Friday, June 14, 2024

Menendez Trial Also Canceled June 17 Sources Tell Inner City Press Amid Trial Book Gold Bob


Book

SDNY COURTHOUSEJune 13 - In US versus Bob Menendez, the corruption trial on Qatar and Egypt and New Jersey bank fraudster Daibes, one month in the trial day of June 14 was canceled.

  And at 3:30 pm on June 14, Inner City Press through this reporter reliably learned that Monday, June 17 is canceled to (though that was not in the docket - at least not yet).

Update: 20 minutes after the above, confirmation: "Please be advised that trial in the above action, originally scheduled to resume Monday, June 17, 2024, is adjourned. It is anticipated that trial will resume Tuesday, June 18, 2024."

  And so a book and audiobook was published of the trial's first month, and Menendez' history: Gold Bar Bob Menendez Trial I, by Matthew Russell Lee, paperback available on Amazon here

   It begins: He "pushed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hard right on Cuba and Iran until he ran into an indictment for helping Egypt and Qatar. This is that story.     

 "'Tomorrow you'll see the truth,' he said." But what if tomorrow never comes? More coverage and another book will be coming.

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On Fentanyl Death in Bronx Daycare Herrera Garcia Pled Now No CJA On Saturday Slammed


by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 13 – Following the death of a one-year old baby by fentanyl, on September 19, 2023 the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Grei Mendez and Carlisto Acevedo Brito.

On September 25, with no notice and Inner City Press initially the only person in the courtroom gallery, the third man was brought in: Renny Antonio Parra Paredes. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread

On January 23, Paredes' lawyer argued, and lost, before the assigned District Judge Jed S. Rakoff: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jed S. Rakoff: Oral Argument as to Felix Herrera Garcia, Grei Mendez, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, Renny Antonio Parra Paredes held on 1/23/2024. The trial date is adjourned to 6/10/2024

On February 12, Inner City Press went to a possible change of counsel hearing on lead defendant Felix Herrera Garcia - but soon Judge Rakoff asked everyone but Herrera Garcia and his still counsel to leave the courtroom, "even my favorite reporter."

On June 10, the day of jury selection on Herrera Garcia, his trial was canceled; he pled guilty.

On June 13, Judge Rakoff issued a blistering order chiding Federal Defenders and the US Attorney's Office, and recommending that CJA counsel henceforth be available on Saturdays: "OPINION as to Grei Mendez: While the Court is extremely disappointed with the conduct of the Federal Defenders and the Government in this case, it also recognizes the role that this District's standing policy of not requiring CJA counsel to be on call on Saturdays had in precipitating the events of September 23, 2023. If this District, instead, had a standing policy that provided for CJA counsel to at least be on call on Saturdays, this entire situation would never have occurred. Accordingly, the Court has recommended to the relevant committee of this Court that it revise this policy so as to ensure that indigent defendants always have immediate access to conflict-free counsel and permanently prevent the misconduct that occurred here from happening again in the future. (Signed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff on 6/13/2024)."

Back on March 21, Grei Mendez was brought into the Magistrates Court to be arraigned on a superseding indictment. Inner City Press was there, thread

the Court severed Ms. Mendez from the jury trial of her co-defendant set to proceed on June 10, 2024, and a new trial will be calendared in her case."

More on Substack here

The case is US v. Herrera Garcia et al., 23-cr-504 (Rakoff)

Watch this site.

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After Terraform Labs Crypto Trial Verdict of Liable SEC Gets $4B Settlement Approved


by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 13 – The SEC's trial against  Terraform Labs began on March 25. Inner City Press was there, thread. On November 17, 2023 US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff held a hearing on potential trial experts. Inner City Press live tweeted that too, thread.

More on Substack here

Ten days later on April 5, Judge Rakoff gave legal instructions to the jury for deliberation, including that "I instruct you as a matter of law that the tokens known as UST, LUNA, and wLUNA are securities." Full 24 page legal instructions to jury on Patreon here.

And then the verdict: Liable, liable, liable - and reckless, not intentional.

On April 19 the SEC filed a motion for injunction against violations, and $4 billion disgorgement, to fine Terraform Labs $420 million and Do Kwon $100 million. Motion on Patreon here.

On May 30, after an unceremoniously canceled May 29 proceeding, this: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jed S. Rakoff: Telephone Conference held on 5/29/2024,without transcription or recording. Counsel for all parties was present. The oral argument previously set for 5/29/2024 has been cancelled because the parties have informed the Court that they reached a settlement in principle. The parties must file, by 6/12/2024, papers in support of a proposed final judgment consistent with the settlement."

