Part II -- Trading with the Enemy
Tom Flocco – Edited by Michael C. Ruppert
[© Copyright 2001. From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com
[Editor’s Notes – A disclosed in Part I and in previous stories by FTW, an abnormal amount of “put” options – bets that a stock price would suddenly fall – were placed on United Air Lines and American Airlines in the days before the attacks of September 11th. These were only two of the companies affected by the attacks which experienced highly suspicious trading in their shares. In Part I we described how put options work. They are basically futures contracts that obligate the “put buyer” to purchase the shares at a price that might be well above the market price when the contract matures. Heavy purchases of put options before a dramatic drop in a particular share price are clear-cut indicators of criminal activity based upon insider trading.
Last month we identified the purchasing end of the contract incorrectly as a “call.” That person, unhappily obligated to pay too high a price for the shares, is better described as the “put buyer.”
Investigative journalist Tom Flocco also revealed dramatic new links to the growing mountain of evidence that puts the Central Intelligence Agency at the heart of America’s and the world’s financial markets. In particular he showed that the firm which had handled many of the put option purchases on United Airlines -- Deutschebank-Alex Brown -- was once headed by the man who is now the Executive Director of the CIA, A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard.
I would like to thank and acknowledge British investigative journalist/writer David Guyatt for first bringing to my attention, Krongard’s past relations with Alex Brown.
Part II of this series is easily one of the most damning pieces of investigative journalism that I have ever seen or participated in. In it Tom Flocco will now reveal even darker direct connections between the worlds of high finance, terrorism, and intelligence. And he will reveal some names that will shock you. – Mike Ruppert]
FTW, December 11, 2001 -- No member of Congress is publicly, as yet, questioning the hazy areas of "private client banking" -- repeatedly described by the U.S. Senate and Justice Department as being a vehicle for drug money laundering -- and apparent conflicts of interest linked to documented 9/11-related insider trading in United Air Lines stock. The trades were placed through one of the world’s three largest pools of investment capital, Deutschebank-Alex Brown.
This, in spite of the fact that there is mounting evidence of "real-time" monitoring of stock market trades by intelligence entities (See Part I at www.copvcia.com
Ingram is also an acknowledged former protégé of former Goldman Sachs CEO and current New Jersey Senator, Jon Corzine who sits on the Senate Banking Committee. He has also worked closely with another former Goldman Sachs, CEO – Robert Rubin, who served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton.
Related to Deutschebank-Alex Brown’s role as the broker for the UAL and other suspicious trades, Ernst Welteke, President of the Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank), said recently that a Bundesbank study pointed strongly to "terrorism insider trading" in the days leading up to September’s carnage in the U.S., according to the London Observer on September 23, 2001.
But reporter John H. Berlin also made the ominous prediction that "their decision [to investigate] provided by far the most authoritative support for persistent rumors that the terrorists could have funded their next strike with huge [insider trading] profits from the [first] attacks." This seems an unlikely proposition since experts acknowledge that attacks of the magnitude of 9-11 take years to plan and perhaps millions of “up-front” dollars to finance.
Other motives, such as generating funds for covert operations by the CIA, have also not been ruled out. Nor has the possibility been excluded that Deutschebank, which handled key but unquestionably suspicious transactions, was generating money for itself by placing "put" options on United Airlines and then putting the profits back into its own tills -- perhaps to "prop up" poorly performing divisions at the global banking giant.
This last scenario is a possibility, given the fact that Deutschebank has been demonstrated in Part I of this series to have intelligence links that might have forewarned the bank of the attacks.
There is precedent for the "slush fund" theory, as Deutschebank’s U.S. affiliate, Bankers Trust (BT) pled guilty to it in March 1999. BT diverted $19.1 million from "unclaimed" funds to prop up profitability at other units, according to a May 30, 2001 New York Times report.
The revelations referred to the growing scope of BT’s misuse of unclaimed client funds, and on the laxity of state and federal bank regulation of BT by claiming "a closer look at the scheme reveals that it goes well beyond the transgressions the bank owned up to."
And as the investigation was heating up, a high-ranking BT executive with long-time intelligence ties had to be thinking that it was getting near time to get out of Dodge City.
Times reporter Tim O’Brien said that it was the auditors at the NY State Comptroller’s Office who uncovered BT’s diversion of funds after noticing that BT’s unclaimed account dropped from $10.2 million in 1993 to only $3.9 million in 1994; so they started requesting documents which the BT executives subsequently refused to provide.
According to analysis by lawyer Matthew Lee, executive director of Inner City Press, it was not the primary regulators of BT -- the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the NY State Banking Department (NYSBD) -- who discovered the fraud. And O’Brien and Lee question why the limited-budget NY Comptroller’s office detected the scam; and whether the Fed and NYSBD just swept their findings under the rug to keep them out of the public eye.
The revelations led O’Brien to conclude that when the Fed became aware of the scope of the Comptroller’s investigation and what was being turned up, it ordered BT to find a merger partner (maybe even suggesting Deutschebank) and then took the investigation out of the hands of the (uncontrollable) NY State Comptroller.
According to a CIA press release, in February 1998, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, former CEO of Deutschebank-Alex Brown (the nation’s oldest investment banking firm) and Vice Chairman of the Board of Bankers Trust, left BT and the investment banking community to join the CIA full time.
As a matter of fact, the Washington Post reported that Krongard helped engineer the $2.5 billion BT merger with Deutschebank shortly before sliding over to the intelligence side of the stage.
Buzzy (as his friends call him) had served a long-term "moonlighting" stint as a "consultant" to a series of CIA Directors. He left his banking position to become counselor to CIA Director George Tenet just 11 months prior to the final $19.1 million guilty plea by BT, which was by then a subsidiary of Deutschebank.
Given Krongard’s lofty intelligence and investment banking positions, there are no reports available dealing with important questions concerning his knowledge about such relevant issues as the disposition of "unclaimed" funds, monitoring of global stock trades for national security purposes, and wealthy "private client" operations -- let alone whether the developing investigation into BT fraud had necessitated his, ”leaving town just ahead of the sheriff,” as it were.
Yet Krongard has since risen to new heights, having received a March 16, 2001 Bush Administration promotion President George W, Bush to Executive Director, the number three position at the intelligence agency.
On August 28, 2001, 14 days before the Trade Center attacks, former Deutschebank senior bond investment trader Kevin Ingram, pled guilty in a $2.2 million dollar money laundering conspiracy, resulting from a government sting operation investigating the illegal sale of night vision goggles, Beretta machine pistols, M-16 machine guns with silencers, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, mortars, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), TOW anti-tank missiles, and Stinger missiles, according to court papers examined by the New York Post.
The next day, Alert Global Media, Inc., publishers of Money Laundering Alert, reported that Ingram "pled guilty on August 28 to money laundering conspiracy as part of an agreement [plea bargain] with the U.S. government, which will drop other charges and receive Ingram’s testimony against two co-defendants from Egypt and Pakistan.” Some published reports say that both of the other defendants were from (current U.S. ally) Pakistan.
"Bin Laden has long-standing contacts with senior officials [of Pakistan]...," said Andrew Pearce of the Rand Institute in Washington. The Times of India also reported on June 17, 2001 that one of three Pakistani middlemen working illegally with Ingram asked undercover agents about the chances of obtaining components for nuclear weapons.
Earlier (July 7) Associated Press reported that "Kevin Ingram, 42, an investment counselor at the World Trade Center, was indicted June 28 on three counts of trying to conceal at least $350,000 and one count of violating the Arms Export Act."
"Ingram allegedly laundered $100,000 and $250,000 for federal agents, both times taking a 9 percent cut before being asked to launder the $2.2 million," according to court papers examined by the New York Post in a June 15, 2001 report.
AP added that "Ingram is also named in two other counts...for trying to launder $2.2 million in illegal arms sales. Ingram, out on $250,000 bond, faces a maximum of 100 years in prison if convicted of all charges."
