23 Wall Street – China Sonangol – Rearing It’s Not-so-Kosher Head Again…

jsr capital 23 wall

Jack Terzi’s JTRE sues Chinese firm Sonangol over 23 Wall deal

Jack Terzi’s $140 million deal to buy the former JPMorgan building at 23 Wall Street is in jeopardy because the seller, China Sonangol, allegedly refuses to play ball.

According to a lawsuit Terzi filed against Sonangol in Manhattan Supreme Court that his deal isn’t moving forward because of Sonangol’s refusal to cooperate with the escrow agent. The escrow agent has refused to release the down payment on the purchase, because of concern that controversial Hong Kong tycoon Sam Pa may benefit from the deal, the suit claims.

Pa was the CEO of Sonangol – his current affiliation with the company is unclear – a Singapore-based conglomerate that has been in contract to sell the historic Financial District property to Terzi for over a year.

Sign up for China Watch for weekly emails on Chinese real estate investments.


Pa was detained by Chinese authorities in 2015 as part of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign. In 2014, the U.S. alleged that Pa bribed Zimbabwean officials in order to carry out “illicit diamond deals.” He is on the Treasury’s “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” list, which prevents Americans from doing business with him.

Terzi, who’s known mostly for buying and leasing up small and mid-sized retail properties, shot into prominence last year when he entered contract to buy the 160,000-square-foot property at 23 Wall at the eye-popping figure of $140 million. But month after month went by, and he never closed, raising speculation that all was not smooth with the deal. According to sources familiar with the property, Terzi has been in talks with Paramount Group to provide financing for the acquisition and redevelopment.


The former JP Morgan building at 23 Wall has long sat dormant since the bank stopped using the building in the late 2000s. Sonangol bought the property in 2008 for $150 million from a subsidiary of Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel Investments. But attempts to court tenants like Apple and an entertainment venue never came to fruition.

To read the article in its entirety click here.


Le Pen, Diamonds, Lev Leviev, Berel Lazar, New York




Le Pen’s Trump Tower Italian Fundraiser Tied to Lega Nord-Russia; Are Diamonds Le Pen’s Best Friend?


Will France get an anti-American president, Marine Le Pen, who doesn’t even know that New York City is located there? Does she think that Trump Tower is in Montreal? “Vive le Quebec Libre! Vive le Canada Français et vive la France!” said De Gaulle on July 24, 1967 in Montreal: http://youtu.be/rGm6imM-7AI

And are diamonds Le Pen’s best friend, as once sang by another bleached blond? In “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds“-“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friends“, Marilyn Monroe sang that the French may be willing to die for love, but that she prefers diamonds. Link: http://youtu.be/g__ANxxwKIk And, love won’t pay for Marine Le Pen’s campaign, it seems. The French connection would’t do. She needed an Italian connection in Trump Tower.

Enter her Italian “fixer”, George “Guido” Lombardi, apparently Giorgio Guido Lombardi, who migrated from Italy to the US in the 1970s. Lombardi states in an interview at the beginning of the BBC Panorama documentary “Marine Le Pen: Who’s Funding France’s Far Right” ( http://youtu.be/0ClNpJYuqdE ) that there were people at the cocktail-fundraiser, which he held for Marine Le Pen in Trump Tower, who could have contributed a million dollars “without blinking an eye“. Was one of them the “King of Diamonds?

According to the New York Post, long-time friend of Putin “Israeli diamond dealer Lev Leviev was the mysterious businessman hustled through the shut-down Lincoln Tunnel on behalf of a [New York Mayor] Bill de Blasio fundraiser.http://nypost.com/2016/06/21/bribed-cops-shut-down-lincoln-tunnel-lane-for-king-of-diamonds Did he help Marine Le Pen too?

According to the New York Times, “The political operative she [Marine Le Pen] went to meet at Trump Tower, George G. Lombardi, is a businessman who has made a career as a liaison between two right-wing Italian political parties — the Northern League and Forza Italia — and like-minded people in the United States. He has also worked with the National Front since 2012…” Pictures of Lombardi with former Senate majority leader Bob Dole, and former NY Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato, as well as a younger Trump, are found on one of his web sites, they say: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/world/europe/marine-le-pen-trump.html. Recall: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/russian-oligarch-deripaska-tied-to-manafort-also-has-past-links-to-bob-dole/

In a more recent interview with the New York Times, Lombardi says that he was born in Geneva and moved to Rome, as a child, and that it was the 1968 protests, and popularity of communism at his university, that made him leave for America. He says that he started out in the jewelry business, then turned to real estate. He married the apparently older widow of real estate magnate Frank Lahainer, who already lived in Trump Tower, and was originally from Trieste, Italy, as was Frank Lahainer. Trieste faces Venice, on the Adriatic. See: “A Trump Tower Neighbor Is the Point Man for Europe’s Populists“. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/world/europe/trump-tower-neighbor-europe-populists-orban-wilders-le-pen.html (Did the New York Times confuse Geneva with Genoa (Genova), or was he born in Switzerland?)

Although it was apparently bought by Frank Lahainer, the 25 carat diamond, mentioned in the 2002 Washington Post article, called up a memory about the sell-off of huge diamonds by Russia in the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lev Leviev is believed to have helped liquidate these assets. Lev Leviev is also reportedly behind Putin’s Milan born Rabbi Berel Lazar (Lombardi’s dual compatriot: American-Italian)

Isn’t it bizarre that Putin’s official Rabbi Lazar was born in Milan, in Lombardy Italy, and ordained Rabbi in New York City? Lazar is a member of the Chabad Ludavitch sect, who have their own book, which is not used by mainstream Judaism. Lazar is reported as having both American and Russian citizenship and his wife as having American citizenship. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berel_Lazar They presumably have Israeli citizenship too. And, while Lazar has recently been quoted as saying that, if Le Pen wins, France’s Jews will have to leave France, we don’t know if he is playing at Briar Rabbit, nor if he thinks that a bad thing. (See JTA .org: “Russian chief rabbi says Jews should leave France if Marine Le Pen elected“, April 22, 2017) Lazar may want to bring the Jewish diaspora to Israel for the arrival of the Messiah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chabad_messianism#Anticipation Another Putin friend-Russian Oligarch-Chabad supporter, Roman Abramovich, is currently building a new house in Israel. And, building lots of housing for the diaspora would be big business for real estate magnates. This could include Trump’s sons and son-in-law.

Continue reading

Jona Rechnitz: Loan Shark? Diamond Dealer? Lucky Gambler? Real Estate Mogul? Shoshana by any other name…


jona rechnitz_crop_exact

NYPost: http://nypost.com/2017/04/26/key-witness-in-nypd-corruption-probe-was-an-alleged-loan-shark/

Key witness in NYPD corruption probe was an alleged ‘loan shark’’

The government’s key witness in multiple corruption probes was a part-time “loan shark” who made money doling out predatory loans, court documents alleged on Tuesday.

Jona Rechnitz — the government’s witness against two NYPD cops accused of taking bribes — “was nothing more than a loan shark” when it came to his business dealings with Hamlet Peralta, the former owner of a Harlem eatery that was popular with cops, Peralta’s lawyer said.

Peralta, the former owner of the Hudson River Cafe, stands accused of running a $12 million Ponzi scheme tied to an allegedly fictitious wholesale liquor business.

Peralta’s lawyer, Cesar de Castro, made the allegations against Rechnitz as part of a legal tug-of-war with feds about what evidence can be introduced at Peralta’s upcoming May trial.

The government wants to call as witnesses victims of Peralta’s alleged scheme who were recruited by Rechnitz — and who learned of the scheme through Rechnitz.

De Castro has objected, arguing that statements made by Rechnitz cannot be offered as the truth because he was engaged in his own loan-sharking scheme.

“Evidence at trial will show that (Rechnitz) was not Mr. Peralta’s agent but the architect of his own scheme in order to bleed Mr. Peralta dry,” de Castro said.

Rechnitz’s lawyer, Alan Levine, declined to comment.

Rechnitz, a real estate investor, is also the government’s key witness in the upcoming bribery trial of Norman Seabrook, former head of NYC’s correction officers’ union.



