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August 18, 1993
The acquittal of Washington attorney Robert A. Altman of criminal fraud charges is a milestone in the tangled history of the mysterious Bank of Credit and Commerce International. A successful prosecution of Mr. Altman and his mentor, the distinguished attorney and presidential adviser Clark Clifford, would have broken open one of the most perplexing international financial swindles in history. The clear-cut jury verdict in New York leaves the world's financial community still frustrated.One thing is certain: BCCI was a gigantic financial fraud.
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BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | July 9, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Over the strenuous objection of the Manhattan district attorney, a federal judge Friday accepted the guilty plea of the chief executive of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International on sweeping charges of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy.The executive, Swaleh Naqvi, admitted responsibility for $255 million in losses in the United States, and faces a sentence of six to nine years in federal prison as a result of his role in BCCI.Almost $12 billion in depositors' funds around the world were drained in the scandal, one of the biggest bank frauds in history.
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NEWS
By William Safire | November 6, 1991
Washington RELAX, everybody -- the White House counsel has "investigated" the case of the departing Sununu aide with no legal experience who was hired for $600,000 by a BCCI figure, and rendered this verdict: Nobody did anything wrong.Influence peddling? An attempt by intermediaries to obstruct justice? Forget it. Sununu's man agrees to give back the money; case closed.Much relieved, the Republican Justice Department hastily announces it accepts the predetermined result of the White House "inquiry" and will not investigate.
BUSINESS
March 11, 1994
BCCI creditors offered paymentThe government and ruling family of Abu Dhabi, the biggest shareholder in now-collapsed BCCI, yesterday offered a new $1.8 billion proposal to pay creditors of the rogue bank.A previous offer valued at $1.7 billion was approved by a big majority of BCCI shareholders. But a court in Luxembourg killed the deal because the terms seemed too favorable to Abu Dhabi, an oil-rich member of the United Arab Emirates.
NEWS
November 5, 1993
Neither giving bad advice nor being gullible is a crime, even for a high-profile Washington lawyer. Now that fraud charges in New York have been dropped against Clark Clifford in the BCCI scandal, he and his protege Robert Altman may have tarnished images but they are clear of criminal taint. With them goes whatever realistic chance bank regulators around the world had of getting inside the biggest financial fraud of all time.Chances were slim that New York prosecutors would have pursued the ailing, 86-year-old Mr. Clifford following the acquittal last summer of his partner, Mr. Altman.
NEWS
By William Safire | October 29, 1991
Washington -- ON JULY 23, acting on a tip from an informant familiar with the political reach of BCCI, I posed this question to White House counsel Boyden Gray: Did John Sununu have any dealings with BCCI or its subsidiaries?Gray checked and called back promptly: "No. A flat denial." Accordingly, I wrote nothing; an unequivocal denial through the president's attorney squelches a rumor.However, we now know that at about that time, Ed Rogers -- Sununu's right-hand man, political protege and personal press agent -- was in the process of being hired by Sheik Kamal Adham, the former chief of Saudi intelligence suspected of being at the heart of the biggest swindle in history.
BUSINESS
By American Banker | August 21, 1991
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve, stung by the BCCI scandal, is quietly probing whether foreign banks operating in the United States had improper links with the Luxembourg bank, according to people familiar with the effort.The sources interpreted the effort as a Fed attempt to avoid being blindsided again by the unfolding scandal.About two weeks ago, Fed bank supervisors began asking directors and top executives to detail the extent of their banks' dealings with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the sources said.
BUSINESS
By Steve Lohr and Steve Lohr,New York Times News Service | February 22, 1992
The government of Abu Dhabi, the main shareholder of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, agreed yesterday to pay up to $2.2 billion to creditors of the collapsed bank rather than face legal claims that might not be resolved for years.The proposed settlement, along with the bank's remaining assets, would give 250,000 BCCI creditors and depositors 30 to 40 cents for each dollar they were owed by the bank.The deal covers claims of about $10 billion in 40 nations. In several other countries, including the United States, regulators have reached their own settlements with the liquidators representing BCCI.
NEWS
By Robert L. Jackson and Robert L. Jackson,Los Angeles Times | January 10, 1992
WASHINGTON -- The Bank of Credit and Commerce International formally pleaded guilty yesterday to sweeping charges of racketeering, fraud and conspiracy, but the federal judge presiding over the case reserved decision on whether to accept the plea agreement.U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green said she will announce Jan. 24 whether she will accept the plea agreement after considering objections from BCCI creditors and reviewing the settlement, which calls for the forfeiture of $550 million in U.S.-based assets.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | July 9, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Over the strenuous objection of the Manhattan district attorney, a federal judge Friday accepted the guilty plea of the chief executive of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International on sweeping charges of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy.The executive, Swaleh Naqvi, admitted responsibility for $255 million in losses in the United States, and faces a sentence of six to nine years in federal prison as a result of his role in BCCI.Almost $12 billion in depositors' funds around the world were drained in the scandal, one of the biggest bank frauds in history.
