days” the board informed “Weinstein that his employment is terminated, effective immediately,” the company said in an email Sunday, October 8.

Harvey Weinstein won’t physically be a part of the awards race, not in 2017 and probably never again. But his fingerprints will be all over it. The push for “Wind River” will continue without Weinstein. And if the campaign seems more muted, the reason may less be Weinstein’s absence than the cash-flow problems that in recent years have made it impossible for TWC to carry out the kind of scorched-earth campaigns for which he was once known.

[October 6]

The Weinstein Company said it has retained an outside legal firm to conduct an independent investigation into the NYT allegations. TWC has retained John Kiernan of the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton “to undertake a thorough and independent investigation.” Kiernan will be assisted by his partners Matthew Fishbein, a former chief assistant U.S. attorney, and Helen Cantwell, a former federal prosecutor who also has worked for the New York County District Attorney’s sex crimes unit.
Weinstein and his brother Bob own 42% of the company,[or Harvey Weinstein owns 23% of TWC with Bob Weinstein owning the same and the board holding the remainder].; other investors include Goldman Sachs, French TV company TF1, and ad firm WPP Group. The Weinstein Company Inc. operates as a subsidiary of The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC. 345 Hudson Street. 13th Floor. New York, NY 10014.

Harvey Weinstein is facing calls to be stripped of his CBE over revelations he has sexually harassed female employees and movie stars for decades. Weinstein, 65, was named an honourary Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, by the Queen for his contribution to the British film industry in 2004. THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY (UK) LIMITED,  71 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4BE.   “The reported alleged behavior completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values”.   France has started the process of stripping Harvey Weinstein of his Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian distinction, after allegations of sexual harassment against the film producer, President Emmanuel Macron’s office said on Saturday, October 14.

The Weinstein Company had a “code of silence,” and that contracts included a “non-disparagement” clause that applied to the company itself and its leader. Additionally, “most of the women accepting payouts agreed to confidentiality clauses prohibiting them from speaking about the deals or the events that led to them.”

Harvey Weinstein Won’t Be Charged In Alleged Groping Incident – Update

‘It won’t happen again.’

BURBANK, Calif., May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — ARCHSTONE PICTURES – Principal/Partner Michael Slifkin announced that the company has entered into an agreement with Ambra Battilana during the final days of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival to co-produce a film based on the events pertaining to her experiences with Silvio Berlusconi the former prime minister of Italy.

The untitled feature film, a political drama, highlights the demise of one of the most powerful, wealthy and influential leaders in Italian History. The film will chronicle Berlusconi from the height of his power and political reach as the Billionaire Italian Prime Minister and owner of world renowned football club, A.C. Milan, to his dramatic and public fall from grace for corruption and sexual misconduct.

Production is scheduled for early 2017 with worldwide distribution to be handled exclusively by Archstone Distribution.

Archstone Pictures’ Michael Slifkin and Scott Martin will be producing the film along with Executive Producers Scott Weissman and Ambra Battilana.


Harvey Weinstein NYPD Sting Audiotape: Mogul Aggressive As Model Says ‘No’ 10 Times here

Ambra Battilana Who Once Accused Harvey Weinstein of Groping Her in Bikini at a Beach in Miami 10/09/2017

harvey-weinstein-georgina-chapmanThe movie mogul, 65, and the fashion designer, 41, are together at a hotel in Los Angeles.

Of his wife, Marchesa fashion designer Georgina Chapman, Weinstein added, “She stands 100 percent behind me.”

[November 19 2010]Aspiring actress Lucia Stoller (now Lucia Evans), Italian actress Asia Argento

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

“Blue Valentine,” a dark romantic look at two young lovers in a crumbling marriage, was given an NC-17 rating because of a scene involving oral sex. “It’s just a credit to the persuasiveness of Derek Cianfrance’s directing skills. There’s no oral sex. Michelle Williams isn’t even naked. It looks like she is, but it’s just the angle of the shots.”

[September 12 2019] S.Res.308 – A resolution calling on the Government of the Russian Federation to provide evidence or to release United States citizen Paul Whelan.

screenshot 2019-01-05 at 9.22.11 am - edited

On January 5, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs affirmed that Makarenko had been arrested in the Saipan airport after landing there with his family. The influential entrepreneur collaborates closely with his apparent father-in-law Valery Fintisov, who himself has business ties with Russia’s Minister for Development in the Far East Viktor Ishayev.

[December 5 2019]
The Russian foreign ministry said the United States detained Russian citizen Dmitry Makarenko on the Northern Mariana Islands on Dec. 29 and had moved him to Florida.
“… Makarenko, born in 1979, has arrived on Saipan Island with his wife, underage children and elderly parents. He was detained by FBI personnel at the airport right after his arrival,” the ministry said. The Russian ministry said in its statement Moscow diplomats had not been able to reach Makarenko in Florida and said Washington had yet to explain his detention.

US-officials-visit-accused-spy-Paul-Whelan-in-Russian-prisonOn December 28 2018 retired US Marine Paul Whelan ‘received an electronic carrier in the room with a list of all employees of one of the secret Russian departments,’ said Russians..

‘Five minutes after the transfer, FSB officers broke into the room and detained a suspect of espionage.

‘On examination, they found a flash card with secret information.’

We saw, for example, in 1986, there was a Russian KGB officer was arrested in New York for spying at the United Nations. Three days later, the Russians arrested a U.S. news and World Report journalist, Nicholas Daniloff — and they arrested him in much the same way.

One of his contacts came to him, handed him a package that was in an envelope. He immediately was arrested and it turns out in the envelope was classified material that they had clearly just pushed to him so they could arrest him to try to put pressure on the United States or swap for their guy who was in jail.

daniloff-nicholas-800x0-c-defaultOn September 2, 1986, Nicholas Daniloff was arrested in Moscow by the KGB and accused of espionage.The Reagan administration took the position that the Soviets had arrested Daniloff without cause, in retaliation for the arrest three days earlier of Gennadi Zakharov, an employee of the Soviet UN Mission.] The Soviets initially contended that Daniloff had confidential government documents on him when he was arrested.

[ 2013 Artyom Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov related property in U.S. to be seized?   ]

U.S. prosecutors said in a civil complaint filed in New York on September 10 they ask the court to seize luxury apartments and other property they say Russian companies used to launder proceeds from a $230 million tax fraud.

The scheme was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in a Russian jail.


[ January 2 2012  Ellen Barkin Queries Early Morning Arrests   ]

Ellen Barkin near Joe's Pub in Greenwich Village on New Year's Eve 2012

Ellen Barkin near Joe’s Pub in Greenwich Village on New Year’s Eve 2012

Ellen Barkin, 57, was reportedly walking home from New Year’s Eve event at Joe’s Pub when she tweeted that police at West 13th Street and Sixth Avenue had thrown a young woman into a police van for no apparent reason. Earlier in the evening police had arrested dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters. here