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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 11:05 PM
Original message
Riggs Probe Finds Evidence Of Crimes
Inquiry Implicates Former Pinochet Account Managers

By Terence O'Hara
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 3, 2004; Page E01

The referrals emerged from a wide-ranging internal investigation of possible money laundering in Riggs's dealings with Pinochet and Chile going back to the mid-1980s, said the sources, who are familiar with the probe and spoke only on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still in its early stages.

Investigators retracing transactions in Pinochet's Riggs accounts also have found evidence that some of his associates and family members moved large sums of money through at least four other U.S. banks, including Citibank and Bank of America, the sources said.
The Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia are investigating possible money laundering at Riggs involving Pinochet and officials of the government of Equatorial Guinea. Riggs had made a previous referral to the Justice Department related to Simon P. Kareri, Equatorial Guinea's former account manager at Riggs, who is the subject of a grand jury investigation in the District.

Riggs spokesman Mark N. Hendrix declined to comment yesterday. The company last month said it was the subject of various investigations and has previously said it was cooperating with those investigations. Riggs has hired noted white-collar criminal defense lawyer Reid H. Weingarten to represent the bank and its holding company in connection with the Justice Department inquiry, the sources said.

An investigation by the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations released in July found that for at least eight years, Riggs helped Pinochet hide accounts with balances of between $4 million and $8 million from outside scrutiny, even helping the general hide the funds from international prosecutors seeking restitution for political killings. Specifically, the report detailed how Riggs account managers helped him set up offshore shell companies to hide his interest in the money deposited in Riggs, altered names on accounts so outsiders would not recognize the Pinochet name and concealed Pinochet's accounts from bank examiners. The Senate report said two former Riggs employees were primarily responsible for managing Pinochet's accounts.

The ongoing probe of Riggs could present problems for its pending merger with PNC Financial Services Group Inc. If the bank is prosecuted, or if it is subject to criminal fines, it could delay, materially change the terms of or even scotch the merger. The merger transaction included a provision allowing PNC to back out if any major adverse regulatory event occurs before closing. The merger is not expected to take place until the first three months of next year, at the earliest.

A PNC spokesman did not return calls seeking comment.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. If only we had ourselves a media with integrity and honesty.
Our mission: to fight the right-wing on behalf of both the American people and the success of that experiment called "democracy".
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JSJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. remember, jonathan bush was an officer of this bank...
...through-out the period that Pinochet was having his cash laundered, there. Is there a Bush family member who isn't a dirty little ball of miscreantial slime?
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Remember also: Uncle Jon is a Skull and Boner
The Bush Family - what a bunch of occult beauts. Heading for the Dark Side of town.

The head bone's connected to ... Bush?

Saturday, September 23, 2000

One expects, from a family of politicians, a certain amount of skullduggery. But that is a term of art. It should not involve the actual digging of skulls.

So begins one of the odder political stories of recent years. It involves allegations that George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, late of the United States Senate by way of Connecticut, had joined a midnight foray 82 years ago into an Oklahoma graveyard whence he emerged with the mortal skull of Geronimo, the Apache warlord who spent his final years as a tourist attraction and, it would seem, part of his afterlife as a souvenir.


"The only people who dig up bones are the witchcraft people," Thompson shuddered.


Thompson, two other council members and tribal attorney Joe Sparks traveled to New York three times to meet with Skull and Bones officers, their lawyer and Jonathan Bush, brother to the then-vice president.

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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. Ah ha, movement.
Was just complaining in your Asscroft shuts down neocon arrests thread about lack of movement once that same scumbag got involved here. But there's plenty else to complain about. What about the Saudi's, what about un'ca Jonathan?

BOA and Citibank, good deal.

ICP sez:

August 30, 2004

It's been confirmed: Kenneth Wainstein, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, asked the OCC in an Aug. 6 letter to stop work on the review and two other matters relating to Riggs due to the DOJ investigation. "We have agreed to this request and have suspended our work in these areas," Comptroller Hawke wrote in an Aug. 18 letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby. This raises an obvious question: how could the OCC and Federal Reserve even consider PNC's Riggs application, if they've suspended their own attempts to get to the bottom of the managerial and other factors which, by law, they'd have to consider on the acquisition proposal? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of August 25 reported, "PNC Financial Services Group said yesterday that it was 'premature to speculate' on whether the recent launch of a criminal probe of Riggs Bank by the Justice Department might impact its pending acquisition of Riggs. 'We will monitor the situation as it unfolds,' spokesman Brian Goerke said." So will we. In the interim, this question: if the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, and many others, question the OCC's examiner having gone over to Riggs, what exactly is the different with the Federal Reserve's Jack Wixted having gone to PNC, and now writing the bank's responses to the Fed? This will be answered in coming weeks.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. You're this close

