Tag Archives: beny steinmetz

Simandou, justice et rancoeur vaine

Publiés sur Aminata.com un certain Ibrahima Sory Touré a tenu des propos désobligeants et discourtois, qui dénotent la rancoeur, la mesquinerie, la perfidie, la méchanceté et l’ingratitude. En effet, dans le malheur, il se désolidarise, rejette et condamne sa demi-soeur, Mamadie Touré, qui fut la compagne du Général-Président Lansana Conté. Ce faisant, il apporte de l’eau au moulin de Beny Steinmez dans le scanndale des contrats miniers du Simandou. En effet le patron de BSGR avait, lui aussi, jeté un doute sur la relation conjugale entre Mme Mamadie et le défunt dictateur.

Mais la sorte verbale de M. Touré est tardive et vaine.

Et c’est dommage que Le Populaire — le journal de Conakry à la source de l’interview de M. Touré — n’ait pas cherché à vérifier les accusations auprès de sources tierces. Cela lui aurait permis  d’étoffer l’article et d’éclairer les lecteurs sur les querelles de famille et l’hostilité du sieur Sory contre sa parente.

Le journal aurait dû aussi corriger le titre en conjuguant le verbe au passé, car il ne saurait y avoir de mariage entre une personne morte et un être vivant. La relation conjugale prit fin à l’instant même du décès du vieux Général.

Ibrahima Sory semble évoluer en vase clos. Ainsi, il ne mentionne guère l’intervention de gouvernements étrangers visant à dénouer l’écheveau d’intrigues et de corruption entourant le dossier du Simandou, de 2008 à 2010.

Ainsi, par exemple, la justice de la Confédération Helvétique a ouvert une enquête à Genève.

Et les autorités fédérales américaines n’y sont pas allé de main morte. Dès que le FBI a constaté la violation de la loi dénommée Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, qui réprime la corruption étrangère sur le territoire US, les branches exécutive et judiciaires sont entrées en action. Depuis 2012, le scandale du Simandou a reçu l’attention qu’il mérite. Grâce à la diligence de la justice, les choses se sont précipitées et précisées ici aux Etats-Unis.
En conséquence, l’un des principaux acteurs impliqués dans l’affaire, le Français Frédéric Cilins, purge une peine de prison depuis l’année dernière.

[Lire Frenchman Cilins Gets Two Years ]

De même, les autorités fédérales ont procédé à la saisie des biens de Mme. Mamadie Touré en Floride. Elle a accepté aussi de coopérer avec le FBI dans la poursuite de l’enquête.

[Lire Florida Homes of Lansana Conté’s Wife Seized]

De son côté, flairant les risques pour ses activités, Beny Steinmetz a embauché des personnalités de poids comme consultants. Il s’agit de :

  1. Joe Liberman, ancien sénateur à la retraite de l’Etat du Connecticut et ancien candidat à la vice-présidence ; il fut le co-listier du candidat démocrate Albert Gore à la Maison Blanche en 2000,
  2. Louis Freeh, ancien directeur du FBI.

Du côté guinéen qu’a fait la justice  ? Que peut-elle faire aujourd’hui ?  Qu’envisage-t-elle de faire ? Réponse :  trois fois rien vraisemblablement.

Au lieu d’imiter le professionalisme et la probité des institutions étrangères, le régime du Président Alpha Condé — empêtré dans l’incompétence —  a fini par libérer M. Touré et ne semble plus s’interesser aux racines et ramification locales du contentieux. Ceal permet à Ibrahima Sory de se livrer à toutes sortes d’insinuations.
Mais ses déclarations n’atténueront pas et n’effaceront pas sa implication présumée dans le scandale.
D’une part, il semble croire que l’énormité de l’escroquerie se ramène à des conflits de personnes et de famille. D’autre part, il évoque le rôle d’Alpha Condé. A propos de ce dernier, M. Touré divague sottement lorsqu’il suggère que l’actuel président aurait pu être le parrain du mariage de Lansana Conté et de sa demi-soeur !! La démarche est gauche, désespéré et stupide, car M. Condé n’était pas au pouvoir en 2007-2008.

Ibrahima Sory devrait se livrer à un examen de conscience. Il devrait  se repentir pour son rôle —si minime soit-il— dans le vol du 21e siècle que furent les tractations et transactions autour du Simandou.

