|To: StockDung who wrote (282)||9/22/2001 1:09:40 PM|
|The activities of a few famous arms brokers can illustrate their origins as agents for covert state security operations during the Cold War, as well as their links to international organized crime. In the 1970s, the Northrop and Lockheed bribery scandals erupted, involving companies that today are still listed among the world’s top-100 weapons producers. Governments from the USA to the Gulf and Japan were rocked. Some of the brokers involved, such as Lockheed’s agent for the Middle East, Adnan Khashoggi, remained actively involved in the rogue business after the scandals. Khashoggi, who is thought to live in Spain, was once said to be one of the richest men on earth.3 Apart from his role in the sale of aircraft to Saudi Arabia in the 1970s, Khashoggi turned out to be a key player in the Iran-Contra case. 4 He was also a key figure in the US Senate report on the collapse due to fraud of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, 5 as well as to numerous smaller scandals involving the arming of dictatorships and of US-favoured guerrilla movements in the Third World. In 1997, Thai authorities issued an international warrant for his arrest, in connection with the near collapse of the Bangkok Bank of Commerce Khashoggi was wanted on charges of falsifying documents and embezzling $77 million. 6|
Recently, Rakesh Saxena, an acquaintance of Khashoggi and a former adviser to the Bangkok Bank, has been fighting his extradition in Canada. While being ‘the most wanted man in Thailand’ according to Asiaweek,7 Saxena financed the $10 million consignment of arms that were sent to UN-embargoed Sierra Leone by the British private military company Sandline International, causing considerable embarrassment to the British government. 8
Another acquaintance of Khashoggi is the Syrian dealer Monzer Al-Kassar, described by the US Drug Enforcement Administration as one of the most important figures in the international drug trade. The US Senate investigation on the BCCI Affairs refers to Al-Kassar as a ‘Syrian drug trafficker, terrorist and arms trafficker’.9Al-Kassar was under investigation in Switzerland for violating the arms embargo on Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. 10 He was involved in the ‘Irangate’ affair 11 and in the sale of weapons to Libya in 1983, was sought by Interpol for swapping weapons supplied by the Italian mafia for drugs in 1977, and was suspected of supplying weapons to the commando group that hijacked the Achille Lauro in 1985. 12 He was also named as a suspect in the terrorist attack on the passenger jet over Lockerbie. 13 Recently, he was named in political scandals involving the president of Argentina 14 and the mayor of the coastal resort of Marbella in Spain, where Al-Kassar – the ‘Prince of Marbella’–owned a large residence. 15
Already in the early years of the Cold War, intelligence services started using complex arrangements involving private airlines for clandestine weapons shipments to disguise their operations. In time, independent arms brokers and shippers simply copied these techniques, especially as the Cold War began to wane and former officers joined the private security markets. Air America, one of the biggest private airlines in the 1960s, was secretly owned by the US Central Intelligence Agency to camouflage its clandestine missions in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.16 Other such airlines served the hidden agendas of the colonial powers during the wars of independence in Africa. Many of the pilots from the Western war effort in Indochina in the 1960s later supplied the
favoured regimes and opposition groups in Central America, Africa, South Asia or the Middle East during the 1980s.
In 1998, the CIA released a report on the agency’s policy towards the US-backed Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua.17 It revealed that at least ten privately operated airlines and crews were involved. The final report of the Walsh Commission investigating the Iran-Contra affair also listed a few of the cargo companies involved in clandestine missions. 18 The CIA also used privately operated aircraft to arm UNITA in Angola. It was almost inevitable that, over the years, many of the pilots and operators of these secret missions would turn to business in the private sector and would simply apply the same tricks of the trade independently, wherever they could earn more money.
The former Soviet Union was long believed to be less reliant on brokers and private players, but this was not always true. Al-Kassar was as well connected in the Warsaw Pact countries as he was in NATO and allied countries. As soon as the Berlin Wall came down, more light was shed on the private networks used by Moscow and its satellites. In December 1989, angry East German citizens accompanied by TV camera crews stormed a highly guarded site near Rostock and uncovered a huge secret arms and ammunition depot.19 The depot had been under control of IMES GmbH, a little-known East German state company that was run by East Germany’s deputy foreign trade minister, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski.
The East German company had been a key part of an international smuggling network with secret bank accounts and shell companies in West Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The IMES company name had been exposed in the West back in 1985, when Swedish customs officials started investigating the activities of the ‘munitions cartel’ mentioned in the first section of this chapter. Some years later, Western intelligence agencies, including the US Iran-Contra arms and money networks, used IMES and the East German structure for secret weapons supplies to guerrilla movements in Central America.20 Schalck-Golodkowski had reportedly been involved in a massive, decade-long smuggling operation of weapons, antiques and even drugs. 21 He was, however, only charged with the illicit import of military and dual-use items into East Germany between 1986 and 1989 and with the embezzlement of rather small amounts of foreign currency. He was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment in January 1996, and to 16 months’ imprisonment in 1997, respectively. 22 In April 1999, a higher court acquitted him on the latter of the two charges. 23
In Britain, David Stirling, founder of the Special Air Service (SAS), set up a company in 1967 called Watchguard, to ‘tackle really important military objectives which couldn’t be tackled officially because of questions in the House of Commons’.24 It was registered on the island of Guernsey. He took his inspiration from Airwork Ltd, a subsidiary of the British Commonwealth Shipping Company. Airwork was a private airline, specializing in aircraft maintenance, pilot training and defence procurement and training. Between 1936 and 1954, Airwork trained some 35,000 air crew. By the 1980s it was employing 3,000 specialists, mostly on work for the UK Ministry of
Defence, and it had ferried special force personnel to trouble-spots in the Middle East, West Africa and Malaya. Its anonymous charter flights and use of different names and uniforms sometimes appeared in the media. Airwork also specialized in the ‘purchase of defence systems and the formulation of national defence policies’ in Commonwealth countries.25 It was also accused of sanctions-busting operations in white-ruled southern Africa, providing 400 British nationals to do maintenance work for the Rhodesian air force in the late 1960s. 26
By 1976, when Watchguard closed, the company was known in SAS circles as ‘Plan-a-War’. Clandestine UK arms supply operations could also be subcontracted to a range of companies with SAS links. One was KMS Ltd., which was contracted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In the wake of the ‘Irangate’ Tower Report, the
London Daily News commented: ‘KMS is no ordinary security company.’ According to White House documents and Congressional Hearings, it ‘had a contract to supply air crews to fly arms to Nicaragua.’27 Other companies were Thor Security Systems and J. Donne Holdings, both specializing in brokering and delivering supplies of military and security equipment. The first managing director of Thor, established in 1976, was also a director of the Royal Ordnance Corporation, one of Britain’s major arms and ammunition manufacturers. These UK companies set the scene for today’s ‘private military companies’ like Sandline International and Executive Outcomes.
The French Connection
Throughout the Cold War, French authorities made extensive use of business networks in the former French colonies to transfer arms secretly. As the only world power with a permanent military presence in several ‘independent’ African countries, successive governments in France kept a close eye on the arms supply and military support of its preferred heads of state.
When discretion was needed in supplying political clients, the private networks of Jacques Foccart and the influential lobbies and private intelligence structures of oil companies or French commodity traders could be activated. They tried to make sure developments in the newly independent states would stay in line with the interests of the former colonial power.28 Until his death in 1997, Foccart, the mysterious architect and broker of French Africa policy since de Gaulle, maintained an obscure web of former intelligence and military experts for this purpose. These were people, often recruited from the French Foreign Legion or veterans of the de-colonization war in
Algeria, who could be activated at any time.29 Usually when the interests of Paris or the French business community in Africa were at stake, clandestine weapons shipments, the secret backing of unpopular leaders or the recruitment of mercenaries could all be arranged through a convenient and quasi-private network.
In May 1999 one of the world’s most notorious mercenaries, Bob Denard, stood trial for his alleged involvement in the assassination of the president of the Comoros in 1989.30 Denard, who had been involved in numerous operations and coup attempts all over Africa, had mostly acted with the blessing of Foccart and, discreetly, of the French presidency, according to his version of the facts. 31 In recent years, French
brokers, or decommissioned special force officers, have acted more independently and have incorporated themselves, competing with US, British, Portuguese, South African, Israeli or Russian private military-supply networks. The recent allegations involving the oil giant Elf Aquitaine’s brokering role in several major weapons transactions in France only add another chapter to the long list of scandals.32
Another spectacular case came before a Paris court in 1998 when a Portuguese arms dealer – with a company registered in Britain – was seeking payment of $3 million for his role in a sanctions-busting transaction to South Africa during the apartheid era. He claimed to have brokered the sale of military helicopters to the Pretoria regime from French arms producer Aerospatiale, involving the Portuguese aerospace producer Ogma and Armscor, the state arms company in South Africa. The Portuguese dealer said he had arranged the smuggling of crates of helicopter engines and rotors from France, via Portugal, to embargoed South Africa in 1989, but had never received his 10% commission.33 Such networks spawned a generation of South African arms
brokers who have plied their trade in Africa and beyond.
Small Arms and Mr Cummings
At the low-tech level of arms brokering, the international trade was long dominated by a US- and British-based trading company, the International Armament Corporation, better known as Interarms. The sole owner of the company, Samuel Cummings, was a former CIA agent who used his connections to run the operations from the time he set up the company in the USA in 1953 until his death in April 1998.34
Cummings began brokering private arms deals, buying and selling small arms at the age of 26. He later started subsidiaries in the UK, Canada and elsewhere. He made his first millions by buying surplus weapons left over from World War II in Europe and shipping them to the newly independent states of Africa, Latin America and the Far East. By 1960 Cummings was the most important private arms dealer in the world, boasting he could arm, within 24 hours, half a million men. Between 1953 and 1968, he bought more than 4.5 million guns and 500 million rounds of ammunition from European stocks. Most of his clients were Third World governments; he developed personal friendships with numerous dictators and heads of state, generating a turnover estimated at US $80 million each year from buying and selling pistols, rifles, sub-
machine guns and hand grenades.
Cummings was prepared to sell to anyone. He claimed never to have broken the laws of the USA and the UK, where his headquarters were based – which itself is an indication of how loose the laws have been. He was caught only once for breaking an
embargo, when he brokered a deal for Pakistan in 1965. The shells were flown from West Germany to Iran and then sent to Pakistan ‘for repair’.35
In 1968, the US government passed the 1968 Gun Control Act prohibiting the importation of military weapons. Anticipating the ban before it went into effect, Interarms went on a global buying spree that enabled Cummings to keep his US operations thriving for many years. When the ban finally came into effect, Cummings had some 700,000 small arms stored in his warehouses in Alexandria, Virginia. Interarms also supplied the massive American sports shooting market. Among Cummings’ most profitable deals were the US franchises for Uzi sub-machine guns, and pistol sales for the Walther company in Germany. In the 1980s, the US Customs Service conducted a probe into the way in which the Walther pistols were being marketed, but all charges were eventually dropped36
Changing Old Assumptions
The increasing globalization of trade and electronic info-commerce make it easier than ever for experienced arms dealers and operators to circumvent national arms control systems and to exploit the weakest links in a fragile international regulatory chain. Globalization has enabled the aviation industry to move away from traditional public ownership and regulation. Cross-border mergers between airlines, marketing alliances, leasing, chartering, franchising and offshore registration of fleets, crews and companies all make it very difficult to monitor and regulate the airspace and freighting
industry. Brokers and shipping agents have become skilled exploiters of these new market realities.
The news media and public are also increasingly aware that arms – especially small arms and light weapons – are being allowed to fall into the hands of violent criminal gangs, as well as unauthorized, unaccountable, untrained, and irresponsible soldiers and police. TV and radio broadcasts all too often recount horrific atrocities and
preventable abuse carried out with small arms. As a result, nongovernmental humanitarian and other organizations working in the field are calling out, more frequently and vociferously, that loopholes in arms control systems and arms embargo regulations must be closed without delay. Some governments have acknowledged that they need to take pro-active steps to provide a more effective regulatory system, but the majority still hesitate to rein in the arms brokers and their shipping agents.
When challenged, several powerful Western governments have retorted that these loopholes are not their problem – because arms export cargoes ‘should’ be checked and approved by the authorities in the sending country as well as by authorities in the territory of trans-shipment or transit, and finally in the recipient country. However,
officials do acknowledge that, in the real world, senders and recipients of arms in countries chosen for business by unscrupulous brokers may turn out to be corrupt
officials, or regimes that grossly violate human rights, or even armed opposition or criminal groups.
It is increasingly recognized that the real economic cost to arms-exporting countries of such activities can be measured in terms of lost export markets, lost opportunities for new productive investment abroad by civilian companies, and squandered development and relief assistance. This loss of potential income is massive compared to the very small income accruing from sales of cheap arms, much of it regarded as surplus. The World Bank estimated that armed conflict in Africa was responsible for poverty of at least 250 million people – nearly half the population of the continent.37 This phenomenon is replicated, to a lesser degree, in other regions that also face chronic
problems of economic underdevelopment, armed conflict and violent crime.
Perhaps the worst-affected region has been Central Africa, from Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda across the Democratic Republic of Congo, to Angola and the Congo Republic (Brazzaville). Arms trafficking and direct military intervention in this region have become interlinked with those in neighbouring regions, including the Horn of Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa. Governments and armed opposition groups there bear responsibility for targeting civilians through acts of reprisal killing, arbitrary
arrest, abduction and torture. The most common weapons used in these crimes are small arms and associated equipment such as air and road military transport vehicles. Over the past five years, these items have flowed to the perpetrators of international crimes in Central Africa from over 20 member-states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), as well as from certain other states, such as China, Israel and South Africa.38 Recent arms and equipment supplies have occurred in disregard of appeals by the governments of the European Union (EU) and EU
Associated Countries, Canada and the USA, as well as international humanitarian and human rights organizations. Arms brokers and their associates have arranged the
supply of much of this military equipment, as some of the evidence presented in the following chapters will testify.
