Is there really such a thing as being judgment proof from Uncle Sam? Discuss.

I would submit not unless one truly has nothing to lose as we again welcome Hugh Sibley and Danny Bechnel Jr. to Slabbed. (Click to nab the entire pdf)

USA v Sibley and Bechnel IRS Tax Suit

Let’s deconstruct part of the case: Slabbed takes another look back at USA v Sibley as we make a correction

In reference to this post dated November 13, 2012 which re-examined the federal prosecution of Hugh Sibley for money laundering, I wrote “multiple sources tell Slabbed that Desai is being represented in the matter by Greensburg area attorney David Opperman”.

Mr Opperman has informed Slabbed that he does not represent Nipun Desai in his criminal case. He confirmed he is Mr Desai’s civil attorney and that he occasionally teamed up with the Legal Department there at the Super 8 Motel representing Desai’s legal interests. He also indicated he considers Mr Desai to be one of his closest friends and understood the confusion regarding his representation of Mr Desai’s business interests in civil cases and his criminal case in the 24th JDC.

Additionally I inspected certain official paperwork on Mr Desai’s cocaine distribution case, which is currently before Judge Glenn Ansardi there in the 24th JDC. Mr. Desai’s arrest on cocaine distribution charges back in 2008 occured in the same general time period as the indictment of Hugh Sibley but the police report does not indicate a linkage between the two cases, though possession of 80 grams of cocaine in the managers suite of the hotel is certainly serious enough.

The goal of Slabbed New Media in the proverbial search for the truth is get the story right. I thank Mr Opperman speaking candidly with me about this matter and I hope this clears up any confusion.

Update:  Here is a copy of the police report on the Desai arrest for those so interested.

“Launch of CIA Cocaine Coup turned on Romney win” gives needed context to Slabbeds examination of the Sibley prosecution

Hugh Sibley’s Driver License / Mad Cow Morning News

I know some of you folks likely speculate whether or not Slabbed has limits on the topics we cover or if we’re 100% No Fear.  That exact subject has been the topic of reader feedback since my second post that re-examined the money laundering prosecution of Greensburg area lawyer Hugh Sibley.  The international drug trade is one of those tension raising subjects and for good reason IMHO.

Last week I mentioned Slabbed had received a media inquiry and it was not an ordinary one.  Before I get to that and let’s go back to that No Fear thing as it is true the drug trade has no mainstream trade journal, though I am familiar with one Spanish language blog that would be considered the Slabbed of that genre.  Amazingly it is tolerated by the drug cartels but rest assured I have no desire to raise the stakes of what Slabbed New Media does any further than the high bar we’ve already set.

So last week investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker sent me an email inquiring about Hugh Sibley as he was connected to Jorge Arévalo Kessler, one of the people that was indicted along with Sibley.  Hopsicker’s body of work includes the Barry Seal murder (Slabbed’s profile here) which in turns leads us to Seal’s Baton Rouge Defense Attorney Louis Unglesby, rumored to be one of the combatants engaged in Sal Perricone’s online rants at NOLA.com.  It just gets more complicated from there folks but the bottom line is there has been some serious perversions of our drug laws by the intelligence community and it seems as most of the smuggling routes are here across the deep south.

Some of what Hopsicker reports has multiple, credible media sources such as the US Banking connection to the money train.  Just this past Sunday 60 minutes profiled the take down of a “Super Drug Cartel” operating out of Columbia illustrating the huge expanse of the topic.  I mention this because I’m skeptical on Romney connection cited in this post’s headline, which is taken from the following story by Hopsicker that focuses mainly on Ecuador’s role in the drug trade, which leads us to Jorge Arévalo Kessler, which in turn leads us to Hugh Sibley. I highly recommend it as a companion to last week’s post on Slabbed re-examining the Sibley prosecution. Stay tuned for part three of that series.

Let’s continue to build the case: Slabbed takes a second look back at USA v Sibley as we make more connections

Last month Slabbed reintroduced William “Hugh” Sibley to the reading public and the response that post received has been fantastic. In fact it was a media inquiry that I received today that serves as the catalyst for this post.  To get started though I want to make sure everyone is on the same page so here is an except from my Sibley reintroduction:

So why do I bring up news Slabbed covered in 2009? Sweet serendipity that’s why. Sources familiar with the Sibley’s law practice indicate to Slabbed that while Sibley was Fayard’s political go to guy, Nipun “Nick” Desai was Sibley’s right hand man. Desai, a one time college exchange student from East India that graduated from LSU in 1996, reportedly parlayed the association with Sibley into a real estate empire that stretches across Louisiana and includes the now fabled Super 8 Motel on Clearview Parkway.

This is important because Desai is a bit of a mystery man.  You see folks multiple sources have indicated to Slabbed that Desai was arrested on a cocaine distribution charge somewhere between 2008 and 2010 yet we’ve been unable to uncover anything on the arrest or the case itself as it does not show in the Federal Court Database PACER nor is there a Louisiana state record that we can find.  Desai is a big mystery but we solved some of it here.