Hélas, non. Il se complait dans une innocence qui reste à prouver. Et il diabolise sa demi-soeur, aujourd’hui acculée ici en Amérique.

A mon avis, il devrait plutôt la respecter et la soutenir en ces temps d’épreuve et de vaches maigres. Ne serait-ce qu’en reconnaissance pour les avantages qu’il tira de leur consanguinité aux beaux jours et durant les années grasses de BSGR-Guinée.

De toutes les façons, l’Histoire l’a déjà condamné à travers le milliardaire soudanais, Mohamed ‘Mo’ Ibrahim, qui déclara en 2011, à juste titre,  que les Guinéens qui participèrent à la signature du contrat minier du Simandou au profit de BSGR, sont “soit des  idiots, soit des criminels, ou les deux”.
Les Guinéens empochèrent des miettes, certes. En l’occurrence quelques dizanes millions de dollars dispensés par BSGR. Mais peu après le diamantaire Israélien vendit 51% de parts d’investissements au géant brésilien Vale en échange de US $2.5 milliards. Il reçut immédiatement un chèque de US$ 500 millions.

[Lire Mining And Corruption. Crying Foul In Guinea ]

M. Touré a beau jeu de nier aujourd’hui qu’il fut un beau-frère de Lansana Conté.  Il n’en fit probablement pas moins partie du groupe dénoncé par Mo Ibrahim. L’opinion de celui-ci fit le tour de la planète sur Internet. Frappante et adéquate, sa formule résume éloquemment la faillite guinéenne.

Qu’Ibrahima Sory Touré en soit conscient ou pas, peu importe.

Les mots de “Mo’’ sonnent comme un verdict. Et ils pourraient  coller à la face et au dos de M. Touré, et lui convenir comme une paire de gants — ou de menottes.

Tierno S. Bah

Mining and corruption. Crying foul in Guinea

Africa’s largest iron-ore mining project has been bedeviled by dust-ups and delays.

“An emblematic tragedy” is how Sir Paul Collier, an adviser to the British government, describes the situation in Guinea—referring not to the Ebola outbreak (awful though he considers that to be) but the saga of Simandou, a mining project mired in allegations of corruption, expropriation and corporate espionage.

Simandou, a mountainous area in southern Guinea (pictured), has been called the El Dorado of iron ore. It is the world’s largest known untapped deposit of the stuff, with enough ore to sustain annual production of 200m tonnes—7% of global iron-ore output—for more than a quarter of a century. Better still, the ore there has unusually high iron content. The potential project cost for the mine, and the railway and port that would be needed to get ore on to ships, is $20 billion, making it Africa’s largest ever proposed mining venture. Guinea could do with the investment: it ranks 179th out of 187 countries in the UN’s human-development index. Wags, alas, have taken to calling Simandou “Simandon’t”. Exploration rights were first granted in the 1990s, yet the earliest anyone expects production to begin is 2019.

The saga oozes intrigue. Among its cast of characters:

  • Two of the world’s biggest mining groups
  • The Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto and Vale of Brazil
  • Beny Steinmetz, an Israeli diamond tycoon
  • George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist
  • Mark Malloch-Brown, a former deputy head of the UN
  • The wife of Guinea’s former leader
  • And, possibly, members of South Africa’s elite and security services.

It is, as one lawyer involved in the case wryly puts it, “a slightly Hollywood story”.

The opening chapter was the awarding of exploration licences for four blocks at Simandou to Rio Tinto in 1997. The northern two blocks were snatched back from the company in 2008, as the then dictator, Lansana Conté, lay on his deathbed. The ostensible reason was that Rio was not developing the site quickly enough. Months later the rights to these blocks were assigned to BSG Resources (BSGR), a firm indirectly owned by a Steinmetz family trust. With no upfront payment required, the deal appeared to be very attractive for BSGR.

Guinea iron ore mines
Mo Ibrahim, an African billionaire, asked whether the Guinean officials who agreed to it were “idiots, or criminals, or both”. After Conté’s death, BSGR sold 51% of its interest to Vale for $2.5 billion, $500m of which was paid immediately.

