Marcello’s Oil Mob

(Excerpted from Chapter 9: The Texas Oil Mafia: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)

Bush golfing buddy Walt Mischer is closely connected to New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello.  Mischer’s 71-story Allied Bank Building housed BCCI’s Houston’s branch.

Mischer’s Coronado and Carrousel Hotels are known by Houston police to be havens of gambling and prostitution.  Mischer sold Marathon Manufacturing to Cincinnati financial mogul and United Brands owner Carl Lindner, whose Chiquita banana boats, according to DEA, often ship cocaine into the US.  Lindner, former owner of the looted Penn Central, gave S&L crook Charles Keating, his financial wings.  Lindner is a close friend of George Bush Sr. and was one of his largest campaign contributors in 1988.

Texas oilman Ray Hill was also an S&L looter extraordinaire.  Hill comes from one of Texas’ richest families. He owned Mainland Savings.  A 1985 US Comptroller of Currency report concluded that Mainland was controlled by Carlos Marcello lieutenant Herman Beebe, who helped Michael Miliken set up Southmark.  Beebe is a good friend of ex-Texas Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, a business associate of both Mischer and John Connally.  Several lawyers from Sullivan & Cromwell, the Dulles brothers’ Nazi-abetting stalwart that helped overthrow the governments of Iran and Guatemala in 1954, had financial dealings with Hill’s Mainland Bank.

Numerous bad oil and gas loans were taken off Mainland’s hands by Seymour Lazar.  Lazar had accounts at former Detachment 202 OSS operative Paul Helliwell’s Castle Bank & Trust in the Bahamas.  Lazar also held shares in the Mary Carter Paint Company, which David Rockefeller had helped mobster Meyer Lansky launch.  The company changed its name to Resorts International and was financed by Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank. [366]  Lazar is a good buddy of Bernie Cornfield, who ran Investor’s Overseas Services out of Panama as a paymaster for Israeli Mossad activities.

In 1985 Mainland handed over $12 million to Saudi tycoon Adnan Khashoggi’s AK Houston Properties.  A week later Khashoggi paid ex-SAVAK agent Manucher Gorbanifar $1 million for a Mossad arms shipment to Iran.  Khashoggi began relieving Houston’s oil elite of their overpriced commercial properties, bin Mahfouz-style.  He entered the property market with help from Jess Hay, board member at Dallas-based Exxon Mobil. [367]  Hay controls Lomas & Nettleton, which did several deals with Mainland Savings.

Khashoggi teamed with Dallas oilman Clint Murchison, who financed Eisenhower’s dream retirement ranch on behalf of the Rockefellers, to borrow $15 million from James Baker’s Texas Commerce Bank.  Khashoggi pocketed $10 million.  The rest went down the CIA rabbit hole.  Khashoggi did several of these types of deals with wealthy Texans.  One involved a $44 million loan from San Antonio-based Commerce Savings which Khashoggi and Commerce owner John Roberts used to build an Aspen, CO hotel.  According to court documents from the Imelda Marcos trial, at which Khashoggi testified, the Saudi made several calls to Vice-President George Bush during 1985-86. [368]

Around the same time Shiek Khalid bin Mahfouz was chartering James Bath’s airplanes to fly $100 bills to the Caymans, Mainland Savings was lending millions to the Cayman-based Sara, Ltd.  Sara associates included Ian Paget-Brown and Walt Mischer’s son-in-law Ray Corson.  Corson was a CIA/mafia mule who skimmed money off Nevada and Canary Islands casinos and laundered it through the Caymans and through the Panamanian International Fund for Mergers & Acquisitions, which was also utilized by Noriega body guard and Mossad agent Michael Harari.

Corson’s own S&L went under after it received a loan to buy 21,000 acres in the Florida panhandle from St. Joe Paper Company, controlled by the Du Pont family which owned Conoco with the Canadian Bronfman family at the time.  Reagan CIA Director Bill Casey was cut into Conoco and made $771,000 when he sold the stock.  Alfred Victor Du Pont had been in the OSS.  His nephew Richard Du Pont was now retrofitting his Summit Aviation airplanes for a CIA plan to bomb Managua. [369]

In 1968 James Bath worked for Atlantic Aviation, owned by Edward Du Pont.  Richard Du Pont was on Atlantic’s board. The company held the US distributorship for Israeli Aircraft Industries.  Bath quit Atlantic in 1976 to found Bath/Bentsen Interests with Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s son Lan Bentsen.  That year Bath joined Wings of Hope board member Jack Taylor to launch Jim Bath & Associates.  Wings of Hope was a contra financing front.  It was then that Bath began handling all the bin Laden families’ North American investments, becoming especially close to Osama bin Laden’s brother Salem.

