THE PLATINUM QUESTION – WAS ANYBODY LISTENING?

PLATINUM PARTNERS AND THEIR OUTRAGEOUS RETURNS

LostMessiah 4 January 2016

LostMessiah was and has been the brainchild of several people who began this venture last February with a few stories already in our heads, Platinum being front and center.

From the very beginning we made clear that something was very wrong with Platinum, beginning with the extraordinary, though irrational returns. We then raised the question of David Bodner and a piece of property (191 Viola Road) that transferred names rather nefariously in Rockland County, New York.

We questioned the Africa-Israel connection and most notably those who financed Platinum in its early years: David Bodner and Murray Huberfeld and their band of merry… Philanthropists? No.

We posted diagrams.

Huberfeld Ponzi1.3

We showed you the connections between Seabrook and Platinum, COBA and Platinum. We even spoke of Black Elk, a story still in its making. We believe that most of the Platinum investor money (which is likely currently in the family trusts of Bodner and Huberfeld and in the yeshivas begun by Nordlicht and his family) belongs to Black Elk investors who were taken for a ride during a tender offer which was specifically intended to drain the company of its assets.

That story is still one to be told but unfortunately 12 pages later, we have found a web of lies and a spider with far more than eight legs and we have not even scratched the surface.

The investor money has not been spent, in our view. It has been funneled. The trick is going to be getting it out from under the various trust laws protecting it. The key to Huberfeld’s participation in all of this beyond his family trusts is his property which has more recently been transferred to his wife in a quit-claim deed. 

There were people questioning – just too few listening.

 

See also:

https://lostmessiahdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/the-seabrook-connection-investments-gone/

https://lostmessiahdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/the-long-short-nope-the-dead-undead/

https://lostmessiahdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/theres-not-enough-time-in-the-day-to-discuss-nordlicht-huberfeld-bodner/

READ FURTHER:

No One Questioned This Hedge Fund’s Madoff-Like Returns

  • Red flags abounded while hedge fund claimed 17% annual gains
  • Platinum was embroiled in rogue trades, Florida Ponzi scheme

In the years before Mark Nordlicht was arrested for what’s alleged to be one of the biggest investment frauds since Bernie Madoff’s, U.S. authorities had plenty of reasons to suspect something might have been fishy about his hedge fund, Platinum Partners.

As far back as 2007, Bank of Montreal accused Nordlicht of helping a rogue trader, costing it more than $500 million. Three years later, when the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating what it called a “scheme to profit from the imminent deaths of terminally ill patients,” the agency discovered that Platinum had funded the deals. And in 2011, a Florida lawyer who confessed to running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme testified that Nordlicht, his biggest funder, lied to help him lure new investors.

And then there were the remarkable profits: 17 percent annually on average from 2003 through 2015, with no down years. The returns were almost as smooth as the fake gains that Madoff claimed year after year, as measured by a popular metric called the Sharpe ratio. Continue reading

66th Precinct – What’s the Going Rate for a Corrupt Cop?

nypd_corruption

Lt. Michael Andreano Joins the Ranks of those Alleged to be in Bed with the Epidemic of Corruption within the Ultra Orthodox Community of Borough Park and Beyond…

 

NYPD lieutenant stripped of badge, gun over ties to bribery scheme

http://nypost.com/2016/10/24/nypd-lieutenant-stripped-of-badge-gun-over-ties-to-bribery-scheme/

A high-ranking Brooklyn cop has been stripped of his badge and gun over ties to a key figure in an alleged $1 million NYPD bribery scheme, The Post has learned.

Lt. Michael Andreano of the 66th Precinct in Boro Park was put on desk duty as part of the wide-ranging corruption probe that has already resulted in pending charges against three NYPD bosses, sources said.

Andreano is suspected of having improper dealings with Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, a leader of the Boro Park “Shomrim” patrol who in April was busted on bribery and conspiracy charges involving pistol permits, sources said.

“This guy was tight with Shaya and would go out of his way to accommodate him,” a source said.

