Swiss Oligarchs Tried, 'Punished' for Massive Fraud
Report; Posted on: 2005-12-15 16:48:21 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
For privileged jews, the "justice" system has more loopholes than kosher Swiss cheese
by Our Swiss Correspondent
Jewish tycoons Leon and David Gaon robbed 500 million francs from Gentile banks. Through brazenness or intimidation, they went out of court "virtually unpunished"; they did get a prison sentence although it was deferred.
In the 1980s, business went fine for Jewish oligarch Leon Gaon (now 78). He was recognized as one of the world's foremost experts in the international peanut trade. His Geneva-based trading company, Granadex, was raking in millions. His son David Gaon (now 50) was progressively assigned to managing the company. Leon Gaon's brother, Nessim Gaon (now 81), was adding to Leon's clout. Based in Geneva as well, Nessim Gaon managed an international upscale hotel chain, the Noga Hotels. Nessim also was president of the World Sephardic Federation, the central organization of Oriental Jews.
(Illustration: Nessim Gaon, second from left, attends World Sephardic Federation event.)
Everything was fine. Or was it? Behind the scenes, things played out differently. As the witnesses would testify during a lawsuit filed by Bank Austria (BA) and the Swiss bank Banque Cantonale de Genève (BCGE), which took place in November, the Jews were manipulating accounts. They were lying to Gentile bankers, in order to extract more loans from them. They took large chunks of money from European banks -- huge sums of money that disappeared one after another without a trace. Altogether, 500 million francs ($350 million USD) were discovered to be missing by the time the bankruptcy procedure was over.
At the time of Granadex's glory, the company's naive auditors never suspected any wrongdoing. The embezzlements were cleverly disguised, and the shrewd Gaons were "very persuasive" in letting auditors believe they were brilliant and honest traders.
Granadex's previous top accountant explained during the court hearings that, at Granadex, "he had to do the accounting like the Gaons requested, otherwise he would clearly have been fired."
One of the Gaons' tricks was to sell the same assets circularly from a Granadex subsidiary to another subsidiary at higher and higher prices, so as to artificially inflate profits on the holding's balance sheet. This had the goal of letting the gullible Gentile bankers believe that Granadex's business was going fine and that the bank's loans would be protected by good collateral -- whereas money was actually being siphoned out of the company.
In another typical trick, the Gaons brought whole abandoned factories back to life in Argentina, in order to convince visiting BCGE's chief executive Marc Fues that their Argentine business was up and running.
To betray the bankers and get even more easy money from banks, the Gaons practiced another clever trick. They would offer as collateral their own Salvador Dali statues. Because these works of art were private, the Gaons would explain to the naive bankers that they must be kept at home. That way, as Catherine Voutsinas, a former legal advisor to the Gaons, explained at court hearings, the Gaons could borrow important sums of money several times at different banks by using the same statues as collateral.
When the gaping holes in the Granadexis balance sheet could no longer be covered up by the shrewd Leon and David Gaon, filing for bankruptcy was the only option, but then Leon Gaon's brother Nessim entered into the fray. Nessim Gaon obtained a freeze in the procedure by brandishing a list of (invented) assets worth 20 million francs for Granadex, in order to let inspectors believe that some money still remained on the Granadex balance sheet.
Nessim Gaon's only aim was to delay the bankruptcy procedure of Granadex, in order to let his brother's and nephew's wrongdoings escape any legal pursuit. Indeed, under Swiss law all but the most criminal offenses are written off after ten years if not prosecuted. This means that delaying legal procedures long enough is sufficient for criminals to eschew most of their legal risks.
Leon and David Gaon succeeded very well in crippling the bankruptcy procedure. They were masters of deception. As BA's attorney Philippe Neyroud explained to a stunned court's audience, both Jews managed to convince the Gentile inspectors not to cast any glance into Granadex computers - by making them believe that an electrical storm had melted the internal components.
These delay tactics are the reasons why, in the end, only some of the bankers' victims could act as plaintiffs against the Jewish con artists. In the end, only 283 million from the 500 million francs that the Gaons had dissipated in this "fabulous hold-up," as Neyroud put it, could serve as base for complaints against the oligarchs. The only plaintiffs in this lawsuit, which lasted from October 31 to November 4, were Bank Austria (BA) and Banque Cantonale de Genève (BCGE).
During the whole lawsuit, both Jewish oligarchs did nothing but whine about their plight. They complained that their reputation had been destroyed, that they felt excluded from society, that it was so hard to sit at tribunal, and so on. As if by sorcery, they succeeded in letting themselves appear as the victims of the whole story.
The court's president, Antoinette Stalder, as amazing as it might seem, was moved by this hypocritical whining, and by the Gaons' "testimony" about their suffering due to their destroyed reputation. The Court recognized the full guilt of the Gaons in stealing more than 500 million francs, in tricking their accounts, in deceiving bankers.
