Posted Jul 12, 2013 by Martin Armstrong
Perhaps the number one question I always get about the ordeal I went through and the sheer chaos that surrounded everything, was just who really was behind the plot to blackmail the former head of Russia Boris Yeltsin to stop him from running for reelection in 2000 and hand-pick Boris Abramovich Berezovsky? It is true I even had a meeting with the US Attorney Office on the subject when they realized that Republic National Bank and Edmond Safra had set up even Bank of New York as the center piece in the plot. As the players that surrounded me have mysteriously died, hanged themselves, been imprisoned, released, just saying they were denied a fair trial without explanation as with the nurse that supposedly killed Safra, this wild plot is still the classic who-done-it that may not be solved until someone gets the secret files tucked away on this one.
Bereszovsky, who fled to Britain obtaining political asylum, suddenly hangs himself. Then there is the lawyer/accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who represented Safra’s Hermitage Capital Management mysteriously dies in prison awaiting trial and then is given a posthumous trial and found guilty. While he was portrayed in the West as a whistle-blower, don’t forget so was Safra against Bank of New York. This then led Congress to strangely pass the Magnitsky Act to A bill to impose sanctions on persons responsible for the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky, for the conspiracy to defraud the Russian Federation of taxes on corporate profits through fraudulent transactions and lawsuits against Hermitage. This is curiously strange for a foreign act to prompt Congress to pass a law in the USA. We cannot leave out Edmond Safra’s own mysterious murder in Monaco (Death in Monaco) that took the fire company hours to reach being just 10 minutes away while his more than 20 bodyguards were all given the night off and reported bullets in his body with his nurse saying Russians dressed as ninjas showed up.
What I do know is there appears to have been a plot to take over Russia and that came from sources directly in Russia at the time. My case began September 13th, 1999 and Safra was killed December 3rd. Within a week the government moved to put me in contempt and stop my request for a Speedy Trial. It came out in court that bullets were left in my mailbox to warn me to shut up. But I was in the public spot light so they created a contempt and through me in to suspend everything.
Safra was linked with Boris Abramovich Berezovsky and allegedly Vladimir Aleksandrovich Gusinsky, the media tycoon. As the plot was laid out by Russian sources, Yeltsin was convinced to take $7 billion from the IMF funds to refurbish the Kremlin – a staggering amount of money. The funds were wired to a largely unknown company in Switzerland. The wire was steered through Bank of New York and as soon as it was made, Safra had his bank run to the Feds and report that Bank of New York had just conducted a money laundering event. The Feds ran in wide-eyed and of course announced their action to the world before thoroughly investigating the allegations of Safra. I had a personal meeting with Dov Schlien president of Republic National Bank in March 1999 where he asked me to invest $10 billion offering a letter of credit guarantee. I sent an email to Tokyo explaining the offer to our office there.
It was at this time that THE CONSPIRATORS threatened Yeltsin with exposure of his theft of $7 billion on the world stage. The demand was to appoint Berezovsky as the new President of Russia and for Yeltsin to step down and not run in 2000. Yeltsin, realizing he was set up, turned to Putin who nobody had heard of. As the story goes, Putin promised to take care of everything if Yeltsin appointed him instead, Yeltsin resigned on December 31, 1999, after Safra was killed on December 3rd in Monaco. The Presidential elections were held in Russia on the 26th of March 2000 formally electing Putin.
Berezovsky and Gusinsky fled Russia with their assets confiscated with the former gaining political asylum in Britain and the latter taking off to Israel. I even had a meeting with the Assistant US Attorney in NY in April 2000 about this mess because they ran into huge problems with the whole Bank of New York alleged $7 billion Money Laundering. They could not get any cooperation from the Russian government.
It was Edmond Safra’s Republic National Bank then ran to the US Government in August 1999 and informed them that the Bank of New York had just wired $7 billion to Switzerland in a money laundering scam. The US authorities ran in immediately. The wire was sent to Mabetex, which was the Swiss based company ran by Kosovo/Swiss entrepreneur Behgjet Pacolli who claimed to have the contract to refurbish the Kremlin. He became President of Kosovo in 2011. The Bank of New York broker Lucy Edwards pleaded guilty but did no jail time because she “cooperated” with the government. At her sentencing, the Judge simply asked who was the $7 billion money laundering for? She replied it was a “ransom” for a Russian businessman. The Judge did not bother to even ask any names. The classic cover-up as if anyone would ever pay $7 billion ransom.
The Hermitage Capital Management Fund, which Bill Browder started in 1996 with the late billionaire Edmond Safra, was the largest foreign owner of Russian shares. While everyone has portrayed this as some strange personal attack by Vladimir Putin to destroy the company, there is just so much more hidden behind the curtain that one day it will make the basis for a plot in a James Bond movie. Putin, unlike most politicians, is renowned for being very smart and an extremely rare type personality that is well suited for a head of state unlike most leaders in the West.
Edmond Safra was strangely murdered by what appeared to be a Russian hit squad on December 3rd, 1999, which was interesting exposed by Dominick Dunne of Vanity Fair, with whom I spoke regularly about his investigation Death in Monaco. Dunne opened his piece:
Within days of this event, the government decided to stop my trial. They moved to hold me in contempt, conducted a secret closed court session throwing the press out, which is illegal, and altered transcripts of court proceedings. They asked for a meeting in April 2000. They admitted they realized I stole nothing for just how does one take a billion out of a bank and nobody knows where it is? Do you show up with a brown paper bag for what amounts to a 747 full of cash? That is 10 million $100 bills. Even the allegation was stupid. That kind of money could only be wired, which can be traced. They admitted to my face they did not want to go to a public trial. They realized I bought portfolios and was NOT managing money. Yet the United States government as a matter of policy will NEVER admit it is ever wrong publicly. So how can we ever believe them when they say they are always right?
Then there is the whole strange affair of Monaco charging Safra’s nurse for his murder and giving him a mock trial throwing him in prison for more than 6 years until the Supreme Court ordered him released simply saying he never received a fair trial leaving forever the identity of the intruders dressed like black Ninjas unknown or explaining how all his bodyguards were given the night off.
Then in Russia during 2005, Safra’s partner Browder was barred from the country without explanation, triggering years of legal conflict. Finally in 2009, the lawyer representing Hermitage Sergei Magnitsky died while he was in pretrial detention in Moscow, who has now been found guilty of tax fraud posthumously.
HSBC shut down Hermitage Capital after Browder was sued for Libel in London. Most articles have painted Hermitage as a victim of Putin in Russian corruption. Many have begun to ask questions since the NSA exposure, was Safra involved with the NSA or CIA to take over Russia? What about the Boris Abramovich Berezovsky murder? He suddenly hung himself? The whole Safra & CIA connection I am not sure about. That was the story since the CIA was reportedly using his private jet in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Then 30 days later on August 27th, Edmond Safra did it again. I spoke to George Wendler, asking where was the missing money and he said he was just the messenger. There was only one person higher – Edmond Safra. I said tell Edmond I would fly to Geneva that weekend. Wendler replied, that Edmond left for Monaco for “security reasons” so he obviously had received threats shortly after turning in Bank of New York. Wendler remained with HSBC and was later dealing with the notorious Rabbi Ponzi Scheme in New Jersey in which he is mentioned- The Jersey Sting: A True Story of Crooked Pols, Money-Laundering Rabbis …
That Monday, I went to my lawyers unable to fly to Geneva to confront Edmond personally. My lawyers that day sent an email to Dov Schlien on August 30th informing Republic we would file suit by the end of the week if all missing money was not returned. By Thursday, the FBI was in our offices to protect Republic National Bank.
Again they again used the US Attorney this time claiming they had rogue traders who were illegally trading in the accounts of Princeton Economics and tried to escape any liability claiming I had personally conspired with their rogue traders to hide those trading losses from my clients in Japan. Of course, the US Attorney, Mary Jo White, now head of the SEC, did not bother to even notice that the accounts at Republic in Philadelphia did not belong to the Japanese and thus the whole hiding losses from myself made no sense.
Russia has reached a settlement with Bank of New York Mellon over a $22.5 billion lawsuit against the bank stemming from a 1990s money laundering scheme by one of its executives, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin admitted.
Edmond Safra had set up a company to invest in Russia, Hermitage Capital Management, and they were soliciting me to invest. I met even with the President of Republic National Bank Dov Schlein who also fled to Israel after Safra was killed. I was asked to bring in $10 billion from Japan to join in the fund. I declined warning that Russia would collapse. Despite the fund’s operating founder William Browder was blacklisted by the Russian government as a “threat to national security” and denied entry to the country after Safra’s death. Hermitage was seized and they attempted to spin this as the fault of the Russian government. Then on November 16, 2009 the legal consultant Sergei Magnitsky for William Browder in Moscow was accused of tax fraud and imprisoned for 11 months, where he then amazingly died in prison. To further cover up this strange story Russian announcement in 2013 that he will be given a mock trial posthumously turned even more heads. The fact he was now found guilty is no surprise.
On the Safra thing, “friends” inside Republic were very pissed off at what they had done to Princeton Economics. When I asked George Wendler about the money, he said he was “just the messenger” meaning there was only Safra on top of him. My “friends” informed me that Safra called the bank each morning into the Metals Desk to ask about gold. He then had them transfer the call to whomever. Because it went through the Metals Desk, the calls were all recorded. They gave me the phone numbers and I turned them over to my lawyer and we issued a subpoena for just those lines. This was just days before Safra’s murder. After that event, the US Attorney office under Mary Jo White came storming in and blocked that discovery of those phone lines that would have no doubt exposed the source of many events.
That is when the bullet was placed in my mailbox. My lawyers got scared. They asked me what the hell was on those lines. I told them I did not know for sure. So I have no idea if Safra and crew were just fronts or were they acting on their own trying to grab the tangible assets of the nation.