Monday, September 13, 2010

Plenty More Beans To Spill On Republican Criminal Thomas "Gus" Kontogiannis


Here at DWT we've been covering the antics of two-bit Republican crime operative Tommy "Gus" Kontogiannis for a long time. His myriad shenanigans are fascinating, of course, and his moment of national notoriety for bribing Randy "Duke" Cunninghan was obvious, but for us it was always the big $400,000 he paid for a pardon that made him worth keeping tabs on. Kontogiannis is a loathsome and contemptible creature, who, among other things, sold defective computers to an inner city school district on behalf of a sleazy Republican Party candidate looking to finance a campaign, but he wasn't stupid and he certainly knew that a fifth rate Republican Congressman from San Diego County didn't have the power to pardon him, 400,000 clams or not. Only one person could do that and until a few days ago I never met anyone who had first hand knowledge of the plot to bribe George W. Bush. And then I met Mr. X.

His name isn't really Mr X but he knows Kontogiannis long enough and well enough to also know his life and the lives of his family would be in jeopardy-- even with Kontogiannis in prison-- were word to get out that he's talking about the big unmentionable. Here's Part I of Mr. X's story:
The question is: does a monster know that he's a monster or does he think that he's just like everyone else? Does he ever realize he is nothing more profound then a piece of human debris, a full blown sociopath?

As Tommy Kontogiannis cried to Judge Burns upon his sentencing for bribing a dissolute U.S. Congressman, "I'm sorry for all those people that I hurt and let down, I didn't mean to hurt anybody." Burns bellowed back "You come to this court asking for leniency while at the same time your rear end is on fire for stealing money for your mortgage scam! Let's put you in a free hotel for the next 10 years-- the U.S. Federal Prison."

Yeah, Mr. Stolen Net Worth of $550,000,000-- something revealed in a Brooklyn, NY courtroom in the early part of this summer-- was finally and spectaulary sent away, a consequence of fracturing and distorting our government and so many people's lives.

In the infamous case of world class gangster and cold blooded thief, Tommy Kontogiannis, he was a truly self delusional sociopath whose crimality bear no contrition or remorse.

Self delusional after his conviction on bribing a NYC Board of Education official, Celestine Miller-- who was also a Republican congressional candidate-- with a bag containing $50,000 in cash (hey, we all need inside deals for real estate and computers from time to time). When Miller ran for the Queens House seat vacant because of the resignation of right-wing embezzler Floyd Flake in 1997, the larceny-minded Republican, financed by Kontogiannis, came in 4th (with 8.8%) after the Democrat (56.5%), the Conservative (Alton Waldon who had once served in the seat as a Democrat; 20.8%, and an independent (13.1%).

For the "minor" transgression-- bribery and selling defective computers to the school system-- Kontogiannis received a 4 month house arrest sentence and a $5,000,000 fine (which, until his recent conviction, he paid off at a rate of $50,000 monthly, on time, every month for the last 5 years). His dopey lawyer, Ray Shane, took much of the rap for that, went to jail for a year and lost his attorney's license. Tommy boy told him not to worry; he'll take care of poor Ray for his selfless deed.

Uhhh, sorry about that Ray; lying is what Tommy does and lying is what Tommy is. No help for Ray.

Then, in a way that could be described as griandiose, arrogant and/or delusional, he cozied up to self-described Top Gun, Randy "Duke" Cunningham and helped finance an aristocratic lifestyle for the trashy southern California wingnut. He did that so that the blustering Cunningham, always the loud-mouthed braggart, would help him get him a Presidential Pardon from none other then Mr. Innocent himself, George W. Bush, a pardon he desperately needed for the 1st conviction (the bribing of the Board. of Ed. official). Without the pardon he couldn't directly do business with the government and he was at the mercy of a daughter who is so much like him in a business sense that he knew he could never trust her. That's 2 bribes and nothing to show for it but a jail sentence. But there's more... a lot more.

Finally, and always in self denial, after destroying hundreds of hard working people's livelihoods and credit in a $300,000,000 mortgage Ponzi scam, which, as he sits in Federal Prison for the second transgression with Cunningham, he currently under indictment for. To make matters more hideous, all these people worked for him at a company he stole, looted and bankrupted; Blue Ridge Farms/Chloe Foods. But that's a story for another time.

For a career criminal like our old buddy Tommy "Gus" Kontogiannis, life is just one crime bumping up into another, paralleling themselves and falling into a constant tragic theater for all those he touches. Whether it's his family, such as likable nephew John Michael, his daughter, "I wish I had a penis like Dad's," Annette, his other simpleton daughters Lisa and Chloe, Georgia, the big GOP contributor in the family and the wife who thinks that donating stolen charity is somehow flamboyantly spiritual and grants you Absolution and Providence, or the big boys: Congressmen Duke Cunningham, southern California Southern U.S. Attoney Carol Lam, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez (he got rid of Lam for pursuing Rep. Jerry Lewis and Tommy boy too aggresively), CIA Executive Foggo, or the uncle of Assistant U.S. Attorney Halpern, whose home Tommy bought for his daughter, while he was prosecuting the same Duke Cunningham. There are plenty more. Not only in the US, but in Greece, Chile, Saudi Arabia and new places that we will talk about.

