The Bankruptcy Bordello
Part 5
Untrusted Trustees

Our group consists, among other things, of volunteer investigators, researchers, and data bloodhounds. Over more than four and one half decades we have compiled a mass of material on our favorite subjects, of which we have repeatedly publicly demonstrated expertise. That is, court corruption, banker-judges, and bankruptcy court hanky-panky.

One night, some of our group were at a meeting, unrelated to our usual work. They were sitting, concidentally or otherwise, next to a sizeable businessman. After some preliminary chit-chat, they sought to elicit some real discussion, of which one may presume they had some prior indication.

Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts: "What do you do?"

Businessman: "I own a chain of hardware stores."

Citizen's Committee: "Are there any problems in your industry? (Pretending not to know.)"

Businessman: "Plenty. Competition and price undercutting near wrecked me. I could not pay my suppliers and vendors. I had to file for Bankruptcy."

Citizen's Committee: "In Chicago's U.S. Bankruptcy Court? (He nodded, Yes.)"

Businessman: "One night this fellow shows up at my home. Introduces himself as a U.S. Trustee. Understand, my stores were padlocked, awaiting an auction. So, he asks me my estimate of how much of my inventory is reasonably fresh goods, that could easily be sold in one or more stores of my chain. So, I tell him, it is about two hundred thousand dollars. He says if I pay him 35 thousand dollars cash, I will have back my inventory and he will see to it that at least one of my stores will be un-padlocked. Auction to be cancelled."

Citizen's Committee: "Did you ask him whether this money was to be split up among your creditors or what?"

Businessman: "Oh, I aint stupid. He made it plain. It was for him personally, and his friends, sort of under the table. No receipt was to be issued. So, I was anxious to re-open. at least one of my stores in an upscale neighborhood in the Chicago area.  So I paid the cash on the sly to him."

Citizen's Committee: "So what is the problem?"

Businessman: "I thought I paid him in full. But he and his friends are trying, to blackmail me, to get me to pay them more now. And, the bastards did not give me back all of my choicest inventory. They apparently, un-padlocked the store themselves, stole some of the inventory, and sold it on the black market."

At a later date, some of our group found a time and a place to "accidentally" sit down next to this U.S. Trustee, at a meeting unrelated to court corruption and such.

Volunteers: "What do you do? (Pretending not to know.)"

Trustee: "I am a court-approved U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee."

Volunteers: "(After more preliminary chit-chat, they start asking some real questions.) One of my pals contends you paid Judge (naming him) of the federal court, five big ones to get approved. Is that true?"

Trustee: "Hey, what are you guys here hermits or something? You do not reward those who do you useful favors? C'mon. this is Chicago."

Volunteers: "We also understand you are a sizeable stockholder of Garfield Ridge Trust and Savings Bank (of Chicago)."

Trustee: "Is there a law against it?"

Volunteers: "Oh, no, of course not. If Al Capone were still alive,  he would not be prevented from owning a substantial share of that bank."

Trustee: "So what's the beef?"

Volunteers: "Well, we happen to know the dope money from the Mena, Arkansas airport deal with the American CIA, reportedly has a transit point through Garfield Ridge Trust & Savings Bank, on the way to being laundered by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. And your fellow sizeable stockholders have been your Bank Board Chairman, Daniel Shannon, who apparently is a super-spook formerly of the U.S. Secret Service. And another fellow sizeable bank stockholder is defrocked former U.S. Congressman Daniel Rostenkowski, sent to federal prison for defrauding the private bank of the U.S. Congress."

Trustee: "I don't know what the hell you are talking about. Mena, who? Mercantile Exchange? Never heard of them. Goodbye already."

[Our website has numerous stories relating to the dope money laundering reportedly through this Chicago bank enroute to Chicago markets. One bank investigator, with a sense of humor, once told us that ostensibly so much illicit loot is going this route, guess what, he says? They are reportedly bringing into the bank at night, through a side entrance, boxes all marked "toilet paper" and containing so many hundred dollar bills, they do not count them, instead just weighing them. Same thing they do apparently through the American CIA dope money banks in Southern Florida. So much cash was coming in there from the dope trade, the crooked Federal Reserve had to set up a district branch there. By the way, the bank investigator said his higher ups reportedly told him to shut up about this bank and do his work elsewhere.]

