Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A "tax lapse" isn't illegal if Obama says it isn't

Timothy Geithner won confirmation as President Barack Obama's treasury secretary inspite of his criminal activities in not paying taxes. Unfortunately this reinforces the fact that Democrats are above the law. Because Obama said "Tim's work must begin at once", everything illegal he did is OK. That is the moral picture of Obama's self-righteous, self-centered administration. Whatever you want, Mr. President... Throw Geithner into the pool with other tax cheats such as Charlie Rangel, moral liars such as Eliot Spitzer and former-Democratic almost-candidate John Edwards, conflict-of-interesters such as Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and out-and-out crooks such as Rod-O Blag-O. A group of which to be proud.

But the real tragedy is the continued clueless weakness of Republicans. They are continuing their losing streak. America is the real loser.

I will be updating this regularly with news of Democrat vs Republican crooks.


From another blog, 2-29-09
Economic Crisis, The Audit — April 28, 2009 06:12 PM
Bronte Capital with a Major Scoop on Alleged Fraudster
By Ryan Chittum
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John Hempton the excellent Aussie blogger who writes Bronte Capital appears to have a blockbuster of a scoop.
A Connecticut hedge fund called Ponta Negra Group, run by 27-year old Francesco Rusciano has been frozen by the SEC, which accused it of fraud. Hempton was all over this a few weeks ago, but had to take down his posts when Ponta Negra lawyers threatened to sue him. They’re back up now.
But the big news here is Hempton’s discovery that the allegedly fraudulent fund has some, um, oddly coincidental connections to Vice President Joe Biden’s son and brother, who run a firm called Paradigm Global. The firms are run out of the same floor at 650 Fifth Avenue in New York, share the same “marketer,” a guy named Jeffrey Schneider of Onyx Capital LLC, whose website is currently down, and the SEC filing gives a phone number for Ponta Negra that goes through Paradigm’s switchboard.
Ruh roh.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Bidens’ fund has intersected with an alleged fraudster. Two months ago it was discovered to be entangled with disgraced financier Allen Stanford in a $50 million fund co-branded Paradigm Stanford Fund and marketed by Stanford.
Mr. Schneider was involved in that joint venture, which the Bidens say they made without ever even meeting Mr. Stanford:
A Paradigm marketer, Jeffrey Schneider, confirmed accounts provided by others that he brought in the Stanford business. Stanford would bring clients to the fund and Paradigm would manage it, according to Mr. LoPresti.
Now, I suppose there could just be an amazing amount of coincidences here. Hempton is good on the “to-be-sure” stuff:
I was worried at first that Ponta Negra might be a legitimate fund headquartered in another cubicle on the 17th Floor of 650 Fifth Avenue. It turns out that there are several funds also HQ’d there. Paradigm it seems does all the signage on the floor – but once you get past the couple of Paradigm people on the front desk you find several doors behind which reside several hedge funds – a hedge fund hotel if you want. Most of the offices were empty mid-morning – which was very surprising. These funds are largely marketed by Paradigm.
Still there could be a fund (Ponta Negra) independent of Paradigm on the 17th floor. There could be – they too would need to employ a Jeffrey Schneider as a marketing agent.
But let’s face it:
Ok – by this point you should at least be open to the possibility that the Vice President’s son and brother employ someone who uses the good Biden name and a stolen client list to market Ponzi schemes.
There is no allegation here that the Bidens are involved. Just that their standard of due diligence is low. Very low.
Now the Biden’s hedge fund hotel contains an assortment of other colourful funds. One of them is a SIPC registered broker dealer who also manages client money. This broker dealer does not list their auditor anywhere on their website. However they report startlingly good funds management results for 2006 and 2007 though they have surprisingly failed to update their website to include 2008 results. Their website boasts that their trades will be completed with zero commissions and transaction charges allowing them to focus exclusively on the investments that best meet the needs of the clients without the concern of transaction charges and hidden revenue sharing…
Here’s what Dow Jones says about Rusciano:
According to the complaint, Rusciano previously worked at UBS Securities before forming the Ponta Negra Group, but was later forced to resign after he allegedly misreported certain Brazilian bond transactions and non-deliverable forwards. He now also faces charges by the Federal Reserve that he engaged in illegal trading and banking practices and schemed to defraud UBS by trying to conceal major losses, the complaint said. After starting up his own company, the SEC further claims he never disclosed the Fed’s allegations against him or the reasons why he left UBS.
Not only did Hempton break the news on what he originally called a “Ponzi scheme” before having to take it down under legal threat, he’s put together this Biden family connection.
Just outstanding work.
It wouldn’t be the first time a fraud has been cracked by a blogger before the big media and regulators lumber around to it. Alex Dalmady broke the Stanford scandal, with a big push from Felix Salmon, then at Portfolio—and got disgracefully little credit by the media.
This is going to be a big story. I’ll be eyeballing the press closely to see how it handles attributing the news to the Bronte Capital blog.
(h/t Felix Salmon)

Did President Obama's auto czar Steven Rattner's former firm Quadrangle Group "intentionally deceive" the city of New York's pension funds when it failed to disclose paying a finder's fee to now-indicted political advisor' Hank Morris for a New York Pensioin Funds' investment in Rattner's firm's hedge fund? The New York City's comptroller's office is conducting an investigation. The suspense continues.

