WALL STREET – The Clintons appear to have siphoned off tens of millions of dollars annually from funds the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has received from a United Nations-sponsored program that uses levies on airline tickets to help HIV/AIDs victims in the Third World, charges a Wall Street analyst.
Charles Ortel says the program through the U.N. group UNITAID used the Clintons’ international prestige to “leverage” manufacturers of prescription quality drugs and health-care products and sell them to developing countries at a discount price to combat AIDS/HIV.
As WND reported Wednesday, over the past six weeks, Ortel has shared with WND, prior to publication, the results of his six-month, in-depth investigation into what he characterizes as an elaborate scheme devised by the Clintons to enrich themselves.
The findings come amid separate charges in Peter Schweizer’s upcoming book, “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”
To put in perspective the possible magnitude of the fraud, the levy imposed on airline tickets by the French government alone, according to the French Civil Aviation Authority, is more than $1 billion euros in the approximately six years the UNITAID program ran, from 2006 through Jan. 23, 2013.
“The air ticket levy, a predictable and robust source of revenue, contributes to the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, diseases that cause more than 4 million deaths every year,” UNITAID, the principal beneficiary of the levy, said in January 2013 when congratulating France “for its pivotal role and leadership in innovative financing for development.”
The first article in this series examined many of the “specific concerns” Ortel detailed in his April 20 report, “False Philanthropy? First Interim Report Concerning The Bill Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.”
This article deals with Ortel’s investigation of the operations of the Clinton Foundation’s largest single program, the Clinton Health Initiative Inc., typically represented in the Clinton financial reports by the acronym CHAI.
In his April 20 report, Ortel spelled out four “specific concerns” about CHAI.
Specific Concern No. 6: Information contained in the Clinton Foundation Annual Report that breaks down program expenditures (the key element of activity within any tax-exempt organization) contains a glaring, material error concerning CHAI (the largest single portion of the Clinton Foundation in terms of regular financial inflows and outflows).
Specific Concern No. 7: The decision to add back CHAI’s agency activities on behalf of UNITAID is erroneous and flatly contradicts positions taken with regard to CHAI filings for each of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
UNITAID is an international health organization based in Geneva and hosted by the World Health Organization.
Approximately half of all UNITAID revenue comes from levies on airplane tickets paid by travelers worldwide. Most travelers are completely unaware of what amounts to a United Nations imposed and collected tax that is included in the price of an average airplane ticket.
UNITAID justifies the airfare tax by positioning itself as the first global health organization to use “buy-side market leverage” to pressure manufactures of health-care products and drugs to reduce prices for developing countries.
According to its website, UNITAID was established in 2006 by the governments of Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom as the “International Drug Purchasing Facility.”
Today, the UNITAID website explains, the U.N.-sponsored organization is backed by an expanding “North-South” membership, including Cyprus, South Korea, Luxembourg, Spain and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alongside the African nations of Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius and Niger.
Civil society groups also govern UNITAID, giving a voice to non-governmental organizations and communities living with HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.
Ortel’s analysis notes “in 2006, UNITAID sent, by its reckoning in financial statements that are available online, $566.1 million to CHAI and to a similarly named predecessor initiative of the Clinton Foundation.”
He says that because of discrepancies, ambiguities and missing information, it is not possible to reconcile UNITAID’s disclosures with the Clinton Foundation’s financial accounts, year by year, from 2006 through 2013.
To get an idea of the possible fraud, Ortel points out the 2013 Clinton Foundation Annual Report brochure listed CHAI program expenditures as $127.8 million while a detailed analysis of consolidated financial reports show CHAI’s actual program expenditures were just $99.1 million, a discrepancy of $28.7 million.
That fact was known May 13, 2014, when the independent audit for CHAI was completed, Ortel contends.
For the period from November 2006 to December 2013, Ortel has been able to account for $566 million that UNITAID sent the Clinton Foundation, tens of millions in excess of what the foundation declared.
Ortel believes the extra funds were diverted to the personal use of the Clinton family, with the shortfall intentionally disguised through accounting and reporting irregularities that make it difficult for even the most competent regulators and certified accountants to quantify precisely.
Should the Clinton Foundation board directors be worried?
Specific Concern No. 9: Deficient control of the Clinton Foundation financial and regulatory reporting operations poses significant legal liability for directors.
Specific Concern No. 10: CHAI directors also appear to face substantial continuing legal risks created by their deficient influence over CHAI and their continuing failures to police and account for related party transactions.
The Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has had a history of prestigious and accomplished board members since its founding in 2001.
In 2013, the board included longtime Clinton operative and current Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a 30-year old Vogue magazine described as a “force of nature” behind the African Center in New York City, and longtime Hillary friend Cheryl Mills, who served as her chief of staff when Hillary was secretary of state and is credited with “running interference internally” regarding the 2012 Benghazi attack, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“Under state laws, directors of tax-exempt corporations have a raft of solemn governance duties they must perform if they wish to discharge their responsibility and protect, even enhance, the integrity of their organizations,” Ortel noted.
He explained to WND that directors of charitable organizations could face criminal liabilities if they are shown to have been negligent or complicit in any fraud perpetrated by the charity during their term on the board.
Ortel, a frequent guest on Bloomberg television and a contributor to several different print and Internet publications, including the Washington Times, began his Wall Street career from June 1980 through July 2002 with Dillon, Read, & Co., followed by the Bridgeford Group and the Chart Group.
His international investment expertise frequently has him engaged in complex legal and financial structures in many different countries. He is currently managing director of Newport Value Partners LLC, which provides independent investment research to professional investors. He is a graduate of the Horace Mann School, Yale College and the Harvard Business School.
In an article published Aug. 4, 2009, demonstrating the financial analysis for which Ortel is perhaps best known on Wall Street, Forbes magazine noted he first broadcast his concerns about General Electric’s earnings quality in 2008, when the stock was trading above $30 a share. A year later, GE’s market value had plunge by about $200 billion, to $13 a share.
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