OffshoreAlert
Daily news, documents and intelligence about Offshore Financial Centers and those who conduct business in them that you will not find anywhere else.
RSS Feed Print
David Marchant's Clients
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/7/2003 11:35:13 PM

By: Okke Ornstein

Mr. Lesperance, I am afraid I have to correct you on some points.

Let's start with Bank Crozier. I honestly can't remember if they advertised on Mr. Marchant's web site. The only bank advertising on OBNR I am aware of was the infamous American International Bank, which was closed down because it was laundering funds of an MLM swindle (which tells you something about Marchant's due dilligence abilities -but that aside). When I refer to Crozier I'm talking about Johansson putting up money to get Marchant started in Miami, and Marchant writing their newsletter - in fact he appears to be running their whole news page - while reporting on the competition. It's like if Walter Cronkite would do commercial gigs for Andersen and at the same time sling mud at KPMG without disclosing this conflict of interest; any serious journalist considers this at least unethical, if not corrupt. AP has fired correspondents (not too long ago in Bolivia for example) for less.

From the, let's call it "Kassar part" of your message you unfortunately appear to have little understanding of the workings of professional smear campaigns.

Kassar plants a story in El Mundo through a journalist he knows from way back when in Bagdad during the Gulf War. The trick when doing smear campaigns now is to get this story quoted and referred to in as much places as possible. For this, henchmen travel the globe and contact journalists on the take. They prefer small or third world publications, and when some of it gets published, the machine starts to work and stories keep bouncing around. Marchant plays this game rather succesfully with Paul Lashmar of "The Independent" and with the now abandoned former "investigative unit" of Panamanian paper "La Prensa". In the IC case, Marchant meets with the El Mundo journalist (and maintains contact with Kassar's henchman), who also happens to know the La Prensa people, and so we have this neat network here that can get any story out. And I mean ANY story. This is what happened in the IC case, and what Matrix is trying to reveal.

There may be people here who believe that this is just a bunch of conspiracy nonsense. To them, I would recommend a very good book that I probably have mentioned here before: "American Express and the Smearing of Edmond Safra", written by a very respected Wall Street Journal journalist. It describes in great detail how American Express set out to destroy Edmond Safra and his Safra Bank by launching a smear campaign against him using the same tactics (and more) as I described here. They planted stories and "bounced them around" about Safra that were completely unfounded and false (think about Marchant's planes landing at IC's headquarters etc.) and got away with it for a long time because all publications claimed they were just quoting others. The whole affair took years, until Safra, who had hired an army of PR people and private investigators finally was able to nail Amex.

This was about ruling out the competition. You will agree that the same can be used for extortion, and that we then are no longer talking about unethical journalism but about crime. Now think back about Marchant and Bank Crozier and Kassar's henchman. As a lawyer, Mr. Lesperance, you will hopefully be able to understand that we're almost there with opportunity, motive and means.

And this, Mr. Lesperance, is the exact reason why, to my understanding, the US authorities are currently looking into Mr. Marchant's activities.

Okke Ornstein








Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/7/2003 5:32:40 PM

By: David S. Lesperance

Dear Mr. Ornstein: Thank you for agreeing that my analysis of the relationship of Mr. Marchant to his subscribers is accurate. You now bring up two supposedly different situations.

Situation One) Allegation that Mr. Marchant was paid to place a false story about a company at the behest of a party involved in a commercial dispute with that party.

Specifically I am referring to your comment “However, he forgets to address the situation in which terrorists not just subscribe to a newsletter, but pay to plant stories and aid extortion, i.e., a publisher actively co-operates with "scoundrels" and their henchmen to help them, without disclosing that fact in same publication.” I assume that you are referring to the prior allegation made by “Matrix Investigations” most recently in the thread entitled “Marchant and Al Kassar: How close is the link?” (Full allegation can be seen at http://www.matrix-investigations.net/marchant_stories/sc012.htm).

Now let us assume that the following basic facts are true (I will leave Mr. Marchant to clarify if this is accurate). Matrix is firstly claiming that Mr. Al Kassar (the alleged “terrorist” and extortionist of Imperial Consolidated) is a subscriber to Offshore Alert. As you have already agreed, this type of “relationship” to Mr. Marchant sheds no negative impact on Mr. Marchant.

Secondly, Matrix claims that Mr. Marchant actually spoke to Mr. Al Kassar and some people at one of his companies. Even if this is true, it sheds no negative light on Mr. Marchant. To say otherwise would be to try to say that any journalist who talks to a convicted jailed blackmailer in furtherance to a news story is somehow “related” or “under the control” of the blackmailer. Again this is patently absurd.

Thirdly, there is an unsubstantiated claim by Matrix that they have a “videotape” of a “henchman” of Mr. Al Kassar speaking with a “henchman” of Imperial Consolidated. During this alleged conversation the Al Kassar flunky supposedly tells the Imperial flunky that Mr. Al Kassar allegedly “controlled” Mr. Marchant and was able to plant a false story about Imperial in Offshore Alert. The inference is made that if Imperial “plays nice”, then Mr. Al Kassar will call off Mr. Marchant’s negative publicity campaign. As had been Matrix’s contention all along, Imperial’s current financial and regulatory woes are solely the result of Mr. Marchant’s negative reporting, and if it Al Kassar flunky can stop Mr. Marchant then Imperial can bounce right back.

Let’s assume (which would be very generous indeed!) that there is videotape and the flunkies actually did say exactly what was claimed. Let’s also assume (which there is no evidence of and which I am sure David Marchant would quickly deny) that Mr. Al Kassar sent a nice “incentive” to Mr. Marchant to first write the story and continue writing follow-ups. Let us also assume that the Offshore Alert reporting on the subject was “planted” and false. If I were the Imperial flunky I would fall down laughing at this supposed “strong-arm tactic”. This is because
a) Imperial was having financial difficulties long before David Marchant ever reported on them. Concerned investors were the ones who first brought his attention to the story;
b) The story of Imperial’s woes has also been reported in the major press in publications like The Financial Times. Being able to shut David Marchant up will not stop the increasing number of negative stories that are constantly appearing in the press.
c) All of the supposedly “false” allegations made by David Marchant have either a) been conceded by Imperial; b) been confirmed by third parties like the liquidators; or c) while denied by Imperial and yet to be proven in a court of law, appeared to be accurate enough for police and regulatory bodies to start full scale investigations and suspend licenses etc.; and
d) Even if David Marchant started to write very flowery supportive articles about Imperial (again for a nice “incentive”), that would hardly stop Imperial’s current woes. In short David Marchant is only one of the messengers (maybe even the first), but the bad message was entirely of Imperial’s own making.


Situation Two) Allegation that Mr. Marchant was paid an “incentive” to plant a negative story about one bank while not reporting problems with the bank that paid the “incentive”. Specifically, I think this refers to a claim that the paying bank was Bank Crozier and the “incentive” was a banner advertisement on Offshore Alert’s Website. I think the competitor bank was Imperial’s Grenada subsidiary and the negative report was that the bank was under investigation and later placed in receivership by the Grenada government. I think that the allegedly undisclosed problem with Bank Crozier was that it was also investigated by the Grenada government (but after the review was continued to allow to operate) and that there was some regulatory warning by the B.C. government about Bank Crozier operating in B.C. without a license. (Mr. Ornstein and Mr. Marchant, please correct me if I am wrong).