Democratic Representative from California, Jane Harman, denied any wrongdoing when she was wiretapped having as she said, "casual conversations and kid[ding]around" with pro-Israel lobbyists about seeking leniency for two of them being investigated for espionage by trying to influence the Bush administration. And apparently she was trying to convince Queen Nancy Pelosi to put her on the House intelligence committee, whatever. Change as usual.


News Alert
from The Wall Street Journal

Steven Rattner, leader of the auto task force, was one of the investment-firm executives involved with payments now under scrutiny in a state and federal probe into an alleged kickback scheme at New York state's pension fund.

3/12/2009 Chris Dodd, Chair Senate Banking Committee. Received two preferential-rate mortgages from Angelo R. Mozilo, founder of Countrywide Financial Corporation in 2003. In addition, he -- like President Obama -- entered into a real estate transaction, in Dodd's case a 10-acre estate on the island of Inishnee on Galway Bay off the Ireland Coast, County Galway, purchased with a shady "investor" who sold his share back to Dodd at a low-call price, thus increasing Dodd's net worth by potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars. Along with them was Edward Downe, Jr. a convicted insider trader for whom Dodd got then-president Clinton to grant a pardon. It is possible that Sen. Dodd lied on his Senatorial disclosure documents about this transaction.

From some blog today, March 19, 2009:
White House Calls Vivek Kundra's 1997 Theft Conviction 'Youthful Indiscretion'Eric Krangel, Silicon Valley Insider
Should a crime committed 12 years ago stick with you forever? That's the question being asked of America's CIO Vivek Kundra. Earlier this week, it surfaced Vivek pled guilty to a charge of misdemeanor theft (less than $300) back in 1997, when he was 22. Nick Shapiro, White House spokesman, weighs in: "Twenty years ago, Vivek committed a youthful indiscretion. He performed community service and we are satisfied that he fully resolved the matter." (1997 was twenty years ago?) There's also an ongoing FBI investigation into bribery and kickbacks at Vivek's old office. "Mr. Kundra has been informed that he is neither a subject nor a target of the investigation," the White House says. Still no word on just what it is Vivek stole.

It is reported (The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2009, page A14, "Congress's Own Liechtenstein") that Democrat, Representative Pete Stark, from California has been claiming --illegally -- that he lives in Maryland to beat the punitive taxes in his home dacha, California. He, along with fellow Congressperson, Democrat from New York (another Soviet colony) Eliot Engel, has been told nada, you can't do that, Comrade Mr. Congressman.

A fund of hedge funds managed by the brother and son of the Vice President of the United States, Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. , was marketed exclusively by disgraced and accused Texas "financier" (crook?) R. Allen Stanford. It is alleged by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he engaged in an $8 billion fraud. The fund, co-branded by Stanford Financial Group and the Bidens' Paradign Global Advisors LLC was Paradigm Stanford Capital Management Core Alternative Fund and had $50 million, including $2.7 million of Stanford cash for seed money. Little Biden son, Hunter, wanted to be a hedge fund operator like the big boys and apparently bought Paradigm with Uncle James -- Joe Biden's brother. Apparently Joe didn't want HuntHunt to be a lobbyist, which he was, when Daddy ran for President, which he laughingly did. Even John Edwards beat him. And with respect to its purchase the Bidens are suing some guy named Anthony Lotito Jr. who sounds like an Italian. Can't say it's illegal, but did those 104 investors ($49.8 million) want something from VP or Senator Honest Joe? Also can't say if HuntHunt or Uncle Jim knew anything about hedging or investing. The hugely successful asbestos litigation firm, SimmonsCooper invested put up $2,000,000 for Hunter and Uncle Jim after teaming with another Joe son, Beau Biden's firm in Wilmington, Del.In 2005, SimmonsCooper shifted its focus away from Madison County, Illinois, after Chief Judge Edward Ferguson transferred the mammoth asbestos docket from Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack. The firm targeted Delaware because many businesses incorporate there and the firm's roster of defendants always includes Delaware corporations.No one at SimmonsCooper held a Delaware law license, so Beau Biden's firm filed the suits and SimmonsCooper identified itself as, "of counsel."Beau Biden dropped an asbestos defense client to accommodate SimmonsCooper.At the same time, Joe Biden resisted asbestos litigation reform in the Senate judiciary committee. HuntHunt and Uncle Jim reportedly bought Paradigm from a drug addict with a partner who specialized in providing ACCESS to public employee retirement funds for money managers and apparently had been engaged in touting a number of penny stock "investments". In addition there were rumors of "side deals", kickbacks and representation by a lawyer heading to prison for fraud. All this is too sick for me to continue. He is our vice (so to speak) president, anyone interested in this crap can Google it all.

