Middendorf, Mitchell, Monfrini, Montagnier

57. Middendorf, John William “Bill” (1924 –     )

Described by the Conservative Heritage Foundation, where he has been a trustee since 1989, as “a true renaissance man with interests in both music—he wrote Heritage’s theme march—and art,” Bill Middendorf is a former Secretary of the Navy, an ambassador to the Netherlands and the Organization of American States, and a successful investment banker. http://www.heritage.org/about/board-of-trustees/j-william-middendorf

A staunch conservative (with strong libertarian leanings), Middendorf, was a member of “the draft Goldwater” team as early as 1962. In 2006 he wrote a chronicle of the “disasterous” 1964 Goldwater presidential campaign. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2006-10-29/news/0610270033_1_william-middendorf-barry-goldwater-middendorf-ii

http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-Disaster-Goldwaters-Presidential Conservative/dp/0465045731

In 1981, Middendorf was part of Ronald Reagan’s transition team. He and his old Wall Street friend Bill Casey, Reagan’s CIA Director, were instrumental in “reforming” the intellegence agency. The subsequent Iran-contra scandal would indicate that Casey’s freewheeling CIA was another “disaster” that Middendorf was involved in (see nos. 38, 65, 88, and 100 on my “Who’s Who in Fribourg” list). https://books.google.com/books?id=u0jp3YZyjuAC&pg=PA154&lpg=PA154&dq=bill+middendorf+BILL+CASEY&source=bl&ots=bsrhJ7Uz4L&sig=qqr-RMq3YB4PiEP-KJYwDs5cCC8&hl=e

The Hertage Foundation, America’s most influential consevative think tank, is a stalwart opponant of all of Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” social reforms.

Funded in part by the libertarian Koch brothers, Heritage is especially stridant in its opposition to all climate-change legislation. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/global-warming-skeptic.html#.Vl39ldKrT


Fribourg co.: Middendorf SA (Originally: “L C  Loan Consult SA”), Prendre des participations en Europe, etc., Cap 0,05. (31.10.86, 29.12.92) Pérolles 4. Chez Jordan SA


Peter Clowes being led away to jail

58.  Mitchell, David   (1926 –     )

Geneva-based accountant, who, with Geneva lawyer Gabriel Ottramare, had dealings with Barlow Clowes International, the corrupt Gibraltar fund management concern. Barlow Clowes, which “was supposed to specialize in safe investments for the benefit of pensioners,” collapsed in 1988 owing nearly ₤200 million. It was revealed that Peter Clowes, the company’s founder, had diverted company money “into luxury boats, aircraft and a string of firms linked to him.” Clowes was jailed in 1992 and spent 10 years in prison.

“Mitchell was one of three accountants expelled from the profession as a result of the collapse. He was found by the institute [of Chartered Accountants] to have had ‘substantial’ involvement in the affair and to have helped Clowes move client funds to Switzerland.” The High Court in London ruled that Mitchell owed the institute ₤127,000, but Mitchell remained a fugitive in Geneva saying about Britain:”I swore never to set foot in that blasted country again.” http://www.theguardian.com/business/2001/aug/05/theobserver.observerbusiness6

Peter Clowes’s yacht bought with pensioners’ money.


N.B. In May of 1987, I met with Lawrence Lever, who would later write the book on the Barlow-Clowes Affair, when he was working with the London TIMES. I spent a good part of an afternoon discussing Fribourg’s connection to international fraud with him. Unfortunately, nothing resulted from our conversation.

Fribourg co. : Marine Oil Services ES SA (Originally : « Saha Health Aids SA ») Original statuts : « L’étude, l’organisation et l’administration de services médicaux adéquats destinés à des groupes urbains et ruraux en Arabie Saoudite et dans le Moyen Orient, l’achat et la vente d’appareils médicaux et de produits pharmaceutiques, la société n’exercera aucune activité en Suisse, si ce n’est celui nécessaire à son administration » subsequent goal : Procéder à des recherches et des études dans le domaine des transports maritimes, en particulier d’hydrocarbures, organiser et coordonner des frais de transport de marchandises par bateau et par d’autres moyens, assumer les fonctions de courtier maritime ; fournir tous conseils et rendre tous services, éditer et publier tous ouvrages et périodiques ressortissant notamment au domaine des transports maritimes et des activités qui s’y rapporte.  Cap 0,1. (8.2.77, 4.12.84)    Rue de Fries 1, chez Me J.A. Andrey


59.  Monfrini, Enrico   (1944 –     )

Geneva-based corporate lawyer who from 1999-2005 was the advocate for the Nigerian government in its quest to recuperate the estimated $4 billion that the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and his clan looted from the Nigerian treasury and stashed in banks in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Britain.


One of the banks used by Abacha’s sons to launder money was the London office of Citibank, owned by Citigroup, the US financial services giant (see: “How Citibank came to be duped by two ‘charming’ sons of Nigerian despot,” Financial Times, London, 10/20/00, p.6).

Monfrini, whose father, Henri, was Switzerland’s ambassador to Italy, first made international news in 1977 when he wed in Washington, D.C. Countess Christina Wachtmeister, the daughter of the Swedish ambassador to the United States. “Titi” Wachtmeister was a former cover girl and sometime companion to Peter Sellers and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden. The wedding was attended by a swarm of international jet-setters, which included German playboy Gunter Sachs and London gossip columnist Nigel Dempster—Senator Ted Kennedy dropped in for a quick drink. An article about the wedding described Monfrini as “charming, bright, attractive and rich—exactly the kind of man you want to bring home to your mother or have your mother bring home to you—depending on how you work those things out these days.” (Nancy Collins, “A Wedding, a Sparkle of Continental Chums,” The Washington Post, “Style,” 10/3/77, p.1). The couple later separated and Titi died of a brain hemorrhage in 1993.

Despite his jet-setting past, Monfrini later spent a considerable amount of time doing business in Africa (at least one of Monfrini’s Fribourgeois companies, Elsicor SA, has connections to Nigeria). According to the Swiss business magazine BILAN, these business connections are why Monfrini was chosen by Nigerian President Obasanjo to recover the Abacha loot. Obasanjo reportedly considered the recovery of the billions of dollars stolen by his predecessor as crucial to his own mandate and Monfrini maintained regular telephone contact with him throughout the investigation (“Londres lave plus blanc,” BILAN, Lausanne, December, 2000, p.36).

In May of 2000, Monfrini met with the late American lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who had been enlisted by the Abacha clan to help them recover the disputed billions. Cochran gained fame when he successfully defended O.J. Simpson in his famous murder trial (see: “Zwei Banken mehr im Blick Vizekonsul bei Todeskandidat,” SonntagsZeitung, Zurich, 5/14/00).

In 2012, the “Offshore Leaks” investigation revealed that Monfrini had established 160 shell companies in the opaque tax jurisdiction of Panama. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, hundreds of lawyers, accountants, and fiduciary agents listed on the boards of companies established in Fribourg set up thousands of these innocuously-named Panamanian shell companies. Many of these lawyers and accountants were from Geneva. In a future posting, I will discuss the symbiotic business connections linking Geneva, Fribourg, and Panama.


Sani Abacha

Fribourg cos.:  ECA Holding SA, Participations, etc. Cap 0,05. (23.4.74, 28.12.92)  Rue St-Pierre 4. Chez M. Torche 

Elsicor SA, Commerce, importation, exportation, etc. Cap 0,05. (25.7.80, 6.3.89)  Rue St-Pierre  4. Chez M. Torche

Fracom SA, Participations, etc.,   Cap 0,05  (5.3.73, 7.3.89) Rue St-Pierre 4. Chez M. Torche

Gibbons & Vert AG, Conseils en placement aux personnes privées et aux sociétés placement aux personnes privées et aux sociétés, Cap 0,05  (23.10.74, 7.3.89)  Rue St-Pierre 4. chez M. Torche

La Royale Alimentation SA, Produits alimentaires etc.  Cap 0,05. (5.8.75, 8.3.89)  Rue St-Pierre 4. Chez  M. Torche

Metreco SA, Participations, Cap 0,05  (24.1.77, 7.3.89) Rue St-Pierre 4. Chez M. Torche

Montbarin SA, Participations, etc. Cap 0,05.  (25.6.75, 8.3.89) Rue St-Pierre 4. Chez M. Torche

Niverna Immoblière SA, Cap 0,05.  Affaires immobilières, etc. (31.7.79, 8.3.89)  Rue St-Pierre 4. Chez  M. Torche


60.  Montagnier, Luc   (1932 –     )

The French virologist who was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Harald zur Hausen for his discovery of HIV (the immodeficiency virus).


Recent articles he has published on homeopathy have mired Professor Montagnier in some controversy. Montagnier now teaches at a Shanghai university.


AIDS « Pieta » in Benetton ad—see no. 9 in “Who’s Who in Fribourg”


Fribourg foundation : Fondation Mondiale Recherche et Prévention SIDA  (FMRPS), Mobiliser des moyens supplémentaires pour la lutte contra le SIDA en faisant appel à l’initiative privée dans un esprit de complémentarité vis-à-vis des actions publiques et des réalisations déjà existantes,  (1.3.93)   Pl. Notre-Dame 4. chez O. Brunisholz

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