Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Auditors working on behalf of Venezuela's National Assembly have found that more than eleven billion dollars ($11,000,000,000) is missing, and unaccounted for, at PDVSA, the country's petroleum agency, and have pointed fingers squarely at the agency's former head, Rafael Ramirez*, the current Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations. Ramirez has not responded to the charges.

PDVSA has been reportedly the object of massive corruption, including overpricing of purchases, and diverting the difference to corrupt Venezuelan PEPs, PDVSA managers, and oil industry officials. the agency has also been accused of laundering drug profits, being an illegal source of US dollars, and massive cases of corruption, The agency's profits, which are the property of the people of Venezuela, have disappeared, leaving it unable to service its bond issues, as they come due, and it may actually be insolvent, all due to systemic corruption. As oil revenues are the major source funding of the Venezuelan Government, Country Risk will most certainly increase in 2016.
* Ramirez is allegedly the first cousin of the imprisoned Venezuelan terrorist, known as Carlos, "the Jackal," presently serving a life sentence in a French prison; Carlos' real name is Illich Ramírez Sánchez. Rafael has denied that he is related to Carlos.


Roman Seleznev, the Russian computer hacker who hacked into servers, and stole credit card information, causing millions of dollars in losses, to banks and credit cards companies, will be sentenced on Feburary 17, 2017 in US District Court, in Seattle. Seleznev was convicted, in August, 2016, on 38 counts.

Losses from his criminal activity have been estimated at $168m; testimony at trial confirmed that he hacked over two million credit cards. The case has generated a large amount of public interest in Russia, as his father is a member of Russia's Duma, its Parliament, and the circumstances of his arrest and removal, from the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, have been questioned by defense counsel, who have stated that the requirements of international law, and his client's rights, were violated. They have stated that his conviction will be appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Seleznev also faces Federal criminal charges in two other District Courts. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


If you have been following our coverage of Lawrence Heath vs. Leon Frazer & Associates, Inc.,  a civil suit, filed against a securities firm, to obtain client records, for the Cayman Gang of Four litigation, you know that no less than twice, counsel for the corporation has declined to produce its most senior director, William "Bill" Tynkaluk, from appearing to give testimony.

Tynkaluk was the personal wealth adviser to the plaintiff, and he alone has first-hand knowledge of what happened to the plaintiff's investment account, which was in eight figures. He will also know about an estimated sixty other Leon Frazer clients, who accounts were drained, and transferred; the total amount that is missing is in the hundreds of millions, according to a government agency that has seen some of the filed complaints and claims.

The law firm representing Leon Frazer has stubbornly refused to produce Mr. Tynkaluk, and it is now claimed that he has abruptly retired, and relinquished his directorship, effective last Spring. How convenient for Leon Frazer, however, his sworn testimony is still being demanded. Sooner or later, the Court will order his appearance, but thus far, Tynkaluk is being hidden under the umbrella of one of Toronto's largest law firms, but is it to prevent him from incriminating both himself, and Leon Frazer ?

It is not an accident that one of the lawyers handling the case is an experienced criminal defense attorney, experienced in white-collar cases ; someone is going to need his services.


In what must be the worst attempt at restoring public confidence in a broken legal system that we have seen in many years, an unknown Panamanian government agency has proposed to hereafter make all anti-money laundering sanctions, imposed upon banks and insurance companies, public. Is this the first salvo from the country's newly-hired public relations experts ? If so, it will not convince Panama watchers one bit, regarding reform of the country's nonfunctional anti-money laundering structure.

The entity, the National Committee against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was formed last year, which announced the proposal, has an empty track record, and is regarded by Panamanians in the financial services business as a bad joke, has no record of enforcing Panama's universally ignored AML/CFT laws. In truth and in fact, no bank gets charged with money laundering in Panama City, so there's not much information to make public.

This little exercise in "transparency" is little more than a press release, and one which will not be taken seriously by the financial world; the Superintendent of Banking, and the Superintendent of Insurance and Reinsurance will kindly take note. After the Panama Papers, superficial steps simply will be laughed at, as future potential clients look elsewhere.


