Kleptocracy Investigations defense
In or around 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an initiative aimed at combating large scale foreign corruption and recovering public funds for their intended and proper use. A select team of prosecutors were assembled to focus exclusively to deter corruption and hold offenders accountable and protect public resources.
Robert was the lead case agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security against the second vice president of Equatorial Guinea who was paid less than $100,000 annually. This case drew national and international attention when a civil forfeiture complaint was filed in 2011 to recover more than $70 million in proceeds of corruption, based on Robert’s investigative efforts. The investigation revealed that Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue used money from his country to amass assets which included a Malibu, California mansion, Gulfstream jet, a Ferrari and well over $3 million dollars in Michael Jackson that included the iconic crystal-encrusted white glove. Additionally, Robert uncovered over $300 millions in assets overseas with were purchased and coordinated his efforts with foreign law enforcement.
In another high-profile case Robert was the lead investigator that investigated a network of cigarette smugglers who conspired with others in Miami, as well as others located in Spain, Great Britain, Ireland and Germany to smuggle cigarettes out of the Port of Miami into Aachen, Germany, Dublin, Ireland, and Felixstowe, Great Britain. The Miami resident who ran the operation, arranged for the purchase of hundreds of cases of cigarettes from Panama and the transportation of those cigarettes into the Port of Miami. He then arranged for the purchase of other cargo, such as yarn, wood flooring and building insulation material, to be used as cover loads to conceal the cigarettes.
Custom duties and taxes were based only on the falsely declared cargo and thus, no duties or taxes in the amount of $5.6 million were paid on the cigarettes. The defendant was sentenced to prison and was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution.