Daily Archives: July 21, 2014

Not one but two: Utah ex-attorneys generals charged with bribery

Mark Shurtleff and also John Swallow , former Utah former AGs are charged with bribery.


After investigating for more than a year, authorities on Tuesday arrested two former Utah attorneys general on charges of bribery, misusing public funds and other counts. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Tuesday laid out allegations against John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff that involve gold coins, luxury houseboats and jets and thousands of dollars in cash or campaign contributions. Swallow and Shurtleff, both Republicans, have denied wrongdoing and the accusations against them.

Here’s some highlights of the allegations:

Luxury gifts

Authorities said both Swallow and Shurtleff used a luxury jet and personal property belonging to a businessman indicted on federal fraud charges. Swallow also used the businessman’s million-dollar houseboat on Lake Powell.

In another case from 2008, Shurtleff negotiated a plea deal for a Utah businessman facing fraud charges that was so lenient a judge wouldn’t accept it. After a more stringent deal was reached and the businessman was on probation, he put up Shurtleff and Swallow at a high-end Newport Beach resort and bought them meals, rounds of golf, clothing and massages, prosecutors said.

When Swallow left his job at a Utah payday loan company to join the attorney general’s office, his employer gave him 12 one-ounce gold coins, court documents said. While he was a chief deputy in the attorney general’s office, Swallow sold back the coins one or two at a time to the same former employer, receiving $17,000 in all, which is more than they are worth, Gill said.

Influence peddling

In 2012, the attorney general’s office intervened in a lawsuit against a Bank of America subsidiary on behalf of thousands of Utah residents facing foreclosure. The Salt Lake City-area couple that brought the suit then spent $28,000 holding a campaign fundraising party for Swallow. The couple’s individual case was settled favorably, but Shurtleff in December directed the attorney general’s office drop the state case, despite objections from staff attorneys. Prosecutors said a division chief in the Utah attorney general’s office reported Swallow indicated to Bank of America that Utah would drop the case if the couple’s case was settled favorably. Shurtleff later accepted a position with a Washington, D.C., law firm that represented Bank of America.

Read on.

Here is the press conference of the charges. Click here.


Citigroup’s Banamex, regulator clash over who played key role in loan fraud

Preliminary findings of a probe by Citigroup’s Mexican unit, Banamex, into how it lost more than $500 million in a corporate loan fraud differ markedly from the results of a separate investigation by the Mexican banking regulator.

Banamex has zeroed in on Jose Ortega, a middle manager the bank fired in 2012, as a key person in the fraud involving Mexican oil pipeline maintenance company Oceanografia, according to two people familiar with its probe.

But the Mexican bank regulator, Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV), has poured scorn on this suggestion and says Ortega probably played only a bit part. The real problem was with the bank’s institutional failure to have proper controls in place, the CNBV says.

Read on.

Barclays : Trading firms raised early concerns about Barclays’ dark pool – WSJ

(Reuters) – Trading firms and employees raised concerns about high-speed traders at Barclays Plc’s “dark pool” months before the United States accused the bank of favouring its high-frequency trading clients, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the firms.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit last month, accusing the Barclays dark pool of giving high-frequency traders an unfair advantage, even though the bank had promised investors they would be protected from “predatory” and “toxic” traders.

The lawsuit alleges that Barclays executed nearly all of its customers’ stock orders on its LX Liquidity Cross dark pool alternative trading system instead of on exchanges or other venues that might have offered better prices.

Some big trading firms noticed that their orders weren’t getting the best treatment on the dark pool and began to grow concerned that the poor results were due to high-frequency trading, the Journal said. (http://on.wsj.com/1tocIWT)

Read on.

“I Was Absolutely Shocked At What I Read,” Congressman Calls For Release Of Secret 9/11 Documents

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Late last year, I published a post titled: Two Congressmen Push for Release of 28-Page Document Showing Saudi Involvement in 9/11. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:


Since terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, victims’ loved ones, injured survivors, and members of the media have all tried without much success to discover the true nature of the relationship between the 19 hijackers – 15 of them Saudi nationals – and the Saudi Arabian government. Many news organizations reported that some of the terrorists were linked to the Saudi royals and that they even may have received financial support from them as well as from several mysterious, moneyed Saudi men living in San Diego.


Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any connection, and neither President George W. Bush nor President Obama has been forthcoming on this issue.


But earlier this year, Reps. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., were given access to the 28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry (JICI) of 9/11 issued in late 2002, which have been thought to hold some answers about the Saudi connection to the attack.


“I was absolutely shocked by what I read,” Jones told International Business Times. “What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me. I cannot go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain confidential. But the information I read disappointed me greatly.”


The public may soon also get to see these secret documents. Last week, Jones and Lynch introduced a resolution that urges President Obama to declassify the 28 pages, which were originally classified by President George W. Bush. It has never been fully explained why the pages were blacked out, but President Bush stated in 2003 that releasing the pages would violate national security.

Naturally, the so-called “most transparent Administration in history” hasn’t declassified anything, but that didn’t stop Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY from reading them. What he saw was so incredibly disturbing he called a press conference to talk about it. This is what he had to say:

Click on video here.