Kozeny Won’t Be Sent to U.S., U.K. Privy Council Rules

March 28, 2012

BusinessWeek.com on March 28, 2012 released the following:

“By David Glovin

Viktor Kozeny, the Czech-born businessman wanted in the U.S. where he’s accused of orchestrating a massive bribery scheme, won’t be extradited to New York from the Bahamas, the U.K.-based Privy Council ruled.

The Privy Council, the final court of appeal for some British Commonwealth countries, today affirmed a 2010 ruling by a Bahamas court refusing extradition. Kozeny, dubbed “the Pirate of Prague” in media reports, has been sought by U.S. prosecutors since 2005. He also faces unrelated fraud charges in the Czech Republic.

“We have prevailed on all points,” Kozeny, 48, said today in an interview from the Bahamas, which he hasn’t left since 1999.

The unanimous ruling by the five-judge council probably eliminates any chance that Kozeny will be returned to the U.S., where he faces federal charges for organizing a 1998 scheme to bribe government officials in Azerbaijan in return for rights to buy Socar, the state oil company.

Federal prosecutors in New York said he paid millions of dollars and promised billions more to spur the sale. A U.S. businessman, Frederic Bourke, is fighting his 2009 conviction on charges that he conspired with Kozeny. Socar was never sold.

Carly Sullivan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in New York, declined to comment on the ruling.

Privy Council
The Privy Council said in a 22-page decision that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. It said Kozeny may not be extradited for bribery crimes that “would not constitute offenses against the law of the Bahamas if they took place within the Bahamas.”

The panel didn’t rule on the merits of the U.S. bribery case. The appeal of the prior extradition ruling was pursued by Bahamas prosecutors and supported by U.S. authorities.

Kozeny says the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which outlaws bribes to non-U.S. officials for business, didn’t cover him. U.S. prosecutors say the law applies to Kozeny, who brought American investors into the deal.

After the charges were unsealed in 2005, Kozeny spent 19 months in a Bahamas prison before being released to his family’s seaside estate, from where he’s fought extradition.

Benjamin Brafman, a New York lawyer who represents Kozeny in the U.S., said he doubted Kozeny would ever face charges in New York “unless he decides to come back.” The U.S. case is pending.

Feeling ‘Truly Vindicated’
Kozeny today expressed gratitude toward his lawyers and said he “felt truly vindicated” by the ruling. “They said it’s not a crime in the Bahamas,” he said. “They said it’s not a violation of the code over here.”

Kozeny, who may still face arrest if he leaves the Bahamas, said he will leave it to his lawyers to seek resolution of the charges. “At the most,” he said, the case should be settled with a “$10,000 civil violation.”

“This is obviously not a transaction that I would think about coming close to or repeating,” he said. Still, “it’s not much different from what happens all over the world.”

“It’s very painful to be accused that you crossed the line when you didn’t,” he added.

New York State prosecutors separately have accused Kozeny of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from his U.S. investors in the Azerbaijan deal. Czech prosecutors have presented evidence to a court trying Kozeny in absentia on charges of embezzling $1.1 billion from mutual funds he established in the Czech Republic in the early 1990s.

A U.S. federal appeals court in December upheld Bourke’s conspiracy conviction. He has asked the Court of Appeals in Manhattan to reconsider and remains free pending the outcome.

The U.S. case is U.S. v. Kozeny, 05-cr-00518, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The U.K. case is Superintendent of Her Majesty’s Foxhill Prison and the Government of the U.S. v. Kozeny, No. 73 of 2010.”

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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

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

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


Kim Dotcom allegedly ridicules charges against him

March 28, 2012
Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom

RT on March 28, 2012 released the following:

“On Monday MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom said he is preparing an “entertaining” motion in response to the US government’s charges against him.

The German born, New Zealand millionaire who spent approximately five weeks behind bars for allegedly running the largest media piracy operation, said in an interview with Torrent Freak that not all of the charges against him are accurate.

Dotcom was accused of illegally uploading millions of songs. But according to the millionaire himself many of charges against him are absolutely inaccurate. For example, Dotcom cites an audio file of a song by the rapper 50 Cent he was accused of illegally downloading and distributing. In reality, the New Zealander claims the file was legally purchased.

The file’s link was emailed to several of his friends for the purpose of testing the website’s new email feature. Furthermore, Dotcom claimed the song had a total of zero downloads.

The indictment filed by the US government for his alleged involvement in an online conspiracy that authorities claim stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the entertainment industry, states the 50 Cent email he sent was part of the prosecution’s evidence.