Well I think (without having wasted credits looking at archives) that the report about Imperial’s Grenada bank was made and was subsequently confirmed by all relevant parties. Therefore there is no wrongdoing in making the Imperial Bank report. The alleged transgression therefore was to be made by Mr. Marchant taking an “incentive” to bury the Bank Crozier reports. I also think that Mr. Marchant also took the position that:
a) there never was a banner advertisement;
b) he did report both of the issues relating to Bank Crozier in a timely manner.

Bottom-line I would find it somewhat difficult to believe that Mr. Marchant would be swayed to ruin his reputation by burying a report that was readily available from other sources on the web and in the press for the small price of a banner advertisement. Again this fits right into the patently absurd file.

Anything else Mr. Ornstein?

David S. Lesperance



Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/7/2003 11:40:44 AM

By: Okke Ornstein

I agree fully with Lesperance's remarks. however, he forgets to address the situation in which terrorists not just subscribe to a newsletter, but pay to plant stories and aid extortion, i.e., a publisher actively co-operates with "scoundrels" and their henchmen to help them, without disclosing that fact in same publication.

The same goes for being paid by one bank and then publish about that bank's competition, again, without disclosing that fact.

These issues are somewhat more serious than just a terrorist buying story credits, won't you think?

Okke Ornstein


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/6/2003 5:42:59 PM

By: renatus

we had to wait quite a while until a character of the quality of David S. Lesperance posted his remarks

nothing more has to be said

thank you, david!


Internal Administrator
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011
Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 5780


Posted: 1/6/2003 4:00:02 PM

By: David S. Lesperance

There seems to be a reoccurring tendency of Mr. Orstein, Matrix Investigations and other detractors of David Marchant to try to have us draw negative conclusions from the fact that various so-called "scoundrels" are "clients" of Offshore Alert.

Firstly, let us remember that David Marchant is a publisher of a newsletter and other information services that purports to provide information on various companies and individuals who operate in the "offshore" world. He aims to try to expose in this newsletter various scams and unscrupulous individuals. Individuals (like myself) make a decision based on our perception of the quality of this newsletter, to subscribe to this newsletter. Mr. Marchant has set a price and we decide to pay it or not, based on the value we place on the information to us. This information is both in a monthly newsletter, an archive and on a new "on-demand" system.

-Advisors like myself value this information because of a desire to be up to date on companies and characters we may run across.

-Investors may value this information to determine if a potential investment is sound or if an existing investment has gone south.

-Scoundrels and scam-artists would value this information so that they remain up to date on how others are viewing their reputation.

If a particular individual decides for whatever of the above reasons to pay Mr. Marchant for this information, this is not a reflection on Mr. Marchant's independence, qualification or moral character. IOW, If Osama Bin Laden decides to subscribe to Offshore Alert or the Wall Street Journal because he thinks his investment in Imperial Consolidated has gone up in smoke, this doesn't make the publisher of either a terrorist. To suggest otherwise is patently absurd.

David S. Lesperance


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/9/2003 8:52:54 AM

By: David Marchant

David,

If it assists you, my company was capitalized by several hundreds of thousands of dollars, and neither Peter Johansson nor any related party provided any of the capital directly or indirectly. I did not even know Peter Johansson at that time.

OBNR provides news summaries for Bank Crozier's web-site, which has always been fully disclosed on such site. Okke Ornstein only knows about this newsletter because I told him about it, having been unable to find it out for himself. These news summaries are available to anyone who wants them for their own site. There is no charge and the purpose is for them to act as what is known in journalism as 'teasers' to attract people to OBNR's products.

When we first produced these teasers, I emailed several operators of popular web-sites, including Jay Adkisson and Roy Bouchier, asking if they wanted to have these summaries and only Crozier said 'yes'.

If anyone wants these monthly summaries free of charge to place on their respective web-sites, they can email me at info@offshorebusiness.com.

I must say, David, I can't understand why you are trying to have a meaningful and mature exchange of information and views with Okke Ornstein.

Surely you must have figured out by now that it is futile and a waste of time?

David Marchant


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/9/2003 8:16:49 AM

By: David S. Lesperance

Dear Mr. Ornstein: I just have a few minutes so I will quickly deal with only one subject now and respond to the second later.

Crozier allegation: Mr. Ornstein let’s break it down. First you say: “Marchant writing a Crozier newsletter or managing their news page is undisputed, even by Mr. Marchant himself.”

The question is not whether the allegation is undisputed. Anyone can make any outrageous allegation they want without providing any type of INDEPENDENT VERIFABLE evidence to support the allegation. Just because the subject of the allegation doesn’t bother to respond to the allegation doesn’t make it any truer. The onus is on the person making the allegation to provide some evidence of the allegation. The onus is not on the subject to deny it. So again I ask, can you provide me with some more details as to who has made this allegation? The evidence provided in support of this allegation? Mr. Marchant’s response to the allegation?


Next you say: “Marchant has said in an interview that investors have put up "several hundred thousand dollars" to get him started in Miami”

Can you please direct us to the article or some place where we can read about this “interview”? This is called going to the source (a basic journalistic/ research technique which I am sure you always do).

“I have it from several sources that Johansson was one of these investors, and so far, Marchant has not denied it (nor confirmed it, to be honest). Marchant has been seen in the Bahamas by several witnesses with a Peter Malcolm Dizer, who appears to be connected to Bank Crozier and whom same witnesses overheard bragging that "we [Crozier] have total immunity from David Marchant".

Again these are allegations, so please provide us all with the evidence provided in support of this allegation?



“A TV crew from the US that traveled the Caribbean in persuit of this story found information that further established the tight liason between Marchant and Bank Crozier.”

This should be easier to confirm. Can you please provide the name of the television show? Has the “evidence” been aired? We can then view it ourselves to confirm. Otherwise, just another unsupported unverifiable allegation.

You have some work to do Mr. Ornstein.

David S. Lesperance


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/9/2003 1:14:19 AM

By: Okke Ornstein

> Crozier allegation: You said, “When I refer to Crozier I'm talking about
> Johansson putting up money to get Marchant started in Miami, and Marchant
> writing their newsletter - in fact he appears to be running their whole news
> page - while reporting on the competition.” As I mentioned in my opening, I
> wasn’t sure that the allegation was a banner advertisement or something else.
> I gather then that the allegation is that the “incentive” was some start-up
> capital for Mr. Marchant’s business and a contract to write a newsletter.
> Before we examine this further can you provide me with some more details as to
> who has made this allegation? The evidence provided in support of this
> allegation? Mr. Marchant’s response to the allegation?

Marchant writing a Crozier newsletter or managing their news page is undisputed, even by Mr. Marchant himself. For someone who hands himself out to be a journalist, this is unethical behaviour because a) he does commercial work in the same area in which he supposedly does independent reporting, which implies a conflict of interest and b) he does not disclose that fact in his newsletter nor on his web site.

Marchant has said in an interview that investors have put up "several hundred thousand dollars" to get him started in Miami (why would you need so much money to start a newsletter, by the way?). I have it from several sources that Johansson was one of these investors, and so far, Marchant has not denied it (nor confirmed it, to be honest).

Marchant has been seen in the Bahamas by several witnesses with a Peter Malcolm Dizer, who appears to be connected to Bank Crozier and whom same witnesses overheard bragging that "we [Crozier] have total immunity from David Marchant".

A TV crew from the US that traveled the Caribbean in persuit of this story found information that further established the tight liason between Marchant and Bank Crozier.

>
>
>
> Al Kassar allegation: Your response was to talk about a smear campaign that
> was started in Panama

No, it started in Spain, as I wrote in my message.

> by Mr. Marchant and a local reporter

No, by a Spanish reporter who later met with David Marchant (this was the meeting where Marchant told this reporter that IC was "sinister" because of this Mr. Hobbs whom he claimed to have documents about that he later could not produce).
The Spanish reporter, in his turn, knew and worked with the same "journalists" in Panama that Marchant had "co-operated" with previously.

