23 August 2018

Matthias Krull / Francisco Convit case dwarfed by Charles Henry de Beaumont's


There’s quite a lot of chatter in law enforcement / judicial circles about Matthias Krull, Francisco Convit & un-named conspirators. PDVSA is, as usual, the centre of everything. Krull, who has already pleaded guilty, knows things about Raul Gorrin’s (Conspirator 7) “other businesses”. But that’s not all. Let us recall that PDVSA was hit with an identical -but substantially larger ($4 billion)- scheme, set up by Conspirator 2 in Krull’s case (partner of Convit, Alejandro Betancourt) with Rafael Ramirez, Luis Oberto and brother Ignacio.

The DoJ is sitting on a mountain of evidence from Charles Henry de Beaumont, a Krull-style “banker” tasked by various Venezuelan “entrepreneurs” to launder billions of dollars. As in the Krull / Convit case, Swiss banks were used (Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique, EFG), as well as Austria’s Meinl bank. Betancourt is refusing to provide comments on the record on involvement, due to his alleged ongoing collaboration with DoJ.

Sources report also that the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has started subpoenaing people associated to PDVSA Litigation Trust. That will open another can of worms, for both defendants and plaintiff are nothing but enablers of vast corruption. Allegedly, DoJ officials visited Switzerland recently, with the purpose of getting all the information related to PDVSA’s criminal complaint, filed by Gueric Canonica (Wilmer Ruperti’s lawyer) with former-colleague-cum-prosecutor Johan Droz. Ruperti is also having trouble answering requests for comments owing to medical issues.

That DoJ has taken on the case is a blessing, really. Maybe Conoco’s action against David Boies & co had something to do with it.

1 June 2018

La corrupción de Raul Gorrin y Luisa Ortega Diaz

Emmanuel Andrade y Raul Gorrín
Lo de RAUL ANTONIO DE LA SANTISIMA TRINIDAD GORRIN BELISARIO (alias Raul Gorrín Ced. 8.682.996), para ser franco, era un tema pendiente. El problema en Venezuela es que hay tanta corrupción, que es humanamente imposible estar al tanto de todos los casos. De Raul Gorrín me habían hablado, pero nunca había visto pruebas, documentos, o evidencia de los guisos en los que estaba metido este hampón.

Eso cambió hace pocos días, cuando recibí una parte de un archivo, que mantenía la fiscal Luisa Ortega Diaz bien encaletado en su oficina, sobre las actividades financieras de Raul Gorrín con la Oficina del Tesoro de Venezuela, léase Alejandro Andrade y compañía.


Resulta que Raul Gorrín era uno de los operadores financieros preferidos de Alejandro Andrade, quien, en su posición de dizque Tesorero de la Nación, monto un mega guiso con Gorrín. Si entendí bien los documentos que Luisa Ortega decidió engavetar, el mecanismo de la Oficina del Tesoro era el siguiente:
  1. Ordenes de compra de Bonos del Tesoro de Gran Bretaña, denominados en Libras Esterlinas;
  2. El monto en Libras Esterlinas era convertido a Dólares, por la Oficina del Tesoro, a 1,62 Bolívares x Dólar;
  3. El monto en Dólares era reflejado en los balances de la Oficina del Tesoro a razón de 4,30 Bolívares x Dólar;
  4. Gorrín vendía en el mercado negro, a más de 9 Bolívares x Dólar, los Dólares que le asignaba Andrade a través de la Oficina del Tesoro;
  5. Gorrín debía pagar a la Oficina del Tesoro el equivalente en Bolívares del monto asignado en Dólares;
  6. Gorrín hacia los pagos a la Oficina del Tesoro a través de cuentas en Banplus y el Banco Industrial de Venezuela.
Pongamos un ejemplo:
  • un bono por 100 millones de Libras Esterlinas se convierte en 162 millones de Dólares;
  • la Oficina del Tesoro refleja en su balance 696.000.000 millones de Bolívares ($1 = 4,30 Bs) que Gorrín tiene que pagar;
  • los 162 millones de Dólares asignados a Gorrín son vendidos en el mercado negro a 9 Bolívares x Dólar;
  • Gorrín sólo necesitaba vender 77 millones de Dólares (a 9 Bs x Dólar) para recuperar los 696 millones de Bolívares que debía pagar;
  • Gorrín se queda con el restante, es decir $162.000.000 - $77.000.000 = $85.000.000, y lo reparte con sus panas.
Según documentos de la fiscalía Gorrín usaba empresas de maletín (Halifax Group C.A., Comercializadora Servinvest C.A., Inversiones Integrales Totalgroup C.A., Multiset Trade C.A., Grupo Hancock C.A., e Integrados Whymper C.A.) para éste esquema de corrupción.

La Tesorería adquirió 2.880.000.000 de Libras Esterlinas en bonos entre mayo de 2011 y abril de 2013. La Fiscalía estima que Gorrín se habría metido 1.450.000.000 de Dólares.



Por qué Luisa Ortega Diaz no investigó este caso? Muy sencillo, por que es socia de Gorrín. 

 

Gorrín es parte de una banda, llamada "los enanos", formada por el difunto Danilo Anderson, Mariano Diaz, Gustavo Perdomo y otros. Esta banda logró posicionarse en los tribunales y, mucho antes de hacerse multimillonarios, vendían protección judicial. Es decir, quien tuviera algun caso abierto en tribunales / fiscalía / Ministerio Público pagaba a estos bichos para que dichos casos fueran engavetados o cerrados. Es así como Gorrín establece relación con German Ferrer, esposo de Luisa Ortega Diaz, y ello explica cómo Ortega Diaz puede mantener el estilo de vida que mantiene, aun en el exterior.

Gorrín, a través de Ferrer, protegió por ejemplo a los bolichicos de Derwick Associates durante años. Gorrín ha fraguado también muy buena relación con Maikel Moreno, el hampón al frente del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, quien también actúa como protector de Derwick Associates.

Fuentes informan que la relación comercial de Gorrín con el banco suizo Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique (CBH) se estableció gracias a su ex-socio Luis Oberto y a los bolichicos de Derwick Associates, todos ellos clientes de CBH a través de Joseph Benhamou y Charles Henry de Beaumont.
Gorrín no sólo movió fondos a través de CBH, otro conocido banco suizo EFG Bank, también participó en el guiso así como HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, UBS, Bank of China, Wells Fargo, Totalbank Curaçao, BOI Bank (Victor Vargas), Davos Bank (David Osío), CBA Bank & Trust (Aristides Maza Tirado), Banplus (Diego Ricol Freyre) y Banco Industrial de Venezuela. Por supuesto que ningún banco cuestionó origen de los fondos que transfería Gorrín. Los dineros de la corrupción de Venezuela son bienvenidos en toda la banca.

Entre las transferencias / pagos que Gorrín hizo desde CBH, uno encuentra perlas como Profit Corporation, una de las empresa de Samark Lopez, el testaferro de Tareck el Aissami; pagos a Oscar Schemel, a Gustavo Arroyo, a Karina Rosenberg, a Leocenis Garcia, a Teresina Giustiniano, a Gustavo Suriani Perez, a Juan Bravo, etc. 

Luego hay evidencia de pagos a establos, Rontos Racing Stable, o compras de articulos de equitación a Dietmar Gugler u Olaf Petersen (presumo que para congraciarse con Emannuel Andrade), y transferencias a cientos de empresas en Venezuela, Panama, España, EEUU... controladas por los clientes de Gorrín.

Lo de la compra de Globovisión y Seguros la Vitalicia son asuntos menores frente a lo hecho con Andrade en la Tesorería. El Banco Industrial de Venezuela, institución del estado intervenida en 2009, no puso ni una traba. Su director Rodolfo Porro Aletti, quien venía de desempeñarse como jefe de la junta interventora, tampoco vio nada sospechoso. Es decir, instituciones del estado, bajo el control absoluto del chavismo, guisaron a manos llenas con Gorrín y ni el Ministerio Público, ni la Contraloría, ni la Procuradoría, ni la supuesta adalid contra la corrupción hicieron nada.


8 December 2017

Setting the record straight on Rafael Ramirez's corruption at PDVSA

Rafael Ramirez. Venezuela's oil minister between 2002 and 2014. CEO of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) between 2004 and 2014. During his tenure in PDVSA, the company's turnover was 1,246 trillion USD, as per own figures "audited" by KPMG.

1,246 trillion USD worth of income, in a country of about 30 million people. Ramirez claimed, for the first time ever as far as I am aware, that during his tenure PDVSA handed 480 billion USD to the Venezuelan State.

1,246 - 480 = 766 billion USD.

By way of comparison, Ramirez's claim to have handed over 480 billion USD leaves an amount that exceeds the TARP bailout.

Venezuela is on the brink of default, nursing around 150 billion USD worth of debt. Venezuela's  reserves are under 10 billion USD. PDVSA's oil production is reported to have fallen below 2MPD.

So where's the money?

Andorra's GDP is 3.2 billion USD. Close associates of Ramirez misappropriated 4.2 billion USD using Banca Privada D'Andorra, in just one deal.

PDVSA granted over 30 billion USD in contracts between 2012 and 2015: 20% of that went to non-existing companies, while some of the rest was granted -without bidding- to close associates of Ramirez.

New York's Southern District's Attorney's Office has exposed Fidel Ramirez (brother of Ramirez) as bribe recipient in energy related corrupt practices approved by Ramirez.

Roberto Rincon, another corrupt businessman associated to Ramirez, was indicted for his participation in a corrupt scheme that cost PDVSA over 1 billion USD.

Nervis Villalobos, a trusted lieutenant of Ramirez, sits in a cell in Spain for his participation in bribe payments and procurement corruption associated to PDVSA.

Ramirez is also directly involved, through Villalobos, in granting no-bid contracts to Derwick Associates.

Diego Salazar (first cousin of Ramirez) was arrested in Venezuela for his participation in a multimillion dollar graft scheme related to PDVSA's insurance policies.

Jesus Enrique Luongo (cousin of Ramirez and PDVSA's Refining VP) was arrested when trying to board a plane in Caracas' international airport for his involvement in Salazar's insurance schemes.

Balso Sanso (Ramirez's brother in law) was given an extra official role negotiating, on PDVSA's behalf, bidding processes related to Orinoco's oil belt.

Wilmer Ruperti, a parvenu businessman involved in shipping schemes with PDVSA, claimed in court documents that Ramirez personally approved his corrupt enterprise.

Eudomario Carruyo (former PDVSA's VP of Finance) is involved -as it will be exposed soon- in Salazar's corruption ring centered in Andorra, and was integral in a 500 million USD Ponzi scheme involving PDVSA's workers' pension funds.

Ramirez, along with Eulogio del Pino (arrested) and Jose Luis Parada (wanted & on the run), was instrumental in the Aban Pearl / Petro Saudi scandal. The Pantin brothers, recipients of over 1 billion USD worth of no-bid contracts under Ramirez's tenure, acted as facilitators.

Ramirez was key in gifting Williams F1 Team over 100 million USD so that Pastor Maldonado could play car racer.

It is estimated that Ramirez oversaw transfer of over 20 billion USD in oil shipments, to Cuba and other pariah states in the Caribbean basin, through Petro Caribe.

ALBANISA, another scam set up on Ramirez's watch between PDVSA and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, amounted to 3.5 billion USD, or some 27% of Nicaragua's GDP as of 2015.

The above are just some of the known scandals directly touching Ramirez. As he said recently, PDVSA is "a 234 companies holding" that "grants over 100,000" contracts as a matter of regular practice. His claims to have never been involved in corruption though, amount to little else than flat-earth syndrome.

Anyone who's been following Venezuela's monumental graft knows that almost all roads lead to Ramirez. Joint ministerial oversight and executive power of Venezuela's only cash cow leave Ramirez without recourse, or defence. His position is utterly untenable. As all Venezuelan thugs, he is thinking about leveraging vast amounts of incriminating evidence, accumulated and collected over the years, to free himself from impending charges in Venezuela. Be that as it may, there are many close collaborators, who possess untold amounts of equally incriminating material about Ramirez, currently sitting in jails far from chavismo's reach and cooperating with law enforcement.

That will be Ramirez's undoing. Is not the farcical Venezuelan Attorney General, or a Nicolas Maduro purge he needs to fear: it is Villaobos, Reiter, Oberto, Convit, Kaufmann, Isea, Andrade, Alvarado, de Leon, Gill, Vargas, D'Agostino... Probes in Spain, Andorra, Switzerland, criminal investigations by various Federal Agencies, that, and not some hare-brained chavista vendetta, is what will expose Ramirez as the man at the head of the world's largest ever corruption scandal. 1,246 trillion USD...

31 October 2017

Meet Steve Levine Fusion GPS apologist

Meet Steve Levine, according to Axios.com "eager to hear from you at steve@axios.com."

Not so eager though, when it comes to explaining the kind of work his mates at Fusion GPS have done in Venezuela. In a recent article, LeVine paints a rosy picture of Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, two of the three 'reporters' con artists behind bespoke, and highly lucrative, smear campaigns.

It was this bit of LeVine's hagiography about Fusion GPS that caught my attention:

"They are seriously savvy at finding extremely hard-to-locate — and even more difficult to understand and contextualize — documents and other intelligence on globally powerful people and organizations."