The Missing Trust Agreement, The Rabbi and the Diamond Dealer

Rabbi Berel Lazar and A Missing Trust Agreement Between Arkady Gaydamak and Lev Leviev

September 11, 2016/1 Comment/in Joe Levin /by Joe Levin

By this interview Rabbi Berel Lazar actually recognizes that he had received the envelope from Arkady Gaydamak or from Lev Leviev but by no means ever knew what this envelope contained.

As the Justice Lord Vos stated in his Decision, “since this TV interview Lazar (and Leviev) are not able to deny the fact that Lazar received for the safekeeping an envelope and thus each Party, Arkady Gaydamak and Leviev, should explain the content of the envelope”.

Thus, in front of the High Court of Justice, Rabbi Berel Lazar and other witnesses on Leviev’s side stated with great confidence that the envelope contained Gaydamak’s written commitments to contribute to the Federation of Jewish Organizations of FSU instead of, as Gaydamak stated, the copy of the signed Trust Agreement of December 13, 2001.

Leviev’s side even presented to the Court false, fabricated by the US Chartered Accountant Joel Zuller, Tax Return Forms, in order to support Leviev’s fraudulent allegations that Gaydamak had fulfilled his financial commitments of contribution to the Federation of Jewish Organizations.

The TV interview of Rabbi Berel Lazar evidenced premeditated, knowingly fraudulent statements and documents presented to the High Court of Justice in London by Lev Leviev and his accomplices.

Lazar’s affirmations are — that he did not know what the envelope contains; and that he had never understood the reason why he received the envelope; and he expressed his astonishment why Gaydamak did not keep with him one signed copy of such, in accordance with Gaydamak’s claim, an important document.

These kind of allegations, specifically expressed by Lazar, who pretends to be a Rabbi, are absolutely outrageous.

By his affirmations, Lazar rejects the basic Halachic Rule about the function of “Shomer Ne’eman” (safe-keeper or Jewish Notary, Trustee in duty).

In accordance with these rules, two Jews, in the case where they want to establish an important (from their point of view) confidential document– they should do it precisely in one signed copy and transmit it to a “Shomer Ne’eman” (for which any Rabbi can serve).

Only on condition when the document itself was established in accordance with the “Halacha” rules and “Mazal Ubraha” was pronounced, which is precisely the case, as the Justice Lord Vos has stated — the responsibility of “Shomer Ne’eman”, in this case Lazar, should be engaged.

In the case where “Shomer Ne’eman” (Lazar) is not able to return the document, specifically when the document did not disappear for the reason of Force Major (fire, flood, earthquake, and other kinds of “Plagues of Egypt”, etc.) and in the case of a dispute between the two parties that signed the document the Halacha says that the version of the complaining party (Gaydamak) should be accepted.

In this case, we have all the founded evidences at our disposal that Lazar had actually allowed this document to disappear intentionally for the reason of his acquaintance, connections with and dependence from Leviev (the Justice Lord Vos unambiguously stated it in his Decision of June 29, 2012).

Honorable Rabbi, Hello.

Rabbi Berel Lazar:
I will tell you what I told him. I told him a very simple thing. If you give me a paper… First thing, if you make an agreement with someone, it is very strange that you don’t keep a copy yourself.

It is a strange thing in my opinion. Second, if you give me such a paper, tell me what this paper is.

Of course I have never said to him that I kept it.

These are things that suddenly he thought that he had heard from me.

I had already said to him in a meeting: when did I tell you that?

He does not remember when I told him.

He does not remember if I told him. Maybe I did not tell him. And suddenly, afterwards, he decided that maybe there is a chance that he publishes that I was indeed heard nearby.

These are all, excuse me, fantasies of a person – that once he delivered to me a paper, in this paper something was written, something that he, himself, claims that he had not told me.

He does not remember when he delivered it to me, he does not remember who delivered it to me, but there is “as if”…

Do you remember that you received such a thing at all?

Rabbi Berel Lazar:
I do remember that once there was – that either HE or Leviev – gave me an envelope and that’s it. They did not even tell me to keep it.

