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Friday, April 24, 2015

STEVEN SALTZMAN





November 2005

A trusted informant passed me disturbing news about two persons very close to the Prince who were part of what I would later come to know as the Paris Clique:  Thierry Lacoste, a lawyer known to the Prince since childhood, son of Nadia Lacoste, who for many years handled media relations for the Palace, and Lacoste’s good friend Steven Saltzman, an American, and son of Harry Saltzman, one of the original James Bond movie producers.  

Both were said to be waiting in the wings for Albert to inherit the throne. 

Furthermore, Saltzman allegedly possessed a videotape he had made at the Prince’s fortieth birthday party inside a Paris striptease-club in which a young woman is seen to perform a sexual act upon him.  

Saltzman had allegedly taken to showing this video at select parties around Monaco, saying, “This is what I have on your Prince.”  



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Saturday, April 18, 2015

OPERATION HOUND DOG







In January 2004, we felt that the Hereditary Prince Albert was still unprepared for the role of Sovereign.  

That afternoon, we cautioned him that upon the death of his father everyone from everywhere would come out of the woodwork to make power plays.

“Like who,” the Prince challenged.  “Hit me.”

“Tamara Rotolo,” I replied.  It hit him harder than a slap across the face.

Tamara Rotolo was the American woman with whom the Prince sired an illegitimate daughter.  

She had tried to sue him in California for child support, but the judge decreed lack of jurisdiction over the Prince.  We’d acquired photographs of the Prince’s daughter, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, born March 4th, 1992, and I presented them to him. 

“Where did you get these?” he asked.

Jazmin
“You kidding?  There’s nothing I can’t get.  Rotolo is now suing her ex-lawyer for negligence over the way he handled her case.  And she’s trying to sue you again, this time in a French court.  Would you like us to monitor this situation?”

Yes, the Prince wanted this situation monitored.

The technique we intended to use: our insertion-oriented Book Model, which could also be applied to others.  Simply put, we would pose an operative as a writer—a book author.  

We would equip the writer/author with a fully backstopped legend, replete with “book contract” from a reputable publisher.

The subject of the book:  Prince Albert of Monaco.  

Our investigative “author” would make contact with celebrity magazines such as Paris Match and the Italian Oggi, identify the journalists charged with digging up dirt on the Prince and his family, find out what they knew, what they were working on, and, if possible, determine the identities of their sources, who would then be approached in similar fashion.  

Furthermore, our operative could then “leak” information we wished to see published to his new media contacts.

The Prince thought this plan brilliant and authorized us to proceed.  

Hence Operation Hound Dog was born.

Within two weeks I set the basics in place:  FLOATER would pose as an author contracted to write an unauthorized biography entitled Prince of Sport.  

Phase One for FLOATER:  fully investigate the Rotolo matter while reaching out to the tabloid press.

FLOATER’s first pretext call was to Bruce McCormick of Cody, Wyoming, who possessed photographs of Jazmin Grace Grimaldi.  These photos derived from Christmas cards sent him years earlier by Tamara Rotolo.  

(McCormick befriended Rotolo after she ambushed the Prince with daughter in arms during his visit to Wyoming to commemorate Buffalo Bill’s historic meeting with the Prince’s great-great grandfather and namesake Prince Albert 1st, and Rotolo hollered to all who would listen that he was a “deadbeat dad” for not recognizing his child and paying child support.)

McCormick told FLOATER his photographs were for sale, that he’d turned down twenty-five thousand dollars and was looking for better offers.  He added that Paris Match paid him twenty thousand dollars for a “comprehensive interview,” and also that a “big name” freelance journalist was working on the Rotolo story.


Next, FLOATER made contact with the reporter charged with the “Prince Albert beat” at Paris Match:  intrepid correspondent Romain Clergeat, who agreed to meet our “author” in Paris at FLOATER’s earliest convenience.  Clergeat identified himself as the reporter who had interviewed Bruce McCormick.


On June 14th (2004)m I met the Prince in M-Base to facilitate separate SIS and CIA briefings, and to brief the Prince myself on FLOATER’s progress with Operation Hound Dog, which riveted his oft-deficient attention span.

FLOATER had visited Paris and met with Romain Clergeat of Paris Match, from whom he gleaned that publication’s perspective of the Prince, along with Clergeat’s main sources of information on the principality. 

FLOATER had next traveled to Rome and met with Michaela Aurti, who covered the Royal Beat for Oggi, and who had been writing about the Grimaldi family for fifteen years.

Now, FLOATER was in the midst of following up the various sources provided him. 