Seriously savy people know that Venezuela is, easily, America's most corrupt country. Seriously savy people know who Hugo Chavez is, and who his succesor (Nicolas Maduro) is. Seriously savy people know the kind of mess Venezuela is in as a result of chavismo's policies. Seriously savy people also know that in Venezuela millions of dollars worth of procurement contracts are, as a matter of course, granted to whoever offers contracting bodies the biggest bribe.

Seriouly savy people, those who know how to use PACER, also know this thing called Google. It is, for seriously, and not so seriously, savy people, the first port of call nowadays when it comes to establishing bona fides.

So what to say about involvement of LeVine's "seriously savy" Fusion GPS friends with Venezuela's Derwick Associates? Mind you, when Fusion GPS started working for Derwick, a simple Google search would have returned results about rampant corruption related to a multibillion dollar swindle in procurement of power plants in Venezuela.

So I confronted LeVine's cretinous arguments on Twitter, to which he replied "Link to evidence that Fusion carried out what you describe."

I must pause here, and explain the evidence I provided. Fusion's Peter Fritsch travelled to Caracas, in July 2014, with Adam Kaufmann. The purpose of the trip was to block further reporting from the Wall Street Journal into Derwick's corruption in Venezuela.

I was told by sources present at the Caracas meeting that Derwick, assisted by Fritsch and Kaufmann, spent an inordinate amount of time smearing me, and my work. Why my work? Because of my investigations into Derwick Associates.

When they could a word in, Derwick Associates were asked by Wall Street Journal reporters whether they would go on record with their allegations against me. Derwick refused. Derwick execs were also asked to provide official evidence proving procurement contracts granted resulted after open, fair and competitive bidding. Derwick failed to do so. It failed then, in July 2014, and it has done ever since whenever questions about their corrupt ways are asked. Since that encounter in Caracas, I have published official evidence of corruption in procurement contracts granted to Derwick.

My apartment, in London, was broken into in November 2014. Coincidence? Fusion GPS knew the kind of information I had about them in August 2014:
From: Thomas Catan <tcatan@fusiongps.com>
Subject: Re: Peter Fritsch
Date: 26 August 2014 at 14:30:31 BST
To: alek boyd <alek.boyd@gmail.com>

This is really creepy, Alek. You conducting surveillance these days or wtf?

On Aug 26, 2014, at 8:25 AM, Alek Boyd <alek.boyd@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Tom,

further to my recent email about possible work that your company could be doing in Venezuela, have a look below at what I have just received. It would be a surprise that a colleague of yours is working for the type of thugs I have been exposing for many years now, and I would hate to think that you were economical with the truth with me about your company's involvement with such people, to the point of denying involvement.

As you know very well, I have been chronicling chavismo for nearly 12 years now. You know me, you know what I stand for. You also know well that there are no secrets in Venezuela and that in the last decade or so I have developed an extensive network of contacts that keep me up to speed on things. I had heard from different people that Derwick Associates had hired your company for some sort of white wash operation. And now I have gotten evidence that places Peter Fritsch in Caracas just over a month ago.

Needless to say to I am planning to expose this, as I did previously when Al Cardenas and FTI were hired to cleanse the bolichicos "reputation" (perhaps you guys should ask Cardenas how did it go for him). I have already found some rather interesting reports about Glen Simpson, your CEO, that will make for very interesting reading when linked to chavistas.

I would appreciate your frankness in this respect. As I understand, you're a senior partner there and the firm is not that big.

Best,
Alek
Corrupt operatives involved in Derwick's schemes were arrested last week in Spain on U.S. arrest warrants. Furthermore, I happen to have evidence that links Derwick directly with one of the arrested.


 When I confronted LeVine with Fritsch's trip to Caracas he blocked me on Twitter. That's OK. But his reputation, as that of the thugs he apologises for, will suffer for it. I had a number of further questions for LeVine in store, given that he claims ignorance on how much Fusion GPS charges for their 'work'. Fritsch, for instance, purchased a $2.3 million house in 2016. His partner, Tom Catan, paid in full a $508,000 mortgage on his residence in 2015, and purchased another house, in Lusby, in 2017 for $660,500. Simpson in turn, took a $500,000 mortgage on his house in 2014. Evidently smearing investigative journalists and human rights defenders is a lucrative business.

Fusion GPS' Fritsch record of stay in Caracas, July 2014.

LeVine won't be explaining Fritsch's trip to Caracas or Fusion GPS' involvement with Venezuelan criminals in Georgetown University anytime soon. Flat earth syndrome...

