BOI employees screw DOJ on OneCoin testimony
One of the objections Mark Scott raised against the DOJ providing witness testimony via CCTV was the timing.
Mr. Scott and his counsel cannot take a multiday trip to Ireland (which Mr. Scott too would be entitled to attend) while also preparing for a trial the Government has consistently sought to delay.
In an October 10th response filing, the DOJ reveals it isn’t so much the government wasting time as Scott asserts.
Rather it’s the Bank of Ireland employees they hope to present screwing them around.
The DOJ traveled to Ireland to interview eight BOI employee witnesses earlier this year in March.
During the March 2019 interviews of the BOI witnesses, the Government and witnesses generally discussed future trial testimony in the United States.
Based on those discussions, the Government understood that the witnesses would be willing to travel to the United States to testify.
A month later the DOJ informed the BOI that they intended to call several of their employees as trial witnesses.
The BOI was informed the employees would have to travel to New York for Scott’s trial.
Neither the BOI or its employees objected or raised any concerns.
In August the DOJ informed the BOI of the specific employees it wished to call, and offered to cover their testimony travel costs.
The BOI told the DOJ they’d relay the message to the employees (one of which no longer worked at the bank).
It wasn’t however until early September, that the BOI’s lawyers informed the DOJ that while the employees were willing to testify, they were now unwilling to travel to the US.
Discussions between the BOI, its employees and the DOJ continued into October, leading up to the DOJ’s September 29th CCTV motion.
Over the past week, the DOJ has additionally learned that, despite previous representations and assurances, none of the BOI’s employees are now willing to testify voluntarily.
A Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the US and Ireland means the DOJ is still able to compel the BOI employees to testify – but why is a mystery.
Before we get into that though, the DOJ writes that on October 9th it submitted an MLAT request to the Central Authority of Ireland.
If granted, the request will compel the BOI employees to testify. How that testimony will be presented in court is still up in the air, pending a decision on the DOJ’s CCTV motion.
The BOI’s employees sudden backflip on assisting the DOJ is pretty suspicious, although how I’m not exactly sure.
There’s a few angles to take into consideration here:
- the employees know more than they let on and are worried about their own liability;
- the BOI is worried about potential liability; and/or
- something something Bulgarian and/or Russian mafia something something.
Although I’ve omitted them here, the names of the employees the DOJ intends to compel have been made public in their filings.
Interested parties have those names and where these individuals work, so uh… yeah. Insert wild conspiracy theories here.
With respect to individual liability, the DOJ did offer the employees safe passage letters.
As I understand it, for the duration of travel, those letter would provide iron-clad immunity from prosecution by US authorities.
Yet still the employees refuse to leave Ireland.
If the BOI is trying to minimize it’s own potential liability, they know the DOJ can compel testimony via a MLAT request – so why stall the inevitable?
Not a lot is making sense here.
One interesting development is the DOJ’s October 9th request that exhibits attached to Scott’s CCTV opposition filing be retroactively sealed.
Scott’s opposition filing was on October 7th, so the exhibits were freely available to the public for two days.
The exhibits are communications between Scott and BOI employees, as well as two DOJ interview memorandums.
The emails appear to support what the DOJ has already asserted via public filings.
The memorandums reveal personal information about the BOI employees, along with what appears to be several KYC procedural failures.
One employee claims to have been a middleman between Scott and the BOI.
Here’s some excerpts from that employee’s interview:
(employee #1) did not review the documents related to missing signatures for Irina Dilkinska. He just forwarded them.
(employee #1) probably asked for the Fenero chart for KYC Net and did not review it for substance.
There’s a fair bit more in the memorandum but I couldn’t see anything the DOJ wouldn’t want the public to see.
The second memorandum details similar KYC failures;
(employee #2) never checks KYC Net to see where the account opening was in the process.
(employee #2) signed off before MLRO got approved then proceeded.
MLRO stands for Money Laundering Reporting Officer. All regulated financial services businesses in Ireland are required to have one.
(employee #2) logs into KYC Net to approve. (employee #2) would scan the information and check with the bankers.
