The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could soon file a civil complaint against Countrywide co-founder Angelo Mozilo; the United Arab Emirates is reportedly boosting its anti-money laundering efforts; and the Estate of Dr. Max Stern recovers Nazi-looted art; are all mentioned in this "Asset Search News Roundup".
- Countrywide’s Angelo Mozilo may soon face civil proceedings for insider trading according to "SEC proposes suit versus Countrywide founder Mozilo". Meanwhile, two Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers are under scrutiny for suspected insider trading and may face criminal charges, according to the Reuters’ article "SEC lawyers probed for insider trading".
- Reuters also reported on May 14, 2009 that there are some new anti-money laundering / counter-terrorist financing efforts being pursued in the United Arab Emirates. The May 14 Reuters’ article indicates among other things, that the United Arab Emirates requires the registration of hawala brokers. Hawala however, can be abused by those hiding assets, as described by "Hiding Assets In Informal Banking Systems".
- A May 6, 2009 press release, explains that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), turned over the 16th century Italian Baroque painting of "St. Jerome" to the executors and university beneficiaries of the Estate of Dr. Max Stern. The May 6, 2009 turnover occurred after art dealer Richard L. Feigen contacted authorities because he discovered that the "St. Jerome" painting displayed in his living room, was actually Nazi-looted art.
Publicity about the earlier recovery of the Holocaust-era painting "Portrait of a Musician Playing a Bagpipe", (on behalf of the Estate of Dr. Stern), had apparently caused Mr. Feigen to question the provenance for "St. Jerome". Mr. Feigen contacted authorities when he specifically learned that "St. Jerome" had originally belonged to the late Dr. Stern. Due to Nazi persecution, Dr. Stern’s painting had been forcibly sold in 1937 at Lempertz Auction House of Cologne, Germany. The "St. Jerome" and "Bagpiper" paintings are respectively pictured below:
Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams