‘Alt-right’ Trump operative running stock fraud ‘hyena pack’

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How can Donald Trump “drain the swamp” in Washington when some of its slimiest denizens work for his own campaign?

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Alt-right political operative Andy Badolato, currently at the heart of heated accusations being lobbed like mustard gas between the FBI’s New York office and Hillary Clinton’s campaign during this fraught final weekend of the presidential contest, has a second, far more lucrative career running what money-laundering experts call a ‘hyena pack’ stealing tens of millions of dollars, with seeming impunity, from naive and mostly-elderly investors.

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Recently and very publicly, Badolato also became Trump campaign honcho Steve Bannon’s landlord, an unforeseen circumstance which led to his loss of anonymity.

Anxious to avoid questions about his voter registration from The Guardian, Bannon panicked, and changed his legal residence overnight from from a vacant house in Miami to Badolato’s house on Casey Key in Sarasota.

It wasn’t until after Bannon moved in with his Breitbart minion, at least for voting purposes, that Andy Badolato’s astonishing life as a serial stock fraudster came to light.

Ironically, if unkempt atavistic throwback Steve Bannon hadn’t “pussied” out, the world might never have heard of Andy Badolato.

A Tale of Two Houses 

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But that cat is now out of the bag.

bannnonAlso out of the bag is Steve Bannon and Andy Badolato’s decade-long history  as business partners, which may prove important, given Badolato’s increasingly significant role in the current spy-vs-spy match-up featuring dueling revelations about Russian involvement in American politics.

gi_96408_clinton-cash-poster-e1463538102744-2For example, Badolato is listed as associate producer on the Steve Bannon documentary production of Clinton Cash, whose documentary website lists Badolato as registrant.

The main Clinton Cash allegation, oddly enough, has become the basis for the New York FBI’s launch of an investigation into undue Russian influence on the State Department.

Taking their cue from the tin-foil hat brigade from Breitbart, the FBI is pursuing allegations accusing Hillary Clinton of selling America down the river (along with 20% of our goddam uranium!)  in exchange for huge donations to the Clinton Foundation.

 

Memo to Washington Post: Look up “Russian Aluminum Wars”

Paul Manafort, campaign worker for Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, not pictured, speaks with the press during an election night event in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Trump, the billionaire real-estate mogul, got a major boost in his quest to secure the Republican nomination with a majority of delegates but could not eliminate the possibility of a contested convention. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Paul Manafort,

This FBI meme is pitted against another recently-leaked FBI meme,  the so-far under-publicized revelation that a second FBI investigation into undue Russian influence in the U.S. is also underway.

Only this investigation targets the Trump campaign, and his previous campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

Manafort too is accused of playing footsie with the Russians. But this time specific sums are involved: Paul Manafort apparently took home $12 million dollars from a Russian oligarch.

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska attends an economic forum in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk in this February 15, 2008 file photo. As Britain hurtles into the deepest slowdown in more than 15 years, a party funding scandal has reminded the country of its most enduring schism: class. This does not bode well for the opposition Conservatives. To match feature BRITAIN-ELITISM/ REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin/Files (RUSSIA)

Oleg Deripaska

One reason Badolato and Bannon’s FBI meme seems to be winning so far is simple: Major papers like the Washington Post insist on  much-too-politely identifying the Russian oligarch involved with Paul Manafort, Oleg Deripaska, only as a Russian “businessman.”

However Oleg Deripaska is, in truth, one of the world’s biggest bare-knuckled Russian Mafia Dons. Deripaska ended up the victor —or at least the last man standing — at the end of three brutal and hard-fought wars of attrition during the 1990’s called the Russian Aluminum Wars.

Today Deripaska is a Putin confidante  who sits astride giant RusAl, which sits astride the critically-important-to-Russian-national-security aluminum industry.

 

Small world. Wouldn’t want to paint it.


brassington33Coincidentally—or not — Russian Mobster Oleg Deripaska has a “business relationship” with the crime family in Guyana of Michael Francis Brassington, the co-pilot of a drug plane belonging to…are you ready?

Wallace J Hilliard, whose Huffman Aviation flight school in Venice Florida  supposedly trained Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi to fly.

n351wbHilliard’s drug plane, a Lear jet (N351WB), made 39 weekly round trips between Florida and South America with Brassington as co-pilot. According to DEA affidavits as well as court testimony, after first making stops in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando the drug flights, carrying cocaine and heroin, always terminated at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, just outside New York City.

Michael Francis Brassington was known to move in pretty fast company. His cousin Winston” was Minister for Privatisation, one of the most lucrative jobs in the world, to cite the Russian example.

 

“Cue the drums, mon. The steel drums.”

guyana1The record of pilot Michael Brassington’s trial in New Jersey contains oddities seldom seen in countries without any tradition of midnight coup attempts taking place to the sound of steel drums.

