December 13, 2017, at 2:00 a.m.  FBME formerly known as the Federal Bank of the Middle East, has been investigated for years by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (known as FinCEN).   Buzzfeed now has documents showing “how FBME executives scrambled to lie, threaten, use forgery, and shred their way to success while Quinn Emanuel and Hogan Lovells did battle on the bank’s behalf and accountants at KPMG and Ernst & Young overlooked glaring red flags as they gave a corrupt institution their gold-plated seal of approval.”    In the coming days, we will expose a secret network of Moscow-based slush funds linked to the Russian government, Syrian chemical weapons, and ISIS – and reveal how an international banking giant allowed suspicious money to flood the Western financial system by facilitating FBME’s dollar transactions for decades.

 

[October 24 Vijay Millya:shell companies in seven countries ]

kingfisher

Vijay Mallya fled to Britain in March 2016 after being pursued for recovery of Rs 9,091 crore [1388757210.45 usd] owed to a consortium of 17 Indian banks by his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Former liquor baron is accused of transferring a huge chunk of Rs 6,027-crore [920695160.86 usd] loan he took for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to shell companies in seven countries the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the US, France, Singapore, Ireland and Mauritius and South Africa.

Mallya left India in 2016, saying he was moving to England to be closer to his children. He has since refused to return to India and said he fears an unfair trial amid the “media frenzy and hysteria” over unpaid dues. Mallya has also said government agencies are pursuing a “heavily biased investigation” and holding him guilty without trial.Officials, have found 30 antique objects, including idols dating to the 10th century and paintings. Of these, a majority were from south India and had been sold by Kapoor’s gallery ‘Art of the Past’ between 2007 and 2012 to Singapore.

June 16 2015 Subhash Kapoor,smuggled objects found in Singapore ]
“When we examined the two antiquities, it was confirmed that it was goddess Uma Maheshwari idol from south India and a Christian Altar belonging to a church in Goa. While the age of the idol is between 9th and 10th century, the Altar dates back to 18th century,” the antiquity wing of the ASI team that travelled to Singapore between May 12 and 15 following a communication from the Asian Civilisation Museum

[April 16 Subhash Kapoor, a dealer in the largest antiquities smuggling operation on American soil]
Authorities in New York have sought custody of the largest seizure of antiquities in American history — 2,622 artifacts worth $108 million looted from India and other places in south Asia – smuggled into US by Madison Avenue art dealer Subhash Kapoor. The seized items included bronze and stone statues of Hindu deities, many of them ancient masterworks worth several million dollars each. Kapoor is currently awaiting trial in India on charges of plundering archaeological sites and conspiring with black market traders to send illicit artifacts overseas. The cache includes several major Cambodian artifacts, including a $1.2-million Naga statue found in Mr. Kapoor’s Art of the Past gallery .There is also a group of Cambodian stone figures worth $700,000; two objects identified as “Khmer statues” worth $250,000 and $175,000; a Cambodian “standing figure on pedestal” also worth $175,000; an “elephant w/hat statue” worth $14

 

5,000; a “Khmer Vishnu sandstone wall fragment” worth $65,000; and a crowned Buddha worth $45,000; as well as many other Cambodian statues worth tens of thousands of dollars.

[A

pril 8]

is awaiting trial in India

is awaiting trial in India

“He certainly conned a lot of people,” Mr. Kennedy said of Subhash Kapoor, a dealer identified by authorities as having once run the largest antiquities smuggling operation on American soil., who is awaiting trial in India on charges of trafficking in $100 million worth of stolen artifacts. Mr. Kapoor, 65, has pleaded not guilty. Brenton M. Easter, the special agent in charge of Operation Hidden Idol for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said museums should understand that the investigation was continuing. “Just because they haven’t been contacted yet doesn’t mean they should not anticipate being contacted down the road,” he said.
The federal investigation, Operation Hidden Idol, began in 2012 with raids on Mr. Kapoor’s gallery and on several warehouses and other locations where he stored Indian antiquities. Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations, which are jointly directing the investigation, said they had seized tens of millions of dollars worth of objects that they believed were looted from ancient temples in India.
In addition, the Manhattan district attorney’s office, working with the investigators, has prosecuted Mr. Kapoor’s sister; a woman identified as his girlfriend; and the longtime manager of his gallery on charges related to the artifacts. The manager, Aaron Freedman, pleaded guilty in December 2013 to six criminal charges and is said to be cooperating with the authorities.

On October 7, 2013, the Manhattan District Attorney filed a criminal complaint against Kapoor’s sister, 60-year-old Sushma Sareen, alleging that, while her brother was in jail, she and Kapoor’s daughter, Mamta Sager, in connivance with former Art of the Past employee, Aaron M Freedman, played a cat-and-mouse game with authorities, moving a set of stolen idols from a safe house in Manhattan to Sareen’s house in a nearby Long Island suburb. Sareen, who has retained rapper 50 Cent’s lawyer, Scott Leemon, declined to comment. She is expected to go before a Grand Jury in early January, who will decide whether or not to file formal charges.

Salina Mohamed

Salina Mohamed

Three of the objects cited the previous owner as Salina Mohamed, Kapoor’s longtime girlfriend. In December, Mohamed was charged with four counts of criminal possession of stolen property and one count of conspiracy. Prosecutors say she was involved in the fabrication of fake ownership histories for Kapoor’s stolen objects.

Paramaspry Punusamy

Paramaspry Punusamy

One object reportedly came from another of Kapoor’s ex-girlfriends, Paramaspry Punusamy, the owner of Dalhousie Enterprises and Jazmin Asian Arts in Singapore. Punsamy is reported to have triggered the Kapoor investigation after falling out with him over a lawsuit in 2009.

[April 2 $500K sales part of much larger art crime investigation]

 Homsi, who lives in Greenpoint, has an Upper East Side gallery that was featured in the New York Times last month in a roundup of Asia Week exhibits.

Homsi, who lives in Greenpoint, has an Upper East Side gallery that was featured in the New York Times last month in a roundup of Asia Week exhibits.

Nayef Homsi is suspected of selling three sculptures of Hindu and Buddhist deities — despite knowing the artifacts were stolen. Nayef Homsi is said to be a “minor player” in a much larger investigation.
New York County District Attorney’s office intends to arrest Homsi. The DA’s office, which partnered with the Department of Homeland Security on the investigation, filed the papers in Manhattan Civil Supreme Court on March 25, asking a judge to freeze a bank account held in the name of Homsi’s company, Maitreya, where the proceeds of the illegal sales had been deposited.

[March 14 $20 million mark-up yields art fraud arrests; ” big dealers and collectors involved”]

Yves Bouvier, the Swiss businessman and art dealer who operates giant storage centers in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore that hold billions of dollars of art for the global rich. Bouvier was arrested in Monaco in February as part of an investigation into fraud. The case focuses on several works purchased by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who claims Bouvier inflated or misrepresented prices by millions of dollars. one of the pieces was an Amadeo Modigliani sold by hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen. Rybolovlev bought the piece from Bouvier acting as the dealer for $118 million. Rybolovlev later talked to Cohen’s art adviser, Sandy Heller, and found Cohen sold the Modigliani to Bouvier for $93.5 million—giving Bouvier a more than $20 million mark-up, including fees

Bouvier is accused of fraud and complicity with money laundering along with an accomplice, Tania Rappo, and a third person who hasn’t been immediately identified according to Monaco General Prosecutor Jean-Pierre Dreno. On March 12, a Singapore court ordered a freeze on Bouvier’s assets, forbidding him from removing any assets or disposing of any assets outside of Singapore, according to local media reports. “This is just the beginning,” said one prominent art lawyer in New York who asked not to be named. “There will be a lot of big dealers and collectors involved.”
[January 30 Hillel “Helly” Nahmad and Modigliani’s 1918 portrait]

INDEX NO. 650646/2014
NYSCEF DOC. NO. 237 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 01/21/2015
Philippe Maestracci v. Helly Nahmad Gallery
JUSTICE: Eileen Bransten
INDEX NO: 650646_2014
DEFENDANT’S LAW FIRM: Aaron Richard Golub
CAUSE OF ACTION: Declaration of Title – plaintiff is rightful owner of painting, Conversion, Replevin
LATEST EVENT: In action for recovery by former owner of Modigliani painting, defendant moves for sanctions and to strike “scandalous and prejudicial” ad hominem attacks on defendants and counsel

[November 9 2014
An Amedeo Modigliani seized by the Nazis, worth as much as $25 million is being held in a warehouse in Switzerland by a corporation controlled, allegedly, by the Nahmad family. Helly Nahmad, who is serving a year in prison, was sentenced in April after pleading guilty to operating a sports-gambling business that booked millions of dollars in bets. The International Art Center is registered in Panama and has an office in Switzerland, where it holds artworks at the Geneva Freeport. The painting in question, Modigliani’s 1918 portrait, “Seated Man With a Cane,” is in that warehouse. A man named Van der Klip, bought the Modigliani in a forced sale in 1947. The painting had then been resold twice in quick succession, ending up in the possession of a U.S. officer, whose name and address were unknown. That painting , in a 1996 Christie’s auction in London, was purchased for $3.2 million by the International Art Center.
Mr. Maestracci, the sole heir to the painting, and his attorneys have described the International Art Center as a shell company used by the Nahmad family to hold a multi-billion-dollar art collection, is asking for depositions. The Helly Nahmad Gallery, in a court filing, said it “lacks any interest whatsoever in this controversy and lacks any authority or capacity to remedy any injury allegedly suffered” by Mr. Maestracci.

