Swiss banker’s sentence slashed in alleged $1B Venezuelan money laundering scheme

first_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga of the Southern District of Florida reduced his sentence to three-and-a-half years in September, due to Krull’s cooperation with the federal government, according to an order that was unsealed on Tuesday. Krull is expected to begin his sentence in July.The Miami Herald first reported the sentencing reduction.Krull’s attorney Oscar Rodriguez did not immediately return a request for comment.Federal prosecutors said that Krull cooperated immediately, which helped them go forward with other investigations. That included the guilty plea of two other defendants in the money laundering case, according to court filings.Krull was allegedly a conduit to move $600 million in siphoned funds to a European financial institution, where the money would ultimately be used by Venezuelan TV mogul, Raúl Gorrín, as well as PDVSA officials, and three stepsons of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, according to the Miami Herald, citing federal law enforcement officials familiar with the case.The scheme started in 2014, and Krull joined in about 2016 when a co-conspirator contacted him to launder the proceeds of a PDVSA money, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Eventually the money laundering operation, which exploited Venezuela’s fixed exchange rate for government officials, grew from $600 million to $1.2 billionOne of Krull’s clients was Francisco Convit Guruceaga, a main orchestrator of the scheme, according to federal prosecutors.Separately, a former national treasurer of Venezuela, Alejandro Andrade, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018 for receiving over $1 billion worth of bribes from his co-conspirator, Venezuelan TV mogul Gorrín, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. As part of Andrade’s guilty plea, he agreed to forfeit his assets, which included 17 champion show horses and five real estate properties in Palm Beach County.Contact Keith Larsen Email Address* Full Name* Matthias Krull (Linkedin, iStock, US District Court – Sourthern District of Florida/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)A Swiss banker’s sentence was cut for his role in an alleged $1 billion international money laundering scheme that illegally funneled money into South Florida real estate.Matthias Krull was a key figure in a sophisticated scheme in which Venezuelan officials and wealthy elite siphoned money out of the country’s state oil company, PDVSA, and into assets in Europe and the United States, according to federal prosecutors. Some of the money allegedly went to buy luxury properties in Wellington, Coral Gables’ Cocoplum neighborhood and in Sunny Isles Beach, including at the condominium Porsche Design Tower.Krull, a wealth manager with the Swiss bank Julius Baer Group, was initially sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in prison for his role in the money laundering operation.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreSee no evil how a culture of secrecy boosts south floridas condo marketVenezualan oil exec pleads guilty in $1b money laundering schemeHEADLINE Share via Shortlink coral gablescrimeMoney LaunderingReal Estate Lawsuitssunny isles beachwellington Tagslast_img read more