For example his attorney filed a pre-trial motion three days before its scheduled start beseeching a Federal Judge to exclude any testimony which mentioned Brassington in connection with terrorism, or with New York’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

If that isn’t enough for a federal prosecutor to make a prima facie case for a continuing criminal conspiracy, it should at least suffice to distribute some of the heat Hillary is currently receiving across the broad shoulders of former Trump minion paul Manafort.

ice-600x450Then there’s this fact: three of Badolato’s business “partners-cum -partners-in-crime” played identifiable roles in what some allege was an officially-sanctioned drug trafficking in St. Petersburg Florida.

Others described what happened there as a “rogue” operation of the Tampa office of ICE, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, long-thought to be fatally compromised  by CIA-run drug trafficking operations.

 

Rumbles in the jungle

peter-d-aguiarNewspapers in Guyana followed the trial closely. A reporter there offered to explain what was going on.

“These guys (Brassington and his brother Paul, a co-defendant)  are the nephews of Peter D’Aguiar,” he explained.

“Their aunt was Peter D’Aguiar’s wife. They come from a powerful old English Guyanese Family that used to be very strong supporters of the United Force Party. But in recent years they seem to have joined forces with (current President of Guyana) Jagdeo.”

“Unclewinston-brassngton Peter,”  as it happened, controlled one of the three major political parties in Guyana, and was no stranger to Uncle Sam. The CIA called on him for assistance with an Agency-sponsored coup in Guyana in 1968.

Russian Mobster Oleg Deripaska and Guyana’s minister for graft, Winston Brassington, who is drug pilot Brassington’s cousin, do a billion dollar deal for Guyana’s bauxite.

If we have a problem in Guyana, whose side is a President Trump going to come down on? On the side of he and Manafort’s Russian Mob buddies? Or the side of truth justice and the American way?

 

Meet ‘the boys’ from Sarasota

gerrypBadolato’s other chief partner, on the even-sleazier side of American fraud, was 79-year old Gerald C. Parker, also from Sarasota.

Gerry and Andy own companies that announce remedies and meet needs in an eco-friendly way. They’re  big on “Green.”

The two men think we can all agree on “Green,” although their company changes it’s name so often they’re  constantly ordering new stationery, which is costly, and not very tree-friendly either.

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Before going bust in Oct 2008, Parker and Dalolato’s Renewable Corporation  touted “Eco-friendly compounds as a natural remedy against termites, ants, ticks and cockroaches.”

Andy let it be known that he was excited “by combining our designer enzyme technology and the ability to produce low cost nootkatone to provide the natural pesticide marketplace with a low cost, environmentally safe solution against insects.”

What Andy meant: They were green to go.

Singing the praises of green 

andyb“We are very enthusiastic about the commercial potential of this new discovery and the numerous products that can be developed,” stated Badolato in one (of hundreds) press releases. Andy hastened to inform  potential investors that should that dream be realized, they were ready to ride the Big Wave.

“We will seek to leverage the distribution and marketing strength of targeted consumer products and pesticide corporations globally to get to market quickly,” he asserted,  “providing a distinct competitive advantage from multiple product revenue streams.”

Correct for sense and standard English, and subtract for moral turpitude and turgid prose, and what Andy’s saying is he’s a man with a plan. But he’s clearly no Carl Icahn.

trump-the-carnival-barkerDid Renewable ever have a product t0 sell? Hard to tell. It went out of business in 2008, with its stock worth a fraction of a penny per share.

The verdict on Badolato’s partner is far more clear: Gerald C Parker is a career flimflam man. He owes more than six million dollars to creditors just in Florida alone. Outside the state, one judgment against him totals thirty million dollars.

But it’s who Parker owes—and not just how much— that gets pretty interesting.

 

Tale of Two Houses II: Frank’s house is way bigger

franks-place

Parker owes almost $ 6 million, for example, to Frank Musolino. Musolino—who died earlier this year— seems a likely pick to fill the shoes of The Big Magilla himself, Santo Trafficante Jr. If Musolino turns out to have been the Mob boss Tampa is said to have lacked since the halcyon days when Trafficante ran the Cigar City Mafia, would it be a big surprise?

Take Frank’s place on the Hillsborough River, big enough for a Don Corleone wedding, with parimutuel betting in the boathouse.

musolinoSome, like Frank Musolino and Mike Muzio, (“Stock Fraud, Drug Trafficking, & the ‘Alt-Right)  come from the world of organized crime.  Others were involved in U.S. military intelligence or the CIA. (One, Jonathan Curshen, (“Trump campaign chief’s hidden ties to Sarasota grifter”)  may have been working with Mossad.

News that Bannon and Badolato had business partners from both the CIA and the Mob makes another recent discovery seem almost inevitable.