> (again presumably
> for some “incentive”). Then Mr. Marchant after laying the groundwork with some
> stories in the minor press was to take this “big time” by co-opting the
> mainstream press.

Did you actually read my posting? It STARTED in the mainstream press, in a big Spanish newspaper called "El Mundo" to be exact, with a story about IC being a front for Bin Laden that Kassar already has admitted to be complete bollocks. Marchant was brought into the game later. Do you think that if Kassar can get a bullshit story like that in the mainstream press, it will be difficult for him to get stories planted into obscure newsletters?

> Let’s assume (again being very very very generous) that the
> following unsubstantiated allegations are true:
> 1) That Mr. Marchant took an “incentive” from Mr. Al Kassar;
> 2) That Mr. Marchant gave some incentive to some other journalists in the
> “third world press” to publish a false story;
> 3) That Mr. Marchant is able to get the mainstream press to simply repeat the
> stories without them doing even the most basic verification;

No, HE repeats the mainstream press, local reporters of small papers and invented documents about Mr. Hobbs without checking any of the information brought to him (small airplanes landing in Binbrook, white vans, poisoned Hobbses, and all the other fantasies he published.

> 4) That the “smear campaign” had reached such a fever pitch that Imperial was:
> a) unable to organize themselves to refute the obviously patently false
> allegations;
> b) that all of their investors and business partners decided to abandon them;
> c) all their investments e.g. real estate and mining rights (which are either
> pieces of paper or inanimate objects and cannot read) decided to unilaterally
> decrease their own value; and
> d) that numerous regulatory and police authorities were so hoodwinked as to
> start and continue with expensive investigations and proceedings.

I am not saying that nothing else contributed to IC demise, and I never said that before. I am saying that Marchant is an unethical journalist on the take, if he is a journalist at all, and that he co-operated with a smear campaign designed to extort IC. That doesn't imply that other issues did not play their part in the affair.

>
> Again all of these allegations if true (and you would certainly be less than
> skeptical to accept them at face value), the Imperial flunky would still laugh
> at the Al Kassar flunkies alleged blackmail technique because the following
> logic still holds:
>
> a) Imperial was having financial difficulties long before David Marchant ever
> reported on them. Concerned investors were the ones who first brought his
> attention to the story;

Even if that were true, the complaints came AFTER Kassar had planted his Bin Laden fantasy into El Mundo. No wonder investors get worried if they read something like that. Before Kassar started his smear campaign, IC did not have a problem with concerned investors.

> b) The story of Imperial’s woes has also been reported in the major press in
> publications like The Financial Times. Being able to shut David Marchant up
> will not stop the increasing number of negative stories that are constantly
> appearing in the press.

It's the same stories over and over again. Once a story gets published somewhere, it's safe for other publications to quote it without having to do a whole lot of independent research. You seem surprised at how this works. I gave you the American Express example, which was a lot bigger than this case. Recently we had a smear campaign revealed in the UK against EasyJet - although I am not familiar with the details on that one. My point being that it is not all that difficult to get false stories into the "mainstream" press, contrary to what you seem to believe.

Years ago, in various third world countries (but I think it originated in Mexico) a story emerged that babies were kidnapped and killed for their organs, which were then sold to rich patients from first world countries. This story bounced around the globe for a long time and was carried by serious publications, TV stations without much verification. This went on for considerable time, but the story was utter nonsense. Even so, it became bigger and bigger - professional gangs and cartels would be trading organs - until it a sort of faded away, leaving the major media organisations ashamed behind.

> c) All of the supposedly “false” allegations made by David Marchant have
> either a) been conceded by Imperial; b) been confirmed by third parties like
> the liquidators;

I think that Matrix has effectively pointed out a great number of "inaccuracies" by Marchant in his reports. Marchant replied that since he quoted his local source correctly (without verifying anything that source fed him), his story was accurate. That's journalistic poverty of the first order, and I don't think I ever heard such a weak excuse for fucking up as Marchant did (multi million dollar roof! Fraser stole the bed linen!).

or c) while denied by Imperial and yet to be proven in a
> court of law, appeared to be accurate enough for police and regulatory bodies
> to start full scale investigations and suspend licenses etc.; and
> d) Even if David Marchant started to write very flowery supportive articles
> about Imperial (again for a nice “incentive”), that would hardly stop
> Imperial’s current woes.

That's another characteristic of a smear campaign. At a certain point, nobody cares about the truth any more because the victim is dead anyway. This appears to be the current situation with IC.

> In short David Marchant is only one of the messengers
> (maybe even the first), but the bad message was entirely of Imperial’s own
> making.

Marchant is not a messenger, he is a player. Messengers usually don't make up their own messages.

Okke Ornstein


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/8/2003 9:30:06 AM

By: David S. Lesperance

Dear Mr. Ornstein: Thank you for responding. For the convenience of readers I will simply create headings for our two areas of discussion.

Crozier allegation: You said, “When I refer to Crozier I'm talking about Johansson putting up money to get Marchant started in Miami, and Marchant writing their newsletter - in fact he appears to be running their whole news page - while reporting on the competition.” As I mentioned in my opening, I wasn’t sure that the allegation was a banner advertisement or something else. I gather then that the allegation is that the “incentive” was some start-up capital for Mr. Marchant’s business and a contract to write a newsletter. Before we examine this further can you provide me with some more details as to who has made this allegation? The evidence provided in support of this allegation? Mr. Marchant’s response to the allegation? (If Mr. Marchant is bothering to follow this thread, please feel free to respond)



Al Kassar allegation: Your response was to talk about a smear campaign that was started in Panama by Mr. Marchant and a local reporter (again presumably for some “incentive”). Then Mr. Marchant after laying the groundwork with some stories in the minor press was to take this “big time” by co-opting the mainstream press. Let’s assume (again being very very very generous) that the following unsubstantiated allegations are true:
1) That Mr. Marchant took an “incentive” from Mr. Al Kassar;
2) That Mr. Marchant gave some incentive to some other journalists in the “third world press” to publish a false story;
3) That Mr. Marchant is able to get the mainstream press to simply repeat the stories without them doing even the most basic verification;
4) That the “smear campaign” had reached such a fever pitch that Imperial was:
a) unable to organize themselves to refute the obviously patently false allegations;
b) that all of their investors and business partners decided to abandon them;
c) all their investments e.g. real estate and mining rights (which are either pieces of paper or inanimate objects and cannot read) decided to unilaterally decrease their own value; and
d) that numerous regulatory and police authorities were so hoodwinked as to start and continue with expensive investigations and proceedings.

Again all of these allegations if true (and you would certainly be less than skeptical to accept them at face value), the Imperial flunky would still laugh at the Al Kassar flunkies alleged blackmail technique because the following logic still holds:

a) Imperial was having financial difficulties long before David Marchant ever reported on them. Concerned investors were the ones who first brought his attention to the story;
b) The story of Imperial’s woes has also been reported in the major press in publications like The Financial Times. Being able to shut David Marchant up will not stop the increasing number of negative stories that are constantly appearing in the press.
c) All of the supposedly “false” allegations made by David Marchant have either a) been conceded by Imperial; b) been confirmed by third parties like the liquidators; or c) while denied by Imperial and yet to be proven in a court of law, appeared to be accurate enough for police and regulatory bodies to start full scale investigations and suspend licenses etc.; and
d) Even if David Marchant started to write very flowery supportive articles about Imperial (again for a nice “incentive”), that would hardly stop Imperial’s current woes. In short David Marchant is only one of the messengers (maybe even the first), but the bad message was entirely of Imperial’s own making.