A new government, led by Alpha Condé, took power in 2010, after Guinea’s first democratic elections, and set up a committee to review past contracts. This concluded that BSGR got its blocks through bribery. As a result, the firm was stripped of its concession earlier this year. The government signed a new deal with Rio and its Chinese partner, Chinalco, to develop the two southern blocks they had held onto.

This involved Rio having to pay $700m, part of which was upfront taxes.

This wrangling has generated lots of work for lawyers.
Rio has filed a racketeering suit in New York against BSGR and Vale, claiming they conspired to steal the northern blocks.
BSGR has an arbitration suit against Guinea; Vale has one against BSGR.
The latter is sealed but understood to argue that BSGR duped Vale into buying an asset that was presented as legitimate but had been corruptly obtained. (Vale never paid the remaining $2 billion to BSGR, but says it spent a further $700m on Simandou.)
In an interview with Piaui, a Brazilian magazine, Vale’s former boss, Roger Agnelli, said of the union with BSGR:

“A guy can marry a former hooker and only discover years later that his wife used to be a prostitute.”

On top of these actions, BSGR sued Global Witness last year. The firm claims that the group violated Mr Steinmetz’s privacy by publishing “personal” data in its investigative reports on the case, arguing that since Global Witness is not a bona fide journalistic outfit, but an advocacy group, it needs to comply with higher data-protection standards. Global Witness denies this. The case, which is before Britain’s information commissioner and the High Court, could break new legal ground on the free-speech rights of lobby groups.

Last year a related case was settled out of court when Mr Steinmetz received a portion of his costs—but no admission of fault—from Lord Malloch-Brown (a former employee of this newspaper) and FTI Consulting, the public-relations firm of which he was a regional chairman. The tycoon had sued for breach of contract and defamation, accusing Lord Malloch-Brown of persuading FTI to cancel a contract to represent BSGR, in response to pressure from Mr Soros (an associate, and a patron of Global Witness).

And then there are government investigations into Simandou, in America, Britain and elsewhere.
Last week a court in Florida allowed prosecutors to seize property owned by Mamadie Touré, the widow of Conté, the late dictator, including restaurant equipment and houses, which the prosecutors believe was bought with the proceeds of corruption.
The firm alleged to have given the bribes in the American government’s complaint is not named, but it is unmistakably BSGR.

The next legal development, expected any day, will be a ruling by a judge in New York on a motion by defendants to have Rio’s racketeering suit moved to London, where the bar for proving its allegations would be higher.

Rio’s legal complaint is spicy stuff. It alleges that BSGR doled out $100m in bribes and that Frédéric Cilins, an associate of Mr Steinmetz, befriended staff at the business centre of the Novotel hotel in Conakry, the Guinean capital, to obtain copies of faxes detailing Rio’s plans at Simandou. The complaint also claims that Vale feigned interest in buying assets from Rio, months after the Brazilian group had begun secret negotiations with BSGR, in order to hoodwink Rio into showing it confidential information about Simandou’s geology. Seeing an opportunity to wrest control of part of the site from its rival “on the cheap”, Vale shared this data with BSGR in violation of a confidentiality agreement, Rio alleges.

Testimony and surveillance transcripts from an FBI investigation, made public by the Guinean investigating committee, are particularly illuminating. Ms Touré (who has turned co-operating witness) says BSGR offered her millions of dollars, jewellery, two Toyota Land Cruisers and a 5% stake in the project to persuade her dying husband to sign over the Simandou rights. Some of her allegations are supported by photocopies of cheques. In one transcript, Mr Cilins, having flown to Florida to meet her, urges her to destroy apparently corrupt contracts: “You have to destroy everything, urgently, urgently, urgently.” He promises more money if she does, saying the message comes “directly from the number 1”. When she asks who that is, he whispers “Beny”. In March Mr Cilins pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and received a two-year prison sentence.

BSGR denies wrongdoing. The company says the seemingly damning documents were “fabricated” and plays down its relationship with Mr Cilins, saying he never signed a formal contract to represent the firm. The Guinean committee was established “to provide a pretext to illegally seize our assets in Guinea”, the company states. BSGR says it “looks forward to testing the evidence” at a forthcoming arbitration tribunal.

