Just a few days after we reported that leaked documents as part of a criminal investigation against Hakkasan’s former Chairman showed a connection between Hakkasan and potentially billions of dollars of illegal money laundering, more leaked documents were mailed to Sarawak Report, showing exactly how the funds were transferred, from what companies and where they ended: Hakkasan Group.
According to the documents, Attorneys at Greenberg Traurig assisted in a transfer of money, when funds were taken from a company already named in the criminal investigation for money laundering then transferred into the GT Law Bank Account, then transferred to Hakkasan as part of the purchase of the company’s stock. Specifically, one document showed that Vasco Investment Services SA, on Oct 2, 2012, transferred US$10 million (RM40 million) to Tasameem Real Estate LLC, which is the owner of Hakkasan. Vasco Investment Services SA, owned by United Arab Emirate’s tycoon Khadem al-Qubaisi, was named in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) court filings as a beneficiary of 1MDB funds allegedly misappropriated during the Aabar BVI (Genting/Tanjong) phase.
Included in the documents, show how funds were transferred to their attorneys, then used to purchase everything from Boats, luxury apartments and of course, Hakkasan. As the commentary points out:
The involvement of Sullivan in his capacity as a representative of Hakkasan in the purchase of his IPIC boss’s New York flat with money acquired from 1MDB is symptomatic of the close knit web of operations between KAQ related companies, which were all run by the same handful of key operators.
These were in particular Sullivan himself; Hakkasan’s CEO, Neil Moffitt, and Marc Ambroisien, then CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Bank in Luxembourg (BPERE), the manager who had originally agreed to accept the suspicious payments from 1MDB.
I spoke to a few forensic accountants, and my friends at the Department of Justice, US Attorney’s Office, and they all told me the same things: These documents are damning at least, showing that not only were funds transferred to Hakkasan, but that they show an intent to launder and hide the funds from both US Government and other governments as part of a massive conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.
Highly recommend you full read the report and documents, and you can see clearly that the people involved were purposely trying to break the law and hide it – that this is nothing more than the worst type of money laundering.
I want to make clear here: we are not alledging that Hakkasan’s Neil Moffitt was personally involved in any money laundering, or he himself knew where the funds came from. There is zero correspondence at this part that connects him personally, and we have no evidence that Hakkasan itself or employees were involved with this. However, this matters little if the DOJ seizes Hakkasan which looks more and more likely unless their attorneys make a great deal. It is my opinion the company should be sold, with the money being used to repay the investment funds — and that Neil Moffitt, who is clearly the creative genius, should stay at the helm of the company and run it as long as there is no proof that he knew about the money laundering