Return to the main index

Federal Corruption


By Harry V. Martin

Copyright FreeAmerica and Harry V. Martin, 1995

EDITOR'S NOTE: When discussing the widespread corruption in the federal
Bankruptcy Courts, it is difficult to focus on just the Northern California
jurisdiction. This new series will focus on the extent of the corruption
through- out the nation and its linkage to various courts.

When the U.S. Government sent Anthony Souza to Northern California to
investigate what government officials called "the dirtiest system" in the
United States, it was aware that the entire bankruptcy system is
unraveling. Former LendVest Trustee Charles Duck was the main focal point
of Souza's investigation -- even though a local bankruptcy judge called him
the most "honest man" he had ever known. Duck's ties to bankruptcy judges
through- out the Bay Area is providing a picture of intense corruption
going deep inside the law enforcement agencies. Even Souza admits privately
that his hands are tied.

There has been one known murder in Northern California that has strong
possible links to the bankruptcy system. There have been several more in
Texas. This series will focus on different incidents from various parts of
the country.

One of the most bizarre cases of corruption in the bankruptcy system
involves a small Washington-based computer software firm called INSLAW. In
1982 the firm signed a three year contract for $10 million with the U.S.
Department of Justice. The software program INSLAW developed was a
case-management computer program called PROMIS. The software, which was
developed by Bill Hamilton, enabled the U.S. attorneys to keep track of
information on cases, witnesses and defendants, and to manage their
caseloads more effectively.

Though the U.S. Attorney's Office placed the PROMIS program into operation
in several of its offices, it refused to pay Hamilton. Subsequently
Hamilton was forced into the bankruptcy court. Former U.S. Attorney General
Elliot Richardson, representing Hamilton, advised him to sue the Justice
Department for stealing his software.

Anthony Pasciuto, who was the deputy director of the Executive Office for
U.S. Trustees, which oversees bankruptcy estates on behalf of the court,
had stated that the Justice Department was improperly applying pressure on
his office to convert INSLAW's Chapter 11 reorganization into a Chapter 7
liquidation, which would mean that all company assets, in- cluding the
rights to PROMIS would be sold at auction.

U.S. Trustee Cornelius Blackshear corroborated Pasciuto's story. Two days
after he was visited by Justice Department officials, Blackshear issued a
sworn affidavit recanting his earlier testimony.

The Justice Department recommended that Pasciuto be fired. The memo seeking
his dismissal reads "...but for Mr. Pasciuto's highly irresponsible
actions, the Department would be in a much better litigation posture than
it presently finds itself."

Federal Bankruptcy Judge George F. Bason, Jr., ruled in 1987 that the
Justice Department had acted illegally in trying to put INSLAW out of
business. Bason sent Edwin Meese a letter recommending that he designate an
appropriate outside official to review the dispute because of the prima
facie evidence of perjury by Justice Department officials, Meese did not

Later that year after nearly three weeks of trial, Bason ruled in favor of
INSLAW in its suit against the Justice Department. "The depart- ment (of
Justice) took, converted, stole INSLAW's software by trickery, fraud and
deceit," the judge stated, adding, "the Justice Department engaged in an
outrageous, deceitful, fraudulent game of cat and mouse, demonstrating
CONTEMPT for both the law and any principle of fair dealing." Judge Bason
ordered the Justice Department to pay INSLAW $6.8 million. Bason's verdict
was upheld on appeal by U.S. District Court Judge William B. Bryant. Three
months after Bason's ruling, he was denied re-appointment to the bankruptcy

Hamilton's trouble began when a friend of Meese attempted to buy out
INSLAW, but Hamilton turned him down. In a court document, the potential
buyer is quoted as saying, "We have ways of making you sell." It was after
that the trouble for INSLAW began.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on investigations, chaired by Senator Sam
Nunn, began an investigation into the INSLAW case. Once the inquiry got
under way, the Senate Judiciary Committee's chief investigator, Ronald
LeGrand, received a phone call from an unnamed senior officer at the
Justice Department, a person LeGrand has known for years. The caller told
LeGrand that the "INSLAW case was a lot dirtier for the Department of
Justice than Watergate had been, both in its breadth and its depth."