As for Rio’s racketeering claims, a lawyer for BSGR describes them as “amazingly fictitious”. Nevertheless, the trust that controls BSGR is said to have hired Joe Lieberman, a former United States senator, and Louis Freeh, former head of the FBI, to conduct an internal probe of the bribery allegations—though the firm will not say whether they have begun their work.

Spooky

The narrative being pushed by BSGR became clearer when it filed its defence in the Rio suit and a request for arbitration. It alleges that the election that brought Mr Condé to power was rigged with help from South African interests. These provided Mr Condé with financial and other support—including altering voter registers—in return for a promised stake in the nation’s mining assets, including the blocks snatched from BSGR, its arbitration filing states.
In another document it names 83 individuals and companies, including South African politicians, businessmen and spies, who could have “discoverable information” that might support its claims.

A spokesman for Guinea’s government says of the alleged election-rigging:
— BSGR has never provided Guinea with any evidence to back its allegations.
A spokesman for the Rainbow Coalition, of which Mr Condé’s party is a member, says:
— The suggestion that an outsider like Alpha Condé rigged the elections against a military insider [Cellou Diallo] beggars belief.
Guinea’s supreme court certified the poll result, and the Carter Centre, which promotes democracy worldwide, said the electoral process was “broadly consistent with the country’s…obligations for genuine democratic elections.”

Mr Condé has insisted he is cleaning up government after many years of corrupt dictatorship.

But some of the regime’s dealings with business raise questions about its judgment.

In May, for instance, the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration, the highest tribunal of a west African body overseeing commercial law, ruled that the government acted illegally in tearing up a container-terminal management contract with Getma International, a French company, in 2011 and handing it shortly afterwards to Bolloré, another French firm. The panel awarded Getma $49m in damages.

Guinea scored just 25 out of 100 in Transparency International’s latest corruption-perceptions index, placing it below Ukraine.

The closest thing the drama has to a central character is Mr Steinmetz. But seen from another angle, the colourful individuals, and even BSGR, are a sideshow. The big-picture story is a titanic battle between the giants of iron-ore mining—a business in which BSGR is a minnow—for control of the world’s richest deposits.

Some analysts think Rio’s intention all along was to go slow with Simandou, holding it as a defensive play to frustrate global competitors.

The company may have grown less inclined to mine the site: the iron-ore price has fallen by 60% from record highs in 2011. But it is probably also loath to let it fall into the hands of a rival that could reap rewards once the price rebounds. Tellingly, Mr Agnelli said of the joint venture with BSGR:
—It was strategically important for Vale not to leave Rio Tinto alone with all that ore.
So important, in fact, that some of the contract terms with BSGR were rushed (or even agreed only verbally), leading to much executive disquiet at Vale.

Rio says it is committed to developing its two remaining blocks. It is less clear how keen it is to regain the other two. The firm has said it no longer wants to increase its exposure to Guinea, but not everyone believes that. If the government were to auction them off—it is preparing a tender—interest could come from, among others, Vale, ArcelorMittal and Glencore.

But prospective investors will have to weigh up the risks. One is the outstanding legal challenge from BSGR. Bigger ones are political uncertainty—a presidential election is due to be held next year—and Ebola.

Tunnel vision

Company accountants worry more about the project’s steep costs. Simandou sits in a thickly forested mountain range—difficult terrain that greatly raises the cost of building the 650km railway (with 35 bridges and 24km of tunnels) to the coast. I
t doesn’t help that Mr Condé has insisted the tracks run through Guinea to a domestic port, rather than taking a shorter, easier route through Liberia (see map).

The government had wanted to take a big stake in the infrastructure but could not afford to. With help from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), Simandou’s managers are now looking to assemble a private consortium to finance, build and operate the railway and port.
Roadshows for potential contractors begin this month. The estimated infrastructure costs are $13 billion. Whether the project is economically viable will depend on the future trajectory of the iron-ore price.

Simandou could do wonders for Guinea’s emaciated economy (GDP per person is a mere $530).

Tom Butler of the IFC, which has a 5% stake in Rio’s project, describes it as “potentially transformational”: even at today’s deflated iron-ore price, it would produce annual revenue for the state of “a multiple of the current annual budget”. It could generate tens of thousands of jobs and, thanks to the railway, make agri-business in the country’s interior competitive for export.
Moreover, success would encourage investment in Guinea’s sizeable deposits of other minerals, such as bauxite, graphite and manganese.

