Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? I've spent ye

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Re: Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? I've spen

Postby admin » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:51 am

Obama's "Mob-Tie" $idekick
by New York Post
September 5, 2007

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WASHINGTON – A man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure will host a Windy City fund-raiser tonight for Sen. Barack Obama.

Alexi Giannoulias, who became Illinois state treasurer last year after Obama vouched for him, has pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid.

Before he promised to raise funds for Obama, Giannoulias bankrolled Michael “Jaws” Giorango, a Chicagoan twice convicted of bookmaking and promoting prostitution.

Giannoulias is so tainted by reputed mob links that several top Illinois Dems, including the state’s speaker of the House and party chairman, refused to endorse him even after he won the Democratic nomination with Obama’s help.

Giannoulias was the bank’s vice president and chief loan officer for most of the more than $15 million in loans.

He was not charged with breaking any laws. The Obama campaign disputed any suggestion that Obama is tarnished by the association.

“Barack Obama has a long record of fighting for ethics reform from his days as a state senator,” a campaign rep said.

churt@nypost.com
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Re: Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? I've spen

Postby admin » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:01 am

Tony Rezko (EXCERPT)
by Wikipedia
9/24/16

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Antoin "Tony" Rezko (born 1955) is an American businessman. He was a fundraiser for Illinois Democratic and Republican politicians. After becoming a major contributor to Rod Blagojevich's successful gubernatorial election, Rezko assisted Blagojevich in setting up the state's first Democratic administration in twenty years and as a result he was able to have business associates appointed onto several state boards. Rezko and several others were indicted on federal charges in October 2006 for using their connections on the state boards to demand kickbacks from businesses that wished to engage in dealings with the state. While the others pleaded guilty, Rezko pleaded not guilty and was tried. He was found guilty of 16 of the 24 charges filed against him and on November 23, 2011, he was sentenced to 10-1/2 years in prison.[1]

Early life and education

Tony Rezko was born in 1955 in Aleppo, Syria, to a prominent Syriac Catholic family.[2] After graduating from college there, Rezko moved to Chicago and earned an undergraduate and a master's degree in civil engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in the late 1970s. He joined an engineering company, designing nuclear power plants, then left to design roads for the state Transportation Department, making $21,590 in his first year there.[3][4]

Career

While he was an engineer, Rezko started buying vacant lots and developing single family residences. He also began investing in fast-food restaurants, including the first Subway in Chicago. Many properties were in lower-income African American neighborhoods[2][5] where he met Jabir Herbert (J.H.) Muhammad, former manager of heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali and son of the late Nation of Islam leader, Elijah Muhammad. Rezko was asked in 1983 to support the successful mayoral candidacy of African-American Harold Washington. J.H. Muhammad's company, Crucial Concessions, hired Rezko in 1984 and won a food contract on Lake Michigan beaches and in many South Side parks. Rezko put together endorsement deals for Ali, became the executive director of the Muhammad Ali Foundation, and traveled the world with Ali for five years.[2]

In 1997, Crucial Concessions opened two Panda Express Restaurants at O'Hare, under the city's minority set-aside program. It lost those franchises in 2005, on the grounds that J.H. Muhammad was merely a front man for Rezko, who had been appointed trustee of Elijah Muhammad's affairs in the early 1990s. In March 2008 Muhammad sued Rezko, alleging that he had been swindled out of his home and business interests.[4][5][6]

In January 1989, Rezko and attorney Daniel Mahru, CEO of a firm that leased ice makers to bars and hotels, founded a real-estate development and restaurant holding corporation called Rezmar Corporation. Between 1989 and 1998, Rezmar rehabilitated 30 buildings, a total of 1,025 apartments, spending more than $100 million from the city, state and federal governments and bank loans. Rezko and Mahru weren't responsible for any government or bank loans or the $50 million in federal tax credits they got to rehab the buildings. Rezmar put just $100 into each project and got a 1% stake as the general partner in charge of hiring the architect, contractor, and the company that would manage the buildings. They selected Chicago Property Management, also owned by Rezko and Mahru, to manage the buildings, including selecting the tenants and making repairs. Rezmar also got upfront development fees of at least $6.9 million in all. Under its deals with the Chicago Equity Fund, Rezmar promised to cover all operating losses in any building for seven years, but had no obligation after that, although the Federal Government could recover the tax credits that Rezmar sold from the holders if the projects did not survive for fifteen years or more.[4] By 1998 the company had a net worth of US$34 million[7] and it then turned to purchasing old factories and parcels of land in gentrifying areas of Chicago and turning them into upscale condominium complexes.[4][8] Rezko was named "Entrepreneur of the Decade" by the Arab-American Business and Professional Association.[9]