On June 12, Judge Rakoff approved it: "FINAL JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANTS TERRAFORM LABS PTE LTD. AND DO HYEONG KWON: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Defendants are permanently restrained and enjoined from violating, directly or indirectly, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act [15 U.S.C. § 78j(b)] and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder [17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5], by using any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or of the mails, or of any facility of any national securities exchange, in connection with the purchase or sale of any security: As further set forth in this Order. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Terraform is liable for disgorgement totaling $3,586,875,883, which represents net profits gained as a result of the conduct alleged in the Complaint, together with prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $466,952,423. Of these amounts, Kwon is jointly and severally liable with Terraform in the amount of $110,000,000 of disgorgement, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $14,320,196. Pursuant to Section 20(d) of the Securities Act [15 U.S.C. § 77t(d)] and Section 21(d)(3) of the Exchange Act [15 U.S.C. § 78u(d)(3)], the Court further imposes a civil penalty on Terraform of $420,000,000. The $4,473,828,306 in total monetary remedies against Terraform shall be payable as provided for in the confirmed Chapter 11 Plan in the Bankruptcy Case, as set forth in the following paragraph. As further set forth in this Order. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Kwon is liable for disgorgement totaling $110,000,000, together with prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $14,320,196. Pursuant to Section 20(d) of the Securities Act [15 U.S.C. § 77t(d)] and Section 21(d)(3) of the Exchange Act [15 U.S.C. § 78u(d)(3)], the Court further imposes a civil penalty on Kwon of $80,000,000. Kwon shall begin to satisfy these obligations by directly transferring to the bankruptcy estate in the Bankruptcy Case, assets and funds as set forth in the next paragraph herein. Payment of the monetary remedies against Kwon shall be deemed satisfied, provided that all transfers by Kwon to the SEC and the Terraform bankruptcy estate in the Bankruptcy Case total no less than $204,320,196, excluding the value of any Terraform Crypto Assets transferred to the Terraform bankruptcy estate, only if and until Kwon completes: (1) transferring into an escrow account agreed by Kwon and the Commission staff $4,700,000 within 30 days of Final Judgment as set for the above; (2) transferring into an escrow account agreed by Kwon and the Commission staff $2,300,000 of assets belonging to Kwon in accounts at Sygnum Bank of Zurich, Switzerland, associated with Portfolio Number 84.002.088-00, within 30 days of Final Judgment; (3) transferring to the Terraform bankruptcy estate in the Bankruptcy Case within 30 days all crypto assets of the Luna Foundation Guard, which shall first be applied to satisfy the disgorgement amount and prejudgment interest with any remaining assets applied to the civil penalty amount; As further set forth in this Order. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED all parties have knowingly and voluntarily consented to waive the right, if any, to appeal from the entry of this Final Judgment. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that this Court shall retain jurisdiction of this matter for the purposes of enforcing the terms of this Final Judgment. (Signed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff on 6/12/2024)."

More on X for Subscriber here & Substack here

The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Terraform Labs Pte Ltd. et al., 23-cv-1346 (Rakoff) 

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RISE Court Graduates Speak of Second Chances Amid Stevenson Tales of Death Row at SDNY


by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 13 – "I hope I never see you again." Inner City Press has heard and documented this being said by judges at sentencing proceedings in more than one Federal court district.  

  The phrase sometimes unpacked or qualified: I hope I never see in my courtroom on a violation of supervised release, but if you see me in the street, approach and we'll get a slice of pizza. (Given the context, no one says, We'll have a beer.) 

  But at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 13, the approach described was different. Graduates of the Reentry through Intensive Supervision and Employment Court (RISE Court) spoke, about how they had turned their lives around. Judge Denny Chin, and Magistrate Judges Cott and Cave introduced the graduates. At least two other Second Circuit judges, and many District Court and Magistrate Judges, where there.

  The first speakers was Bryan Stevenson, responsible for reversing 140 death penalty convictions over a long career as the founder  and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. He described his work on death row, and now in Montgomery, Alabama.

On attended, Judge Richard M. Berman has a complementary approach.  

  He calls it Court-Involved Supervised Release and in his June 10 report, "Judges Need to Walk the Walk" he emphasizes that "By re-focusing their attention upon criminal case supervision, judges will make an enormous positive impact upon recidivism (re-offending)." 

 The approach involved six to ten supervision proceedings a year, not just waiting to see if there is a violation of supervised release.

To Judge Berman's credit, he does many, even most of these by video conference, despite some arguing this is not available in Federal criminal cases.

Even more to his credit, he dockets a public call-in line, which often Inner City Press is the only one to use. It is appreciated.

  Judge Berman's report has anonymized case studies and statistics. For now we'll note that his approach is being passed on.

 For example, SDNY Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave on June 10, in a proceeding only covered by Inner City Press, overrode a remand recommendation by Probation and released a defendant, on the condition that he have a call with her (and Probation) the following week.  

The approach may not always work - what does? - but it can't hurt.

Once, admittedly, Inner City Press covered the proceeding of a defendant who said, Enough calls, I'd rather just serve my time and be done. Sadly, the defendant is dead. Inner City Press will continue to cover such reports, and cases, and calls. Watch this site.

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In Corrupt UN of Guterres ICSC Djacta Lets Cronies Stay On with Fake Degree now De Beer


by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

UN GATE,June 13 –   How corrupt is today's UN system under Antonio Guterres? The UN General Assembly raised the mandatory age of retirement in the UN to 65 years . The ICSC regularly monitors the implementation of the mandatory age of retirement in the organizations of the UN common system and report to the General Assembly. However, it is now clear that the ICSC staff members closed to the ICSC Chair, Mr. c, are treated differently than other retiring UN staff, whistleblowers tell Inner City Press.

The ICSC Chair, Mr. Larbi Djacta has been repeatedly extending his favorites beyond the mandatory retirement age and delaying years to replace them with new  staff with the necessary credentials, including advance degrees (Djacta's favorite senior staff lack any advanced degrees or credentials, then same as him). Some of those vacancies for these posts were announced early last year, but so far, no actions have been taken to select the candidates who applied for these posts numerous times due to reannouncements of those vacancies as a delay tactic. 

[Last year Inner City Press exclusively reported: On January 26, 2022 contacted by UN whistleblowers, Inner City Press asked Guterres and his spokespeople Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming questions including "On USG Larbi Djacta, ICSC chair, the resume states Masters Degree St John's University 1991-93. Please immediately state a Masters Degree IN WHAT."    23 months later, no answer at all. This is fraud.

Here is the relevant information on one of those positions - Chief of Human Resources Policies at D-1 level in the ICSC 

ICSC Request -
                        exposed by Inner City Press ICSC Granted - exposed by Inner City Press

This is the case with Ms. Henrietta De Beer! Once again, Mr. Larbi Djacta has decided to extend her contract WELL BEYOND her mandatory retirement age of 65 years (see attached). The vacancy for the post has been announced two or three times over the last two years. Unfortunately, there was no action or news about that recruitment. So, the pertinent question that should be asked here for proper checks and balance is why Ms. De Beer cannot be replaced with a new talent! This kind of abuse of authority is one of the major hurdles in the UN towards rejuvenating the workforce.

Larbi 2
Opportunities for new and younger talent pipelines in the UN organizations are blocked at the top because of not letting go of the old and out-of-date talent in the UN organizations by the heads of organizations/entities just for their personal benefits or quid pro quo! Watch this site

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Gold Bar Bob Menendez Trial Book Has Qatar and Egypt Bribes and Union City Omega 7 Days


Book

SDNY COURTHOUSEJune 13 - In US versus Bob Menendez, the corruption trial on Qatar and Egypt and New Jersey bank fraudster Daibes, one month in the trial day was canceled.

 That day, a book and audiobook was published of the trial's first month, and Menendez' history: Gold Bar Bob Menendez Trial I, by Matthew Russell Lee, available on Amazon here

   It begins: He "pushed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hard right on Cuba and Iran until he ran into an indictment for helping Egypt and Qatar. This is that story.     

 Menendez testified against his mentor William Musto, wearing a bullet-proof vest, and donated for the defense of anti-Castro bombers of Omega 7.   

   Outside the court he took Inner City Press' questions about what his wife Nadine had been texting thanks for.    

 "'Tomorrow you'll see the truth,' he said. This is that tomorrow - and Daibes called in with COVID." More coverage and another book will be coming.

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Capital One Should Discover Merger Dead But Brags of Access Before July 19 Public Meeting


by Matthew R. Lee

SOUTH BRONX, June 12 – Capital One has applied to buy Discover, in an anticompetitive deal that should be rejected by regulators if they mean what they have been saying. While they applied late March 20, as of 1 pm on March 22 there was no notice of the Federal Reserve's or OCC's websites. Inner City Press submitted second FOIA requests to each agency. Public hearings should be held, not only on antitrust but also lending disparities at both companies. 

 On April 24 the Fed extended its comment period to May 31 - without (yet?) granting public hearings, nor providing the FOIA documents.

  Yet on June 12, this: "June 11 (Reuters) - Capital One Financial Corp: * CAPITAL ONE EXEC SAYS IN CONVERSATION WITH U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE AND OFFICE OF COMPTROLLER OF CURRENCY ON DISCOVER DEAL - INVESTOR CONFERENCE." In conversation? With no documents provided to the opposed public? Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch registered for the public meeting, in opposition.

On May 14 - still without providing FOIA documents - the Fed and OCC set a July 19 virtual public meeting. And already, pro merger lobbying had begun, for example here by a group previously identified in a Trenton NJ political quid pro quo scandal.

 Then an SC Astroturf piece, then going green.

Next a former NH Commissioner, and a "former Democratic campaign strategist in Southern Nevada." Unreal.  We'll have more on this.

  The OCC first put its application in its reading room. And it is an outrage, Capital One gaming the CRA system. For example "the Proposed Transaction would result in CONA establishing a new assessment area in  Delaware, which will include all census tracts in Sussex County and seven contiguous census  tracts in Kent County."

That for a nationwide card and subprime auto lender...

 As documented by Fair Finance Watch, Discover Bank in 2022 denied mortgage loans application from African Americans more than twice as frequently as those of whites. 

  Previously, Inner City Press and NCRC challenged Capital One's acquisition of ING Direct, see here.This time, given the antitrust enforcement claims being made in DC, this proposal should be dead in the water. Watch this site. 

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In Menendez Trial Cooperator Uribe Is Crossed on Defrauding Santander but not Strip Clubs


by Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 11 – Amid reports of investigation against Sen. Robert Menendez for taking gold bars, Inner City Press' sources on September 21 it to expect on Friday, September 22 an appearance in Federal court in Manhattan by Menendez and his wife Nadine Arslanian. This scoop was true.

Later a superseder was unveiled, including charges of bribes to act for Qatar...

On April 11, 2024 after Nadine Menendez and then the government asked for delay, to July or undefined, Judge Stein severed her case and reaffirmed May 6, Inner City Press thread

On Sunday night April 14 the US wrote in again asking for a delay to July, six page letter on Patreon here.

But Judge Stein told the parties to confer and report by April 16 at 1 pm. Then he set an April 17 conference, which Inner City Press live tweeted and dubbed "Berate-gate," thread

On May 13, jury selection began - but did not finish. Abit later, Menendez got into an car with FOP NJ plates.

On May 14 jury selection continued but was not yet completed, from the ending, thread

Late on May 14, the US Attorney's Office filed opposition to slides the defense wants to use in its opening arguments, including quotes from Colin Powell and MLK, and when Nadine came into possession of gold - full letter on Patreon here

Inner City Press live tweeted jury selection and then opening arguments here, then filmed Bob's exit (he said he thought it went well and that his guy did great).

On May 21, the US Attorney's Office put on Wael Hana's lawyer, then a US State Department official working on Congressional approval (or holds) on arms transfer to Egypt, thread here.

On May 23, with the trial in haitus, docketed was Menendez' lawyers opposition to quashing his subpoena for Jose Uribe's attorney proffer and communications with SDNY prosecutors, filing on Patreon here

On May 29, Inner City Press live tweeted, omitting Morton's steakhouse but including this

On May 30, Menendez's lawyer's (long) cross, including this.

On May 31, starting 1 pm, the agent was cross examined, and then USDA Ted McKinney on direct, thread

  After the trial day, Inner City Press filed Menendez' walk to his Jersey-plated car; asked why he called McKinney he said, Wait for the cross [examination].

Nadine Menendez hired a new lawyer, who previously represented Sydney Powell among others. Then this: "ORDER as to Nadine Menendez: At the request of the defendant and with the consent of the government [Doc. No. 434], the status conference is adjourned from June 10 to June 12 at 5 :00 p.m.(Signed by Judge Sidney H. Stein on 6/3/2024)."

On June 4 Judge Stein dockted a partially redacted Order in which he denied Menendez's request that the prosecutors give him impeachment material about a Confidential Human Source they are not going to call as a witness - but Menendez said he will.

On June 5, Inner City Press live tweeted - and afterward asked Menendez a question. Thread.

On June 6, after more cross of Agent Graves, Gurbir Grewal testified, thread

On June 7, after an FBI fingerprint expert, cooperator Jose Uribe, Inner City Press live tweeted, thread

On June 10, Uribe finished his direct examination around 4 pm, then counsel for Hana, not yet Menendez, began cross examination, thread.

On June 11, Uribe was cross examined - though not on the "strip club issue" after which out on Worth Street Menendez decried Uribe's crimes. Thread:

Hana's lawyer: Isn't it true you didn't mention Mr. Hana mentioned Senator Menendez until many meetings into your cooperation with the government? Uribe: I don't have a recollection. Hana's lawyer: At the bar, there was no discussion with Hana about Part 1 & 2? No 

Hana's lawyer: Are you aware that Nadine referred Doug Anton to Hana as a possible lawyer for Elvis Parra, for $20,000 for probation, or $150,000 if it went to trial? Uribe: I had no knowledge. Hana's lawyer: Fair to say you lie a lot? Uribe: I have lied  

Hana's lawyer: You ripped off the SBA? Uribe: I used the wrong numbers. Hana's lawyer: Fake numbers, right? Uribe: To get the loan. Hana's lawyer: You are testifying to get a lower sentence, right? Uribe: Less than 95 years, I am hoping. Maybe no jail  Judge Stein: Let's break. [With jury out of room]

Hana's lawyer Lustberg: We want to cross him about a car crash and most about his failure to pay child support, given his claims of being a family man. He says the woman he didn't pay got into another relationship 

AUSA Richenthal: We don't want to put into the public record things we want out of it... What Mr. Lustberg just said is inaccurate, I'm not saying intentionally so. This is deeply personal.

Judge Stein: We're dancing around some things here 

Judge Stein: What about the strip clubs?

AUSA Richenthal: I'd ask Your Honor to be carefully how to describe the conduct -

Lustberg: I will too, it's in the papers, he's claimed to be a choirboy but this goes directly to morality.

Judge: You have a lot on him  Judge: The strip club, essentially irrelevant. The child support, on a 403 weighing, I'm going to exclude it too. It doesn't go to truthfulness. You've got so much to work with on the cross. So this falls into 403. It's prejudicial.   Judge: OK, now we'll break.

 Cross continues, by Hana's lawyer Hana's lawyer: After the prosecutors told you that you were the target of a tax investigation, you pled guilty saying you bribed Senator Menendez, right? Uribe: After I pled guilty I had to tell the truth.   [After lunch break]

Judge Stein: OK, Mr. Fee, try to avoid objections. Menendez' lawyer Fee: Read that, Mr. Uribe, and let me know when you're finished. Uribe: OK.

Fee: Ana was not in touch with your daughter Vanessa when she called you and said, I'm pregnant and I need a job. Yes.  Menendez's lawyer Fee: So you put her as head of the company you were illegally running? Uribe: Can I add to your question? Fee: No. Your son refused to run it -

Uribe: He went to Seattle... I use my family to have the opportunity to share my business, we share  Menendez's lawyer Fee: You used your nephew at Santander to commit wire fraud? Uribe: He was a salesman there Fee: Santander is an international bank, right? Uribe: I know it operates in the US. Fee: And you defrauded the SBA? Uribe: I used a fake tax return, yes 

Menendez's lawyer Fee: You remember Jose Suero & Hoboken 1st Class Corp - and taking premiums from them for three and a half years, right? Uribe: Yes Fee: Then one of his limos got into an accident, right? Uribe: I don't remember. Fee: Suero closed? A: He's in NJ  Menendez's lawyer Fee: After you got Nadine the car, she stopped answering you as quickly, right? Uribe: Yes.

Fee: You felt she was using you? Uribe: I never thought that. Fee: You never talked about the car with Senator Menendez? Uribe: I did not.  Menendez's lawyer Fee: Nadine never told you that she told Senator Menendez you paid for her car, did she? Uribe: She did not. Fee: You know Senator Menendez is an advocate for Latinos? Uribe: I do not follow Mr. Menendez, what he likes about his job.  Judge: We'll break here.

 They've back Menendez's lawyer Fee: You hosted a fundraiser for Senator Menendez, with nearly all Latino truckers? Uribe: Yes. Fee: And Senator Menendez asked the attendees to share with him their stories of any problems? Uribe: I don't remember that  Menendez's lawyer Fee: Here, his [then] staffer Samantha Maltzman texted you a story about Latino museum opening in DC after work by Senator Menendez? Uribe: I see that.

 Menendez's lawyer Fee: You never told Senator Menendez that you were operating without a license, did you? Uribe: I don't recall telling him that. Fee: Andy told you Doug Anton was crazy in love with Nadine? Uribe: Yes Judge: That's not for the truth, jurors 

Menendez's lawyer Fee: You claim the Senator called you from his office in DC and said That thing that you asked me, there is nothing there, you have your peace? Uribe: Yes. Fee: He didn't ask for a bribe, right? Uribe: No he did not.  Judge: We'll stop for the day here.

More on X for Subscribers here and Substack here

The case is US v. Menendez, et al., 23-cr-490 (Stein)

More on Substack here

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