Reminder: IRS Commissioner Koskinen Is Major Democrat Donor

Reminder: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Is Major Democratic Donor – Washington Free Beacon

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is in the spotlight as he is set to further testify to Congress regarding the IRS targeting of conservative groups. It is important to remember that Koskinen has shelled out nearly $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.

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Koskinen has been contributing to Democrats for four decades, starting with a $1000 contribution to Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate candidate Gary Hart in 1979.

Koskinen has been a reliable donor over the years, contributing a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He has made a contribution to the Democratic candidate for president in each election since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5000 to Obama in 2012.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has received $3,000 from Koskinen since 2008, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received $2,000 from 2004 to 2006.

Hillary Clinton has received $3,800 for her various political campaigns from Koskinen.

Koskinen’s most recent contribution was $2,500 to Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) in February of 2013.

Koskinen was appointed IRS commissioner later that year, and was tasked with revamping the tax agency in the wake of criticism that it was allowing partisanship dictate which groups applying for tax-exempt status would receive extra scrutiny.

“John is an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform,” Obama said in the statement announcing Koskinen’s appointment. “With decades of experience, in both the private and public sectors, John knows how to lead in difficult times, whether that means ensuring new management or implementing new checks and balances.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) said at the time that he was “more than a little mystified” at the partisan appointment in a time that the agency was under fire for just that.

At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week, Koskinen was berated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) over his claim that IRS email records have been permanently lost.

“I’m sitting here, listening to this testimony, I don’t believe it,” Ryan told Koskinen. “That’s your problem. Nobody believes you.”

Koskinen will face congressional hearings again this week. He will testify Monday evening for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and then face the same committee for a follow-up hearing on Tuesday.

Koskinen was president of the U.S. Soccer Foundation from 2004 to 2008, before he was appointed the non-executive chairman of Freddie Mac, where he served from 2008 to 2012.

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Million Dollar Donor To Obama’s 2012 Campaign Indicted For Manslaughter And Insurance Fraud

Obama MegaDonor Indicted For Manslaughter And Fraud – Right Scoop

A million dollar donor to Obama’s 2012 campaign and 14 of his affiliates have been indicted for involuntary manslaughter and fraud but you probably won’t hear about it much in the mainstream media.

Here’s a local report:

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Eric Lach of Talking Points Memo has followed the donor for a long time:

A California grand jury has indicted Kareem Ahmed, a major donor to President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and 15 of Ahmed’s associates in an alleged multimillion-dollar insurance kickback scheme.

Ahmed, the president and CEO of a company called Landmark Medical Management, is accused of masterminding the scheme and faces charges including conspiracy, insurance fraud, and, most dramatically, involuntary manslaughter, according to one of two sealed indictments issued by an Orange County grand jury both dated June 17 and obtained this week by TPM.

The first of the two indictments accused Ahmed of developing topical cream formulas “based on the profitability of the ingredients,” and then giving doctors who treated workers’ compensation patients illegal financial incentives to prescribe the creams. The scheme, which ran from 2009-2013, also involved filing false claims with multiple insurance companies, the nine-count indictment alleges.

In an earlier report, Lach said that Ahmed told him, “I have the White House on notice,” when he found out the reporter was going to write an article about him, long before any indictment came down. Nice friends you got there, Obama.

Notice also the sweet photo of Ahmed with Michelle Obama:

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Adorable.

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Major Democrat Donor Jeffrey Thompson Pleads Guilty To Campaign Finance Violations

Top Democrat Money Man Pleads Guilty To Campaign Finance Violations – Human Events

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“This is probably why Harry Reid’s been going after the Kochs so much,” muses Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds as he delivers news of top Democrat money man Jeffrey Thompson’s guilty plea for campaign finance violations. It sure does sound like a gigantic case of projection, which has always been a major component of Democrat psychology – they love to cast their own sins at their enemies.

