A Connecticut Yankee in
King Kamehameha’s Court

"CAMELOT -- Camelot," said I to myself. "I don't seem to remember
hearing of it before. Name of the asylum, likely."

– Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court


 

Sightings from The Catbird Seat

~ o ~

August 9, 1996

Bishop Estate buys into
$1 bil advisory business

Pacific Business News (Honolulu) - by Sandi Magaoay

Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate has once again invested in an East Coast venture. This time, it quietly purchased the majority interest of a Connecticut specialized advisory business that manages almost $1 billion in assets.

Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Bishop Estate, is a co-investor in the purchase of Bigler Investment Management, a Farmington, Conn., firm that manages fund-of-fund accounts.

The purchasing entity, called The Crossroads Group, is expected to take on a much more aggressive money-management outlook.

Glenn Hara, vice president of finance for Royal Hawaiian, would not provide details of the deal, saying only that it closed earlier this month.

And other investors in The Crossroads Group are parties that have had "long relationships" with Royal Hawaiian and the local company considered the buy a long-term investment.

The Crossroads Group did not return telephone calls.

Massachusetts equity analyst Steven P. Galante said his own research found Bishop Estate purchased about a 60 percent stake in The Crossroads Group. The management team and others own the remaining interest.

Bigler Investment sold most of the company's assets, but its founder retained ownership of the general partner interests in nine fund-of-funds totaling about $850 million, said Galante.

Galante is an analyst at Asset Alternatives Inc. in Massachusetts, which tracks the private equity industry, provides analysis of the marketplace and publishes a monthly newsletter called The Private Equity Analyst.

According to Galante, who is also editor of The Private Equity Analyst, principals of The Crossroads Group are:

Charles M. Harmon Jr., an investment banker and former general partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York; Larry L. Landry, chief investment officer of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago; and Brad Heppner, a consultant at Bain & Co. in Dallas and former director of private investments at the MacArthur Foundation.

All have prior experience with Bishop Estate. In 1993, the MacArthur Foundation and Bishop Estate, along with Duke University's endowment fund, backed the formation of a Boston merchant bank called Orion Capital Partners LP. The bank, Galante said, has been a successful venture.

Harmon is familiar with Bishop Estate because the Hawaii trust owns 10 percent of Goldman Sachs.

The sale is "a great deal for everybody involved," Galante said. "It's a combination of a great franchise, a very good management team and a terrific financial backer with extensive contacts."

Bigler Investment is "one of the most respected names in the specialized advisory community, but has been undermaximized in recent years because of turnovers" at the senior management level, he said.

Also, Harold E. Bigler Jr., founder of the company, has wanted to retire, Galante said. Until he actually retires, Bigler will continue to control most of the investments the firm has made, Galante said.

The sale gives Bigler Investment clients a "younger and very skillful" set of managers, and it gives The Crossroads Group ties to a reputable, experienced industry name, he said.

Bishop Estate's contribution to the arrangement is its foresight and contacts, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, Galante said.

With the Bigler name and Bishop Estate's network, The Crossroads Group could become an internationally pre-eminent specialized firm because it will be able to attract investment specialists who can develop the franchise across investment sectors and geographic boundaries, he said.

Bigler Investment is well-known in the American and European venture capital partnership investing industry. The Crossroads Group plans to expand its activities to include funds that invest in buyouts, mezzanine finance, and inflation-hedge assets such as energy and real estate investments, Galante said.

Bigler Investment Management's fund-of-funds clients include Connecticut State Treasury, Massachusetts' Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Rhode Island Employees' Retirement System, City & County of San Francisco Retirement System and the pension funds of E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co., Galante said.

Southwestern Bell Corp. has moved its fund-of-funds account to the new entity, he said.

A fund-of-fund is a mutual fund that invests in other mutual funds, enabling managers to move money between the best funds in the industry and thereby increase shareholders' returns through diversification.

The Crossroads Group will continue to manage capital in the fund-of-funds format.

Gregg Robertson, president of Hawaii's Cadinha & Co., said that type of fund management business does not produce high profits. Investments such as Bishop Estate's in The Crossroads Group are usually made with the intent to receive a substantial capital gain by selling its interest in the future.

Other East Coast investments made by Bishop Estate include sinking $40 million into the development of the exclusive Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia in 1991.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Bishop Estate in that case, alleging fraud, conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary duty in the sale of the golf club. One suit, recently filed by two members of the golf club, claims the charitable trust inflated the value of the club through a series of financial transactions among entities controlled by the estate.

Bishop Estate was created in 1884 by the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop as an educational trust for Native Hawaiian children. It has holdings worth an estimated $10 billion.

www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/1996/08/12/story1.html


 

March 18, 2005

Former Conn. Gov. Roland
Gets Jail for Corruption

Reuters

NEW HAVEN, Conn - Former Connecticut Gov. John Roland was sentenced on Friday to a year and one day in prison for corruption after the fallen star of the Republican Party told the court he was ashamed of himself.

“I’m ashamed to be here today,” said Rowland, who was considered a possible running mate for George W. Bush in his 2000 presidential run.

His voice breaking, as he struggled to keep his composure, Roland told the court, “I lost sight of my ethical judgment. There is no one to blame but myself.”

Reading from a prepared statement, he added, “I had a sense of entitlement. I let my pride get in the way.”

U.S. District Judge Peter Dorsey said Rowland broke his covenant with the state and sentenced him to 12 months and one day behind bars and fined him $82,000.

“He was not elected to receive gratuities. He was elected to act on behalf of the citizens of this state. His conduct betrayed that trust,” Dorsey said during a sentencing hearing in New Haven federal court.

Rowland, who pleaded guilty in December to a federal charge of taking more than $100,000 in gifts and services from businesses seeking contracts with the state, admitted to lapses in judgment during the hearing....

Rowland will become one of only a handful of former U.S. governors to serve prison time. Other included former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, former Tennessee Gov. Leonard Ray Stanton and former Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner.

< < < FLASHBACK < < <

December 23, 2004

Former Conn. Governor Pleads Guilty

By Matt Apuzzo and John Christofferson, Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Six months after being driven from office by scandal, former Gov. John G. Rowland pleaded guilty to corruption charges Thursday, admitting he traded his office for more than $100,000 in flights to Las Vegas, Vermont vacations and repairs to his vacation cottage.

Rowland, 47, probably will get 15 to 21 months in federal prison, lawyers said.

The once popular three-term Republican had maintained for months that the businessmen and cronies who lavished gifts on him had received noting in exchange. With a single word Thursday, he changed all that: “Guilty,” he told the court, his attorney’s hand on his back as he spoke.

The plea ends a two-year federal investigation of the former politician, though he could still face state charges....

The guilty plea completed the downfall of a man who was once one of the GOP’s rising young stars, a political boy wonder who first got elected to Congress at age 27 and went on to serve 9 ½ years as governor.

“While we knew that this day might come, we were never really prepared for the reality of it,” said Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who replaced Rowland. “Today the state of Connecticut was humiliated, and I as John Rowland’s former running mate and colleague, feel personally betrayed. When I first heard the news, I felt like I was punched in the gut.”

Under a deal with federal prosecutors, Rowland pleaded guilty to a single count, conspiracy to steal honest services - a combination of mail and tax fraud. He admitted being part of a conspiracy in the executive branch - sometimes directing corruption, other times looking the other way.

The crime carries up to five years in prison. Prosecutors have agreed to ask for no more than two years at sentencing March 11. As a convicted felon, Rowland will be unable to vote or hold public office.

By pleading guilty, Rowland escaped indictment in a racketeering case that had already ensnared his former co-chief of staff, Peter N. Ellef, and state contractor William Tomasso. That case would have exposed Rowland to “a devastating amount of time,” said his attorney, William F. Dow III.

Rowland owes the IRS more than $35,000 and faces up to $40,000 in fines, according to his plea bargain. The agreement does not require Rowland to testify against Ellef and Tomasso....

Rowland resigned July 1 amid a gathering drive in the Legislature to impeach him, a federal investigation that was closing in on him steadily, an almost-daily tricle of corruption allegations, and a drumbeat of demands that he step down.

During the investigation, the FBI uncovered gifts of Dom Perignon and Cuban cigars, a free canoe and a classic Mustang. Prosecutors questioned his poker buddies and former colleagues.

In the end Rowland’s fate was sealed by $15,549 in gifts from Tomasso and $91,493 in free airfare from the charter company Key Air.

Rowland stayed at Tomasso’s home in Florida and Vermont four times in 1998 and 2002. Tomasso and other contractors provided a cathedral ceiling for Rowland’s cottage, a heating system and gutter work.

Key Air is identified only as “Entity A” in court documents, but details of his flights surfaced during Rowland’s impeachment hearings. Key Air never charged Rowland for several chartered flights to Las Vegas and Philadelphia.

A Key Air executive appealed to Rowland for tax help in 1999 or 2000, and Ellef ordered state officials to include in their legislative proposal a tax exemption for the company, according to court documents. Rowland signed the retroactive exemption in 2002....

Rowland also admitted ordering his transportation commissioner to sign contracts with Tomasso for construction work on an airport parking garage. And he admitted looking the other way when Ellef gave Tomasso the inside track of a $57 million contract to build a reform school....


 

August 29, 2004

Stratford Journal; An Encore Effort to Bring
Shakespeare Back to Stratford

By ALISON LEIGH COWAN, New York Times

Long before Indian-sponsored casinos became the biggest reason people traveled to Connecticut, the state's biggest draws were Mystic Seaport and Shakespeare, as performed here.

From its perch overlooking the Housatonic River and the Long Island Sound, the Shakespeare theater in Stratford offered world-class productions in a grand setting. Schoolchildren came by the busload to see their first serious play and experience small pleasures like a garden featuring 81 plants mentioned in Shakespeare's work. Wealthy patrons came by yacht. Wandering minstrels serenaded the crowd, and picnic blankets were as inescapable as coolers at a tailgate party.

But the theater's finances were always shaky, even when Katharine Hepburn and James Earl Jones were filling all 1,500 seats, and the place has been dark for 15 years.

The Stratford Festival Theater Inc., has controlled the theater since 1995. It received money from the state, including a $500,000 grant and a $1.5 million loan guarantee, to restore the theater in 1999, but it ran out of money before the work was done....

Now, renovation is at a standstill and theater supporters are pinning their hopes on Connecticut's new governor, M. Jodi Rell, asking her to invoke the state's legal right to seize the property. Many believe that unless the state acts, and then sets aside $5 million to $7 million for restoration, there is little chance of bringing Shakespeare back here any time soon. The town is angling to gain control of the property if the state seizes it, but officials are having trouble persuading the state to give it to the town free of liens and with few restrictions on future use....

Despite the star-studded productions, the theater nearly always lost money. Joseph Verner Reed, a businessman and diplomat who supported the arts, covered the deficits until his death in 1973. Unable to pay its bills after that, it went dark once, reopened and then filed for bankruptcy protection in 1982.

To keep the bank from foreclosing in 1983, the state used about $1 million in funds dedicated to the preservation of open space. That turned the theater into a public park under the stewardship of the state's Department of Environmental Protection. Save for a brief last-gasp season in 1989, the theater has been under wraps ever since.

But there are memories and mementos. Lucille Nichols, historian for the theater, has assembled a multivolume history of the theater from old programs, photographs and other artifacts. State Senator George Gunther of Stratford said state officials told him not to expect much financial support from the state, given his opposition to former Gov. John G. Rowland's dashed efforts to lure the Patriots to Hartford with the promise of a new football stadium.

But officials with the state's economic development office pointed out the state's contribution in 1999, during the second of Governor Rowland's three terms.

