Inner City
        Press' Bank Beat Reporter

  

     Welcome to Inner City Press’ Bank Beat.  We aim to scrutinize the industry, from high to low. Our other Reporters cover Community Reinvestment, the Federal Reserve, and other beats.   ICP has published a (double) book about the Bank Beat-relevant topic of predatory lending - click here for sample chapters, an interactive map, and ordering information. The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters." See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of 'Predatory Bender']," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. The Pittsburgh City Paper says the 100-page afterword makes the "indispensable point that predatory lending is now being aggressively exported to the rest of the globe." Click here for that review; click here to Search This Site. Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere, which include bank-related topics.

Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere. Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations. New: Follow us on TWITTER   BloggingHeads.tv  Click for March 1, 2011 BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press.  Until next time, for or with more information, contact us.

September 23, 2019

For Bank Fraud Messiah Ortiz Gets A Year And A Day From SDNY Judge Broderick As Boricua College Cited

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 16 – Messiah Ortiz pled guilty to bank fraud and on September 16 got a year and a year from U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Vernon S. Broderick. This runs concurrent with a two year prison bid for New York State charges involving a gun. Judge Broderick at the September 16 sentencing in his temporary courtroom 905 was very concerned that the sentence and the supervision be concurrent. Messiah Ortiz's lawyer Dawn Florio, seen later in the day at the opening arguments in the trial involving Daniel Hernandez a/k/a Tekashi #6ix9ine whom she has also represented, ably argued that Messiah Ortiz has taken classes at Boricua College. His girlfriend / fiance was in the courtroom. Judge Broderick said he hopes he never sees him again.

  On his way in at 2:37 pm, Inner City Press commented, New digs. Judge Broderick amiably responded, It's temporary, and also, Takes some getting used it. Yes, it does.

September 16, 2019

In SDNY Iranian Banker Sadr Wants Ankle Bracelet Off and New Emails Excluded After Curio

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 9 – Iranian banker Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, charged with money laundering and violating US sanctions including through a Venezuelan infrastructure project, wants his curfew extended to midnight and his GPS ankle bracelet removed.

The requests were made by Sadr's lawyer Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson after a scripted "Curcio hearing" on September 9 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Alison J. Nathan. While adding prior Steptoe clients Citibank, UBS and Commerzbank to Steptoe's script, Nathan found the Sadr knowingly waived all conflicts of interest.

  Then a surprise: Assistant US Attorney Michael K. Krouse acknowledged that yet to be turned over are e-mails from seven custodian other than Sadr, somehow lost in the cracks of the case. Judge Nathan gave Krouse a week to provide a status update, with full production to be completed in two weeks and a response by Steptoe a week after that. They will be seeking to exclude these e-mails.

  On the bracelet removal request, Judge Nathan said she saw no reason to do it. Weingarten replied that Pre-Trial favors it, and that he wants to meet with Sadr until midnight. The government's position will be known in a week and more from Steptoe if the government opposes either. It's good to have money, in essence. This is not how lower income defendants are often treated in the SDNY. The case is USA v. Nejad,  18-cr-00224 (Nathan). More on Patreon here.

September 9, 2019

Reverse Mortgage Fraud Defendant Hild Given Nationwide Travel Pass Unlike Others in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Scoop Patreon, thread

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 5 – Michael Hild was arraigned for fraud on Live Well Financial's reverse mortgages and home equipy conversion mortgages by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Ronnie Abrams on September 5. It was a routine proceeding except that this alleged white collar criminal was allowed to travel nationwide, seemingly automatically, while other defendants in the SDNY are restricted to the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

  The same "travel nationwide" pass was given, for example, the banking fraudster and Manafort lender Stephen Calk. Why this two tier system of justice?

  The trial was set for October 13, 2020; the government described 3 million documents but said that most were from Live Well so Hild had access to them. There is a $500,000 bond, signing for Mrs Laura Hill facilitated from afar unlike so often in the SDNY Magistrates Court. There was joking between the Assistant US Attorney and Hild's lawyer. All among friends, predatory lender with nationwide travel and facilitation of bond signing. The case is US v Hild, 19-cr-602 (RA). A restraining order is supposed to become available, with bank account numbers redacted. Inner City Press will continue to follow this case.

