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Michael Nadler v Rudy Giuliani

Perhaps the best exhibit of how not to influence America's judiciary is the blowback caused by Rudy Giuliani's hamfisted efforts to let Alejandro Betancourt off the hook, due to his financing Juan Guaido's attempts to unseat Nicolas Maduro. In Michael Nadler's Florida turf, the newspaper of choice is getting a regular drip of Justice Department's leaks that keep involvement of Betancourt and his criminal partners in gargantuan corruption right at the top of the Venezuela debate. Imagine getting to one of those sunny cocktail parties when the rich and the powerful mingle, where the in-crowd talk about how Jon Sale got his buddy Rudy Giuliani a (multimillion dollar?) gig to lobby AG Barr in favour of his client Betancourt, while everyone in town has read a string of "exclusives" published by The Miami Herald that make Betancourt the poster boy of Venezuelan unbridled corruption. Cual la vuelta del peón, Sale isn't a stranger to corruption: he was, after all, Giuliani's lawyer in the "congressional investigation into the president’s actions related to Ukraine."

Nadler's flurry of activity in different jurisdictions coincides with Giuliani's lobbying efforts. So Switzerland ruled recently against Betancourt, Convit and their Russian / FSB associates, and will comply with rogatory letters sent from Nadler's office requesting detailed information about Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique's accounts used to syphon / launder billions of dollars from PDVSA. Also in Switzerland, FINMA, the financial watchdog, has just sanctioned Julius Baer for involvement in laundering PDVSA's funds. Of particular interest there, mention of a $70 million bribe, which was a cut paid to Charles Henry de Beaumont, Joseph Benhamou and Danilo Diazgranados by the Oberto Anselmi brothers, as part of a $4.5 billion scheme currently under investigation by Nadler.

Gotham City reports today that Liechtenstein has just opened a money laundering criminal investigation into former Julius Baer's Matthias Krull and seven other people. This is related to Operation Money Flight, also spearheaded by Nadler's office, in which Francisco Convit and Giuliani's client had central roles:

Les procureurs de Vaduz s’intéressent en particulier à deux millions d’euros déposés un temps sur un compte à la LGTBank. D’après la cellule de renseignement financier du Liechtenstein, ces fonds ont été transférés sur le compte de la société Portmann Capital Management Limited auprès de la Bank of New York Mellon. Celle-ci a ensuite versé la somme sur un compte appartenant à Solar Cargo CA chez JPMorgan Chase Bank. La somme blanchie a finalement été injectée dans l’immobilier en Floride, dans des sociétés fictives et dans des systèmes de change.

Portmann Capital Management et Solar Cargo CA ne sont pas inconnues des autorités américaines. La première est une société enregistrée à Malte dirigée par deux Suisses, Kurt Portmann, un financier domicilié à Sarnen (OW), et son fils Yves-Alain Portmann, ancien d’UBS.

Dans la plainte américaine dirigée contre Matthias Krull et sept autres personnes, la société est décrite, sous le nom de “European Financial Institution 1”, comme étant au cœur du dispositif de blanchiment des fonds détournés dans le complexe PDVSA. Le document mentionne notamment une feuille de calcul intitulée “Summary of the 600 Operation” qui indique que Portmann Capital Management a perçu 20,4 millions d’euros “à titre d’honoraires/de frais de 4%”.

Selon la plainte, Matthias Krull était en lien direct avec Portmann Capital Management. Le document indique qu’il connaissait la structure de la société et qu’il ordonnait le transfert de fonds de cette société aux personnes impliquées dans le schéma PDVSA.

Florida is an important electoral bastion for Donald Trump's re-election. It is a given that Sale, Betancourt's lawyer and orchestrator of Giuliani's services, is using his network to help his criminal client. While some of Florida's most "reputed" lawyers and lobbyists have no qualms in getting in bed with the likes of Betancourt, and partake in money laundering themselves, Nadler's commitment to bring Venezuelan thugs to account seems to be blowback for whatever Trump's personal lawyer and AG Barr are planning.

We can only hope Trump isn't the source of Betancourt is a "matter of national security" claim by Giuliani. If that were the case, it'll go the Blagojevich way despite Nadler's best efforts. If DoJ then drops Betancourt, no other jurisdiction on earth is going to go after him. We are already seeing this with Rafael Ramirez, Betancourt's most important benefactor and chief architect of PDVSA's looting. Several sources claim Ramirez has already gotten a deal with DoJ, and is assisting in actions against Maduro, Tareck el Aissami and others, which could include even placing Venezuela in the list of States Sponsors of Terrorism.

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