U.S. GOVERNMENT GRANTS DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS IN UBS AND HSBC BANK FRAUD CASES
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 20, 2015) — On Thursday, Dr. Jerome Corsi of WND reported that the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has launched an investigation into claims made by a former employee of banking giant HSBC who became a whistleblower concerning illegal activity he alleges bank executives were fully aware of before paying a nearly-$2 billion fine in a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
One of the crafters of the agreement was U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch, who Obama has nominated to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder and Lynch appear to be closely acquainted. Lynch has made remarks about voter identification laws which appear to indicate that she holds similar views on “civil rights” as Holder. While Holder calls blacks “my people,” Lynch called minority children “our children” at an address on apartheid and civil rights. “We understand that discipline is important. We understand that rules are important. But we also know that when we sit and look at schools that have the zero tolerance programs, they are often used, and they take our babies, minority children, black children, Hispanic children, and they put them out of school before they have a chance to learn,” Lynch said at a speech in Long Beach, CA as U.S. Attorney.
On February 1, 2012, Corsi first reported that whistleblower John Cruz had provided 1,000 pages of documentation and audio recordings showing that HSBC knowingly laundered money, through the use of false identities and company names, to avoid paying taxes, supplying it to drug cartels and worldwide terrorist organizations.
In a list of media interviews Lynch provided to the Senate prior to the commencement of her confirmation hearings, a CBS News interview from December 2012 in the wake of the deferred prosecution agreement with HSBC she helped to engineer was not included. CBS, which is generally uncritical of the Obama regime, questioned why criminal prosecutions were waived in HSBC’s case, whose executives admitted during congressional testimony that its oversight practices had been “lax.”
In response to critics of the deferred prosecution agreement, Lynch opined that their view was “short-sighted.” On February 19, 2015, in response to Senate Judiciary Committee questioning on the HSBC agreement, Lynch defended the measure as “perhaps the most stringent ever imposed on a financial institution,” according to The New York Daily News.
Corsi has reported extensively on the HSBC banking scandal since February 2012, including Cruz’s statement that despite his efforts to provide documentation to federal authorities for investigation, Lynch never contacted him. Cruz was quoted as having termed HSBC’s “criminal enterprise” of utilizing fake accounts with stolen identities a “shell game.”
Cruz was fired from his position as an HSBC “relationship manager” based in New York City after asking his superiors to investigate the bogus company names and addresses included in his account management portfolio. After unsuccessfully attempting to gain the attention of The Wall Street Journal and federal authorities, Cruz wrote a book about his experiences entitled “World Banking World Fraud: Using Your Identity.”
Another whistleblower who has come forward regarding similar activity alleged on the part of United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) and other banks, including HSBC, is 2Lt. Scott Bennett, who, like Cruz, was fired from his job as a Terror Finance Analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton, a massive government contractor, in 2010 after exposing the very sources of terrorist funding he had been hired to identify and halt.
Bennett was recruited for Officer Training School for the U.S. Army Reserves in 2009 while working for Booz Allen in the Washington, DC area because of his experience in the field of psychological operations. As explained on the Dr. Laurie Roth Show on Thursday, Bennett was asked to share his knowledge between Booz Allen and the Army Reserve in order to identify terrorists’ sources of funding and save uncounted lives and limbs of U.S. servicemen and women.
When Bennett discovered that money-laundering providing funds to terrorists was occurring through UBS, he reported it to his superiors at Booz Allen and to his military chain of command, who were both surprisingly unresponsive. He later wrote to members of Congress asking to be debriefed and was met with silence, which has continued to this day.
After having relocated to Florida on his special assignment for Booz Allen in early 2010 and following his reports to superiors on UBS, on two occasions he was held up at gunpoint, handcuffed, interrogated and accused of driving while intoxicated, an allegation that Tampa police were forced to admit was unsubstantiated. After returning to Washington but continuing to blow the whistle, he was charged with completing a military housing form inaccurately and wearing a military uniform without authorization.
A federal grand jury indictment press release from January 14, 2011 states that Bennett was not in service to the military at the time of his arrest, which is a false statement. The U.S. Attorney overseeing the indictment has since left his 20-year position to work in the private sector in a company headed by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh.
