Sunday, May 20, 2018

NXIVM, Eric Schneiderman, Then Preet Bharara

What very few understand is that my "Preety Preet" knows lots of stuff, for a very long time.

"Motivated by greed, Stay Thompson and her co-conspirators joined together to steal money intended for the City's most vulnerable children."
United States Attorney PREET BHARARA

Learn more: BEVERLY TRAN: DOJ Prosecutes Adoption Scheme in New York
Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 

DOJ Files False Claims Act Suit Against Banks For Mortgage Fraud

Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 


Then, what had happened was...

New York AG Eric Schneiderman resigns after allegations he physically abused 4 women


Bharara Weighs Independent Bid for New York Attorney General

Image result for preet bharara
"Pretty Preet" Bharara
When a New York jury convicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on bribery charges last week, the biggest winner might have been Preet Bharara, even though he was nowhere near the courtroom.

As the top federal prosecutor in New York, it was Bharara who brought the case against the once powerful Democrat, and the verdict may have cemented his reputation as a crusading corruption fighter. Yet, even before the jury came back, Bharara was already weighing a run for the suddenly vacant spot of New York attorney general -- possibly doing so as an independent, free of ties to Democrats and Republicans, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

Preet Bharara
“Running as an independent, that would be the first defining message of his campaign,” said William Cunningham, an aide to three former New York governors and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP. “Being attorney general is an easy fit for a former U.S. attorney.”
Bharara’s name was floated as possible attorney general almost instantly after Eric Schneiderman quit as New York state’s top cop on May 7, following allegations of abuse by four women. Bharara, 49, served almost eight years as U.S. attorney in New York, where he spearheaded an historic crackdown on insider trading and targeted corruption in state government, before he was summarily fired by President Donald Trump on March 11, 2017.

But Bharara remains in the spotlight, hosting a popular podcast about law, justice and politics, and maintaining a frequent presence on cable news. In addition to teaching at New York University School of Law, he’s writing a book for which he reportedly received an advance of more than $1 million from publishing house Alfred A. Knopf.

He enjoys his new life, according to the person familiar with his thinking, who requested anonymity because of not being authorized to speak for the former prosecutor.

“It’s flattering,” Bharara said on CNN last week about the talk of him running. “Other people have put the thought out there. I’m not putting it out there. And I’m happy doing what I’m doing now. ” But he refused to rule it out during the interview and during his weekly podcast called, “Stay Tuned with Preet.”
Schneiderman’s replacement will play a big role in challenges to Trump’s policies ranging from protection of the environment to safeguarding rights of undocumented immigrants. The office also enforces state laws regulating Wall Street, non-profits and charities. Barbara Underwood, a Democrat who served as state solicitor general, is temporarily heading the office pending an appointment to be made by the Democratic-controlled state legislature.

Bharara has prosecuted both Democrats and Republicans and been criticized by leaders in both political parties. He’s also made it a bit of a habit to troll Trump on Twitter, telling the president Oct. 31, 2017: “Keep up the tweeting. Seriously, keep it up,” in response to a series of Trump tweets that followed the indictment of his former campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.

Bharara, who appears regularly on CNN as a commentator, has the resume to campaign successfully as an independent, said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant who helped pull off the last upset in an election for state attorney general when Eliot Spitzer won the office in 1998.
“He has a great argument to make as a candidate: ‘I’m the only one who’s taken on corruption and sent politicians to jail.”’ Sheinkopf said.

The election calendar would work to Bharara’s advantage. Major party candidates seeking a statewide nomination must collect petition signatures from June 5 to July 24. Independents have from July 10 to August 21, which would give Bharara time to know the competition and test how much voter-support he could attract.

Bharara was born in India. Indian-Americans have the highest median income of all Asian immigrant groups, and more than 200,000 live in New York City alone, according to a study by the Pew Foundation. Bharara’s entrepreneur younger brother, Vinnie, is among the wealthiest, having sold a company he co-founded to in 2010 for more than $500 million.

“It would be a great show of power by that group,” to get him elected, Sheinkopf said. “He just has to find the right people to organize the campaign and help him do it.”

Bharara made headlines as U.S. attorney for a legal offensive on insider trading that led to cases against dozens of traders, corporate executives and hedge-fund insiders, including the still-jailed Galleon Group co-founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Insider Trading

In time, he was criticized for overreaching and being too eager to make headlines; more than a dozen convictions were tossed out following a 2014 appeals court decision modifying insider-trading law. But recent developments have offered a measure of vindication. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed in part with the position initially taken by Bharara.

> Aside from raising the millions of dollars needed for campaign advertising in one of the nation’s most expensive television markets, Bharara, as an independent, would need to pull together a statewide organization of paid staff and volunteers that could compete with get-out-the-vote efforts run by the Democratic and Republican Parties, particularly in a year when they’ll be running gubernatorial campaigns.

Bharara won’t say, for now, what he’s thinking.

“It’s a very important job, especially important now, when the rule of law is under attack,” he said on his podcast, in a not-so-veiled criticism of the president.

He added, “I’ve said many, many times, politics is not my cup of tea.”

In other words: “Stay Tuned.”

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NXIVM, Allison Mack, Keith Raniere, Child Welfare & The Tax Exempt God

The following is information on the NXIVM situation with the arrests of Allison Mack and Keith Raniere.

I am not going into this right now because no one is going to like what I have to say about this, child welfare and the tax exempt god.

