Grand Theory — Supp.8
Supp.8 will build on prior Supplements by digging deeper into the world of gaming.
In particular, this post will present information on casinos, gaming companies (including technology companies), and gaming industry and politics folks within Trump and his campaign’s orbit. While the information contained in this post might suggest that certain relationships exist between one or more parties referenced herein and the Trump campaign are possible, be advised that no such conclusion is intended. Other researchers and analysts will hopefully find the linked material useful to their work.
- Like all prior Supplements, editing and updates will be ongoing. Expect typos.
- The information presented should be considered raw data. Conclusions are not drawn, or intended to be drawn, in this Supplement. In fact, this Supplement does not purport to convey any truth other than the information contained herein can be found on the interwebs by anyone halfway familiar with Google.
- Be aware of confirmation bias (mine as well as yours). Any connections between data points you see are probably not real and are best explained by coincidence.
- A great man once said “[poverty] is a state of mind.” Likewise, so is any bad behavior you may infer from the facts presented herein.
PO Box 3469
- Geneva Place, Waterfront Drive, PO Box 3469, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands [Hereinafter “PO BOX 3469”]
The following companies have been identified by the Supplements as using PO BOX 3469:
- Ocean Way Capital Corporation — A/K/A HostKey
- Alfa Telecom Turkey Limited — Directly connected to Alfa Group
- DECEMBER BVH 2016 — The sibling organization (i.e., common shareholders) to Neil Young Associates — The international ransom, bribery, and kidnapping negotiation firm that is stacked with former intelligence operatives and terrorism experts)
- Faratois Holdings Limited — One of two shareholders of Arik Air Technical Services Limited [hereinafter “AATS”]. AATS is owned by Maxim Viktorov. Maxim (1) is former KGB, (2) serves on the Board of Sabir Energy (Sabir is wholly owned by Gazprom Neft), (3) was an advisor to Dmitry Medvedev’s when he was a candidate for president, and (4) has Russian FSB commendations.
- NOTE 1 — See Supp.5 and Maxim’s Wikipedia Bio for more detail on Maxim Viktorov.
- Andersen Alliance Limited — One of 8 shareholders in Crovelent Holdings LTD [hereinafter “Crovelent”]. Crovelent has its registered address in Moscow. Covelent uses Honest & Bright Company LTD as it intermediary, which happens to be one of the intermediaries preferred by the scammers Magnitsky was pursuing.
Supp.7 presents information on digital economies. In particular, the post contains information related to video games, virtual currencies, e-wallets, Yandex.Money, Renaissance Technologies [hereinafter “RenTec”], Sberbank, and U.S. economic sanctions on Russia.
I recently discovered some online casinos and other platforms that use some combination of yandex.money, bitcoin and Alfa Bank.
We know Bannon likes games. So, does his business partner, Bob Mercer.
Alfa Bank and BTC-E
One of the oldest and largest bitcoin exchanges is known as BTC-E. Its owners are a mystery and some have suggested the exchange is involved in money laundering.
BTC-E’s headquarters are located in Russia, allegedly.
BTC-E is operated by Always Efficient, LLP, a company registered in the UK. Company House records show that the individual with majority control of Always Efficient, LLP is Andrii Shvets, a Ukrainian.
NOTE 2 — A Ukrainian with the same name is the Deputy Chairman of AVANT-BANK, a Ukrainian bank (no clue if they’re related)
UPDATE (Mar7,2018): After BTC-E was shut down by the US Dept. of Justice in late July 2017 (BTC-E is suspected of laundering billions of dollars worth bitcoin), BTC-E re-emerged under the name WEX. Despite the shut-down and website seizure by the DOJ, somehow BTC-E was able to keep banking relationships with the folks over at Alfa Bank, Sberbank, Perfect Money, Yandex Money, etc. Kinda strange.
UPDATE (Mar7,2018): See Twitter thread HERE (additional info on people behind BTC-E/Always Efficient, LLP).
Trump & The Gaming Industry
It is well-known that Trump dabbled in the casino industry.
We also know that casino titans backed Trump’s Presidential campaign. Most notably, and as first reported by The Guardian, Sheldon Adelson gave Trump $25Million in September 2016. The money was given to an organization known as “Future45” for the purpose of funding attack-ads against Hillary Clinton.
What is striking about the Future45 donation is that the intended use is freely admitted: attacking Hillary Clinton. It is reminiscent of Project Alamo’s voter suppression strategy noted in Supp.1:
- NOTE 3 — Adelson also is a Mitch fan (probably a Karl Rove fan too, remember that)
ENTER THE [GHOST] DRAGON
Dragonoara Alliance LTD
- PO BOX 3469
A feathered friend gave me a tip about another user of PO BOX 3469: Dragonara Alliance, LTD.
Dragonara Alliance LTD is based in Zurich and operates as a datacenter and hosting company.