''People might question us putting more money into something that has not been working,'' said Richard J. LoPresti, director of the state's office of business and industry development.

''Thus far, there's been no return on our investment.''


 

March 17, 2002

Lingle campaign
funds flow from
out-of-state donors

Records show more than $422,000
came from outside sources

By Rick Daysog, Star-Bulletin

Tapping into the political networks of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Dole Food Co.'s billionaire Chairman David Murdock, Republican gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle raised more than one out of eight dollars outside Hawaii during the 1998 election.

Now she's setting a more ambitious goal for her mainland fund raising for this year's race.

Since 1996, the former Maui mayor collected more than $422,000 from about 400 out-of-state Republicans, according to a Star-Bulletin computer-assisted analysis.

The amount is more than double the offshore donations raised during the past six years by either Gov. Ben Cayetano, who defeated Lingle by about 5,000 votes in 1998, and Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris, who plans to run for governor as a Democrat this year.

The out-of-state money also highlights the national attention to this year's race for Washington Place, which has been occupied by a Democrat for more than four decades.

Lingle, who raised $3.1 million total from Hawaii and mainland interests for the 1998 race, hopes to collect $5 million this year, with about $1 million of that coming from the mainland.

With Harris' campaign mired in controversy over his political fund raising, high-profile GOP players are flocking to Lingle's aid. Connecticut Gov. John Rowland hosted a lunch on Lingle's behalf last week, while Arizona Gov. Jane Hull will hold a fund-raiser for Lingle later this week.

But Giuliani -- Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for his efforts after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- will likely play a more prominent role than any other mainland politician.

Giuliani, a moderate Republican like Lingle, will host a fund-raiser for her in New York in April and may travel to Honolulu to host an event later this year.

In 1998, Giuliani held a $1,000-a-person fund-raiser for Lingle and helped raise $65,000 from dozens of prominent New York Republicans, state campaign spending records show. They included:

>> Leveraged buyout king Henry Kravis, who gave $5,000;

>> Richard Parsons, AOL Time Warner Inc.'s Chief Executive and a former University of Hawaii student, $1,000;

>> New York developer Tishman Speyer Properties, $5,000;

>> Republican fund-raiser Georgette Mosbacher, $2,500;

>> David Neeleman, chief executive of low fare carrier JetBlue Airways Corp., $2,500;

>> Jonathan Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotel Corp., $1,000. Parent company Loews Corp. also chipped in $1,000.

"These are the kind of people who I want to talk to about investing in Hawaii, creating jobs here and seeing the islands as a bridge between the U.S. and Asia," said Lingle.

Bob Watada, state Campaign Spending Commission executive director, has a problem with so much campaign money coming from the mainland.

Voters and regulators, he said, have a hard time telling whether any of the donations are linked to corporations with a vested interest in an election.

Watada, who supports a complete ban of all corporate contributions for local elections, said he began an informal inquiry into Lingle's mainland contributions nearly three years ago. He also took a look at more than $400,000 in "soft money" donations that the Republican National Committee and various state Republican parties gave the Republican Party of Hawaii in 1998....

For more GO TO: David Farmer vs. Harmon - Witness Linda Lingle


 

July 31, 1997

Learning Corridor Groundbreaking Celebrates
Promise of Neighborhood Renewal

Trinity College Press Release

Hartford, Conn., July 31, 1997 – Governor John Rowland joined Hartford Mayor Mike Peters and hundreds of others today for a groundbreaking celebration on the site where three new educational facilities and related child- and family-support facilities will be constructed as part of a community-based urban renewal strategy in the Frog Hollow/Barry Square neighborhoods of Hartford.

The Learning Center is the centerpiece of a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization initiative spearheaded by Trinity College and its partners in the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA) – Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, the Institute for Living, and Connecticut Public Television and Radio....

The neighborhood revitalization initiative is supported by the State of Connecticut, the City of Hartford, the federal government, corporations and foundations, and local residents and community organizations. A total of over $100 million has been firmly committed – $79 million in state funding, $6.75 million from the City of Hartford, $1.8 million in assistance from the federal government, $10 million from the SINA member institutions themselves, and over $3 million in support from corporations and foundations. In addition, significant federal funds have been pledged in support of home ownership and economic development initiatives.

“This celebration is not just about renewing neighborhoods. It is about building community and restoring hope and confidence in a city that enjoys not only a proud past but also a promising future,” said Trinity College President Evan S. Dobelle, who served as master of ceremonies at today’s groundbreaking....

For more on Evan S. Dobelle, GO TO > > > The Firing of Evan Dobelle


 

June 22, 2004

Governorship floated on
river of corruption

By Don Michak, Journal Inquirer

HARTFORD - Gov. John G. Rowland’s resignation was forced by an array of questionable dealings with his political cronies and personal friends, who helped him live like the highly paid corporate executives he saw as his rightful counterparts....

While pundits point to Rowland’s belated admission last winter that he had accepted gifts from contractors as the main reason for his resignation, those probing the governor’s finances say it was all but assured a year ago after Rowland’s former deputy chief of staff, Lawrence E. Alibozek, admitted helping to steer state contracts.

Rowland and his top aides for years personally approved all big contracts awarded by state agencies, administration officials told the Journal Inquirer last year.

Aided by Alibozek, federal prosecutors began gunning for the real decision-makers in Rowland’s administration – the governor himself and officials like Peter N. Eilef, who, as the governor’s co-chief-of-staff, presided over the state trash authority’s disastrous $220 million deal with the now-bankrupt Enron Corp.

Before the governor lied last December about who paid for the improvements at his Bantam Lake cottage, he also had lied about his contacts with Enron and its chief executive, Kenneth Lay, whom Rowland insisted he had never spoken with despite Enron documents that show otherwise.

Enron, which sought to do two major deals with the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, contributed $80,000 to the Republican Governors Association as Rowland took its helm in 2001; dangled an unspecified “success fee” in front of a Rowland fund-raiser who had set up a key meeting in the governor’s office, Anthony M. Ravosa; and hired a former Rowland aide, Michael J. Martone, as its principal lobbyist in Connecticut.

The RGA and its other corporate sponsors, meanwhile, had covered the costs of ferrying Rowland to high-level political powwows in power centers like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Dallas, as well as to vacation resorts in Colorado, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

Questions about whether Rowland was awarding state contracts to a friend and campaign contributor who had helped him financially arose at the end of Rowland’s first term. Former Democratic State Chairman Edward Marcus charged in 1997 that the governor had arranged a $3.6 million loan guarantee for a Naugatuck company owned by Robert V. Matthews, who had put Rowland up in his “carriage house” behind his Middlebury home during the breakup of the future governor’s first marriage....

Signs that Rowland was headed for big trouble first surfaced after he successfully ran for re-election in 1998, aided in part by campaign cash raised from investment firms in which the corrupt former state treasurer Rowland had appointed, Paul Silvester, had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in state pension funds.

In one notable incident, Silvester ushered Rowland to a fund-raiser held at the Park Avenue apartment of one investment bigwig, William L. Mack of Apollo Real Estate Advisors, which generated $50,000 in contributions for the governor’s campaign. Rowland later insisted he didn’t know who sponsored the event, which was held a dozen days before Silvester authorized a $75 million investment in an Apollo partnership.

Silvester, who was convicted in 1999 on federal racketeering and money laundering charges, testified in federal court last year that he had made only one pension fund investment that he knew was a bad deal from the start – and that it involved Rowland’s friends in the Windsor-based partnership, Pioneer Ventures Associates....

Silvester had said he felt pressured to make the initial investment because Pioneer’s partners had promised to contribute toward Rowland’s re-election. They adamantly denied there was such a scheme, but 13 people linked to the partnership did contribute $34,000 to the governor’s campaign committee.

Rowland’s campaign committee transferred $445,000 in surplus funds t the state Republican Party after the 1998 election, and two former party officials suggested last year that the governor considered that money as his own....


 

May 28, 2004

State payments to benefactors of
the governor and his wife tallied

By Don Michak, Journal Inquirer

HARTFORD - Two subsidiaries of the Greenwich-based corporation that last year paid a $15,000 speaking fee to Gov. John G. Rowland’s wife collected more than $554 million in payments as administrator of state and local workers compensation programs between 1998 and 2003, state records show.

The documents also reveal that a company owned by Kurt C. Claywell, the Simsbury electrician said to have plied Rowland with thousands of dollars or French champagne and Cuban cigars, received more than $9.4 million in state payments between 1996 and 2003.

The records of payments to the two units of the insurance holding company, W.R. Berkley Corp., and to Claywell Electric Co. Inc. were compiled by the state auditors in response to a request from the legislative committee charged with determining whether to impeach the governor.

State Auditor Robert G. Jaekle said Thursday the information obtained from the state’s central accounting system already has been forwarded to the House Select Committee on inquiry.

The records show that the state had paid Berkley Care Network Northeast Inc. more than $265.6 million and Berkley Administrators more than $288.7 million....

Their parent corporation, whose founder, William R. Berkley, is a longtime University of Connecticut trustee whom Rowland reappointed in 1999, paid Patricia Rowland a $15,000 honorarium for giving a speech at a company parley at an exclusive resort in Florida. It also covered the Rowland’s round-trip travel to the event as well as meals and accommodations for four nights at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo....

Jaekel also noted that the payments to Claywell’s company included a $800,000 check issued by the state on Christmas Day, 2003.

He revealed that the auditors had been asked to investigate that particular payment by Public Works Commissioner James T. Fleming, who Jaekle said questioned the relatively rapid manner in which it was processed.

Claywell, whose unsavory past is marked by two federal criminal convictions over the last four years, is cooperating with both federal and state corruption probes of Rowland and his associates.

Claywell Electric was a subcontractor for the Tomasso Group of New Britain, which figures prominently in those probes.

Claywell’s lawyer has said his client bestowed gifts of Rowland “to expedite the payments due him” for work on the $57 million Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown and other projects.

The Journal Inquirer reported last month that a former accountant for Claywell, Caroline Marsh, seven years ago tipped off officials in two state departments about his gifts to state officials.

Neither department appears to have investigated her complaints....


 

June 22, 2004

U.S. Inquiry Now the Focus
of Case Against Governor

By Mike McIntire and Alison Leigh Cowan, The New York Times

Federal Investigators are focusing on a growing body of evidence that a rich friend of Gov. John G. Rowland’s used intermediaries to mask cash payments to the governor while reaping state business worth millions of dollars, according to lawyers involved in the inquiry.

The actions of the friend Robert V. Matthews, have moved to the center of the criminal investigation of the governor, which has been gathering steam even as the political drama of impeachment hearings dominated public attention, the lawyers said.

The legislative hearings, parallel to the federal inquiry, shed light on why prosecutors are so interested in Mr. Mathews: two days of testimony and related documents showed Mr. Mathews secretively arranging for money to go to Mr. Rowland, and the governor taking steps to help him in his various business ventures.

The impeachment committee produced a timeline showing that an effort by Mr. Matthews to rent and then sell the governor’s Washington condominium at prices far above the prevailing market came as the state approved millions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees for companies he owned.

Taken together, the lawyers said, those actions come closer to placing the governor in a potential quid pro quo situation than do most of his dealings with others who have given him gifts, including members of the Tomasso family, whose state construction contracts were originally the sole focus of the grand jury investigation.

The governor has denied taking any official actions to help anyone who gave him gifts.

The wider grand jury investigation of the Rowland administration’s awarding of no-bid contracts to the Tomassos continues to include a number of other former state officials, including Peter Ellef, once the governor’s co-chief of staff. Mr. Ellef’s lawyer, Hugh Keefe, has said he expects his client to be indicted....