Six months after a victim filed a civil suit* in the Province of Ontario, Northland Wealth Management Inc. has not produced  its books and records, to enable the victims of a multi-million dollar theft to locate their missing retirement funds. A search of publicly-available court records shows that Northland has failed to deliver the client records which would show precisely where the victims' accounts went.

The obvious conclusion is that management of the firm fears that the release of the client records will show that transfers of client funds were made illegally, and without client authorization, and that Northland is not only liable to them for their entire loss, its principals and managers may have committed a number of felonies, which could result in prison time. The other possible outcome is the total loss of securities licenses, and the dissolution of the firm, by the Ontario Securities Commission.

Eventually, the judge assigned to the case will most likely order them to produce the clients' records, and the investing public will learn the extent of illegal activities anyway, so why stonewall the lawsuit ? we cannot say, but dilatory action, in a civil suit, always comes to the Court's attention, and the judicial response is generally harsh. Does Northland Wealth Management really want to risk having a court-appointed receiver on its premises, on a full-time basis ?
Lawrence Heath et al vs. Northland Wealth Management, Inc., Case No.:  CV 16-550303                    ( Superior Court of Justice, Ontario)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


The Government of Panama, acting through its president, Juan Carlos Varela, has engaged a New York public relations firm, in an attempt to repair the massive damage, to its national reputation, caused by the Panama Papers. Since the ICIJ began releasing information concerning Mossack Fonseca's global corporate clients, who have been shown to be corrupt national leaders and PEPs, international financial criminals, tax evaders, and a wide assortment of the usual suspects, Panama's reputation as an offshore financial center has  seriously declined, as have the number of its new clients.

In a filing with the US government, because anyone acting as an agent of a foreign state or power must register with Washington, the New York City public relations firm of Bellwether Strategies, LLC. has indicated that it has a contractual relationship with the Republic of Panama, for the stated purpose of repairing its image, due to the fallout from the continuing release of embarrassing documents, in the Panama Papers scandal. Its website states that Bellwether engages in "National Branding."

The filing shows that Bellwether, which was formed ten years ago, is to receive $50,000 per month, for its services, which are specifically described as the conduct of a public relations campaign, responding to the Panama Papers. The firm has their work cut out for them, for there is now a global focus upon Panama, since the first document and information release.

 Neither the hopelessly corrupt court system, nor the laws, nor the lucrative bearer share industry that attracts dirty money has been reformed, or even tweaked, to start a clean up of the systemic problems facing Panama. Unfortunately, it is just the opposite; cases against corrupt politicians continue to be dismissed, or delayed indefinitely, and massive losses of government funds are not being sought, for they are in the hands of the existing power structure, which includes an organized crime syndicate, and the so-called reformist government of President Varela, is not chasing the members of the country's kleptocracy.

Will the new spin doctors be able to rehabilitate Panama's tarnished image ? We cannot say, but we will be watching.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Considering that much of the government's budget in the British Virgin Islands is funded by incorporation, and related fees and charges, government there must be unhappy that new corporations are down thirty per cent this year, when compared to 2015. BVI this year declined the UK request for a public registry of beneficial owners, only agreeing to respond to government, or law enforcement inquiries, and not forthwith, which may have also contributed to its increasingly negative image abroad, as well as fears that some eventual push back, against BVI companies, could result in targeting them, on the part of the world's major law enforcement agencies, as well as regulators. Who wants a compant with a bull's eye on it ?

There also has been much made of the fact that BVI companies, with their opaque qualities, were the preferred corporate vehicles of the now disgraced law firm of Mossack and Fonseca. Finally, the BVI's harsh treatment of foreign reporters who boldly attempt to seek answers in person in Road Town, and get promptly deported, which is surely a violation of human or civil rights in the United Kingdom, which owns the British Virgin Islands.

Apparently though, BVI corporate service providers are still hawking their products, meaning a BVI corporation, owned by a Belize trust, is still seen as the way to go, if you need to hide your wealth. We will follow up on the BVI issues, and report back on the developing story.