Category: Politics

LA’s Elliott Broidy to be served justice for the rich

LA financier Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty to paying $1 million in bribes to get New York State’s giant pension funds to invest in his Markstone Fund, is going to get off with a slap on the wrist.

The New York Daily News reported that prosecutors are expected to ask that Broidy’s sentence be reduced to a misdemeanor and no jail time because he’s been such a good such a yeled tov (good boy).

Broidy had been facing four years in prison but he cooperated with investigators and helped put former Comptroller Alan Hevesi in jail.

Sentencing has been delayed to Sept 28 to give the corpulent cretin enough time to pay the $18 million in restitution he owes the state.

Update:  During this whole affair, Broidy has retained all his posts on boards and trusteeships, although it’s unclear how he can be trusted with anything. He’s on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition.  He’s also on the Board of Advisors for the USC Marshall School of Business’ Center for Investment Studies; the Simon Weisenthal Center’s Board of Trustees.

 

Docs Reveal Secret $1B Saudi Property Empire

This story in Britain’s Independent newspaper caught my eye:

A secret $1bn US property empire amassed by members of the Saudi royal family is the subject of a bitter legal dispute that threatens to reveal the extent of the family’s American business interests.

These properties are owned by HRH Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Fahd, the youngest and favorite son of King Fahd and his relative, Sheik Khalid N Al Assaf. The prince, a minister of state without portfolio, is known for his extravagance and international playboy image. The prince reportedly owns $2 billion USD worth of palaces and the world?s largest collection of super yachts. He also once had a romantic relationship with model/actress Yasmine Bleeth of Baywatch.

I tracked down the court document.

Turns out the Prince has owned several buildings in California including the Starz Entertainment building in Burbank; Two Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills; and 220 Post Street in San Francisco.

Here’s a list of the property holdings:

 

Other properties formerly owned by the Prince and the Sheikh are:

The properties are managed by

  • Dr. Abdulrahman Otaishan, a senior financial advisor to the Prince
  • Dr. Andreas Limburg
  • Pierre Rolin and his company Strategic Real Estate Advisors Limited, which was placed into administration in 2010 after losing a single client.

Secret $1B Saudi Property Empire

Brent Wilkes Is Unjailable

This week, a federal judge ordered Cunningham briber Brent “The Enigma” Wilkes to go to jail, but once again Wilkes remains a free man while he appeals his case.

At this point, it’s a pretty safe bet that Randy “Duke” Cunningham, sentenced to more than eight years in prison, will be released from prison later this year to begin his new life in a cabin in the Ozarks before Wilkes really has to make sure he never, ever drops the soap in the prison shower.

Judge Larry Burns sentenced Wilkes to 12 years in prison back in February 2008. He served a few months and then the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals freed him on bail so he go off and play poker and steal from his employee pension funds to pay his living expenses.

Enough is enough, prosecutors said. But for those who now how to manipulate it, the justice system serves to delay and mitigate punishment rather than deal it out.

So it’s become a sad, familiar pattern for Brent-o:

He gamed the system as a defense contractor sucking on the taxpayer’s teat and flying around in private jets with the help of Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a congressman he corrupted with hookers, lavish vacations, and Hawaii scuba trips.

Today, a team of court-appointed (read: taxpayer funded) team of attorneys are delaying his day of reckoning, essentially buying Wilkes freedom with money lifted from the pockets of his victims.

It’s really just another form of welfare, but Wilkes is the worst kind of welfare bitch: a man who espoused a Republican ideology that sneered at big government and “socialism” and wrapped itself red, white and blue fantasies of a country that no longer exists, if it ever did, where the playing field was level, the rules were fair and hard work and determination won the day.

US: Brent Wilkes Is Still a Douchebag

In my last post on Cunningham briber Brent Wilkes, I noted that he has been playing poker and farting around while his team of court-appointed attorneys fights to keep him from serving a 12-year sentence for plying Duke with hookers, lavish trips to Hawaii in exchange for defense contracts.

In court papers filed ahead of a hearing granted by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, prosecutors say Wilkes has been doing more than that: Wilkes has been committing crimes by stealing more than $100,000 from the pension fund of his now defunct company to pay his living expenses.

Since Wilkes’s release from custody on January 5, 2009, Wilkes has engaged in additional fraudulent conduct: just as he once raided his children’s college funds to obtain operating cash, he has unabashedly raided the Wilkes’s Corporation’s employee benefit plan to obtain spending money for himself – while failing to reimburse the public for his taxpayer-funded attorneys.

