The Can of worms has been reopened and this brings to mind the shortcomings of another Top Aspirant who still has cases of Wash Wash as the yahoo yahoo boys like to call money laundry .Patience Jonathan's Can of Worms should be reopened as well thank you
V. ABUBAKAR CASE STUDY: USING OFFSHORE COMPANIES
TO BRING SUSPECT FUNDS INTO THE UNITED STATES
Jennifer Douglas Abubakar, a U.S. citizen, is the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, the
former Vice President of Nigeria and a former candidate for the Presidency of Nigeria. This case
history examines how, from 2000 to 2008, Ms. Douglas helped her husband bring over $40
million in suspect funds into the United States, including at least $1.7 million in bribe payments
from Siemens AG, a German corporation, and over $38 million from little known offshore
corporations, primarily LetsGo Ltd. Inc., Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., and Sima
Over half of the suspect funds, nearly $25 million, were wire transferred by the offshore
corporations into U.S. bank accounts opened by Ms. Douglas. For most of the time period
examined, the U.S. banks with those accounts were unaware of Ms. Douglas’ PEP status, and
allowed multiple large wire transfers into her accounts from the offshore corporations. As, over
time, each of the banks began to question the wire transfers into her accounts, Ms. Douglas
indicated that all of the funds came from her husband and professed little familiarity with the
offshore corporations actually sending her money.
Bank records indicate that Ms. Douglas used most of the funds placed into her accounts
to support a lavish lifestyle in the United States, paying credit card bills and household expenses
in the range of $10,000 to $90,000 per month, including substantial legal and accounting bills.
She also transferred funds to accounts she opened for the Gede Foundation, a nonprofit
corporation she established in 2002, and the American University of Nigeria (AUN), a university
that Mr. Abubakar founded in 2003, and whose name reflects its association with American
University in the United States.
An additional $14 million of the suspect funds were wire transferred by two of the
offshore corporations, LetsGo and the Guernsey Trust Company, to American University to pay
for consulting fees related to AUN. American University officials told the Subcommittee that
they understood the funds came from Mr. Abubakar and never inquired why the wire transfers
were sent by unfamiliar offshore corporations. At least another $2.1 million was wire transferred
by the Guernsey Trust Corporation to accounts controlled by Edward Weidenfeld, a U.S. lawyer
who provided legal services to Ms. Douglas, Mr. Abubakar, and AUN. Mr. Weidenfeld
explained that the funds paid for the Abubakars’ legal expenses and an account set up for AUN,
and that he had assumed the funds came from Mr. Abubakar.
Over the years, questions have been raised about the source of Mr. Abubakar’s wealth.
He spent twenty years in the Nigerian Customs Service, and then worked in the private sector for
ten years, before serving as Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. While Vice President,
Mr. Abubakar was the subject of corruption allegations relating to the Nigerian Petroleum
Technology Development Fund. In December 2008, the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission alleged in a formal complaint against Siemens AG, a German company, that,
among other actions, in 2001 and 2002, Siemens wire transferred $2.8 million in bribe payments..
to a U.S. bank account belonging to Ms. Douglas as part of a scheme to bribe Nigerian officials.
In response to this and other legal actions, Siemens admitted to engaging in widespread bribery the committee that he surmised the Gede Foundation account was closed due to its
association with Ms. Douglas.1172
Chevy Chase told the Subcommittee that it tendered its resignation from the JDA Family
Trust in January 2006, and intended to close the account soon after, but Mr. Weidenfeld had
informed Chevy Chase that he was having a difficult time finding a replacement trustee.1173
Mr. Weidenfeld told the Subcommittee that he contacted the following institutions which
declined to take the trust: PNC Bank, Ashbridge Investments, J.P. Morgan Private Bank,
Samson Capital in New York, Neville Rody and Shaw, and Papamarkou Asset Management in
New York City, before finding a company that would take the trust.1174 An internal Chevy Chase
email noted: “At least five foreign financial institutions with no presence in the United States
have refused to take this business.”1175 Chevy Chase told the Subcommittee: “Under principles
of trust law, Chevy Chase Trust had a duty to continue as the corporate trustee until a
replacement trustee was found or Jennifer Douglas Abubakar and Francis Iwenjiora exercised
their powers under the trust to remove Chevy Chase Trust.”1176
$500,000 Wire Transfer to Faibros Investments. More than a year and a half after
Chevy Chase tendered its resignation from the JDA Family Trust and while the search for a new
trustee continued, a JDA Family Trust request for a $500,000 wire transfer raised new concerns
at the bank. In September 2007, the JDA Family Trust requested a wire transfer of $500,000 to
Faibros Investments FZ-LLC in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates.1177 In a September 17,
2007 letter to Ms. Douglas’ legal counsel, the Chevy Chase Trust Company declined to complete
the wire transfer. The Trust Company wrote:
“[O]ur primary business is the investment management of individual’s wealth. We do have
trust powers and serve as a fiduciary primarily for our clients for whom we manage their
investments. In a few limited circumstances we serve as directed trustee where another
entity, well known to us, is the investment manager.”1178
1172 11/13/09 letter from Mr. Weidenfeld’s legal counsel, London & Mead, to the Subcommittee, PSIAbubakar_&_
1173 9/5/08 letter from Chevy Chase’s legal counsel to the Subcommittee, PSI-Chevy_Chase-06-0001-07, at 05.
Mr. Weidenfeld’s legal counsel also told the Subcommittee: “With the Citibank account closing, a replacement
facility was urgently required. At approximately the same time, Chevy Chase Bank gave notice it would no longer
serve as trustee for the Jennifer Douglas Family Trust (‘the JDA trust’), and the money manager for the JDA trust
announced their intention to resign. The Abubakars requested that Mr. Weidenfeld find a new money manager, as
well as a new trustee to replace Chevy Chase.” 11/13/09 letter from Mr. Weidenfeld’s legal counsel, London &
Mead, to the Subcommittee, PSI-Abubakar_&_Weidenfeld-01-0023.
1174 11/13/09 letter from Mr. Weidenfeld’s legal counsel, London & Mead, to the Subcommittee, PSIAbubakar_&_
1175 11/29/07 email among Chevy Chase officials, JD_005785-86.
1176 9/5/08 letter from Chevy Chase’s legal counsel to the Subcommittee, PSI-Chevy_Chase-06-0005; see also
5/8/07 letter from Chevy Chase’s legal counsel to the Subcommittee, PSI-Chevy_Chase-CL000004; 10/10/00 JDA
Family Trust instrument, JD_000012.
1177 See JD_005474-75 for letter from Francis Iwonjora and Jennifer Ms. Douglas Abubakar requesting that
$500,000 be transferred from the trust to Fabros Investments FZ LLC in Dubai UAE. Iwonjora is Douglas’ brother.
11/13/09 letter from Mr. Weidenfeld’s legal counsel, London & Mead, to the Subcommittee, PSIAbubakar_&_
1178 9/14/07 letter from Chevy Chase Bank to Mr. Weidenfeld, JD_005476-77.
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