September 2, 2019

Jammal Trust Bank of Lebanon Is Hit With US Sanctions And Pompeo Speaks After Earlier Lawsuit in EDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT CEFC Video

SDNY & UN GATE, August 29 – Back on January 8 while reporting from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Inner City Press noted that  Riad Salameh, Governor of the Banque Centrale du Liban (BDL), said that a civil lawsuit by approximately 1,200 plaintiffs has been brought against 11 Lebanese banks for assisting Hezbollah. The plaintiffs, all US citizens, filed the lawsuit in court in New York. The defendants in the lawsuit include the following banks, including now sanctioned Jammal Trust Bank and Bank Audi 2. Bank of Beirut 3. Bank of Beirut And The Arab Countries (BBAC)  4. Banque Libano-Française (BLF)  5. BLOM Bank  6. Byblos Bank 7. Fransabank...  9. Lebanon And Gulf Bank (LGB) 10. Middle East Africa Bank (MEAB) 11. SGBL.

  Now on August 29 the US has hit Jammal Trust Bank with sanctions over alleged support of Hezbollah, senior administration official said on a White House conference call. One of the officials said that Jammal Trust Bank knowingly provided support to Hezbollah. "It's role as Hezbollah's bank of choice is prominent... Jammal Trust has knowingly provided financial services to Hezbollah's financial counsel and U.S. entities affiliated with Hezbollah." 

  After the call, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned today Lebanon-based Jammal Trust Bank SAL (Jammal Trust) for supporting Hizballah’s illicit financial and banking activities.  Jammal Trust has a longstanding relationship with a key Hizballah financial entity and provides financial services to the Martyrs Foundation and companies controlled by Hizballah’s Executive Council.  Jammal Trust’s misconduct undermines the integrity of the Lebanese financial system.  Today’s designation reflects our determination to counter Hizballah’s terrorist and illicit activities in Lebanon.  We will continue to target individuals and entities involved in financing and providing support to Hizballah while working closely with the Central Bank of Lebanon and other Lebanese institutions which work to preserve the integrity and stability of Lebanon’s banking system." We'll have more on this, including if and how it impacts the civil case.

   The multi-bank civil action was brought on January 1 2019, under the Anti Terrorism Act by American nationals who were injured, and by the estates and families of American nationals who were killed or injured, by reason of acts of international terrorism in Iraq between 2004 and 2011 that were committed, planned or authorized by the United States designated Foreign Terrorist Organization... The EDNY case involves Mozambique and its former finance minster working with Credit Suisse, a member of Guterres' UN Global Compact, to defraud the people of that country. Three former Credit Suisse bankers were arrested in London yesterday on US charges that they took part in a fraud scheme involving US$2 billion in loans to state-owned companies in Mozambique: Andrew Pearse, 49; Surjan Singh, 44; and Detelina Subeva, 37. The three were charged in an indictment in  the EDNY Brooklyn, New York federal court with conspiring to violate the FCPA and to commit money laundering and securities fraud, according to spokesperson John Marzulli. Former Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang was arrested in South Africa as part of the same criminal case.  A fifth man, Jean Boustani, was arrested on Wednesday at New York's John F Kennedy Airport. Boustani is a Lebanese citizen who worked for an Abu Dhabi-based contractor of the Mozambican companies. "The indictment alleges that the former employees worked to defeat the bank’s internal controls, acted out of a motive of personal profit, and sought to hide these activities from the bank," Credit Suisse said in a statement. When the guarantees were revealed in 2016, foreign donors, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), cut off support for Mozambique. Inner City Press inside the UN asked Mozambique diplomats about it - until it was without due process ousted from the UN, which it has now applied to reverse.

August 26, 2019

Bank of China Asks To Appeal Being Accused Of Terrorism Finance With Iran and Hamas

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, August 19 – Bank of China is being sued for cooperating with and wiring money for Hamas and Iran, resulting in terrorist attack and death. The complaint states that the Chinese government was informed but the wiring continued. Now Bank of China has hired the Dorsey lawfirm which argued on July 19 that it is all OK, to US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla.