If you don’t spend any time in the left-wing fever swamps, you might be surprised at how large the demonic Koch Brothers loom in their mythology, and probably thought it was a bit odd for Senate Majority Leader Reid to rail against these private citizens from the Senate floor. Were you taken aback to learn that the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body would be used for purposes higher than partisan primal scream therapy, in which the controlling party shrieks insults at law-abiding Americans who have the nerve to participate in our national political discussion? One reason for Reid’s conduct is that hurling his slander from the Senate floor immunizes him against legal retaliation. Another might be that he knew the Thompson story was brewing, and wanted to ratchet up the Koch hatred to cushion its impact.

Here, as the Washington Free Beacon reports, we have a Democrat-supporting fat cat who is what they like to accuse the Koch Brothers of being:

A major Democratic donor pleaded guilty on Monday to funneling millions of dollars in illegal campaign donations to federal and local politicians, including an unnamed 2008 presidential candidate believed to be Hillary Clinton.

District of Columbia businessman Jeffrey Thompson, who federal prosecutors say financed a “shadow campaign” for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in 2010, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.

Thompson claimed some of the candidates, including Gray, were aware of the illegal fundraising.

According to prosecutors, Gray decided to invent a phony name for Thompson, “Uncle Earl,” to protect his identity. It evidently didn’t work. Gray’s people deny that he had any knowledge of Thompson’s illegal activities… which would make his use of the pseudonym more than a little odd, wouldn’t it? Is Gray really going to make the case that he didn’t notice almost half a million dollars pouring into his campaign? Is Hillary Clinton going to try the same “Vote For Me – I’m Oblivious!” strategy in 2016?

Gray’s campaign objected to the prosecutors’ focus on the D.C. mayor, and said Thompson’s claims that Gray knew about the scheme are not believable.

“We’re talking about millions of dollars [Thompson allegedly distributed] to subvert democracy, including a presidential election, an historic presidential election,” Gray campaign manager Chuck Thies told the Washington Free Beacon. “It’s dumbfounding… I think he should spend a decade or more in prison.”

“The message to people who seek to skew the outcome of a presidential election is ‘eh, if we catch you you’ll get six months in jail,’” Thies added. “It’s a frightening message.”

Actually, I think the current message would be more like, “If you seek to skew the outcome of a presidential election without going to jail, use the IRS.”

Today’s developments present an immediate crisis for Gray, who’s going into a fairly crowded primary in a couple of weeks as he seeks re-election to the mayor’s office. Fox News finds the residents of D.C. holding their breath and waiting to learn if prosecutors decide to file charges against Gray. Their public statements certainly make him sound indictable, but they might lack the evidence to take the case any further.

More details from Fox about the activities Gray was allegedly involved in:

[Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson] said Gray personally requested the funds from Thompson, who pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges. Atkinson said that Gray presented Thompson with a one-page budget for $425,000 and asked him to “pay for a get-out-the-vote campaign,” to which Thompson agreed.

Gray has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing in the 2010 campaign. Robert Bennett, Gray’s lawyer, said Monday the mayor continued to maintain his innocence, calling the claims mere “allegations.”

“The mayor’s position on that is that it is absolutely not true,” Bennett said. “That has not changed one bit.”

Thompson in pleading guilty reportedly admitted to channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign operation for somebody identified in court papers as “Mayoral Candidate A,” in the 2010 mayoral race in the District.

I would surmise that much of Gray’s fate will hang on whether prosecutors can get their hands on a copy of that “one-page budget for $425,000.” If I might indulge in a bit of further speculation, I doubt they currently have the paper in their possession, or they would have charged him already – with a primary only weeks away, they have every reason to move quickly. Especially since another of the candidates, Vincent Orange, has a bit of history with Thompson:

According to the document, Thompson, the former owner of a well-connected accounting firm, funded illicit campaign activity for Clinton, Gray and seven other candidates for local office in the district. All told, the efforts were valued at more than $2 million.

Prosecutors also said Thompson exceeded contribution limits by using straw donors and funneling money from his corporation through intermediaries. Thompson contributed more than $500,000 to local candidates and more than $250,000 to federal candidates and political-action committees over a six-year period, according to the 10-page document.

