Further to previous post on Burford Capital and Wilmer Ruperti, the affidavit from Benjamin Patrick Ogden has some interesting details about Ruperti's web. Given that most of the information contained in it comes from a disgruntled Ruperti employee, it merits the sort scrutiny that this site regularly provides. The cast of characters that escaped Hall's purview is, to put this lightly, the worst scum from Venezuela.
Let me start with the email at top of affidavit. A Patrick Mooney sends communication below to Dan Sargeant, party to a lawsuit against Ruperti, and to Andrew Preston with Clyde & Co, legal counsel of Sargeant. The email relates to a case brought in the UK by Russia's Novoship (Sovcomflot) against Ruperti. (Added yellow marker shown as in the originals downloaded from PACER).
Quite succint really. Focus = Daniel Hall's Focus Intelligence.
A simple search for Preston's employer, Clyde & Co, leads to Wikipedia, which claims Clyde is a law firm founded a long time ago, that counts Lloyds as an important client. Check email from Preston below, to Burford's Daniel Hall and one of the Sargeants. Clyde & Co bosses will surely appreciate Preston's discretion with respect to one of the firm's oldest clients.
Beyond impossibly conflicted UK lawyers and investigators, moving down to paragraph 62 in affidavit is where interesting things for Venezuela observers appear. Not going to comment about Hall's secret sauce being, erm, Google, or paying for information. Longhurst was dismissed by Ruperti in early 2012, yet he agreed to sell info to Hall's Russian clients around August 2014.
Paragraph 83 refers to Dinosaur Group and Avila Asset Management as "the most significant" re Ruperti's assets position.
Readers of this site will surely remember the scandal last year about Goldman Sachs paying $865m for $2.8bn worth of "hunger bonds" from Venezuela. The WSJ outed the brokerage firm that negotiated the bonds with Goldman: Dinosaur. I am absolutely sure that Venezuela's Central Bank's chosing of a firm -that happens to manage Ruperti's affairs- to sell bonds to Goldman, for 30 cents on the dollar, is purely coincidental.
How about Avila? There's a firm named exactly like that linked to Victor Gill, an utterly corrupt "banker" whose daughter Maria Graciela is married to Luis Oberto. Oberto's father, in turn, is the O in BBO Financial Services, another firm that has done good business with Ruperti for well over a decade. As per FINRA disclosures, Avila was found to facilitate "the sale of over $2.5 billion in Venezuelan Bonds for customers without having in place adequate money laundering (AML) procedures".
There's a mention of Ludovico Fontana, CFO at Ruperti's Maroil, i.e. Longhurst predecessor.
German Rivero Zerpa is described as Ruperti's personal banker and founder of Avila. Rivero Zerpa was barred by FINRA from "association with any FINRA member in any capacity" in late 2014. But Rivero Zerpa has pedigree, his Bloomberg profile claims he has managed a "portfolio of clients worth $3.2 billion, executing fixed income trading of sovereign debt, trading of OTC options on sovereign bonds, as well as structuring and trading of credit link notes." He is a former associate of Juan Domingo Cordero, partner in turn of Raul Gorrin and Gustavo Perdomo. Nowadays he is associated with an outfit called Helvetica in California, and a handfull of UK shells in partnership with Julio Herrera Velutini.
Ruperti banks with the very best in the business, of course. Banks like Espirito Santo and Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique, very well versed in Venezuelan corruption. According to Ogden's affidavit, Ruperti also used Caracas trading houses (most gone by now) linked to Franklin Duran, Carlos Kaufman and Albert Darwiche, who hails from BBO (Oberto Sr) and Unovalores (Oberto Jr).
Ogden's affidavit is proof that even the world's "very best" investigators don't have a half a clue about who's who in Venezuela's corruption leagues. Having dealt, and exposed, those retained by the Boliburgeoisie stateside like Fusion GPS, I think I have to focus a bit more on their UK counterparts, to unravel yet more Venezuela-related corruption in Londongrad. To be continued...