The Prince expressed amazement by what Operation Hound Dog had so quickly reaped.  He requested that we not only aggressively continue this ruse, but also include some of his close personal friends, who had been divulged as sources.


In March 2005, the Prince asked, What’s the latest on Operation Hound Dog?  

I had gone passive on it, inundated by more important matters, but as the Prince was very keen to know what others had to say about him behind his back I intended to recommence.

So n May 11th, FLOATER arrived in Monaco and hit the ground running for another round of Operation Hound Dog.  

The international media had just revealed that the Prince had an illegitimate son, Alexandre, sired with a black air stewardess from Togo named Nicole Coste.  (To me, the Prince blamed this fiasco on “weakness of the flesh.”)
  
It was thought his Paris lawyer, Thierry Lacoste, had botched the on-going negotiations, and out of frustration Nicole had gone public, possessed, the Prince told me, of an “African chip on her shoulder.”   

He added that his lawyer Lacoste “f----- up.”

I asked the Prince if he had any other children I should know about for future damage control.  

He answered no, full knowing there was likely another beyond Alexandre and Jazmin.

So I dispatched FLOATER to Paris to Hound Dog Steven Saltzman, the Prince's "friend," who insisted  that his lawyer, Thierry Lacoste (another princely leech), be present for their meeting.  

Their meeting took place in Lacoste’s office at 10 Rue Labie on May 18th.   

Saltzman began by trying to corral FLOATER’s “unauthorized biography of Prince Albert” into his domain on the basis that he controlled (so he said) all possible sources of information on the Prince. 

Saltzman
Without his say-so, said Saltzman, nobody of any consequence would speak to FLOATER. 

He portrayed himself as Albert’s gatekeeper while also suggesting he held the keys to the principality, while Thierry Lacoste backed him up and egged him on.  

Saltzman spoke as if he’d been granted some kind of special authority to handle or co-opt media projects about the Prince.

Soon after,  I regaled the Prince with FLOATER’s latest Operation Hound Dog exploits.

More journalists and sources had been met, providing us with hard information about who leaked what from the Prince’s royal court.  

And, of course, FLOATER’s recent meeting in Paris with Steven Saltzman and Thierry Lacoste.  

I read FLOATER’s report aloud:

A bizarre situation from the start with Steven Saltzman (SS).  He’s loud, rude, aggressive, obnoxious and overbearing.  SS played the dominant role while Thierry Lacoste (TL) patiently listened to me and played off  SS’s commentary.  SS took the meeting as a way of assessing if he, with TL’s assistance, could take control of the project under an “authorized” agreement.  “Listen,” said SS loudly, “you can do this two ways.  The first is make this an authorized biography for which Thierry will write a legal agreement that gives him full editorial approval, including galley proofs.  In return, you get access to extraordinary sources, some of which have never been heard from before.  You also get access to the subject of your book.”

Lacoste
“You could have an attorney,” TL interjected, implying that going forward was based upon retaining him for a fee.  “Or you can go the unauthorized way, which means you’ll get nothing from me or anyone else who asks the Palace if this has approval.”  Trying to ingratiate myself, without committing this project to them, I said I would not travel to Togo to exploit recent news coverage about Nicole Coste and her son.  

TL smirked at SS and said, “Well maybe you should.”

It was as if Lacoste wanted to embarrass his "friend," the Prince.



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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GERARD BRIANTI




Monaco Police Captain Yves Subraud possessed quite an agenda on 22 August 2005, starting with a painting that had allegedly been mishandled by Monaco’s Red Cross.  

Perhaps mishandled was not the right word.  

A valuable painting had disappeared, presumed misappropriated, by Philippe Narmino, Director-General of the Red Cross, and his friend, Gerard Brianti.
  
Actually, it was alleged they had stolen it.

Apparently, the woman who donated this painting happened upon it for sale at an art gallery in France.  Suspicious, she sought the gallery’s owner, who supposedly told her, “Oh, no, madam—this painting belongs to Gerard Brianti.”  

Where did Brianti fit in with Monaco’s Red Cross?  

In a scam that had been going on for ten years, Brianti’s company, Ageprim, enjoyed an exclusive deal with Monaco’s Red Cross to conduct valuations of everything donated to it:  art, automobiles, boats, and real estate.  

Brianti’s company invoiced the Monaco Red Cross an astonishing five percent of the value of every item assessed!  

Monaco Red Cross Director-General Philippe Narmino signed the checks paid to Ageprim.

That is how Brianti would have access to the painting.

This association—Narmino/Brianti—led Subraud into an explanation about a Monegasque faction of bisexuals, which he claimed was more influential in Monaco than the Freemasons.   

