Everett Stern

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Everett Stern
Stern Original.jpg
Republican candidate for
United States Senate
Election date
Primary: April 26, 2016
General Election: November 8, 2016
Opponent(s)Pat Toomey (R)
IncumbentPat Toomey
Personal details
BornNew York City, New York
United States
Political partyRepublican
ResidencePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma materStetson University (MBA)
OccupationIntelligence Director
Websiteeverettstern.com

Everett A. Stern is a whistleblower, politician, and the intelligence director of Tactical Rabbit, Inc. He is best known for his actions in an HSBC money laundering scandal, where he uncovered billions of dollars in illegal money laundering transactions, which led to an SEC investigation and a $1.92 billion fine against HSBC in 2012.

Early life and education[edit]

Everett Stern was born in New York City.[1] He graduated from Wellington High School in Wellington, FL in 2002. He graduated with a Bachelor of the Arts (BA) degree from Florida Atlantic University in 2008.[2] Stern sought a position with the Central Intelligence Agency's clandestine service, but was turned down shortly before graduating.[3][4] He earned a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Stetson University in central Florida in May 2010.[5]

HSBC[edit]

Money laundering scandal[edit]

In October 2010 Stern took a position as an anti-money laundering (AML) compliance officer for HSBC in their New Castle, Delaware office where he monitored the bank's Middle Eastern transactions.[4][3][6] Stern identified many suspicious transactions tied to terrorist groups in the Middle East, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.[7] Specifically, he uncovered a multinational money-laundering network that generated millions of dollars for Hezbollah through the Lebanese brothers Ali, Husayn, and Kassim Tajideen through their Gambia-based company, Tajco Ltd.[8] Stern sent numerous alerts and was repeatedly ignored by his HSBC supervisor.[9] After several such episodes, Stern made contact with the FBI and CIA, which began to investigate HSBC. Self-directed, Stern continued to collect and pass information to the CIA regarding HSBC's blatant abuse and manipulation of wire filters to approve illegal wire transfers. He left HSBC in October 2011.[3][10] By the summer of 2012, the inquiry had broadened to the bank's money laundering operations in the Middle East, Mexico, Iran, Sudan, and North Korea.[11][12][13][14]

A July 2012 congressional report found that from 2001 through 2010, HSBC had "exposed the U.S. financial system to a wide array of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing risks due to poor anti-money laundering controls."[15]

In December 2012, HSBC came to a settlement with U.S. authorities which required it to pay a record $1.92 billion fine, as well as improve its anti-money laundering controls, in exchange for a deferment of criminal prosecution for five years.[16][17]

In February 2013, Everett Stern was first featured as the HSBC whistleblower in Rolling Stone magazine in the article Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail.[18]

In February 2018, Stern was featured as the HSBC whistleblower in the Netflix series Dirty Money.[4][19]

Aftermath[edit]

Stern reached a resignation agreement from his position with HSBC in October 2011. After being "blacklisted" from the financial community Stern began working at a P.F. Chang's restaurant as a server.[20] Stern self-funded and launched the private intelligence agency Tactical Rabbit in the following year. In March 2013, Stern and the law firm Berger & Montague submitted evidence collected by Stern to the SEC that HSBC had continued to violate anti-money laundering regulations through October 2011, when Stern's employment with HSBC ended.[20] In August 2013, Stern joined with an Occupy Wall Street working group called Alternative Banking to further publicize his allegations against HSBC.[21][22] At a protest held on August 29, 2013 in New York City, Stern publicly alleged that HSBC had committed anti-laundering violations through the end of his employment in 2011, and asked that the government re-open the case against HSBC.[20][23][24]

In December 2013, HSBC reached a settlement with the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control regarding funds that had been transferred to financiers of the terrorist organization Hezbollah between December 2010 and April 2011. HSBC was required to pay $32,400. The Treasury department stated that this settlement was "unrelated to the bank's December 2012 agreement."[25] Stern has continued to speak publicly through the media about his HSBC allegations, especially as they relate to the funding of terrorist groups and activities[9][23][26]

