Sherman H. Skolnick
by Sherman H. Skolnick 6/6/03
Murder Before Christmas
Wallace Lieberman was a man of the real world. He knew things up close and first hand. Later, you will find out why he was important.
Lieberman knew that Paul Marcinkus had been the Bishop of the Catholic Church in Cicero. And that Cicero was the mafia enclave adjacent to Chicago. Locally, the suburb was known as Al Capone Land. Marcinkus had long been the dominant force behind the Fi rst National Bank of Cicero, an "untouchable" enterprise and sinister. Marcinkus went on to become the head of the Vatican Bank.
Although later far from Cicero, Marcinkus continued his role with the bank in Cicero.
In Chicago, the Catholic Archbishop is an entity known as corporation sole (a one man corporation?). The Catholic Church in Chicago has the most units of any in the U.S. And the Archbishop of Chicago is particularly powerful. He is also the Treasurer fo r the Church for the whole Western Hemisphere. Traditionally, the Archbishop steered the funds through the Continental Bank of Chicago and the one in Cicero.
The actual full name was Continental Illinois National Bank, and its parent, its holding firm, was Continental Illinois. Continental was the principal transaction point for the Chicago Board of Trade, which deals with soybeans, corn, wheat, and other co mmodities, among others. The Exchange traditionally was run by the French Rothschilds. And especially talented, particularly young Irish Catholics, with steel nerves, trade in the pits of the CBOT. These were Irish Catholics often from important, promi nent families, just a layer or two below the Aristocracy to which they were obligated and beholden.
On the other hand, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is dominated by those with Jewish names, who may not all be actually practicing the religion. And they are often steel-nerved types from prominent families, a layer or two below the Aristocracy to whom they are beholden and obligated.
The office of Archbshop of Chicago, as Lieberman well knew, often had a checkered past. Early in the 1980s, the Catholic Archbishop was indicted on federal criminal charges for embezzling large sums from the Church for upkeep of his mistress. A local well-known reporter that knew how the charges were quietly suppressed, was found murdered. He had earlier told us all about the grand jury. Concidentally, through a series of odd circumstances, we interviewed a member of that grand jury who likewise con firmed the charges were hushed up. And a retired federal law enforcement official also confirmed the same.
The Continental Bank was much implicated in the embezzlement. The Continental somehow falsely led the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza, to believe that the holding firm, Continental Illinois was a "bank of deposit". Were it to be true, which it was not, it wo uld in part be covered by Federal Deposit Insurance. A bank holding firm can transact in non-bank matters.
The Yakuza had put over twenty Billion Dollars of flight capital in the holding firm. When they found out the truth, they made a run on the bank. We were the first to realize the bank and its holding firm were insolvent. Those in the monopoly press tha t heard our public comments said that Continental was okay, and that we were "liars".
One early morning, at 3 a.m. we were as witnesses stationed near the rear entrance of Continental. Cabs were arriving, one after the other, and asian types were rushing into the rear entrance. They came out later with suitcases stuffed with cash. They d id not wish to wait for the funds to be wired to Osaka, where a unit of Continental was operating and Osaka being the home base of the Yakuza. Cabdrivers later confirmed to us the details of the suitcases. A populist newspaper, in Washington, D.C., was the only publication to run our exclusive stories with the accurate assement of the amount of the run on the bank holding firm.
Continental had a troubled past. A major fixture and long-time Board Chairman of Continental was Walter Cummings, Sr. In 1931, with the bank failing, he made a deal with a federal agency, giving them stock in the bank in return for a financial transfusi on. The government never forgot about this.
For example, in 1943, Walter Cummings, Sr., quietly and secretly arranged for the shipment to the Soviets of a particular type of uranium they needed to finish the development of their atomic bomb. [We have a document proving this.] Hey, this being so, why did the U.S. government kill in the electric chair Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, some ten years after 1943, claiming THEY gave atomic secrets to the Soviets?
In the 1970s, when the American CIA and others wanted to conceal certain secret transactions in the Continental, the U.S. government apparently reminded Continental how they were saved in 1931. Continental tried real hard to hush up the matter by attemp ting to keep it out of the Chicago federal court record which we obtained.