 

December 5, 2003

Silvester case all but closed?

By Don Michak, Journal Inquirer

The federal investigation of Paul J. Silvester's illegal activities as state treasurer has dragged on for four years, a period roughly equivalent to the prison sentence he finally received last month.

ANALYSIS

The Journal Inquirer during that time has reported 192 stories on various aspects of the Silvester scandal, including dozens that named the corrupt former official's associates and confederates.

A few are very influential people who have yet to even be interviewed by the FBI, let alone charged with a crime.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the FBI has had higher priorities than rounding up a bunch of white-collar crime suspects in Connecticut, some of whom may be personal friends of the president.

Moreover, news outlets outside the Hartford area have been loath to follow the Silvester story, with its complex financial chicanery and cloudy connections to powerful political figures.

Even The New York Times' reports on the scandal have tended to be little more than summaries of the latest developments, published in the newspaper's zoned Connecticut section rather than its national pages. The Washington Post has run only abbreviated versions of Associated Press reports, except for a mention or two in its political columns.

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate William E. Curry Jr., who often thundered about the scandal last year during his campaign against the Republican who appointed Silvester, Gov. John G. Rowland, has complained that relatively few people in Fairfield County were aware of the broad scope of the scandal.

Curry put the bulk of the blame on television news, where producers hate complicated stories and have a hard time finding ways to illustrate them.

Prosecutors may have faced little media incentive to pursue the Silvester gang, but they got plenty when going after the corrupt mayors of two of the state's biggest cities, Waterbury and Bridgeport. Those highly publicized cases appear to have taken a big chunk out of the feds' appetite for further prosecutions in the state treasury scandal.

Many named, most unscathed

The government has mounted only three Silvester-related cases since he first pleaded guilty to racketeering and money-laundering charges in 1999. They involved essentially the same complaint against only four of Silvester's closest friends and associates and the Boston-based investment firm to which they were connected: his former mistress, Lisa Thiesfield; her brother-in-law, former Connecticut NAACP head Ben F. Andrews; and Triumph Capital Group and two of its top executives, Chairman Frederick W. McCarthy and General Counsel Charles B. Spadoni.

Lawyers who closely followed those successful prosecutions are quick to note that the statute of limitations on crimes committed by any of the former treasurer's other cronies has expired or can be expected to expire within weeks.

Even if an alleged offense is dated from the last time a lucrative "finder's fee" was paid on a state pension-fund deal, they say, the feds had better get cracking or the few fish still dangling in the Silvester net will slip away along with the loot.

Some of the same sources, who include former prosecutors, wonder why there have been no further indictments, especially because they are certain the FBI has probed several others fingered by Silvester.

Jeremiah Donovan, the Old Saybrook lawyer who defended Andrews, points out that the criminal information to which Silvester pleaded is practically a road map that prosecutors seem to have forgotten.

"It described a whole series of deals he was involved in that the government alleged was corrupt,'' he says. "Ben's was one, and Triumph. But there's these others in which no one has been prosecuted. Among the consultants, no one other than Ben has been prosecuted."

Under the deal Silvester made with the government, he got time sliced off his jail sentence for appearing as a witness against his four friends. One government lawyer says the prosecutors handling Silvester detested him because they never knew exactly what the mercurial former official -- on drugs to fight depression and anxiety -- might say on the stand.

Silvester's sentencing suggests that he's done testifying, though neither of the prosecutors who accompanied him to court two weeks ago would say as much.

Similarly, U.S. Attorney Kevin J. O'Connor's spokesman declined last week to say whether reporters need to keep using the adjective "continuing" when writing about the federal probe of the former treasurer and his friends.

The feds' mantra to the press has always been that they won't comment when investigations are opened or closed. But with time running out, insiders say there are serious doubts about whether the prosecutors will do any more prosecuting.

Washington insiders implicated

The Silvester scandal wasn't so much about how the former treasurer was a lone "bad apple," but about the secret deals between politically connected financiers and the then-$18 billion state pension fund, of which he was the sole fiduciary officer. Previous state treasurers oversaw the same kind of deals, which involved the same sort of "finder's fees" that investment firms had long paid to play the pension fund game.

Silvester upset the chessboard by designating his own "finders" and, in an innovation, diverting some of the money for political purposes, rather than simply waiting to reap personal rewards after leaving office. He also called unusual attention to his actions by engaging in an unprecedented orgy of "private equity" investments as a "lame duck" after his unexpected and narrow defeat in the 1998 election.

Silvester on the witness stand described five dubious deals he did as treasurer, including a $200 million junk-bond venture with Triumph. The firm had raised at least $65,000 in campaign cash for Silvester's benefit, paid $25,000 to Thiesfield so she could manage his campaign, and awarded million-dollar consulting contracts to her and another of Silvester's buddies, Darien lawyer Christopher A. Stack.

But while Triumph stands convicted on racketeering and bribery, the four other investment firms named by Silvester now seem likely to escape a similar fate.

Perhaps the most powerful is the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based "merchant bank" whose advisers include former President George H.W. Bush. Silvester authorized investments of more than $123 million with Carlyle and testified that he arranged for the firm to pay a $1 million "finder's fee" to Wayne L. Berman, a Washington lobbyist who was one of President George W. Bush's biggest campaign fund-raisers.

Berman, a New York native who also helped former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato raise prodigious amounts of money, was a Commerce Department official in the administration of the current president's father. But he's best known as the Republican strategist who invented "check swapping," a tactic that lets campaign contributors back a candidate without detection and even elude campaign-finance limits. Supporters of one candidate give heavily to another candidate's campaign, with a like amount returned by supporters of the other candidate.

When D'Amato failed to win re-election to the Senate in 1998, he and Berman founded Park Strategies, a consulting firm that promptly hired Silvester and Thiesfield. Silvester said he invested with Carlyle because Berman had told him "it's important to all of us that deal is done."

"I was answering to Wayne Berman before he was my boss," he added.

Berman has denied any wrongdoing, boasting that the only fallout from the controversy was "some bad publicity" from the Journal Inquirer.

Silvester also testified that he committed $75 million to another Washington-based investment firm, Thayer Capital Group. The firm is headed by Frederick V. Malek, who was head of personnel in the Nixon White House and a onetime business partner of the current President Bush.

Silvester said he got Malek to agree to pay a $374,500 "finder's fee" to William A. DiBella, the Hartford Democrat and former state Senate majority leader turned lobbyist.

Campaign quid pro quo?

The fourth company with which Silvester said he did "improper" deeds was Simsbury-based Landmark Partners Inc., which he had pay a $625,000 "finder's fee" to Jerome L. Wilson, a former state senator in New York affiliated with the politically connected law firm of Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells.

He said Wilson then hired Andrews at a fee equal to 1 percent of the pension fund's $150 million investment with Landmark, which Andrews was supposed to split with Stack.

Silvester testified that Wilson and Hartford lobbyist Patrick McCabe also represented New York real-estate mogul William L. Mack, who agreed to throw a political fund-raiser for Rowland after Silvester invested $75 million with Mack's Apollo Real Estate Advisors.

The event was held at Mack's Park Avenue residence 12 days after the pension-fund deal with Apollo was consummated, but Rowland has denied knowing about the connection.

Silvester said he did the fifth dirty deal with Philadelphia-based Keystone Venture Capital, with which he invested $27.5 million of pension funds to help out one of Stack's friends. Silvester also said he arranged a $275,000 "finder's fee" on the deal for lobbyist and former Republican congressional candidate Glenn T. Carberry, in the expectation that Carberry's New London law firm would hire some of his treasury appointees. The firm, which already employed Silvester's campaign treasurer, hired former Deputy Treasurer George M. Gomes after the Keystone deal was done.

Insiders, meanwhile, say that if the government were to indict anyone else involved with Silvester, it would likely be someone associated with Windsor-based Pioneer Ventures Associates.

The state pension fund is the sole limited partner in the Pioneer deal, which Silvester said was a poor investment from the moment he initially committed $50 million to it at the urging of Hartford lobbyist Patrick Sullivan.

Pioneer is owned by two entities whose principals include Robert A. Lerman of West Hartford, John F. Ferraro of Southwick, Mass., as well as Hartford lawyer Jon C. Peters, real-estate developer William B. Collins of West Hartford, Meriden lawyer Thomas P. Cadden, and James Mengacci, a Naugatuck funeral director whose sister-in-law is Rowland's executive secretary.

Silvester has said he was pressured to invest in Pioneer because its backers had promised to contribute toward Rowland's re-election in 1998, and 13 people linked to the partnership contributed $34,000 to the governor's campaign.

Rowland, Lerman, and Peters, however, have adamantly denied there was such a scheme.

©Journal Inquirer 2003


 

June 21, 2003

Silvester Said He Made Investment To Benefit Governor

By DIANE SCARPONI, The Day
(
www.theday.com/ )

New Haven —— Former state Treasurer Paul Silvester testified Friday that he invested state pension funds to get campaign donations for Gov. John G. Rowland, to help a top Republican fund-raiser and to get jobs for himself and his staff.

Silvester, 40, testified in U.S. District Court in the trial of Boston-based Triumph Capital Corp., a Boston investment management firm, and its general counsel, Charles Spadoni.

They are accused of paying Silvester bribes and giving his cronies jobs in exchange for pension fund investments.

Silvester has pleaded guilty to corruption charges related to Triumph and four other funds connected to Republican fund-raiser Wayne Berman, former state Senate President William DiBella, former NAACP leader Ben Andrews and Lisa Thiesfield, Silvester's mistress.

He also admitted on the stand Friday that he had corrupt deals with other companies with connections to Rowland and some high-powered Capitol lobbyists, even though his guilty plea did not cover these cases.

Silvester said he invested pension money with the Apollo Real Estate Investment Fund, run by William Mack, on the advice of lobbyist Patrick McCabe, who told him Mack was willing to raise money for Rowland's 1998 re-election campaign.

“It was fairly well understood —— if we did business with Mr. Mack, we could expect a sizable fund-raiser for the governor,” Silvester testified.

Mack hosted a $50,000 fund-raiser for Rowland in New York 12 days after Silvester agreed to invest $75 million with the company.

At the time, Silvester said he had a deal with state Republican Party Chairman Chris DePino to share campaign donations with him.

Silvester also said he invested with Pioneer Ventures Associates after he lost the 1998 election, because an associate of Rowland's told Silvester he would find jobs for staffers after he left office.

Silvester said he did not like Pioneer, but he said Rowland “favored” the fund. At the time, a proposal from Pioneer to increase the state's investment was under consideration in the treasurer's office.

Silvester said he asked Rowland to find jobs for staffers and to give a judgeship to his brother. Rowland refused.

After that meeting, Silvester said lobbyist Pat Sullivan asked him to invest in Pioneer, and he refused.

Then, James Mengacci, who was a partner in Pioneer, approached Silvester and said he would make sure his staff got jobs.

His brother, Joseph Mengacci, is a close friend of Rowland's and was head of the state commission that selects candidates for judgeships.

Silvester said James Mengacci must have been told some of the conversation he had with Rowland, but he was not asked who might have told Mengacci what happened.

Silvester then invested pension money with Pioneer. Some of his former staff found new jobs, but his brother did not become a judge.

Silvester did not directly implicate the governor in these alleged schemes.

Rowland, speaking before Silvester took the stand Friday, said he would not be commenting on his former treasurer's testimony.

“I've got seven hours of budgets every day so I'm not going to do a daily commentary on each and every day of the various trials that are going on,” he said.

Rowland has said that he knew Mack was involved in finance, but he did not know that Apollo was handling state pension investments.

