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August 18, 2007


you mean that this guy Kontogiannis is involved in some crimes ???

maybe that's why he pleaded guilty to a couple of crimes

and you're telling me that this guy who pleaded guilty was associated with other people who also committed crimes ???

I'm shocked to find out that there is gambling going on at the casino

I'll be back later for my winnings

I don't see how destroying Kontogiannis' credibility does any good for the people who were his partners in crime

if this guy Kontogiannis is such a crook, why were you associated with him and how is it that Kontogiannis pleaded guilty before you told us all of this information

PS: Hi everybody, I'm still here, still mostly lurking. thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers, fp


Casablanca reference duly noted.


Actually, Michael has a point here. The government has acknowledged that Kontogiannis was involved in extensive mortgage fraud. But the plea only included one count. So there is one giant unanswered question why the government is choosing not to charge the rest of them.

Hope you're hanging in there...


When you have a minute, I'd appreciate you dropping me an email. I have a personal question to ask you. You can reach me at r a z o r o f t r u t h at g m a i l dot c o m.

On a side note, every time you-know-who posts a comment, I use that as a reminder to pray for you and your mom.

John T. Michael has been working under and at the direction of his uncle for a long time. In 1998, while under investigation for bribing School Supt Celestine Miller and the big rigging scheme to defraud the Queens School District, Kontogiannis and John T. Michael were masterminding a plan to run Miller for Congress. Miller, a lifelong Democrat, switched to GOP. Reportedly Duke Cunningham was at one of the fundraising parties for Miller.

The fundraising was, uh, not too kosher. Miller was investigated for failing to report contributions to her campaign committee.

According to the Federal Election Commission, "Friends of Celestine Miller" reported only $4,000 in campaign contributions. "However, through bank records we tracked campaign donations and expenditures totaling in excess of $150,000," the report says.
Stancik said in his report that Miller used several people who helped in the bid-rigging scheme "to further her political aspirations."
The treasurer of Miller's political committee, John T. Michael, is a nephew of Kontogiannis' wife, Stancik's report said.


The indictment does not charge these transactions were a crime but includes them to demonstrate a relationship among the defendants, authorities said. Investigators are continuing to look into the source of the other money. But, said a law enforcement source, the $150,000 "came in and went out of the campaign in a very mysterious fashion."

(source Nov 3, 2000 Newsday)

I am still baffled as to why Kontogiannis would throw his nephew "under the bus." He must know a lot. Why didn't they both plead guilty under some kind of plea bargain?

I hope he keeps filing stuff. Cause I still have a lot of unanswered questions:

How many other congresscritters did they "buy" with bogus mortgage deals?

Why ween't Kontogiannis' daughters indicted?

Is the IRS going to get back taxes from Kontogiannis and Michael?

Why did the government (local school and US customs) renew the contracts to rent Kontogiannis' building?

Why is life so unfair? I've been good. I work hard. How come Kontogiannis is worth millions and I have to clip coupons to get by?

Seems like everything is connected to everything else in this gang of crooks. So, would one have to wear a tinfoil hat if one described the current batch of Republicans as an organized crime family? If conspiracy doesn't describe it, I don't know what does.

Also, Halpern should be careful. Being an assistant US Attorney has become a risky job in recent years.

Howdy FreePatriot! Troll scarce for awhile, but like summer weeds, has been sprouting up everywhere lately. Nasty things those trolls. I am confused by your argument here. Impeaching the credibility of an adverse witness, especially the snitch the government is relying on, is always a good thing. From a defense standpoint, this is a well taken and executed motion.

EW - Note the difference from Geragos' motions to date?

Significantly, Kontogiannis received a reduced sentence based on his cooperation with the government, which had resulted in the filing of a letter on Kontogiannis’s behalf by the government pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1. The sentencing judge made clear that, but for the government’s letter, he would have sentenced Kontogiannis to jail.

OK, that's 2 letters. One for the visa fraud and another for bribing the school supt. I would love to know who sent that first letter and what it said. The second letter was sent by Cunningham to Queens DA, Richard Brown.

But a couple of weeks earlier, on October 19, the D.A.'s office had received a puzzling letter from Cunningham—whose San Diego congressional district is 2,800 miles away—claiming that Miller was being railroaded.

