judge seeks to seize the account for tax
The magistrate sent the order following investigation of money laundering. Money movements were also put Nisman under scrutiny by US authorities. Canicoba maintains that the flow is not related to income tax official.
Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral asked the US seizure of funds in the account are handled Alberto Nisman bank Merrill Lynch in New York. Canicoba Corral and Juan Pedro Zoni prosecutor investigating the huge flows of funds that occurred, not just on that account, but also in Uruguay, in addition to the contents of four safes and properties in Palermo and Punta del Este. "Accounts not anywhere close this week said the magistrate and the United States are investigating the prosecutor Nisman for money laundering and bribery." The prosecutor asked Zoni embargoes by about ten million pesos last Thursday in line with the decision of Canicoba Corral who had already asked a few days before, though newly revealed now, the seizure of the funds deposited in the Merrill Lynch. The judge also ordered the past week the investigations of the prosecutor's mother, sister and the computer Diego Lagomarsino. In the report suspicious movements of money that came from the United States include nine operations, but the text says: "They are an example of unexplained movements." This means more deposits and withdrawals, as claimed by the judge, unrelated to income tax official. In the list of suspicious movements appeared a new name, that of Rodrigo Martin Ferreiros, who is the owner of the company of Hong Kong Limited Rodfa, he deposited $ 135,000 to Nisman account in New York.
Canicoba sent the order to confiscate funds held in the United States following the investigation of money laundering, but also open in the north country by movements in the Merrill Lynch account file itself. The equivalent of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the United States, called FinCEN (Finantial Crime Enforcement Network, a network of financial crimes investigation) investigates the holders of Merrill Lynch account because the funds could arise "in washing money or bribes. " The latter charge impacted heavily on the judge, as the US agency said Nisman hid As fiscal and presented only as a lawyer. Also not listed as the account holder but as a proxy, ie driving revenues and expenditures, but with the visible intention to conceal his name. The glaringly obvious is that when you opened the account in 2012, was asked if it was a politically exposed person and there hid his post as prosecutor. People with political or public office should make it clear in the affidavit. The investigation into bribes has to do precisely with that hid his office and the account has movements that are not consistent with their official income.
Both Canicoba as tax Zoni investigating the origin of both suspected money. It is unclear whether the funds came from Argentina or are contributions of agencies, intelligence services or American foundations.
As anticipated Page / 12 exclusively on account Nisman a deposit of $ 150,000 of the late entrepreneur Damian Stefanini was received. On 17 October last year, Stefanini in San Fernando was supervising the construction of two yachts in which was supposedly investing. Minutes later, he is developing thought. His car was left in the town of Florida, Vicente Lopez. For the dialogues contained in the cause for the disappearance of Stefanini, the employer maintained telephone contact with men of financial and caves. One hypothesis regarding the deposit Merrill Lynch is Nisman handed pesos in cash and Stefanini, with contacts in caves, he transferred money to New York. In that case, it would force the question about the origin of the money.
But the disappearance of another financier add more seasonings to box situation: Hugo Diaz disappeared on March 27 this year and never heard from again. Among the links included Pedro Diaz "The Lauchón" Viale, a man of the former SIDE, by Buenos Aires police officers killed in a bizarre raid on 9 July 2013. The Lauchón was an agent of extreme confidence of former strongman SIDE Horacio Jaime Stiuso. The coincidence suggests the possibility that through Stefanini were enrolled funds were related to intelligence services.
In an interview with Radio Del Plata, Canicoba hinted that the Audi Q5 SUV was owned by Claudio Nisman and not of Picon, whose company is the owner of the vehicle. "The power granted to Nisman was very large, very large, like the one given to someone when you are selling a car," said the magistrate. Added to this is Picon also deposited $ 75,000 in New York and is the owner of one of the departments Dorrego Street building in Palermo Hollywood, where Nisman, of course not to his name, had two units and had already produced 1,200,000 pesos. It's so clear that departments were Nisman monthly installments had to contribute to the project stopped paying in January, ie after the death of the prosecutor.
It is known that Picon listed as associated with Eugenio "Pipo" Ecke, a man linked to companies and security agencies of the United States. Thus, again they appear in scene contractors intelligence services.
One of the striking movements Merrill Lynch account is a deposit of $ 135,000 arising from the company Rodfa Limited of Hong Kong. For connoisseurs of the case, so far it is clear that Nisman was not in the Chinese city or had reason to receive money from there. However, an investigation by a database of commercial security showed that Rodfa Limited is chaired since March 12, 2013 by Rodrigo Martin Ferreiros, an Argentine who lives in Buenos Aires. The very name suggests Rodfa a combination of letters and last name of Ferreiros.