With the end of the Cold War, the role of arms brokers and trafficking agents in the market has been rapidly changing. The cases in this study describe this shift, and show that arms brokers and trafficking agents are increasingly:
businessmen with military and security backgrounds and contacts;
motivated by economic gain rather than strategic political considerations;
able to use loopholes and enclaves of weak regulation between national legal systems to conduct ‘legal’ but often unethical business via third countries;
able to use agents and techniques developed in the modern international transport industry to conduct covert deliveries to sensitive destinations;
able to arrange complex international banking transactions and company formations in many countries, including the use of tax havens;
able to locate sources of cheap, easily-transportable arms for desperate customers in areas of violent conflict willing to pay much higher prices;
reliant on personal contacts and networks more than corporate identities;
thriving on corruptible officials and weak law enforcement;
tempted in some cases to use fake documentation and bribery which can lead into an involvement with smuggling and organized crime.
The pace of redefining the common interests of the international community so that all states can bring arms brokers and transport agents into a strict national regulatory system is still very slow, when viewed in relation to the humanitarian crises and the growth of organized criminal networks. Officials do acknowledge that controls will have to be harmonized across frontiers, so that the problem is not simply chased away from one country to the next, but too many governments remain stuck in a Cold War mentality. Before such international cooperation can be realized, a great deal more political will needs to be generated. The most powerful states have already declared their support for effective measures to control international arms transfers.39 However, as this study shows, the rhetoric far exceeds the reality.
1 United Nations experts agree: ‘Just as they are key to the legitimate trade, some brokers also service the illicit trade. During the cold war period, brokers often served the Government-sanctioned ‘grey markets’ which provided them with a certain level of legitimacy. With the end of the cold war, their role in the market has changed.’ United Nations, Report of the Group of Experts on the problem of ammunition and explosives, Note by the Secretary-General, A/54/155, 29 June 1999.
2 ‘International Connections of the Bofors Affair’, Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society,
December 1987. Also: Documents and extracts of the Swedish customs investigation, 1985–86 (IPIS archives, Antwerp).
3 On the scandals of the 1970s, including Khashoggi’s early career in the business, see Anthony Sampson, The Arms Bazaar (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1977). (Published in the USA by Bantam Books, New York, 1978.)
4 Lawrence E. Walsh, Independent Counsel, Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, volume 1, Investigations and Prosecutions, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Washington, DC, 4 August 1993.
5 Senator John Kerry & Senator Hank Brown, The BBCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, December 1992 (Section 11, ‘BCCI, The CIA and Foreign Intelligence’).
6 S. Sivararnan & P. Golub, ‘Wild Goose Chase for Khashoggi’, Asia Times News, 17 March 1997.
7 Ian Mulgrew, ‘Thailand’s Most Wanted Man’, Asiaweek, 31 July 1998.
8 Report of the Sierra Leone Arms Investigation (London, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 27 July 1998.
9 The BCCI Affair (Section 23, ‘Matters for Further Investigation, Witnesses and Writs’).
10 ‘Lucky Al Kassar’, The Geopoloticial Drug Dispatch, No. 23, September 1993.
11 Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters (see note 4 above).
12 ‘El eterno arrependito’, El Mundo, 21 June 1998; Tim Brown, ‘Police Informer Shot Dead in Spain’, The Daily Telegraph, 22 June 1998.
13 Russel Warren Howe, ‘What if the "Lockerbie Bombers" are Innocent?’, Daily Mail and Guardian, 26 April 1999.
14 ‘Politics-Argentina: Cavallo Links Arms Dealer with Yabra’, IPS, 27 May 1998; ‘Argentina: President Menem’s Scandalous Friendships’, The Geopolitical Drug Dispatch, Number 23, Paris, September 1993 (http://www ogd.org/gb/47AARAA.html).
15 ‘Anticorrupcion vincula a Gil con Al Kassar y la mafia siciliana’, El Pais, 24 June 1997.
16 W. M. Leary, Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia (University of Alabama Press, 1984); F. Lert, Les Ailes de la CIA (‘The Wings of the CIA’) (Paris, Histoire & Collections, 1998).
17 Allegations of Connections between CIA and the Contras in Cocaine Trafficking to the UnitedStates, Report of Investigations, Volume II , The Contra Story, Central Intelligence Agency, Inspector General, 1998 (www.odci.gov/cia/publications/cocaine2/index.html).
18 Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, Part V, Investigations and Cases: the Flow of Funds and the Private Operatives (Washington, DC, 4 August 1993).
19 Andreas von Bulow, Im Namen des Staates: CIA. BND und die kriminellen Machenschaften des Geheimdienste (München: Piper, 1998), p. 624.
20 von Bulow, Im Namen des Staates…
22 Bundesgerichtshof verwirft die Revision von Dr. Schalck-Golodkowski, Pressmitteilung des Bundesgerichtshofs Nr. 47/1997 vom 09.Juli 1997. Urteil vom 09. Juli 1997 - 5 StR 544/96. (Press communiqué of the German Federal Court.)
23 Erfolglose Verfassungsbeschwerde von Dr. Alexander Schalck Golodkowski, Pressemitteilung des Bundesverfassungsgericht Nr. 37 vom 25. März 1999, 2 BvR 1565/97. (Press communiqué of the German Criminal Court.)
24 Quote in Jonathan Bloch & Patrick Fitzgerald, British Intelligence and Covert Action (Dingle, Co. Kerry: Brandon, 1983), p. 46.
25 Bloch & Fitzgerald, p. 51.
26Ibid., p. 185
27 Quoted in Nigel South, Policing for Profit: The Private Security Sector (London: Sage, 1988) pp. 95–96.
28 Roger Faligot & Pascal Krop, La piscine: Les services secrets francais 1944-1984 (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1985); see also Antoine Glaser & Stephen Smith, Ces Messieurs Afrique, Vol. 1 & 2 (Paris: Calman-Lévy, 1992 for Vol. 1; 1997 for Vol. 2).
29 Douglas Porch, The French Secret Services: A History of French Intelligence from the Dreyfus Affair to the Gulf War (New York: Farrer, Strauss and Giroux, 1995).
30 Marc Pivois, ‘Bob Denard, "le vieux" sur le banc, Libération, 5 May 1999; David Defresne, ‘Bob Denard: les Comores aux assises’, Libération, 4 May 1999; Parc Pivois, ‘Bob Denard acquitté’, Libération, 20 May 1999.
31 Bob Denard, Corsaire de la République (Paris: Editions Robert Lafont, 1998).
32 Hervé Gattegno, ‘Un lien est établi entre l’affaire Elf et la vente par Thomson de frégates à Taiwan’, Le Monde, 5 December 1997; ‘France/Elf – Devier-Joncour accuse Dumas’, Reuters, 4 March 1999; Cécile Prieur, ‘La Suisse justifie son refus d’extrader l’ancien président d’Elf International’, Le Monde, 13 March 1998; Hervé Gattegno, ‘Affaire Elf: le labyrinthe des comptes suisses de Mme Devier-Joncours’, Le Monde, 7 March 1998.