Thompson, 58, had long been suspected of giving money to Gray’s 2010 campaign to fund get-out-the vote and other efforts, and the document put the value of the shadow campaign at $668,000. He was also charged with pouring $608,750 into Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. The efforts to help Clinton were detailed in a previous case against a Thompson associate.

The document details shadow campaigns for eight candidates for office in the district, with a total value of nearly $1.5 million. The most recent race Thompson sought to influence, the document shows, was a race for an at-large City Council seat in 2011, which Democrat Vincent Orange won with support from Thompson’s network of donors. Orange, who has acknowledged handing over documents related to his 2011 campaign to federal investigators, is also running for mayor this year. He did not immediately return a call seeking comment but also has denied wrongdoing.

Thompson also ran a $278,000 shadow effort for a mayoral candidate in 2006, the document shows. Adrian Fenty defeated Linda Cropp in that year’s mayoral primary, and Cropp received contributions that year from Thompson and his associates.

Prosecutors are reportedly also investigating what might have been a quid pro quo for Thompson’s shady campaign support, as detailed by the Washington Post:

After the election, prosecutors said, Thompson gave a $10,000 check to Gray’s “close family member” to settle debts with campaign workers. At Gray’s request, Thompson also gave $10,000 to fund a unnamed union election campaign.

Later, after Gray was inaugurated, Thompson gave $40,000 to the mayor’s “close personal friend” in part to finance home improvements, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson said.

Subsequently, prosecutors said, Thompson appealed to Gray, through an associate, Jeanne Clarke Harris, to “expedite” a pending settlement with the city involving his firm, D.C. Chartered Health Plan.

When asked in court whether Harris had talked to the mayor, Thompson said, “Based on what Miss Harris told me, yes.”

Thompson soon learned that the District government was “resolving the matter,” according to his plea agreement.

Investigators have been looking at the city’s decision to pay Thompson’s health-care company $7.5 million to settle a dispute over reimbursements that had begun during the Fenty administration. Investigators have explored what role, if any, Gray and his deputies played in the 2011 deal.

The mayor has said that Thompson never asked him for any favors, and city officials have defended the Chartered settlement as aboveboard and equitable.

Of course, whatever prosecutors decide to do next, Gray will likely be tried in the court of public opinion, where the requirements for evidence are much more flexible. An interesting detail from the Washington Post: prosecutors only named Gray in court as their suspect for “Mayoral Candidate A” because the judge insisted on it. No doubt observers familiar with the case would have connected the dots on their own, but it’s significant that Gray’s name was dropped in the courtroom.

Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post sees today’s revelations as a reset button for the mayor race, where Gray previous held a significant lead over his seven Democrat challengers, with good approval ratings from his previous term in office. His opponents pounced; the specter of the disgraced Marion Barry was raised; and a new independent candidacy was declared for the general election.

But unless prosecutors get serious about indicting Gray, it’s probably a bit much to declare the mayoral race shaken to its core. This is D.C., after all. It has a very high threshold for permanent disgrace. Just ask City Councilman Marion Barry, last heard complaining about traffic jams caused by presidential motorcades.

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Holder Appoints Obama Donor To “Investigate” IRS

Covert Cronies? Obama’s Attorney General Appoints Obama Donor To Investigate Obama’s IRS – Daily Caller

President Barack Obama’s deputies have picked one of his political donors to investigate the IRS’ attack on independent political groups during the 2012 election, according to California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House investigations committee.

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“We request you immediately remove Ms. [Barbara] Bosserman from the ongoing investigation,” said a Jan. 8 letter from Issa to Attorney General Eric Holder.

The secret selection of Barbara Bosserman, a lawyer in the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, was revealed by a committee investigation after the DOJ stonewalled the legislators.

Bosserman contributed $6,100 to Obama’s political campaigns from 2008 to 2012.

