January 2009

Demanding Accountability

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“Bernie” Madoff Copycats Crimes of U.S. Government

By Michael Minns
Houston, Texas Lawyer

A MUST READ - Michael Minns, as proclaimed by both Geraldo and G. Gordon Liddy , is the best tax defense lawyer in America. An officer of the Enrolled Agents Society, an organization of accounting and tax professionals, stated that if you can't hire Minns on your criminal tax case ... then pack your toothbrush, you are heading for jail.

As a former Texas Boxing Champion, Minns learned to never pull a punch and his victories include the largest tax refund case in US history; the first and second disbarment of IRS lawyers for misconduct in US history; the largest number of off shore acquittals in a single case in US history; and, the largest legal malpractice judgment against a divorce lawyer in US History. Quite a “partial resume”. Minns' specific individual victories are too numerous to mention but many are discussed in his two bestselling books; “The Underground Lawyer” and “How to Survive the IRS”.

The perspective he has gained by not only defending people from the IRS, but also going after the lawyers from the IRS, as well as the con-artists who made citizens vulnerable to IRS in the first place, has given him a unique point of view regarding government payoffs and financial wrangling.

The US~Observer is proud to present another hard-hitting exposé by Michael Minns! -- Edward Snook, US~Observer

In a time and place long, long ago (December of 2008), during the last full month of the Bush dynasty, at a time when Congress was busy handing out $350 billion dollars in, now disappeared and untraceable Federal Reserve Notes , in a land called DC, where, when the AC is turned on, the heat goes up…there was a man by the name of Bernard Madoff, who out of the blue, confessed to his brother and his sons, and his family, that by the way, he had stolen $50 Billion dollars. Apparently, in the festivity of the taking and giving season he felt burdened by this fact. The SEC had already caught him two years earlier - but let him go. Mr. Madoff's former friends called him Bernie. Bernie has no current friends because many of them were the sources of the invested and now divested $50 Billion dollars.

Immediately after telling his beloved family members, who were still rich, because fortuitously, they were not heavily invested in Bernie's fraud, and even though they all worked for Bernie and had millions set aside from Bernie's companies, knew nothing about the fact that Bernie had stolen the Billions, those betrayed relatives (but not too betrayed) turned Bernie in. See no evil. Hear no evil. Avoid Indictment.

The Government charged him with securities fraud and without a trial he was ordered to stay in his Manhattan multi-million-dollar, high-rise mansion until further notified. He was ordered not to spend or steal any more money until he could be tried, and presumably, based on his confession, witnessed by everyone who still may have reason to love or like Bernie, convicted.

But, Bernie had some debts to cover and wrote out a few checks here and there, to the maid, his beloved family members for bonuses in the company and a few more what not's. 100 of them to be precise, plus he signed $173 million dollars in checks and mailed a few keep sakes, 13 of his watches and other valuable pieces valued at only a million bucks. His lawyer referred to the million in jewelry as “a few sentimental personal items.” Apparently his sentimental journey was going to take place after he gave up his sentimental items. I can see the similarities with another man of sentiment, perhaps our soon-to-be ex-Treasury Secretary, the former head of what was once an investment bank, now a real bank, Goldman Sach's, "Tsar" Henry Paulson .

"Tsar" Paulson, once he got approval from Congress and Emperor Bush to distribute money…did just that. At least $250 Billion has now been signed over to banks…and no one knows what they did with the money. Anyone who thinks Madoff did something “magic” by “losing” an imaginary $50 Billion in twenty years, (if the smoke ever clears it could be less than $5 Billion in real dollars), while no one was looking, because everyone trusted him, has really missed the boat. Paulson has just handed out a real $250 Billion in thirty days, while everyone in Congress, and our “alert media” was watching. Maybe Paulson can use the line of Madoff's lawyer: “These were just a few Billion Sentimental Federal Reserve Notes… they didn't really have any value.” The Congress, you may remember, delayed voting on the sellout (AC/DC called it a bailout) so that they could put safeguards on the money. Apparently no one thought that accounting for the money was a necessary safeguard, and now it has disappeared.

So what is Bernie's game, and why do we care, if we do? And what should be going on? And should it be going on over Bernie's dead body, or over his well-massaged, mansion-sheltered, living head?

Let's go in order. Bernie's game is an honorable one, at least at this point. He wants to protect his family and he has thrown himself under the bus (perhaps with all the stealing and double dealing and spending in hot AC/DC last December we should change the metaphor to “Train”), claiming it was all him and no one else. In a street vendor hot dog stand with two people trading shifts they keep track of the dogs sold, and if the average week is $500 and it drops to $50 the offended partner asks some questions, but we are told to believe that this multi-billion dollar operation with CPA's, and Lawyers, and Lobbyists, and financial statements, and “strict” reporting regulations, one man and only one man knew that the whole $50 Billion Dollar fund had disappeared. Whoever buys that will also buy the Paulson reports… but clearly Bernie's game is to take some time in pr ison (he may need the protection to stay alive anyway as a lot of very rich people got taken, and some missed the cleaners and still have enough assets left to make him nervous) and leave his family a very rich dynasty. Perhaps it will work; perhaps it won't. Perhaps they will go after his family fortune - maybe they will meet in the middle.