33 Jose Vegar, ‘Stiffed Arms Merchant Sues’, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 53, no. 6, November/December 1997.
34 J. Y. Smith, ‘Arms Dealer Samuel Cummings Dies’, The Washington Post, 2 May 1998.
35 Patrick Brogan & Albert Zarca, Deadly Business: Sam Cummings. Interarms and the Arms Trade (New York: W.W. Norton, 1984).
36 J.Y. Smith, ‘Arms Dealer…’.
37 World Bank News, Washington, DC, 18 July 1996.
38 National Security News Service briefing for journalists, May 1998; selected publications on Central Africa by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
39 Principles underlying the arms control policies of most states have been set out in the 1996 UN Guidelines on Conventional Arms Exports, the 1993 OSCE Principles Governing Conventional Arms Transfers and in the 1991-2 European Union Criteria on Arms Exports, now elaborated in the 1998 EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports. The 1996 UN Guidelines commit all members of the United Nations to establish: ‘an adequate body of laws and administrative machinery for regulating and monitoring effectively their transfer of arms, to strengthen and adopt strict measures for enforcement, and to co-operate at the international, regional and sub-regional levels to harmonize, where appropriate, relevant laws, regulations and administrative procedures as well as enforcement measures, with the goal of eradicating illicit arms trafficking’ (paragraph 10).
Preface / Acknowledgments / Introduction / Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 / Chapter 6 / Chapter 7 / Chapter 8 / Chapter 9 / Chapter 10 / Chapter 11
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|To: StockDung who wrote (285)||9/22/2001 1:15:58 PM|
|Did Adnan Khashoggi Throw the Election to Dubya?|
By Timothy Noah
Posted Monday, Dec. 4, 2000, at 2:56 p.m. PT
On Dec. 1, the "Washington Wire" column in the Wall Street Journal published this gratifyingly noir item about the postelection drama in Florida:
"Madame Butterfly" Theresa LePore wasn't always an embattled Palm Beach ballots chief. In the 1980s, she moonlighted as a flight attendant on private planes owned by Saudi weapons dealer Adnan Khashoggi, a middleman in Reagan administration arms sales to Iran.
Connoisseurs of Khashoggi-centric conspiracy theories should have little difficulty using this information to finger Khashoggi as the mastermind of the plot to deny Al Gore the presidency. Khashoggi has close ties, from Iran-Contra and elsewhere, to the Republicans, and vaguely defined ties to Dubya's father. (In a 1990 court case, Khashoggi's phone records revealed that Khashoggi had spoken at least twice with George Bush's vice-presidential office during 1985 and 1986.) LePore worked for Khashoggi during the 1980s, when, according to her official biography, she was chief deputy supervisor of elections in Palm Beach County, a job she held until 1996, when she was elected supervisor of elections. Ergo, LePore has been working as a Khashoggi asset to elect the son of Khashoggi's old comrade-in-arms, George Bush!
Chatterbox doesn't actually believe this, of course. But the Journal's tidbit does provide an occasion to play one of Chatterbox's favorite games, "Six Degrees of Adnan Khashoggi," in which the shadowy international arms merchant is connected to every scandal of the past 40 years and some that occurred even earlier. (It helps that Khashoggi is a "connector," to borrow a term from Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point. Click here for Gladwell's explanation of how connectors rule the universe, and click here to read Chatterbox's favorable review of The Tipping Point in the Washington Monthly. See also Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball's classic 1987 New Republic article, "The Swami of Iranamok," which describes the connector role played by Khashoggi's spiritual adviser, Shri Chandra Swamiji Maharaj.) "Six Degrees of Adnan Khashoggi" is a slightly misleading name for this parlor game because in Khashoggi's case, it's rarely more than one or two degrees. Allow Chatterbox to demonstrate:
Iran-Contra. Khashoggi brought Manucher Ghorbanifar, Iranian arms buyer, into contact with the arms-selling Israelis. Khashoggi himself provided crucial bridge loans and lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million in the whole affair.
Imelda Marcos' Shoe Collection. In 1990, Khashoggi was tried, and acquitted, on charges that he helped the Marcoses conceal ownership of four buildings in New York.
Wedtech. Remember e.bob wallach, the crony of Ed Meese who, maddeningly, spelled his name in lowercase letters? wallach was an adviser to Wedtech Corp., a now-defunct Bronx-based minority contractor to the Pentagon. In that capacity, he tried to get Khashoggi onto Wedtech's board. Khashoggi never joined Wedtech's board. wallach was eventually convicted of defrauding Wedtech.
BCCI. The most complicated bank scandal in human history. Khashoggi had a big account with BCCI's Monte Carlo branch.
The Death of Princess Di. Khashoggi was the uncle of Dodi Fayed, Di's rich boyfriend, in whose speeding limo both Dodi and Di perished.
The Gaudiness of Donald Trump. Trump bought his yacht, the Trump Princess, from Khashoggi (apparently via the Sultan of Brunei) after Iran-Contra put Khashoggi's finances in a brief tailspin.
The Kennedy Assassination. Joseph A. Ball, the principal author of the Warren Commission report on JFK's death, represented Khashoggi in his 1980 divorce from Soraya Khashoggi. After the death of her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, Jackie Kennedy was romantically tied in press accounts to Khashoggi, though in all likelihood they were just friends.
Watergate. Ball also represented John D. Ehrlichman during his Watergate troubles. Khashoggi had earlier contributed secret-but-apparently-legal funds to Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. Khashoggi attended Nixon's funeral in 1994.
The Breakup of the Beatles is often attributed to tensions that arose when John Lennon and Paul McCartney got married. In an interview this past October on British television, McCartney, now a widower, declared his love for a woman named Heather Mills, who was a toddler at the time of the Beatles' breakup. Had McCartney left his wife Linda for Mills at the time, perhaps the Beatles would have remained together. Prior to dating McCartney, Mills reportedly dated Adnan Khashoggi.
The Synfuels Fiasco. In a program promptly shut down by the Reagan administration and subsequently missed by no one, President Jimmy Carter passed a law empowering the Energy Department to provide loan guarantees for the manufacture of gasohol. Khashoggi used the money to set up an ethanol plant in Louisiana that went bust in the late 1980s. When it did, the federal government was forced to pay out $70 million to Khashoggi's creditors.
Charlie Chaplin's Seductions of Teen-Age Girls took place in a Beverly Hills mansion that was subsequently owned by Adnan Khashoggi.