   In a July 19 oral argument at which Inner City Press was the only media, Bank of China through counsel argued that there is no way they can control or be responsible for whom they move money for. Then they argued that the most they could do is file a Suspicious Activity Report or SAR. But did they do so, for the wiring of money by S.Z.R. Al-Shurafa through two accounts at its branch in Guangzhou? This was not answered.

  Now on August 19 Bank of China's lawyer Lanier Saperstein at the Dorsey firm has asked Judge Failla to extend its time to propose discovery structure, saying that it wants reconsideration or the right to appeal her earlier decision. Bank of China cites "bank confidentiality under PRC law, the AML privilege under PRC law, state secrets under PRC law" - but of course Chinese law would offer such a privilege, as for example CEFC China Energy, for the government, offered bribes at and through the UN. We'll have more on this.

  While China cites terrorist as the justification for locking up a million Uighurs in Xinjiang, its desire to put deals in the Middle East and Persia with oil producing states produces incongruous results. But will this case every get to trial? Not if the Dorsey firm, and China, have anything to say about it. More on Patreon here.

  Now in August, Judge Failla has denied Bank of China's motion and directed that discovery go forward: " Defendant’s motion for judgement on the pleadings is DENIED. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate the motion at Docket Entry 36. On or before August 30, 2019, the parties shall submit separate letters outlining how Plaintiffs and Defendant respectively believe discovery should be structured." Watch this site.

The Bangladeshi Central Bank which was hacked for $81 million in February 2016, on January 31 sued in the SDNY. The first pre-trial conference in the case was held on May 21; now on July 19 Bangladesh Bank has opposed the defendant's motions to dismiss for forum non conveniens and lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

  Bangladesh Bank writes that "[t]he robbery was in New York City, not a foreign country, attacking a decades-old account in the New York. It involved the New York Fed, perhaps the most critically important bank in New York City. The conspirators also needed New York-based correspondence accounts to accomplish the theft." In its other brief it adds, "Since 1973, the Bank has held its foreign reserves at the New York Fed in order to conduct Bangladesh’s international transactions in U.S. dollars. Id. ¶¶ 37-40. Today, the Bank conducts 85% of its international transactions in the U.S. dollar, through its New York Fed account, that holds a daily average of $1.5 billion."

  Back in March Inner City Press submitted a request under the US Freedom of Information Act to the US Federal Reserve about its role in and action on the Bangladesh Bank heist. After four months of delay from the Fed, and an appeal by Inner City Press of their constructive denial, the Fed finally ruled on June 27 - releasing only one page, a two paragraph cover letter.

  This is the opposite of transparency.

August 19, 2019

CIT Group Bid For Mutual of Omaha Echoes Its Fraudulently Promoted Deal For OneWest of Otting

By Matthew R. Lee, Video, FOIA fee denial

SOUTH BRONX, SDNY, August 13 – The reporting on CIT Group's announcement it seeks to acquire Mutual of Ohama's bank and 26 branches on August 13 said that the proposed acquisition would be "the first major transaction for CIT Group since its sale of its Financial Freedom reverse mortgage servicing business and the related reverse mortgage portfolio to an undisclosed buyer." Forgotten or airbrushed out in this is CIT's controversial, some say fraudulently promoted, acquisition of now US Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting's One West Bank. It, like that proposal, may well be challenged - watch this site.

Mergers we are watching:

August 13, Michigan: Level One Bancorp, Inc. and Ann Arbor Bancorp, Inc., announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement...
 
August: Landmark Bank, Texas County’s largest banking organization, is proposes to be sold to Pine Bluff, Ark.-based Simmons First National Corp.  Based in Columbia, Landmark Bank parent company, The Landrum Company, has more than $3 billion in assets and 39 locations in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Simmons has $17.6 billion in assets and more than 200 locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.  The deal is valued at $434 million in Simmons Bank stock...

August 12, Florida: Professional Holding Corp. and Marquis Bancorp, both of Coral Gables, jointly announced today the signing of a definitive agreement to merge in which Marquis Bank will combine with Professional Bank. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, the combined banking institution will have approximately $1.6 billion in assets, making it the 12th largest community bank in Florida and the 4th largest in South Florida.  