Honestly, it does not make sense that a Rabbi who receives an envelope from Leviev or Gaydamak loses it, also in the case where he does not know what it contains.
Rabbi Lazar alleged in front of us that during his conversation with Leviev, the latter admitted in delivery of the envelope.

Leviev Assets Obtained by Fraud? Our Position all Along…

Lev Leviev Invested In U.S. Real Estate Assets Obtained By Fraud


On June 29, 2012, the High Court of Justice in London issued a Decision concerning the civil claim filed to the Court by Arkady Gaydamak in order to induce Lev Leviev to fulfil Leviev’s trust obligations towards Gaydamak in accordance with the Trust Agreement signed on December 13, 2001 and given for safekeeping to the so-called Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar.

Despite the fraudulent denial of Lev Leviev who stated in the Court that the Trust Agreement of December 13, 2001 never existed, and despite Rabbi Berel Lazar knowingly fraudulent statements that he never received the signed copy of the Trust Agreement for safekeeping, the Court, after detailed examination of the facts, issued his Decision:

Ҥ 257. For the reasons I [Justice Vos] have given, I find that the 2001 Agreement was indeed signed by Mr Gaydamak and Mr Leviev, and was a valid and enforceable agreement.

But, the parties entered into a valid and binding Settlement Agreement which took effect on 6th August 2011, whereby each party released all claims against the other.”

While the Court unambiguously stated that Leviev, Rabbi Berel Lazar and all witnesses from Leviev’s side lied to the court and presented to the Court fabricated documents in order to deny the existence of the Trust Agreement, Justice Vos “surprisingly” recognized the validity of 3-pages Settlement Agreement that was signed by Arkady Gaydamak and Lev Leviev.

In the course of the hearings, the Court recognized the following facts:

* The text of the Settlement Agreement was exclusively prepared by Leviev’s London lawyers and then remitted by Leviev to General Kopelipa,

* Arkady Gaydamak was never informed and was never acquainted with the content of the Settlement Agreement,

* The Settlement Agreement was signed in the middle of the night in the Luanda (Angola) hotel room of Gaydamak where to General Kopelipa went himself,

* Arkady Gaydamak never saw Leviev to sign, on his side, the Settlement Agreement,

* The individual who requested and induced Gaydamak to sign the Settlement Agreement with not a single amendment from Gaydamak’s side is the State Minister of Angolan Government, General Kopelipa, in charge of secret services and police,

* The General Kopelipa and Leviev are business partners in multibillion dollar transactions in the frame of the companies known as “China-Sonangol”, “88 Queensway Group”, etc., where are also involved Messrs Sam Pa, Pierre Falcone, Manuel Vicente,

The General Kopelipa unambiguously “made understand” that, if Gaydamak will not sign the Settlement Agreement, Gaydamak will never leave Angola.

While Justice Vos doesn’t argue with all those facts related to the circumstances of the signature of the Settlement Agreement, and found them cogent, and even stated in § 222 of his Decision: “… Had Mr Gaydamak persisted in arguing with General Kopelipa that the Settlement Agreement was not binding, I find it inconceivable that the General would have allowed Mr. Gaydamak to take his new passport and leave the country.

After all, it was General Kopelipa who seems to have invested the most effort to see that the Settlement Agreement was concluded.”

It is obvious that the signature of Arkady Gaydamak on the Settlement Agreement of August 6, 2011, was extorted under the threat to life. Gaydamak was induced under the threat to life by the close business associate of Leviev, General Kopelipa, to sign the Settlement Agreement.

By the UK and also the US trust legislation, the Trustee (Leviev) in no circumstances is able to become an owner of the Beneficiary’s (Gaydamak) assets.

The Trustee can dispose of the assets of the Beneficiary only by paying to the Beneficiary for his assets the adequate value. Only then the trust relationship can be terminated.

Thus, the Decision of Justice Lord Vos of June 29, 2012, confirms the existence and validity of the Trust Agreement of December 13, 2001.

Nevertheless, in order to favorite Lev Leviev, and because the Trust Agreement between Leviev and Gaydamak cannot be cancelled with respect to the law, the Justice Lord Vos made a “surprising” decision by confirming the validity of the Settlement Agreement. In accordance with the Settlement Agreement of August 6, 2011, Gaydamak, in exchange for nothing, simply authorizes Leviev to keep under his control Gaydamak’s assets created in the frame of the trust relationship.

(It should be noted that the multibillion dollar businesses of Leviev related to the Angolan entities initially were financed exclusively by Gaydamak).

Currently, it became obvious that Leviev invested in the US assets related to the Angolan entities, i.e. assets under the Trust Agreement between Leviev and Gaydamak.

These assets are related and managed exclusively by Leviev without any awareness of Gaydamak. Leviev and his accomplices in the frame of the activity of the companies “China-Sonangol”, “China Investment Fund”, “88 Queensway Group” unambiguously:

* Embezzled Angolan state assets

* Invested those assets particularly in the US without declaring to the authorities the real origin of the invested funds

* Invested, inter alia, in the US, the assets belonging to Gaydamak in accordance with the Trust Agreement and embezzled by Leviev

* The real estate transactions in the US were made by Leviev through the public companies with the obvious breach of “self-dealing regulations” (The former CEO of “Africa-Israel USA” filed a claim against Leviev in the US Court for the breach of “self-dealing regulations” and thus was fired.


To continue reading click here.

AG Settlement – Boymelgreen, Leviev… Where’s the Authenticity, Schneiderman?

 In 2014, THE REAL DEAL reported on the investigation which had been launched by AG Eric Schneiderman into the partners’ Boymelgreen and Leviev’s luxury real estate business. Schneiderman’s focus at the time was 20 Pine Street and 15 Broad Street. The Broad Street location is only steps from 23 Wall Street, The JPMorgan building, a location which we view as far more important in the architectural structure that supports if not fosters corruption in New York and elsewhere.

In 2014 Schneiderman sought to enjoin Boymelgreen from doing business in New York until it could be determined whether Boymelgreen’s son, Sam, was acting as a frontman for his father’s business.

Today, it was reported that Boymelgreen will be “banned” from selling condos in New York. The humor in the settlement can be found in son – Sam, mentioned in THE REAL DEAL article in 2014. Is he not still to be a “front” and center concern in the family business?

We don’t hear much about Sam Boymelgreen but we do know that he is not precluded from doing business in New York. Why was he not included in the settlement? Or, did we miss something?

Certainly AG Schneiderman had to have considered in 2016 what was unsettling in 2014, that when father and son are engaged in the same business, a ban is not really a ban it is an invitation to switch heads of state. Or… rather… heads of family businesses.

We have posted the New York Times article regarding the audacious 2-year ban settlement for papa Boymelgreen. Below that, we have posted the article from THE REAL DEAL in 2014.

We repeat and reiterate, little has changed. Except perhaps, that while we have followed the news and learned that one must be wary of Boymelgreen, Leviev and others; Schneiderman has missed the current events page in his syllabus. He seems to think that a 2-year ban has meaning. It does not.

And then there’s the Broad Street/Wall Street, Arcady Gaydamak  Sam Pa, Platinum Partners, Leviev, Panama Papers connections…




New York Attorney General Settles Inquiry Into Once-Successful Developer

Continue reading

Apthorp Sitts and Rechnitz Ruins… We Think Not…





Tell us…

What happens to a building when it is leased or sold at below market rates?

The value of that building and all of the units in that building fall, drop, sink, use your word of choice.

What happens then?

Well… An Equity firm goes in and saves the day, buying 70 units for far below market value.

So, did Jona Rechnitz ruin market efforts or did he purposely sabotage marketing efforts so that the building would be worthless?

And, who owns the building anyway…???

In our view, Jona Rechnitz is nothing if not very, very predictable. We believe that the news articles that follow in large part missed the point. Jona Rechnitz did not ruin a building because he failed. Quite the contrary, he succeeded. Thor Equities got a steal…. And, if Rechnitz was involved, there is money behind the deals closed to sink the value of the units in that building.

What commonalities can we find?

we are looking…

Jona Rechnitz ruined marketing efforts at the Apthorp: report

Continue reading