The Nunn Committee completed its investigation and published its report. It
recognized that INSLAW has been a victim of the system and stated that "the
Justice Department had been uncooperative, refusing to allow witnesses to
testify without representatives of the litigation division being present to
advise them. The effect of their presence was to intimi- date those who
might otherwise have cooperated with the investigation." The report states,
"The staff learned through various channels of a number of Department
employees who desired to speak to the Subcommittee, but who chose not to
out of fear for their jobs."

Congressman Jack Brooks of Texas has opened a new investi- gation into the
INSLAW case. Brooks is investigating allegations that Justice Department
officials, including Meese, conspired to force INSLAW into bankruptcy in
order to deliver the firm's software to a rival company. The rival firm,
according to court records and law enforcement officials, was headed by
Earl W. Brian, a former Cabinet officer under then California Governor
Ronald Reagan and a longtime friend of several high-ranking Republican
officials. Meese had accepted a $15,000 interest- free loan from Brian.
Meese's wife was an investor in the rival company. This is the same company
that allegedly sought to buy INSLAW from Hamilton and made the alleged

[Due to the fact that this file was over 80 KB in length originally, I will
present only some of the highlights in regards to Wackenhut involvement,
etc... - Wol.] On March 21, 1992, [Michael] Riconoscuito stated in an
affidavit to the Court and Congress, and before he was arrested, the

   * During the 1980s he served as the Director of Research for a joint
     venture between the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida,
     and the Cabazon Band of Indians of Indio, California. The joint
     venture was located on the Cabazon reservation.

   * The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture sought to develop and/or
     manufacture certain materials that are used in military and national
     security operations, including night vision goggles, machine guns,
     fuel- air explosives, and biological and chemical warfare weapons.,

   * The Cabazon Band of Indians are a sovereign nation. The sovereign
     immunity that is accorded the Cabazons as a consequence of this fact
     made it feasible to pursue on the reservation the development and/or
     manufacture of materials whose development or manufacture would be
     subject to stringent controls off the reservation. [Does the same
     reason- ing apply for the Hitlerian biogenetic experiments, on
     abducted Americans and other nationals, that are taking place below
     the Jicarilla Apache re- servation in northwest New Mexico, near
     Dulce? It is doubtful that the Apache's themselves are deeply involved
     other than the fact that they have been 'bought off' by the Secret
     Government to allow the CIA, etc., to use some of their territory.
     Whether the Nazi-like biogenetic horrors taking place beneath the
     reservation are actually subject to U.S. regu- lations or not is
     debatable -- however the evidence of massive abduction / kidnapping of
     American citizens; cattle russling / mutilation on U.S. soil; and
     violation of U.S. airspace by 'foreign' aerial craft, to name just a
     FEW... are legitimate enough to warrent possible legal if not military
     repraisals. - Wol.] As a minority group, the Cabazon Indians also
     provided the Wackenhut Corporation with an enhanced ability to obtain
     federal contracts through the 8A Set Aside Program, and in connection
     with Government-owned contractor-operated (GOCO) facilities.

   * The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture was intended to support the needs
     of a number of FOREIGN governments and forces, including forces and
     governments in Central America and the Middle East. The Contras in
     Nicaragua represented one of the most important priorities for the
     joint venture.

   * The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture maintained close liaison with
     'certain elements' of the United States Government, including
     represent- atives of intelligence, military and law enforcement

   * Among the frequent visitors to the Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture
     were Peter Videnieks of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington,
     D.C., and a close associate of Videnieks by the name of Earl W. Brian.
     Brian is a private businessman who lives in Maryland and who has main-
     tained close business ties with the U.S. intelligence community for
     many years.

   * In connection with my work for Wackenhut, I engaged in some soft- ware
     development and modification work in 1983 and 1984 on the propri-
     etary PROMIS computer software product. The copy of PROMIS on which I
     worked came from the U.S. Department of Justice. Earl W. Brian made it
     available to me through Wackenhut after acquiring it from Peter
     Videnieks, who was then a Department of Justice contracting official
     with responsibility for the PROMIS software. I performed the modifica-
     tions to PROMIS in Indio, California, Silver Spring, Maryland, and
     Miami, Florida.

