Britain wants to extradite man in Mississippi

October 25, 2012

HattiesburgAmerican.com on October 25, 2012 released the following:

“Written by
Associated Press

JACKSON — British authorities are seeking extradition of a man in Mississippi on charges of sexually abusing a young girl in 1988.

U.S. District Court records say Barry Willoughby, 45, was taken into custody in Biloxi, Miss., on Oct. 17 on a warrant from Bradford, England, for charges of indecent assault and gross indecency with a child.

John Weber, Willoughby’s lawyer, says Willoughby maintains his innocence. Weber says Willoughby is a British subject living legally in Mississippi.

Willoughby is being held pending a Nov. 15 extradition hearing in federal court in Gulfport.

The hearing will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain the charge and whether it is an extraditable offense.

The case would then go the State Department for a final decision on whether Willoughby would be returned to Britain.”

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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

————————————————————–

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.

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Lawyers Seek to Block Muslim Cleric’s Extradition to U.S.

October 3, 2012

The New York Times on October 2, 2012 released the following:

“By ALAN COWELL

LONDON — Lawyers for a Muslim cleric wanted in the United States on terrorism charges said on Tuesday that the preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri, was physically unfit to face the accusations against him and that it would be “oppressive to extradite him” under the terms of British law.

Mr. Masri, 54, has been resisting extradition since 2004. American prosecutors want him to face charges of calling for holy war in Afghanistan, involvement in kidnappings in Yemen and participating in a plot to set up a terrorism training camp in Bly, Ore.

Mr. Masri, who was born in Egypt and was notorious for fiery sermons at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London, has been in prison in Britain since 2006 on separate charges, including incitement to murder.

Over the years, he has successfully avoided extradition through a series of legal hearings. But, last week, the European Court of Human Rights rejected a request for the right to appeal — a decision that British officials took as the final word permitting his extradition.

In court filings on Tuesday before a scheduled High Court hearing, Mr. Masri’s counsel, Alun Jones, said he would seek an interim injunction arguing that there is an “uncontradicted medical opinion that a scan is medically necessary” in light of the cleric’s “deteriorating health.”

If medical tests find him “unfit to plead, or arguably so, it will be argued that it would be oppressive to extradite within the meaning of” Britain’s extradition laws, Mr. Jones said according to The Press Association news agency.

The law is very clear, Mr. Jones said. “If a person is established to be unfit to plead, he should not be extradited.” But if “there is an issue” concerning fitness to plead, “he should indeed be extradited.”

Mr. Jones said a judge had referred in 2008 to Mr. Masri’s “very poor health.”

“Over four years later, it appears there has been, or may have been, a further deterioration, perhaps attributable to sleep deprivation and the continued confinement of the appellant in an unrelentingly harsh environment,” the lawyer said.

Mr. Masri, hook-handed and one-eyed from injuries many years ago, is one of five men wanted in the United States on charges ranging from murder to running a jihadist Web site. All five are seeking High Court injunctions to prevent their extradition, but none of them was expected to appear in court. Their cases will be heard by two judges over the next few days.

The four other suspects are Seyla Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Babar Ahmad. Mr. Bary and Mr. Al-Fawwaz were charged with multiple murders in the 1998 bombings of the American Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed more than 200 people. Mr. Ahsan, like Mr. Ahmad, is charged with providing support to terrorists and conspiracy-related offenses.

British civil liberties activists have complained about the treatment in particular of Mr. Ahmad, 37, a computer expert accused of being a fund-raiser for terrorist causes. He has been held without charge or trial for eight years. In an unusual interview earlier this year, Mr. Ahmad declared: ‘’I have been in prison now for nearly eight years without trial. I am facing extradition to the U.S. to spend the rest of my life in solitary confinement. I have never been questioned about the allegations against me. I have never been shown the evidence against me.”

Last April, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Britain could legally extradite all five men. They asked for the right of appeal but that request was denied last week, triggering the latest moves at the High Court.”

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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

————————————————————–

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.

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A European Court Ruled Abu Hamza al-Masri Can be Extradited to the United States to Face Terrorism Charges

September 25, 2012

The Associated Press on September 24, 2012 released the following:

“UK to extradite radical Muslim cleric to US

By SYLVIA HUI, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — A European court ruled Monday that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, including allegedly trying to set up an al-Qaida training camp in rural Oregon.

The decision ends a long-running legal battle and means that al-Masri, considered one of Britain’s most notorious extremists, could be deported within weeks along with four other terrorism suspects in Britain.

Authorities in the U.S. have for years asked for Al-Masri and the others to be handed over, but the process had been delayed because the men raised human rights objections.

The men had argued before the European Court of Human Rights that they could face prison conditions and jail terms in the U.S. that would expose them to “torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” in breach of the European human rights code.

In April, the Strasbourg, France-based court rejected those claims. Al-Masri and the four others lodged an appeal to the court’s highest judges, but on Monday the court said it refused to hear it. “Today the Grand Chamber Panel decided to reject the request,” the court said in a brief statement. It did not give a reason for refusing the appeal.

