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Tue Feb 12, 2019, 02:53 PM

Swiss Mystery Company Is at the Heart of a Mueller Puzzle

Source: Daily Beast

A little-known company located in Switzerland has come under scrutiny by the Special Counsel's Office for its connection to Psy Group, the firm that created a social-media manipulation plan to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. That's according to three sources with knowledge of the office's questioning, and documents obtained by The Daily Beast.

Former employees of Psy Group said the FBI interviewed them in 2017 and asked detailed questions about the firm's business and ownership structure. These same sources told The Daily Beast that while working at Psy, which is now defunct, they operated under the understanding that Joel Zamel, an Australian with links to Israeli intelligence, ultimately owned the firm. But the financial structure of Psy Group was much more complicated, they said, and included offshore entities registered in the British Virgin Islands.


At the end of that chain of opaque offshore entities sits a Zurich-based financial-services group known as Salix Services AG, according to interviews with former Psy Group employees and two other individuals with insight into the firm's ownership. And financial documents appear to show a relationship between Salix, named after the Latin word for a willow tree, and at least one of the companies that owned Psy Group.

Robert Mueller's team has eyed Salix as part of his wide-ranging probe into foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Details about Psy Group's financials and its ties to Salix could shed new light on a pair of mysteries that could be key to this part of the special counsel's probe: Why did international business and influence-peddler George Nader pay Zamel $2 million after the election? And where did all that money go?

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/swiss-mystery-company-is-at-the-heart-of-a-mueller-puzzle



Some background on the Joel Zamel mentioned above, who is known to have attended a meeting in August 2016 with Donald Jr. and Erik Prince, which Mueller has also reportedly been investigating.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/18/private-mossad-for-hire

Most Psy-Group employees knew little or nothing about the company's owner, Joel Zamel. According to corporate documents filed in Cyprus, he was born in Australia in 1986. Zamel later moved to Israel, where he earned a master's degree in government, diplomacy, and strategy, with a specialization in counterterrorism and homeland security. Zamel's father had made a fortune in the mining business, and Zamel was a skilled networker. He cultivated relationships with high-profile Republicans in the U.S., including Newt Gingrich and Elliott Abrams, who served in foreign-policy positions under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and whom Psy-Group listed as a member of its advisory board. (The Trump Administration recently named Abrams its special envoy to oversee U.S. policy toward Venezuela.) Documents show that Zamel was a director of a Cyprus-based company called IOCO, which controlled Psy-Group. (Zamel's lawyers and Burstien declined to say how much of an ownership stake Zamel held in IOCO, or to identify who else provided funding for the venture.) Using Cyprus as a front made it easier for Psy-Group to sell its services in Arab states that don't work overtly with Israeli companies.

SNIP

Zamel had another opportunity to pitch his services in early August, 2016, when Erik Prince, the founder of the Blackwater security firm, helped arrange a meeting at Trump Tower among Zamel, Nader, and Donald Trump, Jr. (Prince, whose sister Betsy DeVos became Trump's Education Secretary, was a major Trump donor and had access to members of his team.) In the meeting, Zamel told Trump, Jr., that he supported his father's campaign, and talked about Psy-Group's influence operations. (Zamel's lawyer, Marc Mukasey, played down the encounter, insisting that Zamel made no formal proposals during the meeting.)

Burstien said that his talks with the Trump campaign went nowhere; a representative for Zamel denied that his client engaged in any activity having to do with the election. But, according to the Nader representative, shortly after the election Zamel bragged to Nader that he had conducted a secret campaign that had been influential in Trump's victory. Zamel agreed to brief Nader on how the operation had worked. During that conversation, Zamel showed Nader several analytical reports, including one that described the role of avatars, bots, fake news, and unattributed Web sites in assisting Trump. Zamel told Nader, "Here's the work that we did to help get Trump elected," according to the Nader representative. Nader paid Zamel more than two million dollars, but never received copies of the reports, that person said.

A representative for Zamel denied that he told Nader that he or any of his operatives had intervened to help Trump during the 2016 election. If Nader came away with that impression, the representative said, he was mistaken. "Nader may have paid Zamel not knowing when, how, or why the report was created, but he wanted to use it to gain access and new business," the representative said. "In fact, it used publicly available material to show how social media--in general--was used in connection with the campaign."







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Reply Swiss Mystery Company Is at the Heart of a Mueller Puzzle (Original post)
pnwmom Tuesday OP
Apollyonus Tuesday #1
pecosbob Tuesday #2
Rene Tuesday #3
ToxMarz Tuesday #4
Duppers Tuesday #5

Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 03:11 PM

1. Lordy .... we may be seeing hundreds of indictments soon. nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 03:39 PM

2. So this is why all the sealed hearings

Israeli psy-ops firm...Erik Prince...enough said. Not really new to some, but really big stuff whan all the lights come on in the end. Time for the cockroaches to scurry...

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 04:13 PM

3. I'll bet computer process switching to Alta Band and Trump Tower

computers in Manhattan were involved. so easy to 'switch' urls and run same named 'rogue' vote counting software on different computer....alter counts....then switch back. for distributed batch applications we always install a production and disaster recovery set of scripts and servers.
We routinely switched between the two. Alternate servers pgm code could be rogue.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 05:03 PM

4. Psy Group is now defunct?

Yeah, about as defunct as Blackwater.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 05:41 PM

5. K & R

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