web analytics
October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘federal court’

US Clams Up on Whether Foreign Aid Helps PA Post Bond in Terror Suit [video]

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. clammed up Monday when asked bothersome questions concerning a federal court decision Monday to drastically lower the bond the Palestinian Authority has to put up in a $665 million lawsuit against the Ramallah-based regime.

Spokesman John Kirby also refused to say whether the judge had lowered the bond enough to satisfy the United States, which intervened in the case by arguing that a higher bond could bankrupt the Palestinian Authority and might damage the non-existent “peace process.”

TheJewishPress.com reported here yesterday :

The judge in a New York terrorism case that ended in a victory for the plaintiffs…imposed a $10 million bond on the defendants, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. The defendants must also make $1 million monthly payments during the duration of any appeals of the $655 million award to the plaintiffs at the end of the jury trial back in February…

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, which included the Israeli law firm Shurat HaDin, had requested a $30 million monthly bond be paid into an account until the case is resolved.

State Dept. spokesman John Kirby, who is supposed to provide information while making every effort to avoid embarrassing the government, made the Obama administration look a bit stupid Monday by turning on the tape recorder to repeat “no comment” over and over instead of directly answering questions.

Associated Press journalist Matt Lee asked:

Is that [$10 million bond]– in the Administration’s view, is that too much to be asking? Does this place an undue – does the Administration believe it places an undue burden on the Palestinians?

Kirby reiterated the facts of the U.S. intervention and concluded:

And I’m not going to be able to comment further.

Lee then asked:

Well, is the United States concerned at all that some or any of this money will be actual money that you might have provided to the Palestinians in the past?

Guess what Kirby answered?

I’m just not going to be able to comment further, Matt.

And when Lee asked why not answer, Kirby reiterated:

I’m not going to be able to comment further on this particular case.

Well, maybe Kirby could comment on Lee; question if “the judge in making his determination today, took your statement of interest on board, or is this onerous to the Palestinians or unhelpful to U.S. foreign policy?”

And Kirby turned on the tape recorder again to say:

I mean, I understand the question, Matt. I’m just not going to be able to comment further today.

Al Quds reporter Sayeed Erekat chimed in to ask:

You being their largest contributor, giving the Palestinians close to $500 million a year, will you guarantee those, like a loan guarantee for $10 million and 1 million more a month?

And Kirby answered, of course:

I don’t have anything further to add on this today.

The no-answer session begins at 48:32 in the video below.


Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama Asks NYC’s US District Court Judge to Waive Bond for PA, PLO

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

The Obama administration asked a United States judge on Monday (Aug. 10) to “carefully consider” the size of the bond he sets for the Palestinian Authority while it appeals an award for damages in the deaths and injuries of Americans in six terror attacks in Israel.

Both the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority were determined to be financial liable for the attacks in the civil trial that ended in a New York court in February.

Under U.S. anti-terrorism law, the jury’s award of $218.5 million was automatically tripled to a total of $655.5 million.

Attorneys for the defense argued the PA could not afford to post the bond for the appeal, typically 111 percent of the judgement. They asked the judge to waive the bond requirement altogether instead.

The Obama administration concurred, and took the highly unusual step late Monday night of filing a formal “Statement of Interest of the United States of America” with Justice George B. Daniels of the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The plaintiffs, who were opposed to the request, included ten families of victims of terror, comprising some three dozen members, eight of whom were physically injured in the attacks and others who were related to those who were murdered in the attacks that took place between 2002 to 2004.

The attacks left a total of 33 dead and more than 450 injured, including a number of U.S. citizens. They were carried out by terrorists from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Hamas.

“The United States strongly supports the rights of victims of terrorism to vindicate their interests in federal court and to receive just compensation for their injuries,” the Department of Justice wrote in the brief.

However, requiring the Palestinian Authority to pay “a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the PA’s ability to operate as a governmental authority,” wrote deputy secretary of state Antony J. Blinken.

“A PA insolvency and collapse would harm current and future U.S.-led efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In court last month, Judge Daniels made it clear he intended to set the bond as a “significant demonstration” that the Palestinian Authority and PLO were both “willing and able to pay a judgment, if a judgment is entered and affirmed on appeal.” The families have taken the position that the defendants should deposit at least $30 million per month with the court as a show of good faith.

Blinken added in the DOJ’s brief Monday that the government was not taking a position on the merits of the case; only the impact of the bond itself.

There has been some friction over the case – and over the issue of intervening on behalf of the PLO and PA for the bond – between the State Department and the DOJ.