[As mentioned in several of our previous website stories, the money from Arkansas is the reputed proceeds from dope trade through Northwest Arkansas, right where the sinister headquarters is of Wal-Mart and Red Chinese dope coming into the U.S. directly from Southwest China. See our series, "Wal-Mart and the Red Chinese Secret Police.". The tiny First National Bank of Mena (Arkansas) is apparentedly owned by the Riady ethnic Chinese group, tied to Clinton/Bush, and also great implicated with the apparent money laundry, headquartered in North Carolina, called First Union.]


One of the strangest group of details to be worked on by our group in over four decades revolved around a lawyer named James R. Vassilos. It took us several years to unravel what he was really all about. He originally came to us complaining about specific instances of Divorce Court corruption in Chicago's Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. We already knew of the massive corruption of which he spoke. So, on that subject, we put him as a guest on our weekly, one-hour taped public access Cable TV Program, "Broadsides" on Divorce Court dirty business..

His estranged wife was heiress to the Dutch bank octopus fortune, Algemene Bank Nederland. So important was Vassilos with his wife, that in years past when the Queen of Holland visited Chicago, Vassilos and his wife were among the very, very select few to have an audience with the Queen and kiss the Royal hand. His brother-in-law, Theo Bark, at one time was a director of ABN. Vassilos in later years told us how his brother-in-law reportedly taught Jim the fine art of money laundering, worldwide, using a German air carrier package delivery, similar to Federal Express.

Vassilos claimed his brother-in-law played a key role ostensibly in the corruption of their American flagship, La Salle National Bank, which they bought from the gold stolen from the Soviet gold treasury, upon the downfall of the Moscow government. [Details in part one of this website series.] He also claimed his brother-in-law played a role purportedly in running Saudi Air Lines under a contract with the major Dutch Air carrier.

A year after he approached us, he told us he ran the local version of the National Day of Prayer, May, 1992. He gave us the honor of sitting at the front table, right in front of the stage. We were somewhat amused by Jim's habit of mentioning Jesus Christ in every few words. Present in the Grand Ballroom of a major downtown Chicago hotel, the meeting had many bigshots. U.S. Senators, U.S. Congressmen, top officials of the federal bureaucracy, such as from the Chicago District Office of the Internal Revenue Service, a representative of the Mayor of Chicago, luminaries of every type and kind there present.

It took us years to find out, from investigating him, and talking off the record with pals ofJim Vassilos what that was all about. He was using these links, under the disguise of pushing Jesus Christ and such, as way to get under the skin of top local, state, and federal government officials.

In later years we discovered that two years before he met us, he had quietly filed for bankruptcy in Chicago's U.S. Bankruptcy Court. It was on behalf of him and his law office. Strange. It came up before Chief Bankruptcy Judge John D. Schwartz. The IRS was listed as a major creditor. But the Chief Judge refused to allow them to question Jim. More than that, the Chief Judge did not require Vassilos to disclose his ten law partners of his law office. We later found out, by interviewing knowledgeable sources in the building they used to occupy, that Vassilos split up his law partners in several different offices scattered throughout the building, as if they were not one entity actually. [As to the Chief Judge, see part one of this series.]

How did Vassilos get the Chief Judge to cover up so much? Simple. Blackmail. He raised the issues as we later discovered about the Chief Judge, and the First National Bank of Cicero, and the whole dirty mess of "The Club". Vassilos and others in his combine, had penetrated "The Club". Their records were turned over to certain loudmouths.

His mentioning of Jesus Christ so often seemed to be a front for his blackmail and bribery work. He carried around always, two bibles, one for real, one hollowed out with a gun inside. He had also been the private attorney for the Deputy Director of the American CIA. He had a specialty of going around the country, visiting former CIA pilots who were framed and put in jail, to discredit them and shut them up about how they discovered their planes were used, for example, for the dope traffic from Honduras to the CIA airport, at Mena, Arkansas. The whole Mena mess was run by Daddy Bush, Ollie North, and Clinton as Arkansas Governor.