Media Silent as Allison Mack’s Arrest Exposes Child Trafficking For Billionaire-Backed Sex Slave Ring

As more details emerge in the case of the elite Hollywood sex cult NXIVM, it seems that the story goes even deeper than was first reported. There is growing evidence that this alleged self-help group was just a front for a human trafficking ring. It has also been revealed that this group has close ties with high-power ruling class families, including the Rothschilds, Clintons, and Bronfmans.

According to the charges, Smallville actress Allison Mack was a member of the cult and worked in a management position. As second-in-command, it was her job to lure women into the programs under the pretense of female empowerment and self-help workshops, to then convince them to sign up for a more “advanced program” called Dominus Obsequious Sororium, which required these women to basically turn the lives over to cult leader Keith Raniere. Dominus Obsequious Sororium is a quasi-Latin phrase that roughly translates to “Master Over the Slave Women.”

When women joined Raniere’s inner circle, they were forced to sign over their finances to him, starve themselves to maintain a certain weight, and he even had them surgically branded with his initials. Raniere would use blackmail to keep the women from speaking out, by collecting nude photos and damaging evidence on family members.

“As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere. The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit,” U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement.

The cult was finally exposed when the daughter of former Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg became a member. Oxenberg told the New York Times that she became concerned after she saw that her 26-year-old daughter India was extremely emaciated from dieting, and was suffering from serious health problems.

“Some people have said this is a voluntary sorority. The women I have spoken to tell a far different story,” Oxenberg said. “Coercion is not voluntary. Extortion is not voluntary. Blackmail is not voluntary.”

When these accusations hit the news, other women, including actress Sarah Edmondson, came forward to all to tell the same story, of the blackmail, the branding, as well as the forced labor and forced sexual activity.

Raniere is also accused of having a history of pedophilia, with accusations that stretch back over 20 years, involving girls as young as 12.

In 2012, several women were interviewed by the Albany Times Union about the coercive sexual experiences that they had with Raniere when they were young girls. One of the women in the case was found dead of a gunshot wound before she was able to give the interview. Her death was ruled a suicide.

The U.S. attorney’s office requested to have Raniere held without bail in a letter to the court stating that he was a known child predator.

Although this extremely important detail is being left out of most mainstream reports, one of the main charges in the criminal indictment against Raniere and Mack is sex trafficking of children.

A quick search for Allison Mack’s arrest report or charges—as reported by the mainstream media—will not yield any mention of children. Most mainstream reports only mention sex trafficking and ominously omit that the charges were for sex trafficking of children. Exactly why the media is refusing to report this remains a mystery.

Another important aspect of this case that has been largely overlooked, is the connections that this organization has to high-level figures in politics and finance. The organization worked much like a pyramid scheme, collecting regular fees from its members. But the majority of the funding, over $150 million, came from the trust funds of Seagram heiresses, Sara and Clare Bronfman.

Their involvement with Raniere began in 2002 and has been very public and controversial, with other members of the Bronfman family distancing themselves from the sisters in the press. The Bronfman family has very close ties to the Rothschild banking dynasty, with members of both families belonging to many of the same companies, including their joint financial firm, Bronfman & Rothschild.

Additionally, at least three high-ranking members of the organization, including Nancy Salzman and the Bronfman sisters, are members of Bill Clinton’s foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, which requires an annual $15,000 membership fee.

Now that Raniere is in jail and Mack is on bail and ordered not to have any contact with other cult members, Clare Bronfman has taken on the role of leader within the organization.

In response to the recent controversy surrounding NXIVM, Bronfman made a statement on her website denying the accusations against Raniere. She praised Raniere and the NXIVM programs, insisting that she is doing work that is truly helping people, and that no one has ever been coerced as a part of their workshops.

Frank Parlato, a former NXIVM publicist-turned-whistleblower told the New York Post that Bronfman is among the harshest leaders in the organization.

“She’s the enforcer—the brutal one. Clare’s running the [operation] now, and she’s the most ruthless of them. I’m issuing an absolute warning now. Clare Bronfman is a true fanatic, and if there’s a Jim Jones situation, everyone will commit suicide but her.” Parlato said.

Of Allison Mack, Parlato said that she was a troubled woman, who was both a victim and an abuser.
“Mack was both a victim and a victimizer. She was both a mastermind and Raniere’s useful idiot. She started as a slave and she became a slave master. Her nickname among defectors is ‘Pimp Mack,‘” Parlato said.

It is highly possible that this is a position that Mack was groomed for since she was a child, as many childhood stars turn from victims to predators as a result of what they often experience behind the scenes in the industry. Oddly enough, one of Mack’s very first roles was in a softcore porn movie called “Night Eyes Three.” She was just 11 years old at the time.

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Wayne County Property Tax Foreclosures: How We Steal From "The Poors"

She did not lose her home to past due property taxes.

It was stolen.

Fees are not taxes, but Wayne County knows no better.

The City of Detroit will put those Solid Waste Fees, yes, fees, on you tax bill, even though your tax bill will show a balance of $0.00 due for property taxes.

Have You Paid Your Detroit Property Taxes? Think Again

Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 

The Detroit Board of Assessors, who are not even certified, just, magically converts these Solid Waste Fees, that are bonded, into taxes.

No notice.

No due process.

No judgment.

Just a knock on the door from a bailiff.

From rumors floating around City Hall, this was one of those Kwame Kilpatrick personal slush fund schemes that no one has ever had the guts to address because they just roll their eyes.

We should continue to follow the money because I am quite sure the funds are still under the aegis of the Mayor's Office, but hey, what do I know?

Stay strong.  It will end, very soon, right DOJ?

Foreclosed for the cost of an iPhone. That’s life in Wayne County.

Antoinette Coleman lost her home for less than the cost of an iPhone.