Andreano served as a community-affairs sergeant in the 66th Precinct before getting promoted to lieutenant in 2015 and transferred to the 60 Precinct in West Brighton.

He was transferred back to the 66th after “a month or two,” sources said, and put in charge of Special Operations there.

Andreano’s return was announced at a Community Council meeting in September 2015, according to the KensingtonBK blog.

Lichtenstein was allegedly recorded offering a whistleblowing cop $6,000 a pop to “expedite” approval of pistol permits for members of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community.

During that conversation, Lichtenstein used a calculator to show that 150 permits would be worth $900,000, according to the feds.

He also allegedly bragged that he had already scored 150 permits for clients who paid him up to $18,000 each for the service but said he had lost his connection in the NYPD’s License Division.

Earlier this month, a prosecutor revealed there had been “continuous discussions” for Lichtenstein to strike a plea deal, and a judge gave both sides until Nov. 3 to come to terms or proceed with the case.

The cop who secretly recorded Lichtenstein, former License Division member David Ochetal, secretly pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with authorities after admitting that he had accepted “lunch money” from Lichtenstein.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

Future Top Cop – In Bed with the Borough Park Corrupt – Community Board 12

Ringel and Community Board 12

Community Board 12, Yidel Perlstein… Bringing our Old Friends Back to the Forefront…

 

Community leader boasted about snagging favor from future top cop

http://nypost.com/2016/10/24/nypd-lieutenant-stripped-of-badge-gun-over-ties-to-bribery-scheme/

A Borough Park community leader bragged on a taped phone call how he pulled some strings to get future top cop James O’Neill to transfer a friendly lieutenant back to the neighborhood, The Post has learned.

Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein wanted Michael Andreano returned to Borough Park’s 66th Precinct from the 60th in Brighton Beach, where the cop had been shipped following his promotion.

Perlstein, speaking in Yiddish, describes in the secretly recorded conversation how he approached NYPD Assistant Chief Steven Powers at a September 2015 breakfast meeting in Williamsburg and asked that Andreano be moved.

Perlstein claims that he offered Powers dinner at a local kosher steakhouse to grease the wheels for the personnel move, with Powers then talking to O’Neill, who was the NYPD’s chief of department at the time and happened to be at the meeting.

“I told Powers, ‘I will take you out to The Loft for supper,’ ” Perlstein says on the recording.

“So I told Powers, go over to O’Neill, to tell him to make an exception, to have Andreano back. So Powers and others went over to O’Neill and made the request to O’Neill and O’Neill said, ‘No problem, permission granted,’ with a big smile on his face.

“And [Andreano] was already the next day at work,” he adds.

The phone call was taped by a community activist who shared an excerpt with The Post. New York law permits people to secretly record conversations in which they take part.

Captains-union President Roy Richter said the commanding officer of the 66th put in a request to retain Andreano as soon as he was promoted — though he did not return until after the September meeting.

On Monday, The Post exclusively reported that Andreano had been stripped of his badge and gun over his ties to Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, a leader of Borough Park’s “Shomrim” safety patrol.

Lichtenstein was busted by the feds in April on charges he offered nearly $1 million in bribes to score pistol permits from the NYPD’s License Division for clients who paid him up to $18,000 a pop.

Andreano’s transfer back to the 66th was highly unusual, because protocol dictates that cops get moved following a promotion to avoid animosity from former colleagues and to prevent corruption, a high-ranking NYPD official said.

To read the NYPost article in its entirety click here.

Orthodox “Philanthropy” and Torah Usemorah – a Platinum Investment

Platinum, Torah Usemorah, Huberfeld and the above, Inextricably Linked.

