The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on September 27, 1984 · 529
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 529

Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, September 27, 1984
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1 Thursday September 27 1984 The Miami Herald 19A Probe ties key aide to money-laundering By CARL HIAASEN $125000 was transferred to the Bostor Herald Staff Writers I Caruana Companies Formed by Nottage Law Firm I defense lawyer who has frequently repre- ! By CARL HIAASEN And JIM McGEE Herald Staff Writers I A top Bahamian Cabinet minister and '-dose friend of Bahamas prime minister Lynden 0 Pindling allegedly laundered $1 million in cash for an accused American drug smuggler and gangster according to bank documents and testimony obtained by the Bahamas Commission of Inquiry Kendal W Nottage a lawyer who is minister of Youth Sports and Cultural Affairs transported $1 million cash from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas in 1980 according to the testimony of a convicted pdrug smuggler The money then was allegedly siphoned through a “shelf” company back jto the United States “ The smuggler says the cash came from -Salvatore Michael Caruana a federal drug fugitive and convicted bank robber who lias been identified as a member of the Raymond Patriarca organized crime family of New England Denies laundering v Nottage denies ever meeting Caruana 3r laundering any of his money He says -he doesn’t know how his unlisted phone lumbers turned up in an address book seized from the accused smuggler A “I do not know Mr Caruana I do not -know of his police record I do not know 'of his reputation” Nottage said Caruana was arrested near Boston on Nov 26 1983 and charged with running a multimillion-dollar marijuana and hashish smuggling ring He skipped bond last cApril and disappeared ft Investigators have uncovered a web of "’Caruana-related” companies established by Nottage’s wife Rubie who is also a Nassau lawyer One of those companies loaned the 'Nottages $400000 to purchase a hotel in (Freeport in July 1980 No mortgage was ever filed and the money has never been repaid According to commission testimony Caruana has bragged that he is the hotel’s real owner " “I’m not that type of person” Nottage -replied “I will not front for anybody” These accusations are among the most serious to emerge from the 10-month investigation led by the Commission of inquiry If true one of the Bahamas’ most powerful figures and one of Pindling’s closest associates has a central role in a -money-washing scheme hatched by American mobsters and drug dealers “The deposit of cash and the immediate payout of these monies is indicative of the laundering of the cash” said Inspector --Frank A Richter of the Royal Canadian LMounted Police Richter is a financial -'crime expert who investigated the Not-tage-Caruana connection for the commis--sion o Nottage 44 is a longtime friend law partner and business associate of the prime minister When Pindling was -knighted by Queen Elizabeth last year Nottage and his wife were among those 'invited to London aboard Pindling’s chartered jet BafflsldlEIiHlD theBahamas Tiberon Investments Ltd COMMISSION investigators say Tiberon was formed in Nassau in January 1980 by Rubie Marie Nottage On June 24 1980 $999650 cash was deposited into Tiberon’s account at Barclay’s Bank Two days later more than $1 million was transferred out Investigators say the transactions were “indicative of the laundering of the cash” International Premium Investments Ltd LOANED Nottage and his wife $400000 to purchase the Islander Hotel in Freeport No mortgage was recorded and no repayments have been made on the loan according to the Nottages A convicted smuggler has testified that Savlatore Caruana says that he is the real owner of the hotel and that Nottage has been fronting for him Nottage says it’s not true Salvatore Caruana 45 Has been identified by US prosecutors as an associate of Gennaro Angiulo alleged "underboss" of the Raymond Patriarca organized crime family of New England When arrested by Boston DEA agents last