LeVine, though, is a fine example of what's rotten with today's mediocre journalism. "Seriously savy" folks, incapable of exercising a modicum of critical thinking, incapable of running cursory due diligence, unwilling to check claims before risking reputations. These are not "extremely" able professionals uniquely equipped to "understand and contextualize... hard to locate" information. These are wholy amoral people driven by money. It is unthinkable that these "seriously savy" fellows did not know what they were getting into when they decided to service the likes of Derwick Associates. I know Catan, personally. He never struck me as an idiot.

In the criminal underworld, what Fusion GPS has done is called swatting. Fusion GPS basically took money from the Democrats to produce fiction that was then shopped to all and sundry with the intention of criminalising, or swatting, Donald Trump. The FBI, also "seriously savy" I suppose, decided to swallow the whole thing, as did other equally clever folks up and down the American government. No one checked. No one scrutinised sources, nor was the 'intel' questioned. But that's not LeVine you see. He vouches for Fusion GPS 'reporters'. Also a 'reporter', and a 'professor,' LeVine thinks he is equally infallible.

Justice Departments in the U.S., Spain, Andorra, and Switzerland are closing in on Derwick. Facilitators of their corruption are already behind bars. Officials that approved payments of hundreds of millions of dollars to Derwick have already been indicted and have pleaded guilty. Unless they move to Venezuela, or to Russia, is going to be difficult for Fusion GPS to come out of this unscathed.

28 July 2017

Fusion GPS a victim?

"What is clear is that the president and his allies are desperately trying to smear Fusion GPS..."

So these thugs are the victims now, aren't they?

How curious, isn't it, that Fusion GPS would basically resort to the same strategy (victimhood) of its utterly corrupt Venezuelan client (Derwick Associates) when their inexcusable business practises come to light?

When I started reporting about Derwick Associates' corruption nearly five years ago, Donald Trump was a mere American citizen spewing bile about Barack Obama, and Derwick was a totally obscure and unknown shell company.

Between 2012 and Trump's election in 2016, I wrote a great deal about Derwick. In August 2014, I exposed Fusion GPS connections to Derwick. Fusion GPS' involvement with the worst scum of chavista Venezuela happened exactly along the lines of their involvement with the Trump dossier. In their words "it is a matter of public record that Fusion GPS worked for and under the supervision of an American law firm providing support for civil litigation in New York."

Indeed, Fusion GPS' founder Peter Fritsch flew to Caracas in July 2014 with Adam Kaufmann, former New York's District Attorney Chief Prosecutor, also in Derwick's employ. The civil litigation Fusion GPS and Kaufmann were involved in was a lawsuit against Derwick initiated by Otto Reich, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Derwick, lawyered up to their eyeballs, managed to have the case thrown out for lack of jurisdiction, despite having subcontracted all the work to an American company, despite having used American stream of commerce, banks and currency to carry out their corrupt enterprise, despite having used American courts to falsely prosecute perceived critics, and despite having assets worth millions of dollars in America.

Derwick, and its American employees "pulled out all the stops, including... false allegation[s]" to derail Reich's RICO case against Derwick.

The false allegations fabricated by Derwick / Fusion GPS had nothing to do with Russia, or Trump. It was about me. It was about my family. Given that most of the stuff posted in the public domain about their corruption was done by me, it was about their belief that I was instrumental in "bringing disrepute" to their otherwise very kosher company. It was about their sheer conviction, that I was a "hired pen", in the employ of a Venezuelan banker, to tarnish their "hard earned" reputation.

Derwick / Fusion GPS' strategy was to completely destroy my credibility. Derwick / Fusion GPS tried to do so by producing fake warrants, in which I was accused of committing a crime that's not even part of Venezuela's Penal Code ("Tráfico de Estufepacientes"). So inept, not even the spelling was right.

Derwick / Fusion GPS then resurrected my mother: having died of cancer, in 1983, in a Basque town, she was placed "in charge" of a drug trafficking ring in 2006 with operations in Venezuela, the USA and Spain. Fake ID numbers, migration logs and pictures were posted online linking me to my mother's alleged cartel.

Derwick / Fusion GPS "accused" me of being a homosexual, irresponsibly spreading AIDS in Caracas.

Derwick / Fusion GPS then invented that I was a partner of a Colombian narco terrorist organization (FARC). One of FARC top commanders even "complained" about me, for an alleged theft of some "500 kilos of cocaine".

Allegedly I am also a "car thief" and an "extortionist".

