May 16, 2019 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Tags: Justice DepartmentWilliam BarrRussiaPoliticsMueller Report
The Justice Department Goes All-In on Origins of Russia Probe
The District Attorney for Connecticut, John Durham, becomes the latest federal prosecutor to look into the handling of the Trump-Russia investigation.
by Hunter DeRensis
Add one more investigation to the list. Monday evening it was announced that Attorney General William Barr had selected John Durham, district attorney for Connecticut, to head an investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. The nearly seventy-year-old Durham has a long history of exposing abuses inside the National Security State, including the protection of crime boss Whitey Bulger by his FBI handlers and the CIA’s destruction of tapes featuring torture during interrogations. Durham will be working separately but in parallel to Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, who is looking into political bias, and District Attorney for Utah John W. Huber, who is doing his own independent investigation.
The primary goal of Durham’s investigation will be to examine FBI spying on the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. As previously detailed in the National Interest, in October of that year the FBI used raw intelligence to obtain a FISA warrant on campaign associate Carter Page, which then allowed them to collect information on the wider campaign. The attorney general came under fire for using the term “spying” to describe the surveillance of the Trump campaign but remained adamant that it was an accurate description. “My first job was in CIA, and I don’t think the word ‘spying’ has any pejorative connotation at all. To me the question is always whether or not it’s authorized and adequately predicated,” Barr told Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RH).
Beyond campaign surveillance, it’s hoped by many longtime skeptics of the Trump-Russia espionage narrative that Durham will be able to track down just where the conspiracy began to percolate. He’ll have to accomplish this with limited powers, lacking much of the independence and discretion of a Special Counsel like Robert Mueller.
Do You Know What Happened Today In History?
The narrative as it stands is that George Papadopoulos, a mid-level foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, made the acquaintance of Maltese Professor Joseph Mifsud in March 2016 while in Rome. Presenting himself a man with numerous contacts to the Russian government, Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos to a woman he claimed to be Vladimir Putin’s niece (she wasn’t) and a man he claimed was with the Russian Foreign Ministry. In late April, Mifsud informed Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” The Mueller Report claims that Russian military intelligence (GRU) hacked the Democratic National Committee’s emails in the two weeks prior to Mifsud sharing this information, while others speculate that Mifsud was referencing the over thirty thousand emails deleted on Clinton’s private server while she was Secretary of State. In early May, Papadopoulos, while drinking at a bar, shared this information with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, who then passed it on to his own government, who then informed U.S. authorities about the illicit connection. The FBI officially opened their probe in late July, while Papadopoulos has since denied he ever discussed the topic with Downer.
Mifsud is a mysterious figure with numerous foreign connections. The Mueller Report mentions his relationships to multiple Russian figures, including a former employee of the Internet Research Agency, but the names and precise details are redacted. Mifsud is also ingrained in Western intelligence. Claire Smith, of the United Kingdom’s Joint Intelligence Committee, worked alongside Mifsud while training Italian security forces. In February 2017 Mifsud was a featured speaker for a meeting of Global Ties, a nonprofit partner of the U.S. State Department. The Maltese professor claimed he was interviewed by the FBI that February while in the United States, a claim the FBI has never verified. In fall 2017, Joseph Mifsud disappeared and his whereabouts have not been confirmed since. The Daily Caller reported in fall 2018 that Mifsud was indeed alive and living somewhere under a false identity.
Other discretions have led to speculation among the president’s supporters. Stefan Halper, a former CIA official who in 1980 acted as a spy for the Reagan campaign on the Carter administration, was in London during the summer and fall of 2016. He had interactions with multiple Trump campaign officials, including George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, and Sam Clovis. His service as an FBI informant began in early July 2016, weeks before the official opening of the investigation. Halper is a close associate of the intelligence firm Hakluyt & Co., where Alexander Downer is a director. Both Downer and Halper are associates of Richard Dearlove, the former head of British Intelligence (MI6); Halper and Dearlove even taught a class together at Cambridge University. In fall 2016, when putting together his raw intelligence dossier on Donald Trump, former MI6 officer Christopher Steele sought counsel from Dearlove.
Furthermore, in August 2017, Glenn Simpson, cofounder of Fusion GPS (the intelligence firm that acted as an intermediary between Christopher Steele and his financiers), testified in a closed session of the Senate Judiciary Committee. During his under-oath testimony, Simpson said:
Essentially, what [Christopher Steele] told me was [the FBI] had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source, and that—that they—my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point—that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump campaign.
A “human source from inside the Trump campaign” would refer to a spy, possibly connected to a western intelligence agency. This testimony stood on the record until it was publicly revealed in January 2018, when Simpson said he had “mischaracterized” what Steele had told him and there was no human source. Prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy suspects Simpson’s original testimony may in fact be accurate.
President Trump’s supporters see this litany of secretive individuals with incestuous connections to U.S. and British intelligence services and are filled with suspicion. Some theorize of a plot to strangle Donald Trump’s insurgent presidential campaign while still in its crib. Others pour water on this kind of dot-connecting.
“I don’t think the investigation is a good idea. It will not show wrongdoing by the intelligence community,” said John E. McLaughlin, former deputy director of Central Intelligence. “I think it will show there was sufficient information to justify a probe to find out what if anything was going on; probes like this are not done to establish guilt; they are done to find out if there is anything worth pursuing further.”
While McLaughlin believes the new investigation is unnecessary, he praised Barr’s choice of personnel. “John Durham is a solid professional and non-political investigator. The whole thing has the feel of people in the administration wanting to tell the boss that something is being done to respond to his obsession—but with the expectation that it will not in the end support his conspiracy theory. In the meantime, it allows Trump to crow about it,” he told the National Interest.
Hunter DeRensis is a reporter at the National Interest.
JURIST Guest Columnist Louis Beres, Emeritus Professor of International Law at Purdue University, discusses the complex considerations of law and tactics regarding the targeted killing of terrorists
Targeted killing campaigns are still accelerating under the Trump administration, with fewer constraint and even less transparency. More precisely, it seems that the Obama-era Presidential Policy Guidance has been relaxed in two very meaningful ways: targets of “kill missions” are being expanded to include more Jihadist “Foot Soldiers” (rather than just identifiable terrorist leaders) and directed drone attacks will no longer go through any high-level vetting. In this connection, the pertinent theaters of active hostilities are primarily Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. The latest Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) permits the president to target ISIS, al-Qaeda, or “associated forces” at any time. Significantly, there is no corollary obligation for the president to define publicly either the targeted terrorist forces or the geographic areas of targeted attack. Also worth noting is the undeclared United States war on terror now underway in West Africa. There are good legal reasons to recall that President Trump has openly urged the targeted killing of terrorist families (wives, mothers, children, etc.) as well as alleged terrorists themselves. To this point, there is little if any reliable data to support the tactical benefit of any Trump-era targeted killings. Finally, especially worth noting here is that President Trump recently designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group. Should he begin to authorize targeted assassinations of these official regime military forces, it could be taken prima facie in Tehran and elsewhere as an instance of US aggression.
Under the protective tutelage of any American president, “We the People” should expect basic safety in world politics. At a minimum, we should be able to assume that wider and capable circles of public authority remain ready to thwart terrorist attacks. More specifically, such assurances should apply with special clarity to mega-terrorist attacks involving chemical, biological or nuclear threats. In terms of United States law, the authoritative roots of any such presumptive and indispensable assurances go back to the seventeenth century English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes.
Though unfamiliar to America’s current president, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan was plainly integral to the education of Thomas Jefferson. The duly celebrated author of the Declaration was himself widely read; he cared very considerably about serious and dignified learning. In contrast to Donald J. Trump’s current inversion of US policy-making priorities, our third president believed expressly in the primacy of “preparation”, and not of mere “attitude”.