 

The following article was published by Josh Nathan-Kazis on September 14, 2016. It has, for the most part, received very little press coverage. In fact, we have not seen much said AT ALL about the questions that article raises but we have our theories:

  1. Why would a not-for-profit National Society for Hebrew Day Schools loan money to a failing hedge fund – let alone $2.3M (Our theory: so that Platinum could have access to easy cash while on the other side, Huberfeld was donating money to Platinum and declaring a tax deduction)
  2. Why did Torah Usemorah stop making its tax documents public? (See our theory in number 1)
  3. How does the Simon Wiesenthal Center fit in? (Our theory: Simon Wiesenthal is going to turn out to be collateral damage. Huberfeld was a substantial financial donor of both Wiesenthal and Torah Usemorah and that provided him the cover of respectability. His Platinum funds needed to “lose money” to avoid paying out investors – [see Cayman Islands.] By accepting a loan from Torah Usemorah of money that Huberfeld had actually provided to the charity, Platinum could claim greater losses, avoiding repaying investors. It’s plausible deniability in the fraudulent conveyance context and Huberfeld remains the unsullied “Philanthropist.”)
  4. If Usemorah is donor funded and Huberfeld is one of the donors, is he not lending money to himself? (See numbers 1 and 3 above).
  5. What is the relationship between Torah Usemorah and Platinum Funds? (Our theory: they are incestuous entities with the same donors as they have principals. The money circulates between the same pool of people, one side taking deductions for charitable giving or lending the other taking tax losses, all the while both are stealing from investors or donors and then the companies are declaring themselves insolvent.)
  6. Was Platinum donating the money right back to Usemorah? (Our theory: Yes. Follow the money, we believe, and you get to the same small group of well connected, high finance self-interested “philanthropists” – with Huberfeld at the helm).

 

Why Did a Jewish Schools Charity Loan $2.3M to Failing Hedge Fund?

http://forward.com/news/349859/why-did-a-jewish-schools-charity-loan-23m-to-failing-hedge-fund/

A Jewish education charity made a $2.3 million loan to a failing hedge fund this May, two months before the hedge fund’s collapse.

Torah Umesorah, also known as the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, handed the money to a fund controlled by Platinum Partners at a time when the fund had access to just $63,000 cash.

Both of Platinum’s main funds are now being liquidated. It seems unlikely that the donor-supported not-for-profit will recover its loan any time soon, if ever.

Torah Umesorah’s national director, Rabbi David Nojowitz, did not respond to a request for comment.

The loan was first reported Monday by the New York Post. It was described in documents filed in Cayman Islands court in late August.

Torah Umesorah is a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit that provides programing, training, and other services to hundreds of Orthodox yeshivas. Founded in 1944, it had an annual budget of $39 million in 2008, the last year for which it made its tax documents public.

Its relationship to Platinum is unclear. Platinum has managed money for some charities, though there’s no indication that Torah Umesorah itself was one of those investors.

Torah Umesorah’s May 27 loan to Platinum came more than a month after an April 14 Wall Street Journal report tying the hedge fund to a federal investigation involving Jona Rechnitz, an Orthodox businessman embroiled in a police corruption scandal, and Norman Seabrook, boss of the corrections officers union.

The Wall Street Journal story turned out to be prescient. Just weeks after Platinum accepted the charity’s loan, a close associate of the firm, Murray Huberfeld, was arrested and charged with bribing Seabrook to invest union pension funds with Platinum. Rechnitz reportedly cooperated with prosecutors in the case. Huberfeld has pleaded not guilty.

Huberfeld is a leading Orthodox philanthropist, a major donor to Chabad-Lubavitch synagogues and to yeshivas in Brooklyn’s Boro Park, and, until his arrest, a member of the board of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a California-based group that opposes anti-Semitism. His foundation has sponsored a named program at the rabbinical school at Yeshiva University.

Huberfeld was convicted of fraud in 1993 for having someone else take a broker license exam in his name. An earlier company he founded, Broad Capital, specialized in selling penny stocks to Jewish charities.

Platinum announced in July that it would close its two main funds. It faces reported investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice. Federal agents raided the firm’s offices in June.

