Articles by Timothy L. O'Brien



Banking Cancer Grew in the Heart of Washington

  • 20 July 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Riggs Bank, which for years billed itself as ""the most important bank in the most important city in the world,"" now finds itself the most scrutinized bank in the most unforgiving city in the world.

Credit Suisse Eyed Over IMF Loans to Ukraine

IMF Report Mars Ukraine-U.S. Ties

NEWS ANALYSIS: Charges Put Pressure on Bank

Guilty Pleas Awaited In Bank of NY Probe

Bank of New York Cited for Loose Safeguards

Emigre Lawyer Circulates Questionable Info

NEW YORK -- In the months since news broke that billions of dollars in suspect Russian money had flowed through the Bank of New York, an obscure, emigre lawyer has done as much as anyone to keep the story alive and build pressure on the bank. Emanuel Zeltser, a classically trained pianist who passed the New York bar exam without any formal legal training in the United States, has positioned himself as the kind of savvy, inside source that journalists and investigators covet. Material circulated by Zeltser and his associates has figured prominently in articles in the U.S. media. But a look at his business dealings and his past, based on interviews and court records, raises questions about whether reporters and others have been too willing to accept help from a person whose ethics and credibility are in dispute. In court papers and sworn testimony, former business associates have accused Zeltser of faking financial and legal documents.

Ex-Employee of Bank Arrested in New York

N.Y. Bank Exec Quits In Protest

London Firm May Be Linked to Scandal

Menatep Offshore Deals Were Necessary, Clean

Shady Swiss Banker at Crossroads of Scandal

Jailed Lazarenko Puts Family in $7M Home

Will Blame Be Laid on 2 Emigres?

NEW YORK -- Seven years ago, Natasha Gurfinkel, a young executive at the Bank of New York, joined an elite contingent of American bankers sent to Russia and made an important advance in her career. Her mission was to help the new Russia create a Western-style banking system, and her self-assured, savvy touch impressed top bankers and regulators on the trip. Only a few months after her return, she was promoted to head the bank's division for Eastern Europe. At 37, she was taking on a big assignment for a woman at a buttoned-down New York bank. She seemed perfect for the job. Fluent in her native Russian, and able to move seamlessly from Wall Street to Moscow, she built a lucrative business for the bank. New Russian companies needed access to American money and banks, and Gurfinkel became known as a banker who could get things done.

Russian Billions Lured N.Y. Bank

Russian Mob Put Billions in N.Y. Bank

$16Bln Deal Forms No. 8 U.S. Bank

Citigroup to Slash 10,600 Jobs

Do the Deal and Get Out

High-Flying Bank Slips With Market