Rezko's investment in restaurant food chains had started with a chain of Panda Express Chinese restaurants. In 1998, Rezko opened his first chain of Papa John's Pizza restaurants in Chicago and by 2002, he had twenty-six stores in Chicago, at least fifteen in Wisconsin, and seven in Detroit, part of the financing for these stores was through GE Capital.[3] By 2001, Rezko began to fall behind on his franchise payments and loans and he transferred the franchises to several business associates. In 2006, during a lawsuit with Papa John's over his franchise fees, Rezko renamed his Papa John's restaurants to Papa Tony's.[9] Rezko also had a lien filed against his home after losing a civil lawsuit to GE Capital.[3]

As his business ventures began failing, Rezko entered into several partnership with Iraqi-born business executive Nadhmi Auchi, including a massive 2005 real estate development project on Chicago's South Loop whose value was pegged by an observer familiar with the deal at $130.5 million.[10] In 2008, Rezko was imprisoned for his failure to disclose a $3.5m loan from Auchi.

Legal troubles

Rezko was later convicted on 16 charges of corruption and fraud and was sentenced to serve 10 1/2 years in prison.

Public corruption charges

In October 2006, Rezko was indicted along with businessman Stuart Levine on charges of wire fraud, bribery, money laundering, and attempted extortion as a result of a federal investigation known as "Operation Board Games."[11][12] Levine was once a top Republican fund-raiser who had switched loyalty in recent years.[13] Rezko and Levine were charged with attempting to extort millions of dollars from businesses seeking to do business with the Illinois Teachers System Board and the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board from 2002 to 2004. Levine pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Rezko and others. While the charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, Levine expects to receive about a 5-1/2 year sentence in return for his testimony.[14] The case was prosecuted by Patrick Fitzgerald.

Rezko pleaded not guilty, and the trial related to his charges from Operation Board Games began on March 6, 2008.[15] He was jailed shortly before the trial began when he received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Lebanon. Rezko had told the court that he had no access to money from overseas. Ten weeks into the trial, on April 18, Judge Amy St. Eve released Rezko, after friends and relatives put up 30 properties valued at about $8.5 million to secure his bond. Prosecutors opposed the motion for release, saying that Rezko was a flight risk.[16] On May 6, both the prosecution and the defense rested their cases. Government prosecutors spent 8 weeks presenting their case. Rezko’s lawyer, Joseph J. Duffy, chose not to present any witnesses, saying that he did not believe that the prosecution had proven the charges.[17] Prosecutors contended that they had shown Rezko's "corrupt use of his power and influence" to gain benefits for himself and his friends. Duffy argued that the prosecution had exaggerated Rezko's influence in state government, and attacked Levine's credibility as a witness.[18]

The case went to the jury on May 13 and after three weeks of deliberation, the jury found Rezko guilty of six counts of wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud, two counts of corrupt solicitation, and two counts of money laundering, but found him not guilty on three counts of wire and mail fraud, one count of attempted extortion, and four counts of corrupt solicitation.[19] According to CBS News the "high-profile federal trial provided an unusually detailed glimpse of the pay-to-play politics that has made Illinois infamous."[20]

While the jury was deliberating on the Board Games trial, an arrest warrant was issued in Las Vegas for passing bad checks in two casinos and failing to pay $450,000 in gambling debts that were accrued between March and July 2006.[21] Another casino had also filed a civil complaint for a total of $331,000 in 2006 and was given a judgment of default in 2007.[21]

Charges related to private business dealings

Rezko was indicted, along with a business associate, for wire fraud related to the alleged sale of his pizza business to a straw buyer at an inflated price in order to obtain millions of dollars in loans from GE Capital.[22] Rezko initially pleaded not guilty to these charges.[23] In 2011, Rezko would change his plea to guilty.[24] As part of a plea deal and his agreement to drop his appeal of his previous conviction, Rezko pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was given a 7 1/2 year sentence to run concurrently with the 10 1/2-year sentence he is presently serving for his previous conviction.[24]

Release from federal prison

In July 2015 Tony Rezko was released from federal prison to a halfway house in Chicago.[25]

Ties to politicians

Ties to Rod Blagojevich


Rezko's relationship with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his family were at the root of the federal corruption case which led to Rezko's conviction.[3] Rezko donated $117,652 to Blagojevich's campaigns,[5] and is credited by the prosecutor in his trial with having delivered bundled contributions totalling almost $1.44 million.[26] Since 1997, Blagojevich's wife, Patricia, has made at least $38,000 acting as Rezko's real-estate agent on several of his company's property acquisitions. When Blagojevich won the Illinois gubernatorial election in 2002, Rezko assisted Blagojevich in setting up the state's first Democratic administration in twenty years.[3] Rezko recommended many of his business associates and their relatives for positions within state government, three of whom were appointed to the state board that oversees hospital projects. the state's development board was run by another former Rezko business associate. Rezko and Republican fundraiser Stuart Levine were charged in a 24-count federal indictment for allegedly using Rezko's influence with public officials to demand millions of dollars in kickbacks from companies that wanted to do business with the state.[3][5] Levine pleaded guilty and served as the chief witness against Rezko at trial. Levine and several other witnesses implicated Blagojevich in the schemes.[27][28]

The last indictment in Operation Board Games before Blagojevich himself was indicted was that of William F. Cellini who was indicted for conspiring with Rezko to shake down Chicago-based Capri Capital to get a substantial contribution to Blagojevich in exchange for allowing Capri to manage $220 million in the Teachers Retirement System. After Thomas Rosenberg of Capri threatened to tell authorities, the plan was abandoned.[29] Capri has substantial investments in the Watergate complex and King Abdullah Economic City.

Ties to Barack Obama

History


In 1990, after Barack Obama was elected president of the Harvard Law Review, Rezmar Corp. offered him a job, which Obama turned down. Obama instead took a job with the firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland,[30] which primarily worked on civil rights cases. The firm also represented Rezmar and helped the company get more than $43 million in government funding. The firm's former senior partner, Allison S. Davis, later went into business with Rezko and, in 2003, was appointed to the Illinois State Board of Investment by Governor Blagojevich at Rezko's request.[7][31] On July 31, 1995, the first ever political contributions to Obama were $300 from a lawyer, a $5,000 loan from a car dealer, and $2,000 from two food companies owned by Rezko.[32] Starting in 2003, Rezko was one of the people on Obama's U.S. Senate campaign finance committee, which raised more than $14 million.[7] Rezko organized an early fundraiser for Obama that Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell claims was instrumental in providing Obama with seed money for his U.S. Senate race.[2] Obama in 2007-2008 identified over $250,000 in campaign contributions to various Obama campaigns as coming from Rezko or close associates, and said that he donated almost two-thirds of that amount to nonprofit groups.[33][34]

Real estate dealings

In 2005 Obama purchased a new home in the Kenwood District of Chicago for $1.65 million (which was $300,000 below the asking price but represented the highest offer on the property) on the same day that Rezko's wife, Rita Rezko, purchased the adjoining empty lot from the same sellers for the full asking price.[35] Obama acknowledged bringing his interest in the property to Rezko's attention,[36] but denied any coordination of offers. According to Obama, while the properties had originally been a single property, the previous owners decided to sell the land as two separate lots, but made it a condition of the sales that they be closed on the same date. Obama also stated that the properties had been on the market for months, that his offer was the better of two bids, and that Ms. Rezko's bid was matched by another offer, also of $625,000, so that she could not have purchased the property for less.[37]

After it had been reported in 2006 that Rezko was under federal investigation for influence-peddling, Obama purchased a 10-foot-wide strip of Ms. Rezko's property for $104,500, $60,000 above the assessed value.[7][35] According to Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Mark Brown, "Rezko definitely did Obama a favor by selling him the 10-foot strip of land, making his own parcel less attractive for development."[38] Obama acknowledges that the exchange may have created the appearance of impropriety and stated "I consider this a mistake on my part and I regret it."[37]