Once on the way back from interviewing, or spying on, some of these former pilots, Vassilos was mysteriously grabbed from his vehicle while he was parked at a forest rest stop on the highway. He was kept in jail---get this---without any actual charges against him. The downstate Illinois judge was puzzled as to how Vassilos was supposedly arrested and dumped into a local jail by operatives of the American CIA. Jim called us collect, and one of our group went to retrieve his vehicle. And wow! To try to find out what happened to him, we opened his huge suitcase, left in his vehicle.

What did we discover? That he owned 500,000 shares in a supposed entity called "Venezuela Telephone Company". Later, one of the tv networks did a documentary claiming the company was a front for dope trafficking by renegade types of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Over a period of years, we found out how the top officials of the Chicago District Office of the Internal Revenue Service were bribed by Vassilos, he having got under their skin through his Jesus Christ mouthing off.

One day members of our group had a meeting with two top officials of the Criminal Division of the Chicago Office of the IRS. Toward the end of a conference of three hours and fifteen minutes, they finally came around to what was on their mind. They heard that we had the bribery confession of James R. Vassilos, specifics how he bribed the top brass of the Chicago IRS. AND THAT WE WERE ABOUT TO PUT IT ON THE AIR THROUGH OUR TV SHOW.

"Mr. Skolnick, if you proceed to prepare to put that on the air, we will stop you. We will come and arrest you and your team."

They had earlier in the meeting given us their business card stamped in gold, with their name, title, and direct contact numbers.

How to counter-attack? Across from the cable studio is Kinko's Copy Service. For our tv show, we had the IRS bosses' business card enlarged to 16 x 20. It became the backdrop for our whole one hour show. That did the trick!

Also, we put into undisputed court records, the details how Vassilos bribed Chicago U.S. District Court Judge Harry D. Leinenweber, whose wife used her maiden name, Lynn Martin, and had been a member of Congress and then the head of the U.S. Labor Department. This was done by Vassilos to torpedo the validity of a 32 million dollar judgment that someone wanted blocked.

Vassilos had a big problem with the U.S. Labor Department, regarding a family business. The federals wanted to collect big bucks from Vassilos and certain relatives. How did he stop that? Simple. He was an expert on bribery. He bribed a top U.S. Labor Department official, while getting under their skin with his religious trick, starting out by repeatedly giving the impression he is a holy man, mentioning Jesus Christ every few words.

The details of the Vassilos confession was looked at by a top IRS official in their Inspection division, in Chicago. Off the record, they confirmed that what Vassilos confessed to was most likely true. They obtained a copy of our tv show for the purpose of forwarding it to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General. Of course, I told the local IRS Inspector I had no confidence in the Inspector General, in view of that office having in the past as head man, "the highest mafia representative in the U.S. Government", as confirmed by various law enforcement officials to us.

So, as of the date of this story, nothing has been done to remedy the situation detailed in this series. The U.S. Treasury Inspector General was NOT in any way punished. Nor were the other top IRS officials, nor Judge Leinenweber, or Chief Judge John D. Schwartz, and the various other culprits herein referred to.



Since 1958, Mr. Skolnick has been a court reformer and since 1963, Founder/Chairman, Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts. Since 1991, a regular panelist and since 1995, Moderator/Producer of "Broadsides", a one hour weekly, taped, public access Cable TV prrogram cablecast WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF CHICAGO, to upwards of 400,000 viewers each Monday evening, 9 p.m., Channel 21 Cable TV.Parts of tv shows can be seen on our website, on-line.

Office, 8 a.m. to midnight most 7 days (773) 375-5741 BUT DO NOT BOMBARD THIS LISTED PHONE with "JUST ROUTINE" calls PLEASE.

For updates of our work, on a recorded phone message NOT an expensive call (773) 731-1100.

For a heavy packet of our printed stories, send $5.00 [U.S. funds only] plus a stamped, self-addressed BUSINESS size envelope [ #10 envelope, 4-1/8 x 9-1/2 ] WITH THREE U.S. FIRST CLASS STAMPS on it, to Citizen's Committee to Clean up the Courts, Sherman H. Skolnick, Chairman, 9800 So. Oglesby Ave., Chicago IL 6017-4870.

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