At a meeting in 2003, they became blood brothers, cutting their wrists and mixing their blood in a “brotherhood ceremony” that Mr. Stanford’s chief financial officer said promoted an elaborate scheme to hide a multibillion-dollar fraud from American and other regulators.The assertion that the two took a “blood oath” was laid out in a plea agreement signed by the officer, James M. Davis, and filed Thursday. After the pact, Leroy King, Antigua’s chief banking supervisor, called Mr. Stanford “Big Brother.” He received Super Bowl tickets, valued at thousands of dollars, for himself and his girlfriend. And he accepted regular bribe payments from a secret Swiss bank account that Mr. Davis said he was told to handle by Mr. Stanford.
...the plea agreement offered an assortment of new details, particularly about the relationship between Mr. Stanford and Mr. King, who ran Antigua’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission for much of the last decade. He has been arrested in Antigua and is awaiting extradition to the United States. Shortly after their 2003 blood-brother ceremony, which also included a second, unnamed Antiguan regulator...
Mr. Justin Simon [Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda] said in an interview that he had become aware of the blood-brotherhood ceremony from his own sources. “It is believable,” he said. “As far as how many people are involved, we are still investigating.”
The FBI and other agencies have been conducting an ongoing investigation of Stanford since 2008 for possible involvement in money laundering for Mexico's Gulf Cartel.
Background on Gulf Cartel:
The Gulf Cartel (Spanish: Cártel del Golfo) is a Mexican drug trafficking cartel based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The cartel is present in 13 states with important areas of operation in the cities of Nuevo Laredo, Miguel Alemán, Reynosa and Matamoros in the northern state of Tamaulipas; it also has important operations in the states of Nuevo León and in Michoacán. The Gulf Cartel traffics cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin across the U.S.-Mexico border to major cities in the United States. The group is known for its violent methods and intimidation, and works closely with corrupt law officials and business people in Mexico as well as in the United States.
Aside from earning money from the sales of narcotics, the cartel also extorts "taxes" from local businesses in exchange of "protection". Anyone passing narcotics or aliens through Gulf Cartel territory is subject to payment of these "taxes" to the cartel. The Gulf cartel does not limit itself solely to narcotics trafficking, as they are known to kidnap people for ransom money."
Investigative sources told ABC...that mexican authorities had seized one of Sir Allen's private jets as part of an inquiry into the cartel's activities. Inside the cabin of the Gulfstream jet police found cheques connected to it.
In February 2009, the Guardian reported:
An FBI source close to the investigation would not give exact details but confirmed the agency was looking at links to international drug gangs as part of the huge investigation into Stanford's banking activities. Reports in the US have said Mexican authorities have detained one of Stanford's private planes as part of an investigation into possible links to the Gulf Cartel. It has been alleged cheques found inside the plane were linked to the cartel, which is one of the most violent criminal organisations in the world.
Sources in the US Drug Enforcement Administration also confirmed that while the investigations into Stanford's affairs were "with the FBI and Securities Exchange Commission, there may well have been a trail connecting his Mexican affairs to narco-trafficking interests. So far as we understand from information partially in the public domain, this has pertained to the Gulf Cartel, and items found aboard a private light aircraft. I think we'll find that any possible drug-related trail and SEC priorities are not all in the same frame."
Asked whether the aircraft seizures were an isolated incident in the overall investigation, the official said: "It's not going to be as if they would check every plane. Any connections to the narcos would have been followed for some time, and US law enforcement has been working with Mexico's banking regulators on a vast range of investigations, including Stanford's interests, for some time.
Also in February 2009, Barbados Money Laundering and Offshore Business Advisory reported:
Stanford May Have Laundered Drug Money for Mexican Cartel
I have been following the Sir Allen Stanford scandal for a while, and now the talk has turned to money laundering, which is the topic of this blog.
An ABC News article (see below) said:
“Authorities say Stanford could potentially face criminal charges of money laundering and bribery of foreign officials.“
The article continued:
“… checks found inside the [Stanford's] plane were believed to be connected to the Gulf cartel, reputed to be Mexico’s most violent gang.”
At least one high-level member of the previous Barbados Labour Party Government has had official business dealings with Sir Allen. I am not casting aspersions, I am just making the point that Sir Allen touched many lives. People from all over the Caribbean, including Barbados, are involved, legitimately or otherwise, with Sir Allen’s business. Probing questions are likely to be asked.
At this point in time, there are probably a few Barbadians who are sick with worry over this investigation. The problem is that even if a person acted in good faith in his/her dealings with Sir Allen, suspicions may arise. Will the FBI’s investigation reach the shores of Barbados? Does the US have an extradition treaty with Barbados?