fall he carried an address book containing the unlisted Nassau phone numbers of Kendal Nottage and his wife- Caruana later jumped bond and is now a fugitive from - 7 federal charges that he ' ‘ smuggled more than 300000 Im pounds of marijuana into the -US during a four-year period Kendal Nottage 44 A former business associate and longtime friend of Lynden Pindling When he and his wife Rubie bought the Islander Hotel in Freeport they borrowed $400000 from a company ’ controlled by Salvatore Caruana according to Commission of Inquiry records In addition Ruble Nottage formed several Bahamian - 1 - companies — later identified as - Caruana holdings — through which hundreds of thousands 'i of dollars passed The Nottages say they never heard of " Caruana and have never laundered any money - ’ Caruana 45 has been named in US indictments as an associate of Gennaro Angiulo the alleged “underboss” of the Patriarca crime family based in Providence RI “He is a member of the traditional Italian organized crime family in New England” said federal drug agent Peter Vinton Arnold Katz a confessed smuggler says he was one of Caruana’s confederates in the drug business In mid-1980 Katz says he flew from North Carolina to Florida aboard a Cessna 340 with Caruana “I went down there to do some drug business” Katz said He says Caruana told him that he was on his way “to meet an official in the Bahamian government” Caruana allegedly said he was buying a motel in the Bahamas and was carrying $1 million to send to the islands as partial payment According to Katz Caruana confided “that there was no problem taking the cash over that this minister would be able to do it for him and that the gentleman had diplomatic immunity and he could pass back and forth as frequently as he wanted” The Cessna landed at Executive Airport in Fort Lauderdale There Katz says they were met by Caruana’s brother and a Bahamian man who was introduced as the Cabinet minister “I remember the first name was Kendall and that is all I remember” Katz testified He described a man in his late 20s or early 30s about 5-foot-2 Katz said the man was handsome smooth-faced “impeccably dressed he looked like a Sugar Ray Leonard” However Katz was unable to choose Nottage’s photograph from a stack of more than three dozen shown to him by investigators The youthful-looking Nottage was 40 in 1980 He stands about 5-and-a-half feet tall and is known as an impeccable dresser Katz said he never saw the $1 million cash He says Caruana said the money was in the Cessna’s baggage compartment The plane took off for the Bahamas with Nottage aboard Katz said and Caruana and his brother went home Caruana’s brother Albert a Miami lawyer delivered a written comment to The Herald on Sept 5 “I deny Mr Katz’s statement I do not know Mr Katz” Albert Caruana wrote “Other than that it would not be appropriate for me to discuss Michael Caruana” Nottage says he never met Salvatore Caruana and would never launder money However bank records show that hundreds of thousands of dollars passed through four Bahamian companies set up by Rubie Nottage Most of the money eventually was transferred back to US corporations identified as Caruana holdings In one transaction last year Mrs Nottage shifted $23908383 from her US clients’ account into that of International Premium Investments Ltd a Caruana company Mrs Nottage testified that she couldn’t recall what the money was for Bank records also show the possibility that Arnie Katz is telling the truth about the alleged $l-million delivery in Fort Lauderdale On June 24 1980 nearly a million dollars cash — $999650 — was deposited in Barclay’s Bank of Nassau for the account of Tiberon Investments Ltd Tiberon has been identified by investigators as a Caruana-controlled company formed by Rubie Nottage who was also its president Two days after the deposit was made the money left the Tiberon account “A very significant illustration of laundering” said Robert Ellicott chief counsel for the Commission of Inquiry Two checks were drawn on Tiberon’s account on June 26 1980 One check for $125000 was transferred to the Boston bank account of