   * The purpose of the PROMIS software modification that I made in 1983
     and 1984 was to support a plan for the implementation of PROMIS in law
     enforcement and intelligence agencies worldwide. Earl W. Brian was
     spearheading the plan for this worldwide use of the PROMIS com- puter

   * Some of the modifications that I made were specifically designed to
     facilitate the implementation of PROMIS within two agencies of the
     Government of Canada: the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the
     Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS). Earl W. Brian would
     check with me from time to time to make certain that the work would be
     completed in time to satisfy the schedule for the RCMP and CSIS
     implementations of PROMIS.

   * The propriety version of PROMIS, as modified by me, was, in fact
     implemented in both the RCMP and the CSIS in Canada. It was my
     understanding that Earl W. Brian had sold this version of PROMIS to
     the Government of Canada.

   * In February 1991, I had a telephone conversation with Peter Videnieks,
     then still employed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Videnieks
     attempted during this telephone conversation to persuade me not to
     cooperate with an independent investigation of the govern- ment's
     piracy of INSLAW's proprietary PROMIS software being conducted by the
     Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives.

   * Videnieks stated that I would be rewarded for a decision not to
     cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee investigation. Videnieks
     forecasted an immediate and favorable resolution of a protracted child
     custody dispute being prosecuted against my wife by her former
     husband, if I were to decide not to cooperate with the House Judiciary
     Committee investigation.

   * Videnieks also outlined specific punishments that I could expect to
     receive from the U.S. Department of Justice if I cooperated with the
     House Judiciary Committee's investigation.

   * One punishment that Videnieks outlined was the future inclusion of me
     and my father in a criminal prosecution of certain business associates
     of mine in Orange County, California, in connection with the operation
     of a savings and loan institution in Orange County. By way of
     underscoring his power to influence such decisions at the U.S.
     Department of Justice, Videnieks informed me of the indictment of
     these business associates prior to the time when that indictment was
     unsealed and made public.

   * Another punishment that Videnieks threatened against me if I cooperate
     with the House Judiciary Committee is prosecution by the U.S.
     Department of Justice for perjury. Videnieks warned me that credible
     witnesses would come forward to contradict any damaging claims that I
     made in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, and that I
     would subsequently be prosecuted for perjury by the U.S. Department of
     Justice for my testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.


Videnieks alleged threats came true, Riconoscuito was arrested, and
Bobbie's former husband was given favorable treatment in the courts in her

Bobbie's arrest was timely. Her husband filed a declaration with the
Federal Grand Jury in Chicago in compliance with a subpoena to testify. He
told the Grand Jury that he needed two customized DEC VAX 11-730 computers
with the customized operating system media. This is equipment seized by the
U.S. Government when Riconoscuito was arrested. The declaration of
Riconoscuito was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois Eastern Division (case No. 92 C 6217, Michael J.
Riconoscuito, et al., Plaintiffs vs. Nicholas Bua, et al., Defendants.)


Riconoscuito told the Grand Jury that with the equipment he could produce
information about various operations which developed extremely sensitive
military applications from highly advanced tech- nology, such as:

   * Electrostatic heat transfer, modified to enable ordinary and readily
     available electronic parts and hardware to transform ordinary and
     readily available explosives into devices capable of destruction of
     nuclear dimension.

   * Biotechnological weapons, including, but not limited to, lethal
     monoclonal antibodies which are gene specific, e.g., able to dis-
     tinguish between specific racial characteristics and cause painful,
     disastrous, lethal effects for only those individuals exposed to such
     antibodies whose cell structure contains the target genes.

   * Compact high voltage power supplies, intended to be used in various
     hi-tech weapons systems and development.

   * Advanced communications systems, e.g., spread spectrum data
     compression, which would enable current microwave trans- missions to
     be 100 times more efficient and, under appropriate development, 100
     times more deadly.

   * Advanced precious metals recovery systems essential to hi- tech
     weapons systems.

   * Advanced infrared sensor technology, used in night vision goggles,
     missile surveillance and tracking, and in more sinister applications,
     saturation surveillance of all movements of all people in every open,
     visible space on the entire planet.

   * Thermal imaging, enabling surveillance through fog.

   * Bragg cell technology.


     Riconoscuito also told the Grand Jury the computer can prove that he
     worked on the following military contracts:

   * Beacon technology.

   * Threat emitter technology, which would enable the transmission of
     false images on radar scopes, e.g., airplanes could be made to appear
     to be birds, or vice versa.

   * Fuel flow monitoring systems for the F-16 aircraft, enabling higher
     performance and better fuel optimization.


     He also told the Grand Jury that the computer would prove the
     duplicity and TREASONOUS activity of certain officials of the
     Wackenhut Corporation, such as:

   * Double-billing by Wackenhut officials on U.S. Army contracts at the
     Yuma, Arizona test site, during 1982 and 1983.

   * The misappropriation or theft of highly advanced and lucrative
     technological developments during the period from 1980 to 1991.

   * The brokering and facilitation of the transfer of embargoed technology
     to listed countries (i.e., countries prohibited from receiving
     embargoed technology, enemies of the people of the United States:

     (a) Wackenhut would facilitate and broker said embargoed technology to
     countries, such as Chile, Brazil and Argentina, using military test
     sites as demonstration facilities.

     (b) Officials of said countries would then, with full knowledge of
     Wackenhut officials, transfer said embargoed technology to countries
     such as Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, the Peoples' Republic of China,
     South Africa and Israel.

     Riconoscuito further stated that the computer would prove the
     duplicity and TREASONOUS activity of certain officials of First Inter-
     continental Development Company, a corporation cut-out (i.e., secret
     negotiating agent) for treasonous deals made through the White House,
     similar to the deals made through Wackenhut. He stated that one such
     deal was made with Iraq.

   * Prior to Operation Desert Shield, the Iraqis obtained the latest
     fibre-optic command and control capability which enable them to have
     jam-resistant links from their military command center to the forward
     battle areas; possession by the Iraqis of said capability required an
     accelerated manufacturing program of building 4000 pound bombs to
     eliminate said capability.

   * The Iraqis had also obtained the latest radio-jamming technology,
     which enable them to interdict communications of the allied forces;
     had the Iraqis not showed their hand during Operation Desert Shield,
     they would have been able to undermine critical communications during
     the first days of Operation Desert Storm, potentially causing a major
     military setback for the allied forces with the resultant loss of life
     and demoral- ization.

Riconoscuito testified that he was doing business with Thomsen CSF (a
French conglomerate which developed the Exocet Missile), Inter- national
Signals, Eaton Corporation, the Santa Barbara Research Division of Hughes
Corporation, Dorn-Margolin, Texas Instruments, General Dyna- mics,
Northrop, Kures-Alterman, E-Systems and Reynolds Capacitor.


With Riconoscuito's credentials acclaimed by Congress and the Grand Jury,
he further stated that he facilitated the laundering of CIA funds via his
expertise in manipulating electronic data transmission equipment. This
included the transfer of funds which were involved in the October Surprise
payment to the Ayatollah Khomeini's regime in Iran. He said he was also
responsible for the manner in which [the CIA] caused the interdiction of
funds from the sale of Red Chinese gold and the manner in which large sums
of CIA funds were secreted and knowledge of where those funds are located.

"The information available on my computer equipment would also tend to
prove and show that the above described treasonous deals are related to the
ongoing international scandals involving the Bank of Credit and Commerce
International [BCCI] and the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro and that crucial
features of said deals are centered in Chicago and involve the courts and
prosecutors in Chicago," he stated.


After this explosive declaration was made public in the courts, Bobbie
[Riconosciuto] was arrested in Napa, where she has been for about ten
months. Her children were registered in local schools and she was living in
American Canyon at the time. Bobbie is still in jail awaiting an
extradition hearing.