Tactical Rabbit[edit]

Stern founded Tactical Rabbit with the intention of "exposing wrongdoing" in financial and corporate institutions.[27]

In May 2015, Stern conducted an investigation into the closing of Sweet Briar College. Stern held a press conference on May 9, 2015, at the college and alleged that the companies' intelligence operation revealed fraud.[28] Stern pleaded for the American public and the FBI to get involved. Stern noted that "Saving Sweet Briar is not a Virginia problem, but it is a national problem requiring all Americans to act." In May 2015 Stern issued a public letter to FBI Director James Comey asking for an FBI investigation into his company's findings on the closing of the college.[29][30][31]

In February 2018, Stern sent a notice to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office regarding one of its deputies allegedly posting racist and offensive content on social media accounts dating back to 2013 recommending that deputy be fired.[32] Subsequently, the Sheriff's Department completed their investigation and the deputy was fired, according to a sheriff's spokesperson.[33][34]

In 2018, Stern received a tip that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) had paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in incorrect Medicaid reimbursements over a six-year period because a claims payment system had been disabled. After obtaining internal MDHHS emails through the Freedom of Information Act, Stern discovered that a health agency employee had intentionally turned off the computer program designed to monitor home health care services. The emails show that the agency changed the computer program to "ease the burden on claims processing staff".[35]

Political career[edit]

In the fall of 2013, Stern worked with Maxine Waters, D-CA, ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, on the "Holding Individuals Accountable and Deterring Money Laundering Act", which sought to give the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network the authority to litigate on its own, and to stiffen penalties and prison sentences for bank executives involved in money laundering.[36][37][38]

In February 2014, Stern, a Republican, announced he was running for Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district in the 2014 elections.[39][40] He withdrew from the race before the April 2014 filing deadline.[41]