On December 28, 2006, Mrs. Rezko sold the property to a company owned by her husband's former business attorney. That sale of $575,000, combined with the earlier $104,500 sale to the Obamas, amounted to a net profit of $54,500 over her original purchase, less $14,000 for a fence along the property line and other expenses.[39][40] In October 2007, the new owners put the still vacant land up for sale again, this time for $1.5 million.[41]

Obama's letters

In June 2007, the Sun-Times published a story about letters Obama had written in 1997 to city and state officials in support of a low-income senior citizen development project headed by Rezko and Davis. The project received more than $14 million in taxpayer funds, including $885,000 in development fees for Rezko and Davis. Of Obama's letters in support of the Cottage View Terrace apartments development, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, "This wasn't done as a favor for anyone; it was done in the interests of the people in the community who have benefited from the project. I don't know that anyone specifically asked him to write this letter nine years ago. There was a consensus in the community about the positive impact the project would make and Obama supported it because it was going to help people in his district." Rezko's attorney responded that "Mr. Rezko never spoke with, nor sought a letter from, Senator Obama in connection with that project.[42]

In the South Carolina Democratic Party presidential debate on January 21, 2008, Senator Hillary Clinton said that Obama had been associated with Rezko, whom she referred to as a slum landlord.[43] The L.A. Times indicated that its own review showed Rezko played a deeper role in Obama's political and financial biography than Obama has acknowledged.[44] Within days of the debate, a photo of Rezko posing with Bill and Hillary Clinton surfaced. When asked about the photo, Hillary Clinton commented "I probably have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures. I wouldn't know him if he walked in the door."[45]
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Re: Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? I've spen

Postby admin » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:48 am

Obama Union Pledge Raises Questions
By John B. Judis
May 19, 2008

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The Wall Street Journal recently reported that last summer, Illinois Senator Barack Obama told officials in the Teamsters union that he favored ending the Independent Review Board (IRB) that was created in 1989 by the federal government to rid the union of organized crime. Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obama, confirmed the story, saying that the candidate believed that the IRB had "run its course" because "organized crime influence in the union has drastically declined." The Teamsters subsequently endorsed Obama for president, in late February.

Obama and the Teamsters bristled at suggestions that any deal was made. The Obama campaign also circulated a tape of a speech that Senator Hillary Clinton made last March to the Teamsters saying "at some point the past has to be opened," but Clinton's statement, like those made by Senator John Kerry in 2004, stopped well short of committing her to end oversight of the Teamsters. Based on the statements the newspaper quoted, it is fair to assume that The Wall Street Journal got the details right.

There are two reasons to be concerned about Obama's actions here. The first is procedural. Obama's promise to close down the IRB suggests a Bush-like contempt for the customary relationship between government and the judicial process. The president himself can't shut down the IRB. He can only recommend to his attorney general that he recommend to the U.S. Attorney in New York that it be shut down. But in these kind of touchy matters, presidents usually defer to the judgment of their attorney generals. By coming close to promising a shutdown, Obama was putting politics above judicial procedure - which is just the kind of "Washington" behavior that he likes to criticize his opponents for doing.

The second reason for concern is more substantive. Labor leaders have made plausible arguments for shutting down the IRB, but a Chicago politician should be extremely wary of acceding to them. If there is continuing mob influence in the Teamsters, it is probably centered in the Chicago area. And in the last decade, the Teamsters in Chicago have shown little enthusiasm for rooting out corruption in their ranks. As a veteran Chicago politician surrounded by a veteran Chicago campaign staff, Obama had to have known this - and that makes his warm words to the Teamsters all the more disturbing.

The IRB achieved some success in policing the Teamsters. In its first decade, it suspended or ousted more than 500 individual Teamsters and recommended that the union place 27 locals under "trusteeship," which consists of replacing the local's leadership with outsiders appointed by the international. It also instituted democratic elections of the top officers in the union, and ordered the ouster of former Teamster president Ron Carey for accepting illegal campaign donations in his 1996 election defeat of James P. Hoffa, who succeeded Carey three years later, and continues to lead the union today.