According to Kim Schmitz, aka Dotcom, the file was legally purchased and posted back in 2006 and isn’t relevant due to the statute of limitation having been expired.

In addition to the 50 Cent file, Schmitz also contended that a Louis Armstrong song mentioned in the indictment was also legally bought.

“The indictment contained an email in which I suggested to provide Warner Brothers with a limited number of deletes per day,” Dotcom said in his interview.

“In fact, days later Warner Brothers got the maximum quota of 100,000 deletes per day,” Dotcom said in response to allegations of his refusal to cooperate with the media giant.

Dotcom believes the fact the he was willing to remove the material for his site verifies that he was more than willing to cooperate with copyright holders. Warner Brothers also was able to impede part of the problem by using MegaUpload’s built in tool that allowed for reporting of copy written material on the site.

According to Dotcom, the tool aided Warner Brothers in removing more than one million files from the notorious site.

Dotcom also added that not all users were transferring “pirated” material and claims the recent happenings have hurt those users who held accounts strictly from the purpose of transferring files over long distances without the need of a hard drive, memory stick or DVD. Among those members he added that 15,000 were US military servicemen that probably used their account to share photos with loved ones back home.

Since he set bail in early March, Dotcom has been under house arrests and has been critical on how the US government has handled the situation.

The seven year operator of the MegaUpload has slammed the entertainment industry and the politicians behind the legal proceeding claiming his site’s policies are no different than that of YouTube.

“If you read the indictment and if you hear what the prosecution has said in court, at least $500 million of damage were just music files and just within a two-week time period. So they are actually talking about $13 billion damage within a year just for music downloads. The entire US music industry is less than $20 billion,”explained Dotcom in an interview with New Zealand’s 3news earlier this month.

“In my opinion, the government of the United States protecting an outdated monopolistic business model that doesn’t work anymore in the age of the Internet and that’s what it all boils down to,”he added.

Dotcom promised the motion would soon come.

Amidst a pending extradition request by the US, Dotcom may have the case shift further in his favor, especially after a New Zealand judge ruled that law enforcement apprehended his possessions with a fake warrant. The authorities behind this have filed for another warrant, but if the judge denies the request Dotcom could have access to all his assets once again.”

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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

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

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


USA: The long arm of American copyright-Asia Sentinel

March 21, 2012

facthai.wordpress.com on March 17, 2012 released the following:

“Kim Dotcom and America’s Debatable Hegemony

America’s long arm might be too long. Washington attempts to rewrite the concept of sovereign borders in Megaupload copyright case

Paul Karl Lukacs
Asia Sentinel: March 13, 2012

On Feb. 29, a New Zealand judge reminded the United States government that its power has limits. Washington is unlikely to heed the message.

The issue before the Auckland High Court was whether Kim Dotcom (previously Kim Schmitz) should be given bail for house arrest and electronic monitoring pending his August extradition hearing. The US Justice Department, alleging that Dotcom’s Megaupload family of web sites constituted a criminal conspiracy to infringe copyrights, demanded that Dotcom be held in a Kiwi jail until formally transported to the States for trial.

In his judgment, Justice Timothy Brewer rejected the Americans’ argument, noting “the presumption at law that Mr. Dotcom should have his liberty,” and ordered that the defendant remain out of prison. Justice Brewer, a junior bench officer who has held his post for less than two years, found that Dotcom was not a proven flight risk since, among other factors, the US and allied governments had seized about US$25 million in assets, which Dotcom would presumably fight to regain.

The judge, addressing only the specific issue before him, did not ask the larger question: How exactly was the United States claiming authority over Dotcom, a European operating in Asia and Oceania?

It is a good question. American prosecutors allege that Dotcom, known for his extravagant lifestyle, engaged in criminal copyright infringement. But federal courts have made it clear that US copyright laws apply only within the physical territory of the United States and do not apply outside the country.

“Copyright laws do not have extraterritorial operation,” according to the federal appeals court in New York. Its coordinate court in California agreed, thereby setting the rule for the country’s entertainment industry.

Consequently, the US assertion of jurisdiction against Dotcom is problematic on its face. A review of the factual allegations in the Justice Department’s 72-page indictment reveals that the case is based on a weak jurisdictional foundation, specifically that Dotcom allegedly had a banking relationship with PayPal and that he allegedly stored some data on a few servers in Virginia (possibly without his knowledge). In other words, it is obvious from the prosecutors’ own one-sided version of events that Dotcom operated outside the United States and that investigators were charged with digging deep to find one or two gotchas on which the US could premise its exercise of personal jurisdiction.

While other nations are limited by resources and principles from exerting their will outside of their borders, the US has not been shy about attempting to dictate global rules. In 1977, Congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in which it commanded that US nationals doing business abroad were required to adhere to American anti-bribery standards regardless of the economic impact or the on-the-ground reality.

In 2003, anti-pedophile hysteria resulted in the PROTECT Act, which prohibits US travelers from engaging in sexual intercourse with persons under 18 anywhere in the world no matter the local age of consent. Recently, US expats have been subject to financial reporting requirements that strip them of banking privacy.

While the extraterritorial reach of those laws was justified by the drafters on the grounds that they applied only to US nationals, the Dotcom case is a flat-out assertion by the United States that its laws can be applied to anyone anywhere — even when, as with the Copyright Act, federal judges have plainly said that they can’t.

Dotcom appears to have had nothing to do with the United States, and if he did, the Justice Department would have said so. Rather, Dotcom holds passports from Germany and Finland under different names (all of which are legal, as the New Zealand judge noted). His businesses are headquartered in Hong Kong. He lives with his children and pregnant wife in New Zealand.

Yet the US government has used the shakiest of jurisdictional pretexts to close his business, freeze his assets and arrest him, all of which happened without an adversarial hearing on the merits. In a routine civil copyright case, an injunction or attachment of assets can issue only after notice and an opportunity to test the plaintiff s evidence in open court. Here, the US government avoided those safeguards.

In an equally troubling development, multiple foreign governments have assisted the US in its prosecution. For example, at the bail hearing before Justice Brewer, the United States was represented not by independently retained counsel but by the New Zealand government’s Crown Law Office.

When executing the initial arrest warrant, the Kiwi police were armed, an unnecessary show of deadly force when dealing with a businessman accused of a property crime. In the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, police are reported to have dispatched about 100 officers to raid Dotcom’s offices and residences.

The United States is re-writing the very concept of borders. Previously, a nation’s ability to exert its authority was limited by physical restraints which stopped at, or, in some cases, well short of a line on a map. With modern electronics and communications equipment (not to mention mobile armed forces), a wealthy nation can exert pressure where ever it wants against whomever it targets.

Assertions of extraterritorial jurisdiction by major powers may become one of the most controversial legal issues of the decade.”

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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

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


U.S. extradites Colombian accused of taking Americans hostage

March 12, 2012

CNN on March 12, 2012 released the following:

“By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — U.S. authorities have extradited a suspect from Colombia whom they accuse of holding three American citizens hostage, the Justice Department said Monday.

Alexander Beltran Herrera, 35, was scheduled to be arraigned at 11:15 a.m. ET Monday in Washington on charges in connection with the hostage taking of Americans Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell.

Alleged leftist guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, abducted the three U.S. defense contractors in 2003, the Justice Department said. They were among 15 hostages freed in a 2008 rescue mission.

For part of a two-year period beginning in November 2004, Beltran Herrera was responsible for moving the hostages and keeping them imprisoned, the Justice Department said in a statement Monday.

“Throughout the captivity of these three hostages, FARC jailors and guards, including Beltran Herrera, used choke harnesses, chains, padlocks and wires to restrain the hostages, and used force and threats to continue their detention and prevent their escape,” the statement said.

Beltran Herrera is an accused member of the FARC, the Justice Department said.

A federal indictment charges Beltran Herrera with one count of conspiracy to commit hostage taking, three counts of hostage taking, one count of using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of the charges.

The indictment names 17 other accused members of the FARC as defendants.

“Today’s extradition underscores our resolve to hold accountable all those responsible for this crime and we will not rest until every one of them is brought to justice,” said Lisa Monaco, assistant attorney general for national security, in a statement.”

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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

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

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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


Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI Assistant Director in Charge Announce Extradition of Russian Citizen to Face Charges for International Cyber Crimes

January 17, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 17, 2012 released the following:

“Nine-Count Indictment Charges Defendants with Stealing Personal and Financial Information and Stock Market Manipulation