Britain’s Home Office and the U.S. Department of Justice welcomed the decision.

“We will work to ensure that the individuals are handed over to the U.S. authorities as quickly as possible,” said the Home Office.

The suspects, who are accused of crimes such as raising funds for terrorists, could face life sentences in a maximum-security prison.

Al-Masri was arrested in Britain in 2004 at the request of U.S. authorities, who have called him “a terrorist facilitator with a global reach.”

They accuse him of assisting the taking of 16 hostages — including two American tourists — in Yemen in 1998 and of conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, between 2000 and 2001.

He also is accused of conspiring with a U.S. citizen to facilitate a jihad — or holy war — in Afghanistan and providing material support to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The cleric, who is blind in one eye and wears a hook for a hand, lost several British court cases in his fight against extradition before taking the case to the European court in 2008.

Known for his fiery anti-Western and anti-Semitic outbursts, he claims he has lost his Egyptian nationality, but Britain considers him an Egyptian citizen. He is currently serving a seven-year prison term in Britain for separate charges of inciting hatred.

The other four suspects due to be extradited to the U.S. are Babar Ahmad, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary.

Ahmad and Ahsan are charged in U.S. federal court in Connecticut with running a terrorist website in London, providing material support to terrorists, conspiring to kill U.S. nationals, and money laundering. Supporters of Ahmad, who was arrested in 2004 and has been held in a British jail since then without charge, are trying to help him get a trial in Britain because his alleged offense happened in London.

Al-Fawwaz and Bary, accused of being key aides to Osama bin Laden in London, are wanted in a New York federal court for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. Al-Fawwaz faces many counts of murder.

The human rights court said that it has not decided on the case of a sixth suspect, Haroon Rashid Aswat, who was accused of being Al-Masri’s co-conspirator in attempting to set up the camp in Oregon. The court said it needed to consider more information about his case.

In Washington, Dean Boyd, spokesman for the National Security Division of the U.S. justice department, said: “We are pleased that the litigation before the European Court of Human Rights in these cases has come to an end, and we will be working with the U.K. authorities on the arrangements to bring these subjects to the United States for prosecution.””

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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

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) 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.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

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US Extradition Act of 2003: UK Parliament fumes over use against citizens

July 9, 2012

Alaska Dispatch on July 8, 2012 released the following:

By: Michael Goldfarb

“LONDON, UK — The special relationship — Britain and the US, or is that the US and Britain? — is often remarked on here in Britain, particularly when there is a change at the top of government. A new president or prime minister is good for a couple of days of headlines, at least, about America and her most important ally.

It’s been decades since there was a serious challenge to the idea that the natural order of things is that the US and UK are as one on the matters that count. So it is easy to forget that for most of the last two centuries the two countries have frequently been “frenemies.”

But now there is an issue that threatens the perfect calm: extradition — to be specific, the Extradition Act of 2003.

Passed by a Labour-dominated Parliament in the aftermath of 9/11, when the Relationship was at the height of its Specialness, the Extradition Treaty was supposed to make it easier for Britain to send jihadists arrested on British soil to the US, if a request was made.

But the treaty immediately became controversial because it was used as much against British businessmen and computer hackers as suspects in the War on Terror.

The most recent example is the case of Richard O’Dwyer, a graduate student in computer science, who American authorities want extradited to face charges of copyright infringement. O’Dwyer set up a website TVshack.net, a search engine, which listed sites where films and programs could be watched. He is not accused of streaming any himself.

If you go to the site now, a notice comes up saying the domain name has been seized by US Immigration and Customs Service. This is followed by a brief, professionally made (and kind of clever) anti-piracy video.

The US request was granted by Britain’s Home Secretary, Theresa May, last March. The controversy burst out again last week, when Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, launched a campaign in The Guardian newspaper to prevent the extradition by posting an online petition.

Wales notes that had O’Dwyer been arrested for similar crimes in Britain, the maximum sentence would be six months. In the US, he could serve 10 years, if convicted.

The disproportion in sentencing between the two countries is one reason the treaty is increasingly coming under fire. The other is the standard of proof required for an extradition request to be granted. The last extradition treaty — signed in 1870 when Britain was the global superpower — required the US to show it had a prima facie case against the person being extradited. The new one drops that to “reasonable suspicion.”

This is an issue that cuts across party lines. The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, composed of members of all parties, called for the treaty to be renegotiated, although another parliamentary review found that there was no imbalance at all.

Typical of those raising questions is Conservative MP Dominic Raab. A self-described America lover and Atlanticist, he understands why fast-track extradition “might be a jolly good thing” when dealing with terror suspects, but feels “the pendulum has swung too far” in facilitating all manner of extradition requests.

He questions the low legal threshold these requests have to pass. He alludes to the O’Dwyer case, “If criminal conduct is alleged to take place in the UK and the UK courts aren’t interested in prosecuting, why should American courts be allowed to prosecute a British citizen?” Raab adds, “We need sensible safe guards for our citizens.”

Raab points out that regardless of whether a suspect is proven innocent, an extradition “destroys your life. If you take six months to two years to fight charges successfully, the expenses incurred are devastating.”

