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Response to Alexander Of Assyria (Reply #39)

Sat Jan 22, 2022, 01:14 PM

42. It's what the US Senate found.

What Those Glowing Obits Didn't Tell You About Joe Allbritton

by Ken Silverstein
The New Republic, Dec. 14, 2012

EXCERPT…

Almost entirely glossed over, except for a single sentence, is the sordid narrative that led to the PNC takeover. In 2004, the U.S. Senate released a report, prompted by a story I wrote in the Los Angeles Times, saying Riggs had “turned a blind eye” to evidence that the bank was “handling the proceeds of foreign corruption.” The Treasury Department hit the bank with a $25 million penalty. The next year, Riggs paid a $16 million criminal fine over related charges that it had failed to report suspicious transactions with foreign account holders. The judge who imposed the fine described Riggs as "a greedy corporate henchman of dictators and their corrupt regimes." With its reputation in tatters, the bank was a ripe target for PNC.

The Senate reported that Riggs conducted business with clients from several countries “with high risks of money laundering and foreign corruption.” Among those was Chile’s long-time dictator, Augusto Pinochet. According to the report, Riggs opened multiple accounts for the dictator and his family, used aliases and offshore shell corporations to disguise his ownership, and “accepted millions of dollars in deposits from him with no serious inquiry into the source of his wealth.”

All this was done “with the knowledge and support of the Bank’s leadership,” including Allbritton, who, along with other senior bank officials, would periodically jet down to Santiago for meetings with the dictator. “As a horse enthusiast, your fine young calvary officers, their horses and the superb performance they put on was excellent,” Allbritton wrote the dictator after a 1996 visit that included a reception at a military academy. “We attach great importance to our relationship with you and the Chilean Military and look forward to expanding our cooperation in the future.”

The letter thanked Pinochet for “the superb cufflinks you presented to me” and invited him to visit “my wife Barby and me at our house in Middleburg, Virginia where we raise our thoroughbred race horses.” (Allbritton’s wife was also a longtime Riggs board member.)

Allbritton wrote again following a 1997 trip to Santiago to express his gratitude for “our thriving personal friendship, which you have demonstrated through your gracious hospitality and stalwart support of Riggs.” He thanked Pinochet for having “rid Chile from the threat of totalitarian government” – Pinochet, at that point, had held power for 24 years after leading a coup against a democratically elected government – and said the entire Western world owed him “a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

Continues…

https://newrepublic.com/article/111093/joe-allbritton-what-those-glowing-obits-didnt-tell-you

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