Diligence

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Group.png Diligence Crunchbase LinkedIn Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-icon.png
Diligence.png
Formation2000
FounderWilliam Webster
Type• intelligence agency
• front
An industrial espionage network fronted by former members of the establishment.

Diligence, Llc or Diligence Global Business Intelligence SA is a CIA front company[1] or "spin-off"[2], operating an industrial espionage network. Top staff include members of UK and US intelligence agencies, originally created by former George H. W. Bush administration members to obtain private contracts from Enron. In 2000, it was It claims to advise on corporate investments in foreign markets, as well as protecting corporations from legal investigations, what it calls “reputational threats”. The company has a mailbox address in Geneva, Switzerland, and post office boxes elsewhere, with members of the network being primarily contractors who work independently.

Origins and history

Diligence's website states that it was founded in 2000 “by former members of the CIA and its British counterpart, MI5.” [3] The company’s head office is in Geneva, Switzerland, at a serviced office. It is one of a growing number of organisations which sprang up to exploit the demand for private security in the wake of 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2003 Diligence opened an office in Baghdad to provide security services and is now targeting Latin America.

Activities

On its website Diligence summarises its activities as:

  • Due diligence of complicated cross border transactions
  • Litigation support and international arbitration
  • FCPA and anti-corruption concerns
  • Reputational threats and controversy risk management
  • Brand and intellectual property protection
  • Fraud and personnel issues
  • Political risk and market entry studies [4]

The company’s website includes a selection of case studies. They are entirely unsourced and almost impossible to verify, but include elements of penetration and subversion of protest groups, as well as anti-union activities:

Case Study 08

Threat Assessment & Physical Security

Diligence was retained by a prominent European scientific research group to provide early warning of a possible attack by a violent activist organization that had accused the institution of testing products on animals and that had also begun to harass managers of the institution. Our research indicated that there was friction within the activist group. The less extreme element believed that the group's violent actions not only alienated the public, but that violence would result in the facility being closed and testing moved to Eastern Europe, where research on animals would be under much less regulation and oversight. Diligence's staff played on these concerns, and managed to provide warning of any planned attacks. Information was passed to the police, arrests were made and senior managers at the facility were protected from assault. [5]

Case Study 10

Threat Assessment & Physical Security

A large multinational was having labor problems at a manufacturing plant in India. There had been increasing unrest among its employees and more frequently, impromptu strikes were being called for no apparent reason. Furthermore, senior management at the plant had started to receive personal threats [...] Diligence was called in to help management better understand what was going on, to determine who was responsible and to provide early warning of the agitators' intentions. Former intelligence officers on the Diligence staff started to develop a network of sources within the work force. They quickly determined that the strike instigators were local organized criminals who were trying to take over the union in an attempt to extort money from the workers and to benefit from theft at the plant. They had hoped that by organizing strikes and making threats they would have the current union officials dismissed. Diligence worked with the plant managers, union officials, and local media sources to expose the perpetrators by publicizing their plans in a local newspaper. [6]

Case Study 01

Commercial & Competitive Intelligence

A Western oil "major" was ready to embark on the acquisition of a large Russian oil company. The head of the company's mergers and acquisition group asked Diligence to determine the beneficial ownership of several offshore entities belonging to the potential Russian acquisition target.

Diligence launched a discreet process of identifying and isolating the company's offshore holdings to identify any misrepresentations or non-disclosure of material facts and embarked on an in-depth investigation of the backgrounds of the target company's management and key employees. Diligence's information enabled the client to identify and isolate areas of risk and cleared key personnel of having any links to criminal activities such as money laundering, tax evasion, or corporate fraud. The client successfully completed a $7 billion investment. [7]

Diligence Middle East

Now defunct, Diligence’s partners in Diligence Middle East reportedly once included the Kuwaiti-based Al-Mal Investment Company and the Washington D.C.-based New Bridge Strategies, which provided DME with significant business development and networking skills because of their connections to the US government. New Bridge Strategies, was headed by Joe M. Allbaugh, Bush's campaign manager in 2000 and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency until March. Other directors included Edward M. Rogers Jr., vice chairman, and Lanny Griffith, lobbyists who were assistants to the first President George HW Bush and had ties to the White House. Allbaugh also served as George W. Bush’s national campaign manager for the 2000 election and as the campaign manager for Bush’s first run for Texas governor in 1994. He also served as Governor George W. Bush's Chief of Staff. Along with Bush’s longtime aides, Karen Hughes and Karl Rove, Allbaugh is known as one of the three members of Bush’s so-called “iron triangle". [8]

The network of influence had been the subject of a TV investigation that alleges insider business deals between Douglas Feith, the Undersecretary of Defense and several companies many related to his "former" business associate Marc Zell, including: Zell, Goldberg and Company, Diligence, New Bridge Strategies, Barber, Griffith and Rogers, SAIC and The Iraqi International Law Group.