2. Financial Relationships — Banking
- NOTE 4 — Interestingly enough, a ~25% owner of the bank is a video game company from Belarus known as Wargaming Group Limited. Wargaming is known for popular games, such as World of Tanks.
3. Financial Relationships — Perfect Money
Some have alleged that Dragonara Alliance is the owner of the electronic payment service known as “Perfect Money.” The truth of that claim is unclear, but Dragonara Alliance does seem to be some kind of relationship with Perfect Money beyond hosting or DDoS protection. See also HERE.
- NOTE 5— For a quick a backgrounder on Perfect Money, see HERE.
- NOTE 6 — Back in August 2013 The Daily Dot declared Perfect Money to be the best digital currency for money laundering. LOL.
- NOTE 7 — Dragonara Casino, discussed in more detail below, takes deposits from Perfect Money likely through its relationship with NetEnt (Net Entertainment).
- NOTE 8 — Speaking of Casinos, someone using the name Dragonara sells bitcoin casino software (note also the NetEnt logo, hmmm). Online poker cheating scandal, what?
- NOTE 9— Did you know that a BTC-E account can be funded using Perfect Money?
4. DDoS & BotNets
Dragonara Alliance’s website puts a strong emphasis on emphasizes DDoS protection.
- NOTE 10— Wired has a good primer on DOS and DDoS attacks.
Strangely, Dragonara Alliance is allegedly involved in DDoS attacks themselves. Here’s an interesting IRC chatlog posted on pastebin (word-search “Dragonara”) discussing DDoS involvement. On the SimpleMachine’s forum, members have noted that flagrant spamming originates from Dragonara’s datacenter.
In 2014, there was a strange attack against several large bitcoin mining pools originating from Dragonara Alliance servers. Some Bitcointalk.org forum members suggested the DDoS attacks coming from Dragonara, given their emphasis on DDoS protection, was just a ploy to get into the bitcoin business.
Essentially, the attack was hijacking bitcoin miners and claiming hashpower and therefore mining rewards.
- NOTE 11— Bitcoin Mining & Blockchain SimplePrimer: Bitcoin miners earn bitcoins by validating bitcoin transactions (i.e., adding blocks of transactions onto the Bitcoin blockchain). Blocks are generated sequentially and are identified by number or “height.” A block is only assembled onto the chain if it meets certain requirements. For example, each valid block must contain a hash of the previous block in the chain, this hash is known as “proof of work.” Essentially, since each block added to the blockchain contains a hash of a hash, each newly validated block adds more security to the chain. In other words, “[c]hanging a block (which can only be done by making a new block containing the same predecessor) requires regenerating all successors and redoing the work they contain. This protects the block chain from tampering.” The first bitcoin block, known as the “Genesis Block” was mined on January 3, 2009 — it is at Height 0 and therefore is block number 0 even though it is the first block.
From April 2016 to October 2016 the official website for Black Lives Matter underwent many DDoS attacks. The timing is interesting for two reasons:
- (1) Black Lives Matter has been around since 2013 — what was special 3 years out?
- (2) The DDoS corresponded with peak of the 2016 United Presidential Campaign, and Cambridge Analytica and Giles-Parscale’s activities during the same (likewise, the timing roughly corresponds with the server activity referenced in Supp.3) . Was this attack, and others possibly, related to voter suppression strategy known as Project Alamo?
Researchers have attributed the attack to the Ghost Squad hacking crew.
As previously stated, the Ghost Squad hacking crew was active during the campaign season. They took down many sites, including the Bank of England and Boston Fed in May 2016.
Ghost Squad hackers targeted Hillary and aimed to assist Trump in retaliation for the imprisonment of Guccifer. See also HERE.
They were also responsible for the OPM hack. Wired has a great write-up HERE (Wired, “INSIDE THE CYBERATTACK THAT SHOCKED THE U.S. GOVERNMENT,” Oct 2016).
Ghost Squad considers members of Crakas with Attitude (CWA) to be family.
- NOTE 12 — Louise Mensch has written about CWA as The Carolina Conspiracy. I previously referenced CWA in Supp.1 (See “Additional Notes”), where I referenced a prior writing when two CWA members — one of which is specifically referenced as a “brother” by Ghost Squad’s leader s1ege — were arrested last year (the IMGUR albums do work if you follow the embedded links to the imgur site).
Dragonara Casino offers both in person and online gaming. Its Managing Director is Johann Schembri of Pinnacle Gaming Group.
In the summer of 2016, just in time for peak election season, Dragonara Casino was refurbished and re-opened with a fresh €10 Million investment and a new partnership with Scientific Games.
EveryMatrix Ltd. operates the online casino site. Its gaming partners also include Scientific Games and Net Entertainment. EveryMatrix’s payment partners include PaySafe, Neteller, Skrill, and YANDEX.
- NOTE 13— Unfortunately, Dragonara Casino’s reboot did not help with its follower count on Twitter. The same is true for Scientific Games, although they have few more followers and are more active.