Tackling this topic entails a bit of a gut check folks, given the people and organizations involved in the Sibley affair.  For instance, the lead defendant in the Sibley prosecution was Gustavo Jorge Arévalo Kessler.  Here is a snippet from the Hispanic News Network Blog that mentions Kessler:

Last Wednesday, Jorge Gustavo Arévalo Kessler, 43, was extradited to the U.S. from Mexico to face money laundering, and cocaine trafficing federal charges in Texas. Kessler originally from Heidelberg, Germany, but living in Mexico transported tons of cocaine from Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and eventually ending up in the U.S.

The indictment states, Kessler between Dec. 2002 to June 2003 transported tons of cocaine by private plane and a Boeing 727, transported cash abroad, and as a high ranking member of a Mexican drug cartel, he directed where the money would be deposited to various bank accounts.

Kessler was arrested by Mexican federal authorities on April 7, 2008 in Mexico City. He worked for the criminal organization headed by Antonio Aguilar (real name Pedro Antonio Bermúdez Suazo), aka “El Arquitecto,” or “El Jefe” in Mexico.

Kessler was extradited to the U.S. on Feb. 24, 2010 by the law enforcement coordination efforts between the U.S. Marshals Service, the Ministry Federal Police, and Mexican INTERPOL with the Attorney’s General Office (PGR).

Kessler is not just your average drug kingpin though as this translated excerpt from the website Contra Linea indicates:

In his ministerial statement, Gustavo Jorge Arévalo Kessler, 43-year-old native of Heidelberg, Germany, son of Jorge Arevalo Gardoqui, who in turn was the brother of former Secretary of National Defense Juan Arevalo Gardoqui-, confessed to participating in moving drugs from South America to Mexico, and to carry cash abroad.

Or even better as put in an email I received today: Continue reading “Let’s continue to build the case: Slabbed takes a second look back at USA v Sibley as we make more connections”

Let’s start building the case: Allow me to reintroduce William “Hugh” Sibley to the Slabbed Nation

Sibley was a lawyer in the old Castano Group, the Louisiana based trial lawyer syndicate led by the late Wendell Gauthier that handled some of the tobacco litigation back in the 1990s. Besides Gauthier, Calvin “Calhoun” Fayard was involved as was Fayard’s political operative/lawyer associate Hugh Sibley. Trout Point Lodge owner Danny Abel was also a part of that group, trying his best to inflict his boy Vaughn Perret on the rest. After Gauthier died, time has not been kind to many of the old Castano Group members as I illustrate today with Sibley:

So why do I bring up news Slabbed covered in 2009? Sweet serendipity that’s why. Sources familiar with the Sibley’s law practice indicate to Slabbed that while Sibley was Fayard’s political go to guy, Nipun “Nick” Desai was Sibley’s right hand man. Desai, a one time college exchange student from East India that graduated from LSU in 1996, reportedly parlayed the association with Sibley into a real estate empire that stretches across Louisiana and includes the now fabled Super 8 Motel on Clearview Parkway.

This is important because Desai is a bit of a mystery man.  You see folks multiple sources have indicated to Slabbed that Desai Continue reading “Let’s start building the case: Allow me to reintroduce William “Hugh” Sibley to the Slabbed Nation”

I’m very close to tying several things together

The Wino has been talking folks and now the previously blind now see.  It is not for the faint of heart.

Let’s think business/socially and make some connections.  We need to go back to the late legendary trial lawyer Wendell Gauthier.  He is the tie that binds all of the major power players in Jefferson Parish and his legacy, like that of NFL great head coaches lie in the legacy of former assistants that made good on their own.  In this case “making good” meaning rising to the top of the cesspool in Jefferson Parish.

Aaron Broussard traces his early roots to Gauthier via the Pan Am Crash litigation (and before). So does Danny Abel and Vaughn Perret.  We know from published reports that Calvin Fayard fits in.  We also know that Calvin Fayard is closely associated with Hugh Sibley.  Sibley in turn was closely associated with Pravin Desai via his son Nipun “Nick” Desai.  Our recent review of our Trout Point and Cerro Coyote coverage featured Desai’s Super 8 Motel on Clearview, a major commercial property with a zero tax assessment.  We also know that Aaron Broussard and Danny Abel used that address in court filings forming the “legal department” there thus we come full circle.

We also have some very tantalizing news accounts of problems in Canada with major banks engaging in money laundering including Scotia Bank, which also had operations in Costa Rica.

By now I think I’ve made my point in saying that former Slabbed commenter Telemachus was featured so prominently in Trout Point Lodge, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret’s Nova Scotia SLAPP suit against Slabbed not because he ever made fun of them because he didn’t. Rather, Telemachus was dangerous to them for another reason Continue reading “I’m very close to tying several things together”

Magnum JD goes into syndication. Slabbed repeats “Magnum breaks out the curry for Jindy and others with Naan” but first a word from our sponsors….