Katharine Hepburn's Endorsement of Harris Wofford in the 1991 Pennsylvania Senate race apparently stemmed from her fury at Wofford's opponent, Dick Thornburgh, for falsely accusing Wofford of soliciting a contribution from Khashoggi when Wofford was president of Hepburn's alma mater, Bryn Mawr. Hepburn's endorsement wasn't scandalous. (Though it should be noted that Hepburn was a resident of New York at the time.) But Thornburgh's accusation that Wofford solicited money from Khashoggi was clearly a cheap shot. In fact, Khashoggi had asked to establish a Middle Eastern program at Bryn Mawr, and Wofford rejected the offer, advising Khashoggi to give money to Bryn Mawr's scholarship fund instead. Click here to see the Adnan Khashoggi Campus Center at American University in Washington, D.C.
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|To: StockDung who wrote (286)||9/22/2001 1:20:17 PM|
|"During Bush's presidency, Khashoggi was identified as conduit in the Iran-Contra conspiracy. He had already run into trouble with US lawmen when, in 1986, he was arrested and charged - but not convicted - of fraud. He was bailed out of the New York prison by Munk, who provided the $4m bond. Bush performed an even bigger favour for Khashoggi: as his last act in office, the president pardoned Khashoggi's alleged co-conspirators, key members of Bush's own cabinet. As a result, no case could be made against Khashoggi". |
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|To: Kevin Podsiadlik who wrote (264)||9/22/2001 2:46:16 PM|
|" and also receives "dirty" money from criminal groups and from arms deals. The victim says Pastrana then launders the money through his sharemarket scam, doubly profits"|
Herald Sun: Boiler room racket hits investors [ 05aug01 ]
Boiler room racket hits investors
By ADRIAN TAME and MANDI ZONNEVELDT
HUNDREDS of Australians have lost millions of dollars in the world's largest sharemarket scam.
The racket was masterminded by a shady Filipino, Amador Pastrana, 31, who has made $6 billion in eight years. Pastrana is on the run. The FBI will move soon to close the global operation, but it will be too late for the Australians – two of whom are known to have been cheated of $400,000 each. Last week's raid on a boiler room – a sophisticated, "cold calling" operations centre – in the Thai capital of Bangkok was the tip of a fraudulent iceberg. Pastrana, according to one of his victims, has built an empire of 50 boiler rooms in nine countries, and also receives "dirty" money from criminal groups and from arms deals. The victim says Pastrana then launders the money through his sharemarket scam, doubly profits. Pastrana regularly works 20-hour days, seven days a week and has become one of the world's richest people. He is close to the Thai royal family, various archbishops and also is a friend of disgraced former Philippines president Joseph Estrada. Australia has been one of the countries most heavily targeted by Pastrana and his army of high-pressure telephone salesmen. But last week's arrest of 80 people in Bangkok was just the "tip of the iceberg", according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. ASIC officials warned that unlicensed brokerage firms are still operating in Asia. Thailand's securities watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission, has asked police to file criminal charges against seven men who allegedly ran Bangkok-based stock trading firms that tried to scam investors, mostly in Australia and New Zealand. The SEC alleges the seven men headed stock brokerage firms without a licence from the Thai Government. It says they sought to sell shares of non-existent or dubious companies to investors. The seven are John Martin Kealy, Ronan Joseph Murray, Paul Mary Hickey, Scott Campbell Fisher, Jason Garrick Rich, Adrian Robert Wallis and Steven Hooper. The SEC provided no details about them. Hickey, an Irishman, and Fisher, an Australian, are in custody. The unlicensed firms employ English-speaking backpackers in Asia to "cold call" people, encouraging them to buy shares on the stock market. People are pressured into investing thousands of dollars – which usually disappears. ASIC's executive director of consumer protection, Peter Kell, said the latest arrests were only a deterrent. "Quite a few cold callers will continue to exist and consumers need to be vigilant to make sure they are not tricked," Mr Kell said. ASIC has been flooded with thousands of phone calls since the Thai arrests. Overall losses are believed to be billions of dollars and by fraudulently using the stock of just one company, Berten USA, Pastrana has fleeced Australian investors of $25 million. The company's president, James Martin, claims if US authorities and the FBI had listened when he warned them a year ago of fraudulent transactions in his stock, up to 90 per cent of the Australian losses could have been avoided. Instead, US authorities told Mr Martin there was nothing they could do about the scam because it had not taken place on American soil and they had received no complaints from US victims. It was not until Pastrana made his first major mistake in nine years – he forged Mr Martin's signature on a document – that the FBI began an inquiry. Berten USA started as a legitimate manufacturer of men's cologne. After being dormant for a decade, Berten was purchased by an American known as "Dan", who is implicated in Pastrana's operation, and is a suspect in a $1.8 million US security fraud. "Dan" sold Berten as a shell company to Pastrana shortly before he introduced the Filipino to Mr Martin. At the time, Mr Martin was operating a legitimate Silicon Valley company called Stratasys and needed investment capital. "Dan" suggested Pastrana to Mr Martin as a potential source of the investment capital. Pastrana agreed to invest $US7.5 million on condition Mr Martin used Berten as the vehicle and became company president. Pastrana's background appeared impeccable and among his references was then-president Estrada. "He was going to put in $US7.5 million to add to the $US2.5 million my colleagues and I had invested," Mr Martin said. "When I first met him in December 1999, he was charming and deeply concerned I was happy with everything he was doing. It was a class act, very accomplished and polished." Mr Martin and Pastrana met regularly over the next year and all went well until Mr Martin caught two employees planning to embezzle $600,000 from Stratasys. "I fired them immediately, and then I received a quite forcible call from Pastrana saying I should reinstate them," he said. "That's when I first smelled a rat." His suspicions were soon confirmed when he started receiving phone calls from Pastrana's friends asking when he was going to float Berten USA. Information of that nature is illegal insider trading. In August last year, following his float, Mr Martin went to the authorities and asked them to take his stock off the market. But it already was too late. Mr Martin and his friends lost their $US2.5 million original investment and Mr Martin lost a further $US27.5 million. He was declared bankrupt but later discharged. He then set off to trace investors who had lost money. So far he has been to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and South Africa. The FBI had Pastrana under surveillance for weeks and was due to arrest him and close his operation any day. But last week's Thai-led raid on the Bangkok boiler room, which snared 10 Australians and 70 other foreigners, was premature. Mr Martin said Thai officials had needed a boost for a local election and the raid provided the opportunity. The original plan was for simultaneous raids on 25 boiler rooms in 15 countries but the other boiler rooms have now been warned. And, Mr Martin said, one of the two companies named by Thai police after the raid, Benson Dupont Capital Management, was one of the least effective cogs in Pastrana's operation. "Everybody they picked up in the raid was very small fry," he said. Mr Martin left Australia on Wednesday after meeting defrauded investors. "For the past two months I have been touring the world tracing investors who have been burned," he said. "There is no legal obligation to do this, but I see it as a moral obligation. These people placed their faith in my company and have lost large amounts. "Their reaction to me has been understandably suspicious to begin with, but I have addressed a lot of meetings now, and generally my version of events has been accepted." Mr Martin has compiled detailed lists of many of the 4000 victims worldwide who bought worthless shares in Berten USA and has put together an international "hit parade" of the worst-hit countries. He believed it was almost impossible to work out global losses on companies manipulated by Pastrana. "He picks up five new companies every month, aiming for 60 a year. He plugs and dumps them at the same rate," Mr Martin said. "Berten is the only one I know about in detail and investors lost $25 million in Australia alone in under a year. "If you start multiplying that figure by 60 times a year for nine years, you are probably starting to get close."
