On the Farm

On the Farm

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How they spent the money

Well, they spent it the same way you or I probably would if we had a nice windfall of a few hundred thousand or a million or two: they spent it on a place. A getaway. A holiday home.

Once Karlheinz Schreiber started splitting up the millions of dollars in secret commissions paid by Airbus, Thyssen and MBB (Messerschmidt-Bolkow-Blohm) to help obtain huge government contracts in Canada, there was enough money going round for some serious real estate.

Frank Moores' lobbying firm, Government Consultants International, worked on all these contracts and he began by buying, with a friend, a beautiful fishing camp in the Gaspe in 1989 for between $150,000 and $200,000 and renovating it.

We don't know if it was money from Schreiber that paid for this place because Moores had many major companies among his clients, but we do know that he used the first payments from the Airbus sales to Air Canada, payments that rolled into his firm in 1990, to buy a $200,000 condo in an exclusive gated community in Jupiter, Florida.

Giorgio Pelossi, Schreiber's accountant, wired him the money he needed from the accounts Schreiber set up to hold the secret commissions.

In 1989, both the Doucet brothers, Fred and Gerry - now both of them working as lobbyists on Schreiber's projects - bought themselves condos in Ste. Petersburg, Florida.

That same year, Schreiber himself bought himself a condominium in Rockcliffe Park in Ottawa for $375,000.

And Europeans who received a share of the secret commissions on these and other deals involving Schreiber also bought holiday homes. One, for example, was Stuart Iddles, Airbus's senior vice-president from 1986 to 1994; through is wife, he purchased Casa Estacas, a waterfront villa in Puerto Vallarta in 1992. His codename in Schreiber's meticulous arrangement of sub-accounts in the Zurich bank that held the secret commissions, was "Stewardess."

German officials who accepted secret commissions from Schreiber on a Thyssen tank deal unrelated to the Canadian contracts also bought luxurious getaways; one chose a home in Lugano, Switzerland; another a ski chalet, also in Switzerland.

And what did Brian Mulroney buy? And with what?

He bought two places but neither with Schreiber commissions, as far as I could determine. He appears to have used his own money to finance the new house he bought for $1.67 million in Montreal in March 1993 and which he renovated for another $1-million (although his original work permit had showed plans worth about $600,000).

But in January, 1997, after winning his spectacular lawsuit against the RCMP and the Canadian government for including his name in a letter to Swiss authorities saying he was under investigation with regard to the sale of the Airbus planes and other contracts, he received an apology and $2.1-million to cover his legal fees and make amends.

That was the same lawsuit that saw him deny having any sort of business relationship with Schreiber and stating that they only met for coffee a couple of times at a hotel in Montreal.

A few weeks later he and his wife, Mila, were shopping for a holiday home in Palm Beach, Florida and in March, 1997 they bought a house there for $1.45-million.


Proud_to_be_Canadian said...

Well, I am very surprised there aren't more comments, especially as Mulroney is once again in hot water over this issue.

I love the way he puts such a high value on loyalty, but honesty and integrity don't seem to rank quite so high.

By the way, if you ever get tired of this particular piece of corruption, you may be interested in looking into the income trust issue. There's a big line-up of devious politicians, beaureaucrats, former investment bankers and top insurance executives, a big fat cover-up and enough Machievellian machinations to keep an investigative journalist busy for years!

Keep up the great work! You seem to be the only journalist in this country who isn't content to simply rehash government press releases. I wish there were more like you!

Anonymous said...

I trust that you still have your notes and that they will make it into the public domain as it appears that you were unfairly hung out to dry. I hope that you are vindicated and that Robert Kaplan prints a retraction!! Cheers!!!

Anonymous said...

dion is a cbc wanker

Anonymous said...

I just want to know why Schrieber was never charged with offering a bribe by the RCMP while the Liberals were in power. If he was telling the truth then the charges should have been laid and would have been validated. Since he wasn't charged then either there is no story there or the Liberals themselves were on the take. Based on the Liberals' past record I would be close to the truth by saying the later is trueth.

Anonymous said...

So, where is Giorgio Pelossi now? Googling him brings up only articles from 2000, when he was arrested in Chicago on January 20 for warrants issued in Italy.

Was he released? Charges dropped? Deported?

Would he be someone relevant to the current situation here?

Anonymous said...

What happened to the $2+billion US dollars They borrowed from the Saudi's through Nova Scotia, 1983-84, 1987?

What did NS use for collateral, it's 'offshore oil?' Would that be the real reason for Mulroney and Associates plans for Atlantica?