The Cortellazzi Consortium

October 24, 2008

My, What Big Teeth You Have Grandma

It appears that Messrs. Djokich & De Angelis, subjects of our last blog item have drawn the attention of the Canadian print media.

They have become front page material for Canada’s National Post  

The author of the news item is journalist Adrian Humphreys and his area of expertise is organized crime.

Mr. Humphreys knows a thing or two about organized crime in Canada having written extensively on the subject, his latest work concerns the rise of the Montreal Mafia under Vito Rizzuto 

Mr. Humphrey’s report on Messrs. Djokich & De Angelis combined with the knowledge of Mr. Humphreys area of expertise makes for a very interesting and revealing read :

Irate investors accused of hiring U. S. ‘hit man’

Adrian Humphreys,  National Post 

Published: Friday, October 24, 2008

Two Canadian businessmen have been arrested in the United States, accused of hiring a hit man to snatch a Calgary lawyer from his tropical island estate and kill him in an elaborate plot to recover millions of dollars lost in a flimsy investment.

The tale of investor revenge that was allegedly taken to a dreadful extreme includes a severed pinkie finger, a hit list of businessmen involved in half a dozen Canadian companies, and an undercover U. S. law enforcement agent posing as a hit man for hire.

“It’s very distressing,” said Richard DeVries, a lawyer from Calgary now living in the Bahamas who was the intended victim of the alleged plot.

“I am floored by it. Who would want to kill me?” he said when reached by the National Post.

According to U. S. authorities, at least two men: Nicholas Djokich, 57, of Calgary, and Eginardo De Angelis, 72, of Montreal.

They have been charged in Boston with conspiring to kidnap for the purpose of extorting money and a murder conspiracy.

The plot started on July 3 when two men went shopping for a hit man, authorities say.

In an office at Reber America Inc. in Montreal — where Mr. De Angelis worked selling furniture to hotels — someone interested in the hit met the accused men, according to U. S. allegations filed in court.

Mr. Djokich allegedly said the target was Mr. DeVries. He said Mr. DeVries, who sits on the boards of several private and publicly traded companies, was partially responsible for a loss of about US$175-million in investments, according to a sworn affidavit by Special Agent Derek Dunn of U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Mr. Djokich gave the man a photo of Mr. DeVries, his home address in the Bahamas and documents that he said supported his claim to the money.

He asked the man to go to the Bahamas, force Mr. DeVries to wire as much of the money as possible back to him and then maybe kill him, according to Agent Dunn’s affidavit. Unknown to any of the Canadians, the man was a police informant.

After contacting U. S. authorities, the informant again met the men at Reber. There, Mr. Djokich played him a tape of a conversation purportedly between Mr. Djokich and Mr. DeVries.

In the conversation, Mr. DeVries accused Mr. Djokich of kidnapping his partner, Calgary businessman William Lenz.

After playing the tape, Mr. Djokich told the man that he had, in fact, kidnapped Mr. Lenz and said they cut off a finger to make their point, according to Agent Dunn.

Sources confirm that Mr. Lenz was indeed kidnapped in Calgary on June 23, 2006, hooded and threatened to turn over money while his pinkie was severed. The digit was later surgically reattached and no charges were ever laid.

During the ordeal, Mr. Lenz apparently tried to wire US$15-million to his tormenters, but because the bank required him to appear in person, the money was not collected. Mr. Lenz could not be reached for comment.

At the Reber meeting, the informant told the two men (ICE), authorities allege.

Mr. Djokich railed against Messrs. DeVries and Lenz.

The financial dispute is a complicated one involving an investment made through Astral Enterprises Inc. to GSF Ltd. based on a contract involving a third company named Koan Investment Corp., according to documents filed in court.

The deal apparently ran satisfactorily for some years, with wire transfers from GSF to Koan from September, 1998, to June, 2001, before running afoul.

The ICE undercover agent was then told that taking care of Mr. DeVries was only the beginning. Others, as many as five men in several countries, were the next targets of the angry investors, according to the affidavit.

“One at a time,” the agent said, according to a transcript of a recording of the meeting. The “hit man” would need to watch Mr. DeVries in the Bahamas for several days to learn his routine and would need some money to do it, the agent said.

“About 10 grand, up front, non-reimbursable, to go down and check out everything. If it works, that becomes part of the overall price,” the agent said.

“I’m thinking maybe a boat, get a boat out of the [Florida] Keys, just go east and west, you know, the Coast Guard is only looking for boats going north and south, you know, the drug runners.”

Mr. Djokich seemed keen, allegedly saying: “If he refuses and everything, f—, he’s going to the fish. It’s as simple as that.”

The undercover agent replied: “All right, ’cause at the end of the day, you make the call…. You want me to throw him overboard, I’ll throw him overboard. You want me to dust him off and put him back on the pier, I’ll do that too…. I’m like a house painter. You tell me what colour you want to paint the house.”

The men then communicated by e-mail for two weeks, authorities claim.

On Aug. 11, four men met with the undercover agent in a Vermont Starbucks. They arrived in a Buick with a Quebec licence plate. One of them was Mr. De Angelis, authorities alleged.