He also has denied that he knew anything about Pioneer, except for a pamphlet that was mailed to his office one day. Rowland said he sent the pamphlet to the then-treasurer, Christopher Burnham.

Rowland appointed Silvester as treasurer in 1997 after Burnham left office to take a private-sector job.

A message seeking comment was left for McCabe at his lobbying firm.

Silvester also testified in more detail Friday about his guilty plea for racketeering related to an investment in the Carlyle Fund.

He said Carlyle had a consulting arrangement with Berman, who was a top fund-raiser for President George W. Bush until the Silvester scandal broke.

Silvester had been trying to get a job with Berman.

He said Berman told him: “It's a good deal and it's important to all of us that that deal gets done.”

After leaving the treasurer's office, Berman hired Silvester to work for his investment company, Park Strategies.

“I was answering to Wayne Berman before he was my boss,” Silvester said. “I was still the treasurer.”

Berman told The New York Times Thursday that he has nothing to do with the case or with Triumph Capital. He said he received fees for ““making introductions and doing what you do when you're involved in these sorts of things.””

Silvester also has pleaded guilty to a bribery charge related to an investment with Thayer Capital, run by Frederic Malek.

Malek is another top Republican fund-raiser who had managed former President George H.W. Bush’s 1992 campaign and owned the Texas Rangers baseball team with President George W. Bush and others.

Thayer's investment proposal was a good deal for the state, Silvester said, but before he agreed to it, he said DiBella called Malek and asked for a finder's fee.

Silvester said he did not know the terms under which DiBella got the fee. He did not testify about how this was connected to his bribery plea.

DiBella's lawyer, Hugh Keefe, contends DiBella did nothing wrong.

Triumph and Spadoni have pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, fraud, embezzlement and bribery involving federal programs.

Andrews and Thiesfield, along with Triumph Chairman Frederick McCarthy, are scheduled to go on trial in September.

Silvester is in prison in Putnam County, N.Y. He testified under a cooperation agreement with the government, in hopes of getting a lighter prison term when he is sentenced. He could get up to 40 years in prison....


 

Andrew Ferdinand Moses - “a mysterious New York investment banker.”

Hawaii’s Kamehameha Schools Connected
to Silvester Scandals

By Don Michak, Journal Inquirer

November 22, 2000

HARTFORD – A former top official with one of the nation’s wealthiest foundations denied Tuesday that he was able to start his own investment partnership with $100 million in Connecticut pension money because he agreed to go along with an extortionate demand by former state Treasurer Paul J. Silvester.

But Lawrence L. Landry, who until two years ago was chief financial officer at the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, confirmed that he paid at least $1.09 million in “finders fees” to a mysterious New York investment banker, Andrew Ferdinand Moses, only after Silvester suggested that Moses was the man to help him get the state’s backing.

Landry said the corrupt former treasurer also had arranged for Moses to meet him and his associates in the Palm Beach Florida-based Westport Senior Living Investment Fund, which buys and develops retirement communities.

“He said that it would be a good idea to use a placement agent, and he introduced us to Moses,” Landry explained, referring to Silvester. . . .

Moses, who has refused to return telephone calls since his name surfaced in connection with the Silvester scandal, is said by those who have done business with him to be the scion of a wealthy New York real estate family who dabbles in investment banking.

But Landry and Magee said that Moses was no dilettante, having once worked for a “major” investment bank they did not identify.

They said they had “checked out” Moses and went along with Silvester’s suggestion because he had assisted in other deals with the state pension fund.

State treasury records show Moses received a $437,500 fee in connection with one other investment authorized by Silvester.

Landry and Magee said Westport signed a contract with Moses’ company, New York Capital Partners, which also was supposed to find investors in other states for the partnership.

Moses met with little success, however, and Westport, which was seeking $400 million for investors, ended up with a total of $160 million— with $100 million put up by Silvester.

During his half hour presentation to the IAC, Landry revealed that the biggest backer of Westport Advisers Ltd., the general partner in Westport Senior Living Investment Fund is Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, a $10 billion Hawaiian education trust that owns 69.2% of Westport.

Similarly, Landry disclosed that Bishop Estate is also the second-biggest investor in the Westport Senior Living Fund itself, having put up $25 million. . . .

For more, GO TO > > > How to Pluck a Non-Profit; The Whistleblower at WCI Communities; Office of the U.S. Trustee vs. Harmon - Witness John Dasburg


 

Apollo Advisors - Financial investment managers. 13th largest campaign contributor to Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Al Gore's vice presidential running mate, and a client of lobbying firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.

Another of Akin, Gump's clients is Miller & Chevalier, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm which, together with PricewaterhouseCoopers, drafted the IRS settlement agreement for Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools.

Apollo Advisors has a number of other important connections with Kamehameha Schools: Along with National Housing Corp (which was involved in an alleged kick-back scheme with ousted Bishop Estate trustees Henry Peters and Richard Wong), Apollo and Trinity Investment Trust have financial interests in several estate-owned properties involving two alleged Yakuza-connected companies -- Azabu Building Company and Mitsui Trust.

* * *

Hoovers On-Line: Apollo Advisors earned its reputation as a vulture investor by specializing in distressed assets (junk bonds, troubled companies, real estate).

Leon Black, the former Drexel Burnham Lambert mergers and acquisitions chief, and a dozen other Drexel refugees founded the group, which invested in former Drexel clients after that firm's collapse -- notably the $3 billion dollar junk bond portfolio of failed California insurer Executive Life.

Apollo has invested billions from four funds and has launched a fifth fund aimed at raising some $4 billion.

Apollo is linked with the Artemis group of investment holdings controlled by French billionaire François Pinault; the relationship dates back to the downfall of Executive Life.

* * *

From Hoovers Online: NRT is Not a Realty Trust anymore.

The #1 residential real estate company in the US began life in 1996 as National Realty Trust, established by real estate franchisor HFS (now Cendant) to own the nearly 400 real estate offices that came with the purchase of Coldwell Banker.

Cendant and a subsidiary of Apollo Advisors restructured the trust into NRT to snap up successful independent realtors in hot metropolitan markets and rebrand them under Cendant's franchise names (Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and ERA).

The realtor has more than 700 offices in about 25 markets. After a planned IPO was aborted due to a tumbling market, NRT remains controlled by Cendant and Apollo Advisors.

* * *

May 11, 1999

Are Finder's Fees Behind the Silvester Probe?

By Don Michak, Journal Inquirer

An FBI investigation of former state Treasurer Paul J. Silvester's actions at the end of his term may force the disclosure of one of the best kept secrets in the public pension business.

Insiders say a far-reaching probe could throw a spotlight on the longstanding but little-known practice of paying "finder's fees" to individuals who put together investment deals with public pension officials in Connecticut and other states.

The FBI last month began investigating Silvester's authorization of $852.5 million in pension fund commitments in the final quarter of 1998....

Past and present treasury officials agree that the fees involved in such transactions can be remarkably lucrative for the "finder"-- in some cases, a percentage of the overall deal and as much as 20% of certain profits produced over the term of an investment.....

Payments Hard to Trace

[State Treasurer Denise] Nappier responded to a formal request filed under the state's freedom-of -information act by providing a list of nine companies that were paid placement fees in connection with 15 pension fund deals since 1997.

The investments-- including 13 "private investment fund" and two "real estate fund" deals-- involved a total of $1.3 billion in pension plan assets . . .

Several of the placement agents are associated with well-known securities firms, including Merrill Lynch & Co; DLJ Private Equity Placement Group, a unit of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette; and Solomon Smith Barney.

Merrill Lynch led the pack, collection fees in connection with two deals: a $200 million investment in Triumph Capital Partners III and $75 million in Thayer Equity Investors IV, LP.

DLJ Group followed with fees from four deals worth $225 million: a $75 million investment in Apollo Real Estate Investment Fund III, LP; $75 million in the DLJ Merchant Banking Fund II; $50 million in Kelso Investment Associates VI; and $25 million in Greene Equity Investors III.

Beacon Hill Financial Group ranked third, with fees from $200 million worth of deals, including $130 million in Forstmann Little MBO VII and $70 million in Forstmann Little Equity Fund IV.

The remaining placement agents included Farrall Marsh, which did a $148.9 million deal with Hicks Muse Tate & Furst Equity Fund III; Potomac Investment Services, which marketed a $75 million deal with SCP Private Equity Partners and a $50 million deal with Wellspring Capital Partners II; and three others, Truro Associates, New York Capital Partners, and St. James Associates, which did $100 million deals for Crescendo World Fund; Crescendo III, LP; and Westport Senior Living Fund, LP, respectively.

Salomon Smith Barney rounded out the roster, bringing the pension fund into a $50 million deal with Greenwich Street Capital Partners II, LP....

For more, GO TO > > > Apollo


 

Ben F. Andrews - Republican nominee for Connecticut Secretary of the State.

October 21, 1999

Top Politicians Linked To
Pension Fund Deals

By J. Lender, M. McIntire and M. Daly, ctnow.com

State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier shone the light Wednesday on seldom seen machinations that have put millions into the pockets of well-connected “finders” in state pension investment deals — and some of the state’s best-known politicians were caught in the glare. . . .

It included last year’s Republican nominee for secretary of the state, Ben F. Andrews, and Jay Malcynsky, a lawyer-lobbyist who is a top GOP operative and confidant of Republican Gov. John G. Rowland.

It also included prominent Democrats: former state Senate leader William DiBella; Nappier’s 1998 campaign manager, Mrs. Phil Guinan, who owns a lobbying firm; and George Finley of West Hartford, who has been a partner in finder’s fee deals with former Democratic State Chairman John F. Droney and top national Democratic player Peter G. Kelly. . . .

Andrews received all or part of at least $1.3 million in finder’s fees on several deals involving firms including Brown Capital Management of Baltimore— which paid him $700,000 by itself— and Landmark Private Equity Fund and PaineWebber Inc., according to Nappier’s disclosures.

Andrews, former leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) state chapter, could not be reached for comment . . .


 

Brent Scowcroft - Bush One’s National Security Adviser, among other things.

From . . .and the truth shall set you free, by David Icke:

The Hidden Hand

The Tower Commission was appointed to investigate the Iran-Contra affair, chaired by Texas Senator, John Tower.

This is the same John Tower who, according to CIA man Gunthar Russbacher, was on the plane with Bush when he flew to Paris for the October Surprise meeting with the Iranians! The John Tower who knew the real story of Lee Harvey Oswald. Also on the Tower Commission was Brent Scowcroft, a Kissinger ‘yes man’ and an executive of Kissinger Associates; and Ed Muskie, another do-as-you’re told politician who could be twisted to suppress the truth. Muskie was himself implicated in both the October Surprise and Iran-Contra.

As you can see, the Commission was thoroughly independent. It cleared George Bush of all blame and involvement. When Bush became president, he made John Tower his secretary of defense. Tower was asked if this appointment was a pay-off from Bush. His response?

“As the Commission was made up of three people, Brent Scowcroft and Ed Muskie, in addition to myself, that would be sort of impugning the integrity of Brent Scowcroft and Ed Muskie ... We found nothing to implicate the Vice President ... I wonder what kind of pay-off they’re going to get?”

I can tell him. Bush appointed Brent Scowcroft as his National Security Advisor. The Senate refused to accept Tower’s appointment and he began to speak of the injustice he believed had been done to him. He died in a plane crash on April 5th, 1991. When the Senate turned down Tower, a decision Bush probably engineered, he selected Dick Cheney as defense secretary. Cheney was the senior Republican member of another committee which cleared Bush of involvement in Iran-Contra, the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. . . .