Regarding US counterterrorist preparation, America’s national security establishment must get ready for absolutely all contingencies. This includes, of course, building the conceptual foundations for any future Osama Bin-Laden “elimination-type” operations. During the Obama years, one major targeted killing of a Jihadist terrorist was the September 2011 US drone-assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. That particular case was notably “special” in one frequently overlooked aspect: The Jihadist al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, and was ipso facto a US citizen.
Notwithstanding the US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protections concerning “due process,” it was a tactical posture that might sometimes need to be repeated.
What then? In relevant jurisprudential terms, what precise legal guidelines would we Americans want followed? To respond properly (among several other related and also intersecting concerns), Mr. Trump and his designated counselors would then need to inquire: “Is it sufficiently legal to target and kill such terrorists if suitably precise linkages between prospective targets and discernible attack intentions can be documented?”
To meaningfully answer this core question, it will first be necessary for Mr. Trump’s national security officials to ask whether a proposed terrorist killing plan would be gainfully preemptive or just narrowly retributive. If only the latter, a judgment wherein national self-defense was not in any way the underlying action rationale, authoritative determinations of legality could become substantially more problematic.
It gets even more complicated. Under Executive Order No. 12333 assassination is explicitly prohibited. It is also generally a crime under international law which, though not widely understood, is a tangible part of American domestic law as we learn from The Paquete Habana. Still, at least in certain more-or-less residual circumstances, the targeted killing of Jihadist terrorist leaders could be correctly excluded from ordinarily prohibited behaviors. Thereby, such peremptorily protective actions could still be defended as a permissible expression of national law-enforcement.
A similar defense might sometimes be applied to the contemplated killing of terrorist “rank-and-file,” especially where such selective lethality had already become part of an already-ongoing pattern of US counter-terrorism. For example, the United States had earlier widened the scope of permissible terrorist targeting in parts of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. In part, such a widened arc of permissibility – one which now modifies more stringent prior rules of engagement that had once required specific human target identifications – has represented a byproduct of continuously developing technologies.
Most obvious, among these newer technologies, is growing US reliance upon drone-based assassinations, and also on certain other related forms of long-range or distant killing.
In the best of all possible worlds, of course, there would be no need for any such decentralized or “vigilante” expressions of international justice. Conspicuously, of course, we don’t yet live in such an ideal world. Instead, enduring uneasily in our present and still-anarchic world legal order – a context that we international law professors prefer to call “Westphalian” – the only real alternative to precise self-defense actions against terrorists is likely to be worsening battlefield instabilities. Ultimately, such expanding hyper-instabilities could include even more flagrant and consequential escalations of Jihadist terror-violence.
At some indeterminable point, such escalations could lead to unprecedented instances of chemical, biological or nuclear attack. These attacks might be undertaken by assorted sub-state adversaries or instead, by certain “hybrid” combinations of state and sub-state foes. Ironically, in policies of US ally Israel, the dominant concern remains Iran-Hezbollah and/or Iran/Hamas combinations.
The evident irony here stems from the fact that one Iranian surrogate (Hezbollah) is Shiite, while the other (Hamas) is Sunni.
At the most basic level of such issues and calculations, the very idea of assassination or targeted killing as remediation seems paradoxical, almost an oxymoron. Seemingly, this understandably objectionable idea must preclude the input of all the more usual due processes of law. Yet, since the current or “Westphalian” state system’s original inception in the seventeenth century, international relations have never been governable by the same civil protections that are potentially available within democratic states.
In this persistently anarchic and prospectively chaotic world legal system, one which still lacks any duly-constituted and effective supra-national authority, assorted Jihadist leaders (ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, etc) are already responsible for the mass killing of noncombatant men, women, and children of many different nationalities. It follows that wherever such leaders are not suitably “terminated” by the United States or by any of America’s key allies (e.g., Israel, in the tumultuous Middle East), blatantly egregious terror crimes will almost certainly (1) continue and (2) be left unpunished. Any such predictable de facto impunity would be inconsistent with the universal legal obligation to punish international crimes, a jus cogens or peremptory obligation reaffirmed at the original Nuremberg Tribunal and subsequently in the Nuremberg Principles.
More formally, this lex talionis obligation, which comes to us from both ancient Roman law and the Hebrew Bible, is known formally and correctly as Nullum crimen sine poena, or “No crime without a punishment.”
Inevitably, complex considerations of law and tactics must inter-penetrate. In this particular connection, the glaring indiscriminacy of most jihadist operations is rarely if ever the result of enemy inadvertence. Rather, it is typically the intentional outcome of violent terrorist inclinations, unambiguously murderous ideals that lay deeply embedded in the Jihadist terrorist leader’s operative view of insurgency.
For Jihadists, there can never be rendered any meaningful distinction between civilians and non-civilians, between innocents and non-innocents. For these active or latent terrorist murderers, all that really matters are certain unassailable and immutable distinctions that distinguish between Muslims, “apostates”, and “unbelievers.”
As for the apostates and unbelievers, it is all quite simple. Their lives, believe the Jihadists, have no value. Prima facie, that is, they have no immunizing sanctity.
In law, international and national, every government has both the right and the obligation to protect its citizens against external harms. In certain circumstances, moreover, this coincident right and obligation may extend derivatively to targeted killing. This point has long been understood in Washington, where every president in recent memory has given nodding or substantially more direct approval to “high value” assassination operations.
Generally, assassination is a certifiable crime under international law. Yet, in our essentially decentralized system of world law, self-help by individual states is still often necessary, and is more-then-occasionally the only real alternative to passively suffering terrorist crimes. In the absence of certain particular targeted killings, terrorists could continue to create havoc against defenseless civilians almost anywhere, and with complete impunity.
A basic difficulty here is that Jihadist terror criminals are usually immune to the more orthodox legal expectations of extradition and prosecution (Aut dedere, aut judicare). This is not to suggest that the targeted assassination of terrorists will always “work” – there is literally nothing to support the logic of any such suggestion – but only that disallowing such targeted killing ex ante could not be operationally gainful or legally just.
If carried out with aptly due regard for pertinent “rules”, assassinating terrorist leaders could remain consistent with the ancient legal principle of Nullum crimen sine poena (“no crime without a punishment”). Earlier, this original principle of justice had been cited as a dominant rationale for both the Tokyo and Nuremberg war crime tribunals. Accordingly, it was subsequently incorporated into law through international custom, consistent with Article 38(1)(b) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice.
By both the codified and customary standards of contemporary international law, all terrorists are Hostis humani generis, or “Common enemies of humankind.” In the fashion of pirates, who were to be hanged by the first persons into whose hands they fell, terrorists are international outlaws who fall within the scope of “universal jurisdiction.” But choosing precisely which terrorists ought to be targeted remains a largely ideological rather than jurisprudential matter.
In some current circumstances, tyrannicide could be seen as the logical “flip side” of American counter-terrorism. Historically, limited support for expressing assassination as a form of tyrannicide is not hard to discover. It can be found for example in classical writings of Aristotle, Plutarch and Cicero.
Overall, in his consideration of assassination or targeted-killing as counter-terrorism, President Trump (or more realistically his designated counselors) should consider the clarifying position of Swiss scholar Emmerich de Vattel in his most famous work, The Law of Nations, or the Principles of Natural Law (1758): “The safest plan is to prevent evil where that is possible. A Nation has the right to resist the injury another seeks to inflict upon it, and to use force and every other just means of resistance against the aggressor.”
Earlier, a similar view had been presented by Samuel Pufendorf in his text, On the Duty of Man and Citizen According to Natural Law (1682):
“Where it is quite clear that he is engaged in planning violence against me, even though he has not fully revealed his design, I shall be justified in immediately initiating self-defence by force, and in seizing the initiative against him, while he is still making preparations…..The aggressor will be taken to be the party which first conceived the intention to harm the other….To have the name of defender, it is not necessary to suffer the first blow, or merely to elude and repel the blows aimed at one.”