Hana Levi Julian

Jordan’s Arab Bank Goes on Trial in NY for Terror Financing

Monday, August 11th, 2014

A worldwide legal earthquake is about to begin in Brooklyn, where the Jordan-based Arab Bank goes on trial today (Monday) for authorizing money transfers from terror entities to Hamas members abroad.

The case, a lawsuit by the families of US victims of terror, has been 10 years in the making and revolves around ‘martyr payments’ to the relatives of Hamas suicide bombers via the Jordan-based Arab Bank through its New York branch during the second intifada.

The plaintiffs claim in their suit the Bank has violated Section 2339B of Title 18 of the US Code, which makes it illegal for an entity within the United States to provide material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations. Hamas is included on that list. Attorney Gary Osen of Osen LLC is the lead attorney in the case.

This is the first-ever civil trial targeting terrorist financing, one that has dragged on for a decade because Arab Bank has worked just that hard to fight it — or at least to delay the proceedings as long as possible. When the Supreme Court rejected the Bank’s petition to hear the case in June, the way was paved for today’s hearing in Brooklyn.

In April 2013, a New York Federal Court penalizing the Bank with an order imposing sanctions for refusing to submit documents for review by the plaintiffs to determine whether they could be used as evidence in the case.

That order raised Cain between three agencies at the federal level in the Obama administration – the US State Department, the Justice Department, and the Treasury Department – as officials tried to decide just how to deal with this delicate but dirty matter that affects not one, but at least two or more of America’s closest allies in the Middle East.

The Bank claimed it refused to submit the documents because it could have violated bank secrecy laws in Jordan and Lebanon. The lower US court was having none of that and ruled a jury could interpret that to mean an automatic admission of guilt on the part of the Bank.

In a pre-trial statement to Forbes, the Bank commented, “The facts show that Arab Bank provided routine banking service in compliance with applicable counter terrorism laws and regulations, and had no intention of providing support to Hamas or any other known terrorist organization.”

The Bank is accused of facilitating massive money transfers from 1998 to 2004 to Hamas leaders and institutions, as well as to the families of jailed Hamas members and suicide bombers. The money allegedly came from insurance benefits provided by the Saudi Committee and the Hezbollah al-Shahid Foundation. Both supported the intifada by providing benefits to the families of those who “martyred” themselves or who became injured or captured by the IDF in the process.

The insurance was “ultimately designed to provide substantial material support to Palestinian terrorist organizations and to provide a meaningful incentive both to prospective recruits and to individuals contemplating the commission of independent acts of violence in the name of the ‘popular resistance’,” according to the complaint, as quoted by Business Insider.

There were five attacks specified in the complaint in which Arab Bank allegedly facilitated money transfers to the relatives of Hamas terrorists. One was the October 2003 case of John Linde Jr., murdered with two other security officers while escorting US diplomats to interview Palestinian Arab candidates for Fulbright Scholarships. The three were killed by an IED (improvised explosive device, also known as a ‘homemade bomb’) in northern Gaza. A second involved 3-year-old Tehilla Nathansen, killed while sitting on her mother’s lap when terrorists blew up the No. 2 bus in Jerusalem in August 2003. A third child, 8th grader Jacob Mandell, was killed in a hail of rocks hurled by attacking Palestinian Arabs along with another friend while hiking in May 2001. And so on.

Hana Levi Julian

Five Madoff Employees Found Guilty in Ponzi Scheme

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

A federal jury Monday found five former employees of Bernard Madoff guilty of knowingly being involved in the biggest Ponzi scheme in history and rejected their claims that they were just following orders.

The defendants’ testified that Madoff was the only one who knew of the swindle, but assistant U.S. attorney John T. Zach had told the jurors, “There’s really no dispute here that there was a massive criminal conspiracy” and that “the defendants knew that fraud was going on at Madoff Securities.”

Sentences will be handed down later, but it is certain that the five men and women will be joining Madoff by moving their residence to a prison cell.

One of the key testimonies on behalf of the prosecution was by Frank DiPascali Jr., who pleaded guilty in 2009 and has been cooperating with federal prosecutors and who told the jury that  a fake ledger of securities trades was written up to show an auditor.

Madoff’s senior staffers kept a special set of books for the Securities and  Exchange Commission.

Lawyers for the defendants questioned DiPascalis veracity and claimed his testimony was based on his desire to reduce his own jail sentence.

The defendants’ material wealth blinded them from simply quitting the swindle that robbed institutions, such as Yeshiva University, and thousands of people of millions of dollars.

Daniel Bonventre, 67, New York, N.Y., received hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses and bought a New Jersey beach home.

Annette Bongiorno, 65, North Hills, N.Y., bought expensive homes in New York and Florida and Bentley car.

JoAnn Crupi, 52, Westfield, N.J., bought a vacation home on the New Jersey shore and also charged personal expense to Madoff Securities.