“By selecting a significant donor to President Obama to lead an investigation into inappropriate targeting of conservative groups, the Department has created a startling conflict of interest,” said Issa’s letter.

“It is unbelievable that the Department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government’s systematic targeting and harassment of organizations oppose to the President’s policies… Please provide a comprehensive explanation of the decision to assign Ms. Bosserman to the DoJ/FBI investigation of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups,” the letter continued.

The IRS’s enemies list was exposed in May 2013, and caused a brief scandal in the establishment media.

The IRS damaged the civic groups because of their affiliation with the small-government tea party movement. Many groups were hit by burdensome requests for information, unprecedented requests for private information and the denial of full non-profit status.

The denial of the non-profit status to the groups hindered their fundraising and curbed their advocacy for small-government policies during the 2012 campaign, which Obama won.

Since the 1960s, many left-of-center progressive groups have portrayed themselves as victims of inappropriate government investigations. However, few progressive groups, including those oppose to government overreach, have denounced the IRS investigation.

The Daily Caller has reported extensive links between top IRS officials and senior White House officials during the period 2012 campaign.

Other media groups have continued to investigate the IRS’ role in the 2012 election campaign.

However, administration officials have managed to minimize media coverage of the scandal by suppressing news about subsequent investigations.

In May, Obama fired the IRS’ acting chief, but since has worked to downplay the existence of his enemies list. For example, in a December interview on MSNBC, Obama minimized the IRS’ political suppression and then rebuked one of his supporters, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for covering the scandal in an TV interview last month.

“You’ve got an office in Cincinnati in the IRS office that, I think, for bureaucratic reasons is trying to streamline what is a difficult law to interpret about whether [a] nonprofit is actually a political organization,” Obama said. “And they’ve got a list. And suddenly, everybody’s outraged.”

Obama then criticized coverage of the scandal by Matthews and other progressives.

“There are some so-called progressives and… perceived-to-be-liberal commentators, who during that week, just were outraged at the possibility that these folks… had been, you know, at the direction of the Democratic Party in some way, discriminated against tea party folks,” he said, while looking at Matthews. “That is what gets news. That’s what gets attention.”

Amid administration pressure, FBI officials cancelled an offer to meet with Issa’s deputies, according to Issa.

Issa’s letter protested the FBI’s refusal to speak with legislators. “The FBI’s blatant lack of cooperation with the Committee may rise to the level of criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation,” said the letter.

FBI director James Comey was appointed by Obama to head the FBI, and was sworn in last October.

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FBI Raids Florida Eye Clinic Of Donor Linked To Democrat Senator Menendez’s Prostitution Scandal

FBI Raids Florida Eye Clinic Of Donor Linked To Sen. Bob Menendez’s Prostitution Scandal – Daily Caller

FBI agents have raided the West Palm Beach, Fla. eye clinic owned by Dr. Salomon Melgen, the wealthy donor to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez who allegedly procured prostitutes for him – some of them as young as 16 – during trips to the Dominican Republic.

The Miami Herald reported that federal agents lined up vans outside the Melgen Eye Center late Tuesday night to haul away evidence in the case.

A woman answering the phone at Melgen’s home in West Palm Beach would not give her name but said, “Dr. Melgen is asleep.” Asked if he was aware his clinic was being raided by federal law enforcement, she replied, “Oh yes, well, these things happen all the time. They’ve got to do their job.” She declined to comment on Melgen’s relationship with Sen. Menendez.

Melgen, 58, is believed to have flown Menendez in his private jet to the Dominican Republic on several occasions for alcohol-fueled sex parties featuring prostitutes.

According to the Miami Herald, records obtained from the Palm Beach County recorder show Melgen also “has an outstanding IRS lien of $11.1 million for taxes owed from 2006 to 2009.”

It’s unknown whether the FBI is investigating his tax delinquency, his association with Sen. Menendez, or both. A spokesman for the FBI in Miami, Fla. would only say that the Bureau was “conducting law enforcement activity in the general vicinity of 2521 Metrocentre Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL” – the address of Melgen’s flagship clinic.

