Friday, September 20, 2013

Australian foreign policy stupidity on display: High Commissioner to Malaysia honours Feisal Rauf, controversial imam accused of embezzlement

The pictures , with links for further information, and the stories that follow should be enough to embarrass any government, but then Australia's Department Of Foreign Affairs And Trade is not known for its sophistication. 
Incidents of this type arise when one tries impress without actually having any understanding of the matters at hand.

High Commissioner Miles Kupa presents a gift to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Chairman of Cordoba Institute.
High Commissioner Mr Miles Kupa (left) presents a gift to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Chairman of Cordoba Initiative (Photo taken 24 July , 2013)

Just before the above, in February 2013:

Accused nonprofit embezzler imam Feisal Abdul Rauf steals away with wife amid claims he swindled $3 million in donations

The controversial Rauf made headlines following 9/11 after announcing plans to build a mosque at 51 Park Place, less than three blocks from Ground Zero. Rauf is alleged to have rerouted cash given to the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement to line his pockets.

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013, 1:00 AM
Daisy Khan, co-founder of the Cordoba Initiative, speaks during a news interview in reaction to a speech by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a dinner in observance of Iftar at Gracie Mansion Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010  in New York. Bloomberg said not allowing the mosque to be built two blocks from ground zero would be "compromising our commitment to fighting terror with freedom."  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, Pool)

Frank Franklin II/AP

Daisy Khan, co-founder of the Cordoba Initiative, is noted in a $20 million lawsuit alleging her husband, imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, pilfered $3 million from two nonprofits — including her own.

The took separate vacations — and cars.
Former “Ground Zero” imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife bolted their New Jersey home about 20 minutes apart Wednesday without addressing the pending $20 million lawsuit against him.
The ski-capped Rauf, 64, climbed into a waiting Lincoln Town Car, with his chauffeur and quickly zipped away from the two-story North Bergen house.
Spouse Daisy Khan fled earlier in her four-door sedan, pulling out of the long driveway past a Daily News reporter. Neither said a word before heading off.
Rauf leaving his North Bergen home and getting into a limousine Wednesday morning. He's under fire for allegedly stealing from Muslim nonprofits.

Richard Harbus/for NY Daily News

Rauf leaving his North Bergen home and getting into a limousine Wednesday morning. He's under fire for allegedly stealing from Muslim nonprofits.

The blinds in their house were drawn tight one day after a Westchester County couple accused Rauf of redirecting more than $3 million in donations to a pair of nonprofits into his pockets.
According to the Manhattan lawsuit, Rauf used the ill-gotten cash to splurge on gifts and luxury vacations with a Jersey gal pal.
The imam, who became a polarizing national figure in the debate over the planned mosque near the World Trade Center site, also spent money on a sports car, real estate and other unspecified entertainment, the suit charged.
Daisy Khan told The News she had never gone on vacation with Rauf, who relaxed abroad with his purported girlfriend Evelyn Adorno, said a lawyer for plaintiffs Robert Deak and wife, Moshira Soliman.
The imam slipped past a Daily News reporter Wednesday morning, refusing to acknowledge the lawsuit.

Richard Harbus /for NY Daily News

The imam slipped past a Daily News reporter Wednesday morning, refusing to acknowledge the lawsuit.

Khan and Rauf were both deeply involved with the allegedly looted nonprofits, the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement.
The two groups were created to battle anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.
An attorney for Khan said the charges against her husband were bogus, adding they planned a “vigorous defense.”
The Internal Revenue Service, citing agency policy, declined comment Wednesday on the lawsuit’s allegation that Rauf lied on his nonprofits’ income tax returns in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
An artist rendering of the proposed Park51 community center and mosque, a project which has struggled to raise money.


An artist rendering of the proposed Park51 community center and mosque, a project which has struggled to raise money.