ABC News: Accused Financier Under Federal Drug Investigation, by JUSTIN ROOD and BRIAN ROSS – February 18, 2009
Authorities tell ABC News that as part of the investigation, which has been ongoing since last year, Mexican authorities detained one of Stanford’s private planes. According to officials, checks found inside the plane were believed to be connected to the Gulf cartel, reputed to be Mexico’s most violent gang. Authorities say Stanford could potentially face criminal charges of money laundering and bribery of foreign officials.
Authorities say the SEC action against Stanford Tuesday may have complicated the federal drug investigation.
The ABC article continues:
A video posted on the firm’s web-site shows Stanford, now sought by U.S. Marshals, being hugged by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and praised by former President Bill Clinton for helping to finance a convention-related forum and party put on by the National Democratic Institute.
Sir Allen’s generosity was not confined to Democrats. He is reported to have helped the disgraced Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).
Are Barbadian politicians required to report political donations? Barbados Free Press irreverently asks the question: “How Many “Political Donations” Did Sir R. Allen Stanford Give To Barbados Politicians?”
Sir Allen lived in the Caribbean, and demonstrated an interest in local affairs. He had close ties with P.M. Bird of Antigua [NY Times]:
Around that time, Mr. Stanford had also become an adviser to Lester Bird, then Antigua’s prime minister, who formed a banking advisory board to clean up the country’s image. Mr. Stanford’s bank was the largest bank regulated by the board. The project was paid for by the Antiguan government from money lent or granted by Mr. Stanford.
This man has gone from being a hero to a villain in a very short space of time. This reminds me of the “Lord Conrad Black” story. Here are the similarities:
- both men were fabulously rich and from rich countries
- both settled in a poor Caribbean countries, where they were involved with politics
- both are reported to have made political contributions to multiple political candidates in different countries
- both received titles
- both were charged with fraud
In March 2009, "Illuminati Under the Microscope" writes:
The following article provides linkage between a ruthless drug gang in Mexico, known as the Gulf Cartel and its close association with the suspected satanic cult known as "Saint Death" or in Spanish "La Santa Muerte" and the Bush and Biden clans.
BACKGROUND ON GULF CARTEL:
This Mexican organized crime syndicate has its roots in bootlegging booze / alcohol into the USA through smuggling routes in northern Mexico. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Cartel .
BACKGROUND ON LA SANTA MUERTE CULT:
The image is that of a skeleton dressed in clothing similar to that worn by the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Catholic patroness of Mexico for the past 500 years. www.witchesbrew.builderspot.com/page/page/2215114.htm / http://www.santamuerte.galeon.com/ /
www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1671984,00.html / www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Muerte .
GULF CARTEL EXTENSIVE LINKS TO LA SANTA MUERTE HUMAN SACRIFICE:
"...they were taken there by members of the Gulf Cartel and they were executed at the Santa
Muerte shrine. ... I believe it was an offering to Santa Muerte at the same time." www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2177281/posts .
ELEVEN DECAPITATED BODIES - "Police say they acknowledged belonging to the Zetas, a
group of hit men tied to the Gulf Cartel. The suspects have not yet been charged." www.azstarnet.com/sn/byauthor/255507 .
STANFORD FINANCIAL alleged links to GULF CARTEL:
www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/02/19/stanford-financial-as-drug-money-launderer/ and www.newsbizarre.com/2009/02/allen-stanford-gulf-cartel-drug-lord.html also www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6907429&page=1 .
BIDEN FAMILY employment with a subsidiary of STANFORD:
This particular link shows that Biden's son runs AMTRAK. www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,1881353 / Multiple stories on the Biden Crime.
BUSH FAMILY LINKS TO MEXICO GULF CARTEL:
JEB BUSH links to STANFORD:
BUSH FAMILY ties to suspected SATANIC CULT - Yale SKULL AND BONES SOCIETY:
NEW YORK - Federal investigators are probing several brokerage firms on suspicion of laundering illegal drug profits, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
People close to the investigation told the paper and court documents show that $10 million has been seized from accounts at Merrill Lynch, Dean Witter, Prudential Securities and PaineWebber for alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law.
Federal agents from the Treasury Department's U.S. Customs Service and the Internal Revenue service are also investigating transactions at Bear Stearns, the paper said.
Federal agents told the paper that brokerage firms are becoming the choice for drug dealers to make their profits look like they were made legally, because of the globalization of the securities business and a loophole in how cash is defined in the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act.
Banks have fallen out of favor for drug profits because all transactions that exceed $10,000 have to be reported to the IRS under the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act, the paper said.
The Banking Industry´s Dirty Little Secret: Money Laundering For The Drug Cartels
Costa said: "In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system´s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor."
