Votergate: More details emerge
By Wayne Madsen
Journal Contributing Writer
Dec 1, 2004, 22:00
Five Star Trust, the entity that, according to well-placed
business and U.S. intelligence sources, is tied to the financing of a scheme to
pay individuals posing as U.S. law enforcement and electronic voting machine
technicians to rig the vote in favor of George W. Bush in at least four key
states�Florida, Texas, Ohio, and California -- represents a Byzantine network
of offshore shell corporations and individuals tied to various Bush and
Saudi-connected business enterprises.
Kevin Russell, a Nassau, Bahamas-based attorney representing
Five Star Investments, Ltd., which maintains an office in Nassau and is the
corporate entity that received a bank check for $29.6 million that was
allegedly associated with paying vote rigging technicians, claims the check has
not yet been cleared for payment. In addition, Five Star Investments claims the
money has nothing to do with election scamming. Sources familiar with the vote
rigging have reported that some of those involved in the operation balked when
they were not paid the amount of money they were promised for their services
and began revealing the nature of their roles.
In 1997, the U.S. District Court for the Seventh Circuit
affirmed the conviction of Robert L. Ferrera, an individual that court records
indicate was connected to Five Star Investments, Ltd. Ferrera was convicted of
fraud involving $11 billion in counterfeit Mexican promissory notes. Ferrera
claimed to be a general in the Mexican army and an official of the PRI party in
Mexico. Judge George Marovich, at Ferrera�s sentencing, said �there are aspects
of this like the Over-the-Hill Gang.� Moreover, the court proceedings referred
to the case as �unusual.� Ferrera and his associates used two shell
corporations in their scheme, American Credit Corporation and Union
International Bank and Trust, Ltd. of Grenada. In the case summary it is stated
that Ferrera �assigned and delivered some of the Mexican notes to an associate
in Lexington, Kentucky, who owned Five Star Investments, Ltd.� According to
information from the Internal Revenue Service, Tax ID Number 61-6234232 was
issued to Five Star Trust, a Foreign Asset Protection Trust registered in the
Isle of Man. Five Star Investments claims it has nothing to do with Five Star
Ferrera's name also surfaced in a 1994 Securities and
Exchange Commission investigation of Northstar Investors' Trust of Bellevue,
Washington. In that case, Grady Lewis Hand was indicted for a $3 million
investment fraud. However, Hand was defended by the former head of the Drug
Enforcement Administration's secret "CENTAC" unit, Dennis Dayle. Hand
and Dayle claimed the investment fraud was actually a CIA front to fund
off-the-books intelligence operations being hidden from Congress. They said the
money actually went to "General Robert L. Ferrera," said then to have
worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA.
New information obtained from knowledgeable U.S.
intelligence sources reveal that much of ex-Philippine President Ferdinand
Marcos�s billions of embezzled gold and money made its way into Five Star
Trust, which was actually established in the late 1980s as a Houston-based
repository for Marcos�s ill-gotten loot. Some of the Marcos money was stashed
in accounts in the Cook Islands, a dependency of New Zealand that has its own
banking and corporation laws. Cook Islands accounts have been associated with some
of the money used in the Votergate scandal.
Since the late 1980s, Five Star Trust has been supplemented
by additional money from the Saudis. According to Houston sources, the trust
has been extensively used by the campaigns of both George H. W. Bush and George
W. Bush. These sources also claim that the Saudis and Bushes use "Five
Star" entities as vehicles to move large amounts of money for special
purposes. Other names associated with this large Saudi-Bush multibillion dollar
tranche are Five Star Group, Five Star Company, and Five Star LLC. The money
used to move the money for the vote rigging was also said to involve accounts
in Phoenix, Arizona and Houston.
The use of foreign nationals as election machine technicians
on Election Day has also been confirmed. Sources with details of the vote
rigging stated that some foreign nationals were involved in the reprogramming
of Diebold and other machines in the four key states of Florida, Ohio, Texas,
and California. The technicians successfully padded votes in Ohio to ensure
that state's 20 electoral votes went to the Bush column. In populous counties
in Florida, Texas, and California, the vote padding ensured that Bush's
nationwide popular vote margin was well in excess of 3 million votes, giving
him 51 percent of the national vote over John Kerry. One unsuccessful
Democratic candidate in California voiced concerns about whether the alleged
vote padding in his state affected his own vote count.
Vote padding for Bush's popular vote may have also been used
in Maryland. Diebold ran a training program for volunteer election technicians
on October 29, three days before Election Day, at a warehouse in Glen Burnie,
Maryland. Volunteers were paid $14 an hour for their services. According to a
Diebold insider, U.S. citizenship was not a qualification to work on Diebold
election machines on Election Day and the volunteers could have been assigned
"anywhere in the state [Maryland] on Election Day."
Sources familiar with the Votergate scandal have stated that
foreign nationals from Mexico, Brazil, and Russia were used to "fix"
selected machines in critical counties and precincts in Florida, Ohio, Texas,
and California. Moreover, some of these individuals have been associated with
organized crime activity, including computer hacking, in the United States and
abroad. Those familiar with the use of Diebold machines to commit voter fraud
have revealed that the hardware and software used in Diebold machines used in
casinos and polling places is essentially the same, including the back door
used to dial in over telephone lines to change payoff odds in gambling
machines. The same mechanism was used to change votes, the sources contend.
This is a followup to Saudis,
Enron money helped pay for US rigged election and More
on the buying of electoral fraud by the Bush campaign.
Thanks to members of the Democratic Underground for sending me news
items, leads, contacts, and other relevant information.
Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author, and
columnist. He is the author of the forthcoming book, "Jaded Tasks: Big
Oil, Black Ops & Brass Plates" and wrote "Genocide & Covert
Operations in Africa: 1993-1999" (Mellen Press).
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