Even earlier, the right of self-defense by forestalling an attack had been established by the foundational Dutch scholar, Hugo Grotius, in Book II of The Law of War and Peace (1625). Recognizing the need for what later jurisprudence would reference as threatening international behavior that is “imminent in point of time” (See The Caroline Case, 1837), Grotius indicated that self-defense must be permitted not only after an attack has already been suffered, but also in advance, where “the deed may be anticipated.”
Further on, in the same chapter, Grotius summarized: “It be lawful to kill him who is preparing to kill.”
Interestingly, Vattel, Pufendorf and Grotius were all taken into primary account by Thomas Jefferson, in his critical fashioning of the American Declaration of Independence.
In a far better world than this one, assassination could have no defensible place as counterterrorism, either as a preemptive measure or ex post facto, that is, as a permissible retribution. But, as if anyone should still need a reminder, we do not yet live in the best of all possible worlds, and the obviously negative aspects of targeted killing should never be evaluated apart from the foreseeable costs of all other available options. More precisely, such aspects should always be closely compared to what could be expected of all plausible alternative choices.
International law is not a suicide pact. Ubi cessat remedium ordinarium, ibi decurritur ad extraordinarium; “Where the ordinary remedy fails, recourse must be had to an extraordinary one.”
President Trump is correctly expected to comply with the rules and procedures of humanitarian international law, yet he must also continue to bear in mind that Jihadist enemies will remain unaffected by these or any other jurisprudential expectations. Assassination and other still broader forms of preemption may sometimes be not only allowable under binding international law, but also indispensable. Conversely, however, there are occasions when strategies of assassination could be determinedly legal but remain operationally ineffectual.
Recalling the close connections between international law and US law – connections that extend to direct and literal forms of “incorporation” – an American president can never choose to dismiss the law of war on grounds that it is “merely international.” Always, President Trump should consider decipherable connections between assassination, counter-terrorism and United States Constitutional Law. Recall that the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki had been approved by US President Barack Obama and by a still-secret committee of advisors based in the US Department of Justice.
Under US law, we are now bound to inquire whether an American president should ever be authorized to order the extra-judicial killing of a United States citizen – even one deemed an “enemy combatant” – without any at least perfunctory reference to “due process of law?” On its face, any affirmative response to this necessary query would be difficult to defend under the US Constitution.
Of necessity, such approval would need to be based upon a reasonably presumed high urgency of the terror threat posed by the prospective victim. Any such allegedly “authorized” targeted killing of US citizens would express a potentially irremediable tension between theoretically indissoluble individual citizen rights and the increasingly peremptory requirements of public safety.
US policy on assassination or targeted killing will have to reflect a very delicate balance. Most important, in any such calculation, will be the protection of civilian populations from Jihadist terror-inflicted harms. In those circumstances where such harms would involve unconventional weapons of any sort – chemical, biological or nuclear – the legal propriety of targeting Jihadist terrorists could be patently obvious and effectively “beyond reasonable doubt.”
Nonetheless, such proper legal assessments ought never be undertaken apart from corresponding operational expectations. This means, inter alia, that before any “extraordinary remedies” should be applied, those presumptive remedies should be not only legal, but also tactically sound. In the end, we may now be reminded by Cicero, “The safety of the people shall be the highest law.”
Louis René Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and is the author of many books and articles dealing with history, law, literature, and philosophy. He was born in Zürich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II. Some of his pertinent publications have appeared in JURIST; Harvard National Security Journal (Harvard Law School); Yale Global Online; Parameters: Journal of the US Army War College; Special Warfare (Pentagon); Armed Forces and Society; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; The Strategy Bridge; Israel Defense (Tel Aviv); BESA Perspectives (Tel Aviv); INSS Strategic Assessment (Tel Aviv); The War Room (Pentagon); Infinity Journal (Tel Aviv); Modern War Institute (West Point); International Security (Harvard); World Politics (Princeton); and Oxford University Press.
Fraud Scheme Impacting Title — Postscript from California
Posted By USFN, Thursday, February 1, 2018
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018
February 1, 2018
by Abe Salen
The Wolf Firm
USFN Member (CA)
Fraud has consistently been a silent sword used by borrowers and their agents to stall the foreclosure process and keep the non-paying borrower in the property.
Over the last 18 months, a grand scheme has been uncovered by both federal and state law enforcement in which the borrower is generally a non-participant. Rather, the perpetrating entity conducts a public or semi-private search for properties with loans in foreclosure — often properties that have been in foreclosure for some time (several months to multiple years), but with no record of a sale having occurred. The scheme has reached significant levels in California.
The process is this: once the property is identified, the perpetrating entity begins its fraudulent scheme by recording a bogus assignment. That same day, this entity substitutes in a subsidiary as the foreclosing trustee. Thereafter the “new” trustee immediately (often within 1-3 days) records a Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale, transferring the property to the fraudulent beneficiary. With a recorded transfer in hand, the perpetrating entity sends out private invitations to known REO investors seeking bids for the purchase (at pennies on the dollar) of the subject property. This scheme is “grand” because it encompasses several hundred properties throughout California, with many more suspected — including properties throughout the West Coast and neighboring states, and eastward.
The problems are clear. With the fraudulent recordings occurring so quickly, it may be difficult for servicers and trustees to become aware of the fraudulent cloud on title until a bona fide purchaser is in the mix. Several title companies are now aware of this particular scheme. Further, at least one county has filed criminal charges against the perpetrating entities, with several more jurisdictions conducting in-depth investigations. The FBI is also investigating, and this scheme has gained the attention of numerous media outlets throughout the country.
This situation provides a serious reminder that servicers/trustees must stay vigilant in their due diligence as they begin the foreclosure process, and ensure that the title searches remain current throughout the process. Updating title reports at regular intervals during the process is recommended, especially when files are placed on hold, in order to confirm that title remains unaffected — not just from borrower conduct but also from possible third-party perpetrators.
ASIC interviewing CBA's Ian Narev, Catherine Livingstone
Patrick DurkinBOSS Deputy Editor
Updated Mar 5, 2019 — 1.17pm, first published at Mar 4, 2019 — 11.45pm
Commonwealth Bank of Australia's top bankers and directors are being interviewed by the corporate regulator as it moves closer to launching a landmark case against the bank and its board alleging breaches of directors duties and continuous disclosure.
Former CEO Ian Narev and chairman Catherine Livingstone are among the serving and former bank executives and directors the regulator has issued notices to interview, plans to interview or has recently questioned.
"CBA continues to engage with ASIC regarding a number of matters and responds to requests made by the regulator. We won't be commenting on any individual matter," a CBA spokesman said on Monday.
Current Time 3:55
Commonwealth Bank chairman Catherine Livingstone makes a statement to the Royal Commission admitting at the 2016 board meeting, she believed management did not have the capacity to respond to the AUSTRAC control challenge.
The case relates to the board's response to AUSTRAC warnings in 2016 that the bank was being used for money laundering and knowingly failed to disclose the breaches or adequately respond.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigations have been afoot since mid-2017 when former ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft confirmed the potential case, which would rival the James Hardie and Centro cases in creating shockwaves for boards.
May 18Jul 18Apr 1967.0069.0071.0073.0075.00
Updated: May 16, 2019 — 6.50pm
View CBA related articles
CBA case fast-tracked
However, sources confirmed the ASIC investigation had been fast-tracked in recent weeks as ASIC steps up its "litigate first" strategy, with the bank producing thousands of documents as the CBA investigation is prioritised ahead of more than 40 ASIC cases in the pipeline after the Hayne royal commission.
Ms Livingstone was questioned about the board's knowledge and its response as a witness at the royal commission. The scandal led to a review by the prudential regulator in May that found the CBA board failed to challenge management strongly enough and had a "light hand on the tiller".
Ms Livingstone – who joined the CBA board in only March 2016 and replaced former chairman David Turner in 2017 – told Commissioner Kenneth Hayne the board's response was not fast or strong enough, despite claiming AUSTRAC's decision to launch action came as a surprise.
"There were always responses [from management], 'Yes we're doing this, yes, we're spending that money'," Ms Livingstone told the commission. "So those responses were taken as assurance that the issue was being addressed but I absolutely accept that was an inadequate conclusion on the part of the audit committee and the board."
Board named in class actions
The scandal ultimately triggered the departure of Mr Narev and a shake-up of the board by September 2017, with directors Harrison Young, Launa Inman and Andrew Mohl among those departing.
The bank is already defending two class actions in relation to allegations by Maurice Blackburn and Slater and Gordon breakaway firm Phi Finney McDonald, with those cases coming before the Federal Court in Sydney on Monday to determine how they proceed.
CBA's share price fell more than 5 per cent on August 3, 2017, after AUSTRAC launched its case alleging more than 53,000 violations of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act in a case that settled in June for $702.5 million.
Those named in the class action cases include Mr Narev and two former chief risk officers, Alden Toevs and David Cohen, now CBA's deputy CEO, as well as non-executive directors and the current and former chairmen Ms Livingstone and Mr Turner.
CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone (with former chair David Turner inset) are among the serving and former bank executives and directors of interest to ASIC.
Others on the board at that time included Brian Long and Jane Hemstritch, as well as current CBA directors Sir David Higgins and Wendy Stops.
"The bank knew about AUSTRAC's investigation for two years," Phi Finney McDonald class action lawyers said.
Mr Narev has previously argued that the bank was constantly flooded with regulatory requests and if it disclosed everything, the market would be overwhelmed and confused.
"All major financial institutions have a raft of notices from very active regulators, as you would hope they would, and you simply can't make disclosure every time you get notices from regulators or you would be making disclosures every day," Mr Narev said after CBA's full-year profit result in 2017.
CBA board at the the AGM in November 2018.
"Our view would be these things didn't come anywhere near it in the form they came at the time."
Former CBA CEO Ian Narev and David Turner are both of interest to the ASIC investigation. Stefan Gosatti
CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone took over from David Turner in 2017. Stefan Gosatti
Most Viewed In business
One in 25 home loans underwater, warns Macquarie
L Catterton polishes RM Williams, r
Click here to obtain a Word version of this document.
With the exception of perjury offences, any previously persisting requirement that evidence be corroborated is now abolished (Evidence Act 2008 s164).
The rules of law or practice that previously required directions concerning the absence of corroboration, including directions about the dangers of acting on uncorroborated evidence, have also been abolished (Evidence Act 2008 s164(3)).
In addition, with the exception of perjury and similar offences, a judge must not
Warn the jury that it is dangerous to act on uncorroborated evidence or give a warning to the same or similar effect; or
Direct the jury regarding the absence of corroboration (Evidence Act 2008 s164(4)).
Evidence Act 2008 s164(4), which prohibits corroboration directions, was introduced by the Jury Directions Act 2015 and applies to all trials which commenced on or after 29 June 2015.
Despite the prohibition on corroboration directions, where the jury has been warned about a witness’s potential unreliability, and there is evidence that may tend to confirm or support that witness’s evidence, it will often be appropriate to direct the jury to look for supportive evidence (R v Milton  NSWCCA 195; R v Connors  NSWCCA 470 at ). Such directions are included where appropriate in this Charge Book.
For information on the legal requirements of corroboration, which remain relevant to a charge of perjury, see Perjury.
Last updated: 29 June 2015
Victorian Criminal Charge Book
Part 1: Preliminary Direction
1.1 – Introductory Remarks
1.2 – Jury Empanelment
1.3 – Selecting a Foreperson
1.4 – The Role of Judge and Jury
1.5 – Decide Solely on the Evidence
1.6 – Assessing Witnesses
1.7 – Onus and Standard of Proof
1.8 - Separate Consideration
1.9 - Alternative verdicts
1.10 – Trial Procedure
1.11 - Consolidated preliminary directions
Part 2: Directions in Running
2.1 - Views
2.2 - Providing Documents to the Jury
2.3 – Other Procedures for Taking Evidence
2.4 – Unavailable witnesses
2.5 – Witness invoking Evidence Act 2008 s128
Part 3: Final Directions
3.1 - Directions Under Jury Directions Act 2015
3.2 - Overview of Final Directions
3.3 - Review of the Role of the Judge and Jury
3.4 - Review of the Requirement to Decide Solely on the Evidence
3.5 - Review of the Assessment of Witnesses
3.6 - Circumstantial Evidence and Inferences
3.7 - Review of the Onus and Standard of Proof
3.8 - Review of Separate Consideration
3.9 - Judge’s Summing Up on Issues and Evidence
3.10 - Alternative Verdicts
3.11 - Unanimous and Majority Verdicts
3.12 - Taking Verdicts
3.13 - Perseverance and Majority Verdict Directions
3.14 - Intermediaries and ground rules explained
3.15 - Concluding Remarks
Part 4: Evidentiary Directions
4.1 - The Accused as a Witness
4.2 - Child Witnesses
4.3 - Character Evidence
4.4 - Prosecution Witness's Motive to Lie
4.5 - Confessions and Admissions
4.6 - Incriminating Conduct (Post Offence Lies and Conduct)
4.8 - Delayed Complaint
4.9 - Distress
4.10 - Prosecution Failure to Call or Question Witnesses
4.11 - Defence Failure to Call Witnesses
4.12 - Failure to Challenge Evidence (Browne v Dunn)
4.13 - Identification Evidence
4.14 - Opinion Evidence
4.15 - Previous Representations (Hearsay, Recent Complaint and Prior Statements)
4.16 - Silence in Response to People in Authority
4.17 - Silence in Response to Equal Parties
4.18 - Tendency Evidence
4.19 - Coincidence Evidence
4.20 - Other forms of other misconduct evidence
4.21 - Unfavourable Witnesses
4.22 - Unreliable Evidence Warning
4.23 - Criminally Concerned Witness Warnings
4.24 - Prison Informer Warnings
4.25 - Word Against Word Cases
4.26 - Differences in a Complainant’s Account
Part 5: Complicity
5.1 - Overview
5.2 - Statutory Complicity (From 1/11/14)
5.3 - Joint Criminal Enterprise (Pre-1/11/14)
5.4 - Extended Common Purpose (Pre-1/11/14)
5.5 - Aiding, Abetting, Counselling or Procuring (Pre-1/11/14)
5.6 - Assist Offender
5.7 – Commonwealth Complicity (s 11.2)
5.8 – Commonwealth Joint Commission (s 11.2A)
5.9 - Innocent Agent (Victorian Offences)
5.10 - Commission by Proxy (Commonwealth offences)
Part 6: Conspiracy, Incitement and Attempts
6.1 - Conspiracy to Commit an Offence (Victoria)
6.2 - Conspiracy (Commonwealth)
6.3 - Incitement (Victoria)
6.4 - Attempt (Victoria)
Part 7: Victorian Offences
7.1 - General Directions
7.2 - Homicide
7.3 - Sexual Offences
7.4 - Other Offences Against the Person
7.5 - Dishonesty and Property Offences
7.6 - Drug Offences
7.7 – Occupational Health and Safety
7.8 - Miscellaneous Offences
Part 8: Victorian Defences
8.1 - Statutory Self-Defence (From 1/11/14)
8.2 - Statutory Self-Defence (Pre - 1/11/14) and Defensive Homicide
TONIGHT 10pm (AEST) - NSW Senate candidate and bank warrior Carolyn Thomson is being interviewed. Bankers and politicians don't want her pushing for reform from the inside. That's a good reason to listen and consider voting for her and other good independents & minor party candidates. We list the ones supportive of reforms here >> www.bankreformnow.com.au/…/election-2019-choose-candidates-…
Also during the interview Rod Culleton will likely be dropping some bombshells about the major parties and their abuses of our Constitution.
If you miss the live broadcast you can catch it anytime after.
#auspol #AusVotes19 #BankVictimsVote #OzElection19 #SUMIR #OzElection2019
Know Your Rights Group
17 hrs ·
Just letting everyone know that the Know Your Rights group is back, live on air again, on RAT FM, between 8pm and 10pm (AEST) tomorrow night (Tuesday), which you can listen into via this link - www.knowyourrightsgroup.com.au/radio-show/
We are, once again, planning on streaming our show live, via video, on our various Facebook groups - www.facebook.com/knowyourrightsgroup/ - so be sure to keep an eye out there as well.
On this week’s show, we will be speaking live with Senator Culleton, who will be reading out an explosive statement that everyone needs to hear before this coming weekend’s Federal elections.
We will also be speaking to Carolyn Thomson, who is running for the Senate in NSW and is primarily focused on compensation for bank victims, and she will be sharing her important position and policies with us in regards to the banks.
Darryl will be going through some vital, last minute election information, including answering a number of questions he has been getting from people quite regularly, since he has been out on the campaign trail.
I will also be going through all of the e-mails that we didn’t have time for on last week’s show, as well as more important media articles again. So, as always, this is going to be yet another a huge show that you will definitely want to tune into live, which you can do via the link below or on video, via the numerous Facebook pages/groups it will be streaming over.
You can also use TuneIn to listen to tomorrow's show off a mobile device – phone or tablet – by searching for RAT FM or, you can use the big black Listen Live button on our Radio Show page, if you want to listen off your computer.
CBA's Hayne fallout to top $2b
James EyersSenior Reporter
May 13, 2019 — 9.09am
Commonwealth Bank has set aside a new, $714 million provision for customer remediation costs, bringing total refunds and related costs for failings in its banking and wealth divisions to more than $2 billion.
The bank's quarterly earnings update, which disappointed the market and sent the shares down by 2.5 per cent to $73.52 on Monday morning, highlighted the tough environment for banks, as cash earnings fell sharply lower, the group net interest margin contracted and impaired loans ticked slightly higher.
CBA said it had foregone $415 million in revenue after removing or reducing fees and introducing pre-emptive fee alerts that remind customers to take action to prevent them being charged on overdrawn accounts or credit cards.
CBA chief Matt Comyn. Bloomberg
CBA also announced on Monday that non-executive director David Higgins would retire at the end of the calendar year, as a program of board renewal under chairman Catherine Livingstone continues.
Chief executive Matt Comyn told analysts that while CBA remains committed to reducing the cost-to-income ratio below 40 per cent, this should be seen as a "medium term ambition", as CBA is forced to continue to fund more spending on risk and compliance.
75.03 at May 19
May 18Jul 18Apr 1967.0069.0071.0073.0075.00
Updated: May 13, 2019 — 2.25pm
View CBA related articles
"We are certainly committed to structurally reducing our cost base, which is critical to ensure we remain competitive for the long term," Mr Comyn said.
"But one, we want to make sure we do that in a sustainable way that does not damage our franchise strength or our operating momentum. And two, as this quarter and the last half has highlighted, we have a number of near-term headwinds in the context of elevated risk and compliance spend, which we think is critical."
Unaudited cash profit from continuing operations fell about 9 per cent to about $1.7 billion for the third quarter ending March 31, excluding the extra customer compensation costs. Expenses rose 24 per cent with the provision included, and edged up 1 per cent without it. Operating income was down 4 per cent. The impaired loan expense of $314 million was 17 basis points of gross loans, up from 15 basis points at the first-half results in February.
Explaining a tick up in the number of customers more than 90 days overdue in repaying mortgages, credit cards and personal loans, CBA pointed to "subdued levels of income growth and cost-of-living challenges, most pronounced in outer metropolitan areas of Perth, Melbourne and Sydney". It reported "pockets of stress" emerging, as some home loan customers were "experiencing hardship".
Of the new pre-tax $714 million provision, $334 million of this related to compensating customers for fees charged where no service was provided by the bank's aligned advisers. A further $72 million related to fees for no service in the Commonwealth Financial Planning business.
CBA said its advice provision assumed a refund rate of 24 per cent of the ongoing service fees collected in the decade to 2018, excluding interest.
Mr Comyn said CBA is "committed to improving outcomes for our customers, addressing past failings and compensating customers quickly".
A new $152 million was provided for refunds to business banking customers, including those using bank guarantees and cash deposit accounts. CBA said it would "continue to monitor the adequacy" of the provisions and a "range of matters where the outcome and any associated costs cannot be reliably estimated" had been treated as contingent liabilities.
The new provisions have increased the total cost of the remediation program to $2.17 billion.
CBA has spent $806 million determining how much compensation it has to provide customers and on implementing royal commission recommendations.
New regulation on charging interest on credit cards reduced CBA's income by $52 million over the full financial year.
Analysts are concerned pressure on banks to do more for customers will result in further fee cuts being made.
"Are there other areas that you are looking at, so that potentially we come to FY20 and you've for a whole range of additional initiatives that could see that $415 million, as an annualised impact, increase?" Credit Suisse analyst Jarrod Martin asked Mr Comyn during the briefing.
Mr Comyn said products have been "thoroughly reviewed" and there are "no more that we are intending to bring in the near term". However, he added that "we recognise that it is a competitive market and over time, there will be changes to rates and fees."
The focus on reduced non-interest income at CBA comes after National Australia Bank last week said it would begin phasing out the first 50 of its 400 fees by the end of June, and aimed to remove hundreds more over the next two years.
CBA said home loans were growing "in line" with the system and the bank had recorded "continued growth in household deposits and business lending". However, the volume growth was "muted" by a "continued reduction in institutional lending balances and a slight reduction in the group’s net interest margin," CBA said in its update.
CBA's trading update on Monday comes after the other three major banks reported half-year numbers over the past fortnight, also dragged down by heavy remediation provisions as banks clean up after the Hayne royal commission. Before reporting its numbers, Westpac announced a new $510 million pre-tax provision for compensation advice customers.
CBA said its common equity tier-1 (CET1) capital ratio was 10.3 per cent as at March 31 and would increase as CBA divested assets. The bank said it now expected CommInsure Life sale to complete in the second half of calendar 2019, "subject to the timing of the necessary Chinese regulatory approvals". This and other previously announced divestments would increase CET1 by about 120 basis points.
May 10 2019 - 4:03PM
Corruption cop told to avoid murder scene
Simon Overland wanted anti-corruption investigators not to attend the scene of a 2004 double murder.
Simon Overland wanted anti-corruption investigators not to attend the scene of a 2004 double murder.
Then Victorian assistant police comissioner Simon Overland wanted to prevent leaks about potential corruption links to the 2004 execution-style murder of informer Terence Hodson and his wife, a royal commission has been told.
Peter De Santo, who worked in anti-corruption for the force as a detective inspector for the Ethical Standards Division (ESD) in the early 2000s, gave evidence to the commission on Friday.
He said he had been speaking to gangland lawyer Nicola Gobbo, also known as 'Lawyer X', about people he was investigating while she was acting for underworld kingpin Tony Mokbel.
Mr De Santo said he wasn't aware that Ms Gobbo was supplying information to police until 2013, many years after their dealings.
Ms Gobbo also contacted him about allegations of "significant corruption" by police drug squad members, he added.
Mr De Santo recalled speaking with Ms Gobbo before and after the murders of police informant Mr Hodson and his wife Christine who were both shot in the back of the head on May 16, 2004, at their home in Kew.
The murders came after Mr Hodson had been arrested alongside his handler, police officer David Michele, over a 2003 burglary on a drug stash house, which was soon to be raided by the drug squad.
Mr De Santo said he spoke to Ms Gobbo again on the night Mr Hodson and his wife were murdered, when the barrister put him in touch with the couple's son Andrew, who said he believed detective Paul Dale was involved.
"Mum and dad murdered. At the flat. They've been shot in the back of their heads. I need you to come. I don't want to talk to anyone else," Mr De Santo read from his diary quoting the son Andrew.