Costa went on to say that UNODC has discovered that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities." Incredibly, he said there were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way."
In the last few years, large banks have been getting into the remittance industry, which sends over $50 billion annually from the U.S. to Latin America. While much of the money is sent from laborers in this country back home to their families, drug traffickers heavily use remittances as a way to send their profits south of the border.
The banks charge very high fees for the service.
In 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into money transfers conducted by Wachovia bank. It is alleged that Wachovia transferred funds from drug deals in the United States to Mexican and Columbian money-exchange houses, or casas de cambio.
There are countless casas de cambio just inside the Mexican border.
The following is a portion of the report which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on April 26, 2008:
"Wachovia built up its ties to casas de cambio as a way to tap the Hispanic market, which doesn´t always bank through traditional Main Street outlets. Wachovia served as a larger partner, holding the foreign-exchange houses´ deposits and providing back-office services. In 2005, it introduced the Dinero Directo card to facilitate cross-border remittances."
"The bank pushed into the business despite concerns from U.S. law enforcement that such firms were sometimes used to launder drug money. Wachovia declined to discuss why it pursued this business despite the warnings."
"Internal emails and documents filed in federal courts in Miami, Chicago and New York describe former ties between Wachovia and money-changing firms. In a case in U.S. court in Miami, federal agents seized more than $11 million in 23 Wachovia accounts belonging to Casa de Cambio Puebla…Mexican police raided Puebla offices last fall, alleging relationships with a major drug cartel."
However, Wachovia is only one of many U.S. banks to come under investigation for laundering drug cartel profits.
The following is a short list of banks which have resolved cases of money laundering, to avoid federal prosecution (Source: U.S. Justice Dept.):
2008, Sigue Corp. was alleged to be part of $24.7 million in suspicious funds in processed remittances. They forfeited $15 million and avoided prosecution.
2007, Union Bank of California was discovered to be laundering drug cartel profits through casas de cambio. The bank forfeited $21.6 million and avoided prosecution.
2007, American Express International Bank failed to report $55 million passing through the accounts of known drug traffickers. They paid $65 million in fines and avoided prosecution.
2006, Bank Atlantic paid a $10 million fine to avoid prosecution, when an undercover investigation discovered that drug profits were being laundered through one of their branch locations.
As part of their deferred prosecution, the banks agreed to reform their practices as well as submit to federal oversight.
Of course, this practice involves very large banks and very large amounts of money.
After an investigation of Union Bank of California, the Justice Department claimed that the bank failed "to maintain an effective anti-money-laundering program."
One case involved two drug traffickers using accounts from Ribadeo Casa de Cambio in order to transfer millions of dollars in drug proceeds. Federal prosecutors discovered $295 million in transfers from several Union Bank accounts back to their account, with only $29 million ever being repaid.
Prosecutors faulted Union Bank not only for failing to corroborate the legitimacy of the transfers, but prosecutors allege, the bank ignored the large volumes of traveler's checks with sequential numbers, large cash deposits and wire transfers strategically structured below federal reporting limits.
While ignorance may be bliss, it would be difficult for the banks to declare it as a defense. Since the mid-1990s, U.S. bank regulators and drug enforcement investigators have been warning U.S. banks that Mexican casas de cambio pose a great money-laundering risk.
Recently, both U.S. and Mexican authorities have taken a much tougher approach in policing the operations of the foreign-exchange firms. The Mexican Attorney General's office says some of the casas de cambio are part of an elaborate system which funnels drug money through U.S. banks, on to European banks and then back to the U.S. and Latin America.
This new and vigorous effort is undoubtedly in response to not only the extreme violence taking place in Mexico, as that nation´s powerful drug cartels threaten to topple the government, but to the growing presence the cartels now have in the U.S. as well.
Of course, it is not only the drug traffickers and low-level operatives who transfer drug profits through U.S. banks.
In 1998, the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, Raul Salinas was caught transferring hundreds of millions of dollars out of Mexico to Citibank in New York. Citibank was then sending the money to banks in Switzerland.
The Salinas family is believed by both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement to have received nearly a billion dollars from Mexican and Columbian drug cartels. Raul Salinas was released from prison in 2005, after serving ten years for the murder of his brother-in-law.
Upon consideration of the fact that many U.S. banks have engaged in laundering drug profits for the powerful and violent cartels, the $700 billion bank bailout engineered by Bush administration Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson seems even more questionable.
The fact that none of that bailout money went to help homeowners facing foreclosure, combined with the Treasury´s refusal to specifically tell Congress where $200 billion of it went makes you wonder if the relationship between the banks and the drug cartels goes far beyond what we are being told by the Justice Department.