Subraud identified three opposing factions within the Monegasque establishment:  

1) Freemasons; 

2) Catholics; 

3) Bisexuals & homosexuals.  

Membership sometimes overlapped.  


Soon after, we cultivated a source within Monaco’s football team, with which Brianti was closely associated.  

Without the Prince’s permission, a new football coach had been appointed by the duo running the team—Michel Pastor and his cousin Brianti—from which Brianti allegedly received an illegal kickback.


Our football spy informed us that Monaco Football Investment (MFI), ostensibly a private company, received government funds; that MFI was in fact a Michel Pastor cover for utilizing government money to support Monaco’s football team—in violation of European football league rules.  

If exposed, this could result in Monaco’s expulsion from the league.  


HSBC in Monaco, which had loaned money to MFI, said our spy, also loaned three and a half million euros to Brianti personally “based on nothing” i.e. no collateral.  

And Brianti had just purchased a new boat, from Chantal in San Lorenzo, Italy, for 3-4 million euros, of which he paid 25 percent in cash, allegedly from football kickbacks.


On New Year's Eve (2005-6), one of my reliable assets told me that Gerard Brianti was the brains behind the Narmino/Pastor bad guy network; that his main link to the Prince was through his senior aide-de-camp Bruno Philipponnat.   

It was Brianti, he said, who had stolen money left behind by Jews deported from Monaco in 1944.   

According to the Paris Shoah Museum, Monaco’s police arrested and deported two hundred Jews when Germany replaced Italy as occupier of the principality in the latter years of World War II.  

Jean Geismar, a Belgian descendant of Albert Samdam and Alice Goughengheim, who perished at Auschwitz, had been trying to collect one million, four hundred thousand euros his ancestors left behind in Monaco—and he was being given the runaround.  

The principality has never made any restitution to its Holocaust victims. 



The in-house accountant from ASM, Monaco’s football team was brought to my office in M-Base because he did not know where else to turn.  

He provided me with documents that detailed financial irregularities and suspicious payments, including payments to Swiss accounts, which was illegal.  

It was also illegal for Gerard Brianti to commingle funds from ASM with Ageprim, his own company, yet these documents confirmed this is what Brianti had done and continued to do.  

This accountant told me he’d already made Prince Albert aware of the illegality of these transactions.  

He could not understand why the Prince, with such documentary evidence, had taken no action.


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Sunday, April 12, 2015

MONACO'S FREEMASONS





When I saw Prince Albert on 21 November 2003 in Hotel Columbus, he broached a subject that he announced to be of deep concern to him:  the influence of Freemasons in Monaco’s government and police department.  

He was particularly troubled by the notion that promotion within the principality’s government ministries and police department was being based not on merit but on Masonic membership.  

He explained that he had recently been invited to an upcoming Freemason event in Cannes, which he’d declined.  

I concurred with the Prince’s wisdom, recommending that, as royalty, he should remain above and beyond such attachments.  

An investigation of French Masonic lodges became our next requirement.

Thus, on 2 March 2004, we began a two-hour briefing with the Prince's pet peeve:  

Freemasons play an important role in French legal professions compared to other countries, where membership and especially influence of Masonic movements have been in decline.  

Freemason Lodge membership is a virtual Who’s Who of France.

There are three Freemason lodges in France:  Grande Loge Nationale Francaise (GLNF), Grande Loge de Francaise (GLF), and Grand Orient de Francaise (GO).  We determined that the lodge to which the Prince had been invited was GLF.  

Both GLF and GO operate in southern France and have been corrupt for decades, the latter believed to have been completely overtaken by organized crime.  

Only GLNF is associated with the Great United Lodge of Britain, the other two considered “irregular.”  

GLNF concentrated on philosophical matters while GLF and GO with social matters, though all gained reputations for being “affairiste” i.e. becoming involved with corrupt business practices.  

But it was particularly in the south (GO and GLF) where influence trafficking, false invoicing, creation of fictitious employees and similar matters had been rife, particularly in companies controlled by the state or provinces.  Freemasons then hampered investigations by the judiciary, which they heavily penetrated (especially GLNF in Nice).

France’s external intelligence service (DGSE) favored GLNF while domestic security services (DST and RG) gravitated to GO and GLF.  

These groups had at their disposal a number of bureaucratic measures they could take to torpedo any serious attempt at reform:  “Routine” inspections, internal investigations, and reassignments.   

Further, these measures taken at the local or regional level were often supported or generated at the Paris level by Freemasons in positions of great importance.