In filings in Cayman Islands court, the Platinum Partners fund to which Torah Umesorah made its loan admitted that it “is unable to pay its debts.” A Cayman Islands judge appointed liquidation specialists to work with a New York liquidator hired by the firm to sell off its assets.

To read the article in its original format click, here.

Clarkstown Wants a Get…

 

Clarkstown What They Don’t Want you to Know – Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Clarkstown-What-They-Dont-Want-You-To-Know-146207698912716/

 

Dear Ramapo:

We need to talk.

We’ve been together a long time now. We started out together with so much in common and love in our hearts towards one another. However, there can be no denying that lately we’ve been drifting apart in our political marriage. It pains us to say it, but we have come to realize that we are now roadblocks to each other on our individual paths to happiness and we want a divorce, or as you would put it, we would like to get a ‘get.’

Please don’t blame yourself for any of this. It’s not you, it’s us. Our breaking point came when we were watching TV last night and we learned that your brothers in Kiryas Joel want to get a ‘get’ from their secular partners in the Town of Monroe so they can live alone in their new Town of North Monroe where secularism can be kept out and your God can be kept in. That told us that you don’t love us anymore. So here in Rockland we have decided to get a similar ‘get’ from you and as the residents of Clarkstown and Orangetown we will think of living separately in a new City called ‘South Rockland’ where both God and secularism will be welcome.

You have worked tirelessly all the time we have been together to create a very unique world for yourself where laws and rules fluidly bend or silently break to accommodate the lifestyle you want to lead. You are thriving in that world, and we admire your resourcefulness and creativity in removing the obstacles that stand in the way of your progress. We see how happy you are when you are in that environment, but we have also come to understand that we no longer fit in there. We no longer share the same visions and goals, which regrettably means that we are incompatible as long term partners. Please don’t be upset, just give us the ‘get.’

We see how miserable we make you with our constant nagging to provide a standardized NYS education to kids in a building that meets basic fire safety standards. We don’t know why we fear that kids now growing up won’t be able to support themselves when we know that ultimately government welfare will provide for them anyway. We don’t know why we can’t stop worrying that children might die at school while desperately trying to escape from behind sealed doors in a fire when we know how statistically unlikely that is to happen.

We don’t know why we lie awake at night fretting over the environmental impact of rampant overdevelopment when we know full well that we will be long gone before that impact is felt. We don’t know why we worry about a sustainable water supply, or the civil rights of others, but we do. We can’t help it, but we recognize our constant nagging is making you unhappy, and in the process we have become unhappy ourselves.

For these reasons, we ask that you give us a ‘get’.

Don’t worry that we will ask for any of your assets in this divorce. You can have Christopher St. Lawrence, Samuel Tress, Alden Wolfe and the rest of them and we will even let you keep Aney Paul. We promise that we won’t say a thing if Aron Wieder replaces Ed Day as your County Executive – after all you already elected him as your ‘de facto’ county executive.

We know how hard you worked to get all those multi-family housing developments built and we know how much political capital was spent in getting them approved. You will now need to hire a new building inspector as your present one was arrested last night while watching the video below. We don’t want to take any of that away from you if you agree to grant us the ‘get’. You earned the poverty you are living in and we want you to keep that as a token of our appreciation for giving us our ‘get’. The same goes for the Medicaid benefits and the Section 8 status – they are all yours. We will pay for the Medicaid costs in our own new community and will not burden you in asking for any assistance from your legislature.

We hope you will not worry about our ability to live alone separated from your formerly warm embrace. We did share many, many happy years together before we grew apart and became exhausted by your interminable hang-up about being fruitful and multiplying. We will be in a happier place where we can abide by all of our own hangups – we admit that we have many – such as getting our children into a good college and keeping them off the welfare rolls. We know it might seem crazy, but we actually believe that kids should learn about science, literature and other cultures including those of the goyim. We will sleep better at night knowing that code enforcement is being conducted and zoning regulations are being upheld. Certainly, you will be happier not having to listen to us lecture you about these things any longer.