This whole story starts with a brilliant dark scheme called mortgage fraud. You see our boy was poignantly ahead of his time. This little skip of his over banking rules didn't happen when it was in vogue however, like in the mid 2000's, but commenced about 15 years before. As a young builder starting out in Queens, NY he developed a vulgar appetite for "the good life." He quickly found out that in order for a builder to make money from housing he must sell the ones that are built. However, when he couldn't sell them fast enough, he just took out mortgages for those already on the market, but unsold, and paid himself. The more homes he built, the more mortgages he needed and he pawned them off to the unsuspecting banks and, with no one to negotiate the prices, the profits just rolled in. He then used the new mortgages from the current homes to pay off the older ones and away we went. A mortgage Ponzi scheme was born. If he sold a piece of developed property that was great, but as his need for more cash grew, so did the size and the cost of the new homes. He was constantly buying new mortgages to pay the old ones off and the new ones where getting larger and larger.

This went on for years and Tommy amassed a fortune from stolen mortgage money. He then set up his own mortgage companies. This way he avoided messy questions like: why does someone need 10 mortgages on the same block or why does 1 piece of property have 3 mortgages attached to it? When business got really good, he bought a small bank in Texas, the Sanderson Bank, for his daughter Annette Apergis. This way he would be able to wash all the money through with nobody on the outside to get suspicious. This was one of the first banks to implode in the mortgage crisis of 2008.

He built the house, mortgaged the house through his mortgage company, bought the initial mortgage with his bank and wrapped the whole thing up and sold them to the larger banks. This prodigious scam went on until it slammed up against the banking collapse of 2007 caused by... mortgage scams. Tommy's personal bank and his mortgage companies could no longer get the funds that were needed to fund his Ponzi empire. The lawsuits and indictments are continuing to pour in for the Kontogiannis crime family.

But there is more. When you have a need for a lot of mortgages, you need a lot of people. Beneath this lies the improbable connection to hundreds of lower middle class working people who were either duped, threatened or coerced into signing these illegal toxic documents. Tommy would give the irresistible sales pitch "Sign this mortgage for $1,500,000 and you'll be saving your job and your company. Don't worry, it's from my mortgage company, no one will ever bother you; I'll
pay it off real soon and you can even take the tax deduction for the interest that you don't even have to pay!"

Where did our boy get all these people to sign his mortgages from? Why they all worked in one of his construction companies that were building the homes that were necessary to write the phony mortgages. When those people ran out, he just wrote more to the same people. He just didn't bother with the troublesome detail of letting them know. That was no longer necessary because he had their Social Security numbers in the grip of his grabbing hands.

Eventually, even some banks would only lend so much money to people making $35,000 a year. That was no problem for Tommy. He then turned his attention to relatives, in-laws, prospective in-laws, new friends, old friends and any and all candidates to fuel his formulaic Ponzi drive.

In the ultimate bit of chutzpah, he raided the personnel records of the food company he stole, Blue Ridge Farms, and took hundreds of employees' Social Security numbers and wrote up hundreds of millions of dollars of new worthless mortgages. In this poignantly sad chapter he destroyed all of these working people's livelihoods and credit. These are so many of the struggling people that need the credit to live week by week. To this day this parasitic crook says he did it to help the companies that they all worked for stay open. As he lived in his 5 acre, marble columned, Long Island Gold Coast estate, sailing the Mediterranean summers, they lost everything.

Eventually all of these companies went bankrupt. Looted and destroyed, many of them having won millions of dollars of judgments against Tommy, documenting the theft.

But that my friends, that isn't even why the guy with the Barbie Doll hair plugs, bad teeth and table manners in jail!

[To be continued]

Labels: ,


At 4:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a crook! That guy should rot in hell. Have they put him on trial for the mortgages yet?

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has been indicted for the mortgages,as has most of his family, but the trial hasn't commenced.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's in the news again - check out the FBI website for the headline. Bloomberg also picked up a story - but everyone is missing the connecting of the dots.


At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will someone finally connect all the dots in the media?

If it wasn't for being busted in the District 29 scandal - he'd probably still be playing the international "Omar" (from "The Wire") helping the CIA launder money for whatever reason they have him to do so. The guy thinks he is untouchable - and until recently he has been.


At 10:22 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

I did an update over the weekend:

Did I miss any dots that need connecting?

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe I was Tommy's English teacher in 9th Grade in Baltimore, MD. He had just arrived in America from Greece. He was living with relatives and at 16 or so had lots of charm but absolutely no sense of
the rules or laws.

It's hard to believe but yet easy to see that he lived on the charm and his own set of what the rules should be. I feel sorry for those home owners.


Post a Comment

<< Home