Menendez is slated to take over as chairman of the powerful Senate foreign affairs committee when Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry becomes secretary of state. The full Senate confirmed Kerry’s nomination on Tuesday.

But it’s unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hand the committee’s gavel to Menendez without a full investigation into his conduct. Committee chairmen with jurisdiction over international matters typically have high-level security clearances. Menendez’s could be jeopardized if the allegations against him are proven true.

The Daily Caller first reported in November that two prostitutes had accused Menendez of paying them for sex during Easter weekend 2012 at a posh Dominican resort. Prostitution is legal in that country but viewed unfavorably by U.S. voters.

The women appeared in videotaped interviews with the help of a translator. Each said she was promised $500 to sleep with the New Jersey lawmaker, but was ultimately paid only $100.

Additional confirmation came from a Dominican government official who told TheDC that Menendez frequents “sex, hookers and drinking” parties in the Caribbean nation.

On Jan. 25 TheDC followed up that reporting with new allegations contained in documents that a tipster placed online. Those files, published on a makeshift WordPress blog, have attracted nearly 20,000 online readers in the United States.

Among other claims, the documents indicated that the FBI was actively investigating the matter, and that some of the prostitutes Menendez slept with were younger than 18.

The PROTECT Act of 2003 made it a federal crime to pay for sex with anyone that young, regardless of the age of consent in the country where the illicit transaction occurs.

TheDC’s most recent reporting also raised the question of whether Menendez broke Senate Ethics committee rules by accepting free travel from Melgen without seeking the committee’s approval or disclosing the value of the perks.

On Monday afternoon, Menendez refused to address the substance of the allegations against him, telling TheDC only that he was “not going to respond to the fallacious allegations of your story.”

One day later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took a swing at The Daily Caller for its reporting, telling assembled journalists Tuesday that “I always consider the source” of allegations, “and all anyone here has to look at is the source where this comes from. It’s – it’s a source that has brought up a lot of non-issues.”

Spokespersons for Sens. Reid and Menendez did not immediately respond to late-night emailed requests for comment.

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Former Obama Trade Adviser, Donor Allegedly Involved In Illicit Gold Deal

Former Obama Adviser Takes The Fifth – Washington Free Beacon

A former Obama administration trade adviser accused of plotting to purchase $10 million in gold from a Congolese warlord refused to detail his role in the illegal plot, invoking the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times during confidential court testimony, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

President Obama tapped oil mogul Kase Lawal, a prolific Democratic bundler and Clinton family confidante, to serve as a member of the White House’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations in 2010. Lawal’s name no longer appears on the website.

Soon after his appointment, court documents allege, Lawal became entangled in a plot to purchase nearly 2,500 pounds of Congolese gold from Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, a rebel commander who has been linked by the International Criminal Court to ethnic massacres and rapes.

The charges raised red flags among D.C. foreign policy observers, who questioned why the White House would associate with such a controversial figure.

Lawal is a prolific donor to both the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign, according to public records in which he lists himself as the chairman and CEO of CAMAC International. He donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2011 and $30,800 to the DNC. Additionally, Lawal has donated varying amounts to several Democratic Congressional campaigns.

Lawal and his oil conglomerate, CAMAC International, are named as the principal defendants in a civil case launched by the owner of an airplane seized by authorities when the gold transaction went sour. The case is scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 10in Dallas, Tex.

“In responding to this litigation, Mr. Lawal engaged legal counsel who reviewed the various requests for discovery made by the plaintiff, some of which assumed acts of misconduct without basis in fact or law,” said a spokesman for Lawal. “At the deposition requested by the plaintiff, Mr. Lawal followed the advice of his legal counsel and exercised the privileges and protections guaranteed by our judicial system. The claims made by the plaintiff in this contractual dispute will be addressed in the courtroom.”

Lawal exploited his close ties to the White House to convince those around him that the gold deal was a legal transaction despite the warlord’s involvement, depositions reveal.