He was ousted in January 2011 from the proposed $100 million Park51 community center. Around the same time, Rauf’s feud with his friends-turned-plaintiffs began.
Deak accused Rauf of blowing $167,000 from their donations, along with another $3 million given by the Malaysian government. The Malaysian Embassy had no comment Wednesday on the alleged scam.
Fund-raising at Park51 remains stalled as the group seeks an application for tax-exempt status and continues a court fight with Con Ed over back rent on the property.
Park51 developer Sharif El-Gamal, for a second straight day, did not return phone calls about Rauf.
But Mayor Bloomberg, once a backer of the planned mosque, didn’t give the mosque and cultural center much of a chance.
“Their plans were to raise $100 million. (They raised) $18,000,” the mayor said Wednesday. “I think . . . that’s enough of a story line.”
With Erin Durkin and Richard Harbus

Read more:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Can Therese Rein survive a politically dead Kevin?

 Therese Rein had this to say on Twitter last night:

Thérèse Rein @Therese_Rein

RT @macuser2323: @KRuddMP you were bloody brilliant tonight Kevin. You in my opinion definitely deserve another term.

 The real question: Can Therese Rein survive once Kevin is completely and utterly without influence, and prospects, as he is likely to be come the evening of 7 September 2013?

The following which I raised 5 years ago remains unanswered:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Who guaranteed Therese Rein and Kevin Rudd's loan facilities?

In May 2007 the Sun Herald reported, in a story about Therese Rein and Kevin Rudd's business interest:

....she borrowed AUD 7800 against their Brisbane home and set up Therese Rein and Associates, trading as WorkDirections Australia.

"Well, we've struggled with our mortgage and this has been a long journey," she says. "What my parents gave me was a good education and the belief that you can do anything. They didn't give me money. When we started the business, we had a mortgage and we borrowed against the equity in the house. That only stopped ... a few years ago now." (Source:Rein & shine,By Peter Wilmoth
27 May 2007,Sun Herald)

However ,an ASIC search obtained at that time showed Rein's company was subject to a charge -fixed and floating -in favour of Westpac since 1990.That loan appears to have been refinanced since then , most recently with HSBC.
In other words, Rudd-Rein's business was not financed by a mere mortgage over the family home-other loans were also required,and these were secured over the business , NOT the family home.

Then, on 28 April 2008, Glen Milne of the Sunday Telegraph reported:
A COMPANY controlled by Kevin Rudd's wife Therese Rein took out a AUD 75million overdraft while the Prime Minister's office claimed the business was inactive.
It emerged two weeks ago that Mr Rudd had not declared the activities of one of his wife's companies -- Invisage Australia -- on a Parliamentary pecuniary interests register....The documents show that on March 30 of that year the company co-signed a bank loan facility -- essentially an overdraft -- with the HSBC bank for AUD 75 million.

This was in addition to an earlier loan taken out with Westpac on May 15, 2003 for AUD 120 million. The first loan was discharged on March 29, 2007.
The PM claimed that the company, which was in receipt of Federal Government funding over four years worth AUD 160,000, had been ``inactive'' since 2006.

But documents obtained by The Sunday Telegraph show that Invisage Australia, owned by the holding company Ingeus that is controlled by Mr Rudd's wife, was still active in 2007.

(Rudd, Rein and $75m
GLENN MILNE,27 April 2008
Sunday Telegraph)

I have previously written on Invisage on this blog:
I showed from their own website (now in Archives) that the company was a provider of training services. Hence it is not likely to have had assets sufficient to secure an AUD 120 million loan, or an AUD 85 million overdraft facility. In addition, Rudd himself said the company was inactive. If these financing facilities were required for the expansion of Ingeus, the parent company, the facilities would have been in the name of Ingeus which MAY have had the resources on which to secure the above facilities.

The entire Ingeus Group is said to have "global revenue topping $170 million".
Hence, it could be argued that Westpac and HSBC were prepared to advance hundreds of millions in loans against the company's revenue. Service providers such as Ingeus are not likely to have much in assets-hence the company's revenue would have had to be the main source of security for the loans.
However, it is likely that the banks would have required further security, probably in the form of some type of guarantee from a party external to the business. Unless the Rudd's have some other asset base they are not telling us about, the guarantees would have to be provided by some party or parties friendly to the Rudds.

In short; Rein can no longer expect us to believe that has grown her company on the back of AUD 7,800 loan secured on a second mortgage over the family home.
posted by ganesh sahathevan @ 4:40 PM