A report from one extremely good source concluded thus:

Many of the Prince’s friends are undoubtedly already Freemasons in one of the three major lodges.  The trust-worthiest of those friends needs to be encouraged to provide him or his designate with confidential information. It is difficult to infiltrate these lodges through new recruits because it generally takes years before they rise to inner circle levels, which is where you need to be to find out what is really going on.  Your project is a daunting one.

Not so daunting, as we actually identified one such trustworthy friend who placed his loyalty to the Prince above Masonic vows.  He revealed to us that GLF had been active in Monaco during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, but that its influence waned upon the death of its founder, Mr. Henri Die, in 1990.

These Freemasons, who gathered at Henri Die’s home—Les Villas Bleues, 5 rue de l’Abbaye, Monaco—included Victor Pastor, Michel Pastor, and Raoul Biancheri, brother of Raymond Biancheri, Prince Rainier’s long-serving chief of staff.

After Henri Die’s death, Raoul Biancheri re-launched GLF, but its influence dissipated after Gaston Carrasco, his staunch Masonic right-hand man, left his job as Monaco’s chief public prosecutor.
With regard to the Freemason situation at the time of this briefing, we gleaned this information from the Prince’s trustworthy friend:

A Masonic lodge linked to the Grand Lodge of Britain gathered once a month at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Monte Carlo.  Most of its members were Anglo-Saxon Monaco residents who did not involve themselves in local political and social life.

Monegasque Freemasons did not meet in Monaco but belonged to lodges located in France, particularly in Beausoleil, Menton, Nice, and Cannes.

We made two recommendations:  

1) to curtail Freemason influence (that is, promotion based on membership rather than merit within Monaco’s police force and judiciary), one should follow Britain’s example and create legislation that obligates all new police recruits to declare alliances to any fraternal orders or secret societies. Transparency would result.  

2) Quash any attempt to create a Masonic lodge within the Principality.


Fast forward to mid-October 2006, and a meeting with Prince Albert, by now the ruling Sovereign.

He had, the Prince told me, recently granted an audience to Franck Nicholas, his former bobsledding teammate.  A Freemason, Nicholas asked if he could bring two other Freemasons, including Conseil Nationale Vice President Claude de Boisson, for a second audience to pitch him on creating a Masonic lodge in Monaco.  

The Prince added that he had agreed to see them.
Had the Prince lost his proverbial marbles?   

A few years earlier he had instructed me to investigate French Freemasons due to his grave concern about their influence in Monaco.  

We discovered French Freemasonry was corrupted by organized crime.  

So why on earth would the Prince entertain allowing a Masonic lodge within the principality?


Resisting an urge to argue, I countered that if the Prince indeed allowed Freemasons to establish a lodge in Monaco, it should be on condition that, in the interest of transparency, all members publicly declare their affiliation.  

The Prince ventured his opinion that establishing a lodge in Monaco would keep out influence from Masonic lodges in France.  

I begged to differ, pointing out that French persons holding police or government positions in Monaco would continue to be influenced by their own lodges and would use a new Monaco-based lodge to strengthen their power.



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Monday, April 6, 2015

PATRIC MAUGEIN





One of my contractors, a former CIA clandestine officer, had been investigating—for the private sector—the illegal movement of Iraqi and Libyan oil, which implicated Monaco residents Samy Maroun and Rui de Sousa.  

This operative also provided me with intelligence on a shady Frenchman named Patric Maugein, who linked to Messer’s Maroun and de Sousa in illegal oil deals transacted through their Monaco-based companies.  

Maugein—reputed to be French President Jacques Chirac’s bagman, collecting money from Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, among others—was a violent thug who had contracted the shooting on a Paris street of a doctor he believed was having an affair with his wife.  

The relationship between Chirac and Maugein was said to be so close that when the French president’s mentally unstable daughter suffered a breakdown in the 1980s it was Maugein who checked her into a Swiss asylum in Lausanne and covered the ten thousand dollar per week medical bills.  

As a young man, embarrassed by his 5’6” height, Maugein had his legs broken and extended two inches.  More recently, he had undergone penis enlargement.

While I was busy networking in Washington D.C., Samy Maroun was urging the Prince to meet Maugein on the basis that “he has good ideas for Monaco.”   

However, based upon our intelligence, Albert declined, and no such introduction ever took place.  

I happily chalked this up as our first success in service to the Prince.

In the midst of this, our contact at the UK's SIS requested my presence for another drink.  

With regard to liaison status, he said, “It’s yes and no, no and yes.”


I asked what that meant, fully appreciating the opaqueness of our business.

“We cannot work with you because you’re not official,” he said.   “But,” he added bluntly, “we would like to meet the Prince and cut you out of the loop.”

“Yes and no, no and yes,” I replied.  “You may meet the Prince, but I must also be present.” 

