Thursday, August 29, 2013

HSBC still in crosshairs of intrest group

By The Huffington Post
Everett Stern didn't realize that becoming a whistleblower would change his life. Not only did he lose his job and career at HSBC, and become blacklisted from the banking industry, he now sleeps with a gun by his bed after receiving death threats on a regular basis. He can barely afford a ticket to New York City to speak at a press conference this Thursday Aug. 29, at noon on the steps of the New York Public Library. But he isn't worried. According to the former bank employee, he will stop at nothing to expose HSBC's continued actions of laundering money for terrorists groups. Although the bank paid a 1.9 billion penalty in 2009,Stern claims he has evidence that HSBC continued to launder money during his tenure after they admitted that they had stopped in 2010.

"The public needs to know that money is still being funneled through HSBC to directly buy guns and bullets to kill our soldiers. Fines are not acceptable. I want a criminal indictment of HSBC executives," he asserts. "And if I die because of this, my life will have been worthwhile."

A noble cause doesn't mean people will listen to you. During his employment with HSBC as an AML (Anti-Money Laundering officer), Stern found discrepancies and brought them to the attention of his supervisors. Through an Internet search, Stern found a Saudi fruit company was sending millions to a high-ranking figure in the Yemeni wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Stern also uncovered that HSBC was allowing millions of dollars to be moved from the Karaiba chain of supermarkets in Africa to a firm called Tajco, a company that had been singled out by the US Treasury Department as major financiers of the Lebanese Shiite group, Hezbollah. Stern's supervisors, however, told him to not make waves and keep "clearing the quota of 72 alerts per week."

Stern then took his evidence further, notifying appropriate government agencies such as the FBI, CIA and SEC, about violations of US money laundering laws. All efforts fell on deaf ears -- the excuse being that prosecuting the Too Big To Fail bank would precipitate a financial collapse. Frustrated with the lack of action, Mr. Stern recently decided to take the case public, approaching various media outlets, in addition to Occupy Wall Street. By doing so, he has given up a multi-million dollar whistleblower award.

"This is not a Democrat or Republican issue," he said. "Banks financing drug cartels and terrorists affects every single American. I went to Occupy not because I am a major supporter of the movement. I went because they care enough to hit the streets, carry signs and send a message that I also believe in."

The OWS Alternative Banking Working Group, working in conjunction with Stern for tomorrow's protest, agrees. "Everett Stern is able to give us a mountain of information and point us in the right direction to apply effective pressure," says Cathy O'Neil, the Alternative Banking lead organizer. "In turn, we are able to give him an army of supporters and a populist megaphone with a proven ability to get the public's attention."

Michael Hearns an Anti Money Laundering specialist with over 24 years of AML experience can also be found at and on twitter at :!/LaunderingMoney

Monday, August 26, 2013

Money is Oxygen to Terrorism


The US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Dan Mozena, has stressed the need to cut off money supply to terrorists, saying it acts like oxygen for terrorism. “Money and terrorism can be two sides of the same coin. Money [is] the facilitator of terrorism. Money [is] the enabler of terrorism. Money [is] the oxygen of terrorism,” he said on Monday.Mozena was speaking at the inauguration of a three-day SAARC Regional Judicial Conference on ‘Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing’ being held in a hotel in capital Dhaka. The conference has been organised in collaboration with the Counter-terrorism Bureau of the US State Department.

“To defeat terrorism, we must cut off the oxygen supply. We must cut off the flow of money, and that is where you come in,” he told attending judges. He said, “You [are the] brave judges from across South Asia. Your critical task is to suffocate terrorism, to deprive terrorism of the money. It’s needed for the people, our societies and our countries. Nobody said this is easy, it is not. Nobody said this is without risk.”
But he emphasized the importance of attacking and stopping the flow of money to terrorists to enable “the people of our respective countries to live in peace, in harmony. So they can build better lives for themselves and for their children”.

The US Ambassador, however, said judges were not the only players in this battle against money laundering.
He said, “Parliament must enact robust laws targeting financial crimes and money laundering, and bringing these laws up to international standards.” He said the US and Bangladesh had partnered to craft powerful laws, providing the tools needed to put money launderers behind bars.

Parliament had enacted them, and they were now being enforced, he said.

“Parliament must provide law enforcing agencies and the judiciary the resources needed to defeat money laundering,” he observed. He said the police, other law-enforcing agencies, intelligence agencies, and the military must play their part in apprehending money launderers and in gathering evidence needed for conviction.
He said as money launderers and terrorists became more sophisticated, security agencies, too, were expected to develop new skills and adopt new technologies.

“Countries of the region and beyond must better cooperate with each other, must better share information, must better appreciate that while borders and questions of sovereignty have historically constrained nation’s ability to work together, criminal and terrorists are not limited by such thinking,” he emphasized.
He said the nations of the region and beyond, must commit themselves to deeper cooperation in fighting money laundering and terrorism. He felt it was important for prosecutors to be professionals of integrity, capable of effectively presenting their case in court.

“And that brings us full circle back to you,” he said, referring to the judges, whom he described as linchpins in bringing money launderers and terrorists to justice. “You may have the toughest role to play,” he said, pointing out that judges had to ensure fairness, prevent violation of rights, and make sure that anti-terrorism and money-laundering laws were not used a political tools. He appealed to judges to encourage international cooperation “in this battle and admit into court evidence from international partners, to the fullest extent of law”. Judges should also ensure that their sentences, aimed at protecting people and deter criminals, were properly executed, he added

Michael Hearns an Anti Money Laundering specialist with over 24 years of AML experience can also be found at and on twitter at :!/LaunderingMoney

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chinese-Canadian refugee admits laundering $12m in four years; He used three different passports to open bank accounts

A Chinese-Canadian man admitted laundering more than HK$95 million (about $12.8 million) over four years through bank accounts he had opened using three different passports. Xie Jing-feng, also known as David Chow, 56, pleaded guilty in the Hong Kong District Court to one count of money laundering, the South China Morning Post reported.
Prosecutor Leslie Parry told the court that Xie was born on the Chinese mainland. He entered Canada in 1997 as a refugee and was granted citizenship after five years. Xie and his wife, Zhu Li-chang, both hold Canadian passports, the paper said. Xie, who is not resident in Hong Kong, used a Canadian passport to open an integrated account at HSBC in June 2005, the court heard. The following year, he opened a savings account at Hang Seng Bank using a second Canadian passport that was also in his name but with a different number.
In May 2007, Xie produced a third Canadian passport to open two accounts at Standard Chartered Bank for his company, Civil Finance Limited. He stated that he was a director of the company. Between June 2005 and April 2009, the court heard, Xie used the four accounts — along with five others that were held by his companies or wife — to launder more than HK$95 million.
No tax returns were submitted to the Inland Revenue Department by either Xie or his companies during this period, The South China Morning Post said. Police began investigating Xie in 2008. He was jailed for eight months in November 2011 after being stopped at the mainland border for using a fake Malaysian passport. He pleaded guilty to the charge in Sha Tin Court. After further investigation, Xie was arrested for money laundering when he was released from jail on April 30 last year. Judge David Dufton adjourned sentencing until Thursday.

Michael Hearns an Anti Money Laundering specialist with over 24 years of AML experience can also be found at and on twitter at:!/LaunderingMoney and at

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Armenian gets 6 years, 4 months for laundering money from phony Medicare claims

By Terry Dickson
Florida Times Union

A Los Angeles man will serve six years, four months in prison for laundering money through a Brunswick storefront in a nationwide Medicare fraud scheme and will face deportation to Armenia when he is released.
Chief U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also ordered Avetik Moskovian to pay nearly $309,000 in restitution and to serve three years on probation. Moskovian pleaded guilty in April to conspiring to launder money with Shahak Tumanyan and others in a scheme that was based in Los Angeles and operated shell corporations in Brunswick, Savannah, Buffalo, N.Y., Albuquerque and Chicago among other places.

Moskovian begged Wood for mercy.
“I plead with you not to destroy my family. I have children. This will have a great impact on their future,’’ he said.

But Wood went well above the 20-month sentence that Moskovian’s lawyer, George M. Mgdesyan asked for and said she went toward the top of the advisory sentencing guidelines. Wood noted Mgdesyen’s assertion that Moskovian had worked hard.
“He worked very hard at laundering money,’’ she said.

The mastermind of the scheme, Arthur Manasarian, is serving 14 years in prison and must repay $1.8 million of the more than $7 million that he and others gained by submitting and collecting on false Medicare claims for medical devices. The defendants stole the Medicare identities of patients and providing physicians and used them to bill the government for wheelchairs, canes, walkers and other devices that were never delivered to anyone. In Brunswick, the bills were submitted from a company called Brunswick Medical Supplies, which was nothing more than a storefront with a phone.
During Moskovian’s sentencing hearing Monday, FBI Special Agent Tony Alig testified that the FBI and Department of Health and Human Services investigators had identified 15 businesses that Moskovian had created solely to launder money. Mgdesyan, also of Los Angeles, said that Moskovian had come to the country in 1988 and had worked ever since to support his family. Moskovian told the court when he pleaded guilty in April that he had driven a cab and limousine and had owned a service station, a cell phone business and recycling business.

Wood said the government had trouble verifying some of his work history. It appeared that a lot of his employment was on a cash basis, she said. Mgdesyan said that unlike Tumanyan, who had fled from the government, Moskovian had admitted his guilt and that he was worried about supporting his wife and their three daughters, two of whom will be in college in a few days.
“He feels embarrassed he’s let them down,’’ Mgdesyan said.

Moskovian did not hide anything and laid out all he knew to investigators, Mgdesyan said. Although Moskovian’s admissions made the government’s case stronger, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Rafferty told Wood, the case resulted from five years of hard work by government agents.
“The truth is, we were going to be here anyway,’’ Rafferty said.

The money laundering scheme that Moskovian set up was very sophisticated with multiple bank accounts and shell businesses: Once the Medicare checks came in, Moskovian began moving the money between accounts until it came out as cash, Rafferty said. Mgdesyan asked that he be allowed to go home to Los Angeles for two weeks before reporting to the Bureau of Prisons, but Wood remanded him immediately to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Michael Hearns an Anti Money Laundering specialist with over 24 years of AML experience can also be found at and on twitter at :!/LaunderingMoney