Three of Badolato’s business partners were also implicated in drug trafficking  through their several companies. And also that the drug trafficking, whatever it’s provenance,  continued for years, went largely unpunished, and involved men — Frank Musolino, Mike Muzio, and Jonathan Curshen — who were also business partners of Andy Badolato.

 

How it works: Grandma meets the NFL

1stdown

The target of one typically egregious example of Parker and Badolato’s career in penny stock fraud is horrifyingly-obvious to anyone who’s ever watched a big-screen NFL telecast with their parents.

Is there anyone who hasn’t had to try to explain the new-fangled way the league highlights the first down line in bright orange or phosphorescent green on the screen?

1st“It’s a chroma-key,” I remember answering carefully. “They do it in the studio.”

“But look!” My mom was unsatisfied. “The players are stepping on it! How can they do that?”

“Because it’s not really there.”

I hope I never look like that.  Befuddlement can be painfully obvious.

“Oh. I see.”

And, of course, what’s clear is: they don’t. 

Flori-Duh: A sunny state for shady people

boilerroomSo without sounding condescending, just how do you tell your mom not to worry, because any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic?

You can’t. And it’s a measure of a certain evil genius that both Gerry Parker and Andy Badolato recognized that. The men concocted a scheme to exploit older Americans’ understandable weakness in grasping new technology.

But Parker and Badolato didn’t just exploit the weakness.  Working out of a boiler room in Boca Raton where few were qualified in securities, they weaponized it.

Promoting a “First Down Laser System” they said would generate a green laser line on the football field that would be visible… even inside the stadium,  they set about cold calling everyone in South Florida who had ever requested a brochure about assisted living.

sports_eye

They said the technology would free up TV broadcast time that could be sold on to advertisers. Everyone would make out like bandits.

Especially if you’d ‘got in on ‘ an opportunity to buy stock in a company with revolutionary new technology that was going to make that new-fangled laser first down line visible even inside the stadium, to players and referees right on the football field

 

More than “tanker seepage,” less than lost Japanese gold

The scam scored more than $2.4 million from more than 200 elderly victims who got for their money worthless stock in Thought Development Inc. (TDI)  the Miami Beach “company” which claimed it as its signature invention.

The alert response of government and law enforcement authorities —they got right on it —says more about the clout of the NFL than the vigilance of regulators. But you couldn’t tell from the press release.

“Securities fraud jeopardizes the well-being of our citizens. The defendants raised $2.4 million targeting the elderly and representing that they had technology about to be used by the NFL,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer in an FBI press release.

“There was no such arrangement. Today’s charges are the first step in holding them accountable for robbing these elderly folks of their hard-earned savings for their own personal gain.”

The FBI Special Agent in charge of the Bureau’s Miami Field Office, George L. Piro, was similarly put out.

“Those charged misrepresented investments to a vulnerable part of our population. The FBI will continue to prioritize investigation of investment fraud targeting the elderly.”

The story ended the way these stories always do. Reported the Ft Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel:

“Four men were sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a South Florida boiler room operation that fraudulently peddled shares in a company they claimed was developing technology for the NFL.”

And that would have been that, and no one would ever have heard about it.  Somebody sued, and won. But it was only a pyrrhic victory; the scammers never leave a nickel around to be confiscated.

Penny stock fraud is not exactly a capital offense, or even a high priority, which makes it a great place to quickly pick up a few million bucks. Making a living touting dog Pink Sheets stocks on over-the-counter bulletin boards where disclosure and regulation are a distraction keeps you light on your feet.

 

Location location location 

200px-bertha_honore_palmerEven in a place as self-consciously nouveau riche as Sarasota, Casey Key is unique.  The rich and famous have always come here, going back to Mrs. Bertha Potter Palmer, a Chicago socialite—the Palmer House Hotel— who came to Sarasota after her husband died and left her mega-rich in the early 1900s.

According to Wikipedia, “Her jewelry was so fabulous that when she appeared on the S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse with a tiara of diamonds as large as lima beans, a corsage panned with diamonds, and a sunburst as big as a baseball” a newspaper declared that Alois Burgskeller of the Metropolitan Opera, who was singing at the ship’s concert, was stopped right in the middle of a high note.”

casy-key-veniceAll that separates Casey Key in Sarasota from Venice, Florida—shark tooth capital of the world and home to three of the four terrorist pilots in the 9/11 attack—is the IntraCoastal Canal.

The place has a decades-long reputation as a center of intrigue. John Ringling North lived here. E. Howard Hunt; the Pinkerton of Pinkerton Detectives; and the Saudi family that disappeared leaving half-eaten food on the table a few days before 9/11.

hammoudMohamed Atta lived here with Marwan Al-Shehhi, bought a cell phone here from local Lebanese “businessman” Wissam Hammoud, who later went to prison for soliciting an undercover FBI agent to behead an uncooperative law enforcement official.

Today, Sarasota—if not richer—is  at least flashier. There are a few rock stars, some big pharmaceutical magnates, a sprinkling of “international entertainment executives,” a couple of casino owners, a retired chairman of Goldman Sachs.

 

Octagon match for the ages: Gotti v. Goldman Sachs Chairman

At the north end of Casey Key, Mafia Don John Gotti owned a three-lot property with state-of-the-art security cameras all over the compound. His daughter lived there, well before she got her own reality show.  There were tales tell of strange guys and even stranger real estate closings.

house-is-not-a-homeGotti liked Sarasota. If you were trying to keep your name out of the papers, Sarasota offered a certain amount of cover. The local newspaper publisher,  an old China hand, pursued a lucrative sideline as a weapons merchant, selling mostly to tinpot dictators in Central and South America.  He had flown with the Flying Tigers  out of Kuomintang. There were rumors of involvement in heroin trafficking.

He was a very live-and-let-live kind of guy.

Katherine Harris

Katherine Harris

Of course, Sarasota also boasts the original MILF, citrus heir Katherine Harris, who was Florida’s Secretary of State after the 2000 Presidential election, helped steal the election for George W Bush. Many people subsequently died, needlessly. So a little ‘slut shaming’ does not seem overly egregious.

Turns out, Katherine Harris’ adventures in makeup, widely-commented on at the time, exactly matched her local reputation in Sarasota, where she was known as the town “pump.”

“She came on to me at a party,” recalled one local internist. “Walked over and sat on my lap. My wife, who was stading right next to me, was not amused.”

Katherine Harris: Vixen from hell? Or just a citrus heiress who applies lipstick with a trowel?  Which of these? You make the call.

 

NEXT TIME: MORE ON PAUL MANAFORT, OLEG DERIPASKA, MICHAEL FRANCIS BRASSINGTON, AND TAMPA DON EMERITUS FRANK MUSOLINO

About Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist dubious about the self-serving assertion of U.S. officials that there are no American Drug Lords.
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15 Responses to ‘Alt-right’ Trump operative running stock fraud ‘hyena pack’

  1. King Kangaeoo says:

    So, Trump is not the second coming? Next you’ll be saying the Kennedy’s sold whiskey and took money from an Italian gentleman’s club. Or that the Bush family deals drugs. Or that Obama’s mother was a pimped out porn star for a notorious black panthers type activist dedicated to the over throw of the USA – to make her jewish daddy angry.

    Sigh, Daniel, stop raining on our Trumpian parade. The sun is out. People are happy. Sure, he may have slapped a 13 year old girl around coked off his head at an Epstein party but that actually makes him perfectly qualified for the job of President.

    Sure he has notorious blackmailer Bi Bi Netanyahu waiting in the Brightbart
    wings but with Dr Steve Piexzenik screaming from the sidelines we remain ever hopeful Saint Trump will be beatified by the Pope and day.

    If Trump doesn’t do what he has “alluded” he will do – end wars – end drug war – rebuild US infrastructure and stop sending weapons to ISIS – then there will be some very upset people post parade.

    Love ya work!

  2. Agent76 says:

    Mar 4, 2016 Donald Trump’s business links to the mob – BBC Newsnight

    Donald Trump now looks like the front-runner to be the Republican candidate for the US presidency. One of his big appeals is his business success – and his claim that his wealth means he can’t be bought and sold. But there’s evidence which not only casts doubt on Trump’s wealth claims – but also reveals his history of business relationships with figures connected to organized crime.

    https://youtu.be/-k3B-tw2sB0

  3. Martus says:

    And the alternative is someone that would continue on the same path enlarging the swamps and bring in more alligators?

  4. Ben Rosenzweig says:

    Hopsicker…another shifty communist jew….that’s all ya gotta know folks!

  5. dinn says:

    a microflaw in the Hildebeast program–
    or was it a micro-flea?–
    someone scratching round for “my precious”:
    hmm ha, i think, was it not,
    i had it right here, right here, right here!

    alas, alas, a microflaw
    multiplied by a none too well drained swamp
    minus a street of great walls rising high—
    indivisible, with derivatives over all

  6. Ione Skye says:

    I love Daniel Hopsicker.

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  9. Mike says:

    Martus, Trump is not going to drain the swamp, he’s just going to populate it with different alligators. Probably a lot more of them. It will be expanded, count on it.

  10. Ben Schreckinger says:

    Hi Daniel,

    I’m a reporter hoping to contact you about this article. Can you email me please?

    Thanks
    Ben

  11. Alexi says:

    How comforting.

    On a different note, I bet Oliver Stone would LOVE to get his hands on a script…

    Thanks Danny.

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