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of a nine-count indictment charging VLADIMIR ZDOROVENIN and his son, KIRILL ZDOROVENIN, two Russian citizens, with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud, aggravated identity theft, and securities fraud. They were indicted under seal in May 2007. VLADIMIR ZDOROVENIN was apprehended on March 27, 2011, in Zurich, Switzerland, and arrived in New York yesterday following his extradition by Swiss authorities. He will be presented and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein in Manhattan federal court later today. KIRILL ZDOROVENIN remains at large.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Cyber crime is a pandemic that makes geography meaningless. From far away, with the click of a mouse, the cyber criminal can victimize millions of people in the U.S. As alleged, Vladimir Zdorovenin and his son did exactly that; they engaged in serial cyber crimes in Russia that targeted Americans and wrought havoc with their personal and financial information, using it to make phony purchases and to manipulate stock prices. As the unsealing of today’s Indictment demonstrates, we will reach out across the globe, and wait as long as it takes to bring cyber criminals to justice.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated: “Mr. Zdorovenin’s egregious behavior illustrated the true colors of the cyber underground, as he and his son allegedly defrauded consumers of hundreds of thousands of dollars using methods that included compromised credit cards, all fronted through fictitious companies they had created. In addition, Zdorovenin allegedly installed malware to access victims’ brokerage accounts, trading victims’ securities and manipulating the price of stocks Zdorovenin already owned. This should serve as a stark reminder to anyone who believes he can commit cyber crime and hide behind the safety and anonymity of a Russian IP address; you are not beyond the reach of the FBI.”

According to the indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

At various times between 2004 and 2005, VLADIMIR ZDOROVENIN and his son KIRILL ZDOROVENIN allegedly engaged in a series of crimes in Russia that victimized citizens of the United States through the use of stolen credit card information, multiple phony websites, and bank accounts in Russia and Latvia. Specifically, the indictment alleges that the ZDOROVENINs stole victims’ personal identification information, including credit card numbers, through the use of computer programs that were surreptitiously installed on victims’ computers and that recorded the information as it was entered. The ZDOROVENINs also allegedly purchased stolen credit card numbers from other individuals, and used the stolen credit card information to make what appeared to be legitimate purchases of goods from various Internet businesses that they ran. However, as alleged, the purchases were fraudulent and were used as a means of deceiving banks, credit card service processors, credit card holders, and others, thereby enabling the ZDOROVENINS to steal the money they directed to their websites.

Additionally, as alleged in the indictment, the ZDOROVENINs, used the Internet to unlawfully access the financial services accounts of victims located in the United States and then transferred or attempted to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars from those accounts to bank accounts under the ZDOROVENINs’ control. Finally, the Indictment charges that after taking over victims’ online brokerage accounts, the ZDOROVENINs bought and sold thousands of shares of certain companies’ stock in an effort to manipulate the prices of those stocks. The ZDOROVENINs allegedly realized profits through this scheme by simultaneously purchasing or selling shares of the same stocks through their own online brokerage account, maintained in the name of Rim Investment Management, Ltd.

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VLADIMIR ZDOROVENIN, 54, of Moscow, Russia, faces a maximum sentence of 142 years in prison in connection with the charges in the indictment. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI. He also thanked the Office of International Affairs in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division for its assistance with the extradition.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James J. Pastore, Jr. and Thomas G.A. Brown are in charge of the prosecution.

The charge and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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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

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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


Miguel Angel Nevarez, Accused Killer of U.S. Consulate and Others, Extradited to U.S. For Trial

August 30, 2011

The Las Crucues Sun-News on August 29, 2011 released the following:

“LAS CRUCES – One of the accused killers in the murders of a U.S. consulate employee, her husband and another man in Juárez has been extradited to the United States to stand trial, the Justice Department announced.

Miguel Angel Nevarez was among 10 alleged members and associates of a Southwest border gang indicted in the slayings of consulate employee Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs. They were killed on March 13, 2010, when gunmen opened fire on their sport utility vehicle after they left a birthday party.

Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate, also was killed by gunmen after leaving the same event in a separate vehicle.

Nevarez, 30, was charged with conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering and federal firearm charges in the killings of the three. Nevarez arrived in the United States on Thursday and made his initial appearance Friday before a federal magistrate judge in El Paso. He had been in the custody of Mexican authorities pending extradition since his arrest on Oct. 30, 2010.

A grand jury indictment unsealed in March in El Paso charged 10 defendants in the killings along with 25 other people – saying all 35 were linked to the Barrio Azteca gang. All but four of the 35 are in custody in the United States or Mexico and all including Nevarez are charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, drug distribution, drug importation and money laundering.

The indictment did not supply a motive for the killings – which U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in March were so brutal that the motive was almost irrelevant.

At the time, FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry said the case was an important step in dismantling one of the most violent gangs along the Southwest border.

U.S. law enforcement officials said that to increase its power, Barrio Azteca formed an alliance with the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug trafficking organization in Mexico and conducted enforcement operations against VCF rivals.”