A group of other people, including former defense secretary, Caspar Weinberger, were given a pardon by Bush for their involvement in Iran-Contra. This came on Christmas Eve 1992, a matter of weeks before they were due to face a trial which would have implicated Bush. In January, 1993, he then passed over the presidency to Bill Clinton who continued the cover-up because - as we shall see in the next chapter - he was involved too!...

The Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media which had turned a comparatively minor break-in at the Watergate building into a scandal that dethroned Richard Nixon, kept their heads down as the United States government sold arms to terrorists in exchange for drugs for American children.

It is actually possible to coordinate a drug running and arms running operation from the White House and get away with it.

Unbelievable, maybe, but true all the same. . . .


 

Carlyle Group - a Washington-based merchant bank that is chaired by Frank Carlucci, the former Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration.

MERGER TALK- Carlyle wants
more than political clout

By Dane Hamilton

NEW YORK, May 21, 2001 (Reuters) - After a steady stream of superstar hires from the ranks of government, Carlyle Group finally is getting the recognition its founders think the private equity firm deserves. But for the wrong reasons.

Carlyle, one of the world's largest leveraged buyout firms, wants to be known as the Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS - news) or Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MWD - news) of private equity. Instead, Carlyle is better known for employing more Washington heavy hitters than any other similar investment firm.

That growing list now includes former President George Bush, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Frank Carlucci, President Reagan's defense secretary. In recent weeks, the firm added John Major, the former British prime minister, and Arthur Levitt, the former Securities and Exchange commissioner, to its advisory panel.

David Rubenstein, a 51-year-old lawyer who helped build the Washington-based buyout firm into a $12.5 billion powerhouse over the last 14 years, bristles at the charge that politicians are too ``addled'' to be effective in business. The names, he says, are mainly there bring in new business, especially in aerospace, telecommunications and other regulated industries. . . .

* * *

For more on The Carlyle Group, GO TO > > > Birds That Drink From Cesspools

For more on Carlucci, Bush, and Osama bin Laden, GO TO > > > The Nests of Osama bin Laden


 

Charles M. Harmon, Jr. - Sometime in 1996, Hawaii’s wealthy charitable trust, Bishop Estate, loaned approximately $1 million to Charles Harmon, Jr., an investment banker and former general partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co.

The 08/12/96 issue of Pacific Business News reported that Bishop Estate had “quietly purchased the majority interest of a Connecticut specialized advisory business that manages almost $1 billion in assets....

Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Bishop Estate, is a co-investor in the purchase of Bigler Investment Management, a Farmington, Conn., firm that manages fund-of-fund accounts....

The purchasing entity, called The Crossroads Group, is expected to take on a much more aggressive money-management outlook. . . . other investors in The Crossroads Group are parties that have had ‘long relationships’ with Royal Hawaiian . . .

Massachusetts equity analyst Steven P. Galante said his own research found Bishop Estate purchased about a 60 percent stake in The Crossroads Group. The management team and others own the remaining interest....

According to Galante . . . principals of The Crossroads Group are: Charles M. Harmon, Jr., an investment banker and former general partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York; Larry I. Landry, chief investment officer of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago; and Brad Heppner, a consultant at Bain & Co. in Dallas and former director of private investments at the MacArthur Foundation.

All have prior experience with Bishop Estate. In 1993, the MacArthur Foundation, along with Duke University’s endowment fund, backed the formation of a Boston merchant bank called Orion Capital Partners LP....

Harmon is familiar with Bishop Estate because the Hawaii trust owns 10 percent of Goldman Sachs....

For more, GO TO > > > The Crossroads Group; The Royal SunAlliance


 

Fred Malek - One of Bush’s “pioneers” and manager of his ‘92 campaign.

From http://www.tpj.org/reports/gusher/profiteers.html

The Governor's Gusher:

The Sources of George W. Bush's $41 Million Texas War Chest

VII. The Bush Profiteers:

100 Donors Who Enjoy Hands-off, Handout Government

In identifying the economic and ideological interests of Bush’s donors, researchers kept coming across large contributors who became known as the “Bush Profiteers.”

Many of these Bush Profiteers are:

Corporate welfare kings who derived a portion of their personal wealth from the taxpayers; or Donors who appear to have an interest in taking the regulatory cops off the beat.

In fact, many large Bush donors straddle both camps, seeming to want the government off their backs——except when it is giving them taxpayers’ money. The ranks of the Bush Profiteers include corporate welfare kings, snake oil salesmen, money launderers, tax evaders, tort dodgers, tobacco hacks and toxic waste dumpers.

The following Bush Profiteer profiles cite the total amount of money that the Profiteers contributed to Bush’s two gubernatorial campaigns (some totals include the contributions of nuclear family members):

58. Fred V. Malek (McLean, VA): $10,000 - Thayer Capital Partners chief Malek managed GHWB’s ‘92 election campaign and had a hand in a Connecticut Treasurer’s Office kickback scandal (see Wayne Berman, No. 42). When an ex-state senator complained to Treasurer Paul Silvester that a securities firm failed to pay his “finder’s fee,” Silvester called Malek (whose company got a $75 million state investment contract) and Thayer paid $349,500 to a firm linked to the ex-senator.

* * *

Former Marymount University trustee indicted

The tip of the iceberg?

By Tom Burkett

In 1992, We (Tommy Burkett's parents) contacted the Board of Trustees of Marymount University asking their help in getting the University administrators to release information to me (legal Administrator of Tommy's estate) regarding a campus police incident report and meetings Tommy had with the administration following the mid-November, 1991 assault on him by another student, Phillip Howley. Howley had also made threatening comments to Beth (Tommy's mother).

Among those trustees was Robert R. DeLuca, a wealthy Northern Virginia real estate developer.

According to The Herndon (Va.) Observer, 4/24/98 and The Chantilly (Va.)Times, 7/30/98, Robert R. DeLuca and his family have become the subjects of a major investigation by the Justice Department .

The Observer reported that four members of the DeLuca Family, developers of the CountrySide Shopping Center, and their chief operating officer were indicted by a federal grand jury on 41 felony charges that include conspiracy, bank and mail fraud, and obstruction of justice.

These charges involved operating a continuing financial crimes enterprise, lying to several banks, bilking more than $2 million from private investors (money the defendants allegedly used for personal reasons, including illegal gambling) selling $423,000 in forged and counterfeit promissory notes, conspiring to launder money, witness tampering and making false statements to the FBI.

According to the Times, new indictments were handed down In July as a result of the testimony of the DeLucas' chief operating officer Samuel B. Skinner III.

Four new counts were added. One of the new counts alleges that Robert DeLuca threatened to "put a bullet between Skinner's eyes" if it was discovered that Skinner provided information to the FBI.

Marymount University promotional literature in 1992 features photos of the DeLucas, Virginia state senator Charles Waddell, and Marlene Malek, board member and wife of Fred Malek, aide to then President George Bush.

Our request in 1992 to DeLuca and the other trustees for help in gathering information was ignored.

We have since received phone calls and tips from "Unsolved Mysteries" stating that a member of the board was also the grandmother of Phil Howley's roommate, Adam McEwen. The tips allege that the school withheld and destroyed records in deference to this board member.

It is a fact that the FBI investigator, Robert Pocica, claims that Marymount provided only one record of an incident, yet we have written evidence from Tommy's personal effects of five meetings between Tommy and the administration at Marymount in the two weeks between the assault by Phil Howley and Tommy's leaving the school five days before his death.

Another trustee who was also a bank vice-president approached the security department at the bank and asked for help obtaining a private investigator to "find out who the Burketts are talking to" because we were "asking too many questions." This bank just happened to be the bank where we kept our personal checking accounts.

We wish that the FBI showed as much interest in evidence that several Marymount University trustees have conspired to hide information related to Tommy Burkett's murder as the bureau has shown in the alleged financial corruption of one trustee, Robert DeLuca.

Update (10/15/98):

According to the Chantilly Times, Robert Deluca pleaded guilty on September 30 to conspiracy.

"In exchange for the plea, all other charges were dropped. But DeLuca must cooperate with future investigations into undisclosed matters and must forfeit $1.5 million. "

The Fairfax Journal reported that Deluca's wife, Marilyn Deluca, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in August. His son-in-law and accountant, Reginald Hudson, pleaded guilty Sept. 22 to one charge of bank fraud. Chief operating officer Samuel Skinner pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy June 8.

* * *

From www.bushwatch.com :

Fred Malek, ex-Nixon aide, resigns from the Bush campaign after it's revealed that he compiled a list of Jews in the Labor Dept. as part of a Nixon investigation of a "Jewish cabal."

Also, GO TO > > > Tracking the Flocking AIPAC Vultures

* * *

From http://www.aristotle.net :

Encountering Prescott Bush

By the time I moved back to Little Rock in 1984, I'd gotten the distinct impression that there was a cover-up going on about the information contained in that 1980 radio book ad. That mysterious book, with its striking allegation about George Bush flying his plane onto an enemy-held island and delivering a message to the Japanese, seemed to have all too easily disappeared.

The bookstore clerks I'd asked found nothing, so I gravitated to libraries. I brushed up on my research skills. I relied on librarians to answer my bizarre questions about that equally bizarre radio ad.

It wasn't until 1989 that I learned that Standard Oil, George Bush's father's company, had committed treason during the Second World War. That truth was revealed increasingly after 1983, when English writer Charles Higham released Trading With The Enemy in New York via Delacorte Press. He followed that in 1985 with American Swastika.

Shortly afterward, Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin produced a soon-to-be-infamous negative biography of George Bush entitled The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush. During that same time period, Christopher Simpson came out with Blowback and Russ Bellant released another edition of his chronicle of the shocking Nazi connections of the Reagan and Bush Administrations, Old Nazis, The New Right and the Republican Party. Over the next decade those books gradually revealed the true picture of high-level World War II treason by some of America's wealthy families, big petrochemical conglomerates and major multi-national manufacturing corporations.

Like millions of other Americans, I gradually came to read many of these books and their shocking revelations. Along with them, I also read books about the on-going scandals of the Reagan-Bush years. As a result, I became aware there had been a major cover-up of that World War II treason. Topping all of this off was the release in 1994 by St. Martin's Press of the John Loftus and Mark Aarons blockbuster The Secret War Against the Jews, was the final key to my understanding the plausibility of the ad's charge.

I then read Silent Coup by Colodny and Gettlin and other books which gave the "inside skinny" on a number of recent events. That helped me realize more than ever that there were, indeed, undercurrents in all our lives. And it helped me to become more aware that Prescott Bush, George Bush's father, was indeed a pro-Nazi figure in American history.

As a result of my searching and reading, I found a good bit of data, shocking in its details, which deserves, at least in part, to be presented in the bold-faced, capital letters that it has deserved and never gotten over all these years:

"ON OCTOBER 20, 1942, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT ORDERED THE SEIZURE OF NAZI GERMAN BANKING OPERATIONS IN NEW YORK CITY WHICH WERE BEING CONDUCTED BY PRESCOTT BUSH.

“Under the Trading with the Enemy Act, the government took over the Union Banking Corp.'s stock shares, all of which were owned by Prescott Bush, E. Ronald 'Bunny' Harriman, three Nazi executives, and two other associates of Prescott Bush... [B]y October 26,1942, U.S. troops were under way for North Africa.

“On October 28, the government issued orders seizing two Nazi front organizations run by the bank (in which Bush was a partner): the Holland-America Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation...

“U.S. forces landed under fire near Algiers on November 8, 1942; heavy combat raged throughout November. Nazi interests in the Silesian-American corporation, long managed by Prescott Bush and his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, were seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act, on Nov. 17, 1942...President Roosevelt's Alien Property Custodian, Leo T. Crowley, signed Vesting Order #248 seizing the property of Prescott Bush under the Trading with the Enemy Act (Tarpley and Chaitkin 30-46. Emphasis added)....