But still, because it had been impressed by the Gaons' "suffering," the court opted on Friday, November 4, for a deferred sentence! So strong is the Gaons' deception power that both Jews managed to completely reverse the real situation and to present themselves as victims. The Court sentenced both Jews, who had stolen 500 million francs, to a mere 15 months and 12 months in prison, entirely deferred.
Another possible explanation is of course that the Gaon's might in Geneva intimidated the Court. The jury and the president might have been well aware that any anti-oligarch move would have jeopardized their careers. The fact that the majority of the witnesses who were subpoenaed for testimony by the tribunal did not show up, as well as the quickness of the whole lawsuit, tends to corroborate this hypothesis.
Whatever the reason, this absurd court sentence can only foster further Jewish oligarchs' abuse in Switzerland.
Nessim Gaon and his son-in-law, Yoel Herzog, were convicted of bribery charges by a French court recently. The pair were charged with bribing Cannes mayor Michel Mouillot in an effort to put slot machines in a hotel casino they own.
Gaon was sentenced to three years probation and fined 100,000 euros. Herzog, the brother of Housing Minister Isaac Herzog, was sentenced to two years probation and fined 50,000 euros.
Here's a translation of an article about Nessim Gaon and his attempts to extract 500 million from the Russian Federation. It speaks of Gaon being caught bribing Russian officials for lucrative contracts -- standard oligarch practice.
Scandal in Le Bourget
Russian Aeronautics Journal
In June of 2001, two Russian military jets were forced to flee an airshow following an attempt by French authorities to seize the aircraft based on a court decision in a law suit by the Swiss hotel company Noga against the Russian Federation.
The embarrassing incident occured days before a planned visit by the French President to Russia. A similar incident occurred last year with the Russian tall ship "Sedov", which was detained but later released by France. This incident also occurred shortly before a planned meeting between Putin and Chirac, which was later cancelled by Putin.
Months later, another conflict between Noga and Russia occured days before the meeting between Russian and French presidents -- an awfully big coincidence. Whatever was the reason for the incident involving Russian planes, most Russian journalists and political analysts agree that Noga's bankrupt 79-year-old owner probably gets substantial help from somewhere to continue with his expensive but hopeless quest to receive half-a-billion dollars from the Russian government.
The company that caused Russia so many political problem is a small and now bankrupt hotel chain from Switzerland. Its former owner is 79-year-old Nessim Gaon who was born in Saudi Arabia and during the Second World War was an anti-Nazi spy for the British.
Nessim Gaon has a certain weight in Israel's political elite: he was one of the co-sponsors of the peace process between the former president of Egypt Ahnvar Saadat and the former Prime Minister of Israel Menahejm Begin. Nessim Gaon's daughter is married to the son of Haim Gerzog, Israel's former president. Today Gaon and his hotel firm are nearly bankrupt and his $700-million law suit against Russia is his only chance to save himself and his company. Noga's hotel in Geneva has already been seized by Noga's creditors and Swiss tax collectors. Noga's claims against Russia have grown from $63 million in early 2001 to a whopping $495 million in a claim file by Noga lawyers in a New York court in November 2001.
Today attorneys representing Noga and its owner in a law suit against Russia plan to file a $700 million law suit, but say that they will settle for $100 million, showing that their client is anxious to get some cash. In July of 2001 representatives of Noga claimed that Russia owed them $800 million. In 1991-1992 Russia had signed oil-for-food barter deals with Noga but stopped payments in 1993 amid allegations of Noga bribing Russian government officials to get the contracts.
In 1997 an international arbitration court in Stockholm, Sweden, ruled against the Russian Federation, which still refused to make payments and filed appeals and counter-suits against Noga. In 2000 a French court ruled in favor of Noga and impounded a Russian tall ship "Sedov" which participated in an international show in the western port of Brest, France. French authorities also seized bank accounts of the Russian embassy in Paris.
A French appeal court determined seizure of "Sedov" illegal after Michel Quimbert, the lawyer for the ship's owners, the Technical University in the northern Russian town of Murmansk, argued in court that the university, as an autonomous state body with its own budget, could not be held accountable for any debts incurred by Russia. Later both the ship and the bank accounts were released, but not before the situation cause a serious rift in the relations between France and Russia: the situation with "Sedov" was cited as the reason for President Putin's refusal to meet with the French President Chirac during the G-8 summit in Okinawa, Japan.
The latest conflict between Russia and France over Noga comes during the world's largest airshow and days before the planned visit by President Chirac to Moscow. Many Russian politicians and analysts believe that this is not a coincidence but a planned political action designed to worsen the relations between France and Russia even further. Several sources at the Russian embassy in Paris were cited by Russian media as saying that Boris Berezovsky - a millionaire media mogul from Russia - is behind the latest scandal involving Noga.
A number of Russian politicians called on President Putin and Russian national security agencies to take appropriate action against Noga and any other parties involved in the conflict. Both MiG and Sukhoi have been advised by their attorneys to file law suits against Noga.
Source: Swiss Correspondent