I await your learned rebuttal to my logic.

David S. Lesperance





Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/8/2003 12:41:10 AM

By: Okke Ornstein

I am aware of Marchant's connections with (former) US law enforcement agents like Art Vandesand (sp?) and Tom Cash.

However, I didn't make this up but I have my information from a reliable source in, errr, US law enforcement....

And why would I care if Mr. Anonymous believes this or not?

Okke Ornstein


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/8/2003 12:24:06 AM

By: Curious

"the US authorities are currently looking into Mr. Marchant's activities"

LOL! Talk about disinformation. There is no evidence that anybody in the U.S. is looking into David's activities, and if they were he'd be able to line up a long list of journalists from the Wall Street Journal, Money, Forbes, as well as other prestigious persons including not just a few in U.S. law enforcement lined up around the block to vouch for him.

Okke, you really don't have any concept of what "legitimate" or "reputable" really means do you? David may never win a Pulitzer but to make vague allegations that he is being "investigated" is as misleading as it is ludicrous. Time for you to fade back into your obscure Third World slum and take your crap with you.


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/10/2003 11:57:33 PM

By: Okke Ornstein

Mr. Lesperance, you're getting carried away by your background as a lawyer. Let me remind you we're on a bulletin board, not in a courtroom.

In the cases of Mr. Marchant's ties with Bank Crozier and his links with Al Kassar, I'm sure that you will feel as comfortable as I do about adopting the same "rules of evidence" that Mr. Marchant - it is his board after all - lives up to in his investigative publications, although I will, in order not to lower the debate into the realms of gossip and smear, try to back up my claims more substantially than Mr. Marchant usually does. Let's just agree that generally accepted rules of backing up a story as they are applied in serious journalism will suffice, if that's allright with you, instead of presenting courtroom style evidence or just rumor. In concreto that means that sometimes sources and witnesses have to remain anonymous to the audience to protect them as well as that not all documentation can be made available. I am sure that you, as well as the many anonymous posters on this board can understand that.

Let's go into what happened with IC some more. This firm, which only started to get into trouble after Kassar planted an admittedly false story in the Spanish press, hired an investigative firm (a big and reputable UK firm) to research the various "players" in the affair. As such, they investigated Mr. Marchant, Mrs. van Orsdell, Peter Malcolm Dizer, as well as various others. They used different sources, sometimes extremely close to the subjects under investigation including to Mr. Marchant, and the investigations went on for a considerable period of time.

I have most of the reports that resulted from these investigations.

Some of the allegations I have made about Mr. Marchant are based on these reports, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt their accuracy. The relationship between Bank Crozier/Peter Johansson and Mr. Marchant is one of these allegations. Peter Dizer bragging that Bank Crozier has immunity from Marchant is another one of these allegations. Marchant's (or his lawyer's) creative use of the names of sponsors on his visa documents is another one, that by the way was further substantiated by yet another investigation into Mr. Marchant that had been conducted previously, this time by a US agency.

I would say that this is allready somewhat more substantial than quoting a local journalist who makes up a story and than claim you reported accurately because you quoted your local clown right, wouldn't you say?

Mr. Marchant may deny any financial relationship between his company and Bank Crozier, the statements I have been given by various witnesses close to Bank Crozier strongly suggest that he is lying.

While not evidence, it must be said that the carefull avoiding by Marchant to report anything remotely negative about Bank Crozier (cease and desist orders, official investigations that last months, banking for PILL, a known pyramid scheme - I mean, he attacked others for less) does support the allegation.

Marchant's denial is not gaining much credibility by his refusal to disclose why he needed hundreds of thousands of dollars just to start a newsletter and who coughed up that money and why. That information, if available, would make the conflicts of interest at least transparent.

You say that errors about planes, white vans, people being poisoned, a forty million dollar roof and directors stealing bed linen are minor mistakes that don't say anything about the accuracy of the more important bigger picture. However, apparently Mr. Marchant found these subjects interesting enough to devote articles to them and even spend time to find a local "source" to feed him this disinformation. While you are right that bed linen as such doesn't say anything about investment fraud or not, you will have to agree that when information like this is not verified where such would be extremely easy to do, this does pose legitimate concerns as to which extend any other information that Marchant publishes has been verified by him. So, these errors may not tell you much about if IC was a fraud or not, but they do indeed tell you something about how serious Marchant takes his journalistic responsibilities in general.

Hence my question as to which code of ethics he subscribes.

As for my examples about the human organ trade and American Express, they are not evidence, but hopefully serve your education on the workings of smear campaigns, of which you seemed unaware. You doubted that fake stories could make it into the "mainstream" press, and this is, as I have shown, a mistake. It happens all the time.

Okke Ornstein






Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/9/2003 10:43:26 PM

By: David S. Lesperance

Dear Mr. Ornstein: After you provide the outstanding evidence on the Crozier allegation please feel free to re-enter the discussion on the Al Kassar allegations. However please remember the “Golden Rules” relating to allegations

The question is not whether the allegation is undisputed. Anyone can make any outrageous allegation they want without providing any type of INDEPENDENT VERIFABLE evidence to support the allegation. Just because the subject of the allegation doesn’t bother to respond to the allegation doesn’t make it any truer. The onus is on the person making the allegation to provide some evidence of the allegation. The onus is not on the subject to deny it.

In my prior posting on this area of allegations, I began with a brief summary of how the ALLEGED smear campaign began. You responded by correcting me on the sequence of initial events. As this “correction” does nothing to provide evidence to independently verify any alleged smear campaign in any form, please provide your evidence of same. I am sure that you have this and was simply distracted by slightly mistaken summary of events.

You then also note some alleged mistakes in Mr. Marchant’s reports: “No, HE repeats the mainstream press, local reporters of small papers and invented documents about Mr. Hobbs without checking any of the information brought to him (small airplanes landing in Binbrook, white vans, poisoned Hobbses, and all the other fantasies he published”.

As I have previously noted in other Matrix threads, minor alleged mistakes (without evidence to contradict Mr. Marchant’s evidence) are irrelevant. To think otherwise is to fall into the basic logic fallacy of the “hasty conclusion” (IOW: A minor discrepancy on a side issue does not disprove the main position).


I then lay out some presumptions and then some logical conclusions to show that the theory that Mr. Marchant is assisting Mr. Al Kassar to blackmail Imperial is silly. Your “response” to find the fault in my logic was:

“I am not saying that nothing else contributed to IC demise, and I never said that before. I am saying that Marchant is an unethical journalist on the take, if he is a journalist at all, and that he co-operated with a smear campaign designed to extort IC. That doesn't imply that other issues did not play their part in the affair.”

This isn’t finding any fault in my logic, this is simply repeating an accusation and stating an opinion about the quality of Mr. Marchant’s journalism and ethics. Please find fault in my logic rather than avoiding the task at hand. Simply claiming that there is a smear campaign in this situation because there was once mistakes in journalism in something completely unrelated (e.g. baby organ donors) is not evidence.

Therefore please provide evidence to support the allegations and attempt to dismantle my logic as to why the allegations (even given the assumption that evidence exists) are nonsense on their face.

We all await your response at your leisure.

David S. Lesperance




Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/9/2003 9:03:45 PM

By: David S. Lesperance

Dear Mr. Ornstein: Before I get back to your comments on the Al Kassar allegation, I would just like to stay focused on the Crozier allegations for a bit longer:

Allegation 1: Mr. Marchant writes Crozier’s newsletter

Mr. Ornstein you said “Marchant writing a Crozier newsletter or managing their news page is undisputed, even by Mr. Marchant himself.”