As for the political career of this illustrious, patriotic American, we find that it didn't exactly get off to a glowing start, and for good reason:

" . . . Prescott Bush. . .made his first attempt to enter national politics in l950 . . .The race was for the two-year unexpired term left empty by the death of the previous Senator from Connecticut ...

“Now, in l950, people who knew something about Prescott Bush knew he had very unsavory roots in the eugenics movement . . .[V]ery late in the 1950 senatorial campaign, Prescott Bush was publicly exposed for being an activist in that section of the old Fascist eugenics movement. (Tarpley and Chaitkin 73-5. Emphasis added.)."

But wasn't this a man who understood the problems of working Americans, and who raised a son who could do the same? Well, we know he worked, all right. The company he worked for, at least a good part of his life, was the Standard Oil Company or its affiliates and banking associates.

In l941, Standard Oil of New Jersey was the largest petroleum corporation in the world. Its bank was Chase, its owners the Rockefellers. Its chairman, Walter C. Teagle, and its President, William S. Farrish, had extensive connections with the Nazi government (Higham, Trading 32-5). However, by April l7 l945 the Chase National Bank "was placed on trial in federal court on charges of having violated the Trading With the Enemy Act." (Higham, Trading 26-31).

Standard Oil also taught the Nazi German chemical company I.G. Farben how to make tetraethyl lead and add it to gasoline to make leaded gasoline. That information was priceless, since leaded gas was essential for modern mechanized warfare. One I.G. Farben memo noted Standard Oil's help in procuring $20 million worth of aviation fuel. . . .According to a l992 article in the Village Voice, Brown Brothers Harriman was the Wall Street investment firm that arranged for a loan of tetraethyl lead to the Nazi Luftwaffe in l938. A senior managing partner of the firm was George Bush's father, Prescott Bush. (It's A Conspiracy l25-7).< p

In a reference adding to this information, Bowen tells us that Standard Oil remained in partnership with Farben in the matter of tetraethyl lead, an additive used in aviation gasoline. Goering's air force couldn't fly without it... The result was that Hitler's air force was rendered capable of bombing London.

And by supplying Japan with tetraethyl, Teagle helped make it possible for the Japanese to wage World War 2....

George Bush carefully rejected any discussion of the 'Nazi word' in three consecutive Presidential campaigns: not at all surprising, says Bowen, in light of the fact that Bush's closest friend and confidante is "Texas mystery man William Stamps Farrish III, inheritor of the Auschwitz death camp fortune...

Farrish's family fortune was made in the same Nazi enterprise with George Bush's father . . . The joint enterprise had opened the Auschwitz slave labor camp on June l4, l940, to produce artificial rubber and gasoline from coal. Jews and political opponents supplied by Hitler as slaves were worked to death or murdered. . . In fact, Standard Oil's dealing with Hitler continued right up to the end of World War II." (Bowen 2-4)....

Interestingly, here, too, we hear from Bowen. Referring to Bellant's report revealing the GOP's "Nazi connection" in the 1970's and '80's, Bowen is the one who ties Bush's family ties directly into the Bellant Report:

"Bush's strategy in l988 and again in l992 of stonewalling revelations about the Nazi war criminal apologists ... His employment in both campaigns of Fred Malek, a well-known Nazi collaborator, graphically underscores his lack of concern about the victims of Hitler's war machine....

Bush springs from an old-line Connecticut family lineage with long-time connections to Wall Street, international bankers, oil interests, and the fascist cartels behind the German Third Reich (Bowen 4-11)."

For more, GO TO > > > The Vampires on Jupiter Island

* * *

September 8, 2000

Malek named chairman of Global Vacation Group

D.C.-based Global Vacation Group has a new chairman.

Fred Malek replaces Roger Ballou, who has resigned from the company and board of directors to manage other business interests and investments.

Malek is chairman of Thayer Capital Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on investing in select industries including travel and leisure. Malek has been a board member of Global Vacation Group since the company's inception. He was president of Marriott Hotels & Resorts from 1981 to 1988.

In other company news, Global also named Raymond List as interim CEO. List, who was formerly a consultant to the company, will be responsible for overseeing Global's day-to-day operations.

Global Vacation Group (NYSE: GVG) is a provider of vacation brands and products. Its brands include Classic Custom Vacations, Vacations by Globetrotters and Allied Tours. . . .

See also: Thayer Capital Partners

For more, GO TO > > > The Nests of CB Richard Ellis; The Royal SunAlliance; The Washington Baseball Club


 

Investcorp - Investcorp is a leading global investment group with offices in London, New York and Bahrain. Since 1982, it has completed transactions in North America and Western Europe, with a total acquisition value of approximately $19 billion.

Investcorp and its clients have investments in U.S. companies including Stratus Technologies, The William Carter Company, Jostens, Inc., Werner Holdings, TelePacific Communications and Independent Wireless One.

U.S. investments that have been taken public by Investcorp include Prime Service, Tiffany & Co., Circle K Corporation, Saks Fifth Avenue and CSK Auto Corporation.

In Europe, Investcorp and its clients currently have investments in Avecia (formerly Zeneca Specialties), Gerresheimer Glas, Polestar, Welcome Break, CityReach, and Helly Hansen.

(www.Investcorp.com).

For much more, GO TO > > > Investigating Investcorp; The Nests of Osama bin Laden


 

James Baker III - Former White House Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, and Bush-Quayle campaign chairman. Baker is a partner in The Carlyle Group, a Washington-based merchant bank that is chaired by Frank Carlucci, the former Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration. Other Carlyle partners include many former Reagan and Bush administration notables, including Richard Darman, economic adviser to President George Bush.

* * *

From The Buying of the President 2000: . . . George Ohrstrom and his wife invested $100,000 in Arbusto (George W.’s money-losing oil company) ...

Ohrstrom was a business partner of Philip Uzielli, a wealthy investor and the owner of Executive Resources, a company based first in the Dutch West Indies and later in Panama.

Uzielli put $50,000 into one of the early Arbusto partnerships. In Jan 1982, his company bought 10% of Arusto’s stock for a cool $1 million. The investment made Uzielli Arbusto’s largest benefactor, a privilege he paid well for. The million-dollar purchase price was at least three times more than the stock he bought was worth.

Uzielli, incidentally, had another connection to the Bush clan besides Ohrstrom. He’d been a close friend of James Baker III, who was intimately involved in the elder Bush’s political career, ever since the two had been classmates at Princeton University.

Baker managed Bush’s presidential campaign in 1980 and was Secretary of State during Bush’s sole term as President....


 

Jay Malcynsky - From ctnow.com: Top Politicians Linked To Pension Fund Deals, 10/21/99:

State Treasurer Denise Nappier shone the light Wednesday on seldom-seen machinations that have put millions into the pockets of well-connected “finders” in state pension investment deals--and some of the state’s best-known politicians were caught in the glare. . . .

It included ... Jay Malcynsky, a lawyer-lobbyist who is a top GOP operative and confidant of Republican Gov. John G. Rowland.

The compensation listed for Malcynsky, the high-profile lawyer-lobbyist who has advised Rowland on several key issues, was listed in the form of legal fees.

RFE Investment Partners, a firm in New Canaan, reported paying $112,500 in 1998 and 1999 to Malcynsky for “legal advice and counsel concerning potential investments.” Some of the work involved research, he said.

Malcysky said RFE was an old client that asked him to help the firm seek pension investments while Silvester was treasurer from mid-1997 through last Jan. 6.

RFE first hired Malcynsky in 1992, when the company was trying to interest the Connecticut Development Authority to participate in a small-business investment fund, he said. . . .

In 1997, RFE asked him for the first time to advise them how to pursue business with the state treasurer’s office. . . .

Did he think his relationship with the governor was one of the reasons RFE hired him to approach Silvester, a Rowland appointee?

“I don’t think they hired me because of any special connection between me and the governor. My lobbying firm has been one of the top lobbying firms in Connecticut for the last 10 or 12 years. . . .”


 

Lawrence Landry - From Journal Inquirer, 11/22/00, by Don Michak: . . . A former top official with one of the nation’s wealthiest foundations denied Tues that he was able to start his own investment partnership with $100 million in Connecticut pension money because he agreed to go along with an extortionate demand by former state Treasurer Paul J. Silvester.

But Lawrence L. Landry, who until two years ago was chief financial officer at the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, confirmed that he paid at least $1.09 million in “finder’s fees” to a mysterious New York investment banker, Andrew Ferdinand Moses, only after Silvester suggested that Moses was the man to help him get the state’s backing.

Landry said the corrupt former treasurer also had arranged for Moses to meet him and his associates in the Palm Beach, Fla-based Westport Senior Living Investment Fund, which buys and develops retirement communities....

A protégé and longtime business partner of Landry’s, Brad K. Heppner, heads another partnership that has received several state pension fund investments since 1987: The Crossroads Group of Dallas, Texas.

Landry was one of the owners of Crossroads until he left to start Westport, which he said was originally intended to be operated as a unit of Crossroads.

Heppner said that while he wanted Silvester to invest another $100 million with Crossroads, Landry told him Silvester wouldn’t do a deal unless the Texas company paid a further finder’s fee to someone whom Silvester would designate.

Heppner said he ... refused to accept Silvester’s condition. That, he added, led Landry to sell his interest in Crossroads and start Westport, which ended up with the money from Silvester.

Landry, after a presentation before the state’s Investment Advisory Council, a state panel that oversees pension plan deals ... denied Heppner’s allegation....

Silvester was convicted last year on federal racketeering and money-laundering charges, and investigators are continuing to examine how he funneled bribes, and kick-backs through his or others’ political campaigns.

Landry and an investment banker associated with Westport, John Magee, meanwhile said they had no reason to suspect that Moses may have kicked back part or all of his finder’s fee to Silvester . . .

State treasury records show Moses received a $437,500 fee in connection with one other investment authorized by Silvester.

Landry and Magee said Westport signed a contract with Moses’ company, New York Capital Partners, which also was supposed to find investors in other states for the partnership. . . .

During his half hour presentation to the IAC, Landry revealed that the biggest backer of Westport Advisors, Ltd., the general partner in Westport Senior Living Investment Fund, is Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, a $10 billion Hawaiian education trust that owns 69.2% of Westport.

Similarly, Landry disclosed that Bishop Estate is also the second-biggest investor in the Westport Senior Living Fund itself, having put up $25 million.

Bishop Estate, said to be the nation’s wealthiest charitable trust, has been wracked by a scandal involving the former trustees, whom the Internal Revenue Service ordered removed after accusations that they mismanaged estate finances, took kickbacks, and paid themselves annual fees averaging around $900,000 each.

Its critics, like University of Hawaii professor Randall W. Roth, also say the trust was for years operated “as a multibillion-dollar candy store for the state’s political establishment.”

Landry, who has been quoted in the Hawaiian press as defending the estate’s treasurer, protested Tuesday that the controversy surrounding Bishop Estate has nothing to do with him or Westport.

The fact that he, Westport, and Bishop Estate now also have a connection to the Silvester scandal, he added, is purely coincidental....

For more, GO TO > > > How to Pluck a Non-Profit; The Whistleblower at WCI Communities; Office of the U.S. Trustee vs. Harmon - Witness John Dasburg


 

Paul Silvester - Former Connecticut State Treasurer, now a confessed racketeer and money launderer.