So we agreed to proceed unofficially on a “case-by-case” basis, the first case being one of significant interest to SIS:  Jacques Chirac’s bagman, Patric Maugein, and the illegal trading of embargoed oil from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Samy Maroun, Rui de Sousa, and Patric Maugein had been running a major embargo-busting scam.  

Good intelligence suggested that they were engaged in “super-loading” oil tankers.  That is, buying oil from Iraq at seven dollars a barrel, disguising it as Iranian oil, and selling it for fourteen dollars a barrel, with transfers taking place at sea in the Strait of Hormuz.

We apprised the Prince of potential embarrassment to the principality if such criminal activities were exposed in the media.


Meantime, Patric Maugein had visited Baghdad, ostensibly for a trade show, but in fact to sell a guidance system for SCUD missiles through Algeria to Saddam, pre-war.  

The Prince informed me Samy Maroun again attempted to introduce him to his shady business associate Maugein and, again, he declined, having decided such a meeting “will not happen.”  

This was excellent news as both CIA and SIS were, by this time, all over Maugein and the role he played as bagman between Jacques Chirac and Saddam Hussein. 

Later, Allied forces discovered documents in Iraq linking Patric Maugein to Saddam Hussein, who had wired six hundred thousand dollars each month to a European bank account belonging to Maugein—presumably for Jacques Chirac.  

Moreover, ex-Iraqi Prime Minister Tariq Aziz revealed under interrogation that Maugein received five million dollars from Iraq for Chirac’s presidential campaign, adding that the Iraqis believed Maugein was Chirac’s nephew.

Samy Maroun, the Prince told me, was still trying to put him together with Patric Maugein, saying things like, “He is close to Chirac” and “he has ideas for better business in Monaco.”   

The Prince rebuffed him.  

The system, I felt confident, was working.
  
Three weeks later, Patric Maugein’s name was all over the news in France.  He had reportedly received twenty-five million barrels of oil from Iraq—a value of $12.5 million. 

The (UK) Sunday Times called it “oil on Chirac’s face.”

Knowing the media was about to expose this scandal, and that interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy had assembled a team of financial police to investigate him, Maugein fled to Kazakhstan, where he had already parked ill-gotten gains, embarking on a new scheme to woo President Nazabayev and the president’s daughter, who wished to succeed her ailing father. 

Privy to Jacques Chirac’s corrupt entanglements with Saddam Hussein, Maugein later died in Paris, to which he had returned when things turned ugly for him in Kazakhstan.  

He was only fifty years old.  

Official cause of death:  cancer.  

The timing of Maugein’s death was certainly convenient for Chirac, who would soon step down as president and no longer enjoy immunity from prosecution for corruption.


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Friday, April 3, 2015

LEONID SLUTSKY





In June 2003, Prince Albert provided us with a new requirement:  investigate a Russian named Leonid Slutsky, deputy chairman of the Duma’s committee on International Relations.  

Slutsky was also a delegate to the Council of Europe and had been charged by that body to determine whether or not Monaco was a suitable candidate for membership.  

Slutsky, the Prince told us, had barged his way into the royal court and seemed to want something for himself in exchange for green-lighting Monaco’s acceptance into the Council.


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Thursday, April 2, 2015

VICTOR PASTOR & PASTOR INTERNATIONAL





By December 2002, we had reason to believe that notorious personalities in the Russian criminal underworld had, between 1996 and 2001, passed eight hundred million dollars through a Monaco company called Pastor International.  

Much of this laundered money had been invested in real estate in France, Spain, and Switzerland, with significant amounts invested in hotels throughout Europe and Asia.  

Most of this was generated by illegal arms sales.  

A key figure in such dealing was a Russian named Viktor Bout a.k.a. “The Bill Gates of Arms Dealing.”  

Through his private airline Air Cess (we called it “Air Cesspool”), Bout supplied the Taliban in Afghanistan with an air fleet comprised of five Soviet-made Antonov 12s.  

Pastor International allegedly laundered the funds paid to Bout by the Taliban.

In February 2001, a federal prosecutor in Belgium, under pressure from the United States, had issued an arrest warrant alleging that Bout had laundered millions of dollars from illegal arms deals.  

In addition, the SVR learned from one of its agents that the French were investigating money laundering violations on behalf of Russian clients. 

Victor Pastor dissolved Pastor International in June 2001 and destroyed the company’s documentation.  Soon after, he contracted cancer and died of an MRSA blood infection while undergoing treatment at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco.

On the basis of Victor Pastor’s alleged money laundering, Prince Albert instructed me to launch an investigation into the activities of the extended Pastor family.


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