By Jay Syrmopoulos
In 2015 there was a popular “conspiracy theory” floating around the Internet after a rash of mysterious “suicides” by high-profile banking professionals. What once looked like wild speculation is now beginning to resemble a vast criminal conspiracy connected to the Libor, interest-rigging scandal.
Over forty international bankers allegedly killed themselves over a two-year period in the wake of a major international scandal that implicated financial firms across the globe. However, three of these seemingly unrelated suicides seem to share common threads related to their connections to Deutsche Bank. These three banker suicides in New York, London, and Siena, Italy, took place within 17 months of each other in 2013/14 in what investigators labeled as a series of unrelated suicides.
“In each case, the victim had a connection to a burgeoning global banking scandal, leaving more questions than answers as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths,” according to the New York Post. “But all three men worked for, or did business with, Deutsche Bank.”
Financial regulators in both Europe and the U.S. in 2013 began a probe that would ultimately become known as the Libor scandal, in which London bankers conspired to rig the London Interbank Offered Rate, which determines the interest banks charged on mortgages, personal loans and auto loans. The scandal rocked the financial world and cost a consortium of international banks, including Deutsche Bank, about $20 billion in fines.
David Rossi, a 51-year-old communications director at the world’s oldest bank, Italian Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which was on the brink of collapse due to heavy losses in the derivatives market in the 2008 financial crisis, fell to his death on March 6, 2013. At the time of his death, Monte Paschi was being investigated for its handling of billions in these risky derivative bets involving Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch.
According to a report in the NY Post:
A devastating security video shows Rossi landing on the pavement on his back, facing the building — an odd position more likely to occur when a body is pushed from a window.
The footage shows the three-story fall didn’t kill Rossi instantly. For almost 20 minutes, the banker lay on the dimly lit cobblestones, occasionally moving an arm and leg.
As he lay dying, two murky figures appear. Two men appear and one walks over to gaze at the banker. He offers no aid or comfort and doesn’t call for help before turning around and calmly walking out of the alley.
About an hour later, a co-worker discovered Rossi’s body. The arms were bruised and he sustained a head wound that, according to the local medical examiner’s report, suggested there might have been a struggle prior to his fall.
Ultimately Italian authorities ruled Rossi’s death a suicide. Rossi’s widow, Antonella Tognazzi, protested vigorously at the suggestion her husband’s death was a suicide, telling the Italian press that her husband “knew too much.” Tognazzi pointed to the alleged suicide note from Rossi as a prime example of the suspicious nature of his death. In the note, Rossi refers to Antonella Tognazzi as Toni, but according to Tognazzi, that was not something he ever called her.
In October 2014, two Monte Paschi executives were convicted of obstructing regulators and misleading investigators from Italian authorities over the bailed-out Italian bank’s finances in the wake of the acquisition of Banca Antonveneta – which was heavily financed by Deutsche Bank.
In January of this year, Italian authorities civilly implicated three Deutsche Bank executives, including Michele Faissola, the wealth management director of the German bank — charging them with colluding with Monte Paschi in falsifying accounts, manipulating the market and obstructing justice.
Another of the mysterious deaths being revisited is that of William Broeksmit, 58, a Deutsche Bank exec who was found hanging from a dog leash tied to a door at his London home in January 2014. Broeksmit was found among a mess of financial papers, with a number of notes to friends and family nearby. A Deutsche Bank colleague, Michele Faissola, was called and arrived minutes later and began suspiciously going through the financial documents and reading the suicide notes.
“Yes, he killed himself,” stepson Val Broeksmit told the NY Post. “But there’s a question: could it be suicide by extortion, could it be suicide by pressure or saying if you don’t do this, we’re going to do this? There’s a couple suspicions I have.”
Broeksmit’s stepson still wonders what his father’s colleague was searching for amongst the mess of financial documents. Adding to the suspicious nature of his stepfather’s death, Val provided the NY Post email messages revealing that prior to his death, Broeksmit had just messaged friends about his excitement for an upcoming ski vacation scheduled for one week later.
Although a clinical psychologist revealed Broeksmit had been treated due to being “very anxious about authorities investigating areas of the bank at which he worked,” his depression over the Libor scandal had subsided, as his doctor gave him a clean bill of health only a month before his death.
According to the report by the NY Post:
A month before his death, William Broeksmit wrote — in what his son says shows his anger — to fellow executives, asking why he should take the lead on the sticky matter of the upcoming Federal Reserve-mandated stress test for the bank.
He also questioned the “generous” loan-loss numbers being used by the bank, afraid that federal regulators would see the bank was losing more on loans than the books showed. Large losses could lead the feds to slap the bank with restrictions.
“Who is recommending that I do this? I am supposed to be an independent director and this puts me further into a role aligned with management,” he wrote.
New York City attorney, Calogero “Charles” Gambino, 41, was a married father of two, and Deutsche Bank’s in-house lawyer for 11 years at the bank’s downtown headquarters. Gambino primarily worked on defending the Deutsche Bank against Libor charges and other regulatory probes.
In October 2014, Gambino was found hanging from an upstairs balcony of his Brooklyn home, with a rope that was snaked through the banister and tied off on the newel post on the first floor. There was no note found and the family has steadfastly refused to comment on his death.
In his work as corporate counsel for Deutsche, Gambino had dealings with many of the bank’s European executives — including Michele Faissola and William Broeksmit and had intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the bank’s operations. Gambino’s death was ruled a suicide.
In the cases of Gambino, Rossi and Broeksmit, authorities seemingly never looked for, nor discovered, the apparent connections that reveal a deadly international criminal conspiracy at work.
However, authorities in Siena, Italy have recently exhumed the body of banker David Rossi, 51, and reopened their investigation into his death. They are expected to release their findings at the end of the month.
The common thread in each of these deaths is that all of the dead bankers had intimate knowledge of the international Libor scandal as it related to Deutsche Bank. It seems apparent that these men were killed to ensure their silence, thus allowing those responsible for the interest rigging scandal within Deutsche to avoid responsibility.
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About the author
Jay Syrmopoulos is a political analyst, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on Ben Swann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, Raw Story, MintPress News, as well as many other sites such as TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.