Joseph J Balliro a defense lawyer who has frequently represented members of the Patriarca mob J Balliro also represents Caruana In an interview Balliro said the $125000 he received was not laundered money “The whole inference disturbs me” he said Balliro said he had never heard of Tiberon Investments and had no knowledge that Caruana controlled the company The lawyer said he did not even meet Caruana until 1981 — a year after the money transfer But Balliro declined to name the source of the $125000 payment citing attorney-client confidentiality What happened to the rest of the money? The same day of the Balliro payment another check for $87860955 was drawn from Tiberon’s account and sent to an undisclosed location Investigators were unable to determine who got the money because Nottage instructed his law firm not to release its files to the commission The commission has subpoenaed those documents ‘Disguise the destination' Inspector Richter said the money was routed through a US dollar account controlled by Kendal Nottage’s law firm This “was used to further disguise the destination of these monies” Richter testified Nottage and his wife say they set up numerous Bahamian companies at the request of a Boston lawyer Edmond Hurley Nottage has since conceded the “very strong possibility” that Hurley was acting for Salvatore Caruana In addition Arnie Katz testified that he once met with Caruana and Hurley to discuss forming Panamanian and Bahamian companies through which Katz could move large sums of cash “Nottage was the name of the law firm I was told about” he said Hurley refused to testify before the commission and declined to discuss his Bahamas involvement with The Herald “I don’t talk about my clients with reporters” Hurley said However the lawyer told investigators that Rubie Nottage had done legal work in the Bahamas for some of his clients He acknowledged representing Caruana “in certain civil transactions” Hurley also said a man named Larry Martin delivered the $400000 cash that was “loaned” to the Nottages for the Freeport hotel 1 The Nottages say they never heard of Martin who worked for Salvatore Caruana His name and phone number were found in Caruana’s address book along with those of “Rubie” and “Kendal” “I honestly don’t know how he got my number” Nottage said Larry Martin was shot to death execution-style on June 3 1982 His murder is unsolved Salvatore Caruana paid for the funeral nnm m OMOTi A) im asranEESD— 7-33 LIQUORSTANDlOUNGES LE GOOD FROM KEY WEST TO LAKE PARK no limit $889 CIGARETTES Sl19ro no limit Prices Good From 9 AM to 9 PM C0URV0ISIER VS COGNAC “nad1649J "°"1 -1379 COST AFTER REBATE: 99 I©49 JIM BEAM S?URB°H1179 Sale: REBATE: “ BURNER'S GIN S LTR 80° am Sale: Mail In Rebate: 699 iso COST AFTER REBATE: 549 VODKA A GORDON'S VODKA LTR 80° 750 ML-BEEFEATER GINC g99 Sale: S6® BLEND SEVEN CROWN 175 LTR 80° COST AFTER REBATE: Sale: 129® Mail In Rebate 2°° IP RUM BACARDI RUM 49 LTR 80° AMBER -SILVER Sale: Cl CANADIAN BOURBON m SCOTCH LTR OLD SMUGGLER os 8 SCOTCH 49 Sale: Mail In Rebate: 649 1°° IMPORTED '&AMERICANBEER Cost After Rebate: CS49 SCHAEFER & LT CASE 212 PKS 12 OZ CANS PABST BEER & LIGHT 12 0Z CANS 12 PK Sale: Mail In Rebate: Cost After Rebate: 399 100 OS? CANADA DRY: TONIC CLUB SODA SELTZER GINGER ALE 10 0Z6PK NR 179 1 LTR - SCHWEPPS: TONIC C SODA G ALE 69 1 MOUTON CADET s io RED & WHITE Mail In Rebate: 3°° 15 LTR COST AFTER REBATE: 799 HARVEY'S BRISTOL CREAM 750 ML EXTENSIVE “WINE SELECTION COST AFTER REBATE: 750 ML - GT WESTERN WHT - PINK 750 ML -TAYLOR EX DRY -PINK CRIBARI WINES: CHABLIS BURG ROSE RHINE CHIANTI BIANCO ROSSO FIAMMA 3LTR Sale: 1 5 LTR - GALLO: Chab Rose Burg Rhine 3" “ 3LTR - CARLO ROSSI: Chab Rose Burg Rh 549 ERlGESlGOODJAt LllLOCATIONS NMlHponUM FqrTypogrophical 750 ML -ANDRE CHAMP WHT or PINK 2" 1479 1 COMMERCIAL 6LVC 2600 W DAVIE BLVD 541 CORDOVA ROAD 720 NO ANDREWS AVE 5450 NO STATE RDv 1 50 E COMMERCIAL 8L 15 LTR - SEBASTIANI COUNTRY WINES TO!! """ 5" TAYLOR CALIFORNIA CELLARS: CHABLIS ROSE BURG RHINE & LT Sale- HUES' E 6913 W BROWARD BlV MIRAMAR 564 PEMBROKE ROA

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