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|To: StockDung who wrote (288)||9/22/2001 6:35:29 PM|
This is incredible stuff. Kudos for posting. I've read many similar things, including history going back to Prescott Sr.
Now it wouldn't surprise me if this stuff were true. Rulers, throughout history, have relied on the fact that the masses are too busy with their day to day desires and fears to really find out about what is really going on around them.
If there is significant truth to any of this, it makes one wonder who the enemy really is.
Of course it also raises a lot of issues which may detract from the conspiracy theories.
If any of this is true, why was there so little brought up in any of George (43) Bush's recent elections? Given the dirt from both campaigns, it's hard to imagine that this type of political dynamite would not be used by opposnents, media, nuts, etc. It makes Gore's indiscretions (and even Clinton's peccadildoes (sp?? lol) and Lincoln Bedroom scandal seem like very small potatoes.
If the real rulers of the world are a group of elite, united by money that transcends religious, ethnic, class and geographic differences, then it should be easy to get rid of the Taliban and take care of most of the world's problems.
So what we have are theories that could be true, but if true, so go against common sense analysis to cause readers to question credibility.
Don't get me wrong. I'd love to know the answers to the real issues of the world, starting with who really killed JFK. It's much easier to think that we are the only nation that doesn't manufacture history or re-write it ex post facto.
As for GENI, I've never followed it, but am now intrigued. How about a 3 paragraph summary of your views?
1) It's a scam because ---
2) Is Khassogi still involved?
3) If these guys really control the world, can retail shorters really bring them down? A fortiorari, given the recent history and the rise of patriotic ferver which will mitigate desires to question leaders of the world.
I've got my Wanted Dead or Alive shirt with Bin Laden's ugly puss on it and my flag in hand, as well as my own small arsenal in case of local conflagration. But I welcome your attempts to get to the answers of the most troubling questions in our history.
BTW, do you know where any of Bin Laden's billions are located? Does he own equities or does he just short?
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|To: rrufff who wrote (289)||9/23/2001 8:02:35 PM|
|THE TRUTH COMES OUT ON KHASHOGGIS BANK WHICH PROMOTED THAON (otc BB THAO) ON THEIR WEB SITE. gcbankag.com . |
Seems on internet slueth jjs64 was one step ahead of the crooks. Thoan used to be called Castpro
Castpro - Fraud In The Making? Subject 32600
from 'THE FORMAT" format.at TRANSLATED
"the "mastermind of the operations" according to the FBI are the US citizens Regis Possino and Sherman Mazur. 52-year old Possino appeared in Vienna last Summer for the first time where he resided in an "approbiate" luxury flat in Radisson SAS Palais (Rent: 62.500 ATS)"
Police is investigating also in Vienna
FBI is acting against a gang of worldwide active financial artists who allegedly bilked gigantic 15 Billion ATS (1 Billion USD) from clients. Since last Autumn, the instigators of the gang own a banking corporation in Vienna. The police is investigating.
Behind the facades of the small "General Commerce Bank AG" which operated under federal administration since last year [the police] believes to find certain information about a large scale scam. Two weeks ago the US federal police has discovered the scandal after having conducted investigations for more than one year and through infiltration of undercover agents.
After the Australian exchange commission has been pressed by defrauded customers, 10 days ago a big sweep in Bangkok too place: Supported by the FBI, the local police arrested 81 suspects, mostly Europeans. The gang is accused of running a worldwide network of brokerage offices, so called "Boiler Rooms", first artificially raising the prices of worthless stocks and then selling them to thousands of clients. In the next days, sweeps are "scheduled" in further 9 cities on 3 continents.
The FBI dossier: Fraudsters bilked out one Billion Dollar
The format is exclusively in possession of the FBI report in which the shocking dimensions of the deals are described: It lists the names of 18 Boiler rooms, reaching from the Philippines over Thai to Singapore and Czechia, in which the gang has cashed in the amazing sum of 1 Billion Dollars, about 15 Billion Schillings.
For the Austrians it is very revealing what the FBI dossier says about the perpetrators of the affaire: In the organisation hierarchy ranked behind Manila and Los Angeles based Amador Pastrana, the "mastermind of the operations" according to the FBI are the US citizens Regis Possino and Sherman Mazur. 52-year old Possino appeared in Vienna last Summer for the first time where he resided in an "approbiate" luxury flat in Radisson SAS Palais (Rent: 62.500 ATS)
Kashoggi-Coup in Vienna
The Belgian Raoul Berthaumieu who grew up in Canada appeared as the new chairman of the banking corporation which is working with a restricted banking license as broker house: In turn, Berthaumieus particular contacts to glowing con artists resulted in a new shareholder for the bank: the legendary arabian arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi.<?B>
Die Wirtschaftspolizei ermittelt auch in Wien
Das amerikanische FBI geht gegen eine Truppe weltweit agierender Finanzartisten vor, die von Kunden gigantische 15 Milliarden Schilling abgenommen haben soll. Die Drahtzieher besitzen seit vergangenem Herbst eine Bank in Wien. Die Wirtschaftspolizei ermittelt.
Hinter den Fassaden der seit dem Vorjahr unter Geschäftsaufsicht stehenden kleinen General Commerce Bank AG in der Wiener Schlickgasse 1Bank vermutet man aufschlußreiche Antworten zu einem gigantischen Betrugsfall. Die US-Bundespolizei hat den Finanz-Skandal nach mehr als einjährigen Ermittlungen und durch die Einschleusung von Undercoveragenten vor zwei Wochen hat aufgedeckt.
Nachdem die australische Börsenaufsicht von geleimten Kunden bombardiert worden war, kam es vor zehn Tagen in der thailändischen Hauptstadt Bangkok zur ersten Großrazzia: Unterstützt von FBI-Beamten, nahmen Polizisten 81Verdächtige, großteils Europäer, fest. Der Truppe wird vorgeworfen, in einem weltumspannenden Netz von Börsenmaklerbüros, sogenannten "Boiler rooms", zuerst die Kurse wertloser Aktien künstlich in die Höhe getrieben und sie dann an Tausende Kunden verklopft zu haben. Dieser Tage sind Razzien in weiteren neun Städten auf drei Kontinenten vorgesehen.
Das FBI-Dossier: Finanzbetrüger ergaunerten eine Milliarde Dollar
Das FORMAT exklusiv vorliegende FBI-Dossier beschreibt die atemberaubenden Dimensionen der Deals: In 18 namentlich angeführten Boiler rooms, von den Philippinen über Thailand bis Singapur und Tschechien, hat die Truppe die sagenhafte Summe von einer Milliarde Dollar eingestreift - umgerechnet mehr als 15 Milliarden Schilling.
