WASHINGTON, DC, June 20, 2005 -- Two criminal investigations based in New York
are getting close to exposing a major Bush family and associates' international
money laundering operation that has spanned more than a generation and has been
used to illegally fund U.S. elections since the Nixon era. According to CIA sources,
most Bush family assets are tied up in off-shore accounts that are masked from
investigators through the use of pass through companies and secretive interlocking
The investigations of the secret Bush money tranches are coming to the fore as
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer focuses in on the scandal involving Maurice
"Hank" Greenberg and the inflation of the worth of American Insurance
Group (AIG) through shady affiliates, including AIG reinsurer Coral Re of Barbados.
Greenberg was the CEO of AIG but was forced to step down amid the Spitzer probe.
AIG was founded from Asia Life/CV Starr, a Shanghai-based international import/export
and insurance firm founded in 1919 by Cornelius V. Starr, an Office of Strategic
Services (OSS) operative in Southeast Asia during World War II. AIG's largest
shareholder is Starr International Company (SICO), an off-shore corporation incorporated
in Panama with headquarters in Bermuda. Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel
who prosecuted President Clinton, is the nephew of Cornelius Starr. Greenberg
inherited the CEO job and Chairmanship from Starr as well as the $3.5 billion
Another probe by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau is focused on
long-time Bush backers Sam and Charles Wyly of Texas and a Bank of America off-shore
account in the Isle of Man. According to intelligence sources, that probe is
getting very close to an Isle of Man multi-billion dollar account controlled
by the Bushes through an off-shore contrivance known as Five Star Trust.
Charles Wyly serves on the board of the University of Texas Investment Management
Company (UTIMCO). Critics have charged that hundreds of millions of dollars
of UTIMCO's $11 billion in public funds have been steered to investment funds
run by Bush family friends and supporters. A number of UTIMCO's past and current
directors are members of George W. Bush's "$100,000 Club." These include,
in addition to Wyly, former UTIMCO chairman Tom Hicks, a vice chairman of Clear
Channel and head of Muse, Tate & Furst, Inc.; L. Lowry Mays, the chairman
of Clear Channel; former Texas Representative and current lobbyist Tom Loeffler
(who received illegal laundered campaign contributions from the failed Vernon
Savings & Loan); A. W. Riter, a former chairman of NCNB Bank in Tyler, Texas;
A. R. "Tony" Sanchez, Chairman of Sanchez-O'Brien Oil & Gas, owner
of the Texas border-based International Bank of Commerce and the failed Tesoro
Savings & Loan; and Woody Hunt, Chairman of Hunt Building Company. Some
of UTIMCO's investments were directed to firms with close ties to Bush "Pioneer"
contributors Lee Bass (Bass Brothers Enterprises), Henry Kravis (Kohlberg Kravis
Roberts), and Charles Wyly (Maverick Capital Fund), as well as George W. and
H.W. Bush (The Carlyle Partners II Fund, managed by The Carlyle Group).
Questions have been raised about the sudden resignation of Hugh McColl, ostensibly
a Democrat, from the Bank of America in 2001 just after George W. Bush's election.
McColl's departure was reportedly a year earlier than originally planned. McColl
contributed $104,000 to Bush in the 2000 campaign and gave a mere pittance to
Al Gore. Earlier, in 1983, McColl became head of NCNB Bank, which became Nations
Bank in 1991. In 1988, NCNB had acquired the failed First Republic Bank of Dallas
and, according to intelligence insiders, assumed responsibility for a number
of questionable Bush family business deals.
Texas money laundering is the tip of an Bush family financial iceberg that
extends below the surface to shady financial deals around the globe. However,
investigators who dare venture into Texas will have their jobs cut out for them.
The Bushes have been major recipients of campaign cash from senior partners
the largest law firms in Texas -- Vinson & Elkins, Baker Botts (law firm
of James Baker III), Andrews Kurth (the law firm of contentious U.S. District
Judge Priscilla Owen), Jenkins & Gilchrist, Haynes Boone and Bracewell &
Patterson -- that have also been involved in defending those Texas companies
and principals who have benefited from massive illegal financial flows.
For example, Andrews Kurth was the law firm for MAXXAM. The firm figured prominently
in the failure of the United Savings Association of Texas in December 1988,
a savings & loan owned by United Financial Group, Inc., a company in which
two firms connected to Texas banker Charles Hurwitz -- Federated Development
Company and MAXXAM Group Inc. -- had a significant interest. MAXXAM was an artifice
financed with junk bonds from the failed Drexel Burnham Lambert investment firm
and its chief junk bond master Michael Milken. The U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision
and the Treasury Department brought charges against Hurwitz and his colleagues
for several violations of the law. The late House Banking Chairman Henry Gonzalez
attempted unsuccessfully to have George H. W. Bush impeached for the massive
S&L, BCCI, and other rip offs of the American taxpayers, investors and depositors.