We promise that if we get a ‘get’ from you and we fail without your puritanical wisdom to guide us, we will pick ourselves up and push onward and not return begging for food or shelter. If you fail without us, you know that with the steady guidance of Aron Wieder and Alden Wolfe, New York State will surely step in to support you even after you have converted all of your homes into religious institutions and depleted your own tax base.

We can both trust in that whatever the future holds, things will work out fine.

So now we say “Goodbye, Ramapo. Weep not for the memories.”

With Warmest Regards,

The People of Clarkstown and Orangetown

Sheldon Silver – FREEDOM FOR ANOTHER YEAR…

 

sheldon_silver-300x300

Silver, Like Skelos, Can Remain Free While Appealing Graft Conviction

In a search on the federal Bureau of Prisons website, the names of two familiar New Yorkers — Sheldon Silver and Dean G. Skelos — now appear.

Both were once powerful state lawmakers. Then they were convicted on corruption charges. Now they are listed with prisoner registration numbers: Mr. Silver is 71915-054; Mr. Skelos is 72196-054.

But for each man’s entry, the federal website also adds: “Not in B.O.P. custody.” And based on a court ruling on Thursday, neither man is now required to report to the authorities anytime soon as the convictions are appealed, a process that could take more than a year.

Ever since they were found guilty last year in separate trials, Mr. Silver, 72, a Manhattan Democrat who was speaker of the State Assembly, and Mr. Skelos, 68, a Long Island Republican who served as the State Senate majority leader, have moved aggressively to stave off the day that they had to begin serving their prison sentences and pay the imposed fines.

In seeking bail pending appeal, they argued that a Supreme Court decision in June that overturned the corruption conviction of former Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a Republican, had changed the law in a way that increased their chances of winning reversals.

In the ruling issued on Thursday, Judge Valerie E. Caproni of Federal District Court in Manhattan, who presided in Mr. Silver’s trial, granted his request to remain free on bail while he appeals his case. He faces a 12-year sentence for his convictions on charges of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering.

Judge Caproni’s ruling comes three weeks after another judge, Kimba M. Wood, agreed to continue bail for Mr. Skelos and his son, Adam, 34, who was convicted along with his father, both on bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors had charged that Mr. Silver had obtained nearly $4 million in illicit payments and bribes in return for official actions that benefited a prominent cancer researcher at Columbia University and two real estate developers.

Judge Caproni, in her opinion, made it clear she believed that Mr. Silver had engaged in such conduct. “There is no question that Silver took a number of official acts — most obviously passing legislation and approving state grants and tax-exempt financing — as part of a quid pro quo” in two schemes, she wrote.

But, citing the recent McDonnell decision, she added that there was a “substantial question” whether the court’s instructions to the jury, which defined official action, were in error, and if so, whether that error was harmless.

Mr. Skelos was convicted with his son in December. Prosecutors showed that they had used the senator’s position to pressure various firms to provide the son with consulting work and other benefits. The elder Mr. Skelos faces a five-year sentence and his son received a term of six and a half years.

Judge Wood, in a brief order on Aug. 4 continuing their bail, said they had shown that their appeals presented “a substantial question regarding whether this court’s jury instructions were erroneous” in light of the McDonnell case.

The rulings come more than eight months after the three men were resoundingly convicted in two trials that unveiled a seamy culture of illicit payments and influence peddling in Albany.

The office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, declined to comment on the ruling on Thursday. Mr. Silver’s lawyers, Joel Cohen and Steven F. Molo, said in a statement: “We are grateful that the trial judge agreed there is now a substantial legal question about the conviction. We look forward to vigorously pursuing Mr. Silver’s appeal.”

The ruling drew varied reactions in the legal community, where the men’s efforts to obtain bail were being watched with interest by lawyers with no involvement in the cases. Jennifer G. Rodgers, the executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School and a former federal prosecutor, said she believed that all three men would eventually lose their appeals.