The Napa Valley Register ran an article on Friday indicating that a Roberta
Peterson was arrested for custodial interference and that her husband was a
federal prisoner. Little did the public in Napa know the impact and
national repercussions. Congressman Jack Brooks was notified. Neither the
District Attorney's Office, Napa Police Department nor the Child Protective
Services have knowledge of who Bobbie Riconoscuito (Peterson) is. Things
like this never usually touch Napa, but they did Thursday.

The arrest of Bobbie ON THE EVE of Riconoscuito's testimony to a Federal
Grand Jury probing corruption in the U.S. Government may not be a mere

Hard Decision

Napa judge must decide what to do with wife of a key federal witness


By Harry V. Martin

Copyright, Napa Sentinel, 1992

From the Halls of Congress, to the Cabazon Indian Reservation, to a Federal
Grand Jury in Chicago, many eyes are focussed on what Napa Municipal Court
Judge John Quigley will do.

Judge Quigley must decide whether or not Roberta Peterson Riconoscuito is
extradited to the State of Washington. Riconoscuito was arrested in Napa on
Thursday, November 12 near Vintage High School on an out-of-state warrant
for custodial interference. It is a simple enough judicial case, if child
custody were the real issue, but it isn't. The Judge reduced her bail from
$50,000 to $7,500 and she was bailed out Monday from Napa County Jail. He
also moved the hearing date to Monday, December 7, allowing her two weeks
to gather up her paper work.

Held without bail on November 12, Riconoscuito was later allowed to have
bail, $50,000 worth. The Napa County Probation Department this week has
recommended bail be reduced to $7500. Riconoscuito's first arraignment on
November 13 was held under unusually strict security. A rumor had been
circulated that a violent attempt would be made to rescue her. Rumor was
also spread throughout the jail that Riconoscuito had severely beaten her
child, because of that rumor Riconoscuito was locked up in protective
custody. The inmates, however, later retracted their threats of harm to
Riconoscuito when they learned the rumors were totally unfounded. Three of
the Riconoscuito's children are now with their father and the other is with
family friends.

Strangely enough, the Napa County Probation report indicates that the
Riconoscuito's children were well cared for, that the father knew at all
times where Riconoscuito was located and that he is willing to return the
children to her once she becomes settled. The report indicates Riconoscuito
is no danger to the community.

Riconoscuito, the mother of four children, is caught in a national
whirlwind that is drowning her and her children. She has been a key witness
to the murder of an Indian leader of the Cabazon Tribe, and also has
testified against law enforcement officials in the State of Washington. She
has also cooperated with the F.B.I. on RITUAL CHILD ABUSE issues in

Riconoscuito's husband, Michael, is currently in jail in Chicago waiting to
testify before a Federal Grand Jury investigating one of the biggest
scandals in the U.S. Justice Department History, what some judges and
congressmen refer to as "dirtier than Watergate"... Michael Riconoscuito
was a computer expert for the Central Intel- ligence Agency, he was their
Einstein. There was nothing he couldn't do with a computer, for good or for
bad. But he had many secrets and he began to see the ruthlessness of his
colleagues. Michael Riconoscuito decided to testify about massive
corruption in the U.S. Justice Department and the intelligence agency. He
agreed to provide his insider knowledge to the U.S. House Judiciary
Committee investigating the INSLAW affair. He also gave his testimony to a
Federal Bankruptcy Court which ruled that the Justice Department was
deceitful, stole a $6 million software package. The INSLAW case was
considered by mem- bers of Congress and the Federal Bankruptcy Judge to be
dirtier than "Watergate". In fact, the Judge WAS REMOVED FROM THE BENCH
after 14 years because of his ruling against the Justice Department.

Michael Riconoscuito, in providing his testimony, warned Congress and the
Courts that he had been threatened [that] should he testify he would be
arrested and his wife would lose a custody battle involving her children by
a former marriage. The threats were carried in the Washington Times, St.
Louis Post Dispatch and the Napa Sentinel. Within a week of Riconoscuito's
testimony he was arrested by Federal Agents. Even while under arrest, he
was subpoenaed to testify before a U.S. Federal Grand Jury seated to hear
the INSLAW case. On Thursday, November 12, Michael Riconoscuito made a
declaration to the court. After the declaration was filed his wife, Bobbie,
was arrested, in Napa. Bobbie was arrested on a Washington warrant, charged
with custodial interference. The warrant was three years old and it
actually may be invalid inasmuch as Bobbie was never subpoenaed to appear
before a custody suit after a temporary order giving custody of their
children to the father was overturned years ago. When Bobbie was arraigned
on Friday, heavy security was on hand and everyone was subject to
electronic and personal search, a very unusual step associated with such a
minor charge. She was being held without bail. Bail was finally set at
$50,000. Bobbie had just delivered a letter to the Sentinel addressed to
Con- gressman Jack Brooks and then a few minutes later she was arrested.
Her arrest sparked interest with several national radio talk shows and some
national media.

The federal agent who arrested Michael Riconoscuito after his Congres-
sional declaration is the SAME AGENT who called the Napa County District
Attorney's Office to have Bobbie arrested. The children voluntarily left
with their father yesterday, but they indicated they felt it was only

After Michael Riconoscuito's arrest, Bobbie went into hiding, she and her
family had been THREATENED and their home broken into. Both Bobbie and
Michael Riconoscuito felt that the children were as much in danger as they
were. Michael Riconoscuito possessed the knowledge that could destroy
powerful forces in and out of Washington. [Indeed, if Riconosciuto's father
was a pro-Nazi friend of Fred L. Crisman, and Michael himself was involved
in the core of the CIA-Wackenhut biogenetics/underground base/suppressed
tech- nology/abduction scenarios, and given that he is no doubt aware of
most or all of those people around him who have been murdered -- researcher
Danny Caso- laro, the 5 Wackenhut employees whe died in the helicopter
'crash', the Cabazon Indian leader Fred Alvares and his two friends, London
reporter Anson Ng, Attorney Dennis Eisman, etc. -- as well as the claim
that the Wackenhut-Inslaw-Octopus conspiracy is potentially far more
damaging to certain elements of 'government' than was Watergate, then I
would agree that the Riconosciuto's have much to be concerned about... but
moreso those who could be implicated as a result of the exploding public
interest in this unraveling web of corruption. - Wol.] In an August 1992
report from the Brooks Committee in Congress, Michael Riconoscuito is given
high credibility for his testimony. The Congress, after reviewing the
entire INSLAW case for nearly two years, asked for a Special Prosecutor.
The Congressional report also was critical of the Justice Department's
requests and subpoenas...

Riconoscuito states in her federal court document that her ex-husband,
Steven Peterson "was involved in criminal activity, including, but not
limited to, sexual abuse and the conspiracy to murder Fred Alvarez, a
member of the Caba- zon Indian Nation in Indio, California. [Also] that
Riconoscuito was seeking to enter the California Witness Protection Program
because (of) her willingness to testify about the criminal activity of
Peterson." The petition also alleges that Peterson beat Riconoscuito while
she was pregnant, which had nearly caused a miscarriage and her own death,
supported by separate affidavits. When Ricono- scuito was providing such
testimony in the past, she sought to have the affidavit sealed and made her
allegation in camera (closed session) out of fear for her life and that the
Mason County authorities placed her life in jeopardy by putting the
affidavit into the public record.

The three year old warrant is based on an action taken when the courts gave
custody of the children to the father without notifying Riconoscuito, she
had already fled after the beating. The custody order was set aside,
however. So another order was issued, this time not only providing the
ex-husband with custody but also assigning real estate and insurance
entitlements to her ex- husband.

Riconoscuito is claiming there is no valid warrant. On April 7, 1989,
Riconoscuito's ex-husband stated he did not want custody of the children.
Riconoscuito is charging that her arrest was a method to intimidate her
present husband, Michael Riconoscuito. Michael Riconoscuito was scheduled
to testify on November 18, 1992, before the Federal Grand Jury impaneled to
investigate the Inslaw case. Roberta Riconoscuito was arrested in Napa on
November 17, she had been residing here for nearly a year and her children
were enrolled in local schools.

                              [Image] [Image]

ted they felt it was onl€€v

Return to the main index