Scientific Games Corp. (“SG”) is a bigly interesting organization. The company makes technology platforms for lotteries and casino operators. It has a cadre of well qualified Directors and Officers, from a former 9 year veteran and Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, and Global Controller at Adelson’s The Sands to a former FBI Special Agent. Here’s a peek at the Senior Leadership:
- NOTE 14 — [not pictured above] Frances Townsend, a former GWB WH advisor who served along with Karl Rove, serves as a Director on the SG Board. Frances Townsend served as Bush’s Homeland Security Advisor and was a federal prospector before that. In fact, she was mentored by Rudy and eventually ran the organized crime unit under his leadership at SDNY where she prosecuted mobsters. Allegedly.
- NOTE 15 — One of SG’s Presidents is a gentleman named Michael P. Conforti — President, Global Strategic Accounts. Mr. Conforti is particularly interesting since he was formerly a VP at GTECH and Director at Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.
- NOTE 16(a)— GTECH, a gaming company known for slot machines, is notable because it is controlled by De Agostini, a large holding company which owns behemoths like Assicurazioni Generali (“AG”), the third largest insurance company in the world. Here is AG’s shareholder structure (yay, Government of China and BlackRock):
- NOTE 16(b) — The New Republic reported last year that Mike Pence, while Governor of Indiana, once did a solid for GTECH after his campaign received a large amount of contributions from the Gaming Industry.The funny thing is that was against gambling until the lobbyists started opening their checkbooks.
- NOTE 17— UPDATE: @3L3V3NTH was on top of GTECH as early as May 21, 2017.
- NOTE 18(a) — BlackRock is interesting because its CEO, Larry Fink, has been an advisor to President Trump (he didn’t always agree with the Donald either). Additionally, Trump is thought to owe money to BlackRock — in addition to being a shareholder of companies which may be indebted to Bank of China and Deutsche Bank .
- NOTE 18(b) — In 2012, BlackRock invested a bunch of money into the Moscow-based Russian Direct Investment Fund.
- NOTE 18(c) — The New York Times noted back in January 2016 how BlackRock and others, including BlackStone, got burned by their investment due to US sanctions against Russia. Indeed, the RDIF was sanctioned by the US in 2014 as a result of Russia’s invasion of Crimea.
- NOTE 18(d) — You will recall from Supp.5 that RDIF is a client of CLP strategies, which represents Dmirty Rybolovlev via Brian Cattell (former chair of the Bow Group) (See picture immediately above Supp.5, NOTE 16).
Dragonara’s online casino offerings allow for a variety of deposit methods. Three such methods are pre-paid card offerings via PaySafe and e-wallet transfers through Neteller and Skrill:
Neteller and Skrill are actually subsidiaries of PaySafe. PaySafe restricted withdrawals via MasterCard prepaid services to SEPA countries only in late November 2016, prompting some gaming industry commentators to suggest that now was the time to consider bitcoin seriously. In fact, they have taken bitcoin deposits in the past.
- NOTE 19(a) — PaySafe’s CEO is Joel Leonoff. Joel’s name appears in the Panama Papers database. He has been active in the industry as a policy proponent and commentator.
- Note 19(b) — FWIW, the name “Joel Leonoff” reminds me Joe and Leo Chappel from Supp.5, the owners Tower Electric who serviced Dmirty’s palm beach property. Weird.
- NOTE 20 (a)— As CEO of Optimal Payments, Leonoff had experience working with Caesars Interactive Entertainment and bitcoin payments.
- NOTE 20(b) — Caesars Interactive Entertainment is notable because said company also runs 888 Holding’s US online casino. Said operation is based out of the state of New Jersey. See also HERE.
- NOTE 20(c) — Recently 888 Casino was re-launched. The relaunch strategy was put together by an advertising and strategy consultancy called Recipe. Believe it or not, Recipe has the same London address as Neil Young Associates: 26 Market Place, London
- NOTE 20(d) — 888 Casino’s CEO, Brian Mattingly, tried to do deal with Trump in the not too distant past. Generally, 888 Casino seems to have some kind of crush on Trump. As linked above, the 888 Blog contains a history of Trump’s casino operations. Additionally, the Blog offers an online quiz all about the Donald. Weird.
Neteller is notable for a few reasons.
- First, it allows customers to fund their e-wallets with bitcoin.
- Second, a Neteller e-wallet has a lot of functionality. For example, a Neteller e-wallet will facilitate transferring money to, or receiving money from, an Alfa Bank account (or even Perfect Money). See also Best Exchange.
Finally, Neteller’s New York City office is located at 40 Wall Street 28th Floor, New York, NY 10005 USA.
The building at said address is known as The Trump Building.
Bloomberg published an expose on The Trump Building in June 2016 titled “Inside Trump’s Most Valuable Tower: Felons, Dictators and Girl Scouts”