In 1984, six weeks before the collapse became public of Continental, guess what happened? Two of their largest stockholders quietly sold out their shares before the shares went to almost nothing. That was the Pope and the Queen of England (the British m onarchy, contrary to public perception, has long been secretly Catholic). Traditionally, the Pope and the British Monarch each had their representative sitting on Continental's Board of Directors.
Editors of some Italian newspapers criticized the Vatican for not breaking Continental's known ties to the mafia. Pope John Paul THE FIRST tried to do something about it. But he was murdered with a poisoned cup of tea just 33 days after becoming Pope. [ Details are in the book, published in 1983, "In God's Name" by David Yallop.]
He was replaced by Pope John Paul 2d who was warned not to interfere in business dealings between the Vatican Bank, the American CIA, and the mafia. In 1981, there was an attempted assassination of John Paul 2d just to remind him to stay out of such mat ters. He survived but developed physical complications.
The rear entrance of Continental faced the federal courthouse in Chicago. There sat U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, Chief Judge Walter Cummings, Jr. He could keep track of his bank watching from the courthouse offices. His judgeship was his public p ersona. Privately, he was a "man of trust" for the Church, trusted to confidentially and secretly handle their business, whether dirty or clean. Upon the demise of his bank in 1984, he quietly warned lawyers, members of the federal bar, that they would be brought to ruin if they dared instigate damage suits against Continental claiming fraud. And there was fraud. The Yakuza, to pacify them, were given as a "gift" Continental's business dealings division. And so, the Osaka gang purported to open their offices on Chicago's financial zone, La Salle Street.
Wallace Lieberman knew this, and much, much more.
Lieberman knew that an adjunct to the money laundering of Continental, was the First National Bank of Cicero, continuing to be dominated by Paul Marcinkus, even while he was away overseas as Vatican Bank Chief. Lieberman found out some things early on t hat did not come to public attention until much, much later. Namely, that there was resident near Naples, Italy, an official of the American CIA with dual citizenship, U.S. and Italy. That was Roger D'Onofrio, CIA paymaster for Italy, who was part of a criminal gang that included Paul Marcinkus and his confederates, with the aid of Continental and the bank in Cicero. The Italian authorities were becoming aware, like Lieberman who was thick with The Mossad, Israeli intelligence, that the Vatican Bank w ith Marcinkus and D'Onofrio and others, were trafficking in smuggled gold, osmium nuclear bomb triggers, superior counterfeit currencies, exotic weapons, just to name a few items.
All this did not surface until early in December, 1995 (right after the possibly related political assassination of Itzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister). The Roger D'Onofrio Affair was detailed in reports, datelined Rome by Reuters and United Press International. The American monopoly press pretended not to know anything about it. The Italian authorities also fingered as a gang member the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain, who denied complicity.
In 1991, Italian authorities vowed to grab Vatican Bank Chief Paul Marcinkus and grill him about all this. Using his Vatican passport as a separate sovereignty gimmick, Marcinkus eluded the Italian authorities and fled to Chicago. With the courtesy of Balkan and Polish Catholics, who live in a sort of enclave in the Windy City, Marcinkus for a while had his food and housing provided for. Outsiders knew not to enter that Chicago neighborhood.
Part of the rackets of the Chicago U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, which also apparently goes on in major other federal districts, is that a combination of different gangs and forces arrange to plunder mid-size firms, such as in the Midwest, by falsely and frau dulently pushing them into Bankruptcy. The Israelis, as in part one of this series, arrange to skim off or try to skim off funds from companies finding themselves in Bankruptcy. Likewise, certain Catholic entities do the same. How, over the years, did t hey get away with it? Simple. Chief Judge Walter Cummings, Jr., is the ultimate supervisor of the lawyers, judges, assignees, trustees, auctioneers, liquidators, court clerks, and others, members of which constitute the corrupt "Bankruptcy Club".
One of those who seems to be a part of all this is William A. Brandt, Jr. He is the CEO and President of Development Specialists, Inc. They use the terms and lingo of their industry, such as workout, turnaround, and insolvency consultants. They now hav e offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, San Francisco, Columbus, and Boston.