Gonzalez realized that the Bush family has concocted a series of financial tranches,
off-shore shells, and artifices to conceal criminality unseen in the history
of modern financial systems.
The Bank of America-Wyly investigation by Morgenthau, who prosecuted a number
of BCCI principals, is noteworthy because of the Isle of Man connection. According
to Enron insiders, the same Houston-based attorney who set up the Five Star
Trust for the Bushes in the Isle of Man also set up Isle of Man trusts for Enron
and the trusts often co-mingled funds and funding sources. The most important
bit of intelligence to come forward from seasoned CIA financial operatives,
speaking on a strict condition of anonymity, is that Osama bin Laden has had
an interest in some of the same Isle of Man trusts used by the Bushes and Enron.
Spitzer's investgation of AIG is starting to dovetail with that of Morgenthau.
One focus of the investigation is on some questionable Enron "cash flow"
notes payable to Citicorp and J. P. Morgan Chase and purchased in May 2001 by
AIG and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. On August 21, 2001,
just a few weeks before the 911 attacks, a UBS Warburg/Paine Webber broker named
Chung Wu advised his investors to sell their Enron stock, whereafter UBS quickly
fired the broker. In an email Wu advised customers, “Financial situation
is deteriorating in Enron and price drops another $7.00…I would advise
you to take some money off the table even at this point.” The House Committee
on Government Reform investigated the sacking of Wu and his warning but little
came from the GOP-run committee. In December 2001, Enron filed for bankruptcy
in New York City, not in Houston, where its headquarters was located. The New
York bankruptcy court appointed Steven Cooper of Zolfo-Cooper LLC to run Enron.
After Enron's bankruptcy, UBS Warburg conveniently purchased Enron’s
energy trading unit, the group that was the subject of much of the investigations
directed against the defunct firm, especially the role of the trading unit in
inflating energy costs in California and ensuring the recall of Democratic Governor
Gray Davis and replacement by the GOP's Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The deal involving Cooper's assumption of control of Enron raised eyebrows
among regulators, chiefly because Cooper's Catalyst Equity Partner's Fund included
Citicorp and J.P. Morgan Chase, two of Enron's major creditors. Financial investigators
report that the Enron notes to Citicorp and Chase and sold to AIG and MacArthur
were unusual, out of the ordinary, and "lacked teeth." A former U.S.
Justice Department prosecutor referred to such financial instruments as "feints"
designed to mask illegal transactions by keeping them off the books and away
from the eyes of U.S. government regulators. In September 2002, Kroll Inc.,
a shadowy firm with ties to the U.S. intelligence community, acquired Zolfo-Cooper
and Cooper was named managing director of Kroll Zolfo Cooper. In May 2004, Marsh
& McLennan acquired Kroll and Zolfo Cooper. Jeffrey Greenberg, the son of
AIG's Hank Greenberg, had earlier left AIG to run Marsh & McLennan. The
revolving doors and musical chairs involving Enron, Kroll, Zolfo-Cooper, Marsh
& McLennan, and AIG became the subject of Spitzer's probes. Another insurance
firm investigated by Spitzer for price fixing of property casualty insurance
coverage and conspiracy was ACE, headed by Hank Greenberg's other son, Evan.
In October 2004, Jeffrey Greenberg quickly stepped down from Marsh & McLennan
amid Spitzer's investigation.
Hank Greenberg has had a long time relationship with Henry Kissinger, the partner
of Richard Perle in Trireme Partners, the firm that, according to Seymour Hersh,
attempted to negotiate deals with Saudi Arabia using Saudi billionaire arms
dealer Adnan Khashoggi as an intermediary. Greenberg and Khashoggi, according
to CIA sources, have long had an interest in exploiting the oil and natural
gas reserves of Uzbekistan and the construction of pipelines across the Uralskaya
region of Russia. Uzbekistan has also featured prominently in oil and natural
gas plans of Enron and UNOCAL. According to Enron insiders, on Saturday, September
7, 1996, 42 representatives of Enron and UNOCAL met in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital,
with Khashoggi, Taliban representatives, and Uzbek government officials. The
subject was the CentGas pipeline through Afghanistan to Pakistan, a project
that involved UNOCAL, Enron, and Saudi support. Current Afghan President Hamid
Karzai was a consultant on the pipeline for UNOCAL. Prior to the Tashkent oil
summit, on June 23, 1996, a $10 billion wire transfer was made from Cyprus,
via Barclays Bank in London, to Enron in Houston. Cyprus is a major banking
center for illicit activity. The Tashkent meeting was followed by a spring 1997
meeting between Enron, UNOCAL, and Taliban representatives at the posh Houstonian
Hotel in Houston.
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