“US whistleblower Edward Snowden ‘will fight extradition'”

June 12, 2013

BBC on June 12, 2013 released the following:

“Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA employee who leaked secret US surveillance details, has vowed to fight any attempt to extradite him from Hong Kong.

Mr Snowden told the South China Morning Post that he was “neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American”.

It is the first interview he has given since disappearing from his hotel room in Hong Kong on Monday.

His leaks led to revelations that the US is systematically seizing vast amounts of phone and web data.

Mr Snowden left Hawaii for Hong Kong shortly before the highly sensitive leaks surfaced.

“I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Mr Snowden told the Post.

“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate.”

Prism

US officials have confirmed the existence of a secret programme to draw data from the internet, codenamed Prism.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence gave details of the programme last week, after Mr Snowden’s leaks led to a series of articles in the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.

According to the office’s statement, Prism is simply an internal computer system, and not a data-mining programme.

However, such data seizures could break the laws of other countries, and could also break US law if they accidentally capture communications of American citizens.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


“Confessed NSA Leaker Holed Up In Hong Kong Hotel”

June 10, 2013

NPR on June 10, 2013 released the following:

Confessed NSA Leaker Holed Up In Hong Kong Hotel

by Frank Langfitt”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


“NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Seeks Asylum”

June 10, 2013

The Fiscal Times on June 9, 2013 released the following:

“By BARTON GELLMAN and AARON BLAKE, The Washington Post

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former undercover CIA employee, unmasked himself Sunday as the principal source of recent Washington Post and Guardian disclosures about top-secret National Security Agency programs.

Snowden, who has contracted for the NSA and works for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, denounced what he described as systematic surveillance of innocent citizens and said in an interview that “it’s important to send a message to government that people will not be intimidated.”

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said Saturday that the NSA had initiated a Justice Department investigation into who leaked the information — an investigation supported by intelligence officials in Congress.

Snowden, whose full name is Edward Joseph Snowden, said he understands the risks of disclosing the information but felt it was important to do. “I’m not going to hide,” Snowden told The Post from Hong Kong, where he has been staying. The Guardian was the first to publicly identify Snowden, at his request. “Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”

Asked whether he believed his disclosures would change anything, he said: “I think they already have. Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.”

Snowden said nobody was aware of his actions, including those closest to him. He said there wasn’t a single event that spurred his decision to leak the information. “It was more of a slow realization that presidents could openly lie to secure the office and then break public promises without consequence,” he said.

Snowden said President Obama hasn’t lived up to his pledges of transparency. He blamed a lack of accountability in the Bush administration for continued abuses. “It set an example that when powerful figures are suspected of wrongdoing, releasing them from the accountability of law is ‘for our own good,’” Snowden said. “That’s corrosive to the basic fairness of society.” The White House did not respond to multiple e-mails seeking comment and spokesman Josh Earnest, who was traveling with the president, said the White House would have no comment Sunday.

A brief statement from a spokesperson for Clapper’s office referred media to the Justice Department for comment and said the intelligence community was “reviewing the damage” that had been done by the leaks. “Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law,” the statement said.

Snowden also expressed hope that the NSA surveillance programs would now be open to legal challenge for the first time. Earlier this year, in Amnesty International v. Clapper, the Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit against the mass collection of phone records because the plaintiffs could not prove exactly what the program did or that they were personally subject to surveillance.

“The government can’t reasonably assert the state secrets privilege for a program it has acknowledged. The courts can now allow challenges to be heard on that basis,” Snowden said.

Snowden said he is seeking “asylum from any countries that believe in free speech and oppose the victimization of global privacy,” but the law appears to provide for his extradition from Hong Kong to the United States. Hong Kong is a semiautonomous territory of China, but while the United States doesn’t have an extradition agreement with China, it has had one with Hong Kong since 1998.

This means that the U.S. government could indict Snowden and seek to bring him back to American soil.

Such proceedings can take months and even years, but extradition expert Douglas McNabb said Snowden has not put himself in a favorable position. “The fact that he outed himself and basically said, from what I understand he has said, ‘I feel very comfortable with what I have done,’that’s not going to help him in his extradition contest,” McNabb said. “I am very surprised by the way that he’s handled it.”

