One of the objections Mark Scott raised against the DOJ providing witness testimony via CCTV was the timing.
Mr. Scott and his counsel cannot take a multiday trip to Ireland (which Mr. Scott too would be entitled to attend) while also preparing for a trial the Government has consistently sought to delay.
In an October 10th response filing, the DOJ reveals it isn’t so much the government wasting time as Scott asserts.
Rather it’s the Bank of Ireland employees they hope to present screwing them around.
The DOJ traveled to Ireland to interview eight BOI employee witnesses earlier this year in March.
During the March 2019 interviews of the BOI witnesses, the Government and witnesses generally discussed future trial testimony in the United States.
Based on those discussions, the Government understood that the witnesses would be willing to travel to the United States to testify.
A month later the DOJ informed the BOI that they intended to call several of their employees as trial witnesses.
The BOI was informed the employees would have to travel to New York for Scott’s trial.
Neither the BOI or its employees objected or raised any concerns.
In August the DOJ informed the BOI of the specific employees it wished to call, and offered to cover their testimony travel costs.
The BOI told the DOJ they’d relay the message to the employees (one of which no longer worked at the bank).
It wasn’t however until early September, that the BOI’s lawyers informed the DOJ that while the employees were willing to testify, they were now unwilling to travel to the US.
Discussions between the BOI, its employees and the DOJ continued into October, leading up to the DOJ’s September 29th CCTV motion.
Over the past week, the DOJ has additionally learned that, despite previous representations and assurances, none of the BOI’s employees are now willing to testify voluntarily.
A Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the US and Ireland means the DOJ is still able to compel the BOI employees to testify – but why is a mystery.
Before we get into that though, the DOJ writes that on October 9th it submitted an MLAT request to the Central Authority of Ireland.
If granted, the request will compel the BOI employees to testify. How that testimony will be presented in court is still up in the air, pending a decision on the DOJ’s CCTV motion.
The BOI’s employees sudden backflip on assisting the DOJ is pretty suspicious, although how I’m not exactly sure.
There’s a few angles to take into consideration here:
- the employees know more than they let on and are worried about their own liability;
- the BOI is worried about potential liability; and/or
- something something Bulgarian and/or Russian mafia something something.
Although I’ve omitted them here, the names of the employees the DOJ intends to compel have been made public in their filings.
Interested parties have those names and where these individuals work, so uh… yeah. Insert wild conspiracy theories here.
With respect to individual liability, the DOJ did offer the employees safe passage letters.
As I understand it, for the duration of travel, those letter would provide iron-clad immunity from prosecution by US authorities.
Yet still the employees refuse to leave Ireland.
If the BOI is trying to minimize it’s own potential liability, they know the DOJ can compel testimony via a MLAT request – so why stall the inevitable?
Not a lot is making sense here.
One interesting development is the DOJ’s October 9th request that exhibits attached to Scott’s CCTV opposition filing be retroactively sealed.
Scott’s opposition filing was on October 7th, so the exhibits were freely available to the public for two days.
The exhibits are communications between Scott and BOI employees, as well as two DOJ interview memorandums.
The emails appear to support what the DOJ has already asserted via public filings.
The memorandums reveal personal information about the BOI employees, along with what appears to be several KYC procedural failures.
One employee claims to have been a middleman between Scott and the BOI.
Here’s some excerpts from that employee’s interview:
(employee #1) did not review the documents related to missing signatures for Irina Dilkinska. He just forwarded them.
(employee #1) probably asked for the Fenero chart for KYC Net and did not review it for substance.
There’s a fair bit more in the memorandum but I couldn’t see anything the DOJ wouldn’t want the public to see.
The second memorandum details similar KYC failures;
(employee #2) never checks KYC Net to see where the account opening was in the process.
(employee #2) signed off before MLRO got approved then proceeded.
MLRO stands for Money Laundering Reporting Officer. All regulated financial services businesses in Ireland are required to have one.
(employee #2) logs into KYC Net to approve. (employee #2) would scan the information and check with the bankers.
(employee #2) would not conduct a “deep dive” as he relies on his employees.
(employee #2) never inquired if SCOTT opened an office in Ireland.
(employee #2) was shown tab # 60 in the evidence binder containing an email form SCOTT to (employee #3) concerning an international payment.
(employee #2) explained that there is risk with manual payments such as a forgery, so they require various approvals.
(employee #2) was okay with the payment because the funds were in the account.
(employee #2) did not take note of the Bulgarian Bank listed on the payment.
(employee #2) never learned the source of funds coming into SCOTT’s accounts.
(employee #2) had no suspicion of SCOTT or Finero. SCOTT accounts moved from High Risk to Medium Risk.
On the surface it certainly seems the BOI employees were lax on certain KYC procedures.
Is that enough to drag them into the OneCoin legal mess though?
Stay tuned for a ruling on the DOJ’s CCTV motion. Mark Scott’s trial is scheduled to kick off on November 4th.