As Deutsche Bank officials this year scrambled to extricate themselves from a yearslong relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier charged this month with sex trafficking, they uncovered suspicious transactions in which Mr. Epstein had moved money out of the United States.
Deutsche Bank reported the transactions to a federal agency in charge of policing financial crimes, according to three people familiar with the bank’s internal processes. The report came as the bank started looking for signs that Mr. Epstein was using his financial resources for the purposes of sex trafficking.
Mr. Epstein, who has been accused of operating a sex-trafficking ring involving dozens of victims, some as young as 14, is being held in a Manhattan jail cell after federal prosecutors argued he was a flight risk, citing his vast financial resources. He has a byzantine network of businesses and personal holdings, which include real estate, an island and private planes valued at more than $500 million. Mr. Epstein’s lawyer, Reid Weingarten, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Deutsche Bank has been contacted by prosecutors and other government authorities investigating Mr. Epstein. Joerg Eigendorf, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, said the bank was “absolutely committed to cooperating with all relevant authorities.”
Deutsche Bank executives are still trying to understand the depth and scope of the bank’s relationship with Mr. Epstein, who has been a client of its private-banking division since at least 2013 — years after his conduct became public in a prostitution case involving a teenage girl. Mr. Epstein struck a lenient plea deal that included a non-prosecution agreement from federal authorities, and the case has been held up as a glaring example of how the wealthy and well-connected can evade consequences.
At least one bank dropped Mr. Epstein as a client in the years after his guilty plea. But it wasn’t until late last year, after The Miami Herald published an investigation into the earlier sexual abuse allegations, that Deutsche Bank decided to sever ties with him. The process proved more complicated and time-consuming than executives had initially anticipated because Deutsche Bank’s private-banking division had opened several dozen accounts for Mr. Epstein and his businesses.
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Money launderer, 67, who tried to buy a knighthood is convicted in his absence of £10million Jewish charities scam after going on the run
A fugitive who once tried to buy a knighthood has been convicted of laundering more than £10million, made from the illegal sale of sex pills, through a Jewish charities scam.
Edward Cohen, 67, set up a ‘bewildering’ network of companies, some of them promoting Orthodox Judaism and ‘helping the Jewish poor’.
He diverted vast sums of cash, alongside legitimate charitable donations, via foreign exchange firms before sending it overseas, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Cohen, who fled the country before his trial began, also used some of the proceeds to try and purchase a gong from the Queen, supposedly in recognition of his work with the sham charities.
Cohen’s teacher son David, 38, was also involved in the charities but was cleared of money laundering charges and supplying false information to the Charity Commission.
But he was convicted of failing to notify a change in circumstances when obtaining benefits and bailed ahead of sentence on July 4.
David told jurors his signature had been forged on charity documents and insisted he had no idea what his crooked father was up to.
He said: ‘If I had known that my father was involved in any sort of dirty money I would have run a mile. I would not have not asked for his help, no way Jose.
‘I am sure I am not the only child who does not know how their father makes money.’
Cohen denied but was convicted in his absence of a series of offences including supplying false information to the Charity Commission and money laundering offences after a two month trial.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest and he will be sentenced in his absence on July 4.
Edward Cohen, 67, set up a ‘bewildering’ network of companies that he used to launder money through. He diverted vast sums of cash, alongside legitimate charitable donations, via foreign exchange firms before sending it overseas, Southwark Crown Court heard
Earlier James Dawes, QC, prosecuting, said Cohen set up a ‘bewildering variety of companies and they either put themselves or their family members as directors’.
‘The companies were simply vehicles. Either the Revenue was told these companies were dormant or they made no returns.’
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Posted By Sam Allard on Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 1:22 pm
- Three of the Optima Ventures current and former properties: Crowne Plaza Hotel, AECOM Building, One Cleveland Center
In an explosive legal complaint filed last month in Delaware, attorneys for a major Ukrainian bank alleged that two oligarchs who founded the bank and controlled it from 2006 to 2016 laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent corporate loans to purchase assets in the United States and unjustly enrich themselves and their associates.
Dubbed the “Optima Schemes” in the 104-page document, these “brazen fraudulent schemes” were successful, among other things, in making the oligarchs and their co-defendants the largest commercial real estate holders in Cleveland.
With money siphoned from public bonds and 20 million private Ukrainian citizens who’d opened accounts with PrivatBank, the oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov doled out corporate loans to shell companies that they controlled. They used PrivatBank “as their own personal piggy bank,” in the words of the complaint.
Those loans were then laundered in multiple digital transactions, sent through dozens of other shell companies that had been created exclusively for the purpose of laundering. These accounts were managed by co-conspirators at PrivatBank’s branch in Cyprus.