SL Green sees “explosive recovery” for NYC as tenants plan office return

first_imgSL Green CEO Marc Holliday (Getty)With some signs pointing to a large-scale return to offices as soon as the third quarter of this year, New York City’s biggest office landlord is optimistic about the road to recovery.On SL Green’s first quarter earnings call on Thursday afternoon, CEO Marc Holliday pointed to a confluence of factors that all bode well for the city’s economic outlook, such as low interest rates, a massive federal stimulus, a surging financial sector, upward-swinging hiring trends and a gradual lifting of Covid-era restrictions.“That’s a recipe for what could be a truly explosive recovery for New York City, and SL Green is well-positioned to meet the growing tenant demand and develop the future of New York City,” Holliday said.In one sign of rebounding demand for office space, the real estate investment trust signed 178,000 square feet in office leases in the first three weeks of April, on top of the 353,000 square feet signed in the past quarter, up from 316,154 square feet in the first quarter of 2020.ADVERTISEMENTAt the recently opened One Vanderbilt, Holliday said the firm is now on track to reach 90 percent occupancy by year end, exceeding its previously stated goal of 85 percent. The 58-story office tower was 70 percent occupied at the end of last year.Overall, SL Green reported funds from operations of $128.3 million or $1.73 per share in the last quarter, down 17 percent from $2.08 per share in the first quarter of 2020. Office rent collection held steady at 98 percent, while retail rent collection ticked up slightly to 85 percent.Read moreMoinian deal with SL Green values Sky apartments at $850M Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo leading massive refi of One Vanderbilt SL Green sees improved “market vibe,” office return in “a blink of an eye” Commercial Real EstateManhattan Office MarketSL Green Realty Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Tags Share via Shortlink Message* While office rents in Manhattan as a whole have taken a beating during the pandemic, SL Green noted that rents at higher-quality properties, such as theirs, have held strong.“Owners that haven’t invested in their buildings and haven’t been forward thinking, they’re the ones that are going to suffer,” executive vice president and director of leasing Steven Durels said.Beyond face rent, meanwhile, rent concessions have gone up across the board.“They’re brutal right now. They’re at a historic high, as far as the amount of concessions go,” Durels said, adding that concessions had stabilized in the past 90 days. “I think we’ve seen the worst of the rent erosion, and at this point we’re bumping along the bottom and waiting for it to turn back up.”The average term of leases signed in the first quarter was 5.8 years, with 6.9 months of free rent and a tenant improvement allowance of $61.90 per square foot.The company has continued to dispose of non-core properties, with a target of $1 billion in dispositions for the year. SL Green announced two such deals yesterday, selling 400 East 57th Street to A&E Real Estate at a gross valuation of $133.5 million as well as its 20-percent stake in 605 West 42nd Street to the Moinian Group for about $53 million.The firm is also lining up a big refinancing for One Vanderbilt, although “the final structure and proceeds of the loan are not set,” SL Green president Andrew Mathias said. The deal is expected to be finalized in the next 45 days.SL Green executives also fielded questions about the political environment, taxes and the crowded mayoral race. Holliday argued that “homelessness and vagrancy and quality of life issues” should be the number one issue for an incoming mayor, and that the police have a key role to play.“I think the NYPD is still considered the best security force in the country, for any municipality, and I think that they’ve gone through a lot of changes, and reformation, and we have to get back to a point where there’s a balance between keeping everyone safe and secure, and also making sure that people aren’t unduly infringed on the other side,” he said. “Hopefully the next mayor will have a solution for working with the police force to make that happen.”Contact Kevin Sun Email Address*last_img read more

Epibiotic communities on sublittoral macroinvertebrates at Signy Island, Antarctica

first_imgThe epibiotic communities on locally abundant macroinvertebrates, in particular the brachiopod Liothyrella uva and the limpet Nacella concinna, were examined from depths between 0 and 50 m at Signy Island, Antarctica. The percentage cover by epibionts on Liothyrella increased from 50% on the largest, and decreased slightly with depth. The percentage cover of Nacella by epibionts increased with size of individual over an approximately similar range of values, but in contrast with Liothyrella increased greatly with depth. Cheilostome bryozoans and annelids of the genus Spirorbis formed >90% (by area) of the colonists on Liothyrella and 30–60% on Nacella, the coralline alga Lithothamnion and sponges making up the remainder. The bryozoans, which generally dominated the epibiotic communities, comprised complex associations of species which could be described as either generalists, host-specific epibiotic, low specificity epibiotic or locally abundant background species. Positive associations of both occurrence and abundance were found between some of the bryozoans living epibiotically on the brachiopod Liothyrella. The overgrowth interactions recorded, between the three main epibiotic faunal taxa; sponges, bryozoans and annelids, were essentially hierarchical. Sponges usually overgrew Bryozoa, and Bryozoa overgrew Spirorbis as well as occasion-ally smothering small brachiopods. In four adult Liothyrella death may have been caused by the epibiotic bryozoan Arachnopusia inchoata growing over the gape, so preventing feeding and/or respiration.last_img read more

A Permo-Carboniferous U-Pb age for part of the Guanta Unit of the Elqui-Limari Betholith at Rio del Transito, northern Chile

first_imgA U-Pb zircon age 0f 285.7+/-1.5 Ma is presented for granodiorite from the Chanchoquin pluton of the Guanta Unit, Elqui Superunit of the Elqui-Limari Batholith. This is the first U-Pb zircon age reported from this batholith and is interpreted as dating emplacement of part of its oldest unit, very close to the time of the Carboniferous-Permian boundary. The age is similar to published Rb-Sr ages for the Palaeozoic batholiths of the Coast Range in Central Chile, in the Algarrobo and Nahuelbuta areas, indicating a widespread episode of plutonic activity along the Gondwana margin of Northern and Central Chile. If the new age were applicable to the whole of the Guanta unit, the other units of the Elqui Superunit (Cochiguas and El Volcan units) would have been emplaced during Permian or later times. A new Rb-Sr whole-rock isochron of 256+/-10 Ma for the Cochiguas Unit in Rio Los Molles, at the southern end of the batholith, is in agreement with this, although previous evidence for the Cochiguas Unit in its type section indicated a Carboniferous age. This suggests either that the Rb-Sr system in Los Molles has been reset, or that the mapped units of the batholith, although lithologically similar in different areas, are not contemporaneous. Further U-Pb dating is needed to resolve these questions. RESUMEN. Edad U-Pb permo-carbonifera para parte de la Unidad Guanta del Batolito Elqui-Limari en Rio del Transito, norte de Chile. Se presenta una nueva edad (U-Pb en circon de 285,7+/-1,5 Ma) para una granodiorita del pluton Chanchoquin de la Unidad Guanta (Superunidad Elqui del Batolito Elqui-Limari). Representa la primera determinacion de U-Pb en circon del batolito, y se interpreta como la edad de cristalizacion de parte de la unidad mas antigua, muy proxima al limite Carbonifero-Permico. Es, ademas, muy similar a las edades obtenidas en los batolitos paleozoicos de la Cordillera de la Costa de Chile, en las localidades de Algarrobo y Nahuelbuta, verificando, por lo tanto, una intensa actividad magmatica a lo largo del margen gondwanico del norte y centro de Chile. Si la nueva edad pudiera interpretarse como de toda la Unidad Guanta, las restantes unidades de la Superunidad Elqui (unidades Cochiguas y El Volcan) deberian haberse emplazado durante el Permico o mas recientemente. Una nueva isocrona Rb-Sr en roca total de 256+/-10 Ma para la Unidad Cochiguas en Rio Los Molles, en el extremo austral del batolito, esta de acuerdo con esto, aunque evidencias previas de la Unidad Cochiguas en su seccion tipo indican una edad carbonifera. Se sugiere que los sistemas Rb-Sr en el area de Rio Los Molles, se han ajustado o que distintas unidades mapeadas del batolito, aunque coherentes litologicamente, no son contemporaneas. Se requieren dataciones U-Pb adicionales para resolver estas interrogantes.last_img read more

Validation of the surface energy balance over the Antarctic ice sheets in the U.K. Meteorological Office Unified Climate Model

first_imgSurface radiation measurements and other climatological data were used to validate the representation of the surface energy balance over the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the U.K. Meteorological Office Unified Climate Model. Model calculations of incident and reflected shortwave radiation are in good agreement with observations, but the downward component of longwave radiation at the surface appears to be underestimated by up to 20 W m−2 in the model. Over much of the interior of Antarctica this error appears to be compensated for by an overestimate in turbulent transport of heat to the surface, while over the steep coastal slopes the heat flux is in good agreement with observations but the surface temperature is too low. The excessive heat flux over the interior results largely from the use of an inappropriately large bulk transfer coefficient under very stable conditions, suggesting that the surface heat flux scheme in the model is not ideally formulated for the conditions that prevail in the Antarctic boundary layer.last_img read more

Evidence for the importance of `small’ faults on block rotation

first_imgField and earthquake data are presented which show that small faults can be important during block rotation. `Small’ here means those faults which are at least an order of magnitude smaller than the largest faults at a particular scale of observation. The NW–SE-trending dextral faults of SW England have millimetres to kilometres of displacement. The largest of these faults, such as the Sticklepath–Lustleigh fault, do not appear to cause more than a few degrees of rotation from the general E–W strike of beds. Tens of degrees of rotation are often visible, however, on faults with millimetres of displacement. Similarly, the apparent rotation of beds in the Badajoz–Cordoba Shear Zone, Spain, increases as the resolution of the faults is increased. The power-law scaling relationship of earthquake magnitudes in the San Andreas fault zone illustrates that small faults can also be important in regions of active block rotation. `Small’ faults can allow deformation within rotating blocks and can allow high displacement gradients to occur on the block-bounding faults. This would reduce the need for void creation, which is a requirement of rigid block rotation models. A tentative model is presented which incorporates the concept that fault behaviour is fractal, emphasising the contribution of small faults. It is suggested that future studies of block rotation should rigorously test the contribution of `small’ faults, and that particular care is needed when comparing palaeomagnetic data with regional-scale structures.last_img

Modelling gene networks at different organisational levels

first_imgApproaches to modelling gene regulation networks can be categorized, according to increasing detail, as network parts lists, network topology models, network control logic models, or dynamic models. We discuss the current state of the art for each of these approaches. There is a gap between the parts list and topology models on one hand, and control logic and dynamic models on the other hand. The first two classes of models have reached a genome-wide scale, while for the other model classes high throughput technologies are yet to make a major impact.last_img

