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Everything You Always Suspected:
Plus a Few Coupons

Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
Publisher and Editor


to On The QT #14. Life could be a dream. But not right now. Time to wake up and smell the coffee. Light on sugar but heavy on


The new focus on laundered money is salutary. Prior to 9/11 the Bush administration was taking a ho-hum approach. As recently as July, treasury secretary Paul O'Neill pushed co-operation rather than sanctions in dealing with money laundering abroad. Back in 1993, Congress directed the Clinton administration to regulate domestic "money service" businesses-- ones involved in check cashing, money transfers and currency exchanges. Included were American outlets for "hawala"; a personal connection based money transfer system used widely in South Asia and the Middle East. Which lends itself to money laundering and is believed to be a money route for al-Qaeda. But Clinton delayed implementing the regulations for eight years-- until he was out of office. Bush planned to delay the regulations until the end of 2002, saying unregulated businesses needed time to get


The connection between laundered money, drugs, weapons and terrorism hasn't been a great big secret. But the connection became impossible to ignore when "black money" was linked to the 9/11 destruction of some 5000 innocents. Right before our eyes. Then there's the slow motion destruction caused by drugs. Terrorist operations of all stripes need big money to function: the drug trade has traditionally provided a lot of that money. Terrorists who do the actual deeds are the first person principles. But the black money trail is a group endeavor: every player bear some responsibility for what laundered money buys.


Store coupons are the third largest currency in the USA; right behind regular transactions and drug profits. Coupons generate roughly 8 billion dollars a year. On February 24th, 1998, a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Technology and Terrorism, (Foreign Terrorists in America: Five Years After The World Trade Center) heard testimony from a corporate private investigator about coupon fraud networks. Said networks purchase bulk inserts from recyclers, newspaper distributors and newspaper stands. Coupons are clipped by low paid employees and crumpled to look like they've hung out in someone's purse. The coupons are sorted, bundled and sent back to the coupon clearing house. Who reimburse the senders. In the early 90's, coupon fraud rings connected to networks of small Middle Eastern grocery stores and money wire rooms and with financial ties to various terrorist groups were identified operating in cities in Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. According to testimony, arrests were made but the rings weren't closed. Nor were their connections examined closely. It didn't seem important. The attitude was "It isn't drugs and guns, it's just coupons and those rich companies can afford to loose a little". But profits from coupon fraud were pumped back into-- guess what?


Grove Liquor and Deli near city hall on Grove Street in Jersey City, New Jersey was a store typical to under served neighborhoods. Stores where booze comes mainly in pints and where loose cigarettes, lottery tickets, rolling papers and dubiously dated milk are sales staples. But Grove Liquor had something extra; owner Mohammed Rajaa Malik. Aka "Mike". Who was busted this Summer in Florida. After desperately seeking military grade weapons for terrorists (possibly al-Queda, via Pakistani agents) and laundering money with ex Deutsche Bank investment banker, Kevin Ingram. Plus discussing possible heroin payments for Stinger Missiles and suitcase size nuclear triggers. Though Mike Malek was such a busy bee, he found time for his job on the Jersey City zoning board and for being "politically active". Which included donating 1000 dollars to the gubernatorial campaign of Republican candidate Bret Schundler; ex-mayor of Jersey City, now known as


Schundler recently stated that as governor he'd work with "my friend, George Bush" to protect New Jersey from terrorism. Which may mean keeping up with information about regional terrorist activity. Such as the above described 1998 Senate testimony about terrorist linked coupon fraud rings operating out of grocery stores. Which identified Jersey City as one of the cities where such stores existed.


In September 1999, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave a million dollar grant to New Jersey, the purpose being to improve response to bioterrorism. The press release stated the cities on which the funds were to be focused were Newark and Jersey City, since "federal legislation designated Newark and Jersey City ..vulnerable to bioterrorist attack". Why was Jersey City designated vulnerable? Did then Mayor Bret Schundler ever ask?