The true origin of the money thus concealed, funds were then shipped to LLCs in Delaware (hence the legal filing there). Those LLCs — “One Cleveland Center, LLC,” to take just one example — were used to acquire properties and metalworking facilities in the U.S. Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov are mineral magnates and own mining factories and metalworking plants in Ukraine.
The men on the ground in the United States, according to the complaint, were a Miami-based trio: Mordechai “Motti” Korf, his brother-in-law Chaim Schochet, and Uriel Laber. These three men managed the “Optima” companies: Optima International, Optima Ventures and Optima Acquisitions, all of which were created and ultimately controlled by Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov.
“Optima Ventures” should be a familiar local name. It was the company, launched in 2007, used to acquire properties in the U.S. for Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov. The majority of these properties were in Cleveland.
Chaim Schochet was Optima’s “front man” in Northeast Ohio. He told the Plain Dealer in 2012that his local goals were twofold: “making money for investors betting on the upside of a Midwestern city, and contributing to the betterment of a downtown that more high-profile buyers ha[d] passed by.”
But his investors’ funds were ill-gotten, according to the complaint, proceeds from “massive, systematic and fraudulent loan misappropriation and recycling schemes. (In the 2012 PD piece referenced above, Schochet was reportedly “circumspect about discussing how [Optima Ventures] is structured or who the major investors are.”)
The loan recycling schemes were functionally identical to a ponzi scheme, except instead of paying purported profits to early investors with funds from more recent investors, the Ukrainian oligarchs and their cronies within PrivatBank paid off early fraudulent corporate loans with money from new fraudulent corporate loans.
“On paper, this appeared to be a repayment,” the complaint explains. “But in reality, it was a sham and fraud, as PrivatBank was repaying itself and increasing its outstanding liabilities in the process. This process was carried out over and over again, over a period of many years.”
In December 2016, the Ukrainian state was forced to nationalize PrivatBank as a result of the oligarchs’ conduct. The state injected more than $5.5 billion into the bank to prevent its collapse, and “preserve the stability of the [Ukrainian] financial system.” In 2018, the bank reverted to private ownership.
The complaint alleges that Korf, Schochet and Laber were in on the racket, aware of the systematic corruption because they were under direct supervision from Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov (or their trusted lieutenant inside PrivatBank, Timur Novikov), and because they were enriched in the process. Korf, Schochet and Laber received “substantial financial remuneration,” according to the complaint, which they used to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in Florida.
Using the laundered loan proceeds, Optima acquired the following Cleveland buildings:
- One Cleveland Center: 1375 E. 9th St. Acquired for $86.3 million in May, 2008
- 55 Public Square. Acquired for $34 million in July, 2008.
- Huntington Building: 925 Euclid Ave. Acquired for $18.5 million in June, 2010.
- AECOM/Penton Media Building: 1300 E. 9th St. Acquired for $46.5 million in August, 2010
- Crowne Plaza Building: 777 St. Clair Ave. Acquired in a joint venture with Denver-based Sage Hospitality Group.
Here’s an example of exactly how the properties were acquired, via the complaint:
On April 29 and 30, 2008 … two Ukrainian [metal plants] owned or controlled by [Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov] drew down $2.7 million and $4.3 million in loan proceeds from PrivatBank Ukraine. The purpose of the loans was “financing of current business activities of the entity.” On April 30, 2008, Bocatoro Enterprises Ltd. (“Bocatoro Enterprises”), a Cypriot entity owned or controlled by [Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov] drew down $40 million in loan proceeds from PrivatBank Cyprus for “replenishment of floating assets for payments according to contracts, including purchase of shares.”
However, the loan proceeds were not used for their stated purposes. Instead, the loan proceeds were combined with funds from other sources linked to [Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov] and laundered in forty-two transactions through fifteen Laundering Accounts, including the accounts of Defendant Kolomoisky’s Divot Enterprises, Ralkon Commercial, and Pavanti Enterpirses, as well as Defendant Bogolyubov’s Bonique, and [K&B’s] Blisont Capital and Brotstone accounts.
On information and belief, [K&B] and their co-conspirators used Pavanti Enterprises to misappropriate and transfer a combined $36.1 million into the U.S. to the Multi-State Title Agency Ltd. to fund the acquisition of One Cleveland [Center] through Optima One Cleveland Center LLC for Optima Ventures.
At its height, Optima Ventures controlled 2.8 million square feet of downtown Cleveland commercial real estate. This was a larger footprint than even Forest City Enterprises at the time.
COURT OF APPEAL FOR ONTARIO
CITATION: R. v. Zirkind, 2019 ONCA 401
Hourigan, Paciocco, and Harvison Young JJ.A.
