BCCI's Lawyers and Lobbyists In hiring lawyers and lobbyists in the United States to help it deal with its

problems, BCCI did not think small. BCCI's cadre of professional help in Washington, D.C. alone included, at various times a former Secretary of Defense (Clark Clifford), former Senators and Congressmen (John Culver and Michael Barnes), former federal prosecutors (Raymond Banoun, Lawrence Barcella and Lawrence Wechsler), and former Federal Reserve attorneys (Baldwin Tuttle and Jerry Hawke). Still other prominent figures were recruited for BCCI's secretly-held American subsidiary, First American, such as former Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Stuart Symington and former Republican Senator from Maryland Charles Mac Mathias, who each sat on First American's board of director. Other firms consisting of important former officials -such as Kissinger Associates, then home to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, current Under Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and current National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft -- were recruited by BCCI, but refused to accept BCCI's business following its indictment on drug money laundering charges. The revolving door between government and the private sector made it possible for BCCI to retain former government officials with intimate knowledge of how the U.S. government operates to aid BCCI's agenda. Ironically, BCCI used these former officials against the agencies they once served as instruments of its violations of U.S. laws and its

attempts to slow or stop investigations of its wrongdoing. Much of the activity of BCCI's lawyers in the United States was normal representation, often extremely aggressive, but within the borders of the kind of work the firms involved did for other clients. At other times, however, lawyers for BCCI participated in decisions to hire private investigators to investigate the private lives of government investigators pursuing BCCI; sought to use "political chits" to shut down Congressional investigations of BCCI; threatened publications considering publishing articles about BCCI with libel suits; and refused to refer BCCI foreign branches to federal law enforcement when BCCI's own employees in the U.S. believed such referrals were legally required because of the degree of the branch's involvement in money laundering. The most aggressive activity by BCC's lawyers and lobbyists took place at the beginning and at the end of BCCI's Two periods of activity by BCCI's lawyers in the U.S. illustrate how BCCI accomplished illegal or improper objectives were: ** Assisting BCCI and its nominees in restructuring the takeover attempt of Financial General Bankshares after the initial attempt was stopped by the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), on the ground that BCCI had secretly colluded with other shareholders by purchasing 4.9% of the FGB stock each to evade securities laws requiring the reporting

of their purchases at 5% or more. Among the key attorneys involved in the restructuring of the BCCI takeover were Clifford, Altman, and former Federal Reserve lawyer Baldwin Tuttle. (1978-1981) ** Structuring the purchase of National Bank of Georgia by First American from BCCI's nominee, Ghaith Pharoan. (1985-1986) Response to Senate

Joint Defense Agreement

BCCI's Lawyers and Lobbyists In hiring lawyers and lobbyists in the United States to help it deal with its problems vis a vis the government, BCCI pursued a strategy that it had practiced successfully around the world: the hiring of former government officials. BCCI's cadre of professional help in Washington D.C. included, at various times, a former Secretary of Defense (Clark Clifford), former Senators and Congressmen (John Culver, Mike Barnes), and former federal prosecutors (Larry Wechsler, Raymond Banoun, and Larry Barcella), and former Federal Reserve Attorneys (Baldwin Tuttle, Jerry Hawke, and Michael Bradfield). Their involvement in representing BCCI, following their government employment, illustrates the perils of the revolving door, and the danger of former government officials using the

expertise they gained in government at the service of private clients. Often, such former officials have no idea of the real agenda or problems their clients may be hiding. And yet their actions can, and in the case of BCCI, did, substantially impede the ability of government to do its work. Apart from Clifford and Tuttle, this team was brou ght in only after BCCI's indictment on drug money laundering charges in October 1988. Since the indictment, at various times, these former officials were used by BCCI to stall investigations, prevent the bank from being closed by regulators, and to stop legislation that would have mandated BCCI's closure. Some of the questionable tactics employed by BCCI's team of former government officials included: ** Investigating government agents. ** Working outside the normal law enforcement channels to keep the bank open in Florida. ** Lobbying Senators as registered foreign agents in pursuit of their criminal defense work, in order to stop BCCI from being closed. ** Delaying and impeding an authorized U.S. Senate investigation of the bank. ** Refusing to refer BCCI customers and accounts for criminal investigation even after being advised by BCCI's own offiers that the customers and the accounts raised serious questions.

** In the case of Clifford and Altman, using the attorney work product and attorney client privileges as shields to protect their own potential cupability.

Larry Barcella Larry Barcella is a former Assistant US Attorney who gained national prominence for his successful prosecution of Edwin Wilson, the American convicted of selling secrets to Lybia. Barcella was brought onto the BCCI case shortly after the October 1988 indictment of BCCI in Tampa, Florida. Larry Wechsler, with whom Barcella had practiced law in the US Justice Department recruited him to coordinate the bank's defense. Although the full extent of Barcella's activities on behalf of BCCI remains unknown, he did engage in the following: -- In 1988 Barcella tried to persuade his firm's lead partner, former US Senator Paul Laxalt, meet with Swaleh Naqvi, BCCI's CEO, in London, and to engage in lobbying on behalf of the bank on Capitol Hill. The Subcommittee has been unable to determine what, if any, services Senator Laxalt performed on behalf of BCCI. -- In 1989 and 1990 Barcella joined John Vardaman, a partner at Williams and Conolly and Robert Altman in warning Larry Gurwin, a freelance journalist writing an article about BCCI and First American Bank for

Regardie's magazine, that it would be improper to write anything that linked the two institutions. Barcella has called Gurwin's allegations "absurd".(1) - In early 1990, after BCCI pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in Tampa, Florida, several members of the US Congress criticized the plea bargain as to lenient on the bank. Documents obtained by the Subcommittee show that Barcella met with Senator Dennis Deconcini, one of the critics of the plea bargain, in an effort to persuade him that BCCI was not the corrupt institution that he and others had claimed. Most recently, of course, Barcella has been hired by the House Foreign Affairs Committee to investigate the "October Surprise", the allegations surrounding a political deal for release of the US hostages held in Iran in 1980. On leave from the Justice Department to assist Barcella in his investigation is Greg Kehoe -the Justice Department official with whom BCCi lawyers, including Barcella, negotiated the bank's plea agreement in Tampa.

Ray Banoun Raymond Banoun is also a former federal prosecutor who was brought into the BCCI case by Robert Altman to assist in the bank's defense. At the time Banoun was with the law of Arent Fox; he is currently the head of the white collar criminal defense team in the Washington office of Caldawater, Wickersham and Taft.

Aside from Altman, the lawyer who had the most contact with the Subcommittee concerning BCCI was Banoun. In reviewing the record, the Subcommittee has concluded that Banoun may have acted unethically by willfully misleading it in an attempt to impede the investigation.

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