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said the revelation of Snowden’s role in the leaks would lead to a sweeping re-examination of security measures at the CIA and NSA, and described his apparent decision to come forward as a stunning conclusion to a week of disclosures that had already rattled the intelligence community. “This is significant on a number of fronts: the scope, the range. It’s major, it’s major,” said John Rizzo, former general counsel of the CIA, who worked at the agency for decades. “And then to have him out himself… I can’t think of any previous leak case involving a CIA officer where the officer raised his hand and said, ‘I’m the guy.’”

A half-dozen former intelligence officials, including one who now works at Booz Allen Hamilton, said they did not know Snowden or anything about his background. Still, several former officials said that he easily could have been part of a surge in the number of computer experts and technical hires brought in by the agency in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as its budget and mission swelled. “Like a lot of things after 9/11, they just went on a hiring binge and in the technical arena young smart nerds were in high demand,” a former U.S. intelligence official said. “There were battalions of them.”

Officials said that the CIA and other spy agencies did not relax their screening measures as the workforce expanded. Still, several officials said that the agency would undoubtedly now begin reviewing the process by which Snowden was hired, seeking to determine whether there were any missed signs that he might one day betray national secrets. More broadly, the CIA and NSA may be forced to reexamine their relationships with contractors, who were employed in roles ranging from technical support to paramilitary operations before concerns about the outsourcing of such sensitive assignments prompted a backlash in Congress and pledges from the agencies to begin thinning their contracting ranks.

Some former CIA officials said they were troubled by aspects of Snowden’s background, at least as he described it in his comments to the Guardian. Snowden said he did not even have a high school degree. One former CIA official said it was extremely unusual for the agency to have hired someone with such thin academic credentials, particularly for a technical job, and that the terms Snowden used to describe his agency positions didn’t match internal job descriptions.

Snowden’s claim to have been placed under diplomatic cover for a position in Switzerland after an apparently brief stint at the CIA as a systems administrator also raised suspicions. “I just have never heard of anyone being hired with so little academic credentials,” the former CIA official said. The agency does employ technical specialists in overseas stations, the former official said, “but their breadth of experience is huge and they tend not to start out as systems administrators.”

Snowden’s name surfaced as top intelligence officials in the Obama administration and Congress pushed back against the journalists responsible for revealing the existence of sensitive surveillance programs and called for an investigation into the leaks. The Guardian initially reported the existence of a program that collects data on all phone calls made on the Verizon network. Later in the week, the Guardian and The Post reported the existence of a separate program, code-named PRISM, that collects the Internet data of foreigners from major Internet companies.

Clapper, in an interview with NBC that aired Saturday night, condemned the leaker’s actions but also sought to spotlight the media who first reported the programs, calling their disclosures irresponsible and full of “hyperbole.” Earlier Saturday, he had issued a statement accusing the media of a “rush to publish.”

“For me, it is literally — not figuratively — literally gut-wrenching to see this happen because of the huge, grave damage it does to our intelligence capabilities,” Clapper said.

On Sunday morning, prior to Snowden’s unmasking, Clapper got some backup from the chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees, who appeared jointly on ABC’s “This Week” to espouse the values of the programs. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) had harsh words for the then-unnamed leaker and for the journalist who first reported the NSA’s collection of phone records, The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald.

“[Greenwald] doesn’t have a clue how this thing works; nether did the person who released just enough information to literally be dangerous,” Rogers said, adding, “I absolutely think [the leaker] should be prosecuted.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) agreed that whoever had leaked the information should be prosecuted, and she sought to beat back media reports that suggest the Obama administration overplayed the impact of the programs. Greenwald, who appeared earlier on the same show, said the secrecy is the reason the programs must be laid bare. After opponents of the programs questioned their value last week, anonymous administration officials pointed to the thwarting of a bomb plot targeting the New York City subway system in 2009. Soon after, though, reporters noted that public documents suggested regular police work was responsible for thwarting the attack rather than a secret government intelligence program.

Feinstein confirmed that the programs were invaluable in both the New York case and another one involving an American plotting to bomb a hotel in India in 2008. “One of them is the case of David Headley, who went to Mumbai to the Taj [Mahal] Hotel and scoped it out for the terrorist attack,” Feinstein said. “The second is Najibullah Zazi, who lived in Colorado, who made the decision that he was going to blow up a New York subway.”

Feinstein noted that she could talk about those two cases because they have been declassified, but she suggested the surveillance programs also assisted in other terrorism-related cases. That explanation wasn’t enough to satisfy some critics of the programs.

Her Senate Intelligence Committee colleague, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), agreed that the PRISM program has “been very effective.” But he said the collection of Americans’ phone metadata has not proven so. “It’s unclear to me that we’ve developed any intelligence through the metadata program that’s led to the disruption of plots that we couldn’t obtain through other programs,” Udall said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Udall and two Democrats from Oregon — Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley — have emerged as key voices critical of the phone record collection.

Another chief critic of the efforts, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), said he is looking at filing a lawsuit against the government and called on Americans to join in. “I’m going to be asking all the Internet providers and all of the phone companies, ask your customers to join me in a class action lawsuit,” Paul said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then somebody will wake up and say things will change in Washington.”

This article originally appeared in The Washington Post. Greg Miller also contributed to this article.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


An Alleged “Teenage hacker awaits ruling on US extradition”

May 16, 2013

The Herald (heraldscotland.com) on May 16, 2013 released the following:

“A COMPUTER hacking teenager from Shetland will learn today if he is to be extradited to the United States given his core role in a series of damaging cyber attacks on the networks of the NHS, the FBI and major international corporations.

Jake Davis, 18, has admitted he and fellow members of LulzSec stole huge amounts of personal data belonging to hundreds of thousands of people and posted it online for anyone to download.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard yesterday that Davis, along with Ryan Ackroyd, Mustafa Al-Bassam and Ryan Cleary considered themselves “modern day pirates”, who carried out the attacks for entertainment.

All members of the group, which included a schoolboy and an ex-soldier, have pled guilty to carrying out various acts of cyber crime in 2011.

At a pre-sentencing hearing, prosecutor Sandip Patel said the men lacked the political drive of groups like Anonymous, from which they had developed, and seemed to have been doing it for kicks.

He said: “It’s clear from the evidence that they intended to achieve extensive national and international notoriety and publicity. They saw themselves as latter-day pirates.

“This is not about young immature men messing about. They are at the cutting edge of a contemporary and emerging species of criminal offender known as a cyber criminal.”

Smartly dressed Davis, 20, from Lerwick, who used the alias Topiary, smirked in the dock when details of his activities were outlined to the court. He was LulzSec’s main publicist and in charge of media relations.

Both he and Al-Bassam previously pled guilty to hacking and launching cyber attacks on organisations, including the CIA and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Davis’s barrister, Simon Mayo QC, told the court his client had completely turned his life around since being arrested.

Born in Canterbury, Kent, he moved to the Shetlands aged six with his mother to escape his alcoholic father, who later committed suicide. Socially isolated from his early teens, Davis suffered from depression and fell under the spell of a “misguided ideology”, Mr Mayo said.

But since his arrest, he had moved to London via Lincolnshire and found work with several artistic groups, also writing for the Observer about his time with Anonymous.

Carole Cadwalladr, a feature writer with the paper, provided a reference.

Michael Morris MBE, the co-director of art group Artangel, gave a character reference in court.

“In short, Davis has been given an opportunity he was previously denied, an opportunity to transform himself from a depressed 18-year-old in the Shetland Islands into a self-sufficient scriptwriter living in London,” Mr Mayo added, suggesting his client could be given a suspended sentence.

The court heard that the “DDoS” attacks they carried out with other unidentified hackers belonging to online groups such as Anonymous and Internet Feds flooded websites with traffic, making them crash and rendering them unavailable to users.

To do it, they used a remotely controlled network of “zombie” computers, known as a “botnet”, capable of being programmed to perform the attack.

The court heard the codes, written by Cleary, may have been using up to one million computers to carry out attacks via the internet without their owners knowing it.

The group only existed for a matter of months in 2011 before the main members were arrested between June and September, the court heard.

Attacks like those on Sony and Nintendo harvested massive amounts of private data. The Sony leak alone saw it lose details relating to 26.4 million customers, causing its Playstation network to shut down.

Davis was found to have 750,000 separate pieces of sensitive data on his computer after his arrest, and Cleary 10,000.

The hearing continues.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Fraud suspect Kevin Richard Halligen allegedly posed as spy, cheating elites in US, London

June 11, 2012

The Bangor Daily News on June 10, 2012 released the following:

“By Kevin Sullivan, The Washington Post

Some people knew him as Kevin. He told others he was Richard. Everyone could see he had money to burn, and most people thought he was a British spy. But nobody in Washington really knew Kevin Richard Halligen, not even the woman he pretended to marry.

Halligen now sits in a London prison, fighting extradition to the United States, where he faces felony fraud charges stemming from his days of extravagant living in Washington high society.

For about three years, until 2008, Halligen spent hundreds of thousands of dollars living large in Washington. He stayed in a Willard Hotel suite for months at a time and drank the days away at pricey Georgetown restaurants. He traveled everywhere in a chauffeur-driven Lincoln Town Car, set up high-tech offices in Herndon, Va., and bought a grand home in Great Falls, Va.

Smart, charming and favoring black turtlenecks and sunglasses, Halligen told everyone that he was a spy, or a former spy, or connected to spies. He told friends that he was under such deep cover that he took over his fiancee’s place as a “safe house.”

Virtually all of it, it turns out, was fabricated or exaggerated, according to associates who have since investigated his background. But with amazing ease and a perfect British accent, the diminutive Halligen schmoozed his way into Washington’s intelligence elite — Pentagon officials, influential lawyers and lobbyists, former CIA operatives.

And he took their money.

He set up shop as a corporate security consultant, offering his dubious “operational experience” in intelligence to solve delicate problems for customers working in dangerous places.

In a capital with a long history of spies, foreigners with shadowy backgrounds, big talkers and charlatans, Halligen didn’t set off any alarm bells at first, according to former associates. But that changed when they concluded that Halligen was taking money and not doing the work he promised.

The U.S. government obtained an indictment against him in 2009 on criminal charges of bilking a client out of $2.1 million, and judges in the District of Columbia and Virginia have ordered him to pay $6.5 million to former partners who claim he fleeced them.

Halligen, through his London lawyer, declined to comment as he fights extradition to the United States in British courts.

But in dozens of interviews in Washington and London, those who knew Halligen described how he created a trail of creditors, from lawyers to landlords to housekeepers. And they said he left a group of Washington insiders wondering how one charming and audacious hustler managed to seduce them all.

‘I was duped’

Halligen fooled London before he fooled Washington.

“I was duped,” said John Holmes, a retired British Army general who was head of the British military’s special forces.

Holmes said he met Halligen in 2002, when Halligen took an IT job at a private security consulting firm where Holmes was working after his military retirement.

Holmes, in an interview in his London office, said he knew Halligen was never a member of any intelligence service. But he worked on the periphery of that world as an engineer for companies that provided technical support — designing batteries, for example — to the British government and military.

But he was impressed with Halligen’s smarts and entrepreneurial spirit, so he said he helped him start his own firm, Red Defence International. Holmes said that over time he realized that Halligen was grossly exaggerating his background to clients and others and that he had an uncanny ability to keep his stories straight.

“He had an intellect that would instinctively allow him to decide what he would say to people and what he wouldn’t say,” Holmes said.

Other friends said Halligen had a habit of hearing spy stories and then repeating them later as tales of his own bravery. One friend said Halligen loved to show off a metal cigarette lighter with an inscription thanking him for helping in a secret rescue of hostages in Colombia.

“A real spy doesn’t do that,” said the friend, who asked not to be named.

Halligen’s taste for luxury was also getting him into trouble. Scarlett Guess, Halligen’s landlord in London, said Halligen rented three floors of her building for close to $20,000 a month, but paid only sporadically.

At the same time, his corporate bank statements, contained in court records in Washington, show that he was spending tens of thousands of dollars at such places as the five-star Stafford London Hotel and Les Ambassadeurs Club, a private casino where membership costs about $40,000 a year.

But before Holmes noticed the increasing warning signs, he said he backed Halligen’s application to join the Special Forces Club in central London, an exclusive private club for people with links to British intelligence.

That membership helped Halligen immensely as he set his sights on an ultra-lucrative security consultant mecca: Washington.

A high-level network

When Halligen breezed into Washington about 2005, one of his first calls, according to associates, was to Patton Boggs, the heavyweight law firm. He hired the firm to help set up his new U.S. business, Oakley International, which offered risk analysis and security advice to corporate customers.

A key contact at Patton Boggs was lobbyist John Garrett, a retired U.S. Marine colonel who serves as the firm’s senior defense policy adviser. Garrett declined to comment for this article, saying Patton Boggs does not discuss former clients.

Halligen used each new contact to methodically build up a high-level network. Garrett introduced Halligen to a number of key Washington establishment figures, including Noel Koch, who was a White House aide under President Richard Nixon and whom President Barack Obama appointed deputy undersecretary of defense.