Pushed falsely into bankruptcy for the apparent purpose of plundering them, was Wirecloth Products, Inc., headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Bellwood. Their specialty, almost exclusively so, was the making of superfine, gold-plated filters for nucl ear submarines, tanks, airplanes, and other military and civilian vehicles. Their product was quite essential in Gulf War One. Despite that, they were shoved into bankruptcy and Brandt took over. The owners of the firm complained to no avail to the assi gned judge, Chicago U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jack B. Schmetterer [(312) 435-5654]. According to the owners, U.S. Generals were calling from the Persian Gulf, "Where the Hell are those gold filters? The fine powder sand is getting into our fuel lines, and o ur tanks and trucks are stalled." The owners complained, to no avail, to the Defense Department as well as the Judge. Later, we found out that the Judge was tight with The Mossad, Israeli intelligence. So what was the angle there?
Since Brandt was put up on trustee panels by the Justice Department, we began investigating what all he was into. Not hoping to get any results, we nevertheless applied under the Freedom of Information law to get data on Brandt. Wow! One day an envelope arrives from the U.S. Justice Department. Out pops Brandt's dossier. Hey! It shows the American CIA trained him in overseas work, to get rid of CIA operations "fronts", called proprietaries, by falsely claiming they were insolvent. Who was trained to d o this trick? Why, William A. Brandt, Jr.
One day I am sitting in the back of Judge Schmetterer's courtroom in my wheelchair, as a journalist and observer. During a recess, the Judge addressing me directly even though I was not part of the litigation, "You know, Mr. Skolnick, everyone in the co uthouse knows of Mr. Brandt's CIA background. There is nothing there for you to comment on."
We have been tracking Schmetterer for years. Going back to the time he was a prosecutor. At one time, he was himself part of the auctioneering and liquidating industry active as part of the Chicago U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
We found out that the various Bankruptcy Judges in Chicago kept William A. Brandt, Jr. quite busy. Some 15 or more sizeable firms were shoved, perhaps falsely to plunder them, into bankruptcy. One such firm interested us greatly. It was a gold smelting firm, reportedly run by hoodlums handling smuggled gold, apparently once in a while for the American CIA and even, on occasion, for foreign spy agencies. Some of those running the firm were terminated or scared off. How, well by murdering them, shooting at him and they survived, and such. Terrorism. And who becomes the new CEO of this gold smelting firm, pending in Bankruptcy, why none other than William A. Brandt, Jr. He kept quite busy. In later years, he has been working in Red China, reorganizing and restructuring some of China's state-owned in dustries. We have reason to believe that Brandt was well aware of the activities of the Red Chinese Secret Police, laundering dope and other illicit funds disguised as soybeans and such, on the Chicago exchanges. [Visit our extensive web stories about t he Red Chinese Secret Police, including their operations with Wal-Mart and murder and mayhem on U.S. soil.] Brandt was likewise big with the Democrat Party. In 2000, he served as a member of that party's Platform Committee.
Just about the time Paul Marcinkus arrived back in Chicago, in or about November, 1991, there was in session a very special federal grand jury, investigating as following
 How Israeli intelligence, The Mossad, either authorized by the State of Israel or as renegades on U.S. soil, were skimming off large sums to be sent overseas, from the rackets in the Chicago Bankruptcy Courts.
 Being explored, was what was going to be done about Chicago U.S. Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge John D. Schwartz, a purported secret official of the First National Bank of Cicero. He has parked offshore, for himself and other judges of "The Club", 140 million dollars. He has apparently not filed or paid federal income taxes for 30; years. [See part one of this series.]
 Can one of the lower level members of "The Club" be quickly and quietly thrown away into jail, such as on tax evasion charges, so as to protect the important members of "The Club". The special federal prosecutor was toying with this knotty problem.
 Can the special federal grand jury be steered, by the special federal prosecutor, in such a way as to protect the hotshots of "The Club".
 An important special federal grand jury witness was Wallace Lieberman, a Chicago U.S. Bankruptcy Court auctioneer and liquidator, who has personal knowledge of a lot of what is mentioned herein, and could competently testify about it to the federal grand jury.
Questions remained. Will the U.S. Marshals Service protect Wallace Lieberman under their Federal Witness Protection Program? And if they intended to do so, was he being protected?
[Longtime after 1991, it came out that the then head of the Federal Witness Protection Program in Chicago was also a business partner of a gangster. "Marshal linked to mob 'friend' " was the headline. The story went on to say, "Most troubling to the law enforcement community is that the U.S. Marshals Service runs the ultra-secretive federal witness protection program, where mob turncoats cooperating with the government hid from their old pals. Mobsters who turn on their associates are relocated for th eir safety--often with their extended families--and given new identities, jobs, cash and even bodyguards." Chicago Sun-Times story about gangster John Serpico and former U.S. Marshal Peter J. Wilkes. 8/16/1999.