The agent was given a white plastic bag stuffed with US$10,000 in U. S. currency. The other men have not been charged.

This month, the agent told the two accused men that the plot was finalized, with the kidnapping ready to go when Mr. DeVries visited Florida, authorities say. At a final meeting with Mr. Djokich, the agent asked if there had been a decision on whether to kill Mr. DeVries.

“Angelo wants him wiped out,” Mr. Djokich allegedly said, using Mr. De Angelis’ nickname. They agreed to US$40,000 more as the fee, on top of the US$10,000 front money.

Mr. Djokich was arrested on Saturday in Los Angeles after flying from Calgary on a business trip.

Mr. De Angelis was arrested on Monday in Atlantic City, N. J., after arriving on a tour bus from Montreal, apparently on a pleasure trip.

Mr. DeVries said anger towards him is misplaced.

“I was simply acting as a lawyer. I received trust funds. I dispersed the trust funds and because I [moved] to the Bahamas, they reached the conclusion I must have stolen the money,” he told the Post, adding there was nowhere near US$175-million involved.

“I was simply acting as a lawyer, handling trust funds. That’s all I did. I was acting on behalf of a client…. The money was lost in a bad investment.”

The arrests bring him comfort.

“I applaud the efforts of police, believe me,” he said.

Michel Coretti, a spokesman for Montreal’s Reber America, said he knows nothing of the alleged plot, but said Mr. De Angelis is a good man and will be found not guilty.

Neither of the accused men has yet secured a lawyer to represent them in the case.  

Andrea Cortellazzi (a convicted fraudster) and his associates Jean Michel de Montigny (who has interesting friends of his own) , Serge Ollu (also a convicted fraudster) declared to have severed ties with Mr. Djokich (Trimax Capital Group) in a May 2007  U Mining (formerly Globex Inc.) press release, one of the numerous press releases issued by U Mining, M45 Mining and He-5 Resources later demonstrated to be false.   

Mr. Humphreys news report paints a very different portrait of Mr. Djokich’s self promoting biography which he provided to adorn the now defunct Trimax Capital Group website:   

“Nicholas Djokich, a successful businessman, has a career spanning over 30 years in commodities trading where he has developed a unique talent in the capital markets that has assisted him in achieving his goals. Mr. Djokich brings to the Trimax Capital Group extensive experience in the capital markets, valuable contacts, innovative ideas and leadership that is all instrumental to the achievement of the corporation’s vision and goals. Mr. Djokich has founded a number of trading companies that have proven to be beneficial to the agriculture industry in Alberta and Quebec. Together with a vast knowledge of the resource sector, and an extensive financial and technological background, Mr. Djokich is poised to lead Trimax Capital Group to success.”

Mr. Djokich’s alledged victim declared to Mr. Humphreys of the National Post this action was completely unexpected: “I am floored by it. Who would want to kill me?”  

My, What Big Teeth You Have Grandma.

July 13, 2008

A mine is a hole in the ground owned by a liar

Dave Frank, a reporter from the Nevada Appeal has filed a well researched news item in regards to the activities (or lack thereof) of He-5 Resources:

“Tracking down anyone from the company, however, can be difficult, as people found after HE-5 set up a scholarship contest through the Nevada Appeal.

It offered three $2,500 scholarships for the elementary school students who could best answer the question, “Why is mining important to Nevada?”

Winners were selected after the October deadline, but the company never paid any of the children.

Angela Frisina, whose son was selected as one of the winners, said she talked with representatives from the company a few times, but only got empty promises.

It was frustrating not being able to force the company to cooperate, she said.

“It’s not like I can go in their door, sit on their desk and say, ‘Cough it up.'”

The only purpose of the scholarship offer was to provide Serge Ollu and Andrea Cortellazzi with a means to shore up their lack of credibility with investors.

The Nevada Appeal item makes for an interesting read when correlated with He-5 Resources’s unaudited 2007 financial statements which appeared on the He-5 Resources website until recently.

This being said, regular blog readers will not be surprised to discover the He-5 Resources is once again unavailable and “under construction”.

Recently, Mr. Cortellazzi CEO of M45 Mining filed the M45 Mining annual report and three significant financial restatements with the SEC.

The restatements are for the June 30, 2007 quarterly report, September 30, 2007 quarterly report and December 31, 2007 quarterly report.

In the December 31, 2007 quarterly report, Mr. Marcel Roy’s Exploration Miniere Grenville is mentioned as having sold claims to M-45 Mining:

“On October 9, 2007, M45 management finalized the acquisition of 160 mining titles covering a total area of 8,935 Hectares in the East area of the Matagami Mining Camp. The mining titles were acquired from “Miniere Grenville,” a Canadian Corporation, for a total nominal consideration of One Million Two Hundred and fifty thousand dollars payable in common shares at a set price value of $ 0.20 for a total number of restricted shares of 6,250,000. This acquisition is a key milestone of the “East Wind” phase of the Company’s business development program.”