Bret Schundler was not in bed with terrorists.(The mental image !) Nor did Jersey City's terror links spring into existence when Bret became mayor in 92. Long time resident Mike Malek was a "politically active" constituent of several former Democratic mayors. Including convicted felon Jerry McCann, a graduate of the Boca Raton School of bank fraud. Other cities in New Jersey (Paterson, Newark) have terrorist "issues" as do cities in other states. But Bret Schundler got the wake up call. When the WTC was bombed in 93, by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists based in the Journal Square area of Jersey City, shouldn't it have rung an alarm in Bret's brain? Post WTCI, why did Jersey City remain so porous that 8 years later, a tabloid could dub it "Terror City"? Ex Wall Street broker and analyst Bret touts his financial savvy, yet terror connected money laundering operations flourished under his nose. Bret has been generally seen as a great white hope for neocons. Maybe, one day, President ? Perhaps while governing Jersey City, Bret Schundler's eyes were on the horizon, fixed on an ideological


Which looked like this: we're transforming into one world of interdependent consumers and traders. Open the borders. Look closely at no one-- or at their financial transactions. Everyone, when set free to buy and sell, will ultimately embrace democratic ideals. And while colorful, multi cultural tourist drawing festivals are good, the pursuit of wealth will dissolve all dangerous and inexplicable allegiances to nationalist and/or fundamentalist aims. At heart we all worship the same god, albeit under many different names. One of peace. A sort of self reflecting, Great Kooka Mooka who cares deeply about our financial well being and supports school vouchers.


With or without vouchers, it's quite a fantasy. One that makes grasping the reality of a Mike Malek mole or a soulless Kevin Ingram difficult. Let alone a billionaire contractor terrorist driven by a different kind of dream. Adept at surfing the international rational market; investing in death and turning green money black.


Albany New York's Mayor Jerry Jennings may qualify for a new title. After Jennings stripped Albany bus stop kiosks of posters featuring Claudia Schiffer in her underwear, European fashion sites referred to him as "Burgermeister Jennings". But a recent letter to the editor in a local paper compared the city of Albany's political machine to that of the Mexican PRI party. So, would "El Presidente Por Vida" be more appropriate? What do you think? A special On The Qt readers poll. Feel free to suggest your own honorifics. Results posted in the next issue, which will also include


Consider the Internet's remarkable performance since 9/11. The text from a presentation on the subject, given at Burlington College in Vermont by On The QT, will appear in issue 15. Now for some timely


Transparency International, http://www.transparency.org: The latest, the greatest. TI rules. Their international corruption updates link you to newspapers in all those places now in the headlines. They've just published a first annual report on Global Corruption. Must reading. Even if you don't buy the globalist approach, their information and dedication is impressive.

Other resources for money laundering info:

Money Laundering Alert, http://www.moneylaundering.com/

Money Laundering, http://www1.oecd.org/fatf/MLaundering_en.htm

Countermoneylaundering.com - The Money Laundering Compliance Website index, http://www.countermoneylaundering.com/

Billy's Money Laundering Home Page, http://www.laundryman.u-net.com/home.htm

Proposed methodology for estimating global money laundering, http://members.ozemail.com.au/~born1820/mlmethod.htm

Money Laundering: A Banker's Guide to Avoiding Problems, http://www.occ.treas.gov/launder/orig1.htm

Financial Crimes and Money Laundering, http://www.usis.usemb.se/drugs/Money/

vortexcentrum.com - World Money Laundering Report, http://www.vortexcentrum.com/

Financial Scandals, http://www.ex.ac.uk/~RDavies/arian/scandals/

ODCCP - Global Programme Against Money Laundering http://www.undcp.org/money_laundering.html

"The secretive web that once shrouded corruption is fast unravelling." Peter Eigen, Transparency International Chairman

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Crumpling HUD bux blowing in the wind.
updated 10/21/2001