Then Mr. Marchant posted what I thought was a very clear answer: “OBNR provides news summaries for Bank Crozier's web-site, which has always been fully disclosed on such site. Okke Ornstein only knows about this newsletter because I told him about it, having been unable to find it out for himself. These news summaries are available to anyone who wants them for their own site. There is no charge and the purpose is for them to act as what is known in journalism as 'teasers' to attract people to OBNR's products. When we first produced these teasers, I emailed several operators of popular web-sites, including Jay Adkisson and Roy Bouchier, asking if they wanted to have these summaries and only Crozier said 'yes'. If anyone wants these monthly summaries free of charge to place on their respective web-sites, they can email me at info@offshorebusiness.com.”

A simple check of the Bank Crozier Website (http://www.bankcrozier.com) confirms exactly what Mr. Marchant has said (Note: need to enter “Private Banking” section). On that page it says the following:

Footloose & Taxfree ­ A syndicated monthly column by Miami-based Offshore Business News & Research Inc.
Some of the headlines:


When you hit the hyperlink, then it brings you directly to Mr. Marchant’s own Website. This is hardly “writing a Crozier newsletter” or “acting on behalf of Crozier”. Simply put, Crozier has the benefit of a hyperlink to topics that may be of interest to its readers. Mr. Marchant has the benefit of having greater exposure of his newsletter to potential subscribers looking at a Website. To attempt to portray it as sinister is silly!


Allegation 2: Crozier is an investor or provided start-up capital to Mr. Marchant:

Mr. Ornstein said: “Marchant has said in an interview that investors have put up "several hundred thousand dollars" to get him started in Miami. I have it from several sources that Johansson was one of these investors, and so far, Marchant has not denied it (nor confirmed it, to be honest).”

Mr. Marchant replied: “If it assists you, my company was capitalized by several hundreds of thousands of dollars, and neither Peter Johansson nor any related party provided any of the capital directly or indirectly. I did not even know Peter Johansson at that time.” (IOW denied the allegation)

I had said: “The onus is on the person making the allegation to provide some evidence of the allegation.” I then asked you to direct us to the article or some place where we can read about this “interview”. I also asked you to provide some other supporting evidence about alleged conversations and television interviews which you say supports your contention that Bank Crozier “ have total immunity from David Marchant" and that there is a “tight liason between Marchant and Bank Crozier.”

You must have got off track and forgot to provide that evidence. However since you were so ready to provide us with the allegations based on “interviews” “witnesses” and even “television investigations” then I am sure you must have this “evidence” right at hand. Please don’t hesitate to provide it otherwise the less charitable amongst us my think that you were engaging in a bit of malicious puffery.

We all eagerly await the presentation of the overwhelming supporting evidence of these allegations so that we can move onto the “terrorist” allegations.

David S. Lesperance


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/9/2003 3:37:37 PM

By: Okke Ornstein

Yes, I would also be extremely interested to know which set of journalistic ethical guidelines - there are many available on the web from different journalism organisations - Mr. Marchant has adopted in his work.

Let's assume I publish an investigative newsletter about the pharmaceutical industry.

For some unfathomable reason, I need several hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a computer and a couple of phone lines. I get free office space at a research agency that does paid work for the pharmaceutical industry. I talk about the hundreds of thousands of dollars in an interview with one of the major publications in the field, but I am carefull not to disclose who put up this money and why I needed so much.

I claim my investigative newsletter to be independent. Meanwhile, I also do some sidekick for one of the pharmaceutical firms, let's say Pfizer. Now, Pfizer runs into some trouble in country X for selling drugs they're not allowed to sell there. Then the FDA occupies their offices for months for some investigation. None of this gets reported in my investigative newsletter, but I continue to do the sidekick for Pfizer.

At the same time, I run ads on my web site for another pharma house that later is closed down by the authorities for dumping surplus second rate drugs on the third world market. I do duly report this, but can not explain why my investigative newsletter had not found out about this earlier and had accepted the ads.

Now seriously, is it really THAT difficult to see what goes on here? Mr. Lesperance and others?

Okke Ornstein




Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/9/2003 9:18:07 AM

By: what about the other questions?

What about Mr Ornstein's more serious allegations? Are you, as stated, an unethical and sloppy journalist? Do you subscribe to any particular set of official journalistic ethics policies serving as guidelines for yourself and your staff?

Care to share?


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/15/2003 5:52:58 PM

By: David Lesperance

While waiting for reader response or Mr. Ornstein to abandon the Secret Agent Ruse, I will humor him by replying to some questions he posed of me

1) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to distribute a newsflash that in reality is a paid reward offer, without disclosing this? Among serious media people this is considered "undisclosed conflict of interest", but I am really curious as to your opinion.

-As outlined above and as a simple review of the relevant WebPages will show there was only a newsflash or teaser which was fully disclosed and obvious.

2) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to send somebody a list of questions with a deadline for the answers to be received, and then attack same person and his company before that same deadline has expired without waiting for those answers? Among serious media people this is called "ambush journalism", but I am really curious as to your opinion.

-If you wish to make an allegation of “abuse journalism” against Mr. Marchant please lay out a specific allegation with supporting evidence.

3) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to rely on one source only for publishing important information without independently verifying this information? Can you give me the name of one school for journalism that teaches this method to it's students?

-I am not an expert in journalism school curriculums but I often read major media reports which state “unconfirmed sources allege” or “X alleges Y did something bad. Y did not return calls to this reporter”. This allows the reader to put whatever weight they think appropriate to the allegation.

4) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to work as a journalist and a private investigator at the same time and to receive checks for services provided to an agency like Kroll and Associates? Can you refer to one serious journalist organisation that does not disapprove of that combination?

Firstly, the company has been called “Kroll- A Risk Assessment Company”, ”Kroll Inc.” and “Kroll Associates” but never “Kroll and Associates”. For those unfamiliar with the company, please look at their WebPages at http://www.krollworldwide.com/home/homepage.cfm. I am quite familiar with the company and have myself “received checks for services” from them for legal work relating to moving some key executives between Toronto and New York In addition I have paid them to carry out background checks on my clients, to be used for various immigration applications. I think they were happy with my services and I was with their services. If I became a criminal I would not expect for a moment that this previous involvement with their company would make them even hesitate to report this fact to the world at large. Why should they risk their reputation for me or for David Marchant.

Now specifically with regards to Mr. Marchant, I remember various comments/ allegations stating that Mr. Marchant rented some office space from them. Big deal, it was probably nice to have access (assuming he did) to their research library. In addition you are alleging that Kroll hired Mr. Marchant (presumably for writing or research). If true this would be a feather in Mr. Marchant’s cap as they are a highly respected company and I believe like to hire only the best (from office cleaners, to immigration lawyers, to contract writers/researchers).

As for your trying to disparage Mr. Marchant by calling him a “private investigator”, I am confused. Mr. Marchant (like Woodward and Bernstein) considers himself an “investigative journalist”. An investigative journalist gets out and digs up the story as opposed to a regular journalist who may just report who died or who scored the winning basket. In digging up and pursuing a particular story, investigative reporters act just like private investigators. Since investigative journalism is a widely respected profession I think the real question should be “Name one journalist organization which does not approve of a journalist acting like a private investigator”.

4) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to provide services to an offshore bank while at the same time reporting on other offshore banks and financial institutions without disclosing this fact in his publication?

Lame allegation, already discussed and dismissed.