(employee #2) would not conduct a “deep dive” as he relies on his employees.
(employee #2) never inquired if SCOTT opened an office in Ireland.
(employee #2) was shown tab # 60 in the evidence binder containing an email form SCOTT to (employee #3) concerning an international payment.
(employee #2) explained that there is risk with manual payments such as a forgery, so they require various approvals.
(employee #2) was okay with the payment because the funds were in the account.
(employee #2) did not take note of the Bulgarian Bank listed on the payment.
(employee #2) never learned the source of funds coming into SCOTT’s accounts.
(employee #2) had no suspicion of SCOTT or Finero. SCOTT accounts moved from High Risk to Medium Risk.
On the surface it certainly seems the BOI employees were lax on certain KYC procedures.
Is that enough to drag them into the OneCoin legal mess though?
Stay tuned for a ruling on the DOJ’s CCTV motion. Mark Scott’s trial is scheduled to kick off on November 4th.
I think it’s harsh to describe a low level bank employee getting a request to testify about a financial fraud in the US, saying “sure, why not, I have nothing to hide so I have nothing to fear, plus I get a free holiday to the US”, then having someone (hopefully a lawyer) point out how monumentally cretinous it would be to travel to the US, and quickly reverse ferreting, as “screwing the DOJ”.
They should have said “no way José, video or sworn testimony or nothing” from the beginning.
But I can understand how a low level bank employee wouldn’t understand the extreme danger of traveling to the US if you are involved in a fraud (even if your only crime is incompetence). Until a lawyer points it out to them.
There is no reason on earth they can’t testify via video link and it’s much more environmentally friendly.
To give it time to review its liability. Internal investigations take months.
Plus if they stall, the DOJ might get what it needs to put Scott away elsewhere and leave them alone.
And letter of safe passage schmetter of schmafe schmaffage. The US authorities are more than capable of finding a pretext to invalidate it after you’ve touched down, e.g. some new information they’ve dug up after they granted it.
Then you are stuck in the US court system and all the evidence in your defence and everyone who would testify in favour of you is back in Ireland.
I have little sympathy for the employees. They’ve had seven months to seek counsel and work with the DOJ.
Pulling out literally a month before trial unless compelled to testify is screwing the DOJ over.
As I’ve stated, the letter of safe passage isn’t a policy that can be reneged on (ie. Donald Trump and the Kurds). They’re filed with the court and are legal documents.
It’s not like some guy pulls out a pad and paper, scribbles down “we won’t arrest u, promize.”, folds it over and that’s that.
The letters have to carry legal weight and be upheld or what is the point of offering them?
Good enough for Volkswagen executives? Good enough for BOI employees.
And that’s assuming they did anything wrong to begin with. If they did, then I have no sympathy for them whatsoever.
Could Mark Scott have laundered $400 mill in stolen OneCoin funds through another bank if BOI did thorough due-diligence? Maybe but we’ll never know.
Might the BOI have filed SARs with authorities and prevented additional hundreds of millions in losses? Maybe but we’ll never know.
If there is any misconduct on BOI’s part then they need to be held accountable. Outside of Scott’s case of course.
It’s bad look for Bank of Ireland and its employees. I hope somebody in Europe will investigate the bank promptly.
The seemingly lax KYC process makes one wonder is the Bank of Ireland going to be same kind of cesspool of dirty money as Danske Bank is (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danske_Bank_money_laundering_scandal).
If they were lax on KYC with Scott/OneCoin, they most likely were with others too. The BOI employees backflipping may indicate that they don’t want to open the can of worms.
I wonder what is the best way and the appropriate body to file a report on Bank of Ireland’s conduct… 😉 The documents that Scott’s defense published provide a good basis to ask if their KYC/DD/AML process is at the required level.
Well the US gov and its entetis are the suprem regulaters of foreign banks, do to the position of the us dollar in the financial system. (US is able to revoke a foregin banks right to trade in dollars.= your not realy a bank anymore.
Dont think it will come to that. Im sure the doj will get all the cooperation thay need in the end.
I have got to say I feel there is boat loads of RED herrings out here.