In M-45 Mining’s annual report, Exploration Miniere Grenville (Mr. Marcel Roy) now appears as a 19.6 % shareholder of M-45 Mining :

 

M-45 Mining is currently reporting a net loss of $6,378,284.

Mr. Cortellazzi had originally reported a deficit of $1,809,167, the December 31, 2007 indicates a significant increase in the deficit of $4,569,117.

Readers new to the blog may wonder why M45 Mining and He-5 Resources are both mentioned in this item.

Andrea Cortellazzi, Serge Ollu and Jean Michel de Montigny are closely associated in many activities which often intersect.

Mr. Serge Ollu and Mr. Jean Michel De Montigny (former CEO of Umining and current CFO of Comitrag) are not mentioned in the 2007 and 2008 M-45 mining annual reports, nor are they mentioned anywhere else as directors or officers of M-45 Mining.

However, Mr. Ollu and Mr. De Montigny appear to have been significant shareholders of M-45 Mining since 15 August 2007 according to this document filed with the SEC in 2007:

Hopefully, shareholders of Excel Gold Mining Inc. will take note of the well researched Nevada Appeal article in light of the recent transaction concerning the sale of 117 claims by Serge Ollu’s wife:

Acquisition of a mining property in Montauban (Batiscan)

Excel Gold Mining Inc EGM
7/8/2008 11:21:29 AM
QUEBEC CITY, Jul 7, 2008 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network)

EXCEL GOLD MINING INC. (TSX Venture: EGM) Excel Gold Mining Inc. (herein referred to as “Excel” or the “Company”), announces that it has reached an agreement to acquire 100% interest in a mining property in Montauban (Batiscan), Province of Quebec (the “Property”), from Mrs. Denyse Raynault, residing at 1420, Bernard Avenue West, Suite 17, Outremont, Province of Quebec, H2V 1W3, a party dealing at arm’s length with the Company, further to a letter of intent disclosed in the Company’s June 4, 2008 press release.

Pursuant to an asset purchase agreement dated June 25, 2008 (the “Agreement”), Excel has acquired all rights, title and interest in the Property in consideration for the allotment and issuance of 8,000,000 units (the “Units”), each Unit comprising one fully-paid and non-assessable common share in the capital stock of the Company valued at $0.20 (the “Shares”) and one half (1/2) share purchase warrant, each full warrant (the “Warrants”) allowing its holder to purchase one Share at a price of $0.22 per Share for a period of twenty-four (24) months following the date of the execution of the Agreement (the foregoing being collectively referred to as the “Transaction”).

The Shares and Warrants shall be issued in reliance of the exemption set forth in Section 2.13 (shares issued in consideration for the acquisition of a mining property) of Regulation 45-106 respecting prospectus and registration exemptions (Quebec).

The Property

The Property claims consist in the mining rights relating to a property called “Montauban” which is composed of 117 mining titles covering 4,603.78 hectares (the “Mining Titles”). The Property is located in the Montauban and Chavigny region together with the west section of La Seigneurie de Grondines, Comté de Portneuf, Province of Quebec, at 120 km west of the City of Quebec and 50 km north east of the City of Trois-Rivieres, Province of Quebec.

A formal technical report was prepared pursuant to Regulation 43-101.respecting standards of disclosure for mineral projects with respect to the Mining Titles, identifying gold, silver, copper, zinc and lead as the minerals present therein.

Excel Gold Mining and He-5 shareholders may find interesting that Ms. Raynault stated 6 months ago in a 27 February 2008 press release that she was stepping down from the He-5 CEO position:

HE-5 also announced that Chief Executive Officer Denyse Raynault has expressed an intention to resign from her position. Ms. Raynault stated that she intends to step down from the CEO position so that someone with greater expertise in the international mining industry assumes the leadership role of the Company. She believes that a new more experienced CEO who has a wider network of contacts in the worldwide mining community would significantly benefit HE-5 and facilitate its mission to become an important player in the global mining industry.

The blog concurs with Dave Frank of the Nevada Appeal as he quotes Mark Twain:

“A mine is a hole in the ground owned by a liar,”

September 2, 2007

The Ties That Bind

The Cortellazzi Consortium have made their association more visible since this blog appeared on 25 August 2007.

ties-that-bind.jpg

The document above (click on graphic for larger view) was filed by M45 Mining with the SEC on August 28th 2007 . The filing bears the date of 15 August 2007 and the signatures of Andrea Cortellazzi (M45 Mining), Jean Michel de Montigny UMining) and Serge Ollu (He-5 Resources).

However, it was only submitted 13 days later on 28 August 2007.

The previous filing which is dated 20 August 2007 was filed the very next day on 21 August 2007.

Why was the 28 August 2007 filing which bears the date of 15 August 2007 submitted after the filing which bears 20 August 2007, a later date ?

I would suspect it has something to do with the concern of these Montreal visitors who’s IP’s have appeared on this blog’s statistics :

67.68.231.12 – which remained on this blog for 14 hours 48 mins 23 secs

69.70.210.103 – which remained on this blog for 22 hours 57 mins 25 secs

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