After 30 years of paying the mortgage on her neat, three-bedroom brick home on Detroit’s east side, the retired Defense Department technician was foreclosed last year because of unpaid taxes of $291, records show.
“I’m almost 70 and here I am, being evicted out of my own house,” Coleman says.
“You know that’s not right. … You have to be very vigilant.”

Antoinette Coleman is packing her boxes and preparing for eviction from her home of more than 30 years. She fell behind in taxes, and then lost it over a $291 debt, records show. (Bridge photo by Sarah Alvarez)
< How could such a thing happen? Coleman wasn’t vigilant. For years, her taxes were rolled into her mortgage payment, she says, so she didn’t realize when the bills became her responsibiliy.
But Coleman also has the bad luck of living in Wayne County, which has become the nation’s undisputed leader in tax foreclosures, seizing and selling more than 150,000 properties over the past 15 years in Detroit alone.
The treasurer doesn’t discriminate when it comes to debts: The amount is “not considered” in foreclosing homes, said Mario Morrow, a spokesman for Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree.
Last year, almost 2,800 owner-occupied homes in the county were foreclosed for debts of less than $1,000.  All but 106 of them were saved by their owners, either by paying back bills or entering into payment plans, Morrow said.

  • Owe taxes? That’s OK. Wayne County will still sell you foreclosed homes.
  • Wayne County residents unnecessarily losing homes to foreclosure

  • This year, another 7,200 homes are listed in county records as “likely to be foreclosed” if owners don’t enter into payment plans by June 7. Just shy of a third of those, 2,479, owe less than $1,000. More than half of those homes are occupied, according to treasury records.

    Policies vary among counties throughout Michigan when it comes to foreclosures, but the sale of homes for small debts is a largely unknown byproduct of a foreclosure crisis that has been likened to a natural disaster.

    “I’m living and breathing this every day,” said Linda Smith, executive director of U-Snap-Bac, a housing nonprofit on Detroit’s east side.

    U-Snap-Bac is one of those "friends and family" programs, right, Linda?

    “I’m very frustrated.”

    Last year, her nonprofit paid back taxes for 105 people who owed less than $1,000 in taxes, allowing them to stay in their homes. U-Snap Bac was part of a group of nonprofits that stepped in with about $50,000 to pay back taxes of property owners facing foreclosure for less than $1,000.

    “If I was the county and somebody owed less than $1,000 I would say, come talk to me,” Smith said.
    Outreach from her group, nonprofits, the county, City of Detroit and others are one reason tax foreclosures have dropped to their lowest level in years, falling to 6,315 last year from 24,793 three years ago. Last year, just 4,066 of those homes were sold at auction.

    Morrow said Sabree is working hard to make it easier for Detroiters to pay taxes and avoid losing their homes. Last year, 15,319 homes were saved from foreclosure because the treasurer made deals to put residents on payment plans.

    “Lower interest rates for owner occupants have helped reduce foreclosures,” Morrow said. “The availability of payment kiosks have made it easier for owners to pay. People are now more aware of the options available.”

    ‘I feel conflicted’

    For years, Wayne County declined to foreclose on homes that owed small amounts, typically less than $2,700.

    The practice began under former Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz, but it was discontinued about seven years ago because so few Detroiters were paying taxes. As recently as 2011, less than 50 percent of residents were paying property taxes in the city, according to a Detroit News investigation.

    Coleman said she didn’t realize she owed taxes until she got a notice from the county last year that her home was going to be auctioned. Coleman’s tax debt was nearly $6,300, but she reduced her obligation to $1,100 because she qualified for a poverty exemption.

    Coleman set up an automatic payment plan for the back taxes, but she said she did so incorrectly and didn’t realize her mistake until it was too late. She was $291 short of her goal when her home was auctioned in September to a Las Vegas company called Local Money, LLC, records show.

    Coleman said she didn’t know her home had been sold at auction until the buyer showed up at her door.

    "I should have gone back downtown and double checked those taxes were being paid," Coleman said.
    Coleman’s house is on the eastern side of Outer Drive, a 37-mile boulevard that criss-crosses the city. On the western side is a similar neat brick home foreclosed on by the county last year.

    James Ngare, a Detroiter, paid almost $30,000 for the home after it went into the auction for $457.95.
    Ngare said he had no idea what the original debt was when he bought it.

    “It’s crazy. I would never have guessed that somebody could lose their home over so little,” he said.
    “I’ve been a community organizer, and I have gone knocking on doors, hundreds of doors over the years, talking to people about how they can save their homes. I feel conflicted, for sure.”

    Michigan law compels counties to have a property tax auction and sets general parameters, but all counties operate theirs differently. To the north of Detroit is Oakland County, whose tax auction is about one-eighth the size of Wayne County.

    Oakland doesn’t have a rule about not foreclosing on properties that owe only hundreds of dollars in taxes. In a statement to Bridge, the Oakland County Treasurer Office said “we use our judgement and consider every property on the individual merits.”

    The tax auction is supposed to make money for the county, and sometimes these low-dollar foreclosures do provide a windfall.

    One two-story brick Victorian house in the heart of Southwest Detroit went to auction for a tax debt of $505.79 last year and sold for a final bid of $108,000.

    In a mortgage foreclosure any money from the sale above whatever the debt and costs makes its way back to the former owner. About a dozen states have the same process for tax foreclosures too, but not Michigan.

    The likelihood of a low-dollar foreclosure making money is almost equal to the likelihood these homes will end up on the other side of the county’s balance sheet because some of them don’t sell at auction.

    Auction records show this happened to five occupied homes foreclosed on for less than $1,000 last year. These houses were transferred to the Detroit Land Bank Authority, which owns more than 32,000 properties with abandoned homes or businesses.