Her Majesty the Queen
Edward Prutschi, for the appellant
Jennifer Conroy and Kerry Benzakein, for the respondent
Heard: May 7, 2019
On appeal from the convictions entered on January 16, 2017 by Justice Todd
Ducharme of the Superior Court of Justice and from the sentence imposed on June
 However, upon a review of the transcripts of proceedings, it is clear that the
trial judge was alive to the potential dangers associated with this evidence. The
trial judge not only expressed scepticism as to the import of this evidence during
the trial Crown’s closing submissions, but also said to defence counsel “I don’t
need […] to hear about that” when defence counsel started reply submissions on
the appellant’s travel history, and told defence counsel not to “worry about” trial
Crown’s submissions on the credit card transactions.
 In light of the submissions at trial, and the back and forth between counsel
and the trial judge, we are satisfied that the trial judge did not base his finding of
guilt on legally controversial inferences.
The Sentence Appeal
 We also disagree that the 4 year custodial sentence imposed was manifestly
unfit. We see no error of fact or error in principle that would justify appellate
intervention in this case.
 The appellant argues the trial judge erred in rejecting the appellant was a
mere courier which, had this submission be accepted below, would have been a
mitigating factor. We disagree. The trial judge’s finding that the appellant was not
a mere courier was amply supported by the record.
 Contrary to the appellant’s submission on appeal, the record also strongly
supports the trial judge’s finding that the appellant was motivated by profit and was
aware that he was transporting money obtained from drug tracking.
 The trial judge identified and applied the principles set out in R v. Rosenfeld,
2009 ONCA 307, 94 O.R. (2d) 641. He noted that the primary sentencing
objectives were deterrence and denunciation. He considered the relevant
similarities and differences between Rosenfeld and the case at bar. Again, we see
no error in principle that could justify intervention with the sentence imposed.
 The appeal from conviction is dismissed. Leave to appeal sentence is
allowed but the appeal from sentence is dismissed.
“C.W. Hourigan J.A.”
“David M. Paciocco J.A.”
“A Harvison Young J.A.”
We have said it before and we will say it again: Watch the charities to which you donate your hard earned money. The mitzvah you think you are performing may not be a mitzvah at all but a way to make the private bank accounts of some very unsavory Haredim grow.
DO NOT DONATE TO CHABAD UK! It is an organization allegedly unaffiliated with the Chabad Organization, if the associated article is to be believed. It is apparently a scam, a sham, an organization funded by illegal drug sales and unaccountable for its finances and its money. In addition, it is allegedly not affiliated with Chabad so if it is your plan to donate to Chabad, make sure you have the correct affiliated entity.
A Charedi father and son pair laundered millions of pounds from the illegal sale of Viagra and other prescription medications through Jewish charities, a court has heard.
Edward Cohen, 67, and his 38-year-old son, David Cohen, are accused of funnelling “huge sums of money” through an international network of firms, bank accounts and currency exchanges.
Investigators claim £10.2 million of a total income of £18.7 million between 2012 and 2014 can be identified as laundered money, Southwark Crown Court heard.
The pair’s trial, expected to last 12 weeks, began last Monday.
David Cohen, of Ashbourne Avenue, in Temple Fortune, denies supplying false or misleading information to the Charity Commission, becoming concerned in criminal property, acquiring criminal property and theft.
Edward Cohen, of Paget Road, Stamford Hill, denies supplying false or misleading information to the Charity Commission, two counts of becoming concerned in criminal property, acquiring criminal property and theft.
Police officers raided the community of Chabad UK – which is an entirely separate charity from Chabad Lubavitch UK, and not part of the official Chabad movement – on Oldhill Street, in Stamford Hill, in September 2014.
As well as seizing electronics owned by the defendants, prosecutor James Dawes QC said they found “thousands of pages” of documents allegedly linking the charity to the sale of medication to customers in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.
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$700,000 Fundraiser For Rabbi Who Laundered Money – Where is the Justice and Where is Law Enforcement to Investigate the Sources and the Beneficiaries of this Money?
Rabbi Eisemann was found guilty on two of the charges filed against him. He was using money for a school he founded for the wrong purposes, commingling funds between personal and business.
And yet, hailed the hero. There is a 72-hour, $700,000.00 fundraiser being advertised on Yeshiva World News.
Rabbi who ran school for children with disabilities found guilty of laundering money, but jury acquits on other charges
A New Jersey rabbi who ran a private Lakewood school for children with developmental disabilities was found guilty Wednesday of using $200,000 in school funds in a money laundering scheme.
Osher Eisemann, 61, the founder and director of the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence, was found guilty of second-degree charges of money laundering and misconduct by a corporate official following a four-week trial, according to a release from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
A jury acquitted Eisemann of charges of first-degree corruption of public resources, second-degree theft by unlawful taking, and second-degree misapplication of entrusted property, officials said.
The private school’s fundraising foundation, Services for Hidden Intelligence, LLC, was also acquitted of all charges against it, authorities said.
Eisemann was indicted in 2017 on theft, money laundering, corporate misconduct and misuse of government funds charges.
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