My sister's Spanish passport details were posted online during this smearing campaign. My sister's "love affair with Hugo Chavez" was "exposed" on one of the websites.

I was "accused" of being a pedophile. A fake Spanish Police report was posted online as "evidence". My father's second wife was also accused of being a pedophile.

Derwick / Fusion GPS creativity did not stop there: as part of my alleged "drug trafficking operation" I was involved in "submarine constructions", to carry the cocaine to international markets. I was "presented" as an associate of known drug traffickers (some of them killed) from Colombia and Venezuela.

And then, three thugs broke into my flat, in London.

Pictures of my daughters, obtained through illegal surveillance ops that lasted months in the city of London, were posted online. Some of them were modified -with photoshop- carried out in Caracas and in India.

Hand written threats of sexual abuse against my daughters were sent to me via recorded delivery from Tbilisi.

Details of my home address and telephone number were posted online.

Notorious member of Venezuela's "democratic opposition" Henry Ramos Allup, was enlisted in the smearing campaign.

My blogs and websites were censored in Venezuela, despite the fact that I publish nearly everything in English.

The above was spread online in English, Spanish, French and Italian, through dozens of anonymous blogs, social media profiles, and websites operated in jurisdictions where the rule of law is non existent. To their eternal shame, some American based platforms, like Wordpress, Ripoff Report, Tumblr, and Blogger refused to remove fake information / illegaly obtained photographs about me and my family.

While the above was taking place in the public domain, Fusion GPS was busy "briefing" reputed news outlets / journalists against considering any of my documented investigations into Derwick Associates rampant corruption. I used to collaborate -for free- with Spain's El País, whose America editor Hector Schamis refused publication of news of break into my apartment, and decided right after it to sever any further collaborations. Schamis participates in panel talks with Fusion GPS' Tom Catan's wife, just a coincidence I'm sure.

Derwick, as Fusion GPS claims for itself now, was a "victim" of a "family feud". All of Derwick's procurement contracts -which netted them nearly one billion dollars- were done "legitimately, above board, and were the product of open bidding processes".

Derwick / Fusion GPS promised the WSJ official evidence to prove legitimate origin of their contracts, which they have failed to do to this day.
Derwick is being probed by the Southern District of New York and several federal agencies. Crucially, criminal actors involved in exactly the same modus operandi employed by Derwick, with the same Venezuelan institutions and corrupt officials and at the same time, have been found guilty of FCPA violations and charged. Is this a case of some criminals being more equal than others?

Derwick is being investigated in Spain.

Derwick is being investigated in Andorra, whose prosecutors have sent legal assistance requests to French counterparts.

Derwick's lawyers are fighting a request for information and legal assistance sent by the Justice Department to Switzerland, which will reveal money movements in dozens of Swiss banks.

The mother of one of Derwick's top execs (Francisco Convit) has had nearly a million dollars seized in Italy, upon beliefs of involvement in money laundering.

Francisco Convit claims to have a personal net worth of over $200 million (2013).

Alejandro Betancourt claims to have a personal net worth of over $600 million (2013).

Officials behind granting of contracts to Derwick are under investigation in Spain and Andorra.

Any rational person would conclude that a freelance, independent blogger with a very limited audience, does not have the capacity to trigger all those criminal investigations in mentioned jurisdictions.

But what of Fusion GPS' client relations? Their Venezuelan clients happen to also be in business with Gazprom, a sanctioned Russian State-owned entity that has -as all others- a Putin stench. Just who goes into business with Putin these days? Just who goes into business with Venezuelan 'entrepreneurs' these days?

Considering the state of chavista Venezuela, how could anyone believe that shells like Derwick have made billions legitimately? More to the point, how can anyone service and profit from the likes of Derwick, in view of the near absolute destitution they've left behind?

Considering that before 2009 Derwick did not even exist, who makes that kind of money in little over three years in a place like Venezuela?

None of these questions were ever part of Fusion GPS considerations. They were employed to smear, to seed sufficient doubt among journalists, politicians interested in Venezuela, to completely annihilate any form of genuine criticism toward public expenditure. Their faithful association with the likes of Derwick speaks volumes about the kind of outfit they run, basically, apologists and spin doctors for criminals.

And this has nothing to do with Trump. Or with the Democrats. Fusion GPS' amorality predates Trump by many years. They are -as all others- swamp creatures. In their extremely deluded worldview, they claim victimhood now, not realising that extreme political antagonism between Republicans and Democrats is fueled in large part by their own actions.