Was Wallace Lieberman a mob turncoat, turning on his associates?
By December, 1991, we uncovered data about the special federal grand jury. As a test, I arranged a meeting with an Assistant U.S. Attorney. (They used to call them U.S. District Attorney, and they handled both federal criminal prosecutions as well as re presenting the U.S. government in civil matters.) To the meeting, he brought in one of those no-real-name FBI agents. I detailed a lot of what is contained in this website series. As I was talking about Chief Judge John D. Schwartz, the federal prosecut or, with an apparent slip of the lip, confirms that the Chief Judge Schwartz matter is pending before the special federal grand jury. The FBI agent glares at the federal prosecutor, saying "Why are you telling Skolnick this?" [Over the years I found out lots about that federal prosecutor that he was not to be trusted. In 1995, he was appointed as part of a special federal prosecutorial team to prosecute Timothy McVeigh, the supposed "lone bomber" of the federal office building i! n Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995. That federal prosecutor, in my judgment, went along with the vast cover-up of U.S. government prior knowledge to the multiple bombings that took down that building.]
After the meeting with that assistant U.S. Attorney, we found out data that Lieberman was apparently trying to blackmail his way into a very lucrative crooked deal reportedly involving Paul Marcinkus, William A. Brandt, Jr., the First National Bank of C icero, Chief Judge Cummings, Jr.,and other apparent members of "The Club". Lieberman fashioned himself an expert blackmailer, and that he could get away with doing such a thing.
On a weekend, shortly before Christmas, 1991, Wallace Lieberman was found shot to death, mafia-style, his body parked next to a rear wall of an auto repair shop. Guess where? Why, not far from the First National Bank of Cicero! Had he been trying to sha ke them down in person? Or did another faction, planting him dead there, use that to shakedown the bank in Cicero? The local press played down the story, as if it had no importance. The Chicago Tribune went along with the cover-up running the story on C hristmas day, December 25, 1991 headlined "Northbrook auctioneer found slain". The story did mention that a gangster's wife (apparently a partner of Lieberman) was Lieberman's secretary. That was gangster Robert Belavia, previously although a known hood lum was "untouchable" as far as the federal bureaucracy was concerned. He was hustled into jail. U.S. District Court Judge Ann Claire Williams, a former federal prosecutor, did the usual whitewash. We tried to intervene with a spe! cial petition to point out what the Belavia case was really all about, linked to the murder of Lieberman. She quickly pushed us out of court and the whitewash cotinued. Judge Williams was rewarded by being made a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Ch icago.
And who was happy about the unsolved crime of the murder of Wallace Lieberman? Was William A. Brandt, Jr. thereafter more at ease, like Chief Judge John D. Schwartz? Were the criminals in with Paul Marcinkus and the First National Bank of Cicero happier thereafter?
Several years after this political assassination, we did, on-site, a one hour documentary about the murder of Wallace Lieberman. We put it on our public access Cable TV Program, "Broadsides". We interviewed the owner of the auto repair shop, near the ba nk in Cicero. He talked candidly but we promised not to video his face. He showed us where Lieberman's Mercedes was found in the nearby alley and how Lieberman's body was left in such a way like a traditional mafia "hit". After the murder in 1991, the s tate and federal authorities seemed along with the local police, to not want to pursue the matter.
More coming....Stay tuned.
Since 1958, Mr.Skolnick has been a court reformer. Since 1963,
founder/chairman, Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, disclosing
certain instances of judicial and other bribery and political murders.
Since 1991 a regular panelist, and since 1995, moderator/producer, of
one-hour,weekly public access Cable TV Show, "Broadsides", Cablecast on
Channel 21, 9 p.m. each Monday in Chicago. For a heavy packet of printed
stories, send $5.00 [U.S. funds] and a stamped, self-addressed business
sized envelope [4-1/4 x 9-1/2 #10 size] WITH THREE STAMPS ON IT, to
Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, Sherman H. Skolnick,
Chairman, 9800 South Oglesby Ave., Chicago IL 60617-4870. Office, 7
days, 8 a.m. to midnight, (773) 375-5741 [PLEASE, no "just routine
calls]. Before sending FAX,