“The problem from the public’s perspective,” she said, “is that, whether or not the judges’ bail decisions were technically legally correct, leaving Silver and Skelos free feeds into the notion that these corrupt officials continue to succeed in working the system to their advantage.”
But Gerald B. Lefcourt, a veteran defense lawyer who has represented clients in corruption cases, said that the McDonnell decision might indeed offer a strong basis for appeal and that fairness dictated continuing bail for Mr. Silver and the Skeloses.

“They shouldn’t have to serve time when they may never have to,” he said. “I have no love for these men, but I do care about the system.”

To obtain bail pending appeal, a defendant must show an appeal raises a “substantial question of law or fact” that is likely to result in a conviction’s reversal.

That is why the McDonnell decision has been at the center of the current debate. In it, the Supreme Court appeared to narrow the definition of the kind of conduct or “official acts” that may serve as the basis for a corruption prosecution. The court said such conduct had to involve formal and concrete government actions or decisions, not just the setting up of meetings or making phone calls.

The Silver and Skelos defense lawyers have argued that the judges in their clients’ cases instructed the juries more broadly about what constituted an official act than may now be allowed under the McDonnell decision. As a result, they say, there is no way to tell whether the juries, in convicting the men, “improperly relied on acts that are not ‘official’ under McDonnell,” as Mr. Silver’s lawyer wrote in a court filing.

Federal prosecutors had strongly opposed the bail requests. In a recent filing in Mr. Silver’s case, Mr. Bharara’s office argued that the actions for which he was convicted fit squarely within the narrower McDonnell definition.

“McDonnell will not save Silver on appeal, nor should it entitle him to bail pending appeal,” the prosecutors said. And even if the jury instructions were erroneous in light of the McDonnell case, they said, “the error clearly would be harmless.” There was no chance, they said, that the jury’s verdict could have been based on acts that fell short of the McDonnell standard.

“The proof was overwhelming,” Mr. Bharara’s office wrote, “that in exchange for millions in personal payouts, Silver took or agreed to take actions that by any definition were ‘official’ — including securing state funding and favorable state legislation.”

To read the New York Times article in its entirety click here.

For Further Reading:

Sheldon Silver avoids jail for at least another year

Disgraced ex-Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver caught the break of a lifetime Thursday …

Sheldon Silver’s prison surrender date pushed back by judge

Sheldon Silver remains free on appeal

Norman Seabrook – You Just Cannot Make This Stuff Up – Thanks, Walt…

 

Ex-correction union boss Norman Seabrook accused of corruption asks judge if he can go to Disney World

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/indicted-nyc-correction-union-boss-disney-vacation-article-1.2761494

Indicted former correction union boss Norman Seabrook is going to Disney World.

Seabrook, who’s awaiting trial on federal corruption charges, has asked Manhattan Federal Judge Andrew Carter to let him travel to Orlando from Aug. 27 to Sept. 4 for a lavish Disney vacation.

Seabrook and his wife plan on staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, a bail modification request filed on Monday says.

He needs the judge’s permission because he’s not allowed to leave the state while he’s out on bail.

Seabrook loudly pleads not guilty to corruption charges

The “Victorian-style” hotel bills itself as “inspired by historic Saratoga Springs-a late-1800s’ New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing…” according to the resort’s website.

The hotel sits between golf greens and a “shimmering” lake, and the Seabrooks can have their choice of “stately Studios and multi-bedroom Villas, dazzling pools and a spa,” the site says. Rooms for the dates he’s hoping to travel start at $327 a night.

Federal prosecutors don’t object to Seabrook’s request, the brief document notes.

Asked about the proposed trip, Seabrook’s lawyer, Paul Shechtman, said, “This must be a slow news day.”

Ex-correction boss will hire high-priced lawyer in probe

Seabrook, 56, stands accused of diverting $20 million in Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association pension money to a sketchy hedge fund in exchange for cash.

He also accepted lavish trips in relation to the alleged pension scheme, prosecutors maintain.

To read the remainder of the article click, here.