[May 1 Helly gets FCI Otisville – It’s a walled Shangri-la.]

FCI Otisville NY

FCI Otisville NY

Hillel “Helly” Nahmad, who had apartments at Manhattan’s Trump Tower, a model for a girlfriend and an art gallery that featured modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for his role in a high-stakes gambling ring. The gallery will remain open while his client serves his term. As part of his plea, he agreed to forfeit $6.4 million and all rights to the Dufy painting titled “Carnaval a Nice, 1937.” The judge yesterday ordered him to also pay a $30,000 fine and said he had to surrender to U.S. prison officials on or by June 16. Furman granted Brafman’s request that he would recommend Nahmad serve his time at the Federal Correctional Institution at Otisville, New York.

White-collar criminals and crooked pols are banging down the door to get into Otisville federal prison. The reason? It’s a walled Shangri-la.
“You could do about anything you wanted there,” said former inmate John Altman. “It’s not just good. It’s sweet. That’s why you request to go there.”
The prison’s store doubles as a delicatessen, serving up such favorites as rib steak, gefilte fish, kugel, salmon, chorizo and smoked oysters.
It’s only a 90-minute drive for visitors from the city, and it has boccie courts, horseshoe pits and enough room to play soccer. Convicts could stay up until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights watching HBO, Showtime and Cinemax.
The low-security camp that’s connected with Otisville’s 1,200-inmate medium-security complex is exclusive too, housing only about 125 felons, two to a cell.
Memorial Day and the Fourth of July are celebrated with cookouts serving hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon and potato salad.
“The food is right. The commissary is right. The officers don’t bother you. There are a lot of courses you can take. You had weights inside and outside, free weights and machines,” Altman said.
“Food, activities, TV and movies, and visitations are the four things you judge a facility by,” he said. “Things were good.”

Vadim Trincher was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison by Furman. The other ring was run by Trincher’s son, Illya Trincher of Beverly Hills, California, and was a high-stakes gambling operation for millionaires and billionaires, according to the government. He pleaded guilty to gambling charges in November and is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

[January 22]

Playing poker isn't a crime, but it's illegal to profit by promoting it.

Playing poker isn’t a crime, but it’s illegal to profit by promoting it.

Edwin Ting was sentenced January 21 in Manhattan federal court to five months in prison and ordered to forfeit $2 million.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says that from 2010 through 2013, Ting ran poker games with pots that reached hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Authorities say players in the underground network included professional athletes, Hollywood luminaries and business executives.

Playing poker isn’t a crime, but it’s illegal to profit by promoting it.

[January 21]

prominent online poker pro Justin Smith

prominent online poker pro Justin Smith

Another case under the ‘U.S. v. Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov’ can be shelved.

The prosecution of prominent online poker pro Justin Smith for his minor role in a large New York City-based sportsbetting and gambling ring with ties to alleged Russian mobsters has concluded with Smith receiving extended probation, including home monitoring and community service.

In the sentencing hearing on January 20 for Smith, well known as “BoostedJ” in the poker community, presiding judge Jesse M. Furman sentenced Smith to two years probation, but with the special condition of an initial three-month period of home confinement, typically but not necessarily monitored by electronic ankle bracelet. Smith was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service following the completion of his home confinement term. Smith had previously agreed to pay a fine of $500,000 as part of his sentencing. It is believed Smith will serve his home confinement in his LA-area residence.

Smith’s sentence also includes a couple of very typical added conditions, such as a prohibition on firearms and submission for DNA testing, and represents a slight down tick from what had been requested by the office of lead SDNY Preet Bharara, which had sought a sentence of six to 12 months. Smith may have posted a cryptic Twitter comment referring to the probation he received when he wrote, on Wednesday, “Was granted the birthday wish I was hoping for.”

According to the case’s sentencing memorandum, Smith assisted with the online sportsbetting operation by creating numerous online accounts for the ring’s leaders, including Illya Trincher and Hillel “Helly” Nehmad, including several at the now-defunct HMS Sports, along with one or more at PinnacleSports. Smith moved six-figure sums for both sportsbetting and poker through several of these accounts. The memorandum, which includes redacted but length conversations obtained by wiretap, includes mention of an account owned by fellow defendant and poker pro Abe Mosseri that was also used by Smith, plus a so-called “Mexican account” that was operated jointly by Smith and Illya Trincher.

The judgment is one of the first in the extended case of U.S. v Tokhtakhounov et al, in which 34 defendants were charged with various roles in the operation of a prominent sportsbetting and gambling ring. Prominent members included at-large, indicted Russian arms dealer Alimzhan “Taiwanchik” Tokhtakhounov, former WPT event winner Vadim Trincher and prominent New York art dealer Nehmad. All told, the ring is alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars in gambling proceeds through its live and online operations.

Smith was charged with three relatively small offenses as one of the case’s 34 defendants, originally facing charges of participating in an illegal sports gambling business, the transmission of sports wagering information (a Wire Act violation), and the acceptance of a financial instrument for unlawful internet gambling. Smith, who allegedly acepted and placed bets on behalf of his friends and himself through online sites maintained by the gambling ring’s bosses, eventually pled guilty to a single count, the illegal sports gambling business charge, with the other two counts being dismissed.

Smith was believed to have cooperated with authorities following his April 2013 arrest and reached an agreement with prosecutors in August, entering a formal guilty plea soon after. BoostedJ becomes the first of the case’s ten or so defendants with prominent poker connections to be formally sentenced, and his term may be an indicator of what likely awaits co-defendants such as fellow poker pros Bill Edler and Peter “Nordberg” Feldman, who were charged with the same three sportsbetting counts. Neither Edler nor Feldman has yet to agree to a plea deal with DOJ Southern District of New York prosecutors.

Smith, a prominent cash-game pro who has also notched over $2.1 million in career tournament earnings, is one of 24 defendants in the case who have reached deals to date. Another of the early-pleading defendants, Edwin Ting, was also scheduled for a sentencing hearing this week. Ting’s hearing, however, was pushed back to January 21st due to a scheduling conflict with the SDNY prosecutor dealing specifically with Ting’s case and charges.

[August 13, 2013]
William Barbalat, 42, admitted to hosting illegal underground poker games in his apartment, as well as helping facilitate wire transfers to players in different states. Barbalat is one of nearly three dozen individuals charged in the matter.

The move will spare Barbalat from a potential sentence of 10 years in prison. His deal reportedly will likely result in him spending six months to a year behind bars.

He will be sentenced in December.

[August 13]

Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov

Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov

The indictment defines two related gambling rings.

The “Taiwanchik-Trincher” organization, led primarily by Trincher, Anatoly “Tony” Golubchik and Alimzhan “Taiwanchik” Tokhtakhounov, allegedly held underground poker games for professional players, celebrities and Wall Street financiers, shaking down those reluctant to pay their losses and laundering the rake through shell companies in the US and Cyprus. Through gambling websites operating illegally in the United States, the ring also ran a high-stakes sports betting business that catered to Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. A thief in law (Russian: вор в законе vor v zakonye; Ukrainian: злодій у законі zlodiy u zakoni; Belarusian: злодзей у законе zlodzey u zakone; Georgian: კანონიერი ქურდი kanonieri kurdi; Armenian: օրենքով գող orenk’ov goğ; Azerbaijani: Qanuni oğru) is a career criminal who is respected, has informal authority and an elite status within the organized crime environment in the Soviet Union, and currently in the post-Soviet states and respective diasporas abroad. Estimates concerning the number of “Vory” throughout the world range from several hundred to over 10,000. Thieves in law are drawn from many nationalities from a number of post-Soviet states

Meanwhile, the related “Nahmad-Trincher” organization, directed primarily by Hillel “Helly” Nahmad, Noah “The Oracle” Siegel and Illya Trincher, reportedly ran a similar high-stakes gambling operation in New York and Los Angeles. The operation took in tens of millions in bets on illegal websites, then laundered profits through a multitude of US bank accounts, a plumbing company in the Bronx, a real estate company and car repair shop in New York City, and a firm that sells used cars over the Internet.