    ‘There are people in worse situations’

    The situation has prompted relief efforts from Smith’s group, U-Snap-Bac, but she said taxpayers also need to look in the mirror.

    “Part of the responsibilities is with the homeowner,” she says. “You have to pay the taxes and pay for city services.”

    Smith said the problem is compounded by poverty. The city's’ median household income is $26,000, and just under 40 percent of residents are impoverished, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    “I’ve never talked to anyone who said, ‘I don’t pay taxes because I don’t want to,’” Smith said.
    Morrow said he’s “unaware if private donors will do something like this again.”

    Back on East Outer, Coleman is packing boxes and pondering her next step.

    “The bailiff will be here any day,” she said.

    She is planning on moving into a relative’s home until she can figure out what to do next. Coleman said much of her neighborhood has become rentals in the past 10 years or so, and she’s upset at what’s happened to Detroit.

    “It’s almost like people from outside are saying ‘this is what I want, and this is what I’m going to take,’” Coleman said.

    “This is my home and I don’t think I should have lost it through an error. I’m very upset. But there are people in worse situations than I am.”  

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    DOJ: $300 Million Real Estate Fraud Assets Seized In Rem Of Chattels

    I am enjoying the way the DOJ is giving prominent accolades to the U.S. Assistant Attorneys on the filings but I have to say, this particular asset forfeiture filing has answered the time honored question of how a house can show up for court in a quiet title case.

    From Latin, "against a thing."  Concerning the status of a particular piece of property.
    For instance, in-rem jurisdiction refers to the power of a court over an item of real or personal property.  The "thing" over which the court has power may be a piece of land or even a marriage.  Thus, a court with only in-rem jurisdiction may terminate a marriage or declare who owns a piece of land.  In-rem jurisdiction is based on the location of the property and enforcement follows property rather than person.

    That is correct, the same law of chattels for child welfare is also applied to real estate, because they, or rather, the deeds are treated the same as birth registers.

    The Detroit Land Bank Authority filed, let us call it what it is....fake quiet title actions in Columbo's court to steal Detroit properties through Corporate Shape Shifters where it served the addresses as defendants because it is difficult for a residential, or even commerical, building to enter a courtroom.

    Logistics, you know.

    The only difference is that the Detroit Land Bank Authority, having never incorporated, never verified that the quiet title actions of the properties were in Rem.

    Former CEO, CFO and Director of Health Care Services Company Charged in Elaborate $300 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

    Defendants Allegedly Inflated Company’s Value and Revenue to Defraud Investors

    The former CEO, CFO and an executive director of a publicly traded health care services company were charged today with allegedly orchestrating a widespread scheme to defraud investors and others out of hundreds of millions of dollars in connection with a merger transaction designed to convert the company into a private entity, Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today. 
    Parmjit “Paul” Parmar, 48, of Colts Neck, New Jersey; Sotirios “Sam” Zaharis, 51, of Weehawken, New Jersey; and Ravi Chivukula, 44, of Freehold, New Jersey, are charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud.  FBI special agents arrested Parmar earlier today near his home.  He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre in Newark, New Jersey federal court. Chivukula and Zaharis remain at large.      
    According to the complaint unsealed today, from May 2015 through September 2017, the defendants orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud a private investment firm and others out of hundreds of millions of dollars in connection with the funding of a transaction to take private a company (Company A) traded publicly on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market.  To fund the transaction, the private investment firm put up approximately $82 million in equity, and a consortium of financial institutions provided another approximately $130 million in debt.  The scheme allegedly utilized fraudulent methods to grossly inflate the value of Company A and trick others into believing that Company A was worth substantially more than its actual value.
    The complaint alleges that to present a positive picture of the company’s financial wealth, the defendants allegedly sought to raise tens of millions of dollars in the public markets, purportedly to fund Company A’s acquisitions of various operating subsidiaries.  In reality, a number of those entities either did not exist or had only a fraction of the operating income attributed to them.  The conspirators allegedly funneled the proceeds of these secondary offerings through bank accounts they controlled and used the money for a variety of purposes that had nothing to do with acquiring the purported targets.  The money was instead used to make it appear as if the operating subsidiary had substantial customer revenue when, in fact, the funds were simply transfers of the money that had been raised in the secondary offering.  The defendants allegedly went to great lengths to make it appear that these funds were revenue, concocting phony customers and altering bank statements to make it appear as if the funds were coming from customers.     
    The conspirators allegedly:
    • Created fictitious operating companies that Company A purportedly acquired in sham acquisitions;
    • Falsified and fabricated bank records of subsidiary entities in order to generate a phony picture of Company A’s revenue streams;
    • Generated fake income streams and phony customers of Company A and its subsidiaries; and
    • Made material misrepresentations and omissions to the private investment firm and others.
    The defendants’ alleged actions caused the private investment firm and others to value Company A at more than $300 million for purposes of financing the transaction to take the company private.     
    The alleged scheme was uncovered around September 2017, when the defendants resigned from their positions with Company A or were terminated.  On March 16, 2018, Company A and numerous of its affiliated entities filed for bankruptcy, attributing the company’s financial demise, in large part, to the alleged fraud scheme.
    Separately, the United States filed a separate civil complaint today seeking forfeiture of four properties that Parmar owns or controls, including a house on Colt’s Neck and three apartments in New York City.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint today against Parmar, Zaharis and Chivukula.
    The investigation was conducted by the FBI Newark Field office with the assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office.
    The government is represented by Trial Attorney Leslie Lehnert of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, Chief Paul A. Murphy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Economic Crimes Unit, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas P. Grippo of the Economic Crimes Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Devlin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey’s Asset Recovery Money Laundering Unit.
    The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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    Day 214.3 Comey Brief Yates/Lynch In March 2016 For NSLs

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    Day 214.2 Mike Flynn's Translator Writes A Book About Exfiltrating Military Secrets

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    From Russian To Detroit: Another Transposable Model

  • Svetlana Lokhova, 34, says gruelling legal battle was 'waste of three years'
  • Won case against bank Sberbank - where she won aggravated damages as judge found drug allegations were false - but called it a 'hollow victory'
  • Said she had gone through 'hell' with it and had taken its toll on her health
  • Has now cautioned other victims thinking of pursuing a similar claim

  • Svetlana Lokhova won her case against bank Sberbank after judges accepted she was unfairly forced to leave her £750,000-a-year role in London
    Svetlana Lokhova
    dubbed 'Crazy Miss Cokehead' by her bosses

    A banker dubbed 'Crazy Miss Cokehead' by her bosses claims her £3million pay-out was not worth the gruelling legal battle and the toll on her health.

    Cambridge University graduate Svetlana Lokhova, 34, was driven to a breakdown by a 'vicious' campaign of sexual harassment by bullying male colleagues.

    She won her case against Russian investment bank Sberbank after judges accepted she was unfairly forced to leave her £750,000-a-year role in London.

    But Miss Lokhova says her huge pay-out – including £3.14million for lost earnings, £44,000 for hurt feelings and £15,000 in aggravated damages – has been a hollow victory.

    Speaking for the first time since the ruling at the Central London Employment Tribunal, she said most of the compensation would go to the taxman and her legal team.

    Asked if her fraught three-and-a-half legal battle and millions of pounds spent on legal bills had been worth it, she told the BBC: 'Of course it wasn't worth it.

    'People who think you come out of court as a victor – that's just not true.

    'Everyone loses out.

    'What a waste of three years of my life, a waste of health, a waste of money.'

    The Russian shipping broker's daughter said 'hell' would be a nice way of describing what she had been through, adding: 'The effect that it had on my life is absolutely terrible and it's very difficult to feel victorious.

    'It's actually very, very sad. Sad for everyone, there is no victory in this.
    Miss Lokhova began working on the equity sales desk at the bank in 2011, but immediately noticed a 'strange' atmosphere and heard reports that bosses were calling her 'derogatory names' behind her back.

    Six months into her new post, she was placed on sick leave by her doctor after the 'toxic atmosphere' became too much to bear.

    But it was only when her lawyer contacted the company to ask them to hand over written communication about her that she learned the extent of the bullying.

    Her direct boss David Longmuir had sent emails to colleagues and clients in major investment banks calling her names like 'Miss Bonkers', 'Crazy Miss Cokehead' and a 'schizo nightmare'.

    She said yesterday: 'I just remember opening the first page and everything just going blank and me just bursting into tears and dropping the file.

    'My whole career flashed in front of me, and to have somebody just basically just take it away from me like this, I just couldn't understand.'

    In 2012, the bank conducted a disciplinary hearing against Miss Lokhova's boss Mr Longmuir.

    The hearing apparently lasted just five minutes and he accepted his comments were unacceptable. He was later given a £168,000 pay off by the bank.

    A year later, her case for sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation proved a bruising experience when she was wrongly accused of being a drug user.

    She voluntarily took a drugs test, which proved negative, saying: 'I've never taken any drugs in my life'.

    But it took another 18 months before she was finally awarded £3.2million damages, which included a pay-out for 'aggravated damages' because judges said the bank accused her of using drugs, knowing it was not true.

    Miss Lokhova says she will never be able to work in finance again and that almost all of her pay-out will go on legal bills.

    The Moscow-born banker told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I am one of the lucky ones in the sense that I obviously had some personal wealth because I have been in banking for a very long time.
    'I then obviously borrowed heavily from friends but, even now, I am left with a situation where lawyers have charge over my houses, so everything is basically going to go to lawyers.'

    The case follows another high-profile sex discrimination claim after an executive said she was denied millions of pounds in bonuses when she fell pregnant.

    Sonia Pereiro-Mendez, 37, received an out-of-court settlement this month from investment bank Goldman Sachs after claiming she was subjected to sexist comments and cheated out of her fair share of pay and bonuses.

    Before she could give evidence, the mother-of-two reached an agreement with the bank believed to be worth in excess of £1million.

    A spokesperson for Sberbank said: 'Sberbank CIB has appealed the Employment Tribunal's decision and cannot therefore comment on specifics, save for noting its view that the judgment itself contains numerous legal and factual errors.

    The firm continues to believe that the incidents under consideration were isolated and are unrepresentative of its working environment.

    Sberbank CIB and its management are committed to equal opportunities, will continue to have due regard to all lessons to be learnt and have long-since taken steps to prevent such a situation from arising in the future.'


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    Thank You For The Birthday Inspirations - May 19, 2018

    Related image
    The Celestial Goddess of the Woodshed
    To each and every person who has tirelessly dedicated their lives to listening to my phone calls,
    reading my emails, remote accessing my computer, capturing my precious moments in pictures and on video, lurking around my house, pouring through my administrative and legal filings, going through my online profiles and interfering with my government accounts to enshrine me in your dossiers, I wish to honor your loyalty and worship.

    From Fort Meade and all the other military branches to their private contractors of Grumman Northrop, Amazon, and all the other intelligence communities around the world, from the leadership of the Democratic National Committee, Republican National Committee, to my faithful congregation hailing from the domestic & international law enforcement and legal communities, and those who have shared with me their deepest darkest desires of my demise, I wish to thank you.