Kansas: Option Bank, headquartered in Osawatomie, Kansas, proposes to acquire Pony Express Community Bank... 

August 12, Illinois credit unions:   The boards of Schaumburg-based Andigo Credit Union and Consumers Credit Union, based in Gurnee, have already voted to attempt the merger. A combined organization would serve more than 156,000 members and have more than $2.1 billion in assets...

August 12, 2019

In SDNY Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo Letters Flashed In Starship Snacks Trial Of Margulies

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope, Photos

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 7 – In the criminal securities fraud trial of Joel Margulies on August 7 a series of letters from Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo, account statements from Royal Bank of Canada, and contracts about caffeine infused chocolate by something called Starship Snacks were methodically introduced to a jury overseen by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

   Assistant US Attorney Christine I. Magdo, who earlier this year convicted S&P's Sebastian Pinto-Thomaz of insider trader before Judge Rakoff, flashed exhibit after exhibit on the video monitor, focusing on the meta-data showing which were docx and which were pdf.

 Surely it will all be connected for the jury, some of whom appeared inundated, at least from where Inner City Press observed as the only media in the courtroom on the morning of August 7. (Later on August 7 it would be ousted from a criminal presentment of "John Doe" by SDNY Judge John G. Koeltl, without any notice or opportunity to be heard, in a process it is unclear Judge Rakoff would follow - perhaps we'll see).

  Many of the exhibits concerned the inheritance and accounts of co-defendant Lisa Bersham, who has pleaded guilty and pushed back her sentencing before SDNY Judge Jesse M. Furman until October 17, 2019. Margulies and his lawyer and other lunched on August 7 in the 500 Pearl Street cafeteria, then waited as Judge Rakoff prepared a Fair Labor Standards Act case for trial, including demanding of the defense lawyer why he was not available in late August. (He replied he is volunteering in the Dominican Republic; asked and answered). We'll have more - on both cases.

August 5, 2019

Associated Bank Sues Merchant Lender Absent From Locked Courtroom of SDNY Judge Woods

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon, Periscope

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 31 – Wisconsin's Associated Bank is suing a merchant lender Capcall in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. But on July 31, Capcall didn't show up and at first the courtroom of SDNY Judge Gregory H. Woods was locked.

  Inner City Press, which covers banks as well as the SDNY court, went Courtroom 12C at the appointed time, July 31 at 3:30 pm. But the door was locked. Soon Associated Bank's lawyer, Laurie Belony of Bryan Cave, showed up. She wanted to call Judge Woods' deputy or chamber but had been required to leave her phone downstairs, as Inner City Press was for months.

  Inner City Press lent her its phone, and soon Judge Woods' Deputy confirmed that the conference was on, it had been forgotten but that did not excuse the defendant for not showing up.

 The usually hyper-organized Judge Woods took to the bench at 3:55 pm, just before a 4 pm pre-trial conference in another, criminal case, and read into the record that the defendant had not shown up. He gave them a deadline of August 23. The case is Associated Bank v. Capcall LLC, 19-cv-5158 (GHW).

July 29, 2019

Banks Accused Of Fixing Bond Prices Jam Courtroom of Judge Rakoff In Race To The Bottom

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 23 – Plaintiffs including Pennsylvania Treasurer Joseph M. Torsella are suing more than a dozen banks for allegedly fixing the price of housing bonds.

On July 23 the courtroom of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff was overflowing with bank lawyers and, in a corner by the window in a chair from the jury room, Inner City Press.   

Goldman Sachs' lawyer from Sullivan & Cromwell Richard C. Pepperman II urged Judge Rakoff to adopt the "rule of reason" standard, and repeatedly said that he would bet his daughter's college tuition on this or that proposition.    She's going to have to take out so many loans, Judge Rakoff parried back.    

"If the right candidate wins in 2020, the loans will all be forgiven," Pepperman as progressive, faux or not, replied.  

For the plaintiffs Amanda F. Lawrence of Scott & Scott said that beyond the four trader-chats made part of the complaint she had many more. In one, a Morgan Stanley trader urged avoiding a race to the bottom, seemingly meaning actual competition on price. The case is In re GSE Bonds Antitrust Litigation, 19-cv-01704 (JSR).