People

  • Nick Day. Chief Executive Officer: A short-timer in Britain's Security Service (MI5) Day is a founding member of Diligence, currently based in Bourg-en-Bresse, France. Following his government service, Day worked as a senior investigator for the now-defunct Maxima Group, a European fraud investigations firm. According to The Independent, [9] Day joined the Marines at the age of 18 and rose only to the level of Second Lieutenant before becoming an officer in the Special Boat Service, the maritime equivalent of the SAS. Following time in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Bosnia (where he gathered intelligence), he joined MI5 where he served as a short-timer for just under two years. At the behest of William Webster and others, he was hired to front Diligence, in the wake of its post-Enron rebranding, with ex-CIA agent Mike Baker and others in 2000.
  • Mike Baker, former CEO, spent 14 years at the CIA as a covert field operations officer specializing in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.
  • Whitley Bruner, its chief operating officer in Baghdad, was once the CIA station chief in Iraq.

Advisory Board

As of 6 June 2012 Diligence’s Advisory Board comprised of:

Formerly affiliated figures

Former cases

Diligence once had links to the US via the heavyweight Republican lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR) which has invested in the business, but divested itself following a scandal described below. Diligence also once worked in association with New Bridge Strategies, a US firm with links to BGR that was set up to help companies secure Iraqi contracts. Clients are understood to include the American governmental agency USAID and a number of companies associated with Halliburton.

Business Week] reported how KPMG the accounting giant was infiltrated by Diligence in 2005. Barbour Griffith & Rogers, one of the most formidable lobbying firms in Washington, represented a Russian conglomerate whose archrival, IPOC International Growth Fund Ltd., was being audited by KPMG's Bermuda office. Day posed fraudulently as an MI5 agent and got an accountant to drop off inside information. Business Week adds this (note the mention of Alfa):

"From the start, Diligence's goal was clear, if far from simple: Infiltrate KPMG to obtain advance information about the audit of IPOC, an investment fund based in Bermuda. Russian conglomerate Alfa Group Consortium hired Barbour Griffith & Rogers through a subsidiary, and the lobbying firm in turn hired Diligence. Alfa is dueling with IPOC for a large stake in the Russian telecom company MegaFon. "We have a good chance of success on this project," Day wrote in an internal Diligence memo, referring to the Bermuda espionage effort. The memo, which BusinessWeek reviewed, added: "We are doing it in a way which gives plausible deniability, and therefore virtually no chance of discovery." Similar Diligence operations, the memo noted, had been successful before."

Richard Burt of Diligence's Advisory board is also Alfa Bank's Senior Advisory Board in Moscow and as International Director of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers (who share Diligence's offices). On IPOC itself: one reader response in Businessweek states: "Try "googling" this: "IPOC" + "Leonid Reiman" + "Money Laundering". Nearly 300 hits."

In 2005, KPMG Financial Advisory Services sued Diligence for fraud and unjust enrichment in U.S. District Court in Washington. On June 20, 2006, the case settled. Business Week reports that Diligence paid KPMG $1.7 million, and IPOC sued both Diligence and Barbour Griffith & Rogers in the same District Court, alleging civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment, and other misdeeds



References

  1. https://isgp-studies.com/911-supranational-suspects
  2. Document:The Global Drugs Meta-Group
  3. ‘History and reach’, web.archive.org/Diligence website, accessed 24 April, 2009.
  4. 'About us', web.archive.org/Diligence website, accessed 24 April, 2009.
  5. 'Case Study 08', web.archive.org/Diligence website, accessed 24 April, 2000.
  6. 'Case Study 10', web.archive.org/Diligence website, accessed 24 April, 2009.
  7. 'Case Study 01', web.archive.org/Diligence website, accessed 24 April, 2009.
  8. Ed Vulliamy, 'America in the grip of Bush's "Iron Triangle"', The Observer, 3 December, 2000. (Accessed October, 2008)
  9. Adrian Gatton and Clayton Hirst, 'A booty for the barons of Baghdad', The Independent, 8 February, 2004.
  10. https://lumpenproletariat.org/2016/08/24/guns-and-butter-presents-part-4-another-nineteen-investigating-legitimate-911-suspects-by-kevin-ryan/