Given the circumstances, this may just be the second dumbest campaign commercial Diaper David Vitter has ever run, especially since he tried to carry water for BP after the spill via limiting their liability for the damage they caused.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqD1_DEoexc]

I’ve come to realize the danger of ideology when ordinary folks allow themselves to become unwitting dupes to those with higher personal aspiration that inhabit the political world, especially those that hold elected office.  As a young CPA I was privileged to be broke in by a guy who not only held the credential but was also a superlative businessman and of all the lessons he taught me, the why he was in business instead of politics was the one that stuck with me forever.

…..some people like money and some people like power. I like money because money rents power…… Continue reading “Magnum JD goes into syndication. Slabbed repeats “Magnum breaks out the curry for Jindy and others with Naan” but first a word from our sponsors….”

Class action lawyer Hugh Sibley scheduled to be re-arraigned March 12

Our sources tell us this generally indicates that Mr Sibley has done the one thing no one expected: Cop a plea. We do not know if Mr Sibley is singing or not but if I had to guess the answer would be yes, especially in light of the renewed interest the old posts we published on this topic currently enjoy. Those post can be found here, here, and here. Connecting the dots in that matter led us to District Court Judge Richard T Haik and the Bayou Sorrel Class Action litigation. Our blogging on the general topic eventually lead Baton Rouge Attorney Donna Grodner to send us her now famous “Butt call” press release which we then connected to the Louisiana ODC by way of the Bayou Sorrel litigation.

When news of  Sibley’s legal problems surfaced it electrified the local legal community. If he cuts a deal the party currently underway in Jefferson Parish has potential to be kicked to another level IMHO. Stay tuned.

We’d also like to welcome our friends from south of the border that have become regular readers of our Sibley archival posts.

sop

Get set for new details about the jet set. Emergent details in the Government’s case against Hugh Sibley

I have some additional docs to post but first, David Mitchell at the Advocate adds greater detail to the Government’s allegations against Hugh Sibley including a connection to Oklahoma City businessman Lee R. Snider:

A Greensburg lawyer pleaded innocent Thursday in U.S. District Court at Houston to a charge of laundering money for an international cocaine ring operating in Venezuela, Mexico and the United States, his attorney said.

William Hugh Sibley, 62, entered the initial plea before U.S. District Judge Calvin Botley around 11 a.m., said Sibley defense attorney James Manasseh, of Baton Rouge. Manasseh declined further comment………

The initial plea came as new information emerged in court and aviation records about the cocaine and cash transportation conspiracy to which federal prosecutors have linked Sibley, who goes by the first name of “Hugh.” Continue reading “Get set for new details about the jet set. Emergent details in the Government’s case against Hugh Sibley”

The Advocate lends background on Hugh Sibley’s unshareable need

After I published yesterday’s post on the arrest of prominent class action lawyer William H “Hugh” Sibley a reader sent me some court docs from Louisiana’s Eastern District that lent some needed context to why an otherwise highly successful class action lawyer would allegedly become mixed up with Mexican drug runners. The answer is simple – massive debts.  Before I get to David Mitchell’s comprehensive article in today’s Advocate we’ll start with the court docs I was sent yesterday evening and Mr Sibley’s $1.3 million dollar unpaid debt to Harrah’s:

On February 2, 2004, this Court rendered a judgment in favor of Harrah’s and against William Hugh Sibley (“Sibley”) in the amount of $1,357,332.50, plus late fees $203,599.86 together with interest accruing from the date ofjudicial demand until paid, attorney’s fees in the amount of $8,775.92, and all costs of these proceedings, as fully set forth in the record of the captioned matter (the “Judgment”).

Harrah’s desires to re-examine Sibley upon all matters pertaining to assets and liabilities, estate or property, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a) and La. Code ofCiv. Proc. Ann. art. 2451.

The time for appeal of this judgment has run, no appeal has been taken, and the judgment has not been satisfied.

To secure payment of the Judgment, Harrah’s perfected a UCC security interest in certain contingency fee agreements held by Sibley or The Sibley Law Firm in the following legal actions:

1. In Re: Bayou Sorrel Class Action, USDC, WDLA, Civil Action No.6:04CV1101;

2. Noretta Thomas and Demetrice Butler, each indiVidually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated versus A. Wilbert & Sons, 1.1. C. and XYZ Insurance Company, 18th IDC – Parish of Iberville, Suit No. 55,127 and all consolidated matters, Division B;

3. In Re: New Orleans Tank Care Leakage Fire Litigation, Civil District Court Parish of Orleans, Suit No. 02-13675;……

Harrahs was unable to collect from those legal settlements over the next 4 years when they took Mr Sibley back to court last year. Continue reading “The Advocate lends background on Hugh Sibley’s unshareable need”