I constantly see a common conclusion that onecoin is a scam etc. But the reality on the ground is dealshaker is trading coins for goods.
People are motivated to get more involved in the project.
The SEC and U.S. regulators are chasing all kinds of crypto but ultimately the dollar is going to devalue over time and more and more people are going to hold crypto rather than fiat world wide.
Recession is fast approaching and lawers and banks are going to be looking for work. Best of luck.
@Dave the dealshaker platform is a laughable farce loaded with scammers!
What the heck are you smoking? Did you actually see any real deals on there?
I THINK 100K MERCHANTS WORLDWIDE. with deals in property and land and hotel bills etc to mention just a few.
I think speaks volumes.
Dealshaker is a redherring, (but hay you don’t need to be an expert in the field like me to se that it’s conceptualy broken, just read what the creators of it had to say).
For the umteenth frickin fracking time, One Coin was an MLM scheme, period. Crypto, dealshaker, auction bids, VoIP, banner ads, vitamins, shakes, and soap are irrelevant to this money con game.
And, and, and, let’s just throw in the fact that most of the professional criminals associated with OC have gone to other recruiting scams, Ruja is AWOL, there are indictments, and Con-stantin is in jail.
But let me guess. I’ll bet you think something isn’t a pyramid/Ponzi scheme as long as they have a product.
I’m going to give this analogy once again to get it through people’s heads. If a gang is robbing a bank, using a Toyota minivan as the getaway car, we needn’t focus on the condition of the Toyota engine or what regional dealerships have van accessories for sale!
The act of robbing the bank is the main issue! Translation: The act of multi-level marketing is the main issue. In OC’s case, crypto was merely a tool to help facilitate the act – like the minivan in the heist.
The reality is, OneCoin was NOT about cryptocurrency. It was a recruiting scheme that used fake crypto to lure people in. Sorry you didn’t get in this MLM money game at the top, collect commission from recruiting others, and bolt before it collapsed. Not!
Assuming you’re not a habitual fraudster/MLMer, I do genuinely hope you won’t fall for the MLM scam again; and I hope you digest the information I’ve provided. Let the MLM brainwashing crap go before you lose any more money, or make ill-gotten gains.
P.S. If Dave is a scammer, maybe my words will reach someone else.
There’s not 100k merchants in DealShaker. Maybe 100k merchants have registered during the 2 years, but there has been during the history of DealSheaker 18k or less mostly flea market and other crap deals active on DealShaker. So of course there can’t be 100k merchants offering deals.
The web counter never decreases, so even if there’d be 10 merchant left, it still shows 100k+ merchants. Helloo..
DealShaker is a red herring. It has nothing to do with OneCoin operating as a Ponzi/pyramid hybrid till Jan 2017, and then as a pyramid scheme to date.
Adding a (non-functional) ecommerce platform to a scam doesn’t make it any less of a scam.
Mark Scott’s trial is fast approaching and Konstantin is still in prison. Best of luck.
Everything can be reneged on if you’re a national government.
What are the BOI employees going to do if the DOJ finds a pretext to invalidate the letter? Cry? Call the Irish SAS to bust them out?
Sue the DOJ? That’s precisely the scenario they need to avoid at all costs, i.e. fighting the US authorities on their home ground from a US prison cell.
Leaving aside the employees’ AML incompetence, the issue is entirely of the DOJ’s own making, as if all they want is testimony, they could have asked for a video link in the first place rather than proposing to waste taxpayer’s money on air fares.
I don’t know how long letters of safe passage have been around but feel free to cite one example of the US government reneging on one.
That would presumably also be the last letter of protection ever issued.
As I understand it CCTV testimony isn’t common. If you just apply for it without good reason you’ll be denied.
Even given the current circumstances the Judge isn’t happy and has taken the CCTV motion under advisement to think about it.
Dave Smith… DealShaker in it’s current form: 1. Only is available to OL members; 2. has no impact whatsoever on the ‘price’ of the coin; 3. has very few merchants – you can count them by going through the categories; and, has very few visitors, check out any analytical tool.
It also makes bugger-all profit, cannot compete in terms of price, has massive delivery issues, etc.