    Without the sacrifices of your own, personal lives, to worship me from afar, in your waking hours and in your dreams, my mission would never have been carved into the annals of history.

    It is because of you I extend my sincerest gratitude for the Birthday inspirations to continue my mission.

    The Celestial Goddess of the Woodshed.

    Ready for my smear.

    Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

    Saturday, May 19, 2018

    Cocktails & Popcorn: FinCEN & "Attorney-Client Privilege"

    Image result for eating popcorn giphyRecently, on Cocktails & Popcorn, U.S. House Judiciary has taken a "financial" interest in the Michael Cohen "Attorney-Client Privilege" situation by entering documents in question to the missing SARs.

    Little does anyone know, unless you follow me, that the U.S. Treasury, through its financial intelligence division, FinCEN, has been in preparation to address this "Attorney-Client Privilege" because they have access to all the records.

    All the records...and emails....and phone calls.

    Cohen Leaker Steps Forward: "To Say That I Am Terrified Right Now Would Be An Understatement"

    Journalist Ronin Farrow is back with another bombshell report - this time from the person who leaked Michael Cohen's banking records, detailing "pay for play" type payments from the likes of Novartis and AT&T.

    In short: The leaker, law enforcement official, became alarmed after two "suspicious-activity reports" (SARs) filed by Cohen's bank, First Republic, went missing from a the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) that he leaked the rest.

    And instead of going to the Treasury's Inspector General, or special counsel Robert Mueller, the leaker chose porn star lawyer Michael Avenatti, who published the remaining SARs on Cohen (along with two other men named "Michael Cohen" wrongly included in the disclosure). 
    The official, who has spent a career in law enforcement, told me, “I have never seen something pulled off the system. . . . That system is a safeguard for the bank. It’s a stockpile of information. When something’s not there that should be, I immediately became concerned.” The official added, “That’s why I came forward.
    The report also refers to two previous suspicious-activity reports, or sars, that the bank had filed, which documented even larger flows of questionable money into Cohen’s account. Those two reports detail more than three million dollars in additional transactions—triple the amount in the report released last week. -New Yorker
    Farrow reports that "seven former government officials and other experts familiar with the Treasury Department’s FINCEN database expressed varying levels of concern about the missing reports," with some speculating that FINCEN may have deliberately restricted access to the reports due to the sensitivity of their content - a move officials say would be "nearly unprecedented."

    That said, "A record-retention policy on FINCEN's Web site notes that false documents or those “deemed highly sensitive” and “requiring strict limitations on access” may be transferred out of its master file," according to Farrow.
    Nevertheless, a former prosecutor who spent years working with the fincen database said that she knew of no mechanism for restricting access to sars. She speculated that fincen may have taken the extraordinary step of restricting access “because of the highly sensitive nature of a potential investigation. It may be that someone reached out to fincen to ask to limit disclosure of certain sars related to an investigation, whether it was the special counsel or the Southern District of New York.
    Banks are legally required to file SARs with the Treasury in order to note activity resembling money laundering, fraud or other criminal conduct. Once filed, the reports are routed to a permanent database maintained by FINCEN - searchable by "tens of thousands of law-enforcement and other federal government personnel."

    Of note, they are not proof of criminal activity, however the information they contain can be used in law-enforcement proceedings.