When Ms. Lawrence said, My colleague to speak to that," Judge Rakoff said, "I'll hear from him."  

"Or her," Ms. Lawrence replied, introducing her female co-counsel.   

Quick on his feet while on the bench, Jed Rakoff said I didn't know you'd brought your best. More on Patreon here.

Pepperman said he had cited three cases, one by SDNY Judge Engelmayer, another from the Eastern District and a third from the Eighth Circuit. Judge Rakoff said, I always pay attention to what Judge Engelmayer writes. The Eight Circuit? He rolled his eyes and the nervous bank lawyers laughed.   

SDNY Judge Berman was also cited, as having asked to be spaced 1,900 examples of price fixing. But he's a young kid, Judge Rakoff said, again to laughter.  

First Tennessee alone among the many banks with lawyers in the gallery, on the press benches and in the jury box, spoke up and tried to get itself released from the case. The gambit appears based on not reporting its data into the set the plaintiffs ar using. But they say they have more chats. Judge Rakoff said it's all gone sub judice. Inner City Press will continue to cover this and other cases.

July 22, 2019

Bank of China Accused Of Terrorism Finance With Iran and Hamas After PRC Government Was Told

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, July 19 – Bank of China is being sued for cooperating with and wiring money for Hamas and Iran, resulting in terrorist attack and death. The complaint states that the Chinese government was informed but the wiring continued. Now Bank of China has hired the Dorsey lawfirm which argued on July 19 that it is all OK, to US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla.

   In a July 19 oral argument at which Inner City Press was the only media, Bank of China through counsel argued that there is no way they can control or be responsible for whom they move money for. Then they argued that the most they could do is file a Suspicious Activity Report or SAR. But did they do so, for the wiring of money by S.Z.R. Al-Shurafa through two accounts at its branch in Guangzhou? This was not answered.

  While China cites terrorist as the justification for locking up a million Uighurs in Xinjiang, its desire to put deals in the Middle East and Persia with oil producing states produces incongruous results. But will this case every get to trial? Not if the Dorsey firm, and China, have anything to say about it. More on Patreon here. Watch that and this site.

July 15, 2019

   The OCC under Joe Otting is lawless. On Fifth Third they said, no public comments on conversions - which is against the law. Now they are taking comments on another conversion, but not big 5/3 one, and not on changes in bank control. Lawless...

Details RECEIPT 6/27/2019 BRANCH ESTABLISHMENT 2019-SOBRANCHNEW309710 CADENCE BANK, NA PRESTON CENTER BRANCH 5950 SHERRY LANE DALLAS TX DALLAS 7/19/2019 Details RECEIPT 6/28/2019 BUSINESS COMBINATIONS 2019-CECOMBINATION309756 TIME FSB RIVER CITIES BANK 1601 LINCOLN ST. WISCONSIN RAPIDS WI WOOD 7/26/2019 17 ACTION DATE TYPE APPLICATION NUMBER BANK NAME BRANCH NAME TARGET BANK LOCATION CITY STATE COUNTY CMT PD END Details RECEIPT 6/24/2019 CHANGE IN BANK CONTROL 2019-SO-CBCA309665 INTERCREDIT BANK NA N/A 4725 SOUTHWEST 8TH ST. MIAMI FL DADE 7/14/2019 Details RECEIPT 6/28/2019 CONVERSIONS 2019-CECONVERSION309714 WINTRUST BK WINTRUST BANK, N.A. 231 SOUTH LASALLE ST. CHICAGO IL COOK Details RECEIPT 6/28/2019 CONVERSIONS 2019-CECONVERSION309724 WINTRUST BK WINTRUST BANK, N.A. 231 SOUTH LASALLE ST. CHICAGO IL COOK

July 8, 2019

On Argentina IMF Lipton Says Deal To Access $5.4B After Inner City Press Asked of Corruption