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Where IS Asscan? The guy's AwOL on Riggs.
Perhaps with "good" reason:

ACTION - HIDING INFORMATION THAT COULD BE DAMAGING TO RIGGS: Newsweek reported that checks to "two Saudi students in the United States who provided assistance to two of the September 11 hijackers" may have come "from an account at Washington's Riggs Bank in the name of Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, the wife of Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan." This, and other details, were reportedly part of the bipartisan House-Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the Saudi money flow after 9/11. Yet, instead of allowing the committee's final report to be published in full, "Bush administration officials, led by Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, have adamantly refused to declassify the evidence" surrounding the transactions.

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. kick for capitalism without conscience
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. From reading about the City of London Police evidence that was
unearthed earlier this year and submitted to the "God's Banker" murder trial of Roberto Calvi in Italy, some 70 files of new, previously undisclosed matierial regarding covert Vatican bank accounts helf in Banco Ambrosiano offshore accounts in the mid-70s up to 1982 may also be related to payments made to Pinochet by members of the P2 Lodge evading trial on a series of child sex-abuse charges in the UK.

The Calvi murder trial has been adjourned a couple of times already in Rome to give the prosecution team more time to wade throught this material.

Last time I read about it there was a news blackout imposed on press reporting the details but I remember the snippets that referred to "military personnel's accounts" sourced to Santiago, Chile via Ambrosiano offshoots/subsidiaries in the Bahamas - maybe Artoc Bank and Trust? a now defunct entity owned by corrupt Uk businessman Peter de Savary.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
8. C'mon, Ashcan! Do yer job! BTW: Kerry got near-zero support in BCCI
Unlike the present chimpministration or Poppy and Pruneface's "administrations," Kerry went after the money-laundering terror-financing transnational criminal enterprises. It's one of the main reasons I've supported the guy from Day 1.

Follow the Money

How John Kerry busted the terrorists' favorite bank.

By David Sirota and Jonathan Baskin

Two decades ago, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was a highly respected financial titan. In 1987, when its subsidiary helped finance a deal involving Texas oilman George W. Bush, the bank appeared to be a reputable institution, with attractive branch offices, a traveler's check business, and a solid reputation for financing international trade. It had high-powered allies in Washington and boasted relationships with respected figures around the world.

All that changed in early 1988, when John Kerry, then a young senator from Massachusetts, decided to probe the finances of Latin American drug cartels. Over the next three years, Kerry fought against intense opposition from vested interests at home and abroad, from senior members of his own party; and from the Reagan and Bush administrations, none of whom were eager to see him succeed.

By the end, Kerry had helped dismantle a massive criminal enterprise and exposed the infrastructure of BCCI and its affiliated institutions, a web that law enforcement officials today acknowledge would become a model for international terrorist financing. As Kerry's investigation revealed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, BCCI was interested in more than just enriching its clients--it had a fundamentally anti-Western mission. Among the stated goals of its Pakistani founder were to "fight the evil influence of the West," and finance Muslim terrorist organizations. In retrospect, Kerry's investigation had uncovered an institution at the fulcrum of America's first great post-Cold War security challenge.

More than a decade later, Kerry is his party's nominee for president, and terrorist financing is anything but a back-burner issue. The Bush campaign has settled on a new strategy for attacking Kerry: Portray him as a do-nothing senator who's weak on fighting terrorism. "After 19 years in the Senate, he's had thousands of votes, but few signature achievements," President Bush charged recently at a campaign rally in Pittsburgh; spin that's been echoed by Bush's surrogates, conservative pundits, and mainstream reporters alike, and by a steady barrage of campaign ads suggesting that the one thing Kerry did do in Congress was prove he knew nothing about terrorism. Ridiculing the senator for not mentioning al Qaeda in his 1997 book on terrorism, one ad asks: "How can John Kerry win a war if he doesn't know the enemy?"

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Peace brother, why all the hostility?
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. You KNOW that's what he's like at home.
I remember a story from a couple years back where two Feds paid a visit to Ashcan's home in Missouri, unannounced. Crisco was FURIOUS at the intrusion and he made them wait outside. After a few minutes, the turd came back and talked to them on the porch. What's he HIDING?

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Hey did you get an advanced copy of Kitty Kelly's new book?
Is that where that photo came from?
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Remember "Eyes Wide Shut"? It's like that for the ultra-powerful.

To them, most of humanity are mere "fodder units,"
as Poppy the Pedophile is wont to say.

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