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 extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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

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WikiLeaks Julian Assange – Conspiracy – Federal Crimes – Extradition

December 16, 2010

Douglas McNabb discusses conspiracy crimes and international extradition as it relates to WikiLeaks Julian Assange.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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Bahamian Attorney Faces U.S. Extradition

October 26, 2010

Extradition efforts are under way for a Bahamian lawyer charged in the money-laundering conspiracy case that sent former Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion to prison. The Southern District of Florida has issued an arrest warrant for Bahamian attorney, Sidney Cambridge.

More than a year after criminal charges were filed against Eggelletion and three co-defendants, federal prosecutors have filed paperwork to try to extradite Cambridge, a Nassau-based lawyer and former treasurer of the Progressive Liberal Party in the Bahamas.

The four men were charged with taking part in a conspiracy to launder $900,000 from the U.S. through the Bahamas and then via St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The plot was actually an undercover FBI operation that used agents posing as money managers who claimed they were trying to hide profits from an illegal Ponzi scheme.

Eggelletion pled guilty in December to conspiring to launder money and filing a false tax return. He is currently serving 2 1/2 years in prison.

Cambridge is the only remaining individual yet to face prosecution. Due to the close proximity of the Bahamas to Florida, Cambridge may try to avoid extradition altogether by agreeing to cooperate with the U.S. government.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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Venezuelan President Publicly Requests U.S. to Extradite Alleged Bomber

September 15, 2010

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday that his country should ask the United States to extradite a man convicted in 2003 bombings who fled to Miami and is seeking asylum.

Chavez called Raul Diaz a terrorist in a televised Cabinet meeting, saying Venezuela is obliged to request his extradition even though he doubts the U.S. would turn him over.

Diaz maintains he is innocent and had no part in the 2003 bombings of the Spanish Embassy and Colombian consulate in Caracas, which injured four people.

Diaz told The Associated Press on Monday that he was able to escape because under the terms given him by a court, he was allowed to leave a prison during the day as long as he returned at night. He said he fled by boat to Trinidad, and flew to Miami on September 5.

Before fleeing, the 36-year-old had served six years of a nine-year prison sentence. He was convicted of damaging property, public intimidation, causing light injuries and conspiracy.

Diaz has called the case against him an example of rights violations under Chavez.

Chavez suggested that the U.S. government, with which he has tattered relations, is unlikely to oblige.

Chavez also cited the case of Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles, who lives in the United States and is wanted in Venezuela for allegedly plotting the 1976 bombing of the Cuban plane that killed 73 people. Posada denies the accusations.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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Alleged Fugitive from Texas Arrested by AFI in Mexico; US Extradition Pending

July 19, 2010

Harris Dempsey “Butch” Ballow, 67, formerly of Galveston County, Texas, has been charged with conspiracy and wire fraud in a two-count indictment by a Houston grand jury, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Ballow was a fugitive from justice in the United States for more than five years until his arrest on Tuesday, July 13, 2010, by agents of the Mexican Agencia Federal de Investigaciones (AFI) working closely with the FBI pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant. Ballow remains in custody in Mexico City awaiting extradition to the United States.

Originally indicted in federal court in Houston in 2003 for fraud and money laundering centering on misrepresentations made in connection with the purchase and sale of stock, Ballow pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge David Hittner to money laundering in November. At the time, Ballow, who had been in custody without bond for approximately a year, agreed to cooperate with an Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and was released on a $100,000 bond pending his sentencing set for Dec. 16, 2004. However, facing 10 years imprisonment, Ballow failed to appear for the sentencing and fled the country. A warrant for Ballow’s arrest issued the next day, Dec. 17, 2004.

According to allegations in today’s indictment, Ballow lived under the names John Gel, Tom Brown and Marty Twinley during his time as a fugitive and also acquired a British passport in the name of Melvyn John Gelsthorpe. The indictment alleges Ballow used these names to take control of publicly-traded United States corporations, including E-SOL International Corp., Medra Corp., Deep Earth Resources Inc. and Aztec Technology Partners Inc.—now called Ultimate Lifestyles Corporation— and sold the stock to investors without revealing his true identity, his use of multiple names, his past convictions for fraud and money laundering and his status as fugitive from justice in the United States.

The indictment further alleged that Ballow moved to Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, in 2008, but disappeared in July 2009, just days after allegedly convincing an American investor from Texas to wire transfer $5 million to E-SOL in Reno, Nev. In October 2009, the indictment alleges Ballow reappeared in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he lived in a luxurious golf resort and was arrested by Mexican federal police on July 13, 2010.

An indictment merely contains allegations of unlawful violations. Individuals are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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