6) If you agree - and even Mr. Marchant does as I understand it - that errors have found their way into articles by Marchant about Imperial Consolidated, can you tell me in which issue of Offshore Alert he corrects these errors (common practice in serious journalism)?

I never agreed there were mistakes. I simply said ASSUMING there was, they were minor and did not undermine the main allegations.

7) Would you be able to explain why someone would need several hundreds of thousands of dollars to start a newsletter when even his office space is free?

Discussed before. May I ask which Secret Agent informed you about Mr. Marchant’s office rental arrangements?

Aren't you worried about the apparent relationship between Mr. Marchant and a known terrorist like Monzer Al Kassar? Do you disqualify allegations to that respect on beforehand as nonsense, or would you agree that such a serious matter needs to be looked into by competent authorities?

Discussed ad nausea above. If you think that there is something for competent authorities to investigate, then go right ahead and report Mr. Marchant.

9) In your professional opinion as a lawyer who specializes in immigration, is it possible and legal, with the type of visa Mr. Marchant has which says he can work as a writer, to work in the US as a private investigator (with or without a licence) and offer due dilligence services as he does on his various web sites from and within the US?

In short, yes.

10) Is it possible, with same visa, to be sponsored by your own company as Marchant repeatedly has stated, even in court?

Done all the time and is called a new office L-1 intracorporate transfer.There you go Mr. Ornstein, I don’t believe I have left a question unanswered. You however have left many. Do you care to address them or are you happy to let the readers judge you on your postings to date?

David S. Lesperance


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/15/2003 5:52:22 PM

By: David Lesperance

Dear Readers of this thread: It is beginning to appear that Mr. Ornstein is beginning to run out of steam on his debating technique so I will do a summary to date on the various allegations along with the comments/ positions of Mr. Ornstein and myself for your consideration

As an initial comment, I would like to point out a particular response that Mr. Ornstein has used when pressed for details of collaborating witnesses. He engages in what I call the “Secret Agent Ruse” when he states: “I can't give you the reports by the investigative firms because they would reveal the sources, some of which, as I explained to you, are extremely close to the subjects of investigation.” Why they are so scared of coming forward or why Mr. Ornstein, an unrelated party, would have “highly sensitive” information is left to what Mr. Ornstein hopes is our very active imaginations. In the end, it is a shallow attempt to deflect a natural request for some support for unsubstantiated accusations.

Let’s proceed:

The “Al Kassar” Allegations: Mr. Marchant was paid a “consideration” by a Mr. Al Kassar (or his associates) to be actively involved in a “smear campaign” against Imperial Consolidated. His malfeasance included either placing or repeating a false story about Imperial. This smear campaign was alleged to be undertaken by Mr. Al Kassar as he was involved in a commercial dispute with Imperial and sought some negotiating leverage with Imperial.

In support of this allegation Mr. Ornstein claims:

a) That Mr. Al Kassar is a subscriber to Offshore Alert or has bought story credits which shows an unsavory relationship between Mr. Marchant and Mr. Al Kassar.

-Mr. Ornstein later acknowledges that there is no negative inference to be drawn against a publisher/editor of a newsletter because of the scoundrel-like nature of particular subscribers or readers;

b) That Mr. Marchant actually spoke with Mr. Al Kassar or his employees which shows an unsavory relationship between Mr. Marchant and Mr. Al Kassar.

-I pointed out that even though there was absolutely no evidence put forth to support such a conversation, even if this took place it would be quite natural in Mr. Marchant’s role as a journalist pursuing a story, which Mr. Al Kassar was intimately involved. Mr. Ornstein does not further rebut this point;


c) There is a “videotape” of a “henchman” of Mr. Al Kassar speaking with a “henchman” of Imperial Consolidated. During this alleged conversation the Al Kassar flunky supposedly tells the Imperial flunky that Mr. Al Kassar allegedly “controlled” Mr. Marchant and was able to plant a false story about Imperial in Offshore Alert.

-Mr. Ornstein does not produce a copy of this alleged videotape so we are left to believe him that:
1) the conversation actually took place;
2) there was a videotape; and
3) the contents of the conversation were as portrayed.

-I then point out several logical holes in this whole allegation which demonstrate that such a conversation would have been useless in furthering Mr. Al Kassar’s alleged extortion. Mr. Ornstein’s only rebuttal/ evidence is to point out the existence of prior “smear campaigns” which are unrelated, irrelevant and clearly distinguishable. He fails to allow the fact that if Imperial is the victim of falsehoods, then as a large institution they should have been able to easily quash any attempted ‘smear campaign” by clearly demonstrating the positive reality they now allege. The fact that a journalist with Mr. Marchant’s reach successfully waged such a “smear campaign” is ludicrous.


The “Bank Crozier” Allegations: Mr. Marchant was paid an “incentive” by Bank Crozier to plant a negative story about Imperial’s Grenada bank while not reporting problems with Bank Crozier.

In support of this allegation Mr. Ornstein claims:

a) That a principal of Bank Crozier provided start-up capital for Mr. Marchant’s business

-Mr. Marchant clearly denies the allegation

-Mr. Ornstein supports his allegation by saying he has it from several unnamed sources that a Bank Crozier Principal Mr. Johansson was one of the investors. When pressed by me to at least name one of these sources, Mr. Ornstein falls back on the Secret Agent Ruse.

-Mr. Ornstein then notes that we should draw some type of conspiratorial intent because Mr. Marchant’s business plan called for a capitalization of several hundred thousand dollars. While I am not aware of the details of Mr. Marchant’s operations I do run a small office in another high tax country Canada and run through similar expenses annually. When one considers the high start-up costs of rent (in Miami), office equipment, research material subscriptions and probably a high travel and phone budget, such a figure seems quite reasonable. Especially when one considers that Mr. Marchant’s revenue stream would take a significant period of time to be established and built up to cover costs. What this has to do with Bank Crozier (unless they extend a line of credit to Mr. Marchant) Mr. Ornstein never bothers to state.

b) That Mr. Marchant was engaged by Bank Crozier to write their newsletter AND that he doesn’t disclose this fact on either the Bank Crozier newsletter or his Website

-This allegation is blown to smithereens when one simply looks at the Bank Crozier Website and finds a clearly marked hyperlink to Mr. Marchant’s own WebPages.

c) That a Peter Dizer who is allegedly “associated” with Bank Crozier had been seen in the Bahamas by several witnesses who overheard bragging that "we [Crozier] have total immunity from David Marchant".

-When pressed for the names of the witnesses to this alleged conversation, Mr. Ornstein lamely again offers us the Secret Agent Ruse.

d) That a TV crew from the US had established a tight liaison between Mr. Marchant and Bank Crozier.

-When pressed for the name of the television crew, Mr. Ornstein tries to extend the already pathetic Secret Agent Ruse to cover not only the witnesses but also the name of the investigative television crew. What did they propose to do with the television show if not publicly broadcast it?


e) That Mr. Marchant failed to advise readers of Offshore Alert on a timely basis that the Grenada government carried out a review of all banks in Grenada including Bank Crozier. In addition, that Mr. Marchant did not advise readers of Offshore Alert on a timely basis that the B.C. government had issued a warning about Bank Crozier, nor that they had offered banking services to a company which had later be discovered to operate a pyramid scheme.

-To be fair to Mr. Ornstein, I have not bothered spend my story credits to determine if and when these things took place and were reported in Offshore Alert. I would ask Mr. Ornstein to provide more specifics on these allegations INCLUDING SUPPORTING EVIDENCE. In addition, if he feels like it, I would ask Mr. Marchant to comment. (Note: I would ask readers to remember that the onus is on the person making the allegation to provide some evidence of the allegation. The onus is not on the subject to deny it.)