Mechanisms of Holocene palaeoenvironmental change in the Antarctic Peninsula region

first_imgThe Antarctic Peninsula is one of the three fastest warming regions on Earth. Here we review Holocene proxy records of marine and terrestrial palaeoclimate in the region, and discuss possible forcing mechanisms underlying past change, with a specific focus on past warm periods. Our aim is to critically evaluate the mechanisms by which palaeoclimate changes might have occurred, in order to provide a longer-term context for assessing the drivers of recent warming. Two warm events are well recorded in the Holocene palaeoclimate record, namely the early Holocene warm period, and the `Mid Holocene Hypsithermal’ (MHH), whereas there are fewer proxy data for the `Mediaeval Warm Period’ (MWP) and the `Recent Rapid Regional’ (RRR) warming. We show that the early Holocene warm period and MHH might be explained by relatively abrupt shifts in position of the Southern Westerlies, superimposed on slower solar insolation changes. A key finding of our synthesis is that the marine and terrestrial records in the AP appear to show markedly different behaviour during the MHH. This might be partly explained by contrasts in the seasonal insolation forcing between these records. Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) has been implicated in several of the prominent changes through the Holocene but there are still differences in interpretation of the proxy record that make its influence difficult to assess. Further work is required to investigate contrasts between marine and terrestrial proxy records, east—west contrasts in palaeoclimate, the history of CDW, to retrieve a long onshore high resolution record of the Holocene, and determine the role of sea ice in driving or modulating palaeoclimate change, along with further efforts to study the proxy record of the RRR and the MWP.last_img

Estimating a sub-mesoscale diffusivity using a roughness measure applied to a tracer release experiment in the Southern Ocean

first_imgWe test the use of a measure to diagnose a sub-mesoscale isopycnal diffusivity by determining the best match between observations of a tracer and simulations with varying small-scale diffusivities. Specifically, the robustness of a ‘roughness’ measure to discriminate between tracer fields experiencing different sub-mesoscale isopycnal diffusivities and advected by scaled altimetric velocity fields is investigated. We use the measure to compare numerical simulations of the tracer released at a depth of about 1.5 km in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean during the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean (DIMES) field campaign with observations of the tracer taken on DIMES cruises. We find that simulations with an isopycnal diffusivity of ~20 m2s−1 best match observations in the Pacific sector of the ACC, rising to ~20-50 m2s−1 through Drake Passage, representing sub-mesoscale processes and any mesoscale processes unresolved by the advecting altimetry fields. The roughness measure is demonstrated to be a statistically robust way to estimate a small-scale diffusivity when measurements are relatively sparse in space and time, although it does not work if there are too few measurements overall. The planning of tracer measurements during a cruise in order to maximise the robustness of the roughness measure is also considered. It is found that the robustness is increased if the spatial resolution of tracer measurements is increased with the time since tracer release.last_img read more

The whole-atmosphere response to changes in the Earth’s magnetic field from 1900 to 2000: an example of “top-down” vertical coupling

first_imgWe study the effects of changes in the Earth’s magnetic field between 1900 and 2000 on the whole atmosphere (0–500 km altitude), based on simulations with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model eXtension. Magnetic field changes directly affect the temperature and wind in the upper atmosphere (> ~110 km) via Joule heating and the ion drag force. However, we also find significant responses in zonal mean temperature and zonal wind in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) middle- to high-latitude troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere of up to ±2 K and ±2 m/s, as well as regionally significant changes in Northern Hemisphere (NH) polar surface temperatures of up to ±1.3 K, in December-January-February. In the SH, changes in gravity wave filtering in the thermosphere induce a change in the residual circulation that extends down into the upper mesosphere, where further changes in the mean wind climatology are generated, together with changes in local planetary wave generation and/or amplification and gravity wave filtering. This induces further changes to a residual circulation cell extending down into the troposphere. However, inaccuracies in the simulated SH upper mesospheric wind climatology probably mean that the simulated temperature and wind responses in the SH lower and middle atmosphere are also inaccurate. The NH middle atmosphere response is zonally asymmetric, consisting of a significant change in the positioning and shape of the upper stratospheric polar vortex, which is dynamically consistent with the surface temperature response. However, the downward coupling mechanism in the NH is generally less clearlast_img read more