September 24, 1999

Three Plead Guilty in Corruption Case

By Jon Lender and Mark Pazniokas, The Hartford Courier

Three Plead Guilty in Corruption Case. Former state Treasurer Paul J. Silvester pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to charges of racketeering and conspiring to launder money — and, in a deal to cut his jail time, agreed to cooperate as the investigation targets well-connected political figures from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. ...

His brother, New York real estate investor Mark Silvester, 50, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to solicit and accept corrupt payments. Brother-in-law Peter D. Hirschi, 43, of West Hartford, a lawyer, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money. ...

They ... have been talking to federal prosecutors for a month and have promised to continue cooperating — including possible testimony against others. . . . Documents released Thursday detailed kickbacks from so-called finder’s fees totaling more than $330,000, but there may be significantly more money involved in activities still under investigation....

“We are looking at both other individuals and organizations,” U.S. Attorney Stephen C. Robinson said Thursday after the pleas were entered. His office worked with the FBI and IRS in the probe of the West Hartford Republican’s 17-month tenure as state treasurer....

Although Robinson declined to give specifics about where the probe will go, court documents indicated that prosecutors are looking closely at Wayne Berman, a prominent Washington, D.C. business consultant who is a major fund-raiser for Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush....

Sources in recent days have said Berman received more than $900,000 from a fee or fees by virtue of Silvester’s placement of tens of millions of dollars with an investment fund of the internationally known Carlyle Group....


 

Richard Rainwater - Texas billionaire deal-maker and benefactor to the rich and famous.

From People Profiles, (www.pathfinder.com): . . . [Rainwater] grew up in Fort Worth . . . and ended up at Stanford Business School along with Sid Bass...an heir to the Bass oil fortune.

After graduation, Rainwater took a job at Goldman Sachs, then went work for the Bass family as a financial advisor, growing their $50 million of assets into a $5 billion fortune....

In the 1980's, Rainwater went out on his own and built up positions in real estate, oil and gas, and health care — most famously Columbia/HCA, recently the subject of federal investigations. Along the way, Rainwater was one of the owners (with Texas Gov. George W. Bush, among others) who bought and sold the Texas Rangers baseball team; he’s still a part owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He also purchased Canyon Ranch....

* * *

From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 09/03/97, by Rick Daysog: . . . Four years ago, Bishop Estate invested $30 million in Mid Ocean Reinsurance Co. with partners J. P. Morgan & Co., Marsh & McLennan Co., and Texas deal maker Richard Rainwater.

The estate’s 5.36 percent in the Bermuda-based reinsurance company, which went public in late 1993, today is worth about $106 million....

* * *

From Real People for Real Change: George W. Bush, Jr. - The Dark Side:

Corruption in Texas Government;
State $ to Big Contributors

Bush’s administration has been marked by the large amounts of state controlled money flowing to men who have either contributed large amounts to Bush’s campaign, or who have made Junior personally rich through sweet insider business deals, or both. . . .

Another key player in the Bush world is Richard Rainwater, the billionaire Texas investor who made Bush Jr.’s original involvement in the Texas Rangers deal possible. That’s the deal that made Jr. rich, of course. Bush had several other personal investments in Rainwater controlled companies. But Rainwater has received much from Bush and the state of Texas’ treasury, too...

For example, the state teacher retirement fund sold three office buildings to Rainwater’s real estate company at bargain prices, and without bids in 2 of the cases. The fund invested $90 million in the Frost Bank Plaza in Austin, and sold it to Rainwater’s Crescent Real Estate for $35 million. Bush signed a law that will give his former baseball team co-owners — including Rainwater — a $10 million bonus payment when a new Dallas arena is built. Bush also proposed a cap on business real estate taxes that would have saved Rainwater millions on his various properties (but it lost in the legislature).

And UTIMCO ... has invested $20 million in Rainwater companies. . . .

Bush may or may not have violated state ethics laws with all of this big money back-scratching, but there is no doubt that he and these businessmen are operating corruptly — funneling large amounts of state money to the businessmen’s companies, and large amounts of their personal and business money into George Bush Jr.’s pocket and political campaigns. . .

* * *

From If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates, by Jim Hightower: . . .

Bush Plays Ball

Meet one of George’s special buddies: Richard Rainwater.

He’s little known outside the rarefied world of high finance, but to those denizens he’s considered a financial wizard and a skilled corporate deal maker.

Having been a bright Wall Streeter at Goldman Sachs, then having made a bundle handling investments for the gabillionaire Bass family of Fort Worth, he subsequently amassed his own portly portfolio, now owning such properties as Pioneer Oil Company, the huge Columbia/HCA Healthcare corporation, and the sprawling Crescent Real Estate empire, which has billions invested in high-rise office buildings, golf courses, and other developments.

He’s also into casinos, costume jewelry, health-food restaurants, and a joint venture with the Chinese called Richina (Richard, rich, China ...get it? Cute).

Bottom line is he now ranks among the one hundred richest people in America, with a net worth in the neighborhood of a billion and a half bucks.

Along the way to that posh neighborhood, he got cozy with the President’s boy, who had not amounted to much and showed little promise. After a stint in the National Guard (he helped defend Houston during the Vietnam War), Bush spent many years developing his partying skills, gaining the nicknames of “Boosto” and “The Bombastic Bushkin” along the way. With a little help from Daddy and Daddy’s friends, George W. went into the oil business, but failed.

When Rainwater entered his life, Bush wasn’t doing anything but hanging around his daddy’s White House . . .

To flower, every bush needs to be properly watered, and Rainwater was just what “Junior” needed to grow into real wealth and to gain that “successful businessman” image that later allowed him to run for governor of Texas. Over the past decade, Rainwater has put Bush into oil deals, real estate investments, and other business schemes, with the result that, as R.G. Ratcliffe of the Houston Chronicle reports, Richard Rainwater “is largely responsible for Bush’s wealth.”...

For more, GO TO > > > The Impeachment of George W. Bush


 

Thayer Capital Partners - A private equity investment fund with a lot of big birds sitting on what may be YOUR nest eggs.

June 29, 1998

Thayer Capital Partners Makes Its Mark as a New Player Among Old-Time Investment Firms

By Jerry Knight, Washington Post

In an office 31 floors above Park Avenue in New York, a congregation of executives, lawyers and investment bankers is scheduled tomorrow to perform a ritual symbolic of contemporary business trends: the marriage of two companies.

If all goes as planned, three hours of voting and affirming, signing and witnessing will join together the two telemarketing firms to create Aegis Communications Inc., a $230 million-a-year business that will have 8,500 employees, offices in 30 cities and shares traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Playing matchmaker, as well as mother of the bride and dowry donor, is Thayer Capital Partners, Washington's newest player in the big-money private investment business.

Two-year-old Thayer is the newest of the financial powerhouses that have emerged in Washington in the past five years as the mid-Atlantic region has grown into a world-class player in finance and technology.

Washington's "old money" institutions, symbolized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has been joined by a clique of newcomers, including Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc. of Arlington, one of the nation's largest underwriters of new stock offerings; J.E. Robert Co. of McLean, a real estate investment empire soon to expand into Asia; and Carlyle Group, the merchant banking firm that Thayer resembles on a smaller scale.

Thayer, bankrolled by two dozen banks, pension funds and financial institutions that put up $364 million in capital, has invested in businesses as varied as mail-order meat sales, multinational bicycle manufacturing, travel wholesalers and telemarketing.

Almost $40 million has gone into the Aegis telemarketing group, one of several Thayer investments that are turning the crucial corner from private ownership to publicly financed companies, allowing Thayer to convert its equity in the private companies into stocks that can be sold.

One of Thayer's eight portfolio firms, meat marketer Colorado Prime Foods, has produced no gains after a year, a disappointment in a business in which investors demand a quick payback. Two other deals have been done in the past few weeks, but its earlier investments are on the fast track:

Aegis, an unusual "reverse IPO" in which a large privately held Los Angeles-based company backed by Thayer will go public by merging with a smaller, Dallas company listed on Nasdaq. Thayer will end up owning about 38 percent of the stock of the companies that handle phone inquiries for client companies and make telephone sales calls.

Global Vacation Group Inc., a Washington-based travel wholesaler that is planning a conventional IPO later this summer to raise $63 million.

Derby Cycle Corp., with headquarters in Nottingham, England, raised $160 million last month by selling bonds in the United States and Germany.

Software AG Systems Inc. of Reston -- which has given Thayer the kind of home run that big investors often long for but rarely hit. The $29.7 million investment was worth more than $460 million after Software AG stock soared to a record $32.25 Friday. . . .

Big-League Lineup

Though Thayer has been in business in its existing form for only a little more than two years, Thayer's players are three longtime starters in the big leagues of business:

Company founder Fred Malek, 62, who first made a name in Washington as a top aide to President Richard M. Nixon. Malek went on to become president of Marriott Corp. of Bethesda and then was president of Northwest Airlines after leading a buyout of that company with fellow Marriott alumni Al Cecchi and Gary Wilson.

Malek led a management buyout of CB Commercial Real Estate Group, then returned to the hotel business, forming a pair of hotel investment partnerships and arranging a buyout of the Ritz-Carlton hotels in partnership with Marriott.

Paul G. Stern, 59, was a top corporate manager before he got into the buyout business as a partner in Forstmann Little & Co. in 1993. By then his resume listed stints as chairman of Braun AG in Germany, vice president for strategic planning and acquisitions of Rockwell International Corp. and president of Burroughs Corp. He spent four years as chairman of Canada's Northern Telecom Ltd. before joining Forstmann.

Rick Rickertsen, 38, hooked up with Malek in 1994 after working at Hancock Park Associates, a Los Angeles venture capital and buyout firm and Brentwood Associates, the biggest venture capital investor in Southern California. He worked on Thayer's two hotel funds and the Ritz-Carlton transaction. He also has coordinated fund-raising for Thayer Equity Investors III, the partnership behind the company's current deals.

The principals are backed by a coterie of apprentice dealmakers -- half a dozen Harvard MBAs -- a small support staff and a heavyweight advisory board that includes Washington power lawyer Vernon Jordan; former vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp; Frank Zarb, chairman of the National Association of Securities Dealers; Jim Robinson, former chairman of American Express Co.; and Drew Lewis, former transportation secretary and current chairman of Union Pacific Corp.

"Fred Malek is the driving force. He has built a very fine and very focused organization," said Ed Mathias, a principal at Carlyle Group, Washington's bigger and better-known buyout firm. Malek and Stern have the management experience and worldwide contacts essential for success in the relationship-based business, he said, while Rickertsen "is the right age and the right kind of guy" to complement the two veterans.

"With the people they have now and the results they have shown, they should be able to raise a sizable amount of money," Mathias said.

Target Return: 30 Percent

Though they are in the same business, Thayer and Carlyle do not compete directly for deals or financing. Much of Carlyle's funding comes from overseas and is focused on bigger deals and venture capital, which are not part of Thayer's strategy.

In the taxonomy of finance, Thayer Capital Partners is classified as a private equity investment firm, which means it generally invests in privately owned companies rather than publicly traded companies. It also is considered a leveraged buyout firm because, in addition to its own capital, it uses borrowed money to finance transactions.

The money that Thayer invests comes from two dozen investors, most of them institutions.

Backers include the pension funds of AT&T Corp., Boeing Co., Textron Inc. and Aluminum Co. of America; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Hawaii's Bishop Estate; Travelers Insurance Co. (now owned by Citigroup); CreditSuisse First Boston; Bank of Nova Scotia; and Dresdner Bank.

There also is one individual investor -- Roger Penske, the race car driver turned truck and transportation magnate.

Pension funds put most of their money into conservative investments intended to produce a return with little risk, but they usually allocate a small part of their cash to venture capital and buyout funds with more ambitious profit goals.