That is why my team and I reinvented it as a proper platform taking multiple currencies, open to anyone and outside of the ridiculous ‘ecosystem’, and away from anything to do with MLM.
As it turned out, we couldn’t plug into a BC we couldn’t find and when we raised a red flag, we were kicked out, harassed and left with massive bills.
The hype behind what we were doing drove OL for a while. That old DS can be the “future” is a farce not even Shakespeare could have dreamed up.
DS was a band aid on a mortal wound after I said an IPO was impossible and a few of us were told to come up with something innovative. A flea market with Monopoly money was the best we could do.
I naively thought cash account balances could be transferred and withdrawn. Why not ask Sofia why the cash amount is now envisaged to be settled via 3rd parties?
I dare you or anyone else to present in NY what I spent two years tinkering with and fixing as some kind of magic balm that justifies why billions are missing and the rules of Economics can be suspended if you wish hard enough.
I think you a bit are too cynical. Yes, everything is in theory possible for sovereign nations, and let alone superpowers like USA. But everything nations do has consequences.
It would be against US interests (and “interest of justice”) not to honour explicit safe passage letters for it would put this and future cases in danger.
I think such moves would also be diplomatically in bad form, and in fact pretty close to breaking diplomatic immunity.
Nations break these rules & norms only under exceptional circumstances — and there are certainly none here.
Not everything in USA during Trump era is chaos, nihilism and insanity — credibility and trust are something that every nation tries their best to uphold. 😉
And Government couldn’t have asked the CCTV arrangement straight away. US constitution provides right for the defendant to be confronted face-to-face with the witnesses against him/her.
The Government is arguing for “Rule 15 exception” to that, and in order to succeed, they must show, inter alia, that they have made good faith efforts to secure live testimony and that witnesses are legally “unavailable”(e.g not within US subpoena power).
It seems that it’s far from “slam dunk” for the Goverment to get the CCTV motion passed.
If BoI, or their staff, have been negligent, they’re not going to come off lightly. If it can be proven that any of the four staff were complicit, it’s existentially dangerous.
This is a bank on the second tier, not “too big to fail”, but big enough to be made an example of.
By this point nearly twenty banks had cut-off ties with OL/OC. With 2-4 hundred million suddenly unavailable to Sofia, no wonder the long neglected “ICO” became a priority and every resource was shifted onto the last two growing regions in Africa and Latam.
Cynicism is a highly advisable strategy if your incomptence at AML has dragged you into a Ponzi scheme which the US authorities are prosecuting.
For me, it’s merely a hobby.
Tell that to the Kurds.
Not really, they can ask for testimony via videolink. With a sufficiently advanced teleconferencing suite, teleconferencing has been as good as being there for over a decade. There will certainly be such facilities available in Ireland.
The defendants can see the whites of the eyes of the people testifying against them if teleconferencing is used.
If US judges are grumpy and backward about video testimony that’s their problem.
A US diplomat’s wife just splattered a UK citizen while driving on the wrong side of the road, and has legged it claiming diplomatic immunity. The US couldn’t care less about diplomatically bad form, nor does it have any reason to.
You and Oz are free to think that the magic piece of paper will protect the BOI witnesses. However, the witnesses’ lawyers clearly disagree with you, which is why the witnesses reverse ferreted as soon as somebody with legal expertise asked them what the hell they were thinking.
As it happens, I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t arrested. However, I’m not the one being asked to travel to the US while involved in a fraud case. Nor are you. I will reiterate: cynicism is highly advisable in this situation.
The court granted the DOJ an extension till Friday to file their letter report.
Guys… Chech this…
Bank of Ireland witnesses will not be compelled to testify in Court, as parties have reached an agreement.
Scott’s jury voir dire questions have also been filed. Wants to know if people are familiar with crypto and OneCoin etc.
Dunno how specific these questions usually are but this is pretty specific. Sounds like Scott wants to exclude anyone who’s had a negative experience with banks, lawyers, crpyptocurrency, OneCoin or MLM in general.
Also for some reason that Oct 17th endorsed memo filing isn’t coming up on my Pacer search.