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In OneCoin Case Scott Wants Access to UBS Accounts But Halle Urges No Citing Interest

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source 

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 11 –  As Inner City Press covered the OneCoin trial of Mark Scott in October 2019, a number of names of indicted co-conspirators emerged on which we followed up.

  One of them was Gilbert Armenta, who  recorded Ruja Ignatova. Inner City Press has repeatedly asked the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York for more information; it continues even now to withhold the exhibits it flashed on the screen at trial. Inner City Press had to file a FOIA request; the Department of Justice denies expedited processing. And still no documents under FOIA.

  Now on December 11, the lawyer for Marietta Halle who was the initial source of the $750,000 cash that freed Scott then thought the better of it, asked that Scott not be granted access to UBS accounts, one of which she has an interest in. Letter and more on Patreon here.

 Another in the case is David Pike. He's been saying he'll plea guilty for months. But now on Friday November 20, before a December 11 guilty plea control date, Pike's lawyer requested and has objected an extension to plea guilty all the way to March 4, 2021, with the US Attorney's Office's consent. Inner City Press will continue to track this -- and related incongruities in Cape Cod as "Natural Ventures" document continue to pour in.

  Relatedly, after Inner City Press' complaint about documents still not unsealed, on August 28 the US Attorney's Office belatedly filed unsealed their March 2020 ex parte remand memo, which as it turns out stated: "The Government first became aware of the violation based on a blog post made on December 1, 2019, which reported, among other things, that: “Mark Scott, ostensibly under home incarceration, was spotted on November 27, with bodyguards, in Seasons 52 restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida.” (See here). Thereafter, the Government contacted Pretrial Services, and learned that on November 27, 2019, Scott requested permission to visit his attorney, David Garvin, Esq., at Mr. Garvin’s office. After an hour-long visit with Mr. Garvin, according to GPS data, Scott made an unauthorized two-hour detour to Seasons 52 restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida, where he resides." Full letter on Patreon here.

  Now on October 25 Inner City Press can report on an application in Cape Cod, Massachusetts for a cannabis business involving Scott, co-defendent David Pike, Lidia Scott, Allan Konfled and Larysa Kavaleva. It's CCC Wellfleet NV, LLC. Names drop in and out but in essence, a felon (and who keeps adjourning) is opening up the Marijuana Business Establishment, after a gun charge in the same Cape Cod. And the US Attorney's Office? Andrew Lelling? We'll have more on this.

 In mid August, Mark Scott got more delay in his sentencing, into December: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Mark S. Scott (1) granting [315] LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Edgardo Ramos from AUSA Nicholas Folly dated 08/14/2020 re: Sentencing Deadlines. ENDORSEMENT: The parties' scheduling requests are granted. The Government's forfeiture brief is due August 31, 2020, Scott's response is due September 21, 2020, and the Government's reply is due October 5, 2020. Scott's sentencing is adjourned until December 17, 2020 at 10 AM. Scott's sentencing submission is due November 25, 2020 and the Government's sentencing submission is due December 2, 2020. (Signed by Judge Edgardo Ramos on 8/17/2020)."

Now we have reported this: the US Attorney's Office gave Armenta his own secret docket number and kept it sealed for three years, until AFTER Inner City Press exclusively reported on Armenta's continuing dubious business activities even while a "cooperator." The case was initially assigned to SDNY Judge Willian H. Pauley III, then moved to Judge Edgardo Ramos - who to his credit has now put an end to continued extensions, and set a sentencing date for October 21, 2020. The unsealed indictment is now on Patreon here.

 But as Inner City Press looked into it more, documents that were supposed to be unsealed were not. In some cases they were not even docketed. So Inner City Press wrote to Judge Ramos, full letter on Patreon here: "Dear Judge Ramos:     On behalf of Inner City Press and in my personal journalistic capacity, this is an application for compliance with this Court's April 29, 2020 Memo Endorsement, Docket No. 10 to docket and unseal materials in US v. Armenta, 17-cr-556 (ER).   While Docket No. 10 has a full paragraph and one or more footnotes redacted, it clearly provides for the docketing and unsealing of, inter alia, "the initial pretrial conference before the Honorable William H. Pauley III, held on September 27, 2017" and "the bail proceeding held before this Court on March 25, 2020."    

But the docket, viewed today on the PACER terminal in the SDNY Press Room, still has nothing from March 25, 2020. In fact, it has nothing between January 17, 2020 (Notice of Case Reassignment) and April 29, 2020.    Similarly, there is nothing in the docket from September 27, 2017. Docket Number 14 says that it is a transcript of a proceeding of that date before Judge Pauley and that "transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal." But even today, the number "14" is not a live link, and the transcript is not available.  Non-parties such as Inner City Press and myself have standing to intervene in criminal proceedings to assert the public’s right of access. United States v. Aref, 533 F.3d 72, 81 (2d Cir. 2008).  Here, the sealing(s) and withholding here are unacceptable, and go beyond those requested even in the Central Intelligence Agency trial before Judge Crotty, US v. Schulte, 17 Cr. 548.     In that case, Inner City Press vindicated the public's right to know, in the docket, see here and here.

Inner City Press recently got even more sensitive filings unsealed in a North Korea sanctions case before Judge Castel, US v. Griffith, 20-cr-15 (PKC), Docket No. 33 (LETTER by EMAIL as to Virgil Griffith addressed to Judge P. Kevin Castel from Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press, dated 5/18/2020, re: Press Access to documents in US v. Griffith, 20-cr-15), 40 (order to unseal) and 41 unsealed filings).      Inner City Press and I have been closely covering the OneCoin / Mark Scott / Sebastian Greenwood case(s) and ask that the above documents, and all else in these cases that is not subject to withholding under applicable case law be made available, and that this request itself be docketed. It is being copied to the AUSAs whose redacted April 22, 2020 letter, as endorsed, provided for this docketing and unsealing, not yet actually done as of August 13, 2020."

   Some hours later, without Inner City Press' application being docketed, Docket 14 went live - the guilty plea transcript, but still with redactions. Here was Armenta's allocution, withheld until today, to the detriment of the public: THE COURT: Mr Armenta, please tell me what you did in connection with each of the crimes to which you're entering a plea of guilty.

ARMENTA: "One Count One, in 2015, I began doing business with OneCoin, through my company. I came to understand that OneCoin was making false statements in order to get people to purchase OneCoin packages or prevent people who had purchased these packages to seek their money back. After knowing this, I continue to do things to assist OneCoin's business, such as by coordinating the opening up of new accounts for OneCoin to receive customers' funds, international wires were used in connection with this activity, and including the transfer of money through corresponding bank accounts in New York."  More on Patreon here.

Here are the Armenta business moves Inner City Press exclusively reported on December 1, 2019, here:

  ESOL B.V. LLC was incorporated on July 8, 2019; the manager is Gilbert Armenta and the agent is Giselle Valentin, both of 500 E. Broward Boulevard, PH 2, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394. See here. And here.

   Armenta's Tblisi, Georgia-based money laundering bank JSC Capital Bank had as its parent a company of exactly this name. See KPMG review of Georgia banking sector here. More on Armenta's ongoing companies on Patreon here.

  Inner City Press asked, on December 1, 2019: Is the US Attorney's Office allowing its cooperator to keep on money laundering? Or looking the other way while whatever cooperation agreement exists is openly violated?
Perhaps these and other quesitons will be answered in connection with Armenta's sentencing in the too long seal case against him. Watch this site.

More on Patreon here.


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