Arrested with Ingram were two New Jersey-based Pakistanis who had offered to make a partial payment for the arms "in the form of heroin," also according to both AP and the New York Post.
A September 29, 2001 Bloomberg News/St. Louis Post Dispatch report revealed that Ingram had angered his judge in July by failing to disclose his Swiss bank account. Bloomberg reported that the Swiss account contained $1,086,000 in cash and 75,800 shares of Carver Bancorp, Inc. worth $650,000.
"He was afraid of the implications, and he just panicked," attorney Richard Lubin told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann E. Vitunac at a bail hearing on July 10. Vitunac raised Ingrams’s bond to $1.25 million and ordered him jailed two days later.
Curiously, however, given the terrorism that has transpired, federal agents refused to divulge the name of the country that would have received the arms according to court papers examined by the New York Post and others. However, the documents confirmed that the defendants "referred to their foreign arms buyer...as a well-known, former military official who wanted to partially pay for the weapons with heroin."
On June 15, 2001, the New York Post, reported that experts said the most likely buyers connected to the former Deutschebank securities trader and the two Pakistanis were current U.S. ally Pakistan or Osama bin Laden.
The Associated Press reported on 12/1/01 that Ingram had been sentenced to 18 months plus two years probation and a $20,000 fine on the money laundering charges in this case. All other charges were dropped in the plea bargain. AP quoted Ingram as saying at his sentencing hearing, “I made a horrible mistake and I did something wrong. I’m very sorry about it, sorry for my family.” Ingram’s sentence will likely be served at a minimum security facility in Fairton, New Jersey.
Interesting confirmation of the U.S. government’s familiarity with banking operations connected to terrorist activities was revealed in an 11/16/01 AP story by Catherine Wilson. In describing events in a Florida prosecution of Egyptians connected to Ingram’s case she wrote, “Numerous promised wire transfers never arrived, but there were discussions of foreign bankers taking payoffs to move the money to purchase weapons into the United States, said [federal] prosecutor Rolando Garcia.” This is yet another clear indication that intelligence agencies routinely monitor banking transactions in terrorist-related cases. It has not been disclosed whether Ingram’s plea bargain produced testimony in this case
In spite of these revelations, no reporter or government official has asked or disclosed how many times Ingram had laundered money or completed arms shipments before he was finally nabbed. The extensive array of military hardware in the possession of the Taliban and al Q’aeda beg this question.
Deutschebank-Alex Brown’s role in brokering the insider trades that scream foreknowledge of the attacks further provides a common denominator -- given the activities and histories of key executives at the highest levels of the world’s financial markets. Ingram’s history speaks of access to power and financial policy making at the highest levels. Not only was he an associate of Robert Rubin before Rubin left Goldman Sachs to become Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, he has had ongoing relationships with Corzine, who also sits on the Senate’s Subcommittee on Securities and Investment -- a subcommittee which should be investigating the insider trading.
Prior to working for Deutschebank, Ingram was a highly placed executive with the investment bank Goldman Sachs. Both Rubin and Corzine have served as CEOs at Goldman. Rubin currently sits on the board of Citigroup -- a bank which has been cited for drug money laundering by the U.S. government and which (May 2001) purchased a Mexican bank (Banamex) which has now lost two suits and one appeal over press reports that its former owner, Roberto Hernandez, was a world-class drug money launderer. Hernandez currently sits on the board at Citigroup as a result of the buyout. So too does former CIA Director John Deutch. (See FTW: Vol. IV, No. 3 – May 31, 2001 or visit www.copvcia.com
Kevin Ingram joined Goldman Sachs in 1988 after a brief stint at Lehman Brothers, and by 1992 was promoted to run Goldman’s Collateralized Mortgage Obligations desk, overseeing all trading of mortgage and asset-backed securities, according to the New York Observer. Mortgage trading has long been suspected of being a vehicle for the laundering of “hot” money.
In Black Enterprise (BE) magazine’s 1992 "Top 25 Blacks On Wall Street," Ingram was said to have left his (nine-year) high profile Goldman Sachs treasury securities and options desk position in 1996 to head Deutschebank’s U.S. mortgage-backed securities department -- and ultimately their global securities operations in 1998.
BE added that "at Deutschebank, Ingram and his team of 25 professionals structure and issue securities for an international clientele, including...high net-worth individuals. These deals can range from $1 million to several billion dollars."
No member of the House or Senate has even broached the subject of hearings to question either Ingram or recent Deutschebank-Alex Brown Vice Chairman and current CIA Executive Director A.B. Krongard as to whether they dealt with any wealthy Middle Easterners or Saudis in particular. Almost all of the September 11 hijackers were of Saudi nationality. Since both men had high supervisory positions connected to the secretive "private client" operations of Deutschebank, and Deutschebank handled the insider trades, this is an obvious course of inquiry.
Ingram’s position at Deutschebank became tenuous when the bond market crashed in 1998 and the protégé of Corzine and Rubin likely felt insecure. The tumbling bond market combined with periodic absences where "he would sometimes go incommunicado for days -- unusual for someone who ran a trading desk and was responsible for open positions of $7 billion and more." Deutschebank asked for his resignation in September 1999, according to the New York Observer.
From Fox-TV News’ Bill O’Reilly to well-experienced citizen researchers with monikers like "Uncle Bill, Alamo Girl, and John Huang2" (who post startling, yet often under-publicized findings on grass-roots websites like Jim Robinson’s "Free Republic"), evidence of "shakedowns" related to the race-card continue to surface -- even when connected to terrorism.
Ingram turned to "Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Wall Street Project [for help with the financial settlement of his resignation process]. The Wall Street Project is a Rainbow Coalition-sponsored organization that pushes for increased minority hiring on the Street," according to the New York Observer. And with the specter of a racially-charged lawsuit looming, Deutschebank ultimately settled with Jackson and Ingram for an undisclosed multi-million dollar figure in February 2000.
According to Observer sources, Ingram then made a contribution to Rainbow Push of "around" $100,000 -- as a fiscal tribute to his benefactor.
After the February 2000 Deutschebank settlement, Ingram moved on, raising funds for a soon to-go-bankrupt dot-com company called TruMarkets. Astonishingly, some of TruMarkets $30 million seed money came from the blind trust of Ingram’s former Goldman Sachs patron, U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, according to the New York Observer of 11/29/01.
But federal prosecutors and fellow Senators have never questioned whether Corzine was aware that investigators had been targeting the former Deutschebank executive at the same time regarding money laundering of illegal narcotics proceeds (both drugs and cash) to support the unlawful purchase of U.S. arms to sell to Muslim terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It is also a reach to wonder why Corzine -- who took office in January 2001 -- would not have been aware of a Federal banking investigation into dealings with terrorists that had been engineered by a former associate to whom he had been a mentor. It was during this period of time that an undercover agent began holding a series of meetings with Ingram in which Ingram let it be known that "funds coming in from arms sales needed to be laundered," again according to the New York Observer.
Larger questions remain as to whether strings were pulled for Ingram by influential individuals at a time when the prison population has exploded into a cottage industry full of poor and middle class Americans convicted for possession or use of small amounts of drugs. Most of these people -- like Ingram -- are minorities.
Neither Ingram nor his lawyer would comment or return calls. And no one has successfully interviewed the prosecutors regarding decisions which influenced what most would consider to be incredibly soft treatment, given the nature of the charges and what happened on September 11.
That there is serious interest or enough courage to seek answers about prior knowledge of the attacks from Deutschebank-linked key players and associates under their supervision by America’s elected legislators is not even remotely assured at present.
Tom Flocco is a freelance writer and researcher. (email: TomFlocco@cs.com Previous stories in this series:
- Part I of this series is located at: - FTW’s original groundbreaking story on insider trading and September 11th is located at: Part III
Previous stories in this series:
- Part I of this series is located at: - FTW’s original groundbreaking story on insider trading and September 11th is located at: Part III
- FTW’s original groundbreaking story on insider trading and September 11th is located at: Part III