Thayer's target is a return on investment of 30 percent a year, a goal the company told investors two years ago when it set out to raise its pool of capital. The original plan was to raise $250 million -- enough to finance a dozen or so of what are considered medium-sized deals these days -- but eager investors pledged $364 million.

The fund is officially named Thayer Equity Investors III LP. Thayer I and Thayer II are a pair of hotel real estate partnerships set up previously by Malek and named for one of his favorite figures, Col. Sylvannus Thayer, the father of West Point, Malek's alma mater.

Thayer's three partners also put their own money into the company's deals so they can share directly in the profit. But the primary source of the company's earnings is based on what is considered the standard formula for the industry: Thayer gets 20 percent of the profit it generates, after expenses.

"The key to our business is to make a good rate of return for our partners," Rickertsen said. Investors measure performance as internal rate of return -- how much they make on their original investment every year. The longer a transaction takes to produce a profit, the more money the partners expect, he said. "The IRR clock is vicious. Time is very, very critical."

To boost the return Thayer borrows money -- using "leverage," in financial jargon.

"Our style is to use debt and equity in every deal," Malek said. If you spend $100 million to buy a business and sell it a year later for $150 million, you earn a 50 percent profit on your investment, he said. But if you put up $25 million of your own cash and borrow the rest, you double your money -- for a 100 percent return....

Malek said he likes technology companies but avoids ventures in which success depends on a technological breakthrough and ailing companies seeking financing for a turnaround.

But Malek is willing to start his own companies from scratch, launching three ventures in the travel business, which he knows well from his days at Marriott and Northwest.

For those ventures, Malek recruited Roger Ballou, who has served as president of Alamo Rent-a-Car Inc. and American Express's travel services group.

Thayer is backing Ballou in Global Vacation Group Inc., a Washington company that is buying travel tour wholesalers and Associated Travel Network. Associated is a collection of what are known in the industry as "marketing service organizations," which buy airline tickets and hotel rooms in bulk for independent travel agents. Malek and Ballou reportedly have a third travel industry business in the works, but won't identify it....

By May -- just nine months after going into business with Thayer -- Ballou had spent $108 million acquiring five tour companies, creating Global Vacation Group, which now is one of the biggest operators of tours to Hawaii, the Caribbean and the United States with annual revenue of $114 million last year.

Thayer put $50 million into Global Vacations and will own 60 percent of the company's stock, worth about $155 million if the IPO is completed on schedule this summer.

Thayer's money was not the most important part in the equation. "The largest part of my coming together with them and a big part of what makes the thing tick is personal relationships," Ballou said.

"They have the contacts . . . and in Fred's case, a guy who's well-known in the travel industry, and that's helpful."...


 

The Nature Conservancy - A Non-profit with undue influence.

March 24, 2003

Environmentalists Warn Of Damage
From Proposed State Budget Cuts

HARTFORD – Governor Rowland's recent budget proposal could do major long-term harm to the state's water, air and land by drastically cutting or eliminating a number of environmental programs, conservation groups and lawmakers have warned.

The Day, New London, reports that concerned environmentalists and legislators met in the Capitol March 24, 2003, to discuss suggested cuts. The reductions would drastically affect the Department of Environmental Protection, as well as open-space purchasing programs that have been a source of pride to the Rowland administration. The cuts also would merge the Department of Agriculture into the Department of Consumer Protection and would eliminate the Council on Environmental Quality.

State Rep. Patricia Widlitz, Democrat of Guilford, said: "The environment has an impact on so many parts of our lives... Once you let that go, you don't get it back. Once the farmland is gone, it's gone. We need to draw a line in the sand and say 'no.'"...

The budget would eliminate staff at 41 state parks, forests and recreation areas, and would limit car access. The number of conservation officers who protect parks and shoreline could sink to 44 from 66 in 2000.

Referring to land acquisition, a Nature Conservancy official said: "Over the past five years, the state of Connecticut has made extraordinary progress in preserving open space. The budget before us would completely eliminate the two open space programs... We knew we'd have to suffer some cuts, but to completely eliminate them is unwise."...

For some surprising birds in this flock, GO TO > > > The Nature Conservancy


 

Thomas Hicks - Chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company.

From Real People for Real Change -- George W. Bush - The Dark Side.

Corruption in Texas Government;
State
$ to Big Contributors

Bush’s administration has been marked by the large amounts of state controlled money flowing to men who have either contributed large amounts to Bush’s campaign, or who have made Junior personally rich through sweet insider business deals, or both. . . .

For example, the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) invests $1.7 billion of state money. Bush’s cronies dominate this board, and in return investment funds controlled by these very cronies or their friends have received $457 million of that investment pool. There may even be more, but this obscure group — created under Bush — cloaks its operations in a thick veil of secrecy. . .

UTIMCO’s chairman, Tom Hicks, now owns the Texas Rangers; his purchase of the team made Governor Bush a very rich man. Furthermore, Hicks and his brother gave $146,000 to the Bush campaign.

In return, $252 million of the invested money went to funds run by Hicks’ business associates or friends, according to the Houston Chronicle. Hicks even insisted that UTIMCO increase by $10 million an investment with a fund that he had indirect financial interest in, but UTIMCO staff halted funding after they discovered the conflict. . . .




 

Westport Advisers, Ltd. - Texas-based investment fund.

October 29, 1999

Silvester had connections to
Texas investment firm

By Mike McIntire and Jon Lender, The Hartford Courant

The Texas-based managers of an investment fund ... say they lost a $100 million investment deal in 1998 because they refused a directive from then-Treasurer (Conn.), Paul Silvester, to pay a finder’s fee to someone of his choosing....

Silvester had been negotiating a possible $100 million investment in the Crossroads Constitution Fund....

By the time Silvester began talking to Crossroads in 1998, the fund’s assets had been acquired by a group of Texas investors, who were not interested in forking over the kind of fees Crossroads had paid Kelly and his associates. So when Silvester told Crossroads representative Larry Landry that a fee would need to be paid, the new management at Crossroads said no....

Last summer, Landry, a former chief investment officer of the philanthropic MacArthur Foundation, left Crossroads to set up the Westport Fund....

Silvester has alleged that he had arrangements with others to whom he steered fees, whereby they would kick back some of the money....

* * *

November 22, 2000

Foundation Official Denies Silvester Role

By Don Michak, Journal Inquirer

A former top official with one of the nation’s wealthiest foundations denied Tues that he was able to start his own investment partnership with $100 million in Connecticut pension money because he agreed to go along with an extortionate demand by former state Treasurer Paul J. Silvester.

But Lawrence L. Landry, who until two years ago was chief financial officer at the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, confirmed that he paid at least $1.09 million in “finder’s fees” to a mysterious New York investment banker, Andrew Ferdinand Moses, only after Silvester suggested that Moses was the man to help him get the state’s backing.

Landry said the corrupt former treasurer also had arranged for Moses to meet him and his associates in the Palm Beach, Fla-based Westport Senior Living Investment Fund, which buys and develops retirement communities....

A protégé and longtime business partner of Landry’s, Brad K. Heppner, heads another partnership that has received several state pension fund investments since 1987: The Crossroads Group of Dallas, Texas.

Landry was one of the owners of Crossroads until he left to start Westport, which he said was originally intended to be operated as a unit of Crossroads.

Heppner said that while he wanted Silvester to invest another $100 million with Crossroads, Landry told him Silvester wouldn’t do a deal unless the Texas company paid a further finder’s fee to someone whom Silvester would designate. Heppner said he ... refused to accept Silvester’s condition. That, he added, led Landry to sell his interest in Crossroads and start Westport, which ended up with the money from Silvester.

Landry, after a presentation before the state’s Investment Advisory Council, a state panel that oversees pension plan deals ... denied Heppner’s allegation....

Silvester was convicted last year on federal racketeering and money-laundering charges, and investigators are continuing to examine how he funneled bribes, and kick-backs through his or others’ political campaigns.

Landry and an investment banker associated with Westport, John Magee, meanwhile said they had no reason to suspect that Moses may have kicked back part or all of his finder’s fee to Silvester . . .

State treasury records show Moses received a $437,500 fee in connection with one other investment authorized by Silvester.

Landry and Magee said Westport signed a contract with Moses’ company, New York Capital Partners, which also was supposed to find investors in other states for the partnership. . . . 

During his half hour presentation to the IAC, Landry revealed that the biggest backer of Westport Advisors, Ltd., the general partner in Westport Senior Living Investment Fund, is Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, a $10 billion Hawaiian education trust that owns 69.2% of Westport.

Similarly, Landry disclosed that Bishop Estate is also the second-biggest investor in the Westport Senior Living Fund itself, having put up $25 million.

Bishop Estate, said to be the nation’s wealthiest charitable trust, has been wracked by a scandal involving the former trustees, whom the Internal Revenue Service ordered removed after accusations that they mismanaged estate finances, took kickbacks, and paid themselves annual fees averaging around $900,000 each.

Its critics, like University of Hawaii professor Randall W. Roth, also say the trust was for years operated “as a multibillion-dollar candy store for the state’s political establishment.

Landry, who has been quoted in the Hawaiian press as defending the estate’s treasurer, protested Tuesday that the controversy surrounding Bishop Estate has nothing to do with him or Westport.

The fact that he, Westport, and Bishop Estate now also have a connection to the Silvester scandal, he added, is purely coincidental....

###


 

 

AND, IF YOU STILL DON’T GET THE PICTURE, FLY OVER TO SEE

\/

Aloha, Harken Energy!

Tracking the flock of AIPAC Vultures

APCOA: Vultures in the Parking Lot

Aloha Airlines

Apollo Advisors

The Bankruptcy Buzzards

Carlyle Group: Birds that Drink from Cesspools

The Blackstone Group

The Bribes & Boondoggles of Boeing

Broken Trust: The Book

Broken Trusts

Cesspool

Claims By Harmon

Confessions of a Whistleblower

Dirty Money, Dirty Politics and Bishop Estate

Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs

Executive Life Insurance Co.

The Firing of Evan Dobelle

Googling for the Kamehameha Schools

How to Pluck a Billionaire

How to Pluck a Non-Profit

HUD: The Housing & Urban Disaster

Investigating Invesco

Investigating Investcorp

KROLL, The Conspirator

Marsh & McLennan: The Marsh Birds

Marsh & McLennan’s Mercer Consulting

Marsh & McLennan’s Putnam Funds

Marsh & McLennan’s Trident Funds

The Hawaii Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy

The Nests of CB Richard Ellis

Spotting the SEC

The Devil and William Webster

The Eagle Hooded

The Secret Nests

The Stephen Friedman Flock

The Story of Enron

The Sinking of the Ehime Maru

Uncle Sam’s Guinea Pigs

Vampires on Jupiter Island

Vultures at the Crossroads

Vultures of Maunawili Valley

The Washington Baseball Club

WCI Communities

What Price Waterhouse?

XO Communications

 


 

~ o ~

MORE OF THE CATBIRD’S FAVORITE LINKS

THE CATBIRD SEAT FORUM

THE CATBIRD SEAT

~ o ~


 

###

FAIR USE NOTICE. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

###


 

Originally posted: March 11, 2001 (6 months before 9-11-01)

 

* * * * *

CHRONOLOGY

March 11, 2001: Originally posted in The Catbird Seat website.

March 13, 2007: Judge David Ezra signs Order to shut down website.

August 30, 2008: Latest update on phoenix site at www.kycbs.net

 

THE CATBIRD SEAT ARCHIVES

The Catbird Seat Archives: 2000-2002

The Catbird Seat Archives: 2002-2007

 

* * * * *