But nothing will come out of the ground for at least five years. It could be closer to ten. A recent presentation by Glencore, seen by Reuters, predicted that Rio will not rush to produce iron ore from Africa because its focus in coming years will be on growth projects in Australia.

Meanwhile, the legal skirmishes will continue. The arbitration cases, for instance, could grind on for up to five years—prolonging this cautionary tale of the ugly recriminations that can follow when the rights to vast mineral riches are handed out in questionable circumstances.

The beleaguered people of Guinea deserve better.

The Economist
Dec 6th 2014

Florida Homes of Lansana Conté’s Wife Seized

In the bad old days under Lansana Conté‘s dictatorship, natural resources were bartered away with trinkets and a few suitcases filled with cash.

The West African nation of Guinea, under a new president, is now trying to clean up the mess left by the previous regime by cancelling lucrative mining contracts allegedly bought in exchange for:

  • a diamond necklace
  • houses in Jacksonville, Florida
  • $5.3 million in cold cash
  • two Toyota Land Cruisers
  • an ice cream cooler
  • grills
  • some display cases for a catering business.

The gifts, lavished on the family of Guinea’s former head of state,

Mamadie Toure
Mamadie Toure

were seized last week by the U.S. Justice Department as part of a federal investigation into the corrupt practices of some multinationals still attempting to cart away Africa’s natural resources through lavish bribes and money laundering.

President Conte’s fourth wife, Mamadie Toure, who received much of the largess, is a cooperating witness in the current federal case.

According to Madame Toure, in exchange for getting her president husband to transfer contracts from one mining company to another, the money tap was turned full on.

Because some of the alleged bribery took place on U.S. soil, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 was invoked. It prohibits the payment of bribes to win business, or when the conduct involves U.S. soil or the U.S. banking system.

Rights to iron ore deposits in Guinea’s Simandou mountain range – have been a long sought-after prize by foreign multinationals. It’s been called the “jewel in the crown” of West Africa’s vast natural resources.

Shortly before his death in 2008, President Conté signed over multi-billion-dollar mining rights at Simandou to BSG Resources, owned by family trusts of the Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz. He canceled existing contracts with an Anglo-Australian firm prompting cries of outrage by that firm.

Neither Steinmetz nor his company BSGR are named in the current probe. But the possibility of such prompted Steinmetz Trust to hire former Senator and vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman and former FBI head Louis Freeh to run an internal probe of the bribery allegations, a source told Bloomberg news.

Meanwhile, BSGR was stripped of the Simandou concessions in April this year when a Guinean government committee reviewing all mining contracts signed with the previous government, said it had established “with sufficient certainty the existence of ‘corrupt practices’ surrounding the granting of mining rights.”

Global Witness, a UK-based group which campaigns “to stop elites getting away with looting entire states, from armed factions militarizing the natural resource business, and for an end to the exploitation of our environment that is destroying lives, habitats and ecosystems,” has posted an extensive report on the bribe probe.

While billions in profits are seen for mining operators, benefits for ordinary Guinean could be small. Bauxite mining at the Sangaredi Mine in western Guinea, for example, has led to a collapse in local wildlife populations, dwindling forests, unemployment and landlessness

Global Witness & Global Information Network

Rio Tinto keeps out of North Simandou

Sam Walsh, Rio Tinto Chief Executive
Sam Walsh, Rio Tinto Chief Executive
  • Rio Tinto says will hang back from iron tender
  • First export from Simandou south expected in Dec. 2018
  • Final decision on project will be after feasibility study

Rio Tinto indicated it would not take part in a tender for the mining rights for the northern half of the disputed Guinea iron ore deposit Simandou, saying the government would prefer other companies to invest.

The global miner already owns a stake in the southern part of the project, the biggest and highest quality untapped iron ore deposit known.

Mining concessions for the northern half are now up for grabs after the government took them from the previous holders: Brazilian miner Vale and BSG Resources (BSGR), the mining branch of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s group.

Potential investors may be deterred, however, by falling iron ore prices and by a threat from BSGR that it will sue any investor in its former license.

Iron ore [.IO62-CNI=SI] has lost half of its value since hitting a peak of almost $200 a tonne in 2011.

“I don’t think that the government actually wants us to participate,” Rio Tinto Chief Executive Sam Walsh said during a press briefing.

“I think the government is looking to have a bit of diversity in terms of who would build that project. And that’s fine, we understand that.”

Rio Tinto said exports are likely to start from the southern part of Simandou by December 2018.

Risks of a delay in the $20 billion project are high, however, given that Rio Tinto and the Guinea government still have to find partners to build and finance infrastructure to move the ore out of its location, a remote mountain in the north-east of Guinea.

Rio Tinto, non-committal

Rio signed an investment framework with Guinea in May setting out conditions for the massive infrastructure investment needed for Simandou. But it said it would take a decision on whether to go ahead only after it receives a in-depth feasibility study due next year.

“The (start) date will be determined by the bankable feasibility study,” Walsh said.

“Some people have thought, when we announced the signing of the framework, that we were committing to the project. It’s a commitment to the framework. That (commitment to the project) will need to be studied during the bankable feasibility study. And it’s at that point when it’s completed that we would make an investment decision.”

When fully ramped up, southern Simandou could produce about 100 million tonnes a year, or just below 10 percent of the global seaborne iron ore market.

Rio also held the rights to develop the northern part of Simandou until 2008, when former President Lansana Conte’s government revoked that permit and transferred it to BSGR, arguing that Rio had moved too slowly.

In April, Rio filed a lawsuit against BSGR and Vale, its former partner in the project, alleging they had devised a fraudulent scheme to steal those rights.

Other parties interested in the northern Simandou licenses are steelmaker ArcelorMittal, Vale, BHP Billiton and the Chinese government, by far the largest consumer of the steel raw material, sources said.

Miner and commodity trader Glencore has also been courting Guinea over its iron ore riches, a document obtained by Reuters shows.

Silvia Antonioli
Alexandra Reza
Jane Baird
Reuters

Frenchman Cilins gets two years

Frenchman Cilins gets two years in U.S. prison for role in Guinea mine scandal

A former adviser to mining giant BSG Resources was sentenced in New York federal court on Friday to two years in prison for obstructing a criminal probe in connection with a bribery investigation in Guinea.

Frederic Cilins, a French national, pleaded guilty in March to one count of obstruction and admitted attempting to bribe Mamadie Toure, a widow of former Guinea President Lansana Conte, so she would leave the United States to avoid questioning by federal authorities.

Cilins was charged as part of a U.S. probe into potentially illegal payments made to Guinean officials to secure rights to half of one of the world’s largest untapped iron ore deposits for BSG Resources (BSGR), the mining arm of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s conglomerate.

BSGR has denied any wrongdoing.

The investigation eventually prompted Guinean officials to strip the concessions from BSGR and its partner, Brazilian iron ore mining company Vale SA, after a government-appointed committee accused BSGR of obtaining them through corrupt means.

BSGR has accused officials of improperly trying to wrest away its rights to the northern half of the Simandou mine. The company is seeking arbitration at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Developing Simandou would offer an enormous boost to the Guinean economy, but the project has suffered delays because of disputes over the mining rights.

Last month, Guinea’s national assembly ratified an investment framework agreement with global miner Rio Tinto, its Chinese partner Chinalco and International Finance Corporation to raise nearly $20 billion to revive the project. First production from Rio and Chinalco’s southern half of Simandou, however, is at least four years away.

The government is also planning to open a new auction to grant the rights stripped from BSGR and Vale for the northern part of the deposit. Guinean officials have said Vale did nothing wrong and encouraged the company to bid again.

At Friday’s hearing, Cilins apologized to U.S. District Judge William Pauley for his actions and to his family for causing them pain.

Pauley said Cilins’ crime “strikes at the very foundation of the sound administration of justice,” but declined to impose a sentence of more than three years, as prosecutors had requested.

Cilins, 51, was accused of offering to pay for Toure’s flight to leave the United States to avoid answering federal investigators’ questions. Unbeknownst to Cilins, Toure was working as an informant for the U.S. government.

In a taped phone conversation, Cilins told Toure: “That has to be destroyed very urgently,” referring to documents tied to the alleged payments, prosecutors said.

The case is U.S. v. Cilins, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 13-315.

Joseph Ax
Gunna Dickson
Reuters