NEW YORK – A document newly released by WikiLeaks shows how Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta, was able to shield from government regulators and the American public the shares of stocks he received as a member of the board of a company that received millions from a Putin-connected Russian government fund at the time of the U.S. “reset” with Moscow.
Last week, WND reported Podesta received 75,000 shares of common stock from Joule Unlimited Technologies, a U.S. energy company tied to Joule Global Holdings B.V., a company in the Netherlands cited in the Panama Papers offshore banking probe as a conduit for money laundered by the Russian government.
Now, a Jan. 3, 2014, letter confirms Podesta transferred 25,146 shares of Series C Preferred Shares and 8,547 Series C-II Preferred shares of Joule Unlimited stock to a private company registered in Utah, Leonidio Holdings LLC.
Podesta, however, gives the address of Leonidio Holdings as 7962 Shannon Court in Dublin, California, which is the home address of his daughter, Megan Rouse.
Rouse operates Megan Rouse Financial Planning from her home in the suburb east of San Francisco Bay.
The letter, written and signed by Podesta, is addressed to Mark Solakian, corporate secretary for Joule Global Holdings.
Podesta served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and counselor to President Obama.
The alleged Russian money-laundering involving both Podesta and the Clinton Foundation appears to have occurred around two key decisions Secretary of State Clinton made in favor of Russia:
- The transfer of advanced U.S. technology to Russia, including both military technology and solar energy technology as part of Secretary Clinton’s “reset” program with Russia, in a move that greatly enhanced the Russian military’s capabilities, according to both the FBI and the U.S. army; and
- Secretary Clinton’s decision on the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States, CFIUS, to approve the Russian government energy agency Rosatum buying majority control of Uranium One, a company Bill Clinton promoted along with Clinton Foundation donor Frank Giustra in Canada, that resulted in the transfer of approximately 20 percent of all U.S. uranium production to Uranium One.
Joule Global Stichting and Joule Global Holdings figure prominently as a client of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is at the heart of the Panama Papers investigation into offshore money-laundering operations on a massive international scale.
WND reported Russian entities that funneled money to Joule and its related companies, and ultimately to Podesta, include Viktor Vekselberg, a controversial Russian billionaire investor with ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.
Podesta’s letter makes clear the transfer of the stock is “for bona fide estate planning purposes,” in compliance with the stock-sale agreement Podesta signed with Joule Unlimited, a private company, specifying the preferred stock could not be sold to a third-party unrelated to the Podesta family, or otherwise transferred out of Podesta’s estate.
The following screen capture shows the relevant passages in Podesta’s letter to Solakian:
A search of an Internet map program confirmed that 7962 Shannon Court in Dublin, California, was the home address of Podesta’s daughter.
As WND also reported last week, an email Solakian wrote Jan. 6, 2014, confirmed Podesta had exercised 75,000 common stock shares of Joule Unlimited of the 100,000 he had been granted in 2011 in partial compensation for his work on the Joule board of directors.
The following screen capture shows the key passages in the Solakian email documenting that Podesta had exercised 75,000 shares of common stock and instructed that the exercised shares be transferred to Leonidio Holdings LLC.
The instructions to transfer the exercised common stock do not give the address of Leonidio LLC, as did Podesta’s instructions for the transfer of the preferred stock certificates.
In both cases, Leonidio LLC provided Podesta an additional structured layer of protection from disclosure to government regulators or to the public.
Once the preferred and common stock was transferred to Leonidio LLC, the stock holdings no longer would appear in any financial statement Podesta prepared of his holdings.
Unless Podesta disclosed the nature of the estate agreement with Leonidio LLC, there would be no way for an outsider to know Leonidio LLC was the nominee owner of Podesta’s common and preferred stock in Joule Limited, as transferred to an estate Leonidio LLC held on Podesta’s behalf.
What is Leonidio LLC?
Leonidio LLC appears to have been named after Leonidio, a town in Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece, that may have had some significance for Podesta.
A search of the Utah secretary of state’s business listings revealed Leonidio LLC was a domestic Utah corporation in good standing, registered Dec. 5, 2012, and renewed Oct. 27, 2015, by Sam Bournakis, at 5835 S. Waterbury in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A further search found that Bournakis was the registered principal listed in the Utah business search for several businesses, none of which appeared related to Podesta.
WND reached Bournakis by telephone at Anna’s Café, another business listed to Bournakis in Salt Lake City, and he confirmed that 5835 Waterbury in Salt Lake City was his home apartment address.
But Bournakis denied knowing anything about Podesta or Leonidio LLC, the company registered under his name.
Growing irritated by the phone call, Bournakis firmly denied he knew anything about the transfer of Joule Unlimited preferred or common stock that Podesta made to Leonidio LLC.
A WND message left on the telephone number listed for Leonidio LLC in Salt Lake City went unanswered.
Russian money to Podesta
Vekselberg owns the Renova Group, a multi-billion dollar private Moscow-based Russian conglomerate with interests in oil, energy and telecommunication held in Russia, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa and the United States.
He is a board member of Rusnano, the Russian State Investment Fund, as well as president of the Skolkovo Foundation, named for Russia’s version of Silicon Valley.
Rusnano made a multi-million dollar investment in the Massachusetts-based Joule Unlimited, owned by Joule Global Holdings B.V. in the Netherlands and Joule Global Stichting, the ultimate controlling entity.
WND has received documentation, much of it in Russian, from a trusted international banking source showing the Russian government was transferring money to the Clinton Foundation through a regional Russian bank, Metcombank, located in the Sverdlovskava region in the Ural Mountains Federal District of Russia.
Metcombank is the bank Vekselberg is using to make transfers to the Clinton Foundation. The money goes through the Moscow branch of Metcombank via Deutsche Bank and Trust Company Americas in New York City, ending up in a private bank account in the Bank of America that is operated by the Clinton Foundation.
From Russian sources, WND has been able to document the final beneficiary of Metcombank is Vekselberg, who owns 99.978 percent of the bank via Renova Holding Ltd. and Renova Assets Ltd. Both are controlled by Vekselberg along with a chain of offshore companies from Cyprus, the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands – all of which figure prominently in the offshore banking money laundering operations documented in the Panama Papers.