And speaking of ..."Texas Businesman Sought for Influence in Corridors of Capitol. (The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, February 18, 2009, page A13) and the next article down. "SEC Charges Financier Stanford With 'Massive' $8 Billion Fraud". Both are about Texas "businessman" R. Allen Stanford, of the Biden article above, and how 1) he stole and 2) contributed greatly to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D. N.Y.), iand $250,000 to the Democratic Party, among other Democratic coffers. His main lobbiest is Ben Barnes, "influential Democratic lobbyist and fund-raiser, Men Barnnes to whom he paid $1,125,000 lobbying for Stanford Financial Group. Stanford is also fighting the IRS over $70,000,000 in back taxes and interest.

"FBI investigates generous donor to Dicks, Murray" (Seattle Times, March 23, 2009, front page http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2008906547_pma23.html ). Seems the PMA Group, Arlington, VA, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to mostly Democratic members of the Appropriations Committees in exchange said politicians earmarked millions of dollars to PMA clients. These Democrats have killed any effort -- so widely advertized while they and President Obama were running for office -- to rein in such extortion. Hopefully the FBI -- under Obama's Justice Department -- will be allowed to really investigate and also hopefully it won't all be swept under the table by these dirty politicians donating "questionable donations" to charity. And from another blog, March 30, 2009:
Criminal Inquiry Into Murtha Lobbyist Heats Up
Monday, March 30, 2009 2:28 PMBy: Rick Pedraza
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The PMA Group, a lobbying firm that was raided in November as part of a federal criminal probe into embattled Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., has closed up shop after reports that federal prosecutors recently raided the office and home of its top operative Paul Magliocchetti, the New York Times reports.
Magliocchetti, who is under investigation for making campaign donations in the names of other people, reportedly directed tens of millions of dollars in contributions to lawmakers while steering hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarked contracts back to his clients at PMA.
Murtha earmarked millions of dollars for the Electro-Optics Center at Penn State University, which then rerouted the money to clients of PMA Group, a military-oriented lobbying firm that has close ties with Murtha, Politico reports.
Former PMA staff members familiar with the inquiry tell The Times that prosecutors are focusing on the possibility that Magliocchetti used straw campaign contributors to give large sums in coordination with PMA, whose offices were raided by the FBI in November.
The front, which allegedly funneled illegal donations to friendly lawmakers, carries a felony charge that could result in a minimum sentence of five years.
Prosecutors also are looking into whether violations of longstanding Congressional ethics rules occurred, which could lead to more serious bribery charges if linked to official acts by Murtha.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Murtha has collected $2.37 million in campaign contributions from PMA lobbyists, the Associated Press reports.
“All the combustibles are here for a very salacious set of allegations that could go far beyond his campaign finance problems,” Stanley Brand, a Washington criminal defense lawyer, tells The Times.
Murtha, who is head of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, was involved nearly three decades ago in the Abscam corruption probe, a federal investigation that convicted several lawmakers of taking bribes in return for doing business with the government.
A spokesman for Murtha says the lawmaker had done nothing wrong and is not involved in the investigation. The FBI is continuing its investigation into whether Murtha earmarked special-interest spending provisions in return for campaign contributions.
“We have not been contacted by any federal agency,” Murtha spokesman Matt Mazonkey tells Newsmax, “and no one is suggesting that Congressman Murtha has anything to do with this investigation.”

"Acting Director of OTS (Office of Thrift Supervision) Put on Leave Amid Probe (From the Wall Street Journal March 27, 2009 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123812215116454401.html )
This was backdating a capital infusion into IndyMac Bankcorp a bank which arguably a letter by Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat) put into failure. This same bank is being bought by investor including Uber Democrat George Soros. Hmmmmmm.

April Fools Day, 2009: "Cabinet pick has tax trouble" (Seattle Times page A4) Another Obama cabinet selection, this time Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, made "errors" on tax returns, this time for fudging charatable contributions, the sale of a home and business expenses. Only $8,000 and "unintentional".

Is the NY Times (or Seattle Times, for that matter) railing about Democrat corruption yet?


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