“Ex-JPMorgan Trader Released, Opposing U.S. Extradition”

August 28, 2013

Bloomberg on August 27, 2013 released the following:

By Charles Penty & Patricia Laya

“Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) trader Javier Martin-Artajo was released from police custody after telling a Madrid court he opposed attempts by U.S. prosecutors to extradite him on charges he hid trading losses that cost the bank $6.2 billion.

The former trader turned himself in yesterday morning after being contacted by investigators, a Spanish police official said. He was released after a hearing in Madrid yesterday in which he said he was unwilling to be extradited, according to a spokeswoman for the National Court.

The U.S. this month charged Martin-Artajo, a Spanish citizen, and Julien Grout, a French citizen, with trying to hide the losses stemming from trades by Bruno Iksil, the Frenchman at the center of the case who became known as the London Whale. Grout and Martin-Artajo face up to 20 years in jail if convicted of the most serious counts, including conspiracy and wire fraud.

“The likelihood is fairly significant that he would go back,” said Ivan Mercado, managing partner at Mercado & Rengel, a law firm in Spain that works on U.S. extradition cases. “Spain and the U.S. have an extradition agreement. He can’t just say he doesn’t want to go.”

Bank’s Negotiations

JPMorgan’s losses prompted investigations on two continents, U.S. congressional hearings and an internal review that led to a 50 percent pay cut for Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who the board said bore some responsibility for lapses. Regulators in the U.K. and U.S. are preparing to impose fines on the bank as soon as mid-September, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said last week.

The bank is in talks with various authorities to settle its part of the case for about $500 million to $600 million combined, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people close to the situation. Not all agencies have agreed to numbers and the total may end up outside that range, it said.

Martin-Artajo, 49, oversaw trading strategy for Iksil’s synthetic portfolio at JPMorgan’s chief investment office in London, while Grout was a trader who worked for him.

“The arrested person is presumed responsible for manipulating and inflating the value of positions in the synthetic credit portfolio of his firm with the aim of achieving specific objectives of daily losses and gains,” Spanish police said in a statement.

‘Fair Reconstruction’

Martin-Artajo’s lawyer, Lista Cannon, didn’t respond to a call seeking comment on his client yesterday. He “is confident that when a complete and fair reconstruction of these complex events is completed, he will be cleared of any wrongdoing,” a spokeswoman for his law firm said earlier this month. Jennifer Zuccarelli, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, declined to comment.

At a hearing yesterday, Martin-Artajo’s lawyer filed documents in which his client denied the allegations, according to a court official who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The U.S. now has 40 days to file sworn statements in support of its extradition request.

Martin-Artajo will then be able to contest those arguments at a further hearing before a judge decides whether to grant the request, said Mercado, who isn’t involved in the case. The process can take up to several months, he added.

‘Very Difficult’

“When there is a bilateral agreement between two countries on certain crimes, it’s very difficult for a country to refuse extradition because the accord implies the crime is viewed comparably,” Carlos Vazquez, a criminal lawyer and partner at Vazquez & Vazquez in Madrid, said by telephone.

The spokeswoman for the court said Martin-Artajo’s passport has been confiscated. Another court official said that wasn’t the case, but that he can’t leave Spain without court approval.

Grout is living in France and isn’t a fugitive, his lawyer, Edward Little, a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in New York, said in an Aug. 12 interview, two days before his client was charged.

“He visited the U.S. last month with confidence he was not being indicted and moved to France to save money and look for a job,” Little said at the time. France has no obligation under its extradition treaty with the U.S. to send Grout to New York. Little declined to comment yesterday.

Martin-Artajo and Grout are charged with conspiring to falsify securities filings from March to May of 2012. The U.S. sought to keep the charges secret while arrests were attempted before unsealing them on Aug. 14. Jennifer Queliz, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, declined to comment.

‘Embarrassing Situation’

Dimon characterized the loss as “the stupidest and most embarrassing situation I have ever been a part of.” First disclosed in May 2012, the bad bets led to an earnings restatement, a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing and probes by authorities including the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

Iksil, dubbed the “London Whale” because his portfolio was so large, signed a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. in June, the government said. He pledged to cooperate with investigators as part of the deal. Martin-Artajo’s lawyer submitted documents with details of Iksil’s agreement with the U.S., the court official said yesterday.