At least 30 of the 34 people named in the indictment were in custody as of April, and the trial is planned to start in June, 2014. The key missing figure who has remained out of reach is the Russian thief-in-law Tokhtakhounov, an ethnic Uigur known as “Taiwanchik” for his Asian features. ALIMZHAN TOKHTAKHOUNOV, a/k/a “Taiwanchik,” a/k/a “Alik,” VADIM TRINCHER, a/k/a “Dima,” ANATOLY GOLUBCHIK, a/k/a “Tony,” MICHAEL SALL, STAN GREENBERG, a/k/a “Slava,” ILLYA TRINCHER, HILLEL NAHMAD, a/k/a “Helly,” JOHN HANSON, NOAH SIEGEL, a/k/a “The Oracle,” JONATHAN HIRSCH, ARTHUR AZEN, DONALD MCCALMONT, DMITRY DRUZHINSKY, a/k/a “Dima,” a/k/a “Blondie,” ALEXANDER ZAVERUKHA, a/k/a “Sasha,” ALEXANDER KATCHALOFF, a/k/a “Murushka,” ANATOLY SHTEYNGROB, a/k/a “Tony,” ILYA ROZENFELD, PETER SKYLLAS, RONALD UY, NICHOLAS HIRSCH, BRYAN ZURIFF, MOSHE ORATZ, KIRILL RAPOPORT, DAVID AARON, a/k/a “D.A.,” JUSTIN SMITH, ABRAHAM MOSSERI, WILLIAM EDLER, PETER FELDMAN, EUGENE TRINCHER, EDWIN TING, a/k/a “Eddie,” MOLLY BLOOM, WILLIAM BARBALAT, YUGESHWAR RAJKUMAR, a/k/a “Mateo Hermatte,” and JOSEPH MANCUSO, a/k/a “Joe the Hammer,” here

Interpol has a red notice out on Tokhtakhounov, who was previously indicted for bribing ice skating judges at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Tokhtakhounov lives in Russia and has been on the Forbes list of the world’s 10 Most Wanted fugitives since it was first compiled in 2008.

In a televised interview with the channel Mir 24 after the April indictment, Tokhtakhounov said the case against him was “made up,” calling it “yet another fairy tale from the Americans.”
The main players include a notorious Russian thief-in-law (the equivalent of an Italian mafia don), a billionaire art mogul, a J.P. Morgan banker, a Hollywood poker hostess and the Russian-born ringleader — poker pro Vadim Trincher, who lived in Trump Tower in a $5 million apartment directly beneath that of “The Donald” himself.
“From his apartment he oversaw what must have been the world’s largest sports book,” Assistant US Attorney Harris Fischman said during a hearing at which a judge ordered Trincher, facing nearly a century behind bars if convicted, held for trial without bail.
The whopping 84-page federal indictment spells out how the conspirators all fit into two related rings that operated since at least 2006 out of Kyiv, Los Angeles, Moscow and New York.

here’s a look at the 34 individuals indicted:

Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov Vadim Trincher
Anatoly Golubchik Michael Sall
Stan Greenberg Illya Trincher
Hillell Nahmad John Hanson
Noah Siegel Jonathan Hirsch
Arthur Azen Donald McCalmont
Dmitry Druzhinsky Alexander Zaverukha
Alexander Katchaloff Anatoly Shteyngrob
Ilya Rozenfeld Peter Skyllas
Ronald Uy Nicholas Hirsh
Bryan Zuriff Moshe Oratz
Kirill Rapoport David Aaron
Justin Smith Abraham Mosseri
William Edler Peter Feldman
Eugene Trincher Edwin Ting
Molly Bloom William Barbalat
Yugeswar Rajkumar Joseph Mancuso

 

Feds bust high-stakes poker and sportsbooking ring

 

[April 27]

Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner

Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner

Marc Lasry,employed the Clintons’ daughter, Chelsea, between 2006 and 2009, Three years after getting her M.A., she joined Avenue, which was started in 1995 by Lasry [JD New York Lw School] and his sister, Ms.Sonia Gardner [JD from Cardozo, Yeshiva U.], Previous Name: Sonia Esther Lasry, and has about $12.5 billion in assets and specializes in distressed debt. Chelsea Clinton says she left her career on Wall Street three years ago to find more purpose.

“Intellectually, I loved my job, but I didn’t get any meaning from it,” says Clinton, 33, who worked from 2006 to 2009 as an associate at Avenue Capital Group LLC, a New York- based hedge fund firm. “I didn’t fundamentally become re- motivated every day in the way that I do now.” Lasry has five children, one of whom now works in the White House. He lives at 4 East 74th Street.

New York’s chief federal prosecutor charged 34 people in an alleged $100 million Russian-run poker money laundering operation.
Among those charged were Illya Trincher, the son of a professional poker player, who is accused of running the ring for multi-millionaire gamblers with Helly Nahmad, an elite Manhattan art dealer based in the Carlyle hotel.
Others arrested included Molly Bloom, the so-called “poker princess” who has organised games for celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.
Mr Lasry has played poker with some of the accused, including Mr Trincher, but it was a “complete surprise to him that they are accused of violating the law”, said a source close to the financier.
He said: “I am very grateful to have been considered, but I would like to put the speculation to rest and let you know that I will be remaining at Avenue.” The source familiar with his decision said that he was remaining at Avenue as it had become clear that he would divest his financial holdings in Avenue and its funds. “It has nothing to do with this poker investigation,” he said.
The Moroccan-born financier, 53, is known in Wall Street circles as a “master of the universe” type – the phrase coined by novelist Tom Wolfe to describe powerful New York finance industry high-flyers.
Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are in contract for a four-bedroom condominium near Manhattan’s Madison Square Park that was listed at $10.5 million, a person with knowledge of the building said.
The couple agreed to purchase a 5,000-square-foot (465- square-meter) apartment on the fourth floor of the Whitman on East 26th Street.

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32229927206_a0116b3af4_z

Elizabeth Olsen in “Ingrid Goes West”

 

Independent Spirit Award nomination 2018 BEST FIRST FEATURE
Ingrid Goes West
Director: Matt Spicer
Producers: Jared Ian Goldman, Adam Mirels, Robert Mirels, Aubrey Plaza, Tim White, Trevor White

[December 5 47th best film “Ingrid Goes West” ]

‘Ingrid’ makes list of the best films shown on US screens in the past year in the Guardian

[January 12]

Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) a mentally disturbed young woman, becomes obsessed with Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen)..

[January 3 2012 “Red Lights,” Premieres, 6:30 pm Jan. 24.  at 2012 Sundance ]

9620015f8819e80cd18b81655f851f3a

“Red Lights,” Premieres, 6:30 pm Jan. 24.
[December 7 2011]Sundance Institute announced today the films selected to screen in the out-of-competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Red Lights / U.S.A., Spain (Director and screenwriter: Rodrigo Cortés) — Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic. Cast: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Olsen, Toby Jones.

3c6c2fd100000578-4147900-image-a-35_1485178777832

Spotted at the White House Hanukkah party: Jill Kelley.

[January 30]

Friends in high places:Jill Kelley was at the inauguration January 20, and posted a photo of herself with billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4147900/Sorkin-Clooney-want-rights-David-Petraeus-story.html

[March 19 2016 Lawyers dump Jill Kelley ]

pet jill

Petraeus confirmed he has spoken with the Trump administration about being secretary of state [December12 2017]

Jill Kelley filed the Privacy Act lawsuit in 2013, charging that the FBI and Pentagon leaked personal information about her via Alan Raul of Chicago-based law firm Sidley Austin, Raul and other Sidley lawyers who  have asked U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to excuse them from the case.
The withdrawal request followed a proposal from the Kelleys’ side that the U.S. government pay $4.35 million to settle the suit reported arch 18. The feds apparently rejected the offer.

[March 4 2015 John Allen says the United States has not ruled out a no-fly zone or protected corridor in Syria ]

 a man with four stars on his collar leading U.S. forces in Afghanistan just one year ago

a man with four stars on his collar leading U.S. forces in Afghanistan just one year ago

The retired Marine general in charge of mobilizing an international coalition against the group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS) says that the United States has not ruled out a no-fly zone or protected corridor in Syria to safeguard the thousands of fighters it intends to train to help defeat the militant group.