Ian Paget-Brown and another Sara Ltd. associate, Lebanese financier Salim Saab, also had business relations with the bin Laden family.  Saab was under investigation for drug money laundering and Paget-Brown had been named in a Florida investigation of Castle Bank crony Lawrence Freeman.  Paget-Brown was close to Paul Helliwell’s Castle Bank and owned Carib Holdings Ltd. and its subsidiary Seagreen Air Transport Ltd. of Antigua, a favorite base of operations for Bill Casey “Hardy Boy” Itzak “Bruce” Rappaport, the National Bank of Oman insider who was later implicated in one drug scandal involving Antigua’s President and another involving Rappaport’s Bank of New York dealings with the Russian/Israeli mafia.

Seagreen rented its planes form Greco Air of El Paso, which also leased aircraft to St. Lucia Airways.  The Washington Post reported that a St. Lucia Airways 707 flew tomahawk missiles to Iran on November 25, 1985.  St. Lucia also ferried arms to Angolan UNITA rebels where Michael Hand was now back under deep cover facilitating a diamonds for guns swap in the wake of the Nugan Hand Bank scandal.  The New York Times declared in February 1987 that St. Lucia was a CIA-contract airline.

Khashoggi partner Clint Murchison was also close to the Carlos Marcello mob.  When Walt Mischer began buying his west Texas land in 1954, Clint Murchison bought Mischer’s two paper mills in Honduras.  That same year the CIA began training Honduran-based counter-revolutionaries to attack the democratically-elected Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz, who threatened Carl Lindner’s United Brands banana plantations with his bold plans for land reform.  Nicaraguan dictator Anastazio Somoza helped the CIA in this effort.  Murchison helped as well.

His son Clint Jr. worked on a CIA project in Sierre Leone to replace secret satellite installations in neighboring Liberia. [370]  Junior’s business interests include Intercontinental Hotels, which serve as a CIA outpost wherever they pop up.  Joining Murchison on the board of Intercontinental was Robert Maheu, the former Howard Hughes aid who hooked Santos Trafficante up with the CIA’s Operation Mongoose, and CIA arms dealer Robert Nichols.  Murchison got numerous loans from Marcello lieutenant Herman Beebe.

In 1986 Mainland Savings went belly up.  Monzer Adeeb Hourani, a wealthy Lebanese investor who bragged of ties to the CIA and Mossad, had extensive dealings with Mainland.  When Mainland closed Utah Senator Orin Hatch wrote a letter telling investigators to back off Hourani.  Hatch earlier tried to get Hourani a BCCI loan.  Hourani later told NBC that he and Mohammed Hammoud, a BCCI shareholder, took part in private efforts sponsored by Hatch to free US hostages being held in Lebanon.  Mainland owner Ray Hill had good friend James Baker intercede upon his former law firm Andrews & Kurth so they wouldn’t go after Hill. [371]

Guillermo Hernandez-Cartaya, Bay of Pigs veteran and founder of the World Finance Corporation (WFC), bought Jefferson S&L of McAllen, TX from Lloyd Bentsen Jr., who founded the bank with his father and brother Lan of James Bath Associates in 1956.  Cartaya’s WFC employed CIA agents and was investigated for drug running, arms dealing and money laundering.  US Attorney Jerome Sanford resigned in protest when the CIA refused to turn over its files on WFC on national security grounds.

Cartaya business partner Camilo Padreda was involved in deals with Jeb Bush’s real estate firm Bush Realty, Inc., which held exclusive listings on Padreda’s office buildings, which he had obtained illegally through HUD.  Cartaya used Jefferson S&L to launder drug money then sold it to business partners who renamed it CreditBanc Savings.  Walt Mischer, John Connally and Ben Barnes were the partners.  They looted the bank and it failed. [372]

The Bush Sr. Administration set up the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to auction off 680 bankrupt S&Ls.  According to the Charlotte, NC-based Southern Finance Project, more than half ended up in the hands of ten large US investment banks.  The biggest purchaser was a partnership between Goldman Sachs and Blackstone Group called BRW which spent $80 million to pick up assets worth billions. [373]

Robert Rubin headed Goldman Sachs and was soon appointed President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary.  Blackstone is the parent of Carlyle Group, where James Baker and George Bush Sr. are board members. It owns Bioport, the sole US manufacturer of anthrax vaccine.  The current head of Blackstone is Peter Fischer, who also chairs the Council on Foreign Relations.  Blackstone Vice-Chairman Robert Altman was tapped by Bush to run the RTC.  Altman later served as Rubin’s Deputy Treasury Secretary.

Walt Mischer picked up several S&Ls on the cheap thanks to former FDIC lawyer Charles M. Pickett, who defended Neil Bush in the Silverado S&L case.  Marcello mob associate Charles Hurwitz swooped up several banks at RTC auction, launching his Maxxam conglomerate.  Wall Street and the mob paid pennies for CIA-looted S&Ls.  US taxpayers got a $500 billion tab.

Dean Henderson is the author of five books:Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve, Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel.  You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column


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