The Last Amigo
Karlheinz Schreiber and the Anatomy of A ScandalBook - 2001
A briefcase full of cash is handed to the treasurer of a federal political party, but the donation is never registered on the party's books. A public prosecutor investigates a case that implicates influential business figures, but he dies in a car accident before charges are laid. At the height of the Gulf War, a sale of sophisticated tanks to Saudi Arabia yields millions in illegal commissions - almost half the value of the deal - for a network of middlemen. The figure who connects these seemingly unrelated episodes is Karlheinz Schreiber, a name much in the headlines since his arrest in Toronto in August 1999. Charged in Germany with bribery and tax evasion, he is at the centre of the most sensational political crisis to erupt in that country since World War II, a scandal that has brought down the country's revered former chancellor Helmut Kohl. But it is in Canada that Schreiber's fortune was made. A tireless dealmaker who cultivated the powerful, he made connections in Ottawa that served the interests of his European patrons and clients. One was Airbus Industrie, a company desperate to break into the North American market by selling its planes to Air Canada. It was the secret commissions attached to the Air Canada sale, close to $20 million on a $1.8-billion contract, that became the subject of an RCMP investigation, the same investigation that prompted a lawsuit by former prime minister Brian Mulroney. Those commissions were ultimately shared with Schreiber's European amigos and with his Canadian friends. The Last Amigois about the labyrinth of international political and business alliances that are at the heart of the scandals swirling around Karlheinz Schreiber: how corporations win government contracts, how money is successfully hidden in foreign banks and distributed through coded accounts, how an international political agenda is promoted and financed. It is a tale of media spin, covert influence, and undeniable personal gain. And it is a portrait of a consummate middleman who knew precisely how to exploit the ambitions and vulnerabilities of others.
Publisher: Toronto : Macfarlane Walter & Ross, c2001.
Branch Call Number: 971.0647092 Schre -C
Characteristics: xvi, 359 pages : illustrations
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