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

NEW YORK CITY, July 5 – When the International Monetary Fund held its biweekly embargoed media briefing on June 27, Inner City Press submitted six questions including on Zimbabwe and Moldova which the IMF answered, see below. On July 5 on Argentina the IMF issued this: "Mr. David Lipton, the International Monetary Fund’s Acting Managing Director issued the following statement today on Argentina:     “I am pleased to announce that IMF staff and the Argentine authorities reached an agreement on the fourth review of the economic program supported by the Stand-By Arrangement. Subject to the approval of the Executive Board, Argentina would have access to about US$ 5.4 billion (SDR 3.9 billion).     “I commend the Argentine authorities on their continued efforts and steadfast implementation of their economic policy program. The authorities completed all their fiscal, monetary and the social expenditure targets under the IMF-backed program in the context of this review.     “Argentina’s economic policies are yielding results. Financial markets stabilized in May and June. Inflation – while still at high levels – is expected to continue to fall in the coming months. The fiscal and external positions continue to improve. There are also signs that the economy is improving in the second quarter.     “I fully support Argentina’s efforts to bolster confidence, lay the foundation for sustainable growth and protect the most vulnerable. Steadfast implementation of the commitments and policies underlying the authorities’ IMF-backed program will be critical for continued progress. I look forward to discussing this review with the IMF’s Executive Board on July 12." We'll have more on this.

July 1, 2019

Inner City Press Asks IMF About Zimbabwe and Moldova Questions Answered Here By Camilla Andersen

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

NEW YORK CITY, June 27 – When the International Monetary Fund held its biweekly embargoed media briefing on June 27, Inner City Press submitted six questions including on Zimbabwe and Moldova which the IMF answered. On Pakistan Inner City Press asked, "On Zimbabwe, what is the IMF's response to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube saying 'The first order of business is to clear the arrears and then move on to phase two, which is the bilateral discussions with the Paris Club' - asked if Zimbabwe would seek financing from the IMF next year, Ncube said: 'Why not? We can only ask, they can only say no'?"  Camilla Andersen, Assistant Director of the IMF's Communications Department, read out Inner City Press' question and replied among other things that while Zimbabwe has cleared its arrears to the IMF, other debts that would have to be cleared remain. She cited the Staff Managed Program running into 2020 (transcript to come).

 On Moldova Inner City Press asked, "On Moldova, please confirm or deny this from the government: "The head of the IMF mission, Ruben Atoyan, said that the International Monetary Fund had quite attentively monitored the situation in Moldova and that the Fund showed full openness to help Moldova.  ... The resumption of the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and implementation of the provisions of the memorandum of economic and financial policies will allow Moldova receiving the last two installments of the financing program on behalf of the Fund, worth about 66 million Dollars."  The IMF's Camilla Andersen replied among other things that the the IMF has disbursed $112 million under the program and continues to assess (full transcript to come).

OneCoin Defendant Ignatov Is Denied Bail And Private Jail By SDNY Judge Ramos

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 28 – Detention was continued for OneCoin defendant Konstantin Ignatov on June 28, after he offered to pay armed guards to keep him in an apartment he would rent in Manhattan. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Edgardo Ramos questioned the source of the bail money that Ignatov was offering to put up, as well as issued raised about the propriety of "private prisons" of  the type now incarcerated UN briber Ng Lap Seng was allowed to live in during the pendency of his case.

  Ignatov's lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman noted that Bernie Madoff got bail, and that the government could not show any contact between Ignavov and his sister Ruja, indisputedly higher up in the OneCoin scheme. But Judge Ramos, after more than an hour of argument, was not convinced. The case is US v. Ignatov, 17-cr-630 (Ramos); more on Patreon, here.

  In other SDNY corporate crime news, the US  quietly filed a criminal antitrust case against Banca IMI trader Larry D. Meyers - who quietly pled guilty and agreed to cooperate on June 27 before Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Inner City Press can report.

  The case involves violations with the Sherman Act with respect to American Depository Receipts. It is a quiet part of a larger case. On June 27 the representative of DOJ's Antitrust Division said Meyers will get a 5K1.1 letter if he fully cooperates. She then said the sentencing could be set for October 7 at 2:30 pm.  So will all of the cooperation be by then?

June 24, 2019

Banca IMI Trader Meyers Faces Genteel Prosecution For ADR Violations Of Antitrust Laws

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 19 – The US has quietly filed a criminal antitrust case against Banca IMI trader Larry D. Meyers, concealing the case number and adjourning what was listed as a plea proceeding on June 19 before Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Inner City Press can report.