It is also curious that the registration in Hong Kong, Ferreiros gave his home address as an address in Buenos Aires in 1100 Migueletes street, close to the River Plate stadium.
For Internet data, the individual does not appear to play a role. In the network a contract by which the Senate engaged for three months in late 2013, with a salary of 11,000 pesos appears. It was from September to December and the figure is not consistent with a great businessman. Based on these data, the impression is that Ferreiros lent his name, but everything is being investigated by the prosecutor Canicoba and Zoni.
For now, the pieces do not fit. On the one hand, there are funds that seem to come from investments undeclared tax. For example, a company called VivaTerra you deposited $ 50,000 in the account. According to judicial inquiries it has to do with investments in youth hostels in Patagonia, mainly in Bariloche. There are deposits that have strong smell intelligence services and huge amounts of money, for now, have no explanation. The land in Punta del Este, the departments at Dorrego, the truck Audi Q5, the astral travel expenses and models do not fit, even remotely, with revenues Nisman. To this should be added the mysterious cleaning four safes, all visited by the mother of Nisman, Sandra Garfunkel, in the immediate aftermath of the death of fiscal days. In the case already contained the allegation that Nisman remained a part of the salaries of two or three of its employees, but also explains that such economic accumulation maneuver.
Nisman audience is leaning and had the ongoing support of Stiuso. The prosecutor repeated to whoever wanted to hear it. The "team" was formed both at exactly the outlines of a sector of American and Israeli right. And the prosecutor, also was a major part in the offensive against the agreement the United States and five other developed countries ended up signing with Iran in Vienna. The sectors of the Israeli right wing republican and opposed and continue to oppose harshly that kind of memorandum on trimming the Iranian nuclear program and found it essential to have on your side to a prosecutor who traveled the world imputing to Tehran. As is known, Nisman also played a significant role in opposing the memorandum signed Argentina.
That close link with US agencies and services are numerous trails. This newspaper already announced that Nisman travel broke records during his tenure. In total there were 59, of whom 17 were the United States, with a peak in 2011, when he headed for the north country six times and spent a total of 65 days. Also contained with a relevant name in the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD), another grouping aligned with the Republican right. At about the testimony of former executive director of the DAIA, Jorge Elbaum, who revealed that Nisman offered a vulture fund financing, which leads Paul Singer, for a campaign against the memorandum signed with Iran adds.
Given his background, it appears that seek Canicoba Corral and Zoni if the origin of the funds managed by sidereal Nisman has to do with these tunes, either Stiuso side or on the side of the links in the United States. The suspicion not only part of the cause Argentina: in court never tire of remembering something that FinCEN also speaks of bribes.
Following Paul Singer’s Money, Argentina, and Iran (Continued)
Following Paul Singer’s Money, Argentina, and Iran (Continued)
by Eli Clifton
Last week, Jim and Charles Davis addressed The Washington Post editorial board’s claim that Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had pushed an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.” They suggested that AIPAC and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies might be coordinating their efforts to portray Kirchner’s government as an ally of Iranian-backed terrorism with Paul Singer, the billionaire hedge fund manager who’s seeking to force Argentina to repay the full amount of the defaulted debt held by his firm.
As Jim and Charles noted, linking Singer to AIPAC and FDD doesn’t require an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. It simply requires following the money. Singer contributed $3.6 million to FDD between 2008 and 2011. In 2010, Singer’s personal and family foundations contributed a combined $1 million to AIPAC’s fundraising arm, the American Israel Education Foundation.
Both groups promoted the controversial work of Argentine Special Investigator Alberto Nisman, who in 2006 released a report claiming that top Iranian leaders ordered the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people. That claim was criticized for, among other things, its virtually exclusive reliance on the testimony of members of the Mujahedin e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group that former members liken to a cult, as well as a long-discredited former Iranian intelligence agent. It was, however, just what anti-Iran hawks in the US wanted to hear, with AIPAC hosting Nisman at its 2010 policy conference and the neoconservative press casting the prosecutor as a muckraking hero.
In January 2015, Nisman died under suspicious circumstances, not long after making another controversial charge: that Kirchner and her foreign minister, Hector Timerman, were trying to cover up Iran’s alleged involvement in the AMIA bombing in order to facilitate major trade agreements between the two countries. Many see Nisman as a martyr.
Singer’s Money Talks
In yet another overlap between Paul Singer’s money and those critical of Argentina, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) this week introduced a Senate resolution demanding a “swift and transparent” investigation into the prosecutor’s death. It also accuses Kirchner of conspiring “to cover up Iranian involvement in the 1994 terrorist bombing.”