“All those things are under consideration,” John Allen told an audience the evening of March 2 at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank. On 13 September 2014, The United States appointed General Allen as Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
One would think a man with four stars on his collar leading U.S. forces in Afghanistan just one year ago would have no problem working with military leadership in the fight against militants of the so-called Islamic State at present.
One derides Allen as “a boy scout.” Another, noting his new role as a quasi-diplomat though he’s never been one, said “I don’t know how that’s going to work.”
For many of the military’s top leaders it seems, having a retired general like Allen outside of the military chain-of-command reporting to Obama is a sign of White House “micromanagement.” It also offers the possibility of conflicting messages between State and the Pentagon in the fight against ISIL. more below

[March 3]

 He also serves as a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College, and as a Judge Widney Professor at the Univ of Southern California

He also serves as a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, and as a Judge Widney Professor at the Univ of Southern California

“The criminal Information charges the defendant with one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1924,” Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi said in a statement. “The plea agreement and corresponding statement of facts, both signed by the defendant, indicate that he will plead guilty to the one-count criminal Information.” General David Petraeus is arguably the most consequential U.S. military leader since World War II.

[January 10 Feds recommend arresting David Petraeus, no final decision]
Holder said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The determination has yet to be made. And we will just see how things play out before any final decision is made.”

Federal prosecutors are recommending felony charges against retired Gen. David Petraeus over classified information they say he provided to his biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell

Author follows General through Afghanistan

55 Author follows General through Afghanistan

 He also serves as a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College, and as a Judge Widney Professor at the Univ of Southern California

He also serves as a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, and as a Judge Widney Professor at the Univ of Southern California

[September 26 2014 General David Petraeus advises on Iraq fight,  773 days until 2016 Presidential race, Iowa caucus  Feb.1,2016]

The U.S.-led fight against Islamic State will take years and will need ground forces to succeed, retired General David Petraeus said. Petraeus, 61, served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2011 to 2012 and is now chairman of KKR Global Institute, an investment management firm. Under General (Ret.) David Petraeus as Chairman and Vance Serchuk as Executive Director, KGI integrates the macroeconomic analyses of KKR’s Global Macro and Asset Allocation Team led by Henry McVey and the Public Policy & Public Affairs, stakeholder engagement, and environmental, social, and governance work of KKR’s Global Public Affairs Team led by Ken Mehlman. KKR Co-Chairman and Co-CEO Henry Kravis, KKR Co-Chairman and Co-CEO George Roberts. In 1987, Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. resigned from KKR over differences in strategy, and Henry Kravis and George Roberts assumed full leadership of the firm.

[Earlier buzz] Roger Ailes suggested that Petraeus run for President. .. General David Petraeus was seen as a real future presidential candidate until he was hidden at the CIA until the day after the election when it was leaked he was having an affair and unceremoniously fired.
below

[September 16 Jill Kelley can go to trial against FBI and Defense Department]

Gen. John R. Allen, who commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was in line to become supreme allied commander in Europe

Gen. John R. Allen, who commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was in line to become supreme allied commander in Europe

U..S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied the Motion to Dismiss and Kelley can press her claim that the FBI and Defense Department violated her privacy when officials allegedly leaked information about her to the news media.According to court filings by Kelley’s attorneys, the government falsely told one news outlet the emails between Allen and Kelley were the equivalent of phone sex. The lawyers argued that given the prurient nature of the investigation and the “other woman” narrative propounded by the leakers, it was likely that Kelley’s treatment was motivated by sexual discrimination. The Pentagon’s inspector general exonerated Allen, who subsequently retired.

[January 6 Jill Kelley’s suit gains support]

Kelleys

Mrs. Petraeus and Kelleys

Kelley was banned from the Tampa Air Force base and stripped of her honorary title as consul to South Korea.

“Just because you’re stalked by a mistress doesn’t mean you are one,” Kelley told the New York Times. “It’s not contagious.”

Kelley and her attorneys said the lawsuit touched on an array of issues: what the government can access, how it disseminates information about private citizens, whether it protects people who report crimes, what constitutes leaking and the laws governing public records.

“Here, the government did not adhere to its own standards for avoiding electronic intrusion into innocent citizens’ lives,” said Alan Charles Raul, an attorney for the Kelleys. “Instead, they turned around and blamed the victim.”

In a lawsuit that is half legal document and half news release, Kelley seeks damages and a formal apology from the government for revealing her identity after she reported to the FBI what she assumed was a crime: threatening emails sent by a woman with whom Petraeus, then director of the CIA, was having an affair. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is also an attempt by Kelley to tell her side of a story she says was distorted, leaving her family as collateral damage.

A spokesman for the FBI, Michael P. Kortan, declined to comment on specifics of the case, citing the continuing litigation. But the government has asked the court to toss the suit.

[September 25]
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration September 24 sought dismissal of a privacy lawsuit by Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, whose complaint to the FBI unwittingly led to Gen. David Petraeus’ ouster as CIA director.

If a federal judge eventually allows Kelley’s lawsuit to proceed, the case could delve into the roles played in the scandal by the FBI, the Pentagon and other parts of the administration.

Kelley had hosted military officials from MacDill Air Force Base — including Petraeus while he led Central Command — at her Bayshore Boulevard mansion.

The Justice Department said that Kelley has failed to present any facts suggesting that the FBI and the Pentagon flagrantly disregarded her privacy rights.

“A bare allegation” that information was retrieved from government files is insufficient, the Justice Department saidThe FBI and the Pentagon have exempted several of their record systems from the Privacy Act. Kelley and her husband, Scott, also a plaintiff in the case, fail to say whether the leaked information was in a system subject to the Privacy Act, the government said.

TAMPA — Attorneys had gathered in a conference room to question the Tampa socialite who had unwittingly triggered the scandal that ended the career of CIA director David Petraeus.

Jill Kelley’s house is in foreclosure, and Kelley appeared at a June 26 deposition in the case.

But Kelley refused to be sworn in, a Regions Bank attorney said. Then she refused to testify, departing with her attorney.

“They’re actually leaving the room now and not even listening to me on the record,” said Regions attorney Peter Hargitai at the deposition, according to a transcript.

Kelley and her husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, have refused to testify in the foreclosure case on their posh Bayshore Boulevard home. The couple say a Regions lawyer is threatening to question them about the Petraeus scandal and then release a transcript to the media.

Jill Kelley said in court papers that Hargitai told her, “This deposition is going to be all over the news.” The lawyer denied making any threats.

“Plaintiff appears determined to try this matter in the media,” a motion by the Kelleys’ attorney said.

The couple have demanded that opposing counsel agree to keep any transcript of their testimony sealed, providing no copies to the media or any third party.

Hargitai has refused, though he told the court he has no intention of giving it to the media. But if the deposition is filed in court, it would become available to anyone who wants a copy.

“A deposition is a public record,” Hargitai told the Tampa Bay Times in a brief interview.

The attorney said a Hillsborough Circuit Court judge is soon expected to file an order compelling the Kelleys to sit down for a deposition by Sept. 15. Neither the Kelleys nor their attorney, Benjamin Hillard, returned messages seeking comment.

An order has not yet been issued, according to the online docket of the case. The next court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Kelley inadvertently ended Petraeus’ career as CIA director.

A $2.1 million foreclosure case involving an office building formerly owned by Tampa socialite Jill Kelley and her husband, Scott, was settled Monday, according to the judge overseeing it.

The case had been scheduled to go to trial Aug. 12 before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Sabella. Settlement terms were not disclosed, which is typical in civil cases, and attorneys for the parties could not be reached for comment.

A pretrial hearing had been scheduled Monday, but the Kelleys and attorneys did not appear as settlement talks concluded.

The Kelleys bought the property using their corporation, Kelley Land Holdings. Jill Kelley is currently listed as the corporation’s managing partner.

The bank said the fair market value of the property is about $1.4 million. Once that is applied to the loan, the Kelleys owed the bank more than $700,000 with interest adding $109 per day, according to a September 2011 court filing. The balance due currently was not immediately clear Monday.

That figure also did not include attorney fees.

[September 12]

Retired Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, former CIA director under President Barack Obama, called strongly Saturday for Congress to back the White House on Syria, declaring that military action against the regime is “necessary” to deter “Iran, North Korea and other would-be aggressors.”

Jill Kelley Complaint v. FBI et al

Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite entangled in the scandal that toppled former CIA director David Petraeus.

The Justice Department has asked for a 30-day extension, until Sept. 4, to respond to her lawsuit against the government for violating her family’s privacy, rifling through her e-mails and leaking confidential information about her.

And Kelley is fine with the extension, says her lawyer, Alan Raul.

[May 20]

Petraeus will serve in a consultant's role

Petraeus will serve in a consultant’s role

Retired army general David Petraeus will take a new job with investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. KKR did not detail terms of its agreement with Petraeus, but a spokeswoman said he will serve in a consultant’s role
[November 27 2012]

Former Prime Minister of South Korea Han Duk Soo

Former Prime Minister of South Korea Han Duk Soo

The state Department of Motor Vehicles has been informed by the U.S. Department of State that Jill Kelley no longer qualifies for an honorary consul license plate, according to a spokesman.

