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Jan 13, 2020

Documents Surface Alleging a Minister Received Money from a U.S. National Involved in a Huge Fraud

Lev Dermen

A throve of documents has been obtained on a complex case in the U.S. Courts  involving an alleged scheme to illegally obtain more than five hundred million U.S. dollars in renewable fuel tax credits.  It includes court documents and press reports of the alleged bribes paid to senior U.S. officials as well as from Belize.  The documents contain explosive information against businessmen Isaiah and Jacob Kingston from Utah, along with Lev Dermen from California and originally from Armenia. The three are charged with money laundering and fraud.  The matter is ongoing before the U.S. district in Utah.  Dermen was in prison since August 2018 and was seeking pre-trial release, but the motion was denied because he was considered a risk due to his business interests and connections in Turkey.  The Kingston siblings pleaded guilty; part of the documents involves a testimony by Jacob Kingston, who provided evidence against Dermen. Kingston alleges that Dermen offered him and his family the protection of U.S. law enforcement “umbrella.”  This would have allowed Kingston to file fraudulent claims for renewable fuel tax credits with impunity.  According to Kingston, Dermen’s tentacles extended to other countries, including Belize.  Kingston outlined that a government official from Belize was “routinely paid twenty-five thousand dollars in cash each month by Dermen and that when Dermen could not make the payment himself, he would ask Kingston to make the payments on his behalf.  On at least one occasion, in or about February 2014, at Dermen’s request, Kingston arranged for cash payment to the Belizean official through an associate.”  Kingston says that in or about June 2013, he electronically sent funds to a different Belizean government official at Dermen’s request.  Later in the document, it is established that Kingston’s testimony was to be corroborated with contemporaneous text messages including one with the Belizean minister.  Now, the name of the minister is not being released at this time. But the allegations of the connections are explained as follows. Dermen apparently was seeking a diplomatic appointment in Las Vegas, U.S., which was being pushed by a government minister with whom Dermen had frolicked in the U.S.  That, however, did not materialize because the U.S. turned it down. We’ll keep following this story.

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