It turns out that Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, was Rubio’s second largest source of campaign contributions between 2009 and 2014, providing the presidential hopeful with $122,620, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
It has not only been AIPAC, Rubio, and the American Enterprise Institute (which Jim and Charles cited in last week’s post) that have enjoyed Singer’s largesse…and tried to tie Kirchner’s government and alleged Iranian terrorism together.
The Israel Project (TIP), now headed up by AIPAC’s former chief spokesperson Josh Block, has received increasingly large contributions from the billionaire. Singer gave $500,000 to the group in 2007 and $1 million in the 2012 tax year (the year Block took over the group’s leadership and the last year for which there are publicly available tax filings). That makes Singer one of TIP’s two largest donors since Block arrived. And TIP has since provided a steady stream of content critical of Kirchner’s government.
The Tower magazine, a web publication launched by TIP, has published no less than 48 articles that mention Argentina, 28 and 40 of which in turn cite Nisman and the AMIA bombing, respectively, according to a search of its website. Ben Cohen, a contributing editor, recently wrote two pieces on Kirchner’s charges that groups attacking her government are tied financially to Singer – “Argentina’s President Discovers the International Jewish Conspiracy” and “Argentine Foreign Minister Turns on Jewish Leaders as AMIA Controversy Deepens.” In the latter piece, Cohen accuses the foreign minister, Timerman of participating in “an ugly round of ‘accuse the Jews.’” Timerman is himself Jewish. Argentina’s military junta abducted and tortured his father, the journalist Jacobo Timerman, in the late 1970s. In his book, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number, the elder Timerman documented the Nazi sympathies of his captors, their singling out of Jewish detainees (the vast majority of whom were killed) for particularly cruel treatment, and other parallels between Nazi Germany and the far-right junta.
In his first article, published one day before the Post’s editorial board chimed in with its own charges of Kirchner’s anti-Semitism, Cohen accused Argentine journalist Jorge Elbaum of being “a court Jew.” Elbaum had quoted Nisman as assuring other leaders of the Argentine Jewish community that “Paul Singer will help us” reverse Argentina’s rapprochement with Iran. Nisman’s interlocutors disputed the veracity of the quote, which was cited by Kirchner, after Elbaum published it.
Cohen explained that the problem with this allegedly fabricated quote is the broader narrative it serves:
[I]t is distinctly possible that Elbaum invented the quote in order to fit the theory that Singer, a leading hedge fund manager who has been embroiled in a lengthy legal dispute with Argentina following the country’s 2001 default on its foreign debt, was now funding political opposition to Fernández de Kirchner’s government. In that regard, Elbaum highlighted Singer’s financial support for the Washington, DC-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), whose research has highlighted Iran’s support for terrorism around the world. “You see,” wrote Fernández de Kirchner, “everything has to do with everything.”
Cohen concludes that these theories are “grounded not on concrete evidence, but on the ant-Semitic[sic] assumption that Jews involved in international affairs do so with a hidden agenda.” One has to ask: Was this the inspiration for the Post’s editorial?
As with the Post, what Cohen doesn’t address—and which Kirchner did—is the very palpable fact that Singer actually funds FDD. And he funds Cohen’s employer, which in turn has now paid Cohen twice to deflect attention from those financial links by firing back with a charge of anti-Semitism.
Singer has a very clear financial motive to fund such attacks. He has taken Argentina to court over its debt default. Although 93 percent of its creditors accepted their losses, Singer is one of the few holdouts, having bought up Argentina’s defaulted bonds at pennies on the dollar and then sued the country for payment in full. If he succeeds, he and his firm could collect as much as $2 billion. And if his support for TIP can help advance his pressure campaign against Kirchner, it’s a very smart investment indeed.
Cohen is either unaware that journalistic ethics demand the disclosure of his conflict of interest. Or perhaps he is knowingly producing “sponsored content” that would suffer if its sponsor were revealed. Either way, that sort of journalism (practiced also by frequent Tower contributor and Argentina detractorEamonn MacDonagh) fails to meet the basic standards to which all professional journalists should be held.
Meanwhile, Singer, a board member (with Sheldon Adelson) of the Republican Jewish Coalition who generally tries to avoid the media spotlight, remains politically active. Just this week, it was disclosed that he hosted a private meeting of “high-powered investors” at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan with Jeb Bush, who reportedly disclosed that his most influential adviser on U.S.-Israel policy is none other than his brother, George W. At the same meeting, according to various accounts, Jeb also reassured his audience that former Secretary of State James Baker, despite having been listed by Jeb’s presidential campaign as a foreign-policy adviser, is in fact not part of his foreign-policy team. It hasn’t yet been disclosed whether the Argentine government’s alleged anti-Semitism and ties to Iran came up during the meeting.
Photo: Hector Timerman at the UN