Jerome O’Hara, 50, Malverne, N.Y. and George Perez, 48, East Brunswick, N.J., objected to Madoff about having to change records and delete records and said they would not follow such orders in the future. However, a pay raise solved the problem.

Jewish Press Staff

Bibi’s Choice

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

News item:

MEXICO CITY (AP) — U.S. law enforcement officials expressed outrage over the release from prison of Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero and vowed to continue efforts to bring to justice the man who ordered the killing of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Caro Quintero was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 1985 kidnapping and killing of DEA agent Enrique Camarena but a Mexican federal court ordered his release this week saying he had been improperly tried in a federal court for state crimes. …

The Association of Former Federal Narcotics Agents in the United States said it was “outraged” by Caro Quintero’s early release and blamed corruption within Mexico’s justice system.

“The release of this violent butcher is but another example of how good faith efforts by the U.S. to work with the Mexican government can be frustrated by those powerful dark forces that work in the shadows of the Mexican ‘justice’ system,” the organization said in a statement.

So imagine how they would react if 104 “violent butcher(s)” were released from prison as a result of improper influence on the justice system, particularly if that influence came from a foreign power! This describes the prisoner release that Israel’s leaders have been coerced into accepting as the price for beginning talks with the PLO.

There isn’t justice in nature. Sometimes evil people do terrible things and escape punishment, even thrive. This brute fact has prompted countless pages of philosophical and theological discourse. But one thing that is not in doubt is that it is one of the functions of civilization to try to bring some order out of this moral chaos by imposing justice.

Hence one of the seven Noachide laws — one of the moral principles that Judaism recognizes as a requirement for any civilized nation, Jewish or not — is to establish courts of law. Subverting justice, then, is one of the worst crimes a person can commit.

PM Netanyahu fell into a trap set for him by Barack Obama, perhaps payback for the humiliation Obama suffered in May 2011, when Bibi dared to publicly instruct the ‘leader of the free world’ about “Middle East reality.”

Now Obama has handed him a “Sophie’s choice,” a moral dilemma in which both forks are horrible. Should he release the prisoners, cause immense pain to the families of their victims, damage Israel’s honor and deterrence, and subvert the legal system that condemned them (and by the way, destroy his own reputation and political career)? Or should he tell Obama to go to hell and expose Israel to whatever consequences were threatened?

Bibi has made his choice. History will judge him.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Vic Rosenthal

Federal Judge Dismisses Alan Gross’ Lawsuit against Government

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

A federal judge dismissed on Tuesday a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government by Alan Gross, the American-Jewish contractor imprisoned in Cuba since 2009.

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that under federal law, the government cannot be sued for injuries that occurred in another country.

Gross and his wife Judy filed a $60 million lawsuit in November against the U.S. government and a government contractor, charging that Gross should have been better trained and informed of the risks before going to Cuba to set up Internet access for the Jewish community there.

Gross, 64, was arrested in December 2009 as he was leaving Cuba for “crimes against the state.” He spoke virtually no Spanish and traveled to Cuba five times under his own name before his arrest.

Gross’ family and U.S. State Department officials say that Gross was in Cuba on a U.S. Agency for International Development contract to help the country’s 1,500 Jews communicate with other Jewish communities using the Internet.

The main Jewish groups in Cuba have denied any contact with or knowledge of Gross or the program.

The Grosses settled in mid-May with Development Alternatives Inc., a Maryland-based contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, for an undisclosed amount.


Ringleader Found Guilty in $57M Fraud at Claims Conference

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Semen Domnister, the former Claims Conference employee who was charged with leading a $57 million fraud scheme at the Holocaust restitution organization, was found guilty Wednesday by a U.S. District Court jury in Manhattan after a four-week trial.

Domnitser and two others, Oksana Romalis and Luba Kramrish, were found guilty on all counts., and 28 others charged in the fraud scheme have pleaded guilty.

“To have it all come to closure is extraordinarily important,” Greg Schneider, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference, told JTA. “We’re obviously very happy that justice has been served, but focus on the needs of Holocaust survivors has always been our main priority.”

The fraud was discovered in 2009 and dated back to 1993. It involved falsifying applications to the Hardship Fund, an account established by the German government to provide one-time payments of approximately $3,360 to those who fled the Nazis as they moved east through Germany, and the Article 2 Fund, through which the German government gives pension payments of approximately $411 per month to needy Nazi victims who spent significant time in a concentration camp, in a Jewish ghetto in hiding or living under a false identity to avoid the Nazis.

Jury deliberations Wednesday took just a few hours.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ringleader-found-guilty-in-57m-fraud-at-claims-conference/2013/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: