Did The JLP Really Hire Manatt, Phelps and Phillips ?
Manatt is the American law firm caught in middle if a situation surrounding Coke’s proposed extradition and a scandal involving the ruling JLP . Prime Minister Golding was accused of paying the firm almost $50,000 in order to lobby the United States government, with the objective of convincing it to drop the extradition request.
Golding flatly denied this allegation until May 11th, when he admitted not to hiring Manatt, but to sanctioning his party’s decision to do so. Manatt may now face a federal inverstigation due it involement with JLP as to who really had entered into a contarct with the firm. Below is a letter sent to the firm from the Attorney General of the United States of America.
Attorney General of the United States of America
Honorable Eric H. Holder United States Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001
Dear Mr. Holder, I wish to share with you a matter that appears to be a violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) of 1938, 22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq. This matter has potential significant implications with regard to National Security and thus my desire to share the pertinent facts with you.
Specifically, I am making reference to registration # 5864 filed by Manatt, Phelps and Phillips on behalf of the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) through Mr. Harold Brady, of Brady and Company, Jamaica with the National Security Division/Counter Espionage Unit of the US Department of Justice.
The contract which is of public record was executed on Oct 1 2009 and it was filed on Nov.2 2009. The signatures were Susan Schmidt, Partner of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips and Harold Brady acting as a Consultant to the Government of Jamaica (GOJ).
The parties mentioned appeared to have violated the FARA by not declaring the extent of their lobbying activities and also the source of the funds for their lobbying efforts. Based on evidenced gleaned from a private investigative service, it would appear that the lobbying effort was financed by Mr. Christopher Coke (a.k.a “Dudus”) who has been named by the US Department of Justice to a list of “consolidate priority organization targets” which includes persons the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) says are the “world’s most dangerous narcotics kingpins”. Mr. Coke is a US fugitive and he has been indicted by a Grand Jury in the Southern District of New York. (Please see Exhibit 1- Indictment of Christopher Michael Coke)
The apparent criminal violation of the FARA is also suggestive of money laundering as the senior partner in the Manatt, Phelps and Phillips law firm, Susan Schmidt visited Jamaica in 2009, met with Mr. Christopher Coke knowing he was a US Fugitive, the Hon. Daryl Vaz- Jamaican Minister of Information and Mr. Harold Brady. The law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips then received from Mr. Coke the sum of US $49,892.62 as an installment towards their legal lobbying fee of US$400,000 per annum. This installment was given to Manatt by Mr. Harold Brady who was then promoting himself as a consultant to the GOJ.The funds originated from Incomparable Enterprises Limited a Jamaican Corporation owned by Mr. Coke and was laundered through the “Tourism Enhancement Fund”. This amount was issued on a check drawn on a Bank of Nova Scotia Account.
Ms. Schmidt thereafter met with the Hon. Bruce Golding- Prime Minister of Jamaica at Jamaica House. The signature of Ms. Schmidt on documents filed with the US Department of Justice cross reference to the signature of a similarly named individual in the Protocol Directory at Jamaica House.
It is apparent that Mr. Christopher Coke is very benevolent to the GOJ and its members. Indeed Mr. Harold Brady hosted at his home a party for the Jamaican Attorney General the Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne, with the source of funding for the celebration being Mr. Coke. Based on evidence gleaned to date and my enquiries with the Southern District of New York, this case may be currently subject to an “Obstruction of Justice” Investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.).
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips is a large sophisticated “AV” law firm and is certainly aware of the intricacies of the FARA. How could they have claimed to be an agent for the “GOJ” when the so called consultant, Harold Brady is denying his association with the law firm?
Further, the attached newspaper articles demonstrate that the Jamaican Prime Minister- the Hon. Bruce Golding was unaware of the fact that the Manatt, Phelps and Phillips law firm was representing Jamaica and lobbying on behalf of Mr. Coke.
You will note the Observer Newspaper article of 3.18.10 that indicates the Jamaican Minister of Information- Hon. Daryl Vaz, as being perplexed about this contract between the “GOJ” and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in which he suggested that no contractual relationship of this type exists.(Please see Exhibit 2- Jamaican Newspaper articles).
I would like the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips law firm specifically Charles Manatt and Susan Schmidt to be sanctioned for the deliberate misstatements to the US Department of Justice and for Mr. Harold Brady to be investigated for criminal violation of the FARA.
It is unacceptable, unethical and dangerous for a Manatt lawyer to have met with Mr. Coke in Jamaica knowing he is a US fugitive who had already been indicted by a US Grand Jury. Also, of paramount concern is the fact that the law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips did not sufficiently declare the nature and focus of its lobbying efforts on behalf of the “GOJ”.
It would appear the law firms real client is Mr. Christopher Coke who has been charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and conspiracy to illegally traffic in firearms