Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

FUGITIVE ANTIGUA REGULATOR DECLINED PLEA DEAL OFFERED BY UNITED STATES



The fugitive from American justice Leroy King, former Antigua financial services regulator, and co-conspirator in R Allen Stanford's billion dollar Ponzi scheme, was allegedly offered a sweet plea deal, to cooperate against several prominent Antigua recipients of Stanford's bribes and kickbacks, according to sources close to King. The former regulator faces a potential life sentence, to be served in an American prison, for his role in fending off US regulators and investigators, thereby allowing Stanford to extend his Ponzi scheme for years. Extradition proceedings have been delayed, for years, due to local political interference with the judicial process.

King was reportedly ofered a very short US prison sentence, only 24 months of incarceration, in exchange for his cooperation, but his advisers convinced him to decline the offer. He was originally promised protection from extradition, wealth and status, but he presently lives in a tiny, primitive residence, and has not seen any of the promised wealth and prestige he expected to receive. King is expected to follow the orders of his advisers; he recently was required to disburse cash to Antigua voters, in the National Election, so that they would return the ruling party to office, as part of a widespread campaign of voter fraud.

There are unconfirmed rumors that he will be extracted from Antigua, by other than judicial means. Should that occur, his failure to accept the plea offer will be moot, and he will face a jury trial in a state where there are many vocal Stanford victims. King remains the sole fugitive remaining in the Stanford criminal case.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

US SUPREME COURT AGAIN HOLDS ALIEN TORT STATUTE CANNOT BE EMPLOYED AGAINST FOREIGN CORPORATION FOR CONDUCT OUTSIDE THE USA



The United States Supreme Court today ruled against the plaintiffs, who brought suit against Arab Bank PLC. a foreign corporation, pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute, for payments made by the bank to the families of convicted or deceased Palestinian terrorists.

The high court, in affirming a Second  Circuit ruling, which dismissed plaintiffs' ATS claims, cited from a Supreme Court case that held where all the relevant conduct took place outside the United States, dismissal was required, based upon the presumption against extraterritorial application of statutes.

Readers who wish to review the complete text of the 91-page decision; the style is Jesner vs. Arab Bank, PLC. You may acess it here.

APPEALS COURT AFFIRMS DECISION AGAINST WAKED MONEY LAUNDERING ORGANIZATION



The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the District Court decision entered against the Waked Money Laundering Organization, which had brought an action against OFAC, challenging an SDGT designation. The Waked plaintiffs alleged that the US Government denied them Due Process when they sought information on OFAC's naming of the plaintiffs and others as Kingpins (Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDGT), and for violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which regulates govertnment agencies' actions.

In a 23-page Memorandum Opinion, with citations to all the relevant case law, the Court "concludes that Defendants have provided Plaintiffs with sufficient post-designation notice, under both the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the APA". The Court did not reach a decision on whether non-citizens are entitled to constitutional protection, because it held that there was adaquate notice and opportunity to be heard. It ruled that OFACs post-designation disclosures (a three-page summary) satisfied Due Process, and that OFAC followed its own regulations and procedures.

Readers who require a review of the complete text of the opinion may access it here , in pdf format.

ORAL ARGUMENT IN MARTINELLI EXTRADITION SCHEDULED BY ELEVENTH CIRCUIT



The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has set Oral Argument in fugitive ex-president Ricardo Martinelli's appeal of an adverse ruling in his extradition case. The Court set it for the week of July, 16, 2018.

Please note that the court file remains sealed, for unknown reasons, though we have given our readers the benefit of the underlying facts in prior articles, (obtained by reliable Panamanian sources), explaining why the file has been sealed, in an unconventional manner. To obtain access to the information, kindly access those articles for details.

WILL REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN FOLLOW EU LEAD ON MALTA'S CORRUPTION ?





If you follow the news of the European Union's issues with Citizenship by Investment programs of its members, you know that EU Minister of Justice Vera Jourova has scheduled a visit to Malta, to discuss, primarily,what have been referred to as "money laundering issues." Malta faces a sanctions procedure, due to its unexplained delay in adopting new EU rules on money laundering. The EC Vice President, Frans Timmermans, speaking on the matter, stated that CIP passports may only be issued to individuals who have a "demonstrable link" to an EC country. This principle should apply to all CIP programs, including those outside the European Union.

Additionally, unresolved issues there concerning the CIP program, illicit payments allegedly made to government officials in connection with its operation, and their appearance in the Panama Papers, all are being ignored by government, leading to the presumption that money laundering arising out of illegal payments by CIP consultancies, has occurred, and is being artfully covered up.


Taking the EU actions as guidelines, whistleblowers* concerned about the rampant corruption, mismanagement and negligence, surrounding the CIP programs in certain East Caribbean jurisdictions**, are quietly taking action by seeking the active involvement, and investigative action, by Caribbean regional associations, groups, and organizations, of which Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, and St Kitts & Nevis are members. Those agencies include, but are not limited to, CFATF, CARICOM, The East Caribbean Central Bank, and the OECS.
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* including one individual who was formerly the principal adviser to the president of an EU agency.
**The United Kingdom recently announced that it would be posting High Commissioners to certain East Caribbean States, including Antigua.

KEY FIGURE IN MULLER INVESTIGATION USED SHELL COMPANIES



The disclosure that a prominent Fox News commentator, a close friend and adviser of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, employed shell companies to hide his ownership of millions of dollars of real estate investments, including one major project where the loan to purchase it was insured by HUD,  again reminds is that beneficial ownership laws, regarding corporate ownership, are still not the law in America. Every time a proposed bill to require total and complete transparency, regarding who owns a corporation, it never makes it into law. Don't you wonder why the Republican-controlled Congress allows that to occur ? Some types of investors want to operate in the dark.

If America does not adopt an effective law on corporate transparency, we will continue to see foreign criminal elements, corrupt Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) from abroad, frontmen for organized crime, and various and sundry other groups wth dirty money to invest, buying a part of this country. Unless bank compliance officers, lending oficers, and law enforcement agencies, know who owns a corporation that owns investment property, the abuses will continue. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

RAISE COUNTRY RISK ON ANTIGUA TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL



Recent developments in Antigua, when analyzed for the purposes of calculating Country Risk for compliance officers based in North America, have all combined to create a Perfect Storm of corruption, and which makes any financial investment, access to the country's courts, or substantial financial transactions with its financial institutions, extremely high risk, for both foreign investors, as well as global banks. The risk of loss is simply too great at this time.

Back to back scandals, where major foreign investors were defrauded and cheated out of millions,  a scandal involving the interrogation of a sitting Antiguan minister by British police, investigating bribes extorted from a British investor, and the unexplained disappearance of large portion of CBI revenue, prior to its arrival in the treasury, are additional evidence that risk levels are off the charts.

Efforts to convince Antigua's government to utilize Enhanced Due Diligence for its troubled Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program, the failure to deliver upon promises to cancel
diplomatic passports held by dodgy foreigners, and finally, the government's utter failure to
conduct an investigation of the 200 passports case, which involves police corruption, until SVG police broke the case open, all add up to a jurisdiction which should be given a very wide berth by prudent foreign investors.



It is strongly suggested that compliance officers charged with assessing Country Risk examine the issues presented above, and raise Country Risk on Antigua to the highest level, and maintain it there, until the country institutes a major reform of both its CBI program, and its conduct to foreign investors.
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NOTE TO READERS: We have previously discussed Country Risk issues with Antigua in compliance-related articles published in 20111 and 2014. They are available on this Blog.