But Hoffa and the Teamster leadership have chafed under government supervision. To build an argument for getting rid of the IRB, Hoffa set up his own internal oversight group. It was called RISE (or Respect, Integrity, Strength, and Ethics) and was run by a former federal prosecutor and organized crime expert Ed Stier. In August 2001, Hoffa said, "It's time for the government to move out. We've created programs where the union is clean, and it's time for us to get from under government supervision." And Hoffa, President Bush and Representative Peter Hoekstra, a conservative Republican who chaired a key House subcommittee, began an elaborate courtship aimed on Hoffa's part at disbanding the IRB.

But Hoffa's efforts were derailed by a sensational IRB report that appeared late that year detailing the efforts of Chicago Teamsters, working with a Chicago labor broker, Richard Simon, whom Stier would later describe as "having ties to organized crime," to undermine a Teamster local in Las Vegas by negotiating non-union, low-wage agreements to service the city's numerous business conventions. (I wrote an article, "Dirty Deal," about this investigation in The New Republic on April 1, 2002.) The arrangement was a clear breach of the union's commitment under the National Labor Relations Act to offer "fair representation" to its members. Yet Hoffa and his top leadership initially aided the scheme by firing Las Vegas Teamster officials who objected. Finally, the IRB expelled William Hogan, the President of local 714, the most powerful Teamster in Chicago, and forced the Teamsters to put a stop to the collusion between the Chicago officials and Simon in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, Stier did feel that he was making progress in his first years on the job, and it was not out of the question to imagine that RISE could not merely supplement, but supplant the IRB. In 2002, Teamster Spokesman Bret Caldwell told me that once the IRB was shut down, RISE will "ensure that corruption is fully eliminated from the union." For Stier, however, those hopes were dashed the next year when he began investigating Chicago-area Teamster locals for corruption. As he later detailed in a report, Stier discovered "multiple issues related to organized crime [and] corruption" in Local 714, and similar issues in five other area locals. The report concluded, "Issues related to organized crime infiltration and associated corruption in the Chicago area are numerous and cut across jurisdictional lines." But in the fall of 2003, as Stier was still in the midst of his investigation, the Teamster leadership began objecting vociferously to it, and in February 2004, Hoffa shut it down.

That April, Stier and 20 other investigators and lawyers involved with RISE resigned in protest. In the report that Stier subsequently issued, he put the blame for his departure on Hoffa's Executive Assistant and on the president of Chicago Joint Council 25 of the Teamsters. He accused them of bowing to present from "the Chicago organized crime family - known as the Chicago 'Outfit' - [which] concluded that its interests in Teamster matters were threatened by IBT investigative activities and had ordered those activities shut down."

Hoffa and the Teamsters released a report of their own in 2005 dismissing Stier's charges. And that's where matters would have stood - except for the IRB. Last October, the IRB recommended that the Teamsters remove the leadership of the main target of Stier's probe, Local 714, and place the union in trusteeship. It detailed numerous abuses by the union's leadership. Stier told the Chicago Tribune, "I'm glad to see that the IRB is pursuing these corruption issues in Chicago. I think there is more to do." The IRB's actions, taken in the wake of Stier's resignation and the end of RISE, made a pretty good case that the IRB was still needed.

All of this may be new information for people who don't live in Chicago, but it can't have been unknown to Obama and the Chicagoans who run his campaign. Stier's resignation and the IRB investigation, and the charges of corruption and organized crime have been covered over the years by Chicago Tribune reporter Stephen Franklin and other local journalists. Yet the taint of corruption and of ties to organized crime seemed not to ruffle Obama and his campaign. According to the Journal report, the Obama campaign brokered the candidate's promise to end the IRB with John Coli, the Chicago-area chairman of Joint Council 25, whom Stier identified in his report as one of the people responsible for shutting down his investigation. (Obama's Federal Election Commission records also show a hefty contribution to his senatorial and presidential races from the same Richard Simon who hatched the Vegas scheme to undercut local union workers and who, according to Stier, has mob ties.)