American legal costs are much higher than those in Britain. Some Brits who have been extradited have struck a plea bargain rather than lose all their money. “But if you cop a plea bargain in return for a lighter sentence it still destroys your life,” says Raab.

There is another aspect of the extradition law that has Brits concerned: the fearsome reputation of American prisons. Their image as sinkholes of gang violence, homosexual rape and other kinds of depravity has spread around the planet via films and television.

This reputation was testified to recently by Gary Mulgrew, one of the NatWest Three — British bankers who were accused of a fraud related to Enron’s collapse and extradited to Texas. The trio pleaded guilty to one count each in order to reduce their prison time.

Now Mulgrew has written an account of his time in Big Spring, Texas penitentiary. “Gang of One” appeared in the ultra-right wing Daily Mail earlier this year, with the headline, “This wasn’t punishment. It was the Big Brother house with wall-to-wall psychos.”

It spared readers none of the horrors of life inside.

It is articles like this — and the sense that somehow Britain is being bullied into sending for trial people the law was not intended to cover — that lead to calls for either the scrapping or renegotiation of the Extradition Treaty.

Enter the case of Gary McKinnon, accused of committing the biggest military hack of all time.

In 2001-2002, McKinnon is alleged to have hacked into US military and NASA computers a total of 97 times.

Why?

He was looking to prove the military and space agencies were hiding evidence of extraterrestrial life and alien technology.

Sound odd?

Well McKinnon suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. His computer expertise and rather strange obsession is offered as proof of his condition.

The size of the hack, however, has US prosecutors fuming. McKinnon could face up to 70 years in prison if tried in the US and convicted on all counts.

The 46-year-old’s case is one of the hotter political potatoes British Prime Minister David Cameron has to handle. On July 5, McKinnon was offered another chance by Home Secretary May to have further medical tests before she makes her decision. Clearly, she wants to delay things for as long as possible, reports the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph.

If she chooses to interpret the treaty literally and send McKinnon to the US for trial, the “special relationship” will take a real beating here and the Conservative Party will pay the electoral price.”

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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

————————————————————–

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.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

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Home secretary upholds decision to extradite Richard O’Dwyer

July 9, 2012

The Guardian on July 9, 2012 released the following:

By: James Ball and Alan Travis

“Theresa May says she will not review case that could see Sheffield student facing 10 years in US jail

The home secretary, Theresa May, has told the House of Commons that she will not revisit plans to extradite Sheffield Hallam student Richard O’Dwyer to the US on copyright charges, saying the decision had “already been taken”.

O’Dwyer faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in a US jail for alleged copyright offences, for which the UK declined to press charges. The charges relate to a website, tvshack.net, which O’Dwyer when he was 19 and which linked to places to watch TV and films online.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launched a campaign against his extradition late last month, including a petition which on Monday hit 225,000 signatures, primarily from the UK and the US.

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who has previously raised concerns over several US extradition cases, asked May at home secretary’s questions in the Commons on Monday if she planned to review the case, given that it involved “an offence, if it is one, that our own authorities thought did not merit a prosecution.”

May, who must personally approve extraditions under the US/UK treaty, said the decision had been taken and O’Dwyer must rely on his court appeal.

“As you know that case is due to go to court later this year,” she said. “As regards the extradition decision, that has already been taken and, as you know, I have decided to uphold the extradition.”

Previous campaigns against extradition have called on home secretaries to review their decisions to extradite, most famously in the case of Chile’s General Pinochet, where former prime minister Margaret Thatcher called on the Labour home secretary to revoke his permission for extradition.

Wales is currently seeking a meeting with May and her advisors to discuss the O’Dwyer case. In his call for the meeting, he said: “The home secretary continues to ignore hundreds of thousands of citizens, the UK tech community, business leaders, celebrities and MPs from all parties on this issue.

“She should be very clear that we are not going to go away and new supporters are joining the campaign all the time.””

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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

————————————————————–

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

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Alleged UK hacking suspect will fight extradition to US

June 18, 2012

Times Online on June 15, 2012 released the following:

“Associated Press

The lawyer for a British suspect linked to the Lulz Security hacking collective said Friday that she’d fight any moves to have her client tried in an American court.

A federal indictment filed Tuesday accused the 20-year-old of hacking into sites for the talent competition “The X-Factor,” “PBS NewsHour,” Sony Pictures and others. The sites were hit at the beginning of a months-long attack spree claimed by LulzSec, whose online exploits focused international attention on the power of so-called “hacktivist” groups.

Many of those thought to be behind LulzSec have since been arrested _ including the alleged ringleader, Hector Xavier Monsegur, whose exposure as an FBI informant shocked many former associates.

Ryan Cleary, who was detained last year, already faces British charges that he and others hacked the Serious Organized Crime Agency and various U.K. music sites.

In a statement, attorney Karen Todner said Cleary suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome and that any move to extradite him to the U.S. would be “fiercely contested.”

Cleary faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted on all U.S. charges.”

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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

————————————————————–

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

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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.”

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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.

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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 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.

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