“We received word from the U.S. Department of State that her status” as an honorary consul for South Korea “has been terminated,”

The South Korean official who made it possible for Jill Kelley to be appointed honorary consul was Han Duk-soo, currently head of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and South Korean ambassador to the United States until February.

The official categorically denied that there was any inappropriate relationship between Han, a former Prime Minister and Jill Kelley. He said Kelley showed Han in their meetings a strong willingness to work for the improvement of U.S.-South Korean economic relations. He didn’t elaborate.
Han Duk-Soo was the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) from 2007 until February 2008. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Korea International Trade Association.
Just before leaving the United States, he asked the South Korean consulate office in Atlanta to consider appointing Kelley honorary consul, citing her active role in organizing public events promoting an ambitious, hard-fought free trade agreement between Seoul and Washington and in arranging meetings between the ambassador and influential politicians and businessmen in Tampa.
[November 21]

[Nov 17]

Jill Kelley, “honorary ambassador” to the coalition in Tampa Florida

Talya Khawam and host

Talya Khawam and host

In emails with her ex-husband, Khawam wrote that Senator Kerry asked about the son and whether he would be coming to Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 2012.

She also wrote that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island invited the son to a summer clambake in the state, and that the son “would greatly appreciate attending this family clambake.”

Included in the court file is what appears to be a handwritten note from Whitehouse, writing, “I am excited to hear that you, Natalie and (the son) may be coming to the family clambake. That would be terrific!”

The Whitehouse note was addressed to Gerald Harrington.

Harrington served as national vice chairman of finance for Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, according to a biography posted on the website of Harrington’s lobbying firm, Capitol City Group.

A spokeswoman for Kerry said Kerry was introduced to Khawam by Harrington, whom the spokeswoman described as Khawam’s boyfriend.

A spokesman for Whitehouse also said Whitehouse knew Khawam through her relationship with Harrington, whom Whitehouse has known since college. “Ms. Khawam attended the Senator’s clambake fundraiser this summer as Mr. Harrington’s guest, and he was glad to see them there,” the spokesman said.

[November 16]

Jill Kelly offered to broker a deal with the South Korean government for
Adam Victor, president and CEO of TransGas Development Systems, “that they were essentially doing a favor for General Petraeus, and that she had access solely because of her relationship with General Petraeus.”
Victor said he thought it made sense that Petraeus would want to put a trusted aide in charge of promoting free trade. When Kelley named her fee for brokering the deal, however, Victor balked. The coal gasification plants under discussion were worth $4 billion, said Victor — and Kelley wanted a two percent cut. “That’s an $80 million fee,” he said. “And I mean that is problematic . . . No broker gets $80 million. I mean that’s two whole orders of magnitude higher than what they would get.”

Victor said he “terminated the relationship” after Kelley asked for $80 million
[November 15]

it turns out the FBI agent who started the investigation sent topless photos of himself to Jill Kelley, the alleged other woman. The agent in question was apparently a friend of Kelley’s.
General John Allen has been in Afghanistan as the top American commander since July 2011, although before that he lived in Tampa as the deputy commander for Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East.

The defense official said that the Pentagon had received the 20,000 to 30,000 pages of documents from the F.B.I. and was currently reviewing them. Some of the e-mails may have prompted suspicions among FBI investigators because Allen sometimes used words such as “sweetheart” to refer to her, the senior official said.

An official said the coalition countries represented aty Central Command gave Kelley an appreciation certificate on which she was referred to as an “honorary ambassador” to the coalition, but she has no official status and is not employed by the U.S. government. Kelley, 37, hails from a Lebanese family that emigrated to Philadelphia in the mid-1970s.
Her parents, John and Marcelle Khawam, had businesses in the area, including a restaurant in Voorhees. The couple still live in Washington Crossing, Bucks County, according to public records, and Kelley’s older brother, David, is a lawyer in South Jersey. His office also lists lawyer Jill M Tribulas, in practice 11 years
Jill Khawam and her twin sister, Natalie, were the youngest of four children. Born in Lebanon, Jill is of Maronite Christian descent and speaks Arabic. Maronite Christians were allies of Israel in the Lebanese Civil War/Lebanon invasion.)
About a decade ago, both women moved to Tampa, where Jill’s husband, Scott Kelley, works as a surgeon.
Natalie Khawam, a lawyer and single mother, lives with them, according to a bankruptcy petition she filed earlier this year.
Just three months after they posed with David and Holly Petraeus, strands of Gasparilla beads hanging from their necks, the Kelleys were hit with a foreclosure lawsuit.
The suit, brought by Central Bank against Maronite Christians were allies of Israel in the Lebanese Civil War/Lebanon invasion.) Kelleys and Kelly Land Holdings, centered on a three-story office building at 300 E Madison St. in downtown Tampa. Court records show they owed the bank nearly $2.2 million, including attorney fees
Since the Kelleys have been in Tampa, records show, one or both have been subjects of lawsuits nine times — including an $11,000 judgment against them that originated in Pennsylvania.
Ongoing cases, the court records show, include an indebtedness case from Chase Bank; a foreclosure case from Regions Bank; and a credit card case from FIA Card Services.
The Kelleys have hired Abbe Lowell, a Washington lawyer who has represented clients such as former presidential candidate John Edwards and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. And the couple are employing crisis PR person Judy Smith, who has represented big names like Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick and Kobe Bryant.

[November 10]

Author follows General through Afghanistan

Author follows General through Afghanistan

General David Petraeus is arguably the most consequential U.S. military leader since World War II. Broadwell’s excellent biography portrays him as a modern exemplar of the soldier-scholar-statesman and one who has exerted a profound influence on the American military establishment
Petraeus emerges from Broadwell’s book as an educated, committed, competitive, driven, and inspiring figure.
Foreign Affairs

“This is the best book yet on General David Petraeus, written by a remarkable former Army officer who spent months on the ground in Afghanistan herself. Paula Broadwell captures his basic tenets of counterinsurgency and basic approach to leadership-as well as Petraeus’s personal qualities and character-in a highly readable and pithy fashion. No one gives a truer picture of the war, or of the finest general of this era and one of the greatest in modern American history.”
(-Michael O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution )

“All In vividly demonstrates the influence General David Petraeus has had on a whole generation of military officers-showing by the force of his personal example what it means to be tough, loyal, committed, and smart. Paula Broadwell takes readers into the briefing rooms and onto the battlefields to better understand the lessons and sacrifices of America’s wars.”
(-Nathaniel Fick, New York Times bestselling author of One Bullet Away )

Golden Globe nominations 2018

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World”

[July 18 filming in Rome ]

michelle2bwilliams2bwas2bspotted2bat2ba2bfood2bmarket2bin2brome2bwearing2bwhite2bjeans252c2ba2bpatterned2bshirt2band2ba2bchic2bstraw2bbag

Marketing in Rome in July where she is filming All The Money In The World,

Shooting in July on the Los Angeles set, Waterston, known for her performances in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Inherent Vice” and the recent “Alien: Covenant” will be playing the mother of 12-year-old Stevie, as he navigates his way through the heady skateboard scene that has no shortage of drugs, drinking, sex and more, all while coming of age.

[July 6]

michelle-williams-dating-boyfriend-rome-photos-06

When All the Money in the World was in development Angelina Jolie was offered the lead female role of Gail Harris but declined. When the project was officially announced & greenlighted, Natalie Portman had been offered the Gail Harris role. However, she declined it as she just gave birth to her second baby and Michelle Williams was cast instead.   The potentially harrowing crime drama, which is currently shooting in Rome, stars Kevin Spacey as oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, who was reluctant to pay the ransom demanded by Italian kidnappers for his grandson; Michelle Williams as Gail Harris, the kidnapped teenager’s mother; Mark Wahlberg as the ex-cia negotiator brought on board to help negotiate; and rising star Charlie Plummer in the role of J. Paul Getty III whose ear was cut off to coerce the family into paying.

In 2013, Joel Edgerton was set to star in The Double Hour, a remake of the Italian film The Double Hour (2009), alongside Michelle Williams, but the project fell apart.

 

[May 29 2013 Michelle Williams takes Rappaport role in remake ]

doublehour-michellewilliams-joshuamarston-360x240

played chambermaid

played chambermaid

Michelle Williams, as chambermaid, and Joel Edgerton will star in the indie remake of Italian thriller “The Double Hour,” with “Maria Full of Grace” helmer Joshua Marston directing from his own script.

lundutah - Edited

Lund Utah

The Coltharp girls — along with their two brothers, their father, John Coltharp, and grandparents Keith and Cathy Coltharp, all from Spring City, Sanpete County — disappeared in September. Spring City Police Chief Clarke Christensen said Iron County sheriff’s deputies found most of the missing people in a compound used by the group John Coltharp associates with.

“They raided the complex, or compound, recovered the two boys, the two grandparents, but the girls had been taken in the night.”

The boys, William, 7, and Seth, 6, were found in good condition, he said.

John Coltharp was an associate of Shaffer’s, according to family members. The Coltharps moved from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, to Utah and then helped form a religious/survivalist cult, a fundamentalist Mormon offshoot.
Both sets of girls were within about five miles of what police described as a compound two miles west of Lund — a home made of shipping containers that Shaffer shared with two other adults unrelated to the children.
“(John Coltharp) belongs to a religious group called The Knights of the Crystal Blade and is likely living in the Cedar City area with the sect’s prophet, Samuel Warren Schaffer,” John’s wife said in court records. “(John Coltharp) distrusts modern medicine, refusing to allow petitioner to use pain medication during childbirth.” The chief noted that the religious group Coltharp associates with “has very like beliefs.”

[February 17 2012 Mountain Man FLDS Lost Boy? ]

lostboyA mountain man who roams the wilder- ness of south- ern Utah, breaking into remote cabins in wint- er is res- ponsible for more than two doz- en burg- laries has continued to outrun the law across a swath of moun- tains not far from Zion Na- tional Park. The coffee and alcohol the survi- valist favors plays into some cabin owners’ assessment that he could be a castaway from the nearby twin towns of Hildale or Colorado City on the Utah-Arizona border. The so-called lost boys are said to be regularly booted from the polygamous sect there by elders looking to increase their marriage opportunities with young women.
Unlike members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which discourages consumption of alcohol and coffee, many of the Mormon fundamentalists imbibe.

[August 21]

trump20tower20batumi

Robert Mueller has assembled a team of sixteen lawyers. One of them is fluent in Russian, and five have extensive experience investigating and prosecuting cases of money laundering, foreign corruption, and complex financial conspiracies. The path from Trump to Putin, if one exists, might be found in one of his foreign real-estate deals.
A stalled 2011 plan to build a Trump Tower in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea in the Republic of Georgia, has not received much journalistic attention. The deal, for which Trump was reportedly paid a million dollars, involved unorthodox financial practices that several experts described to me as “red flags” for bank fraud and money laundering; moreover, it intertwined his company with a Kazakh oligarch who has direct links to Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. As a result, Putin and his security services have access to information that could put them in a position to blackmail Trump. (Sekulow said that “the Georgia real-estate deal is something we would consider out of scope,” adding, “Georgia is not Russia.”)

The developer that had paid Trump and invited him to Georgia—a holding company known as the Silk Road Group—had been funded by a bank that was enmeshed in a giant money-laundering scandal.

Trump Tower Batumi was going to be funded not by Trump but by businesses with ties to Kazakh oligarchs, including Timur Kulibayev, the son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s autocratic ruler, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and a close ally of Putin.

The Financial Action Task Force, headquartered in Paris, is led by representatives from thirty-seven nations. In 2007, the task force issued a report about the use of real-estate projects for money laundering. The report makes note of several red flags. It warns of “complex loans” in which businesses “lend themselves money, creating the appearance that the funds are legitimate.” It also warns of the use of offshore shell companies and tangled corporate legal structures, especially those in which third parties are hired to administer a company and conceal its true ownership. These intertwined companies can then trade property among themselves, in order to create inflated valuations: “An often-used structure is, for example, the setting up of shell companies to buy real estate. Shortly after acquiring the properties, the companies are voluntarily wound up, and the criminals then repurchase the property at a price considerably above the original purchase price. This enables them to insert a sum of money into the financial system equal to the original purchase price plus the capital gain, thereby allowing them to conceal the origin of their funds.”
The report states that money launderers often find that “buying a hotel, a restaurant or other similar investment offers further advantages, as it brings with it a business activity in which there is extensive use of cash.” Casinos—like the one planned for the Trump Tower Batumi—are especially useful in this regard. The casino was to be owned by the Silk Road Group and its partners.
Alan Garten, the chief legal officer for the Trump Organization, declined to describe the due diligence behind the Batumi tower. When the deal was signed, the general counsel for the Trump Organization was Jason Greenblatt, who is now President Trump’s envoy to negotiate Middle East peace. (The White House declined to comment for this story, referring me instead to Sekulow, Trump’s lawyer, who also declined to discuss the specifics of the Batumi deal.)

Ross Delston, a prominent anti-money-laundering attorney in Washington, D.C., told me that, if one of his clients approached him with the possibility of entering a licensing relationship with the people involved in the Batumi deal, he “would tell him not to walk away but to run away—to run like hell.” He explained, “There are too many aspects of the deal that don’t make sense, and there’s no way, as an outsider, that you could conduct sufficient due diligence to figure out if it is criminal.”
So many partners of the Trump Organization have been fined, sued, or criminally investigated for financial crimes that it is hard to ascribe the pattern to coincidence, or even to shoddy due diligence. In criminal law, there is a crucial concept called “willful blindness”: a person can be convicted of a crime even if he was unaware of certain aspects of the crime in which he was engaged. In U.S. courts, judges routinely explain to juries that “no one can avoid responsibility for a crime by deliberately ignoring what is obvious.” (When the Trump Organization cancelled the Batumi deal, it noted that it held the Silk Road Group “in the highest regard.”)

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/08/21/trumps-business-of-corruption

[June 5 2016 Hank Greenberg can be sued for hiding insurance company’s losses]

AIG Broadway

American International Group

The New York Court of Appeals ruled that state officials can try to recover millions of dollars in bonuses and interest from Former American International Group CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg , 91, and his co-defendant, Howard Smith, 71, former AIG chief financial officer.In 2005, then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused Greenberg and Smith of using fraudulent transactions to hide the insurance company’s losses and mislead investors about its financial condition.

Greenberg’s lawyer, David Boies, later tried to get the charges dismissed, arguing that a $115 million settlement between AIG executives such as Greenberg and a group of shareholders should have ended the case. But the court rejected that argument and ordered the trial to proceed. More than $55 million may be at stake. In addition, the court said the state could seek to ban Greenberg and Smith from the securities industry and from serving as officers or directors of public companies. The U.S. government in a separate case last August appealed a judge’s ruling that sided with Greenberg on a legal claim over AIG’s bailout and found that the Federal Reserve exceeded its authority in the insurer’s bailout.
The case centers on a transaction with General Re, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The New York suit claims Greenberg orchestrated a $500 million transaction that boosted loss reserves without transferring risk. A second transaction, with Capco Reinsurance Co, allegedly hid a $210 million underwriting loss in an auto-warranty program
The People of the State of New York by Eric T. Schneiderman v. Maurice R. Greenberg

[April 4 Americans in Panama Papers: ‘Wait. Just look at what’s coming…’ ]

7889e35adfa42e0da5f8f622a853051b7f5de6d5-1459707563-57015eab-620x348

Americans later

Jen Mills for Metro.co.uk   But weirdly, considering it’s the world’s largest economy, there was nobody from the USA   .Stefan Plöchinger, digital editor of German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung which obtained the leaks, shot out this teaser earlier today, saying: ‘Wait. Just look at what’s coming…’

[August 17 2015 Carlos Hank Rhon and Banamex under DoJ subpoenas ]

Justice Department is examining anti-money laundering practices at Banco Nacional de Mexico, Citigroup’s Mexico unit known as Banamex, to see if any of its clients were involved in money laundering, Justice wanted Citigroup (C.N) to provide information on accounts tied to four businesses affiliated with Hank Rhon, two units each of Grupo Financiero Interacciones SA (GFINTERO.MX) and Grupo Hermes SA, which are controlled by Hank Rhon and his family as well as a fifth firm, Banco Monex, that’s not connected to Hank Rhon. Hank Rhon, a businessman involved in banking, construction and heavy industry, is the son of Carlos Hank Gonzalez, a longtime force in Mexico’s ruling party who died in 2001.
more Banamex

Carlos Hank Rhon’s fortune includes assets in the financial, industrial, real estate and transportation industries. His best-known company is bank holding company Grupo Financiero Interacciones, where he and his family own a 74% stake. In 2014 his son, Carlos Hank González, left the company when he became chairman of the board of another banking conglomerate, Grupo Financiero Banorte, in which his mother’s family has a 12% stake. In addition to Interacciones, Hank Rhon owns Grupo Hermes, an industrial conglomerate with interests in construction, infrastructure projects, energy, transportation, tourism and auto dealerships. He is the son of one of Mexico’s best-known politicians, the late Carlos Hank Gonzalez, who held several key government positions including Mexico City mayor, Secretary of Agriculture and governor of his home state of Mexico. [Clear?]
Jorge Hank Rhon (born January 28, 1956) is a Mexican politician, businessman and owner of Mexico’s largest sports betting company, Grupo Caliente. An eccentric and controversial personality, he served from December 2004 to February 2007 as the president of the municipality of Tijuana. He is the son of former Mexico City mayor Carlos Hank González and Guadalupe Rhon.Hank has long been target of diverse rumors and accusations. Tijuana