Voters, of course, understand that in order to get endorsements, politicians often turn a blind eye to corruption. They employ lobbyists who have worked for nefarious domestic or foreign clients or whose private activities contradict the politicians' public pronouncements. But if Barack Obama wants to run as the candidate of good government and higher morality, the place to start may not be Washington, but his home town of Chicago.
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Re: Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? I've spen

Postby admin » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:46 pm

Trump Casinos are Mobbed Up! Shocker!
by Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, MD, PhD
September 2, 2016

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For those of you who have never heard of the ‘mob’, I can assure you that it did exist. It is still extant. Equally important, it will continue to flourish in America, especially in the concrete/construction business.

Contrary to the nonsensical FBI tales of “Donnie Brasco” [Johnny Depp] where an Italian American FBI agent infiltrated the Italian Mob, for the most part the Jewish/Italian mob worked with the FBI as an informants,as depicted in the film, “The Departed” [DiCaprio,Damon]. More importantly, it is crucial to understand that not one real estate development company in the NYC/NJ area can exist without utilizing the “S&A Concrete”, a company owned by Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, the ‘boss’ of the Genovese crime family. [March 2,2016, Linda Qiu, PolitiFact].

Trump admitted his association:

“Virtually every building that was built with these companies… these guys were excellent contractors…. They were phenomenal.. Trump Tower… other buildings”.

In order to develop Trump World Tower, Donald needed to work with the Quadrozzi Concrete Company, owned by John Quadrozzi Sr, a member of the Lucchese family.Trump admitted that he had to work with Kenneth Shapiro, ‘a third-rate,local real estate mafia’ [NJ] and a close friend of mob boss, Nicky Scarfo. He had to also utilize the services of Daniel Sullivan, “a guy who killed Jimmy Hoffa.”

Sullivan had helped the novitiate real estate developer Donald to buy the Grand Hyatt which was his first property that he developed in NYC. Philadelphia mob boss, Salvatore Testa, sold the NJ land for Trump’s first casino for only a mere $1.1 million at more than 3X the original market value of $195,000.

Donald attempts to explain his affiliation with the NJ Mob accordingly:

“..every single casino company in NJ used the same [mob] companies..”

Despite accusations that Trump is xenophobic, his association with the notorious Chinese 14 K Triad Gang proves that he is willing to deal with any ethnic group which can help him make money. In 1992, Donald appointed Danny Leung as VP of Foreign Marketing at the Las Vegas Taj Mahal. Danny was a major associate of the Hong Kong based14K Triad Group.

Trump used a Russian emigre, Felix Sater, to promote Trump’s SoHo hotel.Needless to say, Sater was subsequently indicted for taking part in a $40M stock scheme involving four Mafia families.

By now, you get the idea that Trump is definitely “mobbed up”.

What does that really mean?

From my point of view, it places Donald Trump right in the same “mobbed-up corner” with our illustrious predecessors: FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Reagan, Clintons, Bushs, and Obama.In other words, we, Americans, will have to deny him the election for what he did according to the elementary rules of major city real estate development: work with the mob or die!

I can’t condone this type of activity because he clearly had a choice. So did: Hillary, Bill, Obama, W., FDR, JFK, LBJ, et. al.

We have to decide: Are we better off with Trump or someone [Hillary] who pretends to be above the sanctity of Mother Teresa [she will receive Sainthood status this Sunday]?

As Al Capone said so insightfully:

“You get much further with a kind word and a gun then you can with a kind word.”

However, in the perspicacious words of Carlo Gambino, who places all irrelevant observations into perspective, let me quote you what he had said:

“Judges, lawyers, and politicians have a license to steal, we don’t need them.”
The choice is ours once again, America!
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Re: Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? I've spen

Postby admin » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:48 pm

Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta Tied to Russian Mafia, Money Laundering: Emails released by Wikileaks show Podesta shared in the Clintons' corrupt schemes via the Clinton Foundation and oligarch Viktor Vekselberg's Skolkovo Foundation
by Roger Stone
Oct 16, 2016

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The attack on me by Clinton campaign chief John Podesta is an attempt to deflect attention from his criminal activities in the former Soviet Union. Podesta is at the heart of a Russian-government money laundering operation that financially benefits Podesta personally and the Clintons through the Clinton Foundation.