    That said, "A record-retention policy on FINCEN's Web site notes that false documents or those “deemed highly sensitive” and “requiring strict limitations on access” may be transferred out of its master file," according to Farrow.
    Nevertheless, a former prosecutor who spent years working with the fincen database said that she knew of no mechanism for restricting access to sars. She speculated that fincen may have taken the extraordinary step of restricting access “because of the highly sensitive nature of a potential investigation. It may be that someone reached out to fincen to ask to limit disclosure of certain sars related to an investigation, whether it was the special counsel or the Southern District of New York.
    Banks are legally required to file SARs with the Treasury in order to note activity resembling money laundering, fraud or other criminal conduct. Once filed, the reports are routed to a permanent database maintained by FINCEN - searchable by "tens of thousands of law-enforcement and other federal government personnel." 
    Of note, they are not proof of criminal activity, however the information they contain can be used in law-enforcement proceedings. 
    Cohen opened up the account at First Republic for his company, Essential Consultants, in October 2016 - right before the US election, in order to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford), to keep quiet about an alleged affair she had with President Trump. 
    First Republic’s compliance officers later began flagging Cohen’s transactions in the account as possible signs of money laundering. Among other potential violations, the documents cite “suspicion concerning the source of funds,” “suspicious EFT/ wire transfers,” “suspicious use of multiple accounts,” and “transaction with no apparent economic, business, or lawful purpose.” (A spokesperson for First Republic Bank declined to comment.)
    By January of 2018, First Republic filed three suspicious-activity reports on Cohen's account - the most recent of which covers the period between September 2017 and January 2018, and included activity totaling nearly one million dollars. It also refers to the two missing reports that made the leaker suspicious, which cover periods prior to September 2017. 
    Moreover, Cohen's transfer of the money into his personal accounts caused Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to file their own SAR on Cohen!
    A substantial portion of this money seems to have ended up in Cohen’s personal accounts. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney filed a separate sar showing that, during that same three-month period, Cohen set up two accounts with the firm, into which he deposited three checks from his Essential Consultants account, two in the amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and one in the amount of five hundred and five thousand dollars. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney marked those transactions, which added up to more than a million dollars, as possible signs of “bribery or gratuity” and “suspicious use of third-party transactors (straw-man).”
    Cohen also apparently lied to First Republic - repeatedly telling them that Essential Consultants would be used for leveraging "his experience in real estate to consult on commercial and residential" deals - for which he said that the transactions would be "modest." The bank's compliance officers noted "a significant portion of the target account deposits continue to originate from entities that have no apparent connection to real estate or apparent need to engage Cohen as a real estate consultant."
    David Murray, a former Treasury official focussed on illicit finance, told me, “There are a ton of red flags here. The pattern of activity has indicators that are inherently suspicious, and the volume and source of funds do not match the account profile that was built when the account was opened.”
    Pay for play?
    Last week's report by Avenatti details a payment from Cohen's First Republic account to Demeter Direct, Inc. - a Korean food company on its face, however "a Web site, since taken down, suggested that it was a global consulting firm." 
    After the press began scrutinizing Cohen’s accounts, a man listed as Demeter Direct’s C.E.O., Mark Ko, told CNN that he served as an intermediary and translator in Cohen’s dealings with an aviation firm, majority-owned by South Korea’s government, called Korea Aerospace Industries. 
    First Republic's SAR on the transaction noted that the aerospace company paid Cohen $150,000 in November, 2017, the same month President Trump visited South Korea, while Korea Aerospace Industries was lobbying for a multibillion-dollar US Air Force contract. 
    The Korean defense company, partnered with Lockheed Martin to build the T-50A trainer jet in hopes of securing a U.S. Air Force contract worth roughly $16 billion.
    Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's top weapons supplier, entered the T-50A into the bidding contest. The plane is a version of KAI's T-50, which is used in South Korea as well as several other U.S. partner nations.
    Lockheed told CNBC in a statement, "We had no knowledge of a business relationship between Korea Aerospace Industries and Mr. Cohen, and are not aware of any connection that it may have to the U.S. Air Force Advanced Pilot Training competition."
    The companies are widely expected to win the lucrative contract for the delivery of 350 aircraft. -CNBC
    Cohen also used his Essential Consultants account to pay personal expenses, such as his Amex bill, AT&T and Mercedes Benz bills, along with initiation fees and dues to the "Core Club," a place for socialites to rub elbows described once by the Times as a "portal to power." Cohen also cut himself several personal checks from his business account of around $100,000, on top of the million he deposited into his Smith Barney accounts. 
    One payment which may be of particular interest to Robert Mueller (who has all of Cohen's records now) are payments received by a company closely tied to a Russian oligarch close to Putin. 
    In many cases, the suspicious-activity reports highlight activity of potential interest to ongoing investigations, including that of the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Bank compliance officers noted eight payments from a company called Columbus Nova to Cohen’s account between January and August of 2017, totalling five hundred thousand dollars. The investigators wrote that Columbus Nova’s biggest client is a company controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, whom they described as “reputed to be a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” The report also points out that Andrew Intrater, Vekselberg’s relative and the C.E.O. of Columbus Nova, donated more than three hundred thousand dollars to Trump-related causes.
    The report flagged the activity as suspicious “because the CEO’s company transferred substantial funds to the personal attorney of Trump at the same time the CEO reportedly donated substantial funds to Trump’s inauguration fund and joint fundraising committee for Trump’s reelection and the Republican National Committee.”
    More banks, more SARs
    Several other banks flagged Cohen for suspicious transactions - some of which piece together the reasons for the transactions from news reports, "citing articles from publications including the Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair about Trump, Russia, and secret election-season payments." These include the Stormy Daniels payment.

    Another, filed by City National Bank, concerns Elliott Broidy - the former deputy finance chairman for the RNC, who Cohen arranged a $1.6 million payoff to a former Playboy model in late 2017. The woman says Broidy impregnated her, then forced her to get an abortion as part of the deal. 
    The report notes, “Broidy also owns a private security company, Circinus, which provides services to the U.S. and other governments. The company has hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts with the U.A.E.” Broidy has said that Cohen and another lawyer, Keith Davidson, worked out a deal in which Broidy would pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model he had impregnated. Broidy appears to have paid both lawyers for arranging the deal. The City National report shows that Broidy funnelled the payments through Real Estate Attorneys’ Group, a legal corporation. Broidy seems to have paid Davidson two hundred thousand dollars, and to have sent three payments, of $62,500 each, to Cohen—one to the Essential Consultants account and two to the account of Michael D. Cohen and Associates.
    A rep for Broidy said that the description of the payments was "not correct," adding that "Mr. Broidy is not going to detail his payments for legal services to Mr. Cohen." 
    According to FINCEN, disclosing a SAR is a federal offense which carries harsh penalties including fines of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. The official who leaked to Avenatti says he was aware of the risks, but feared that the missing SARs might be suppressed. 
    “We’ve accepted this as normal, and this is not normal,” the official said. “Things that stand out as abnormal, like documents being removed from a system, are of grave concern to me.” 
    When it comes to the potential legal consequences of leaking, the official said “To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement.”
    This is a terrifying time to be an American, to be in this situation, and to watch all of this unfold.”
    To this some would counter: why did he put himself in this position, and why - given the seriousness of the official's concerns - did he leak to a porn star's lawyer instead of going straight to Mueller?
    Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

    MSHDA Has Hardest Hit Fund Issues, Too

    Because they are the same people.

    Feds: Michigan charged housing, demolition fund $330,000 for parking

    WASHINGTON – The state of Michigan charged a federal fund dedicated to housing relief and tearing down abandoned homes more than $330,000 to give employees free parking, an audit found today.

    The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) responded to the claim, which was contained in an audit that found millions in what a special inspector general in Washington characterized as unnecessary expenses charged to the federal Hardest Hit Fund by various states, saying the charge was reasonable.

