Sunday, 31 August 2008

Michele Sindona

Michele "The Shark" Sindona - Banker; Money Launderer; Financial Whiz; Member of P2

Licio Gelli - Roberto Calvi
Michele Sindona - Paul Marcinkus

Michele Sindona (May 8, 1920 - March 22, 1986) was an Italian banker and convicted felon. Known in banking circles as "The Shark", Sindona was a member of Propaganda Due (#0501)[1], an Italian lodge of Masons, and had clear connections to the Mafia. He was poisoned in prison while serving a life sentence for the murder of lawyer Giorgio Ambrosoli.


Early years

Born at Patti, Sicily, of poor parents, Michele Sindona was educated by the Jesuits, showing very early in his life an unusual aptitude for mathematics and economics. He graduated with a law degree from Messina University in 1942 then after he moved from Sicily to the north where he worked as a tax lawyer and an accountant for companies such as Società Generale Immobiliare and Snia Viscosa, but immediately turned away from Law and began working in smuggling operations with the Mafia. He soon moved to Milan and his skill and dexterity in transferring money to avoid taxation soon became known to the Mafia bosses. By 1957 he had become closely associated with the Gambino family and was chosen to manage their profits from heroin sales.

Becoming an international banker

Within a year of the Gambino family choosing him to manage their heroin profits, Sindona had bought his first bank. He also became associated with Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini and became firm friends because the future Pope found his financial skill indispensable. By the time Montini became Pope, Sindona had acquired, through his holding company Fasco, many more Italian banks and his progress continued right up to the beginning of his association with the Vatican Bank in 1968. Huge amounts of money moved from Sindona's banks through the Vatican to Swiss banks, and began speculating against major currencies on a large scale.

In 1972, Sindona purchased a controlling interest in Long Island's Franklin National Bank. He was hailed as "the saviour of the lira" and was named "Man of the Year" in January 1974 by American Ambassador to Italy, John Volpe.

Il crack Sindona

In April 1974 a sudden stock market crash led to what is known as Il Crack Sindona. The Franklin Bank's profit fell by as much as 98% compared to the previous year, and Sindona suffered a 40 million dollar loss, with the result that Sindona began losing most of the banks he had acquired over the previous seventeen years. On October 8, 1974, the bank was declared insolvent due to mismanagement and fraud, involving losses in foreign currency speculation and poor loan policies.[2]

According to the Mafia turncoat (pentito) Francesco Marino Mannoia, Sindona laundered the proceeds of heroin trafficking for the Bontade-Spatola-Inzerillo-Gambino network. The mafiosi were determined to get their money back and would play an important role in Sindona's attempt to save his banks.

Arrest, trial and death

On July 11, 1979, Giorgio Ambrosoli, the lawyer commissioned liquidator of Sindona's banks, was murdered in Milan. Milanese Councilman Antonio Amati turned the case over to a young judge, Giuliano Turone. It was discovered that Michele Sindona ordered Ambrosoli's murder (which was carried out by an American assassin). At the same time the Mafia killed police superintendent Boris Giuliano in Palermo who was investigating the Mafia’s heroin trafficking and had contacted Ambrosoli just two weeks before to compare investigations.

While under indictment in the US, Sindona staged a bogus kidnapping in August 1979 to conceal a mysterious 11-week trip to Sicily before his scheduled fraud trial. The brother-in-law of Mafia boss Stefano Bontade, Giacomo Vitale, was one of the persons who organised Sindona’s travel. The real purpose of the kidnapping was to issue sparsely disguised blackmail notes to Sindona’s past political allies – among them Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti – to engineer the rescue of his banks and recuperate Cosa Nostra’s money.

He threatened Enrico Cuccia, president of the Mediobanca who was opposed to the reorganization/rescue plan. In Palermo, Sindona went to the house of Joseph Miceli Crimi, an American-Italian doctor and freemason. Dr. Crimi later admitted to the judges that he went to Arezzo to talk with Licio Gelli about Sindona's situation. Licio Gelli then started to interest two judges, Giuliano Turone and Gherardo Colombo.

The people around Sindona, trying to save him, all led to Licio Gelli, headmaster of P2: Rodolfo Guzzi, Sindona's lawyer; Pier Sandro Magnoni, his brother-in-law; Philip Guarino and Paul Rao, two Freemasons who met Gelli a couple of hours after being received by Giulio Andreotti. Hereafter, the Milan judges ordered a search of all of Gelli's addresses.

The plot failed and after his "release" from the kidnappers Sindona surrendered to the FBI. Convicted in 1980 in the United States on 65 counts including fraud, perjury, false bank statements and misappropriation of bank funds. While serving in US Federal Prison the Italian government applied for extradition of Sindona back to Italy to stand trial for murder. "The Shark" was sentenced to 25 years in Italian prison on March 27, 1984. On March 18, 1986, he was poisoned with cyanide in his coffee, in his cell in a prison of Voghera while serving a life sentence for the murder of Giorgio Ambrosoli.[3]
Michele “The Shark” Sindona, who you’d think had stepped out of a Puzo novel or Scorsese flick. Mr. Mafia Personified was yet another friend of Gelli and Calvi. Aside from all three being in Knights of Malta, they were all involved in P2. A lot of researchers don’t think it’s a coincidence that there was a cross-over at the top levels of both organizations, though disagree if it is cooperation or infiltration.
In light of the July 1996 issue of this newsletter ("The Smiling Pope"), it is noteworthy that Ms. Honegger goes into the Propaganda Due, or P-2, connection. You'll recall that P-2 is a secret, illegal Masonic lodge founded in Italy by Licio Gelli in 1966. Honegger points to Alexander Haig, later to become the Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, as having been made an "honorary" (non-Italian) member of P-2 prior to 1980. Honegger further states that Licio Gelli, finance wizard Michele Sindona, Alexander Haig, and CIA Director William Casey "were also reportedly members of the Vatican's military order, the Knights of Malta, whose initiates must take an oath of allegiance to the Pope." Furthermore, P-2 is linked to the Mafia, which also seems to have played a part in the October Surprise plot; writes Honegger: "A number of press reports, taken together, suggest that there may have been a P-2 and Gambino Mafia connection to the release of the fifty-two American hostages from the U.S. embassy in Tehran."
SMOM by mention:
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Italy 1955-1986 Greece 1967 Switzerland 1972-1974

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1 comment:

Joseph Cade said...

If the mob money went into the Vatican bank no matter what the reason no matter what happen to it the money left in the vatican bank would be the mobs with interest that just the way the mob works. This would mean nothing has changed even up to today. I find it very interesting that it is said it started around 1968 the time of vatican 2 (1962 to 1968) pope paul the 6. The catholic church is shot to hell. There is nothing left to it. Its evil.