Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stanford is the tip of the iceberg on covert activities.

Stanford's Latin American operations linked to U.S."counter-narcotics" efforts....;

Stanford is the tip of the iceberg on covert activities.

Although it stands accused of laundering money for narco-interests in countries like Panama, Colombia, and Mexico, the Stanford Financial Group of "Sir" R. Allen Stanford is being linked by investigators to the world of U.S. government covert and overt counter-narcotics programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

WMR has learned from a knowledgeable source that FAA records point to a Stanford & Associates, Inc. address at 1329 Alum Springs Road #101 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The address is listed for Stanford's Learjet (N60CE), which was exported to Germany in 2001. The same address was used for HS 125-700A (N81QV), exported to the Cayman Islands in 2000, Cessna 650 (N1239L), exported to Germany in 2000, Another Stanford & Associates address is at 1661 N. Swan Road, Suite 200-6, Tucson, Arizona for a Learjet (N613SA), exported to Germany in 2000.

Stanford Aircraft at 201 S. Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida was used for Gulfstream G-IV (N2SA), Stanford Aviation 5555 LLC at the same Miami address was used for Gulfstream G-IV (N3SA). Stanford Aviation LLC at the Miami address was used for Bombardier 700-1A10 (N1SA). Stanford Aviation II at the Miami address was used for Hawker 800XP (N4SA). Stanford Aviation III LLC at the Miami address was used for Hawker 800XP (N14SA). Stanford Aviation 5555 LLC at 5050 Westheimer, Houston has reserved N100SA. Stanford Aviation at the Houston address was used for HS-125-600A (N10SA).

Stanford Aviation LLC at 100 Jim Davidson Drive, Sugar Land, Texas was used for Convair 440 (N800SA).

It was in Fredericksburg where FBI agents located Stanford to serve him papers that accused him of fraud. Stanford was not arrested. The chief investment officer for Stanford Financial Group, Laura Pendergest-Holt, was arrested by the FBI in Houston on February 26.

A Google search on the 1329 Alum Springs Road address in Fredericksburg does not turn up Stanford & Associates, Inc. but does turn up two aircraft dealers and distributors sharing the same phone number, AV Craft and Zenith Aviation Inc.

WMR has learned that the owner of the 1329 Alum Springs address receives a check from Abby Construction for the rent for both Abby and Zenith Aviation. The President and CEO of Zenith is a Robert F. Stanford. It is not known if there is a relationship between Robert F. Stanford and Robert Allen Stanford of Stanford Financial Group. Allen Stanford was reportedly staying at the Heather Hills, Fredericksburg townhouse of Bryan Stoelker, the brother of Stanford's reputed girlfriend, Andrea Stoelker.

The Zenith/Abby landlord believes that Abby and Zenith were partner firms and that he knew of a "Bob Stanford" and a secretary working out of the Zenith office.

One of the principals of Abby is a past employee of Oceaneering International, Inc. of Houston, a firm that WMR has cited in the past as being connected to CIA activities. WMR has also reported that U.S. Judge Mark Fuller and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) have financial interests in Oceaneering. Zenith also maintains a facility in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Zenith has apparently carried out "special missions" for the U.S. government in Iceland (a major stopover point for CIA rendition aircraft), Europe, the Baltic states, India, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Nepal, and Australia. A former principal of Zenith once was responsible for modifying A-37s for "airborne intercepts" in Peru and Colombia. It was a Peruvian Air Force A-37 that intercepted and strafed the Cessna carrying a family of Baptist missionaries. Veronica Bowers and her adopted infant daughter Charity were killed in the attack. Bowers' husband Jim, a native of Muskegon, Michigan; their 7-year old son Cory, and the American pilot were wounded. A Cessna Citation surveillance plane operated by CIA contractor Aviation Development Corporation, headquartered at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama provided the coordinates for the missionaries' plane to the A-37. The former Zenith principal provided training for the Peruvian Air Force and "other Department of State clients" at Zenith's Tucson facility.

The former Zenith principal went to work for Viva International, based Traverse City which, on January 16, 2007, bought privately-owned River Hawk Aviation of San Antonio, Texas. Viva changed its name to River Hawk Aviation. According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, Viva International and its Puerto Rican subsidiary, Eastern Caribbean Airlines, faced a number of legal problems that put the firm in financial jeopardy. In one filing Viva stated: "Syed Hasan versus Viva International, Inc. and Eastern Caribbean Airlines Corporation has not been resolved and could result in an adverse result. Although the Company has recorded certain liabilities on its books pursuant to the Hasan legal matter, it does not currently have the ability to settle the claim from available assets. The Company's legal representation has recently withdrawn due to lack of payment and has not yet been replaced."

The SEC filings also report that Viva rented hangar office space and storage on a "month-to-month" basis at the San Juan, Puerto Rico airport and rented office space in Michigan. In January 2005, Viva entered into a joint venture with Cool Travels, Inc., also known as San Juan Aviation, an airline charter firm. River Hawk Aviation has subsidiary operations in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. A Viva SEC filing stated the firm "plans to create a "network of regionally based airlines across the Caribbean, eventually to be linked to key points in the United States, Latin America, South America, and Europe." The SEC filing on Viva's acquisition of River Hawk states: assets of River Hawk included in the purchase are, among other things; all tangible personal property and all inventories, including a SAAB 340A Aircraft and aircraft engines and other mechanical aviation components and parts, contracts, customer lists and contacts, [and] government authorizations."

On March 13, 2006, Viva announced it had received $4 million in financing from investment banker, S. G. Martin Securities of Rocky Point, New York.

The pattern is familiar to one informed source who contacted WMR. The source stated: "the CIA continues to created these false front aviation/parts corporations, infuses some government money to get them up and running, then sells them to another government- created entity and the CIA shaves off the excess cash." The pattern is similar to the CIA shell companies used to mask the agency's extraordinary rendition program that relied on chartered aircraft.