To be clear, although I have had some back-channel communications with Wikileaks I had no advance notice about the hacking of Mr. Podesta nor I have I ever received documents or data from Wikileaks.

The charge that I am working for Russian intelligence or any Russian interest is also false. Don’t confuse me with John Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta, who runs the firm that got $180,000 from Uranium One, the Russian government’s uranium company to which Hillary Clinton transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium.

Just how much money did Viktor Vekselberg, a controversial Russian billionaire investor with ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, launder through Metcombank, a Russian regional bank owned 99.978 percent by Vekselberg, with the money transferred via Deutsche Bank and Trust Company Americas in New York City, with the money ending up in a private bank account in the Bank of America that is operated by the Clinton Foundation?

Wikileaks emails tie John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, into the money-laundering network with the confirmation Podesta had exercised 75,000 shares out of 100,000 previously undisclosed stock options he was secretly issued by Joule Unlimited, a U.S. corporation that ties back to Vekselberg connected Joule Global Stichting in the Netherlands – a shady entity identified in the Panama Papers as an offshore money-laundering client of the notorious Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

As a clear indication of guilty conscience, the Wikileaks Podesta file further documents that Podesta made a serious effort to keep the transaction from coming to light as evidenced by his decision to transfer 75,000 common shares of Joule Unlimited to Leonidio LLC, another shady shell corporation – this one listed in Salt Lake City at the home apartment of the gentlemen who registered the company.

Further research has documented that Viktor Vekselberg arranged for two transfers of unknown amounts to a private Clinton Foundation account in the Bank of America, with the funds passing though a pass-through account at Deutsche Bank and Trust Company Americas in New York City – with the first transfer made on Feb. 10, 2015, and the second on March 15, 2016.

Neither transaction shows up in any Clinton Foundation press releases or publicly disclosed financial statements.

Further research is that Viktor Vekselberg, in true Russian Mafia fashion, also owned Skolkovo, the Russian foundation set up to be a Silicon Valley counterpart Russia, designed to be Russia’s major player in the “reset” technology transfer scheme engineered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011.

Millions skimmed off Skolkovo in Russia

Russian news reports have documented that all Skolkovo Foundation money was deposited in Viktor Vekselberg’s Metcombank.

“Metcombank was the only commercial bank willing to accept the Foundation’s liquid assets in a bank account with the ability to immediately withdraw them without receiving a fine and with interest at a rate higher than the market average,” the Skolkovo Foundation http://rbth.com/news/2013/03/01/skolkov ... 23414.html said in statement made public in 2013.

That same year, Russian investigators analyzing Federal Security Service, FSB, data in Russia determined the Skolkovo Fund misappropriated 3.5 billion rubles (approximately $55 million) allotted from the Russian government’s budget for the Skolkovo technology cluster’s development – a sum that was documented to have disappeared after it was deposited with Metcombank.

In reporting the disappearance of these funds, the Russian media reported Cyprus-based Winterlux Ltd. holds nearly 100 percent in Metcombank registered in Kamensk-Uralsky, the Sverdlovsk region, and Winterlux is controlled by Vekselberg through a chain of other companies including Mendo Portfolio, Renova Industries, and Renova Holding – confirming that Vekselberg is the primary beneficiary of a chain of offshore corporations involved in international money laundering that stretch from Cyprus to the Bahamas, ending up in the British Virgin Islands.

It turns out http://www.ewdn.com/2013/03/04/skolkovo ... stigation/ that of the 31.6 billion rubles (approximately $1 billion) the Skolkovo Foundation received from the state budget from 2010 through October 2012, just 18.9 billion, or less than 60 percent, was actually spent.

Predictably, the Skolkovo Foundation, http://sk.ru/news/b/pressreleases/archi ... lkovo.aspx in an official statement, denied any wrongdoing, arguing that once Russian government budget funds are transferred to the Foundation, they can no longer be considered as budget means, such that the funds can be used in any way the Foundation deems legitimate, according to Russia’s budget code.

“Among the offers made [to the Skolkovo Foundation] by several banks, Metcombank’s terms were just unprecedented,” Skolkov Foundation’s Vice President for External Communications Alexander Chernov elaborated in an exchange with Kommersant, a nationally distributed newspaper published in Russia, dealing mainly with business and politics.

Metcombank provided a 5.65 percent interest rate when the average market average was around 4 percent. This permitted Chernov to argue as follows: “The extra-high rate allowed the Skolkovo Foundation to earn around 80 million rubles ($2.6 million) in interest, so what violations are we talking about?”

In April 2013, Russian government authorities raided Skolkovo, arresting executive Aleksey Belyukov for graft, in a move that clearly looked like a scapegoat had been found, https://www.rt.com/politics/vice-presid ... graft-932/ allowing the Skolkovo Foundation and Metcombank to continue their serendipitous relationship.

To date, the Russian government has not given an accounting what happened to the missing funds supposedly once deposited in the Skolkovo Foundation’s account at Metcombank

A Johnny Chung replay?

Between 1994 and 1996, Johnny Chung was a major player in Washington political finance and a star guest of the Bill Clinton White House, as a result of his donating some $366,000 to the Democratic National Committee, until it became public knowledge Chung’s funds traced back to military intelligence sources in the Chinese government.

What is suspicious about the Vekselberg connections to the Clintons and Podesta is not only Vekselberg’s generous donations to the Clinton Foundation but also his close ties to Russian military intelligence.

“Skolkovo’s link to the Russian military-intelligence apparatus is not in dispute,” noted the Government Accountability Institute’s http://www.g-a-i.org/u/2016/08/Report-S ... 012016.pdf report entitled “From Russia With Money: Hillary Clinton, the Russian Reset, and Cronyism,” issued in August this year.

The Government Accountability Institute report continued:

The U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth issued a report in 2013 (written in 2012) about the security implications of Skolkovo. The report declared that the purpose of Skolkovo was to serve as a “vehicle for worldwide technology transfer to Russia in the areas of information technology, biomedicine, energy, satellite and space technology, and nuclear technology.” Of course, technology can have multiple uses—both civilian and military. And the report noted that “the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project—the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine.


Security expert and former National Security Analyst Agency analyst John R. Schindler picked up the theme http://observer.com/2016/08/hillarys-se ... nraveling/ in an article published in the Observer on Aug. 25, 2016, entitled “Hillary’s Secret kremlin Connection is Quickly Unraveling.”

“Schweizer shows that John Podesta sat on the board of a Dutch-registered company that took $35 million from the Kremlin [Joule, the same company from which Podesta got the undisclosed stock options],” Schindler wrote. “The company was a transparent Russian front, and how much Podesta was compensated—and for what—is unclear. In addition, Podesta failed to disclose his position on that board to the Federal government, as required by law.”

Schindler next turned his attention to Secretary of State Clinton.

“Even worse is how Clinton, Inc. profited from the Russian ‘reset’ that was one of the big achievements of Hillary’s tenure at Foggy Bottom,” Schindler continued. “Never mind that the reset was a disaster, culminating in Kremlin aggression against Ukraine. Hillary’s signature program at the State Department ended in unambiguous failure. Yet Clinton, Inc. did very well out of the temporary warming of relations with Moscow.”

Peter Schweizer, in his bestselling book entitled “Clinton Cash,” noted that of the 28 U.S., European, and Russian companies that participated in Skolkovo, 17 of them were Clinton Foundation donors or had hired former President Clinton to give speeches, concluding that Skolkovo benefactors ended up giving Clinton, Inc. somewhere between $6.5 million and $23.5 million – a figure that is indeterminate, and could yet be higher, because the Clinton Foundation has yet to reveal all its donors.

Finally, Schindler agreed Skolkovo was merely an extension of Russia’s military intelligence network.

“Therefore, it’s no surprise that Western intelligence considers Skolkovo to be an extension of Russia’s military-industrial complex—and its intelligence services,” Schindler wrote.

“A July 2013 unclassified study by U.S. European Command that surveyed Skolkovo activities http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/Collab ... olkovo.pdf suggested, in delicate language, that Russia’s Silicon Valley is ‘an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage,’” Schindler noted. “Stealing the West’s hi-tech secrets has long been a Kremlin forte, and Skolkovo is merely the newest effort to purloin our advanced technology.”
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