NEWS
January 21, 1994
The BCCI scandal just won't go away. No sooner does it appear we have heard the last sensational development associated with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, along comes another. This time it is a multi-million-dollar deal with an Arab ruler that will open up a huge cache of information about the gigantic, world-wide swindle.One of a prosecutor's favorite tools in a major case is what is known as "trading up." That means the prosecutors offer a deal to a less important defendant -- usually accepting a plea to a lesser charge -- in return for evidence incriminating a more important target.
NEWS
November 5, 1993
Neither giving bad advice nor being gullible is a crime, even for a high-profile Washington lawyer. Now that fraud charges in New York have been dropped against Clark Clifford in the BCCI scandal, he and his protege Robert Altman may have tarnished images but they are clear of criminal taint. With them goes whatever realistic chance bank regulators around the world had of getting inside the biggest financial fraud of all time.Chances were slim that New York prosecutors would have pursued the ailing, 86-year-old Mr. Clifford following the acquittal last summer of his partner, Mr. Altman.
NEWS
August 20, 1993
The BCCI scandal was so immense that it probably is impossible ever to completely untangle it. Thousands of depositors -- fortunately, none in this country -- lost billions of dollars in the shadowy Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Its operations were based in the free-wheeling financial milieu of the Middle East. Some of its principal figures have taken refuge there, out of range of western authorities. A lot of bank regulators hoped the fraud and bribery cases against two prominent Washington lawyers would help unlock some of BCCI's well-guarded secrets.
NEWS
By Robert Reno | August 19, 1993
IF, back in the 1980s, a bunch of smooth foreigners had come to me and asked me to be a partner in a deal involving the takeover of a Washington bank, a deal in which I would be showered with fees and stock profits, I wonder what I would have done.Well, one thing I would have done was to go to some of the shrewdest lawyers I could find, guys with big connections. And I would have asked them to assure me that I wasn't getting into something that would bring me a lot of grief and embarrassment, that I wasn't about to make a Neil Bush of myself.
NEWS
August 18, 1993
The acquittal of Washington attorney Robert A. Altman of criminal fraud charges is a milestone in the tangled history of the mysterious Bank of Credit and Commerce International. A successful prosecution of Mr. Altman and his mentor, the distinguished attorney and presidential adviser Clark Clifford, would have broken open one of the most perplexing international financial swindles in history. The clear-cut jury verdict in New York leaves the world's financial community still frustrated.One thing is certain: BCCI was a gigantic financial fraud.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | July 30, 1993
NEW YORK -- A state Supreme Court judge yesterday dismissed half of the eight charges, including an important bribery count, against Robert A. Altman. It was a serious setback for prosecutors trying to prove that he helped the Bank of Credit and Commerce International illegally gain secret control of a Washington bank.Although the decision by Judge John A. K. Bradley to throw out the bribery charge is a blow to the prosecution, Mr. Altman still faces charges that he participated in a scheme to defraud banking regulators by hiding the identity of the buyer of First American Bancshares Inc. in 1981, which at the time was the largest bank in Washington.
NEWS
By Neal Lipschutz | May 17, 1992
A FULL SERVICE BANK: HOW BCCI STOLE BILLIONS AROUND THE WORLD.James Ring Adams and Douglas Frantz.Pocket Books.381 pages. $22.DIRTY MONEY -- BCCI: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE WORLD'S SLEAZIEST BANK.Mark Potts, Nicholas Kochan and Robert Whittington.National Press Books.283 pages. $21.95. Both these thickish books start with complex organization and shareholder charts and lists of major characters, giving some hint of the tangled web that was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. But the bottom line of its nearly two decades of nefarious doings is quite clear -- the acronym BCCI has come to stand for the worst in international banking.
NEWS
By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite and Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,Washington Bureau of the Sun | August 2, 1991
WASHINGTON -- U.S. regulatory agencies ignored repeated efforts to engage them fully against the illegal operations of the Bank of Commerce and Credit International, two witnesses told a congressional hearing yesterday.William von Raab, former Customs commissioner who tried to alert the authorities to BCCI's fraudulent activities as early as 1987, said that "a gray unit" of influence peddlers worked in Washington on behalf of the bank. "Let me tell you, whatever the Washington brokers got for their involvement in protecting BCCI against the federal government, they earned every million dollars they received," he added.
BUSINESS
June 25, 1993
First American files BCCI suitFirst American Bankshares Inc. filed a $1.5 billion civil lawsuit yesterday against the ruler of Abu Dhabi and 29 other defendants, alleging racketeering in BCCI's secret illegal takeover of what once was the Washington area's largest bank.The 282-page suit outlines what it asserts was a five-year conspiracy led by Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan and the now-defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International to acquire First American in 1982. The racketeering suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, a day after a court-appointed trustee sold First American to First Union Corp.
NEWS
By Neal Lipschutz | April 18, 1993
THE OUTLAW BANK: A WILD RIDE INTO THE HEART OF BCCI.Jonathan Beaty and S. C. Gwynne.Random House.399 pages. $25. The Bank of Credit and Commerce International was a conspiracy theorist's dream.It was a worldwide network of covert and illicit doings, accused of helping run drugs and guns and influencing governments. Because of the many faces of BCCI and its far-flung leaders, it's likely we'll never know the bank's deepest secrets, leaving fertile ground for those who would postulate about interconnections and cover-ups.
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