[August 17 Doral Bank pair charged with $2.35 million wire fraud and money laundering]

 Doral search was being conducted by the white-collar crime unit regarding a federal offense

Doral search was being conducted by the white-collar crime unit regarding a federal offense

Doral could possibly be taken over by the FDIC Friday, people with knowledge of the matter told. A federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment Feb. 18 charging Defendant Annelise I. Figueroa and Defendant Rolando Rivera Solis with financial institution fraud, misapplication of $2.35 million in bank funds, wire fraud and money laundering.9whavqzz

[December 26 2014 Doral Bank raid connected to 2011 unsolved murder?]
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents entered the Doral Bank’s offices about 8:15 a.m december 23. in San Juan to collect information including computers and documents, the Doral search was being conducted by the white-collar crime unit regarding a federal offense. However, she said she wouldn’t exclude the possibility that the probe may also relate to the 2011 murder of a Doral executive, Maurice Spagnoletti. The raid took place at the bank’s information technology offices in Hato Rey.
Spagnoletti, 56, was shot while driving home from work to the fashionable Condado beach front district in rush-hour traffic in June 2011 after leaving the Bank, in what authorities said was a professional execution. At that time, the man was Executive Vice President of Doral Bank, a position he occupied for six months.
Following the execution of Spagnoletti, his widow and daughter, Marisa and Lucy , respectively, filed a lawsuit civil at the federal level in 2013 for “wrongful death” or death by negligence, involving officers of the Bank, including its President Glen Wakeman. However, they withdrew the demand in January 2014.
In the lawsuit, the relatives of Spagnoletti claimed that he received threats after he found fraudulent bank transactions and advised President Glen Wakeman should dismiss Annelisse Figueroa, who was Executive Vice President of operations together with the head of security Jose Robles and Vice President, Chief compliance and Chief Legal, Enrique Ubarri Baragaño, defendants in the action.

Since 2012, Doral Bank has been operating under a consent agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and parallel sanction by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which required the directors to set policies and closely monitor the bank’s financial reporting, among other things, according to the complaint.
But the company ended up surprising investors on March 18 when it said it could not file its Form 10-K report for 2013 on time because it discovered material weakness in its accounting controls, Fair View said in its complaint. The bank subsequently revised its reported loss for the quarter ending Sept. 30 to $2.57 per share from $1.49 a share, it said.
Spagnoletti was president of Greenville-based Carolina First Bank, a subsidiary of The South Financial Group Inc., from April 2006 to June 2008.
fraud

[October 15 Citigroup Inc. fined $2 million in Oceanografía- Banamex]

Luis Robles and Javier Arrigunaga

Luis Robles and Javier Arrigunaga

The Mexican regulator, the CNBV, said October 15 that in its review of Oceanografía’s relationship with Banamex, it found actions that could be considered crimes. it has fined the local unit of Citigroup Inc.a little more than $2 million for failing to prevent an alleged fraud against the bank by a client, oil-services firm Oceanografía.
The regulator also said that Banamex should have had better internal controls in place to prevent such losses.The incident also has led to the departure of high-level employees at the bank, with Citigroup announcing this month that Banamex Chief Executive Javier Arrigunaga had resigned.

[June 30 BNP “perpetrating what was truly a tour de fraud,” pleads guilty]

BNP’s general counsel, Georges Dirani, in a Manhattan court on June 30.

BNP hid the names of Sudanese and Iranian clients when sending transactions through its New York operations and the broader American financial system. In the bank’s Geneva office, “there was policy to strip, amend and omit” information identifying Sudanese clients. “This conspiracy was known and condoned at the highest levels of BNP,” Edward Starishevsky, an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, said in court on Monday when the bank pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying business records and one count of conspiracy. BNP agreed to pay an $8.9 billion penalty

http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/BNP-Paribas-New-York-City-Salaries-EI_IE10342.0,11_IL.12,25_IM615.htm
[June 21]

French bank BNP Paribas and the U.S. government are close to settling the criminal investigation of the bank for between $8 billion and $9 billion.
According to U.S. prosecutors, the bank conducted at least $30 billion of illegal transactions on behalf of companies and government agencies in Sudan over a period of five years, violating U.S. sanctions. In addition to paying a record fine, the bank is expected to plead guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and agree to a temporary prohibition on its ability to conduct transactions in U.S. dollars. Although the fine seems huge compared with those paid by other banks in comparable cases, prosecutors feel that it’s justified because of the severity of the misconduct as well as the fact that BNP didn’t cooperate as fully as the government would have liked.
The bank conducted at least $30 billion of illegal transactions on behalf of companies and government agencies in Sudan over a period of five years, violating U.S. sanctions. In addition to paying a record fine, the bank is expected to plead guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and agree to a temporary prohibition on its ability to conduct transactions in U.S. dollars.

[April 30]
A development could produce the first guilty plea to criminal charges from a major bank in more than two decade. A lack of criminal prosecutions of banks and their leaders fueled a public outcry over the perception that Wall Street giants are “too big to jail.” The decision is to seek guilty pleas in two of the most advanced investigations: one into Credit Suisse for offering tax shelters to Americans, and the other against France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, over doing business with countries like Sudan that the United States has blacklisted. The approach applies to American banks, though those investigations are at an earlier stage.

Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, has opened his own criminal investigations into a fraud at Citigroup’s Mexican affiliate and other American banks. And in the recent speech, Mr. Bharara warned, “You can expect that before too long a significant financial institution will be charged with a felony or be made to plead guilty to a felony, where the conduct warrants it.”

BNP’s shares are down less than 4%–a steep fall, but hardly calamitous. And its CDS have hardly budged, actually trading roughly one basis point tighter, at 64 basis points, according to data provider Markit. So much for banks being too big to indict.

[April 3]

There was valid documentation for $185 million of work, Citigroup said, but Banamex had advanced Oceanografía a total of $585 million. Some of Oceanografía’s invoices, Citigroup said, “were falsified to represent that Pemex had approved them. A Banamex employee processed them.”

There was valid documentation for $185 million of work, Citigroup said, but Banamex had advanced Oceanografía a total of $585 million. Some of Oceanografía’s invoices, Citigroup said, “were falsified to represent that Pemex had approved them. A Banamex employee processed them.”

A criminal investigation, overseen by the F.B.I. and prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan has opened as to whether holes in Citigroup Inc’s internal controls contributed to the fraud in Mexico. The question for investigators is whether Citigroup — as other banks have been accused of doing in the context of money laundering — ignored warning signs.
At Citigroup’s Grupo Financiero Banamex, Oceanografía became one of Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex)’.s largest corporate clients.
Under a short-term lending arrangement, Banamex would advance money to Oceanografia SA de CV, whose existence hinged almost entirely on government contracts. Banamex issued the loans with the understanding that Oceanografía had received contracts from Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state-owned oil monopoly. Once the work was completed, Pemex would repay the loan to Banamex.
Oceanografía’s financial problems became apparent in January 2014, when it announced that it would not be able to pay interest on a debt of $335 million contracted in 2008. Mexican authorities suspended Oceanografía from obtaining additional government contracts for several months. Shortly after, Banamex discovered a fraud.
There was valid documentation for $185 million of work, Citigroup said, but Banamex had advanced Oceanografía a total of $585 million. Some of Oceanografía’s invoices, Citigroup said, “were falsified to represent that Pemex had approved them. A Banamex employee processed them.”
Banamex accounts for 13 percent of Citigroup’s revenue.
At first glance, Citigroup appeared to be the victim of the fraud involving the Mexican oil services company Oceanografía. After all, the bank lost millions of dollars.
But the F.B.I. and prosecutors are questioning whether Citigroup was equal parts victim and enabler.
For one, it is unclear whether the wrongdoing at Citigroup was actually limited to a single Banamex employee, as early reports indicated. The authorities are investigating whether the scheme involved co-conspirators at the bank’s offices in the United States.
Banamex, acquired in 2001, is the biggest unit in Citigroup’s Latin America operations, which account for about 20 percent of total revenue. Profit at the subsidiary almost quintupled in the past decade, burnishing its reputation as well-managed and shielding the Mexico City-based bank from corporate interference.
The fraud allegations and a disclosure this week that Banamex USA received subpoenas in the U.S. related to money laundering now tarnish the unit’s image. The probes also could put pressure on Citigroup co-President Manuel Medina-Mora, whose job includes oversight of Mexican operations, and Banamex Chief Executive Officer Javier Arrigunaga, 50.