Aus österreichischer Sicht besonders aufschlußreich in dem FBI-Dossier sind die Protagonisten der Affäre: Hinter dem in Manila und in Los Angeles residierenden Amador Pastrana, laut FBI "Mastermind der Operationen", bekleiden nämlich die beiden US-Amerikaner Regis Possino und Sherman Mazur die wichtigsten Ränge in der Hierarchie der Organisation. Der 52jährige Possino tauchte im Sommer des Vorjahres erstmals in Wien auf, wo er standesgemäß eine luxuriöse Wohnung im Radisson SAS Palais (Monatsmiete: 62.500 Schilling) bezog.
Kashoggi-Coup in Wien
Als neuer Aufsichtsratschef des mit eingeschränkter Banklizenz als Börsenmakler tätigen Instituts, das im Herbst dann in General Commerce Bank AG umbenannt wurde, betrat der in Belgien geborene und in Kanada aufgewachsene Raoul Berthaumieu die Bühne: Berthaumieus einschlägige Kontakte zu schillernden Finanzartisten bescherten der Wiener Bank dann im Oktober einen neuen Aktionär: den legendären saudischen Waffenhändler Adnan Kashoggi.
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|To: rrufff who wrote (289)||9/24/2001 3:21:57 AM|
|Arab Families Linked to Utah, Developer Khashoggi had curious ties to bin Laden clan|
Sunday, September 23, 2001
BY GREG BURTON
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
MURRAY -- A small brick home with an American flag flying from the front porch is the mailing address of Mohamed Khashoggi, multimillionaire son of Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, once-dubbed the "richest man in the world."
The obscure Murray address, listed in state voter registration records, is an example of the surprising reach of Middle Eastern politics that links such distant places as Saudi Arabia, New York and Afghanistan with Utah.
Adnan Khashoggi, the playboy venture capitalist and arms dealer who built Utah's Triad Center, is the son of Mohammed Khashoggi, who was the family physician of Muhammad bin Laden, father of Osama bid Laden, the primary suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The bin Laden family owns the largest construction company in the Middle East. A young Adnan Khashoggi attended college in Alexandria, Egypt, with some bin Laden children. He made his first deal as a middleman delivering American Kenworth trucks to the bin Laden family, earning a $25,000 commission, according to Houston journalist Pete Brewton's book, The Mafia, CIA & George Bush.
The Murray address is one of the last of Adnan Khashoggi's fingerprints in Utah, a final connection to the man and the family Utah leaders embraced as the seeming savior of Salt Lake City's downtown, but, in the end, discovered they never really knew him.
The bin Ladens are a large, far-flung family, as are the Khashoggis, making it impossible to assume that Osama bin Laden shared a militant religious philosophy with Khashoggi -- or even with other members of his own family, says Thomas D. Mullins, executive director of the Contemporary Arab Studies Program at Harvard University.
"What people have to do is make a clear distinction between Osama and the rest of his family," Mullins says. "They are perfectly respectable, decent people. Like any family, every now and then you come across a bad apple in the crate."
While Osama bin Laden was cultivating Islamic militants, Adnan Khashoggi was brokering deals for Iran and Saudi Arabia to buy F-5 fighters, Hawk missiles and C-130 aircraft -- mostly with the blessing and sometimes the financing of the CIA.
With Khashoggi's help, "we have sent arms to the Middle East and billions of dollars in arms to Israel and Egypt," Mullins says. "[The Sept. 11 attacks] are not a comeuppance, they are a result." And now, "in demonizing a particular person, we've made him bigger than he is and made it impossible for us to deal with him."
Even as he broke ground at the Salt Lake City Triad Center in 1985, Khashoggi was secretly mediating arms sales to Iran, sending $25 million to a Swiss bank account controlled by Lt. Col. Oliver North. The weaponry cost much less, allegedly leaving a cut for Khashoggi and plenty more for North to covertly deliver to Contra rebels fighting in Nicaragua.
That same year, Khashoggi wrote a memo to President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser urging the United States to support rightists in Iran, according to an Associated Press report. The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini would die soon, he wrote, and the rightists would help fight the extremists in Iran who give "financial support to the various terrorist groups."
David Tubbs, the FBI's former agent in charge for Utah, was assigned to investigate the CIA's involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair and interviewed Khashoggi in Washington, D.C.
"Everybody knew who he was," Tubbs says. "The interview was pretty straightforward. He had his job to do. He was a middleman; that's what he did for a living. He's probably the primary example of a capitalist."
This was before bankruptcy at Triad and a fraud indictment that snared Khashoggi, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda for concealing the purchase of four Manhattan buildings. Ferdinand Marcos died before trial and a jury eventually acquitted Khashoggi and Imelda Marcos.
In another crossing of public figures then and now, the original charges against Khashoggi were brought by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani, now mayor of New York City.
"It is Rudolph Giuliani who started this whole business," Khashoggi said at the time. "He is dying to be mayor of New York and for this he has to prove how active he is, how tough, a real fighter for justice."
Today, Khashoggi's billions have most likely dwindled to millions or less, Mullins says. Salt Lake's would-be savior stays mostly in Europe and New York. In his mid-60s, he is a mere shadow of the player who vaulted to prominence in the 1970s, flaunting a stable of jet planes, a $70 million, frigate-sized yacht and personal connections to Presidents Reagan and Richard Nixon.
"[Osama] bin Laden is a rock-hard fundamentalist, a complete antithesis of Khashoggi, the millionaire playboy who never had a shortage of drink or women," Mullins says. "Khashoggi would be a target of bin Laden, if anything."
According to Utah records, Khashoggi's son Mohamed has registered to vote in Utah for the past three years using the Murray address, something that apparently surprised the woman who answers the telephone at the home.
"There's nothing here for any of the Khashoggis," said the woman, who refused to give her name. "All I do is pick up the phone calls for them and relay them."
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|To: rrufff who wrote (289)||9/24/2001 3:35:58 AM|
|Yahoo! Groups : kosovo-alert Messages :Message 195 of 199 |
"OUTSIDE LOOKING IN to Saudi Arabia. The company took off, and not
long after, al
Fayed married Khashoggi's sister Samira, who gave birth to Dodi in
1955. He divorced her after" to prove, but Richard Taus, former FBI
agent, states that Al Fayed and Khashoggi were connected to the
Iran/Contra scandal through Castle Securities. Castle ".
"and defendant Mark D'Onofrio and other defendants ("the D'Onofrio Group") provided Castle and Romano with guaranteed trading profits. "
U.S. Environmental, Inc., et al.: Litigation Release No. 16980 / May 1, 2001
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 16980 / May 1, 2001
SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL, INC. ET AL., United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Civil Action No. 94 Civ. 6608 (PLK)
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today the settlement of claims against four defendants in this action, filed by Complaint on September 13, 1994, and Amended Complaint on October 23, 1995. These four defendants are:
John Romano, age 39, resides in Fort Salonga, New York.