The cases are U.S. v. Grout, 13-MAG-01976, and U.S. v. Martin-Artajo, 13-MAG-01975, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The SEC case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Martin-Artajo, 13-cv-05677, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).”

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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 Spain and the extradition treaty between the United States and France 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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“Report: Snowden took job to gather NSA cyber evidence”

June 24, 2013

USA Today on June 24, 2013 released the following:

Zach Coleman, Kevin Johnson and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

“Snowden revealed an NSA program that collected telephone records for millions of Americans.

HONG KONG — NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he took his job with the National Security Agency for the sole purpose of obtaining evidence on Washington’s cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Postreported Monday.

Snowden, who was in Hong Kong before fleeing to Moscow this weekend, told the newspaper that he sought a position as an analyst with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the NSA’s secret surveillance program ahead of planned leaks to the media.

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he told the Post in a June 12 interview that was published Monday. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

In his interview with the Post, Snowden divulged information that he claimed showed hacking by the NSA into computers in Hong Kong and mainland China.

“I did not release them earlier because I don’t want to simply dump huge amounts of documents without regard to their content,” he said. “I have to screen everything before releasing it to journalists.”

Asked by the Post if he specifically went to Booz Allen Hamilton as computer systems administrator to gather evidence of surveillance, he replied: “Correct on Booz.”

His intention was to collect information about the NSA hacking into “the whole world” and “not specifically Hong Kong and China.”

The documents he divulged to the Post were obtained during his tenure at Booz Allen Hamilton in April, he said.

He also signalled his intention to leak more of those documents at a later date.

“If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of U.S. network operations against their people should be published.”

Snowden’ current whereabouts are a mystery after he failed to show up for a Moscow-Cuba flight to Cuba on Monday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is assisting Snowden’s run from U.S. authorities, told reporters Monday that Snowden is “healthy and safe” in an undisclosed location awaiting word on his request for asylum by Ecuador.

Although Assange himself is holed up in the Ecuador embassy in Britain to avoid extradition to Sweden, he spoke to reporters Monday to offer the latest on the twists and turns of the 30-year-old analyst who has been charged in U.S. federal court with espionage after acknowledging that he was the source of materials detailing surveillance programs by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Snowden revealed an NSA program that collected telephone records for millions of Americans and a separate operation that targeted the Internet communications of non-citizens abroad who were suspected of terrorist connections.

He initially fled to Hong Kong, then flew to Russia on Sunday in an apparent roundabout trip to Ecuador.

The Russian news site RT reported that Aeroflot had earlier confirmed that two seats had been booked in Snowden’s name for Monday’s flight to Cuba. But an Aeroflot representative who wouldn’t give her name told The Associated Press that Snowden was not on flight SU150 to Havana. AP reporters on the flight also didn’t see him.

“Snowden has gone through registration, but did not physically board the plane and has remained in the transit zone,” RIA Novosti quoted a source at Sheremetyevo airport as saying.

Assange would not be specific on Snowden’s location, but said he is “unlikely to return” to the U.S., at least under the current administration.

“We are aware of where Mr. Snowden is,” Assange told reporters. “He is in a safe place and his spirits are high. Due to the bellicose threats from the U.S. administration … we cannot reveal what country he is in at this time.”

Assange declined to say whether he has spoken personally with the former defense analyst. At the same time, he said Snowden has “expressed no regret in his decision to reveal this important information to the public.”

Assange also said that Russian officials did not have advance notice of Snowden’s arrival in Moscow and claimed that Snowden had not been debriefed by Russian security officials

Assange, also the subject a U.S. investigation into the disclosure of secret American diplomatic cables, said the charges against Snowden are “an attempt to intimidate any country to stand up for his rights to tell the truth.”

Russia is under increasing pressure from the United States to block Snowden from further travel.

Snowden, whose U.S. passport has been revoked, fled Hong Kong apparently to avoid a U.S. extradition request and to get asylum eventually in Ecuador. In June 2012. Ecuador gave refuge at its embassy in London to Assange, who is wanted in Sweden for questioning in connection with a sexual assault investigation.

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has confirmed that Snowden had requested asylum in his country, and pledged that his request would be considered in the shortest time possible, according to televised remarks carried by the Latin-American channel Telesur.

RIA Novosti reported at about 2 a.m. Monday morning that Ecuador’s Ambassador to Russia, Patricio Alberto Chavez Zavala, was seen leaving Sheremetyevo’s transit zone, with several people getting into his car.

Interfax reported that Snowden has not been able to leave the airport because he does not have a Russian visa. He was accompanied by WikiLeaks representative Sarah Harrison, a British citizen who does have a Russian visa, according to Interfax.

Earlier the White House urged Russia to consider “all options available,” according to National Security Council Spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

A Russian security source indicated on Monday that Moscow had no basis to extradite Snowden.

“Snowden has not committed any unlawful act on Russian territory,” RIA Novosti quoted an unnamed security source as saying on Monday morning. “Russian law enforcement has no order to detain him, so there is no basis to do so.”

A Kremlin spokesperson said Monday that the Russian government had no advance knowledge that Snowden was traveling to Moscow, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told the Journal that Russia wouldn’t intervene in the Snowden matter by holding him or returning him to the U.S. to face charges.

“It is not a question for us,” Peskov told the newspaper. “We don’t know what his plans are and we were unaware he was coming here.”

The South China Morning Post meanwhile reported that Snowden had provided information to show that the NSA had hacked into the Hong Kong system of Pacnet, which runs undersea telecommunications cables around the Pacific, and into 63 computers and servers at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most elite schools.

“The NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cellphone companies to steal all of your SMS data,” Snowden told the newspaper.

Snowden, who was employed by Booz Allen Hamilton as an NSA systems analyst in Hawaii, fled to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong last month with top-secret documents and court orders on government surveillance operations.

Under Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the city is allowed a high degree of autonomy from mainland Chinese authorities until 2047. It also has its own legal and financial system, a holdover from the British colonial rule that ended in 1997.

Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong just hours after Obama administration officials announced they filed a formal petition with Chinese authorities seeking Snowden’s arrest and return to the United States.

A Russian lawmaker commented on Monday that the Snowden affair would have little effect on Russia-U.S. relations.

“It won’t improve these relations, but it won’t harm them,” RIA Novosti quoted Leonid Kalashnikov, first deputy head of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee as saying. Kalashnikov added that Russia should give Snowden citizenship and asylum. “Why should he fly to Ecuador? This isn’t about a political refugee, but about a humanitarian one.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said the U.S. government must exhaust all legal options to get Snowden back.

“Every one of those nations is hostile to the United States,” Rogers, R-Mich., said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

In New Delhi, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the U.S. had put several countries on notice that Snowden is wanted by the U.S. legal system on on three felony counts.

He also took a jab at China and Russia, where Snowden fled to avoid arrest.

“I wonder if Mr. Snowden chose China and Russia as assistance in his flight from justice because they are such powerful bastions of Internet freedom,” Kerry told reporters. “And I wonder if, while he was in either of those countries, did he raise the questions of Internet freedom, since that seems to be what he champions.”

China’s Foreign Ministry distanced itself from any role in Snowden’s departure from Hong Kong, saying Monday the territory had the right to make its own decision.

In a routine briefing with reporters, the spokeswoman said Beijing has “always respected” Hong Kong’s ability to deal with such matters through its legal system.

She also raised Beijing’s concerns about cybersecurity in light of Snowden’s allegations, saying that the Chinese government has brought the issue up directly with Washington.

“We are seriously concerned about the cyberattacks that the relevant U.S. government agencies carried out on China as have been recently reported,” she said. “This demonstrates again that China is a victim of cyberattacks.”

Hong Kong lawmaker and lawyer Albert Ho, whose firm had been representing Snowden in an effort to clarify his legal situation with the government, said he suspects authorities in Beijing were calling the shots.

Ho said an intermediary who claimed to represent the government relayed a message to Snowden saying he was free to leave and should do so.

Ho said he didn’t know the identity of the intermediary and wasn’t sure whether the person was acting on Hong Kong’s or Beijing’s behalf.

“The entire decision was probably made in Beijing and Beijing decided to act on its best interests,” Ho told reporters. “However, Beijing would not want to be seen on stage because it would affect Sino-U.S. relations. That’s why China has somebody acting in the background.””

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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 Ecuador, extradition treaty between the United States and Cuba, extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela 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

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Suspected Mexican drug ‘queen’ extradited to U.S.

August 10, 2012
Sandra Avila Beltran
“Sandra Avila Beltran, also known as the “Queen of the Pacific.””

CNN on August 10, 2012 released the following:

“By the CNN Wire Staff

Mexico City (CNN) — One of the most high-profile women accused of connections with Mexico’s drug trade was extradited to the United States Thursday, officials said.

Mexican police handed over Sandra Avila Beltran, known as “The Queen of the Pacific,” to U.S. marshals at an airport in central Mexico Thursday morning, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

She will face cocaine trafficking charges in a federal court in Florida, prosecutors said.

Avila was once a key drug trafficking link between Colombia and Mexico, prosecutors have said. She was arrested in Mexico City on September 28, 2007, smiling before cameras as authorities trumpeted her detention.

Since then, her life has been the subject of a best-selling book and a popular ballad.

“The more beautiful the rose, the sharper the thorns,” says one line in “The Queen of Queens,” Los Tigres del Norte’s song describing Avila.

Her eye-catching nickname has regularly made headlines as Mexico’s case against her made its way through the nation’s courts.

A judge convicted her on money laundering charges, but ruled that Mexican prosecutors didn’t provide enough evidence to convict her of drug trafficking.

In 2011, authorities in Mexico City said they were investigating a tip that prison medical personnel had allowed a doctor to give Avila a Botox injection.

Avila denied that accusation, Mexico’s state-run Notimex news agency reported.

For more than two years, Avila has tried to block a U.S. extradition request. A Mexican judge ruled that she could be extradited in June.

A 2008 U.S. Congressional Research Service report described Avila as “a senior member of the Sinaloa cartel who was instrumental” in building ties with Colombian traffickers.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Avila was suspected of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States along with Juan Diego Espinosa, a Colombian national who was also known as “The Tiger.”

The DEA said that in November 2001, Espinosa, Avila and others “allegedly arranged the shipment of cocaine from Colombia to the United States by ship.” The ship, loaded with 9,291 kilograms of cocaine, was boarded by U.S. agents near Manzanillo, on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

U.S. authorities extradited Espinosa from Mexico in 2008. A judge sentenced him to six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a cocaine distribution conspiracy charge in 2009. A court document signed as part of the plea agreement said that he and Avila had taken part in a deal to distribute 100 kilograms of cocaine in Chicago.

In the United States, Avila faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if she is convicted of charges of conspiracy to import and sell cocaine, according to a 2004 indictment filed in U.S. district court.

In a 2009 interview with Anderson Cooper that aired on “60 Minutes” and CNN, Avila denied the charges against her, and blamed Mexico’s government for allowing drug trafficking to flourish.

“In Mexico there’s a lot of corruption, A lot. Large shipments of drugs can come into the Mexican ports or airports without the authorities knowing about it. It’s obvious and logical. The government has to be involved in everything that is corrupt,” she said.”

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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 Mexico 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:


Antigua judge rejects appeal by ex-regulator

February 7, 2012

CBS News on February 6, 2012 released the following:

“(AP) ST. JOHN’S, Antigua — An Antiguan judge on Monday upheld a decision paving the way for the U.S. extradition of a former financial regulator indicted in an alleged $7 billion swindle by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford.

High Court Judge Mario Michel on Monday rejected Leroy King’s challenge on a magistrate’s 2010 ruling.

The decision to extradite is now in the hands of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, who also serves as the Caribbean country’s external affairs minister. He made no immediate comments about King.

King was fired in 2009 as Antigua’s top financial regulator after being accused of accepting bribes to turn a blind eye to irregularities in Stanford’s financial empire. He also allegedly wrote false and misleading letters to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dane Hamilton, King’s attorney, would not comment about Monday’s ruling, except to say that his client is “exploring other legal options.”

King, who remains under house arrest at his beachfront condominium just outside the capital of St. John’s, had led Antigua’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission. He has been indicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of the SEC.

U.S. prosecutors allege Stanford orchestrated a massive Ponzi scheme by advising clients to invest more than $7 billion in certificates of deposit from the Stanford International Bank in Antigua.

Stanford’s attorneys contend the financier was a savvy businessman whose financial empire, headquartered in Houston, was legitimate.

At Stanford’s trial in Texas last week, the financier’s former finance chief testified that bribes of at least $10,000 to $15,000 were allegedly paid every three months to King.

King helped tip the financier off in 2005 when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating the CD program, Davis testified. Stanford help write the response King sent back to the SEC in 2006 saying his agency had found nothing wrong at the bank, he said.”

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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 Antigua and Barbuda 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 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.