The prosecutor of Bennett’s “case,” Sara C. Sweeney, appears to remain in her position as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida and was contacted by The Post & Email on February 2 with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documentation concerning Bennett’s arrest and prosecution. The federal law allows 20 working days for the government to respond.
As explained to Roth and other radio show hosts over the last several months, Bennett said he is the first military officer to be charged by the U.S. Justice Department and prosecuted as a civilian. After his conviction on July 23, 2011, he was immediately handcuffed and taken to a federal prison in Pennsylvania by way of Oklahoma.
While housed in the minimum-security “satellite camp” at the Bureau of Prisons facility in Schuylkill, PA, Bennett met Brad Birkenfeld, another bank whistleblower formerly employed by UBS in Switzerland. In May 2007, Birkenfeld testified to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence on his knowledge of tax-evasion schemes and money laundering at UBS, having been promised immunity by the U.S. Justice Department. However, he was nevertheless prosecuted for allegedly having omitted information about one of his high-profile clients, Igor Olenicoff, an allegation Birkenfeld contested.
On August 21, 2009, Birkenfeld was sentenced to 40 months in prison for his role in assisting U.S. UBS account-holders to avoid paying taxes. He served 30 months the “enhanced” sentence handed down by Judge William J. Zloch, which was more than the prosecution had sought. Birkenfeld was the only person to serve time in prison as a result of his revelations.
While the tax evasion portion of Birkenfeld’s testimony became public, the funding of terrorist activity did not. Bennett has told The Post & Email that he acquired the same information on UBS banking practices by different means while employed at Booz Allen and that he and Birkenfeld compared notes while in prison.
Six weeks after Birkenfeld’s release from prison on August 1, 2012, he was paid $104 million by the IRS, the larges whistleblower payout in U.S. history.
Also imprisoned at Schuylkill was former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio, who Bennett believes was wrongly convicted of insider trading after Nacchio refused to acquiesce to the NSA’s request for customer records in 2001.
Business Insider stated that Nacchio’s claim that “the government stopped offering the company lucrative contracts after Qwest refused to cooperate with a National Security Agency surveillance program in February 2001” “gained new relevance” in light of the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in June 2013.
Bennett claims a connection to Snowden which hesaid The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald chose not to report when Snowden went public about NSA spying. Bennett states on his website that the late journalist Michael Hastings “began investigating my reports and materials in relation to the Edward Snowden and Brad Birkenfeld connections (CIA-NSA-Swiss Banks-Booz Allen Hamilton-Terrorist Finance)” when his car appeared to explode in Los Angeles on June 19, 2013. The 33-year-old husband and father or two young children had recently sent a message to his associates at BuzzFeed that he was going “off the rada[r] for a bit … hope to see you all soon.”
Hastings had reportedly claimed to Wikileaks that the FBI was surveilling him, a claim the FBI denied after Hastings’ untimely death. Hastings had also vociferously opposed what he saw as a chilling effect on freedom of the press under the Obama regime.
Beginning last Friday, mainstream media have reported that Birkenfeld was subpoenaed to testify in France resulting from a criminal probe there against UBS involving money-laundering and tax evasion. Zloch granted Birkenfeld permission to leave the U.S. to appear but denied his request for an accelerated termination of his parole, which ends on November 28.
Some information on Swiss banks has been provided by whistleblower Rudolf Elmer to Wikileaks, which was operated by Australian Julian Assange and also received reams of classified military documents from Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.
As in the case of HSBC, UBS was granted a deferred prosecution agreement by the U.S. Department of Justice resulting from Birkenfeld’s testimony, which levied a $780 million fine instead of criminal prosecutions.
On Friday evening, Bennett will be host Erik Rush’s guest on the WheresObamasBirthCertificate radio show beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST to speak about his experiences as a whistleblower who remains committed to his pledge to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which to him, includes exposing the threats to the men and women in uniform he pledged to serve as a U.S. Army Reserve officer.
Like Cruz, Bennett calls the cover-up on the part of the U.S. government, the military, Booz Allen Hamilton and the media of UBS and other bank fraud a “shell game” and has written five books on the subject.
According to Corsi, Lynch’s confirmation has been delayed until the Senate Judiciary Committee completes its investigation of Cruz’s claims. On February 12, CBS reported that Chairman Charles Grassley said “that Lynch has yet to provide sufficient written responses to the questions he has for her” without mentioning an investigation or HSBC.