Dudley M. Freeland, age 35, resides in Lakewood, California.
Leslie Roth, age 43, resides in East Meadow, New York.
Ernest Micciche, age 41, resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.
The Commission's Amended Complaint alleged a classic fraudulent blind pool offering, subsequent market manipulation and fraudulent sale of the underlying securities of U.S. Environmental, Inc. ("USE"), by broker- dealers who accepted undisclosed kickbacks from promoters in return for retailing the stock to unsuspecting customers. Without admitting or denying the allegations of the Amended Complaint, Romano, Freeland, Roth and Micciche consented to final judgments that imposed permanent injunctions and other equitable relief against them.
The Amended Complaint alleged that:
Romano, as well as other defendants, manipulated the price of shares of common stock of U.S. Environmental, Inc. ("USE"), from $.05 to over $5.00 per share during the period from September through at least December 1989. During that period, defendant Castle Securities Corp. ("Castle") was the principal market maker, and Romano was the principal trader, of USE securities. Castle and Romano executed wash trades and matched orders while trading USE securities, and defendant Mark D'Onofrio and other defendants ("the D'Onofrio Group") provided Castle and Romano with guaranteed trading profits.
Freeland was a Vice President and 25% shareholder of H.K. Freeland and Company, Inc. ("Freeland Co."), which received undisclosed compensation from the D'Onofrio Group for retailing shares of USE to Freeland Co.'s customers. Between January 1990 and September 1990, over 300 Freeland Co. customers purchased more than 200,000 shares of USE stock at prices ranging from approximately $4.25 to $7.25 per share. At no time during this period did Freeland or Freeland Co. disclose the existence of the undisclosed payments to Freeland Co.'s customers.
Roth, as President of USE's predecessor Windfall Capital Corporation ("Windfall"), did not reveal in Windfall's Form S-18 Registration Statement that she was acting under the control of defendants Michael T. Studer ("Studer") and Castle Securities Corporation and that she had received payments from Studer.
Micciche, as USE's Treasurer, caused USE to issue false and misleading statements, through press releases and filings with the Commission, that USE had a world-wide license for a detoxified hazardous waste process that was scientifically proven and commercially viable, and that USE was on the verge of entering two multimillion dollar contracts to use this process.
The final judgments permanently enjoin: 1) Romano, Freeland, Roth and Micciche from committing future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5; 2) Romano, Freeland and Micciche from committing future violations of Rules 101 and 102 of Regulation M; 3) Romano from committing future violations of Section 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act; 4) Freeland from committing future violations of Section 15(c) of the Exchange Act and Rules 10b-3, 10b-5 and 15c1-2 thereunder; and 5) Micciche from causing future violations of Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-11, and 13a-13 thereunder. Further, the final judgments require 1) Romano to disgorge gains and interest totaling $43,776; 2) Roth to disgorge gains and interest totaling $616; and 3) Micciche to disgorge gains and interest totaling $234,269, but waiving payment of such moneys based on Micciche's demonstrated inability to pay. The final judgment against Freeland does not order any disgorgement as Freeland previously disgorged all ill-gotten gains in the related action: SEC v. H. K. Freeland et al., 91 Civ. 7986 (S.D.N.Y.) (CSH). Finally, the final judgment against Micciche bars him from acting as an officer or director, for five years, of any issuer of securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act or that is required to file reports pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Romano and Freeland also consented to a Commission order imposing penny stock bars against Romano and Freeland, and barring Freeland from associating with any broker or dealer.
See prior releases ## 14233, 14233A & 14249.
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|To: rrufff who wrote (289)||9/24/2001 3:43:49 AM|
|****** Love the stuff about Dubya, keep up the good work. Just wondered if you have heard of Pete Brewton's book "The Mafia, CIA, and George Bush" Not much on George Dubya's dealings, but he has had an interesting bidness pardner by the name of Jim Bath: Trustee for two of the richest families in Saudi Arabia, (one was Sheikh Saem bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's relatives) one of the families owned a Saudi bank that provided financing to Adnan Khashoggi around the time of arms for hostages and whose highest profile member was indicted in the summer of 92 on fraud charges in the collapse of BCCI. Bath also formed a Cayman Islands company whose other principals were in a Cayman company that was a key intermediary in Ollie North's "Enterprise" in moving donations to the contras. Bath was also recruited by Papa Doc Bush as a CIA asset in 1976. Bath and Bush met while both were in the Air National Guard.|
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|To: Brasco One who wrote (277)||9/24/2001 11:46:52 AM|
|RE: Madison and Wall and Net Currents funny as sheet |
"By submitting old certificates in exchange for new ones,
any individual or broker who is in a `short' position with respect to NetCurrents' stock, will be obligated to cover their short position in order to deliver new certificates.
Subj: News Release: NetCurrents, Inc.
Date: 9/24/01 10:23:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time
<center>NetCurrents Information Services Recommends Exchange of Common Shares</center>
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 24, 2001--
NetCurrents Information Services, Inc. (OTCBB:NTCS - news) today recommended
that all of its shareholders physically submit all of their shares of
the Company's Common Stock to its transfer agent, so that shares
bearing the Company's new name and CUSIP number can be issued.
According to Arthur Bernstein, NetCurrents' Executive
Vice-President, ``In order for a stockholder holding a certificate to
trade NetCurrents' stock, the seller must deliver to the buyer shares
bearing the new name and CUSIP number. Old certificates can no longer
be traded. By submitting old certificates in exchange for new ones,
any individual or broker who is in a `short' position with respect to
NetCurrents' stock, will be obligated to cover their short position in
order to deliver new certificates. In the future, we strongly
recommend that all shareholders keep their shares in their individual
accounts and not in street name, to help avoid shorting.''
All shares should be sent to the Company's transfer agent for
exchange: TranferOnline, 227 SW Pine Street, Portland, OR 97204.
About NetCurrents Information Services, Inc.
NetCurrents, uses its patented FIRST technology to analyze
communications for meaning, sentiment, relevance and key concepts from
more than 100,000 targeted public Internet locations and 3,800 online
publications in real-time. The Company provides clients with critical
information for protection of their corporate image, analysis of
competition, product perceptions, and misinformation on the Internet.
Due to the sensitivity of businesses that require this type of
technology and analysis, confidentiality of NetCurrents clients is
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of Section 37A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking
statements involve risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could
cause the actual results to differ from those indicated in the
forward-looking statements, including the Company's ability to
continue to successfully market and provide their products and
services and maintain their effectiveness, the continuation of the
arrangements with its channel partners, the ability of the Company to
secure sufficient financing to continue its operations and to meet its
financial projections and general economic conditions. The Company
undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking
statements whether as a result of new information or otherwise.
<hr align=left width="20%" size=1 noshade>
IR Consulting, Beverly Hills
Terri MacInnis, 818/995-0910
Madison & Wall Worldwide, Inc., Longwood, Fla.
Dodi Handy, 407/682-2001
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