    "The parking for contract employees who work in downtown Lansing -- where parking is not free and is actually at a premium because it is the state capital -- was essential to meet staffing levels required for the important work of helping families in Michigan avoid foreclosure," said Katie Bach, a MSHDA spokeswoman. "Not paying this expense would have put (the state) at a disadvantage in attracting and retaining the talent required."

    The number of contract employees receiving the benefit has fluctuated over time, from between 65 to nearly 100 at the height of the program.

    Bach said the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corp., which MSHDA created to oversee the Hardest Hit Fund in the state, approved the charge, believing it was "a reasonable and customary expense of doing business, with which previous federal audits have taken no issue."
    The Hardest Hit Fund, created in 2010 under the Trouble Asset Relief Fund to help keep residents in their homes and stabilize neighborhoods in the wake of the housing crisis, has committed a total of about $761 million to Michigan since its inception, about half of which has been targeted for demolitions, especially those in Detroit.

    In previous reports to Congress and the U.S. Treasury, Christy Goldsmith Romero, the special inspector general for the TARP, has found instances of alleged waste, including last year uncovering what it said was $8.2 million in waste and abuse in Nevada that included car allowances, rent payments and overhead expenses Romero concluded were unjustified.

    In the most recent report, which was sent today to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Romero and her auditors found that state agencies in Michigan, South Carolina, Nevada, Rhode Island, Ohio and California charged TARP more than $600,000 for transportation costs which would have been more appropriately paid for by the states themselves.

    It recommended the states be required to pay back the money.

    “The Michigan state agency charged TARP $330,575 to give all employees the perk of free parking,” the audit said. “The Michigan state agency decided at a Board of Directors meeting in February 2011 to provide ‘free parking’ for employees working on the Hardest Hit Fund.”

    “Every dollar spent on unnecessary expenses is a dollar that is no longer available for homeowner assistance,” the audit said, noting that funds were charged to cater barbeque dinners in North Carolina and to pay back rent on offices in Rhode Island among other expenses.

    Michigan officials didn't immediately respond to the suggestion that the funds be repaid.
    In Michigan, the audit also found charges of $77 for refreshments for a meeting with Treasury officials in 2015; $55 for gifts for employees from Bed Bath and Beyond and some $6,000 in other charges for food and beverages over the last seven years.

    The Hardest Hit Fund and the demolitions it largely funds in Detroit have become a source of controversy, which questions being raised about costs and payments made to contractors. This week the Detroit Land Bank Authority’s demolition director resigned after just seven months on the job and a federal investigation into Detroit’s aggressive demolition program is continuing.

    The city’s inspector general also said this week that two contractors submitted doctored photos of sidewalk repairs done in connection with the demolition program in order to get paid. 

    Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

    What Do The Arkansas Finance Development Authority & Detroit Land Bank Authority Have In Common?

    Related image
    Arkansas Finance Development Authority training
    new "Legal Geniuses" (trademark pending)
    for the Detroit Land Bank Authority

    Q: What Do The Arkansas Finance Development Authority & Detroit Land Bank Authority Have In Common?

    But wait, I have an even better question:

    What Do Whitewater, Ken Starr, Monica Lewinsky & Detroit Have In Common?

    Learn more: BEVERLY TRAN: What Do Whitewater, Ken Starr, Monica Lewinsky & Detroit Have In Common?
    Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 

    Since CNN has no clue of what is going on, allow me to share a reason why DOJ is appealing the opinion: They are still stealin'.

    Justice Department appeals order to disclose Clinton grand jury records

    The Trump administration is again fighting for greater secrecy in a Clinton-focused investigation: this time, the independent counsel probe that explored President Bill Clinton’s relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

    A raft of court records from grand jury-related proceedings related to the investigation have remained secret for two decades, but last month a federal judge — acting on a request from CNN ruled that the vast majority of the files should be made public.

    But early Wednesday, the Justice Department appealed that decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The move is likely to delay the release of the request information for months or longer.
    A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment, but court filings indicate that government lawyers made the broad assertion that the court lacks authority to release grand jury records for reasons of “extreme public interest” or any other reason not specifically detailed in federal court rules.

    Chief U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell disagreed, ruling that the court had “inherent” power to disclose grand jury information for other reasons.

    Justice Department attorneys did not object to unsealing some information already made public in a report Independent Counsel Ken Starr sent to Congress in 1998, but Howell said some matters had been so thoroughly aired in the report that there was little point in keeping the related records under wraps.

    The D.C. Circuit is already considering an appeal in another case raising the same issue, so Howell agreed Wednesday to freeze her order until that case is resolved.

    Most of the files pertain to claims of legal privilege that were brought to fight subpoenas issued at the request of Starr’s office. However, a lawyer for Clinton, David Kendall, asked Howell to release additional records involving litigation over alleged leaks by Starr’s personnel. The judge agreed.

    Kendall was granted access to the records being considered for release but did not object to the disclosures. Several others mentioned in the files were also notified and did not object.

    Kendall did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Justice Department’s decision to appeal the order to make the records public.

    The new appeal is not the first time the Trump administration has asserted that the Clintons deserve greater privacy from the government.

    When President Donald Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey a year ago, the White House said the firing was justified by a Justice Department memo arguing that Comey unfairly smeared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by publicly denouncing her email practices during an unusual media appearance to announce the closing of an investigation into the issue.

    In addition, when the Justice Department fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in March, officials cited what they said was his role in an improper disclosure of an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. McCabe has said he was authorized to discuss such matters with the media.

    Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©