Testimony offered by Lawal’s key point man, Carlos St. Mary, indicates that Lawal sunk millions of CAMAC’s money into a deal rife with fraud and deceit. Lawal’s alleged actions would have violated a U.N. ban on doing business with rogue Congolese warlords.

David Disiere, owner of Southlake Aviation, the Texas-based firm that leased CAMAC International a Gulfstream jet later seized by authorities, told the Free Beacon that Lawal presented himself as a legitimate businessman, and touted his close ties to the Obama administration.

“You’ve got a man on this international economic advisory council appointed by President Obama,” said Disiere, whose company defaulted on a $17 million loan associated with the aircraft as a result of CAMAC’s international escapades. “I just expected more.”

Disiere is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages against Lawal and several CAMAC affiliates, charging that all parties violated the terms of their lease agreement with his company, Deep South Partners.

“You’ve got an individual [who has] clearly been vetted by the government of our country and that gave me a lot of trust of faith that these are the kind of people we should lease the plane to,” Disiere said. “I certainly never conceived the aircraft would be seized in a foreign land where an all-out war is going on.”

Lawal refused to answer questions about the incident during a videotaped oral deposition on May 21, and invoked the Fifth Amendment in a bid to avoid self-incrimination, according to a transcript obtained by the Free Beacon.

However, testimony from CAMAC associate Carlos St. Mary was more forthcoming.

Lawal used CAMAC to carry out an elaborate, months-long plot to purchase the African gold at all cost, St. Mary stated.

St. Mary recalled that in 2010, shortly after Obama appointed Lawal, basketball great Dikembe Mutombo approached CAMAC officials with a plan to purchase nearly $10 million in gold at a cut-rate price.

Lawal, St. Mary, and Mutombo soon struck a deal: Proceeds from the transaction would be split between the trio, with 40 percent going to Lawal (a percentage that would increase as time went on).

It soon became clear to St. Mary that nothing about the deal was legitimate. Documents attesting the gold’s origin and legality turned out to be forged, he said.

“I discovered that nothing was authentic about the documents,” St. Mary told lawyers. “They were all fake.”

Informed that warlord Ntaganda was pulling the strings behind the deal, Lawal instructed St. Mary to continue pursuing the gold, according to the deposition and a U.N. report on the matter.

St. Mary further claimed that Mutombo might have lied about having the proper licenses to export the Congolese gold.

By the time St. Mary realized this, however, he had already paid Ntaganda millions of dollars in counterfeit money provided by Lawal’s CAMAC, according to a U.N. report on the episode.

As the handoff took place on the tarmac of a Congolese airport in early 2011, all “hell broke lose,” St. Mary stated in his deposition.

“When we debarked the plane and the bag [of money] hit the tarmac, there were over 150 people… on the tarmac from every agency,” he stated. “National Guard, Republican Guard, Presidential Guard, NSA, customs, federal police.”

Authorities then arrested St. Mary and his associates, detaining them until Lawal paid $3 million in fines several months later, St. Mary said.

Mutombo also took up St. Mary’s case, lobbying the Obama administration to secure his return, according to the deposition.

“He [Mutombo] said that… he had lobbied a lot on our behalf with Washington, D.C., and he indicated that – that Kase was quite impressed with his ability and – his ability to lobby at the U.S. State Department on our behalf and was surprised at the number of people that he knew because he was the former ambassador to the Congo under Clinton’s administration.”

Another casualty of the botched transaction was airplane owner Disiere’s Gulfstream jet.

“It’s been a nightmare since the day it happened,” Disiere said. “It’s just a shock.”

Disiere says that the episode has put his livelihood in jeopardy, as he struggles to pay off a $17 million loan that has defaulted.

“It’s difficult, difficult to have these surprises,” he said. “You just don’t think [that] your loan will get called and your aircraft seized, and we had no idea this company would take the plane into Central Africa to trade gold. We didn’t include that in the lease because it sounds like a James Bond movie.”

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