“If John Garrett was vouching for him, that was good enough for me,” Koch said.

Koch recalled getting to know Halligen over boozy lunches at Ristorante La Perla on Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Shown a photo of Halligen, who, 5-foot-6 and clean-cut, looks like a slightly elfin Boy Scout, La Perla owner Vittorio Testa recalled that he came in nearly every day. Testa said Halligen would sit on the outdoor patio smoking cigarettes and drinking heavily, often arriving at 11 a.m. and not leaving until 4.

“A very elegant man, always good manners,” Testa said.

Koch said he was amazed by Halligen’s lunchtime drinking.

“He’d say, ‘Let’s have martinis,’ and I’d have a martini, as would he,” Koch said. “Then we had another one, then he’d want a bottle of wine. We became fast friends over all those martinis.”

Koch was running a private security consulting company, and at one of their lunches, Halligen said he wanted to subscribe to his firm’s newsletter. Koch said that would cost him $15,000 and that Halligen made an extravagant show of overpaying.

“He wrote me a check for $20,000,” Koch said, “right there at the table.”

In the fall of 2006, Halligen still had money coming in from Red Defence in London, as well as his growing Washington business. But a big break came that September when two executives from a Dutch multinational firm, Trafigura, were arrested in Ivory Coast, accused of illegally dumping toxic waste.

Trafigura hired Halligen to help win release of the executives. Halligen got a large monthly retainer, though it’s unclear exactly what work he did for the money or how much he received. Friends said it ran into the millions of dollars.

A Trafigura spokesman declined to comment. The company eventually paid $198 million to Ivory Coast officials. The executives were released in February 2007, and payments to Halligen stopped.

But up to that point, money was pouring into Halligen’s corporate account, and he was spending it just as fast.

Halligen bought a $1.7 million house with swimming pool in Great Falls. (The indictment charges that he bought the house the day after Trafigura transferred $2.1 million to him to cover his expenses.)

Halligen was already living in a $6,800-a-month rented house in Georgetown, and yet, at the same time, he was often staying at the Willard.

He was paying a driver about $6,000 a month, usually keeping him and the Lincoln Town Car for 15 hours a day. He dropped hundreds of dollars almost daily at restaurants such as La Perla, Cafe Milano, Martin’s Tavern, Neyla or Shelly’s Back Room, according to his corporate bank statements at the time.

“We used to call him James Bond,” said Robert Materazzi, owner of Shelly’s, a downtown D.C. restaurant and cigar bar. Materazzi said that Halligen was “secretive” about his business but that he was a gregarious personality and extravagant tipper who always sat in the same table near the front of the bar, drinking expensive red wine and smoking.

Meda Mladek, Halligen’s landlord in Georgetown, said Halligen did thousands of dollars worth of damage and unauthorized — and shoddy — construction at her house.

“He pretended to work for the CIA,” Mladek said. “He said he had to have a room that was totally secure, so he had to make new walls, a new ceiling, special doors.”

“He was quite elegant,” she said. “But I had problems, problems, problems.”

The show wedding

Amid it all, Halligen still found time for romance.

Friends said he met Maria Dybczak, a Commerce Department lawyer with big, dark eyes and a brilliant smile, and started courting her lavishly. He bought her a huge diamond ring, a Prada handbag and a pair of purebred Hungarian vizsla puppies, friends said.

Tereza McGuinn, a D.C. makeup artist who was close to Dybczak, said Halligen told Dybczak that he was a British agent. She said that he took Dybczak one weekend for a course on high-performance defensive driving and that he taught her how to handle a gun.

“I thought there was something really wrong about it,” McGuinn said in an interview. McGuinn said that she didn’t believe Halligen’s spy background but that Dybczak seemed blinded by his charm and attention.

In a brief interview at her D.C. home, Dybczak said she and her family had been “devastated” by Halligen but declined to say more.

But on the last Friday in April 2007, she wore a white wedding gown at a spectacular evening ceremony at the Evermay estate in Georgetown.

Dybczak’s family, who friends said paid for most of the wedding, came to town from Alabama. Halligen flew over at least a dozen friends from London, first-class, and put them up in suites at the Hay-Adams Hotel. Washington guests included Koch and Garrett, the Patton Boggs lobbyist, who was Halligen’s best man.

Security men with earpieces watched over the high-powered crowd of about 100 people, and guests were met by a calligraphy sign telling them that no cameras or phones were allowed.