Update: After a day-long hearing, Judge Larry Burns decided that Wilkes has to go to jail on Friday unless the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals saves his ass again.  (U-T San Diego)

US: Brent Wilkes Belongs in Jail

Brent Wilkes, enough is enough

Brent "The Enigma" Wilkes

Defense contractor Brent “the Enigma” Wilkes was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribing former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham with hookers, lavish vacations and the like, but his court-appointed lawyers have done a phenomenal job of keeping the guy out of prison so he can play poker and fart around.

He’s due for a hearing in a few days and the government calls his bluff in this footnote to a motion:

The government tips its hat to defense counsel who have adopted clever stratagems designed to prolong Wilkes’ day of reckoning almost five years since his 2007 conviction. Nevertheless, this latest attempt to prolong and confuse what should be a rather simple conclusion to this lengthy end-game should not be countenanced by this Court. Enough is enough.

Randy Duke Cunningham: I plan to live in a cabin in the Ozarks, hunt and write books

Yes it’s true: Randy “Duke” Cunningham has written another sad, revealing jailhouse letter to the judge who sentenced him to 100 months in federal prison for low behavior in high office.

The Vietnam war hero and disgraced ex-Congressman, who is now 70, writes that he’s set to leave prison as his sentence comes to an end later this year. He says he plans to live in a cabin near Greer’s Lake in the Ozarks and write books. He will be “away from the (San Diego) Union-Tribune,” the newspaper that exposed his corruption in 2005, and there won’t be many people around to bother him, “but they do have a lot of black bears, cougars, and history of rabies.”

In his letter, Cunningham is at turns whining, boastful and self-pitying as he asks Judge Burns to restore his second amendment rights. “I flew aircraft that could disintegrate your building with a half-second burst and now can’t carry a .22-cal,” he writes.

The Duke says he needs a gun “to earn a little money so he can eat.” He’s poor now and homeless — thanks to the government, he writes. “Don’t guess we can do to (sic) much for our veterans after all,” Cunningham whines.

He says he will use the gun for hunting and competition and then adds in a handwritten postscript, “I will also hunt to supliment (sic) my food.”

To this mess of a letter, this mess of a man, Judge Burns’ response is understated elegance. Burns says he has no authority to restore Duke’s gun rights; that authority with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms:

You should be aware, however, that every year since 1992, Congress has refused to provide funding to the ATF to review applications from the federal firearm ban. And the United States Supreme Court has ruled that inaction by the ATF does not amount to “denial” of the application within the meaning of section 925(c) United States v. Bean 537 US 71, 75 (2002). So unless Congress changes course and decides to fund ATF’s review of applications for relief, it appears you are stuck.

Duke’s letter:
Randy &quot;Duke&quot; Cunningham May 16 letter to judge// < ![CDATA[
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The judge’s response:
Judge Larry Burns Response to Randy &quot;Duke&quot; Cunningham

Gerald Parksy Deposed today in Villalobos Case

подаръциикона за подарък

Not Having a Good Day

California GOP bigwig Gerald Parsky of Rancho Santa Fe is being deposed today about his relationship with Alfred Villalobos, a former board member CEO of CalPERS, the Golden State’s giant pension, who has been accused of accused of bribing pension fund officials with luxury trips and gifts to influence investment decisions.

CalPERS tried to forestall this airing of its dirty laundry, but a federal judge blocked the pension’s request to stop the deposition from taking place.

Villalobos was paid more than $47 million in commissions by private equity and real estate investment managers to help them win CalPERS contracts to manage about $4.8 billion worth of the fund’s securities from 2005 to 2009, according to a lawsuit filed by the California Attorney General’s office.

One of those private equity firms was Aurora Capital Group of Los Angeles, which hired Villalobos in 2008. Parsky is Aurora’s chairman. He’s also a former assistant Treasury secretary, a UC regent and was George W. Bush’s major doom in California.

So politically connected is Parsky that ARVCO allegedly intervened with CalPERS staff to obtain investment money for Aurora, pointing out the political juice that Parsky brought with him, according to an independent law firm investigation of the matter. CalPERS coughed up $400 million for Aurora Resurgence in 2008, earning Villalobos and his firm, ARVCO, a $4 million fee. Another $150 million CalPERS investment in a different Aurora fund, netted nearly $2 million for ARVCO.

Today, Parsky is being deposed in Los Angeles. Tomorrow, Aurora’s general counsel, Timothy Hart, will get his turn.
 

Gerald Parksy Subpoena