In April 2015, Stern announced his candidacy for United States Senate as a Republican candidate from Pennsylvania, challenging incumbent Pat Toomey for the Republican primary in the 2016 election.[42][43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frias, Carlos (3 November 2013). "A DOCTOR'S DIAGNOSIS: Henry Stern is a devoted family man. A radiologist who loves serving veterans. And none of that changes because of cancer". the Palm Beach Post.
  2. ^ Ant, Fire (22 October 2013). "Wellington Whistleblower Busts HSBC for Serving Terrorists, Promotes "Bank War Day"". New Times Broward-Palm Beach.
  3. ^ a b c Taibbi, Matt, "Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail", Rolling Stone, February 14, 2013
  4. ^ a b c Quinn, Holly (30 January 2018). "Netflix's 'Dirty Money' exposes HSBC's former New Castle office - Technical.ly Delaware". Technical.ly Delaware. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  5. ^ Jeff Ostrowski (23 November 2013). "Everett Stern, who grew up in Wellington, says he blew the whistle on HSBC". The Palm Beach Post.
  6. ^ "A Drug Cartel Guide to Laundering Millions". Splinter News. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  7. ^ "A Drug Cartel Guide to Laundering Millions". Splinter News. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  8. ^ Reuters, "An African supermarket with a sinister side", Reuters, July 13, 2012
  9. ^ a b Mollenkamp, Carrick; Wolf, Brett (July 13, 2012). "Special Report: HSBC's money-laundering crackdown riddled with lapses". Reuters.
  10. ^ "Drug cartels, weapons, banks and the Greenback — illicit trade continues, former whistleblower claims". BV World. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  11. ^ Silver-Greenberg, Jessica, "Cash Moves by HSBC in Inquiry", New York Times, August 24, 2012
  12. ^ "A Drug Cartel Guide to Laundering Millions". Splinter News. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  13. ^ "Drug cartels, weapons, banks and the Greenback — illicit trade continues, former whistleblower claims". BV World. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  14. ^ "Netflix Documentary Re-examines HSBC's $881 million Money-laundering Scandal". Market Watch. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  15. ^ Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation "HSBC Exposed U.S. Financial System to Money Laundering, Drug, Terrorist Financing Risks", July 16, 2012
  16. ^ Protess, Ben, and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, "HSBC to Pay $ 1.92 Billion to Settle Charges of Money-Laundering", New York Times, December 10, 2012
  17. ^ "Everett Stern: HSBC's money laundering case it's not over". antimoneylaundering.us. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  18. ^ Taibbi, Matt (14 February 2013). "Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Netflix Documentary Re-examines HSBC's $881 million Money-laundering Scandal". Market Watch. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  20. ^ a b c Chris Cumming (30 August 2013). "HSBC Whistle-Blower Presses for New Laundering Probe". American Banker.
  21. ^ In August 2013, Stern joined with an Occupy Wall Street working group called Alternative Banking to further publicize his allegations against HSBC."OWS Alternative Banking Targets HSBC Today". Occupy Wall Street. 29 August 2013.
  22. ^ Jerry Ashton (28 August 2013). "Wall Street's Two Least Favorite Birthdays: OWS and Everett Stern". The Huffington Post.
  23. ^ a b Halasa, Marni (28 October 2013). "Is Anybody Listening? HSBC Continues to Launder Money for Terrorist Groups Says Whistleblower". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  24. ^ Michael Hearns (29 August 2013). "HSBC still in crosshairs of interest group". Money Laundering.
  25. ^ "HSBC Gets Small Fine For Terrorist Transactions". The Huffington Post.
  26. ^ Shevardnadze, Sophie (20 January 2014). "Terrorism funding just one thing big banks are getting away with - whistleblower Everett Stern". RT. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  27. ^ "Everett Stern Founds Tactical Rabbit, Dubbed Wall Street's Private CIA, Uniquely Poised to Shine a Bright Light on the Sometimes Dark Dealings of Corporate America". PRWeb. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  28. ^ Hawes Spencer (13 May 2015). "Sweet Briar supporters hear conspiracy talk from whistleblower turned PI". C-Ville.com.
  29. ^ "Private Firm Investigates Sweet Briar Closure, Alleges Fraud". nbc29.com. 9 May 2015.
  30. ^ "Sweet Briar College, groups opposing its closing to meet with Virginia's attorney general's office". www.roanoke.com.
  31. ^ Everett Stern (11 May 2015). "Everett Stern: FBI LETTER: SWEET BRIAR COLLEGE". Influencers Insights. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  32. ^ "This South Florida deputy's social media posts were so offensive that he has been fired". miamiherald. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  33. ^ Erblat, Austen. "Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy fired over social media posts". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  34. ^ "UPDATE: PBSO deputy fired for social media posts". mypalmbeachpost. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  35. ^ "Whistleblower Reveals Medicaid Claims Were Improperly Billed Due To MDHHS Error". Deadline Detroit. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  36. ^ Brian Bandell (Oct 24, 2013). "Congressional bill could end 'too big to jail' for bankers". South Florida Business Journal.
  37. ^ Ensign, Rachel Louise and Michael R. Crittenden, bank-executives/ "New Anti-Money Laundering Bill Targets Bank Executives", Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2013
  38. ^ Brittany Foster (March 7, 2014). "PA-13: Three Republicans Fight For Seat". Politics PA.
  39. ^ Chris Cumming (20 February 2014). "HSBC Whistle-Blower Launches Congressional Run". American Banker.
  40. ^ "HSBC Whistle-Blower to run for Congress". Hang The Bankers. 21 February 2014.
  41. ^ "Everett Stern". ballotpedia.org.
  42. ^ "Everett A. Stern, Tactical Rabbit Intelligence Director, Announces His Candidacy for United States Senate". Forward Geek. 13 April 2015.
  43. ^ "Drug cartels, weapons, banks and the Greenback — illicit trade continues, former whistleblower claims". BV World. Retrieved 2019-12-10.

External links[edit]