Wedding photographer Clay Blackmore said Dybczak asked him to shoot film only — no digital images.

“She told me, ‘Richard is very connected, and anybody wearing a pin on their lapel can’t be photographed,’ ” Blackmore said. “She told me ‘Richard is top-level and he’s a secret agent’ or something like that. I just bought into it like everybody else did.”

McGuinn said Dybczak and Halligen went “hog-wild” on the wedding, with a huge fireworks display and an extravagant dinner of lobster and lamb in the ballroom, where dinner chairs were covered with thousands of dollars’ worth of silk pillows.

On Evermay’s grand back terrace, Halligen and Dybczak stood on a carpet of rose petals as the minister read vows from a leather-bound notebook and pronounced them man and wife.

What the guests didn’t know was that the minister was actually Harry Winter, a professional actor from Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va., who was hired by the couple to preside over an elaborate fake.

According to friends, Halligen told Dybczak just before the wedding — when guests had been invited and arrangements made — that because he was involved in undercover intelligence operations, he could not sign any public documents — including a marriage license.

It’s unclear whether Dybczak believed him. But rather than cancel the ceremony, she helped him arrange the show wedding. Winter said she paid him $300 in cash.

“It was a wonderful, beautiful service,” Winter said in an interview. “Nobody knew it wasn’t real.”

Nor did they know that Halligen was already married.

British records show that Halligen had been married 16 years earlier to a woman named Jennifer Darvill, and he was still married to her at the time of the Evermay wedding.

“He told me plenty of lies,” said Darvill, reached in England.

Darvill said she met Halligen in 1988, and in all the time she knew him, “I was not aware that he had any involvement with security, military or intelligence.”

She said he left her in 1998 to have an affair with another woman, leaving behind a “stack of unpaid bills” that she paid by selling antiques inherited from her father.

After the Evermay wedding, Halligen was riding high. He spent the next year building his business. By early 2008, court records show, London lawyer Mark Aspinall — who was his connection on the Trafigura case — had invested $750,000 in Halligen’s Oakley International.

Halligen also received an enormous boost from the internationally known case of Madeleine McCann, a 3-year-old British girl who disappeared while on vacation with her family in Portugal.

In the spring of 2008, the Find Madeleine Fund hired Oakley International on a six-month contract worth just under $1 million. Halligen was supposed to use high-tech surveillance and satellite imagery and conduct interviews to help find the girl.

His bank accounts ballooned with regular deposits of $200,000 or more over the next few months. But Halligen’s carefully constructed life was starting to unravel.

Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the Find Madeleine Fund, said fund officials began questioning whether Halligen’s work was worth those large payments, and they terminated his contract in August 2008.

Aspinall, meanwhile, was becoming increasingly suspicious of what became of his $750,000 investment, and court records state that he made at least two trips to Washington to question Halligen.

By September 2008, the McCann contract was canceled, Halligen’s debts were mounting and his reputation was sinking. His relationship with Dybczak was over, and he was preparing his exit from Washington.

His corporate bank records show that in September, October and November 2008, Halligen drained $800,000 from his D.C. account and wired much of that overseas. He sold the Great Falls house. By November, his Washington bank account was overdrawn by $1,400. And Halligen was gone.

His former friends started looking for him and investigating his finances and background. They contacted the FBI. And they also started filing civil suits.

Aspinall filed suit in Washington to recover his investment in Oakley, and a judge ordered Halligen to pay back $871,000.

Halligen was also sued by another Washington insider, Andre Hollis, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for counternarcotics, who had given a toast at the Evermay wedding.

Hollis, a lawyer who once worked as legal counsel to the House of Representatives and as senior adviser to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Counter Narcotics, sued Halligen in Fairfax Country (Va.) Circuit Court for $2.35 million.

Hollis alleged that Halligen hired him as chief executive of Oakley International and that Hollis bought an ownership stake in the company. He said that the investment turned out to be worthless and that Halligen drained the company’s accounts. A judge ordered Halligen to pay Hollis more than $5.7 million in damages.

As investigators pursued Halligen, they found yet another surprise. They unearthed documents suggesting that the silver-tongued Brit had actually been born in Ireland.

In November 2009, after a year on the run, Halligen was jailed after being arrested at a luxury hotel in Oxford, England. The bartender there recalled that Halligen had been staying at the hotel for weeks under an alias, with a girlfriend, running up huge bar tabs, buying drinks for the staff and spinning tales of life as a spy.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email: