Shower Posse: What About Wall Street Accomplices to the Jamaican Drug Trade?
Columnist says FBI ignored information about involvement in drug business by Wall Street players
By Edward Manfredonia | Black Star News | August 16, 2010
When we talk about the Jamaican drug gangs we can’t act as if U.S. players are not involved in facilitating their drug trade. In the past, I personally forwarded information for the FBI, with no success, to investigate.
Brief background: In past columns, such as “Ex-Wall Street Trader’s Shadow Raises Questions In Canada,” which was published in The Black Star News on November 27, 2007, I detailed the money laundering activities of Robert VanCaneghan, a former member of the Board of the American Stock Exchange. In “Why Ravitch Should Resign Before Paterson,” which was published on March 3, 2010, I detailed the sexual assaults on African-American women on Wall Street by Richard Monderine, an Amex supervisor, and similar attacks perpetrated by VanCaneghan. In other articles I have discussed involvement in drug smuggling and money laundering by Louis Miceli, a member of the Amex Board. Arthur Levitt Throughout each of these articles loomed the constant presence of [Carlyle Group Advisor] Arthur Levitt, former Chairman of the Amex and at that time Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Because investigations were not pursued, or were actually blocked during his reign, drug dealers, money launderers, and rapists at the American Stock Exchange were protected. Levitt wanted no scandal to touch the American Stock Exchange and willingly covered up every crime imaginable at the Amex. Since the chair of the SEC was set the tone, likewise, the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not pursue an Amex member who laundered money for violent Jamaican Drug Lords. At the time Levitt did not pursue major brokerage firms, such as [Goldman Sachs subsidiary] Spear Leeds and Kellogg, which was involved in laundering money from drug dealers. Spear Leeds also routinely assisted individuals in committing tax fraud by hiding their income. I obtained the information about these illegal activities from Joseph Roffler, a former managing director of Spear Leeds and Kellogg. The Caribbean nation of Jamaica has been in the news as a result of violent upheavals involving drug gangs battling the Jamaican Police and Army. Over 70 Jamaicans have been killed. The ostensible cause of this battle was the impending extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, whom the United States charged with smuggling cocaine and marijuana into New York and other cities along the Eastern Seaboard. The drug gang which he led is known as the Shower Posse–reputedly rivals were showered with bullets. When I was still on Wall Street there was a member of the American Stock Exchange who admitted to and boasted about laundering drug money for Jamaican drug gangs; possibly The Shower Posse. One of these gangs owned motorcycle rental shops and owned a financial services firm that invested in stocks. The Shower Posse has been linked to the murders of 1,400 African-Americans in the United States. As I have stated in previous columns, I was once wired by the FBI in 1993 to assist in an investigation of the involvement of the Italian Mafia stock fraud in a company known as PNF, which was introduced at the American Stock Exchange by Miceli and VanCaneghan. These were two members of the Board of the Amex who were laundering drug money from the Cayman Islands via their Amex specialist firm Miceli-VanCaneghan. Miceli was also smuggling cocaine from the Bahamas aboard his private boat, The Jaded Lady. This money laundering was done via a subsidiary of Spear Leeds and Kellogg. One day, June 3, 1994 precisely, Gene Weissman, an Amex member, and I were walking along West Broadway in Manhattan when we encountered Ken Silverman, an Amex member, whom we knew had encountered financial problems as a trader. Silverman cleared his trades through Spear Leeds and Kellogg. Silverman informed us that he was laundering money for Jamaican drug dealers who were smuggling marijuana into the United States. He had also met with Al Avasso, a front man for the Italian Mafia and had sought to invest in some of Avasso’s pump and dump stock frauds. Silverman said that his Jamaican drug dealing friends had wanted him to invest the proceeds of their illicit activities into the United States. Silverman even boasted about his house in Negril, in Jamaica, which was situated on the water. He said he also dealt in motorcycles and motorcycle parts for his business partners in Jamaica. He said he also owned a motorcycle rental business in Negril. On June 6, 1994 I wrote to an FBI special agent whom I had already worked with, Joseph Yastremski, and provided the information I had obtained from Silverman. Several months later I was stunned when Silverman informed me that he had been given a copy of the letter I had sent to Yastremski by Joel Lovett, Vice Chairman of the American Stock Exchange. The question of how Lovett obtained a copy of what was supposed to be a confidential letter to the FBI is the topic of a future column. On August 9, 1995 I wrote a letter, certified mail Z 184 431 950, to another FBI Special Agent, Michael Degnan which in part read: “On Monday, August 6, I met a former AMEX member who currently resides in Jamaica. This individual informed me that it is his belief that Silverman is involved in laundering money.” As far as I could tell there was no action or investigation. Other sources provided information to me about Silverman. So on 7 April 1997 I wrote to the Legal Division of the FBI via certified letter, Z 424 567 292 informing them that I had previously supplied information to special agents, with no results. On 28 April 1997 I once again wrote to the FBI Legal Division via certified mail, P 399 558 454 with additional information. In a letter to Representative John Dingell, then Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, dated October 17, 1997, certified mail Z 370 911 908, I wrote about my futile attempts to get the FBI to investigate the involvement of Wall Street players in the drug business and money laundering. “Such is the stupidity of the FBI,” I wrote, “permitting fronts for laundered money access to the United States because the Department of Justice wishes to protect the reputations of the American Stock Exchange..” I also wrote that the Justice Department wanted to protect Levitt’s reputation. On October 26, 1997 I also wrote a letter, certified mail Z 037 468 718 to Senator William Roth about the lack of an investigation by the FBI into the crimes on Wall Street. I never received a response to any letters. To my knowledge the FBI never investigated Silverman. Fourteen hundred African-Americans murdered. Jamaicans murdered. We talk about Dudus and 70 Jamaicans died as authorities fought to apprehend him and send him here to trial. Yet our own investigative authorities ignore those right here in the United States who help facilitate the crimes of the Jamaican drug lords. Does anyone really believe that there would not have been an investigation and that American accomplices –and the Jamaican gang members– would have been busted had the 1,400 dead been White victims? Manfredonia was a former Wall Street trader who was later blacklisted when he became a whistleblower. http://blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/6751/2010-08-16.html