  The case involves violations with the Sherman Act with respect to American Depository Receipts. It is a quiet part of a larger case.

   Back on 9 May 2019 DOJ Antitrust Division criminal chief James J. Fredricks signed a "Notice of Intent to File An Information" against Meyers. Through so-called "Wheel B" it was assigned to SDNY Judge Engelmayer, by Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang.

 On June 5 - it is not clear where -  Meyers and his attorney Dan Portnov "waive[d] in open court prosecution by indictment and consent[ed] that the proceeding may be by information instead of by indictment."

   That way, instead of through the more public Magistrates Court, Meyers' presentment was before Judge Engelmayer, with a Docket Number listed as "19-CR- [blank]," quickly released on $100,000 bond, travel restricted to the US and Ireland unlike most defendants confined to two or three US Districts.

  This is the VIP aisle of indictments, with the DOJ helping to avoid any possible perp walk.

  And so it was that while the week's SDNY "Civil and Criminal Proceedings Calendar" for the week of 06/17/19 listed on June 19 at 5 pm a plea before Judge Engelmayer in USA v. Meyers, 19-cr-[blank], the courtroom of Judge Engelmayer where Inner City Press had been earlier in the day on a Hobbs Act robbery trial was empty.

  There was no sign on the door explaining why, as was done for example on the door of Judge Deborah Batts about Michael Avenatti. There are VIP lines, and vip lines.

 Currently the docket does not show where the next proceeding will take place. But Inner City Press believes it knows. Watch this site - and for more, see its Patreon, here.

While many even most cases in the Magistrates Court of the SDNY are sealed, on June 19 Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn in processing three alleged co conspirators did not use the word sealed or docketing delayed.

June 17, 2019

Inner City Press Asks IMF About Pakistan Haiti and Kenya Questions Answered Here

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

NEW YORK CITY, June 13 – When the International Monetary Fund held its biweekly embargoed media briefing on June 13, Inner City Press submitted a half dozen questions including on Pakistan, Kenya and Haiti which the IMF answered. On Pakistan Inner City Press asked, "what is the IMF's response to JI leader Sirajul Haq criticism of the "budget of IMF purely concentrating only on increasing taxes and prices of essential commodities, and was just read out by its slaves.  He said the budget did not care about reducing the problems of common man and price hike, adding that it was just a jugglery of figures and words which was incomprehensible even to the economic champions of the government."

  IMF Spokesperson Gerry Rice in the briefing said, transcript and video here: "There is a question on Pakistan, from our friend Matthew Lee in New York, asking in summary what is the IMF's response to the criticism of the Pakistani budget which was recently announced that the IMF is purely concentrating on increasing taxes and prices and doesn’t care about reducing the problems of the common man. Again, stepping back, Pakistan has requested a program from the IMF. Last month we reached a staff level agreement on that program so that’s now under discussion. So, I don’t really have a specific comment on the budget.  But in terms of our discussions, I can say that we are talking about broadly how to restore stronger, more balanced growth by reducing domestic and external imbalances, improving the business environment, strengthening institutions, increasing transparency and importantly protecting social spending. So that last part does indeed speak broadly to the point that Matthew is raising, that social spending is and protecting social spending is in fact an important part of the discussion that we are having on a program with Pakistan."

 Inner City Press asked asked, "On Kenya, please state the status with the IMF given reports that the country is "on course to renewing its $1.5 billion standby credit facility with the IMF signing a deal with selected banks to release close to Ksh1 trillion ($10 billion) in loans to the private sector despite the prevailing rate caps."  On the upcoming June 25-26 Bahrain conference on Palestine, given that the IMF has said it "has been invited to the meeting and expects to attend, along with other international financial institutions," please state if the IMF understands that the wider United Nations will attend, and/or has been invited."

Rice said, "There is a question on Kenya. “Please give the status of the IMF program with Kenya given reports that it's on course to renew its standby credit facility.” And on that about all I can say is that negotiations indeed are ongoing on a Fund supported program. I don't have a timetable on that but with the negotiations are underway."