July 04, 2006

July 4, 2006: Bud Talkinghorn: Trilogy

Late posting: I apologize, Bud, and to readers who like Bud's work but I have had power outages lately and I have been busy with July 1, as well. This should have been posted previously but, slave labour, Bud ... it isn't what it used to be.

The incredible tale of a Canadian white-collar rogue

White-collar crime is exploding across the entire continent of North America. The police know that their fraudulent economic investigation cases should mount into the billions stolen, crimes with pay-offs that no professional bank robber could conceive of, millions bilked with a few phone calls, or very creative accounting. The police also admit how powerless they are to solve most of these types of crimes. Before World.com, Enron and Tyco, we Canadians ruled the roost for over-the top fraud. We had Bre-X, a scam so massive that it cost shareholders billions. Nobody was ever convicted. The president (assumed ringleader) died prematurally in the Bahamas; another co-conspirator, Felderhoff, hides in the Cayman Islands, while the supposedly-dead third scamster, Guzman, has been sighted in Brazil. The RCMP stated that the file has been closed on this case. A case that was considered to be the largest stock fraud in history and the boiler room boys break into another chorus of "For they are jolly useless fellows".

An example of how white-collar crime succeeds can be found in The Western Standard's article on Michael Ritter (June 19, 2006, pp 29 to 33). Ritter pretended to be a Grey's Inn lawyer from London and a graduate from the London School of Economics. At various times he also pretended to be Peter Knight, Adam Michael, or (my favourite) Philippe d'Orleans. These personas pretended to be foreign diplomats, Swiss bankers, and decorated lawyers. He wasn't even a lawyer. He got away with these elaborate masquerades because he was so charming and certain people in the government of Alberta saw him as the golden boy. His advancement in the Alberta government was so rapid that he argued cases before the Supreme Court. As a openly professed gay, he funded pro-gay Supreme Court challeges and helped sue Stockwell day over defamation charges. Eventually, he left government and founded a "financial services company". The real service was laundering tens of millions for two fraudsters in the United States. The police finally brought down his empire. On one deal, Ritter skimmed off ten million from a $43 million embezzlement. Who's going to complain? The crooked stock broker from Merrill Lynch or some other stock brokerage? I guess there is no honour among thieves.

The Americans are aggressively seeking Ritter's extradition to face various charges, but for now, he sits in Edmonton remand. Maybe after his sentencing here for defrauding Canadians, Alberta will grant the Yanks their extradition. The multiple sentences will give him plenty of time to recollect his former life as a "lawyer" with a European chateau and two private planes. His life of deception is a fascinating read.

The willful blindness to this swindler by politicians, lawyers, and the social elites is informative also. Almost none of these notables in Edmonton want to play the "six degrees of separation" game when it comes to this scoundrel. Nevertheless, when confronted with their advancement of Ritter's "legal" career, there are the skunks who don't want to admit that this polecat stinks. One ex-politician called Ritter "a man of impeccable integrity".

© Bud Talkinghorn

Losing the war on drugs

If this guy, Ritter, doesn't blow your mind, then read the autobiographical account by Jerry Speziale called "Without a Badge". While this DEA agent's tale of huge drug busts is impressive, the real story is about Paul Lir Alexander, a confidential informant. If you ever thought we were losing the war on drugs, this man's story confirms it. Alexander had enormous contacts in Latin America; he worked both sides of the legal fence--setting up elaborate drug busts for the authorities while he made millions importing cocaine and laundering drug money. A description of his contacts in Guatemala: "Once we got to the Camino Real (the most luxurious hotel in Guatemala City) the Paul Lir Alexander show kicked into high gear. With his suit jacket draped over his shoulder, Paul roamed the lobby as if he owned all Central America. He knew everybody. He spoke to his far-flung friends--everyone from diplomats to dopers, socialites to hookers, politicians to pimps--in four fluent languages....and Paul always had stacks of quetzales (Guatemalan currency), throwing his greenbacks around in his twenty-four hour a day masquerade as the biggest, baddest coke transporter in all of South America. Always in control, his drink of choice was, of course, fruit juice." In one case, while working for the DEA, he was arrested transporting half a million up from Colombia. He was so influential as a go-between in the drug trade that he had to be released. Even after this fracas, while he was helping bust loads of coke, he was importing thousands of pounds of it, embedded in electrical transformers from Brazil. It is a world that even Hollywood can hardly portray dramatically enough.

I remember an example of the "lost war" on drugs. Years ago the DEA was announcing that they had made good inroads on the imported marijuana scene. They gave the statistic of grass seized that year. It sounded impressive, until the next day there was a report of just one Brazilian plantation take-down. That pot farm had more marijuana than the DEA had seized in a year. The Brazilian drug cops speculated that it had been running for years.

© Bud Talkinghorn--If there must be a "war on drugs", at least go after the really destructive drugs like meth or heroin.

A joke for Canada Day

Ms. Nada Farooq, the wife of one of the terrorist suspects has been blogging away like a typical Canadian. The main difference is that she habitually refers to Canada as "that filth". Aside from the economic, political and other advantages of her adopted country, compared to the dead end country she came from, she still despises Canadian life. Ms. Farooq has expressed such multicutural sentiments as having "homosexuals crushed under a wall, like the Saudis do". Her views are shared by some of the other wives of the accused terrorists. Ms. Farooq was the administrator of a forum which spouted vitriol about our "filthy" culture to the Muslim teens in the local high school. Now two of these teens are part of the alleged terrorist plot. They wanted Islamic heaven through martyrdom, but they will have to settle for infidel hell.

So with this particular profile, we are astonished to discover that Ms. Farooq was going to be a speaker at a Toronto assembly called "On our own terms: Muslim Youth speak out!" This is where the joke kicks in. The gathering was sponsored by Students against Islamophobia. Ms. Farooq didn't show up, much to the relief of the organizers, I'm sure. Nothing like having a speaker jabber away about crushing homosexuals to death, the sluttishness of most Canadian women, and the need to not vote--in short most of Canadian customs are haram--forbidden. This event comes on the heels of the controversy over the British Imam, Haq, bringing his anti-Western message to some Toronto Islamic youth conference. Now we hear that the government has banned him from Canada though he was heard by video.

I don't think the Islamic community has understood from whence Canadian Islamophobia could spring. They don't seem to understand that despising one's adopted country makes them highly suspect, especially when that country has granted them a far better life than any of the woebegone states they fled.

© Bud Talkinghorn--The infamous Farooq forum has suddenly been taken down; however it is too late to hide the hatred expressed. The Globe and Mail has lots more of these blog entries to expose.


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