"There may be a political agenda waged against Superintendent Miller by a company not capable of completing the [computer] contract," Cunningham wrote. As a result of that concern, the lawmaker said he had asked Henry Hyde, then the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to open an investigation. Attached to the letter was a note from the committee's general counsel confirming that the office was "in the process of gathering information."

Duke's letter came around the same time that school investigator Ed Stancik received a "hot tip" that Kontogiannis (subject of Stancik's investigation) had recently bought a yacht from Duke Cunningham at a "very inflated price."

Eager to expand the probe, the lead investigator prepared a subpoena for the bank records of the Kontogiannis corporation that had purchased the yacht and asked his supervisor to approve it.

It didn't happen.

Sources familiar with the decision differ on who made the call. According to two former investigators, Regina Loughran, a top deputy to Stancik and the author of the report on the Miller investigation, rejected the request, allegedly saying, "Leave it alone. It's a hot potato."

But another source insisted that it was not Loughran but another unnamed higher-up who ruled out the subpoena. "The decision was to leave it to [D.A.] Brown's office, and that was it," said this source. (A Brown spokesman said the tip was not pursued.)

Wonder who sent a letter this time.
And would it be great to see a database of letters from other congressfolk, asking for leniency from the courts or threatening investigation if the prosecutions move forward.

If Kontogiannis doesn't come up with at least one governor, six congressmen and two dozen other high level officials, I'm assuming the fix is in.

Among other things, Michael's attorney wants us to know that Kontogiannis is an extremely wealthy man. Exhibit 74-2 is a partial financial statement for Olympicorp International LLC and its affiliates. According to the 9/30/04 summary, the Kontogiannis family owned net assets of $588 million, excluding assets held overseas.

What I find incredible is that, given his wealth, Kontogiannis still engaged in credit card identity theft. I think Michael's attorney was sending a message here about just how crooked Kontogiannis is and the extent of his criminality.

Funny aside: Kontogiannis's daughter, Annette Apergis, owns a tiny bank in Sanderson, Texas (pop. less than 1,000), the Sanderson State Bank. John Michael is listed as a director. No surprise that the bank's loan portfolio has doubled since Apergis came in 2002 or 2003 although it is still relatively small. For some unspecified reason, this tiny local bank now does its lending out of two offices in Houston. Hmm...

Take a look at the Sanderson State Bank's Statment of Condition. The individual assets only add up to $25 million, not the $39 million listed. Is someone at the bank sending out an SOS that something is amiss at Sanderson State Bank? Something like $14 million in assets?

Have you all lost your minds? Maybe the reason why this is coming out now is because the government has just released some of the "evidence" in the case and Michael's legal team is still scratching their heads wondering where and what it is that they have against Michael... Seems Kontogiannis may have been the smart one to substitute his daughters for Michael... Does that theory make any sense? After all his daughters owned the mortgage company, according to the filing, got the bribe money directly and then used it for their own purposes... Seems like there is more to this story... I think William is on the right track... I hope Michael keeps the presure up, it makes for great reading... What a book his story will make...

Hey Chrisc,
I think you are on the money... One correction, I thought "John Michael" was our boy here... turns out, its not him but rather ANOTHER John Michael... Maybe Kontoggiannis made another ID theft in creating that bank board of directors...

opps sory I meany Mrs. Panstreppon..... not chrisc...

Terible Timmy, I assume you are the TERRIBLE TIM who commented in a TPM MR post about Kontogiannis. Right off the bat, you were sure that John Michael did not own a piece of Sanderson State Bank. Now you know it is a different John Michael. How did you verify that information?

By sources close to the Bank... Also, The OTS keeps a track on all board members and there "other" jobs if not working within the Bank in question. In this instance, turns out that when you call Sanderson directly and ask for "John Michael"... No one knows of him as he is not on any directory. So lets assume that he does not work in the bank, and lets go the other route. The John Michael in question is actually a John MichaelS... with an "s" and he works as a "Commercial Investment Banker" in Great Neck, NY. I can only deduce that these are two different people and I plan on contacting the bank again and verifying... I will keep you posted if you like...

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It is a surprising story to me. However I coud not find appropriate comment to post for this report.

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