Maybe he stole a hundred million from a billionaire who can't count all his money, maybe he stole from the mob and maybe he stole from orphans and widows. His victims have the moral right to hate him and sue him. His game was that he lied to his investors, told them that they were making huge profits from investments, but the truth was they were making huge profits sucking the money from other investors, and he finally ran out of investors. This is the time he “confided” in his family and they jumped on him like he was a trampoline and mercilessly rushed to the feds to ruin him - the wallet that had fed them his ill gotten gains. Few Mafia families have shown such disloyalty to their God father. Of course there is always the possibility he has a ticker like Ken Lay and his “time” will end before his first day in a non-mansion prison. Bernie can't, as the cliché goes, take it with him, so maybe it was time to distribute it and avoid probate, confess, and die.

We really don't know what the figure is. Is it $50 Billion that he promised his investors or is it a real $50 Billion that they trusted him with? Could be one Billion and on paper he told them it was $50 Billion. We don't know yet. We might never know. When the government charged the Morans (you can read the story of the Morans online at www.usobserver.com ), during the first trial they “erroneously” claimed that the Morans had 1.2 million in a secret off shore account. In the second trial the jury learned the truth: The Morans had invested their life savings, had been cheated out of it, had been told their savings had grown to 1.2 million, but it was just like Bernie's “telling” of the money story - “Exaggerated.” Monopoly money. The imaginary account off shore was just that…imaginary. I t never really existed, and it is no different from the imaginary profits of Bernie's imaginary company. The “pretend profits” came from new investors, not the sale of hamburgers or computer chips. When Bernie ran out of new investors, his company ran out of profits. One wonders if the victims of Bernie's “telling” might be charged with crimes, if some of the losses are imaginary. Sometimes our Federales get to the scene of the crime, the criminal has already left the premises, so they grab the victims and beat them up a little - like the keystone cops of the silent movie days. Nothing is funnier to watch than an innocent person getting beaten up by overzealous cops, unless of course you believe in justice and mercy and the presumption of innocence. Anyway, old Bernie didn't confess while the cops were beating on him. He confessed in the privacy and warmth of his own home, by his own fireplace, to his own beloved family members.

And, since we are confessing … I confess that the issues of Bernie Madoff, as ridiculous as they sound being spun, not just by his lawyers but by the government even more loudly, smells like a dumpster load of bad fish, but in the context of the times, amidst the destruction of the dollar, with the little inaccurate sound bites we are getting from the media, it reads like a magician waiving something of minor importance in front of us so that we won't watch while our $750 Billion dollars, and the power of the once all mighty dollar, disappears beneath the sleeves of the Federal mystique.

There are parallels. A lot of people trusted Bernie with everything they own. A lot of people trusted Wall Street with everything they own. A lot of people trusted the Government with their precious freedoms. The minute you trust the wrong person with something, and give that person the control switch to your life, that is the last minute you have the control switch in your hand. In other words… you don't control your own life. The biggest con-game in the free world is to promise success without work. The banks did it… Discover card has mastered it with their wonderful commercial: “Why not get paid for the things you buy anyway?” What idiot believes that he can increase his wealth by buying things that have no value? Perhaps Richard Nixon. He took us off the silver standard which started the unsustainable downward spiral of the dollar. It's the same logic that has made our largest export debt . It's the logic that let Congress hand over so much money to the bankers. Fact is, no one will pay anyone for anything unless it has value, or unless someone holds a gun to someone's head and steals it from them… or like Madoff and Paulson… someone cons us.

If the media wants to investigate something perhaps they could look into the real solid Billions stolen by the bankers, before the sellout and then after the sellout. Also, the loss of value in the dollar created by massive printing of Federal Reserve Notes. And a new favorite of mine - Las Vegas wants you and I, the taxpayers, to pay for an organized crime museum to build up traffic. Some may say, “Hey, gambling in Vegas is much more responsible than 'investing' in the stock market.” But I say – if organized crime wants a museum, let the Mafia pay for it; and if they are short on funds let them borrow stolen taxpayer dollars from the Goldman Sachs Bank.

Madoff is a side show. He stole a sum of money by telling people that they could get paid for the things they wanted…huge returns without risk and without responsibility. Now his customers have “discovered” that like PT Barnum said, “there's a sucker born every minute”… and they were the suckers. And that's sad, very sad. But the saddest of all is that the tax payers are paying a thousand fold of what Madoff's suckers paid…and they didn't even get a ticket to the circus.

Lawyer Michael Minns' website is: Minnslaw.com .

Editor's Note : Mr. Minns wrote the other "must-read" commentaries: The Largest Tax in the History of the World - 2008's $700-Billion Emergency Proposal ; The Greatest Bank Robbery ; The Bail-Out Sellout ; and, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's Ship of State .

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