If Mr. Ornstein would like to provide the names of the “witnesses”, “reporters” and “television crews”, then I think that would add something to this discussion. Otherwise I think it is time to seek the comments of the observers of this debate.

David S. Lesperance


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/14/2003 1:43:30 AM

By: Okke Ornstein

Not winning a Pulitzer doesn't mean you should not worl according to ethical guidelines.

For your information, here is the code of ethics of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Inc. for your review - and that of Marchant of course if it's not too late...

=============================================

Society of American Business Editors and Writers Inc.
Code of Ethics

Statement of Purpose : It is not enough that we be incorruptible and act with honest motives. We must conduct all aspects of our lives in a manner that averts even the appearance of conflict of interest or misuse of the power of the press.

A business, financial and economics writer should:

1. Recognize the trust, confidence and responsibility placed in him or her by the publication's readers and do nothing to abuse this obligation. To this end, a clear-cut delineation between advertising and editorial matters should be maintained at all times.

2. Avoid any practice which might compromise or appear to compromise his objectivity or fairness. He or she should not let any personal investments influence what he or she writes. On some occasions, it may be desirable for him or her to disclose his or her investment positions to a superior.

3. Avoid active trading and other short-term profit-seeking opportunities. Active participation in the markets which such activities require is not compatible with the role of the business and financial journalist as disinterested trustee of the public interest.

4. Not take advantage in his or her personal investing of any inside information and be sure any relevant information he or she may have is widely disseminated before he buys or sells.

5. Make every effort to insure the confidentiality of information held for publication to keep such information from finding its way to those who might use it for gain before it becomes available to the public.

6. Accept no gift, special treatment or any other thing of more than token value given in the course of his professional activities. In addition, he or she will accept no out-of-town travel paid for by anyone other than his or her employer for the ostensible purpose of covering or backgrounding news. Free-lance writing opportunities and honoraria for speeches should be examined carefully to assure that they are not in fact disguised gratuities. Food and refreshments of ordinary value may be accepted where necessary during the normal course of business.

7. Encourage the observance of these minimum standards by all business writers.

Addendum to Code of Ethics

Guidelines To Insure Editorial Integrity Of Business News Coverage:

1. A clear-cut delineation between advertising and editorial matters should be maintained at all times.

2. Material produced by an editorial staff or news service should be used only in sections controlled by editorial departments.

3. Sections controlled by advertising departments should be distinctly different from news sections in typeface, layout and design.

4. Promising a story in exchange for advertising is unethical.

5. Publishers, broadcasters and top newsroom editors should establish policies and guidelines to protect the integrity of business news coverage.

http://www.sabew.org


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/13/2003 11:20:23 PM

By: Curious

David isn't winning the Pulitzer anytime soon, but people read his newsletters because they like the content. So long as they like the content, it doesn't matter one wit whether David gets an "A", "B", "C", "D" or "F" in Journalistic Ethics 101.

Hell, Okke, you're not even a subscriber so what are you bitching about?


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/13/2003 12:46:50 AM

By: Okke Ornstein

Mr. Lesperance, maybe you feel more comfortable with some simple questions:

1) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to distribute a newsflash that in reality is a paid reward offer, without disclosing this? Among serious media people this is considered "undisclosed conflict of interest", but I am really curious as to your opinion.

2) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to send somebody a list of questions with a deadline for the answers to be received, and then attack same person and his company before that same deadline has expired without waiting for those answers? Among serious media people this is called "ambush journalism", but I am really curious as to your opinion.

3) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to rely on one source only for publishing important information without independently verifying this information? Can you give me the name of one school for journalism that teaches this method to it's students?

4) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to work as a journalist and a private investigator at the same time and to receive checks for services provided to an agency like Kroll and Associates? Can you refer to one serious journalist organisation that does not disapprove of that combination?

5) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to provide services to an offshore bank while at the same time reporting on other offshore banks and financial institutions without disclosing this fact in his publication?

6) If you agree - and even Mr. Marchant does as I understand it - that errors have found their way into articles by Marchant about Imperial Consolidated, can you tell me in which issue of Offshore Alert he corrects these errors (common practice in serious journalism)?

7) Would you be able to explain why someone would need several hundreds of thousands of dollars to start a newsletter when even his office space is free?

Aren't you worried about the apparent relationship between Mr. Marchant and a known terrorist like Monzer Al Kassar? Do you disqualify allegations to that respect on beforehand as nonsense, or would you agree that such a serious matter needs to be looked into by competent authorities?

9) In your professional opinion as a lawyer who specializes in immigration, is it possible and legal, with the type of visa Mr. Marchant has which says he can work as a writer, to work in the US as a private investigator (with or without a licence) and offer due dilligence services as he does on his various web sites from and within the US?

10) Is it possible, with same visa, to be sponsored by your own company as Marchant repeatedly has stated, even in court?

I am eagerly awaiting your answers,

Okke Ornstein




Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/12/2003 4:07:53 PM

By: Okke Ornstein

Mr. Lesperance,

I can't give you the reports by the investigative firms because they would reveil the sources, some of which, as I explained to you, are extremely close to the subjects of investigation. I don't see what is so hard to understand about that, especially since your friend Mr. Marchant does the same all the time, and only produces evidence (if he has it) or witnesses when sued for libel or so.

> In addition, I also very generously set out the logic
> that showed that even if there was plenty of evidence
> and Mr. Marchant was the natural born scoundrel
> you claim he is, that there is no reason why the events
> you claimed would have happened.

Mr. Lesperance, I really can't help it that you don't want to understand how smear campaigns work, but I have to inform you that there was no logic in what you set out.
Mr. Al Kassar plants a false story in the Spanish press (as his representative allready has admitted). That story gets carried in the UK press as well. Naturally, investors get worried. The law gets worried and knocks on IC's door. Marchant picks up the IC subject and hits them with lots of innuendo that later turns out to be false. Kassar wants about $200 million from IC, and sends his assistant to negociate a deal in which the bad press, including Mr. Marchant, would be shut up upon payment. Since no payments have been made, the extortion ring has been keeping the pressure up. It's really not that difficult to figure it all out, but somehow you can't get it into your head, can you?

And I really have no idea if Marchant was naturally born a scoundrel or that social and educational factors molded him into what he is. I'm not sure I really want to know either.

Okke Ornstein


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/12/2003 8:30:33 AM

By: David S. Lesperance

Dear Mr. Ornstein: Court room rules of evidence? We are not even within a mile of that! I am talking about some even elementary evidence or even a smattering of logic. You have to do more than simply say "someone said" or "a television crew", or "A big U.K. investigative firm" or "associated with Mr. X (as if we should all know who X is) of U.S. law enforcement (a pretty big group of people). That is NO evidence and is mere useless decoration for any allegation.

Surely the T.V. crew, the investigative firm, or the person who conducted the "interviews" has no conceivable reason for remaining anonymous. If they exist, lets have them. Your silence on this disclosure may leave me to believe they are mere figments of your imagination. Please prove me wrong.

In addition, I also very generously set out the logic that showed that even if there was plenty of evidence and Mr. Marchant was the natural born scoundrel you claim he is, that there is no reason why the events you claimed would have happened. Please address even this, as it relieves you of what seems to be a significant burden i.e. answering direct questions and providing even a smidgen of supporting evidence.

David S. Lesperance


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/20/2003 6:49:44 PM

By: Okke Ornstein

I think posting anonymously on a due dilligence message board is stupid.

And Marchant is of course free to stop calling himself a journalist if, as you say, he is not.

Okke Ornstein


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/16/2003 11:28:38 PM

By: Curious

So, if David blatantly violates the ethical guidelines he get's what: 20 lashes with a wet noodle?

Nobody is buying David's publications because of any florid writing style or strict adherence to any Canons of Journalistic Excellence. They buy David's stuff because he gives them the poop (and often the inside poop) on what is going on with businessmen who are scamming their customers.

Criticizing David for an alleged breach of journalistic ethics is stupid.


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/16/2003 3:07:28 PM

By: David S. Lesperance

"Yawn". The most insightful comment in a long time! I think that we are beating a dead horse that never had much life in the first place. I am not interested in continuing to provide my "opinions" of unnamed people in hypothetical situations and will gladly rest on my statements to date on the "Al Kazzar and Bank Crozier allegations". I am sure that Mr. Ornstein will feel some urge to reply and I therefore welcome him to the last word.

David S. Lesperance


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/16/2003 8:00:10 AM

By: Alan McAloon

*Yawn*


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Posted: 1/15/2003 9:17:37 PM

By: Okke Ornstein

See my remarks below.

> 1) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to distribute a newsflash that
> in reality is a paid reward offer, without disclosing this? Among serious
> media people this is considered "undisclosed conflict of interest", but I am
> really curious as to your opinion.
>
> -As outlined above and as a simple review of the relevant WebPages will show
> there was only a newsflash or teaser which was fully disclosed and obvious.

Where was it disclosed then that it was in fact a paid advertisement? Certainly not in the message or "newsflash" that was sent out by email. Anyway, my question was if you would consider this ethical journalistic conduct or not. Could you answer that?

>
> 2) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to send somebody a list of
> questions with a deadline for the answers to be received, and then attack same
> person and his company before that same deadline has expired without waiting
> for those answers? Among serious media people this is called "ambush
> journalism", but I am really curious as to your opinion.
>
> -If you wish to make an allegation of “abuse journalism” against Mr. Marchant
> please lay out a specific allegation with supporting evidence.

This was exactly what he did with the Tulip Fund. I can forward you the emails to prove it. And my question was if, irrespective of Mr. Marchant's activities, you would consider such ethical or not for a journalist to do.

>
> 3) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to rely on one source only for
> publishing important information without independently verifying this
> information? Can you give me the name of one school for journalism that
> teaches this method to it's students?
>
> -I am not an expert in journalism school curriculums but I often read major
> media reports which state “unconfirmed sources allege” or “X alleges Y did
> something bad. Y did not return calls to this reporter”. This allows the
> reader to put whatever weight they think appropriate to the allegation.

Can you quote Marchant from one article about IC where he mentions "unconfirmed sources"? Let me know if you need copies of Offshore Alert.

>
> 4) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to work as a journalist and a
> private investigator at the same time and to receive checks for services
> provided to an agency like Kroll and Associates? Can you refer to one serious
> journalist organisation that does not disapprove of that combination?
>
>
> Now specifically with regards to Mr. Marchant, I remember various comments/
> allegations stating that Mr. Marchant rented some office space from them. Big
> deal, it was probably nice to have access (assuming he did) to their research
> library. In addition you are alleging that Kroll hired Mr. Marchant
> (presumably for writing or research). If true this would be a feather in Mr.
> Marchant’s cap as they are a highly respected company and I believe like to
> hire only the best (from office cleaners, to immigration lawyers, to contract
> writers/researchers).

He enjoyed FREE office space. Kroll Associates paid him about $4,000 between october and december 1996. Cheques were signed by a Chris Manasando, financial controller Kroll Associates.

>
> As for your trying to disparage Mr. Marchant by calling him a “private
> investigator”, I am confused. Mr. Marchant (like Woodward and Bernstein)
> considers himself an “investigative journalist”. An investigative journalist
> gets out and digs up the story as opposed to a regular journalist who may just
> report who died or who scored the winning basket. In digging up and pursuing a
> particular story, investigative reporters act just like private investigators.
> Since investigative journalism is a widely respected profession I think the
> real question should be “Name one journalist organization which does not
> approve of a journalist acting like a private investigator”.

If he is just an investigative journalist, why did he apply (and get, until it expired last year) for a private investigator's licence in Florida? No investigative journalist needs such a licence, unless he at the same time works as a private investigator. This is a combination that in journalism is seriously frowned upon. You never know who approaches you for a story; the journalist or the investigator working on behalf and in the interest of his client.

>
> 4) Do you think it is ethical for a journalist to provide services to an
> offshore bank while at the same time reporting on other offshore banks and
> financial institutions without disclosing this fact in his publication?
>
> Lame allegation, already discussed and dismissed.

It's not an allegation, it's a question. Do you think it's ethical conduct or not?
>
> 6) If you agree - and even Mr. Marchant does as I understand it - that errors
> have found their way into articles by Marchant about Imperial Consolidated,
> can you tell me in which issue of Offshore Alert he corrects these errors
> (common practice in serious journalism)?
>
> I never agreed there were mistakes. I simply said ASSUMING there was, they
> were minor and did not undermine the main allegations.

When are mistakes, in your opinion, minor? And what would be the reason minor mistakes do not need to be corrected? If they're minor, what's the big deal about correcting them? Most serious newspapers will even correct misspellings of names, or a wrong name with a picture, so why can't Marchant correct minor mistakes?

>
> 7) Would you be able to explain why someone would need several hundreds of
> thousands of dollars to start a newsletter when even his office space is free?
>
> Discussed before. May I ask which Secret Agent informed you about Mr.
> Marchant’s office rental arrangements?

It's not a secret. It's in Marchant's deposition in a libel trial, which, I believe, you can download from his site. So, what does he need all the money for? I've never seen an explanation for that.

>
> Aren't you worried about the apparent relationship between Mr. Marchant and
> a known terrorist like Monzer Al Kassar? Do you disqualify allegations to that
> respect on beforehand as nonsense, or would you agree that such a serious
> matter needs to be looked into by competent authorities?
>
> Discussed ad nausea above. If you think that there is something for competent
> authorities to investigate, then go right ahead and report Mr. Marchant.

The question was not what I think, but what you think?

>
> 9) In your professional opinion as a lawyer who specializes in immigration, is
> it possible and legal, with the type of visa Mr. Marchant has which says he
> can work as a writer, to work in the US as a private investigator (with or
> without a licence) and offer due dilligence services as he does on his various
> web sites from and within the US?
>
> In short, yes.

Very well. I've heard different opinions from other lawyers, but I'll leave it at that.

>
> 10) Is it possible, with same visa, to be sponsored by your own company as
> Marchant repeatedly has stated, even in court?
>
> Done all the time and is called a new office L-1 intracorporate transfer.

Aha. Can you then explain why he needs a K. Lightbourne as a sponsor? (Not to mention the mysterious Harold Smythe). So, you're basically saying that if I incorporate in the US and have my own company sponsor me, I'm in?

Sincerely,

Okke Ornstein


 

Jump to different Forum... 

We hunt for red flags in high-value, cross-border finance by monitoring offshore and onshore courts, regulatory actions, offering documents, and other sources - and email you the results.

View Recent Digests

BAHAMAS  
BERMUDA  
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS  
CAYMAN ISLANDS  
Cayman Court Secrecy: A Huge Red Flag for Foreign Investors & Clients
David Marchant
As any fule kno, the biggest enemy of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and other forms of financial crime is transparency, while their best friend is secrecy. That's why the unprecedented mass sealing of cases that's taking place at the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands is repugnant to anyone with a genuine concern for financial crime.