[September 15 2011]

Kweku Adoboli, a 31-year old trader on UBS’ exchange-traded-fund desk in London, has been arrested by City of London police in connection with rogue trading that has cost the Swiss banking giant an estimated $2bn (£1.3bn). The landlord at Mr Adoboli’s former £1,000-a-week apartment in Shoreditch, east London, described him today as a “nice guy”. a trader on UBS’ exchange-traded-fund desk in London. His title is listed as “Director ETF and Delta1 Trading at UBS Investment Bank.”

Investment banks’ Delta One operations trade securities that attempt to track an asset closely. Details are not yet known about what Adoboli traded.

Delta One can be considered the last domain of prop trading in the banking sector, where via market-making activities, traders can still get away with taking ample risks.

This is one of the few divisions in the banking community which is still hiring.

December 3, 2017 The gist of a story: The then-PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan took Zarrib’s side and changed the story, claiming that Zarrib was a philanthropist and an asset for Turkey. In an early sign of the way Turkey’s president deals with opposition, all the officials involved in the investigation into the Iran scheme were relocated, dismissed, or even jailed. Then Erdogan blamed the whole thing on exiled opponent Fethullah Gulen, a favorite external enemy of the Turkish president.
When U.S. prosecutors arrested Zarrib, it strained bilateral relations between Washington and Ankara, and these have been getting increasingly strained.

Turkish authorities on December 1 issued an arrest warrant for former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Graham Fuller over suspected links to the abortive putsch.

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The warrant accuses Fuller, a former vice chairman of the CIA’s National

 

Intelligence Council, of “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey” and “obtaining state information that must be kept secret for political and military espionage purposes,” among other charges, according to Turkish media.

Experts, however, say Turkey is attempting to get back at the U.S. for bringing a Turkish citizen to court. The U.S. is currently trying a Turkish banker for allegedly helping Iran launder money and violate U.S. sanctions. This week, Reza Zarrab, a key witness in the case, implicated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claiming that he instructed Turkish banks to participate in the multimillion-dollar laundering scheme. [December 2]  A Turkish prosecutor yesterday ordered a seizure of the assets of gold trader Zarrab and at least 20 of his family members and contacts. Istanbul Deputy Chief Prosecutor Hasan Yilmaz cited “Zarrab’s espionage, revealing secret information for benefits of foreign states” as the reason for seizure assets.

[December 2 ]

attila 2 - Edited

On the third day of the trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, Reza Zarrab told jurors that he helped Iran use funds deposited at Halkbank to buy gold, which was smuggled to Dubai and sold for cash. On November 30, he said that he had to stop the gold trades and start moving money through fake food purchases instead in 2013, after U.S. sanctions changed.

Zarrab has said that Atilla helped design the gold transactions, along with Halkbank’s former general manager, Suleyman Aslan.
Zarrab said he had learned from Zafer Caglayan, who was Turkey’s economy minister, that Erdogan and then-treasury minister Ali Babacan had authorized two Turkish banks, Ziraat Bank and VakifBank, to move funds for Iran. Recep Tayyip Erdogan was then Turkey’s prime minister.

Both Ziraat and VakifBank denied taking part in the scheme.

 

[November 30 Zafer Caglayan named ]

Prosecutors allege Turkey’s former economy minister Zafer Caglayan was involved in the conspiracy. He denies the charges. In Turkey where a court issued warrants for the arrest of two men for providing fake evidence in the case. It identified the men as a former opposition politician and a banking auditor, both of whom were named on the witness list at the New York trial.

[ November 28 ]

attila

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, Reza Zarrab, accused

28 November 2017 A Turkish trader, Reza Zarrab, had been headed to trial with Turkish banker in Manhattan federal court until he suddenly stopped appearing at pretrial hearings. That’s prompted speculation he could testify against the banker.

The trial is of Halkbank Deputy CEO Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a top executive for a state-run bank in Turkey, accused of conspiring to help Iran evade economic sanctions.

Attilla has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he violated U.S. sanctions against Iran by processing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of financial transactions for Iranian businesses or Iran’s government through American banks.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on November 27 that the case against Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla had “no legal basis” and should be “dropped or terminated.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, the top U.S. prosecutor in the case, has called Ankara’s conspiracy allegations “ridiculous.”

“It displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how our justice system works,” Kim said. “The defendants are charged with serious crimes. That’s why the case is being brought and that’s the only reason.”

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, who is overseeing the case, said Turkey’s government should provide evidence if it thinks the defendants are being unfairly prosecuted, rather than hurling criticism at prosecutors.

[January 18 2016 Iranian-linked entities sanctioned for Missile rôle, Iranians violating American trade sanctions get clemency ]

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The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned nearly a dozen Iranian-linked entities January 17 for their alleged role in Tehran’s ballistic-missile program.
Hossein Pournaghshband, Mabrooka Trading,
Chen Mingfu, Anhui Land Group Co.
Rahim Reza Farghadani, Candid General Trading
Sayyed Javad Musavi, Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG)
Seyed Mirahmad Nooshin, Sayyed Medhi Farahi, Seyed Mohammad Hashemi
Mehrdada Akhlaghi, Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group
Read Treasury

Seven Iranians accused or convicted of violating American trade sanctions against Iran were granted clemency by President Obama as part of a prisoner release between the two long-estranged nations.
Nader Modanlo, Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afghahi, Tooraj Faridi, Arash Ghahreman, Nima Golestaneh and Ali Saboonchi. One was an aerospace expert convicted of helping Iran launch its first satellite into space. Another was a maritime engineer found guilty of providing navigation technology to the Iranians. And three men had ties to a company accused of illegally exporting millions of dollars in American technology with military applications to Iran.

[April 4 2011 Commerzbank AG, Frankfurt am Main, will pay U.S penalty, posted profit of 264 million euros]

Germany’s second-largest lender, via Commerz New York, will pay$ 1.45 billion t to defer prosecuting the lender for violating U.S. laws, including sanctions on doing business with Iran and Sudan, to government agencies including the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. The Frankfurt-based bank conceded the allegations, which included aiding accounting fraud at Olympus Corp.
From at least 2002 to 2008, the bank used a series of measures, including stripping out information identifying sanctioned clients, to process transactions valued at more than $250 billion on behalf of Iranian and Sudanese entities, according to authorities.
The bank is expanding lending to German consumers and companies while winding down soured shipping and real estate loans. Blessing has also pledged to cut at least 5,200 staff as he seeks to reach profitability targets set for 2016. The company posted profit of 264 million euros in 2014, up from 81 million euros a year earlier.

[December 11 2011 Germany: We have been trying for 50 years not to lead]

Angela Merkel as the Greeks see her

Angela Merkel as the Greeks see her

Berlin’s dominance has shaken the Franco-German equilibrium at the heart of the post-World War II balance of power. Debt contagion and slumping growth have driven French borrowing costs to a euro-era record against Germany. The result may be a remade political map with even Poland, invaded by Adolf Hitler in 1939, calling for a stronger German role.
“We are an unwilling leader,” Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to Britain and the U.S. and now chairman of the Munich Security Conference, said in an interview. “We have been trying for 50 years not to lead. Germany will have to grow up now. It’s new and there will be a learning curve and mistakes will be made.”
[December 3]Euro-zone banks’ overnight deposits with the European Central Bank hit yet another fresh 2011 high December 2. Banks deposited €332.705 billion ($445.49 billion) with the ECB, the ECB said December 5, hitting a 2011 record for the third day in a row. The deposits were up from €313.763 billion Thursday, hitting a level last seen in June 2010 while edging closer to the all-time high.

When markets are functioning properly, banks deposit a few hundred million euros at the ECB overnight. With the deepening of the euro-zone debt crisis, banks have become reluctant to lend to one another and place their funds with the ECB instead, in the fear that their counterparty may be exposed to week euro-zone sovereign debt.
[December 3]SchnittsKrieg, a war of cuts, deep, damaging austerity that amputates and excises and rearranges the targeted economies

By robbing a currency of its value, inflation wipes the slate clean for debtors and savers alike. Germans say they like the slate the way it is because they are on the plus side of the ledger.

Consumer debt, whether credit cards or in many cases even home mortgages, is frowned upon in Germany. According to figures of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the German savings rate was more than 10 percent every year between 2003 and 2009, while during the same period it bottomed out at 1.5 percent in the United States, and never rose above 6.2 percent. As a result German households had net savings of $4.3 trillion, according to the Bundesbank, in a country of fewer than 82 million people.
German focus on inflation is woefully misplaced during a time of little or no growth and severe market turmoil. If Europe slashes spending while the economy is still in a depression they will kill the Euro.