Mr De Santo said he was told not to attend the scene, but later given permission by Mr Overland, but told "not to be seen".
"The homicide squad came in and took control of the matter. I stayed with Andrew for most of the night, the remainder of the night," Mr De Santo said.
"I later learnt that Overland didn't want corruption officers there because media could pick up that police corruption might be involved."
Mr Overland became chief commissioner in 2009.
The case was dropped in 2010 when gangland killer Carl Williams was murdered in jail.
A coroner in 2015 said there was not enough evidence to support the theory the couple were killed by hitman Rodney Collins, as the result of a contract arranged by Williams at the request of Dale.
The royal commission is investigating the force's dealings with informers, including Ms Gobbo, who was repeatedly registered to supply information to police.
From: Lena Anderson
Sent: Thursday, 2 May 2019 6:08 PM
To: Marshall, Jesse (C. O'Neil, MP)
Subject: Re: Update - Westpac/Anderson matter
I'm writing to follow up on the status of Westpac's response to Clare O'Neil's letter of 1 November 2018 and to seek clarification on Labor's commitment to assist bank litigation victims like myself who have been harmed by flawed court judgments.
It appears Westpac is refusing to respond to Clare's letter. We've since had the Access to Justice Senate Inquiry to which I made a submission (Submission 73). Westpac's response failed to address the allegations made and merely referred back to the court judgment as its response. (Refer attached). And herein lies the problem for bank litigation victims. The false court judgment is used by the banks as the final word.
It appeared Recommendation 10 of the Senate Inquiry report would apply in my case. It recommends a scheme to review cases "where the existing determination is manifestly unjust, unfair, erroneous, or failed to consider claims that were clearly open to the customer". But Eleanor Willcox (Office of the Hon Mark Butler MP) has confirmed in writing to a BankWest victim that "matters that are subject to court judgments will only be able to be considered by the scheme with the consent of the financial services provider".
As there is zero chance of that consent being provided it seems this scheme is not viable.
Then there is also the Retrospective Scheme announced by Labor on 22 February, 2019.
Could Clare please provide clarification on which of these schemes - the Retrospective scheme or the Recommendation 10 scheme - my case would fit into given I have a court judgment against me which the bank will refuse to be contested?
Mon 06/05/2019 17:57
Thanks for getting in touch about your case and about the retrospective compensation scheme that Labor announced in February.
As you note, the retrospective compensation scheme that Labor has announced will allow victims who have a dispute with a bank that has been to court or to an ombudsman scheme (such as FOS) to have the matter reviewed with consent of the financial service provider (FSP).
Cases that haven’t been to FOS or to Court previously will also be able to be considered by the scheme, as will those cases where the FSP is now insolvent. Many of these cases wouldn’t be able to be considered at all by the far more limited review process through AFCA that the Liberals have proposed.
The reason that the consent of the bank or other FSP is required in Labor’s scheme where a matter has been to Court is because of the separation of powers in the Australian Constitution.
We would expect that banks would agree that in some cases, where the substantive issues in a case have not been determined by a Court (such as where there is a default judgment or a defence was not entered), to have the scheme review the matter.
The scheme will determine which cases that have been to Court it believes should be reconsidered, and it will then write to the relevant bank to request their consent to consider the matter.
I understand that you believe that because your dispute has progressed so far through the Courts, Westpac may not agree for the scheme to consider it. Unfortunately, once a matter has been considered by the High Court of Australia, there are not many other avenues to have the issues reconsidered. I know that this may be frustrating, and that your dispute with the bank has caused you a great deal of stress. It is not possible, though, for any Government or any political party to promise to establish a scheme that has the power to unilaterally overturn decisions of the High Court without consent of the parties to have the matter reviewed and be voluntarily bound by the decision of the reviewer.
Whilst it is unfortunate that it may not be able to assist in your dispute, Labor’s retrospective compensation scheme will have the capacity to assist thousands of Australians who are victims of bank misconduct, and we are working day and night to try and get a fairer deal for victims wherever and however we can.
All the best
Uranium One has finally hit the national media stage. It is a scandel that could take down the Clintons once and for all.
Left-leaning The Hill is being credited with breaking the story, though it goes back to 2009. The media cannot stop talking about it, and the undercover FBI agent that has been gagged from talking to Congress about the details.
The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.
But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.
AG Jeff Sessions has the power to release the informant from the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) but has refused to do so. Fox News reports:
“Witnesses who want to talk to Congress should not be gagged and threatened with prosecution for talking. If that has happened, senior DOJ leadership needs to fix it and release the witness from the gag order,” Grassley said in a statement.
In a letter sent Wednesday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Grassley said such an NDA would “appear to improperly prevent the individual from making critical, good faith disclosures to Congress of potential wrongdoing.”
He asked for a copy of the NDA by Nov. 1 and requested that, should one exist, “you release him from it and pledge not to engage in any form of retaliation against him for good faith communications with Congress.”
Though the Main Stream Media (MSM) are finally talking about it, what very few seem to remember is that the alternative media have been talking about this for years.
The central part of the of the Malheur Refuge Protest was the Hammond family, and their ranch outside of Burns, Oregon. Dwight and Steven Hammond were ordered to return to prison by the Federal government over a small range backfire. They had previously served out the sentence reluctantly imposed on them by Judge Hogan.
During the court preceding the Hammonds were forced to grant the BLM first right of refusal. If the Hammonds ever sold their ranch they would have to sell it to the BLM.
It was during this turbulent time that the political implications of Uranium One were shouted over the internet.
* From INTELLIHUB: Clinton Foundation took massive payoffs, promised Hammond Ranch and other publicly owned lands to Russians along with one-fifth of our uranium ore
…the Hammond’s ranch and other ranchlands surrounding the refuge sit atop a vast swath of precious metals, minerals, and uranium that’s heavily desired by not only the federal government but foreign entities as well.
Citing BLM documentation, they continue: Oregon Energy, L.L.C. (formally Uranium One) is interested in developing a 17-Claim parcel of land known as the Aurora Project through an open pit mining method. Besides the mine, there would be a mill for processing. The claim area occupies about 450 acres and is also referred to as the “New U” uranium claims.
* Newstarget also reports: EXCLUSIVE: Massive Cover-up – BLM leases Hammond ranch land to Russia through Clinton Foundation donors for uranium
Evidence has surfaced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been taking land with plans to lease it to Clinton Foundation donors.
Russia gradually gained control of Uranium One, a major mining company, in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State. Canadian records reveal that the company’s chairman used his own family foundation to make four donations to the Clinton Foundation during that time, resulting in a sum contribution of $2.35 million. Secretary Clinton approved the deal for Russia soon after her family’s slush fund received the donations. Now, Vladimir Putin controls 20 percent of all uranium production capacity in the U.S.
* Jon Rappoport reported: The Clintons: is the Oregon standoff really about uranium?
…there’s a case to be made that they, through Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation, facilitated the sale of Uranium One to Putin and the Russians. And if so, and if this area of Oregon is projected to be part of that uranium mining deal, then we are looking at a stunning “coincidence”: the US federal government is coming down hard on a group of protestors who are occupying, for their own reasons, a very valuable piece of territory that goes far beyond the issue of private cattle grazing on government land.
On 8 September 2017, 42-year-old Western Australian man Dr Aaron Voon was sentenced in the Perth District Court to a total effective sentence of 18 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months. Dr Voon had earlier pleaded guilty to eight separate charges, which included filming boys' genitals at urinals and producing and possessing child pornography material in four countries, including Canada, the US, New Zealand and Australia. One charge was discontinued because of insufficient evidence.
Dr Voon, a prominent child psychiatrist who practised for more than 10 years in Western Australia, was arrested in Canada on 22 May last year after he was caught filming a 10-year-old boy urinating in a public toilet in a mall in Edmonton City. He stood at a urinal immediately beside the boy and covertly filmed him on his iPhone 6.
When the boy’s father noticed what was happening he demanded to see Dr Voon’s phone. When Dr Voon refused to show him, the father and nearby bystanders seized his phone and restrained him until local police officers arrived and arrested him.
Dr Voon was charged by Canadian authorities with making and possessing child pornography, as well as voyeurism, but after a period in custody, he was then granted judicial interim release by Canadian authorities and permitted to return to Australia.
On 1 June 2016, the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team—a joint initiative of the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police—executed a search warrant on Dr Voon’s home in Mount Pleasant and his clinical practice, both in Perth. During the search of his home, a total of 12 videos and 409 still images were found on a laptop and two thumb drives; eight of the videos were of children urinating in public toilets.
Dr Voon returned to Perth on 9 June 2016. He was arrested as he landed at Perth Airport.
Because of the material found during the search of his home Dr Voon was charged in Australia with offences involving possession, obtaining or distributing child exploitation material, including more examples of Dr Voon filming boys' genitals after following them into urinals in Australia, New Zealand and the US. After consultation with Canadian authorities, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions charged Dr Voon with the offences he had committed in Canada using the Commonwealth’s extraterritorial child sexual offences provisions, and the Canadian authorities discontinued their charges against him once he had pleaded to the offence in Australia.
Charge / Sentence
On 08 September 2017, Dr Voon was sentenced in the Perth District Court as follows:
1 count of possession of child exploitation material contrary to section 220 of the Criminal Code (WA) – count 9, 3 months’ imprisonment to commence 8 September 2017
4 counts of producing, distributing or obtaining child pornography material outside Australia, contrary to section 273.5(1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code (Cth) – On the New Zealand offence, count 1, 9 months’ imprisonment to commence 8 September 2017 and to end on 7 June 2018; on counts 5 and 6, being offences committed at San Francisco USA and Edmonton Canada, sentenced on each count to 6 months imprisonment to commence 8 September 2017 and to end on 7 March 2018; and on count 8 at Edmonton Canada, 9 months’ imprisonment to commence on 7 June 2018 to end on 6 March 2019
3 counts of production of child exploitation material contrary to section 218 of the Criminal Code (WA). – counts 2, 3 and 4: 9 months imprisonment to commence 8 September 2017.
In relation to the Commonwealth charges he is to be released forthwith on a recognisance release order in the sum of $10,000 to be of good behaviour for a period of 18 months, and in relation to the State charges 9 months imprisonment to be suspended for 18 months.
One charge, count 7, was discontinued.
Therefore, the total effective sentence is 18 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
In handing down the sentence, His Honour Judge Troy took into account the time in custody in Canada before bail was granted, the images were not shared or distributed, and importantly, the mental illness conditions of Dr VOON being diagnosed with Asperger Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
The following information was submitted on the Victorian Ombudsman website:
Are you making an anonymous
Can your details be provided to a third party?
First Name Jim & Debbie
Address (Line 1) 18 Tower Garden
Address (Line 2)
Address (Line 3)
Phone (Business Hours) 0435423636
Phone (After Hours)
Are you complaining on behalf of someone? No
Address (Line 1)
Address (Line 2)
Address (Line 3)
Phone (Business Hours)
Phone (After Hours)
What are you complaining about?
Which agency are you complaining about? Shirley Joseph Legal Services Board
Details of your complaint Your file C 15 12800. My dear brother in Texas is really best of friends with George Bush Jr, the former US President. Our group of "whistleblowers" went to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower to report the legal board's role in assisting a Ms Amanda Tehan and suspected criminals to find out about international investigations into crime rings, like Patrick Tehan QC's clients in the Bill Jordanou Crime Ring. (He's in jail for 12 years because IT WAS ALL TRUE). Shirley Joseph wanted Whistleblower Reports and names of US politicians in 2014 before the FBI swooped on the Commonwealth Bank's computer division and found "IT WAS ALL TRUE". Dennis Sgargetta was right to report her intentions to you before she carried out her intentions.
Have you complained to the agency? Yes
When was your last contact with the
1/01/2009 12:00:00 AM
Why wasn't your complaint resolved? Shirley Joseph covered up for the criminals
Copy of agency's response
What outcome are you seeking? Compensation for the shareholders in the CBA and all victims of Jordanou's ponzi scheme.
File Upload (File 1)
File Upload (File 2)
File Upload (File 3)
File Upload (File 4)
File Upload (File 5)
Will you be sending other relevant
supporting documents by mail?
Is english your first language? Yes
If No, what is your first language?
Are you Aboriginal or Torris Strait Islander? Yes
Do you require an interpreter or other form
If yes, specify interpreter language
Other assistance you require
Your age range 60+
How did you hear about the Victorian
Referral by MP
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 12:39:00 AM
The seventh round of public hearings will be held in Sydney at the Lionel Bowen Building, 97-99 Goulburn Street, from
Monday 19 November to Friday 23 November, and in Melbourne at the Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 305 William Street, from Monday 26 November to Friday 30 November.
The seventh round of public hearings will focus on causes of misconduct and conduct falling below community standards and expectations by financial services entities (including culture, governance, remuneration and risk management practices), and on possible responses, including regulatory reform. The hearings will also consider the role of ASIC and APRA in supervising the actions of financial services entities, deterring misconduct by those entities, and taking action when misconduct may have occurred.
The Commission presently intends to deal with these issues through the entities set out below. Entities are named in alphabetical order and not in the order in which the evidence of those entities will be heard:
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Macquarie Group Limited
National Australia Bank Limited
Westpac Banking Corporation
Monday, November 05, 2018 2:07:00 AM
Hi Craig & fellow bank warriors,
You are doing a great job with your hounding of Senators, MP's bank executives & the like, keep up the good work, the pressure is getting to these Banking criminals.
On another angle, I have been in contact with the USA’s Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the FBI (and I am officially registered as a FBI whistleblower), and have handed them reports on how the banks have been de-frauding AMERICAN investors by selling SECURITIZED sub-prime loans to American investors & Pension Funds, hence why there are 4 x big American Pension funds suing the CBA.
This has been going on since at least before 2006 / 2007 when APRA did a detailed analysis & report - but then buried that report & covered it up, & refused to publish it as it would be too damaging for these criminal banks.
Stephen Long (investigative reporter) at ABC exposed this report detailing APRA’s deception (which I have copied & pasted below) would be an incredibly great piece of information for us to get hold of.
As we all know, government, APRA, ASIC, FOS & all the others have been covering up this fraud for years. They are part of the protection Racket.
I have been talking to the head of the SEC and the head of the Office of The Whistleblower and I need to get hold of any reports etc that help to prove that this has been going on for a long time & that Bank executives, APRA , ASIC, FOS etc KNEW that this was going on.
If anybody can find any info or reports that may help us to prove this, please forward them to me & I will forward them onto the U.S SEC & FBI.
Wayne Styles, Gold Coast Queensland
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 9:04:00 PM
Dennis sgargetta says Gaden's Mr Pringle was aware of RICO in Febr 2015. RICO's even used against the Vatican according to the news so why would the Austtralian 'Powers That Be inthe Victorian Legal Board disagree??? "The suit also claims that the bishops and the Vatican violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, aimed at organized crime, because the bishops engaged in federal mail fraud and wire fraud in the cover-up of abuse. The Catholic Church in the U.S. is an “unincorporated association” and therefore qualifies as an organization that can be held to RICO standards, it states.
The plaintiffs are seeking “compensatory damages, economic damages, punitive damages, RICO treble damages, medical monitoring, pre- and post-judgment interest, and attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, and court costs.”
Wednesday, January 09, 2019 2:00:00 AM
3 Bruce Highway Bowen QLD 4805
The Victorian Ombudsman
Dear Mr Mitchell
Claim for compensation from the Legal Services Board and Commission of Victoria for using its public office to obtain information about political campaigns and tv shows in Queensland.
I wish to complain about the LSBC in Victoria and get compensation.
I have had Pauline Hansen and George Christiansen personally come to my property to discuss things like getting a Royal Commission into the banks.
I have been published in mainstream news as far away as the BBC’s International News Service.
I have attended Parliament House where people like Wayne Swan, Bob Katter, and Pauline Hansen walked across the lawn to catch up with bank victims who wanted the Royal Commission to extend into bank law firms, bank receivers, bank estate agents, bank boards and the regulatory authorities like APRA (whose Ms Bennett sits on the Victorian LSBC and might have good reason for trying to find out what her own clientele were assisting US law enforcement’s International Corruption investigators with).
I have had banking officials from around the world stay here, and I was dealing with people including politicians regarding the scandalous ANZ/Landmark affair which featured on 60 Minutes and also ended up at the Royal Commission.
I notice that one of the customers of the LSBC, Mr Elliot Sgargetta, informed Treasury that he was dumbfounded when the 60 Minutes program all came true and had the CEO of the ANZ, Mr Mike Smith, travel all the way to Queensland to apologise to the bank victim Charlie Phillot. Not only did the bank act appallingly as shown on 60 Minutes, but the Royal Commission also questioned the bank’s Mr Steinberg about the same 60 Minutes series on Charlie Phillot . I believe the LSBC was spying on the show by trying to find out about its clientele like Mr Sgargetta noted. As me, and many others, worked hard to get shows up on places like 60 Minutes, I think I should be compensated by the LSBC’s attempts to, I feel, spy on people and shoot the show down.
I would like a thorough investigation of the LSBC and I note that Mr Sgargetta’s complaint says that he objected to the LSBC using its position to investigate what was known to Whistleblowers who went to the SEC and FBI to report things like the LSBC’s attempts to obtain information about politicians and investigative reporters and advocates like myself who wanted tv shows to get up on the air around the world, like the BBC I was on.
I also seek compensation from the LSBC. Apparently in the past your officials directed victims to go to the very same LSBC to seek compensation from it first, but Mr Sgargetta says that the LSBC told him to leave them alone even after “It All Came True” and US law enforcement arrested bank executives. Please ask the LSBC for compensation. I do not want to deal directly with them especially as they probably have a conflict of interest if they use their government office in Victoria to spy on political groups in Queensland and politicians and reporters’ investigations.
I’ve cc’d Pauline Hanson, George Christensen and Fraser Anning and the Sgargettas because I believe that Victorian officials have no business trying to get information about elections in Queensland.
I’ve also cc’d Spencer Murray’s Whistleblowers in Rockhampton and 4 Corner’s Nick McKenzie and 60 Minutes reporters of the ANZ/Landmark and CBA Townsville Stories.
Brett Fallon ^1 + 0468316799
Wednesday, January 09, 2019 2:02:00 AM
Friday, April 26, 2019 7:58:00 AM
National Australia Bank
500 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000
April 15th, 2019
Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on your recent appointment, and more importantly your pledge to right the wrongs of your company’s previous administration, as reported in the Sydney press.
My previous letter, addressed to the then CEO, Andrew Thorburn arrived on his desk the day he quit office. My only correspondence since that contact involved a call from your office and an interview as such conducted by the secretary.
That interview entailed an extensive set of questions aimed at unveiling my experiences with your bank, of which my family has had a 70-year connection. The questioning/interview lasted for about thirty minutes and unfortunately reduced me to tears reliving the pain of the last 13 years and the torment of not being able to get any action from the police and your bank.
That period in my life, from the time I discovered and reported the fraud to the police, and the ensuing painstaking investigation that cost me $100k in forensic and scientific hand writing experts has proved fruitless in getting the perpetrator of the fraud prosecuted. All this collected information, that I might add, the NSW police told me I needed for a winnable case is more expense to an already substantial loss.
I appealed to the office of complaints of the NSW Police commissioner’s department to reinvestigate the matter. Their answer stated the case had insufficient evidence to proceed and my $100k investment in researching the event on their behalf was now defunct. I now ask you why a staff member of NAB was removed from the branch for alleged collusion with a customer. I also ask you to consider why you did not conduct an internal investigation on the passing of the 121 forged cheques and the breaking of protocols.
As I explained to your predecessor, the non-observance of protocols such as notifying myself as sole director that cash cheques up to amounts of $9990 were cashed without my approval. Why the perpetrator always asked for the same teller, who was regularly seen socializing outside bank hours on my tab.
I ask you why 121 cheques, largely cash written were-allowed to pass your system with a signature completely alien to the signatory card you had on file. I have included the forged signature, my signature and all the relevant evidence to comprehensively prove as such. I am bewildered on why the perpetrator would use a forged signature of mine when she had signature authority on the account anyway.
An added footnote, that really places your system under scrutiny in the eyes of the public is the fact that the Bathurst detective investigating the case over the three years was not able to procure the signatory card from that branch. That card has both our signatures on it and you allowed this deception to take place in the light of it is cheaper to not cross check such activity as opposed to the litigation you are so easily able to defend with your corporate power. “They had lost it” is the story he was told. I have other people who have similar stories from that branch. That document is the primary evidence for the case and the missing link to prosecution success. Explain that sir!
I have been particular in promoting my course of action and having been a life long resident of this district and carrying respect for my business and sporting inputs, all of my town knows the many fraudulent actions of the perpetrator and the way your bank has trampled me.
Mr. Chronican I now implore you and your bank to act on this 13-year nightmare that has eaten holes in me. I expect the full amount of $852,000 plus interest and lost opportunity as well as my legal and forensic costs of $100k that I have also included to be repaid.
My dad who started 70 years ago with that branch was an orphan soldier settler sent from England during the great depression, his attitude and never say die beliefs in the toughest of times gives me resounding strength and determination to stand up to what is right and wrong. I should not have to wait another 6 weeks for a reasonable response.
Yours sincerely David Conyers
Feel free to engage me personally my phone number is 0449 813 604.
By Natassia Chrysanthos
UpdatedApril 15, 2019 — 3.10pmfirst published at 9.58am
Australia's competition watchdog has entered an agreement with the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation to strengthen its work combating anti-competitive behaviour.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said the watchdog was aiming to put two to three cartel cases before the court each year, and would be leveraging its relationship with the FBI to improve its investigative techniques. The ACCC is currently investigating 10 local cartel cases.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims says its relationship with the FBI has deepened in recent years.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims says its relationship with the FBI has deepened in recent years.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer
The memorandum of co-operation signed this week allows the ACCC and the FBI to exchange expertise and staff for the detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal competition offences.
Mr Sims said the arrangement between the agencies was "certainly rare" and he was not aware of similar relationships.
The price fixing allegedly occurred at businesses across Sydney and Melbourne.
Bank directed price-fixing cartel to set rates on currency transfers, police claim
"When [the relationship] is formal, that’s a higher level blessing and it sends a message to everyone in the organisation that this is important, and requests that go both ways need to be dealt with," he said.
Mr Sims said there were "significant benefits" for the ACCC in exchanging intelligence with the FBI and learning how the US organisation conducted investigations and dealt with witnesses.
He also said there would be an increase in the exchange of personnel between the agencies.
"The extent of exchanges will certainly increase, because we can learn a lot off them and they are keen to deepen the relationship with us," he said.
The agencies have collaborated on previous ACCC cartel investigations, including its air cargo case, which began in 2006 and investigated more than 40 airlines, and its shipping cases.
The memorandum complements an existing intergovernmental agreement between Australia and the US, under which the ACCC and various competition law enforcement bodies such as the FBI, Department of Justice and Fair Trade Commission in the US co-operate.
It follows a visit to Washington DC by Mr Sims and ACCC executive general manager Marcus Bezzi in March.
Section Chief J.J. Jimenez of the FBI’s criminal investigative division said the memorandum codified the existing relationship between the FBI and ACCC, and was an opportunity for increased information and resource sharing.
“Combating anti-trust is critical to both the US and Australian economies, and vigorous investigative co-operation is vital in detecting and eliminating anti-trust conspiracies,” he said.