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July 22, 2011 / joninews

Alfa insurance tied in with high level US government corruption scandalin Azerbaijan, CredAgro?

Latest, Norwegian and US Credit Scandals Larger than Expected in Azerbaijan, II

Need more details – I am sending this now to ACDI/VOCA and US government agencies, criminal investigations.  Now is the time to post and send to Washington, United States State Department and United States Agency for International Development.  All dirt on ACDI/VOCA and its connections, Credit Agri. We need to develop this from begining to end:

"The ex director of Barda branch Qasimov Elnur. The Ganja branch was bought during his ruling period. He was dismissed without any reason after objection to insurance premiums in the meeting of branch directors because the credit payments of dead clients have not been realized so as CredAgro has a big interest in Alfa insurance.

Jeffrey Silverman/Joni Simonishvili

Dear ACDI/VOCA, July 22, 2011

I think you have some serious problems, and the cover up is getting to be far worst than the crime (s) and I am obligated to cooperate with OIG, Office of Inspector General, US State Department on this matter, and it does appear the house of cards is coming down on this sloppy cover up, paid off evaluations (M&E), white wash; it really does appear that "material support" has been provided to Chechen freedom fighters." Technically, these days, terrorists.

If you think I don't know what I am taking about then just check with USAID Afghanistan and their "big program" that I shut down, with one article on a pro Chechen website. Yours would have already been shut down if it was not for so many players in the cover up, and the time required for this investigation. Moreover, timing is everything. It is interesting that some very big careers are on the chopping block, not to mention how that money is being used – and providing material support to terrorist is a serious crime these days.

I am putting the documents in order now for US District Court, it might even go a a pro se proceedings based on diversity of citizen-ships.

Now back to brass tacks, not only with ACDI/VOCA but with the Norwegian Credit Program that was also looted – now lots of stakeholders who want to get to the bottom of that big scandal – even to steal from the Norwegian Church, not very clever by your friends in ACDI/VOCA.

Please have Carl Leonard/or how many other replacement there have been, contact me directly in Tbilisi. Should you need a reference, give Rusty Shultz, and Dennis DeSanantis, and/or former US Ambassadors to Georgia and Azerbaijan; they all know me  well over my investigation of how USDA money from ACDI/VOCA ended up arming Chechen terrorists, rural credit union in Georgia – and the murder of one British journalist. And don't forget about Randal Spears and Afghanistan, weapons expert working with rural credit associations.

Any more plane loads of weapons crashing lately, flying out of Georgia and Azerbaijan, perhaps direct that question to KBR and John Bass, or even Dick Chaney?

NB. there are four main subcontractors who were doing the work as follows:

1) FINCA is getting a $10 million grant to do microfinance; 2) WOCCU gets about $15 million grant to make about 20 credit unions. The ex-Green Beret Special ops type Randall Spears heads up this operation, (and this should be the target for your corruption investigation)

3) ACDIVOCA is getting something like $12 million grant to set up its usual credit cooperatives, headed by Rusty Shultz in [cohorts with Gerry Anderson].

4) About $30 million goes to an apex organization called MISFA. $15 million is to make SME loans through banks, and ShoreBank manages that as advisors to MISFA. The other $15 is for micro finance loans.

5) The rest is for administration and bribes to warlords.

The prime contractor, overseeing all the subcontractors is AED, which has no institutional expertise in rural credit (that is a can of worms to be opened as well). My deep throat at the time had excellent relations to the project leadership, so he will let you know once things start happening.

But for [for a while], Rusty Shultz is getting OK marks, lying low, making friends, nothing unusual has happened. His close buddy Gerry Anderson, USAID, looks more and more taking oversight of the ARIES project (which by the way is pretty much the biggest project in town). It appears that Gerry has taken a big fall, because he is now only deputy department head, whereas in Georgia he was department head.

"Yeah, that Leon Waskins was the Mission Director.  Yeah, keeping digging on ARF, that is a very interesting story and you will better understand what went on in Pankisi and ACDI/VOCA.

Ok, take care,

Unleash the dawgs!

Sample to chew on a bit:

I am old worker KREDAQRO(AcdiVoka)

Dear Eldar:

I will edit what you sent and send right now to the Criminal Investigative Wing of the US State Department, OIG and directly to the US Ambassador, in Baku. Bryza is corrupt in my experience but he might be forced to do something to save his dirty reputation.

I will also post on the Internet. I have been investigating ACDI/VOCA for more than 10 years and this is US and Azerbaijan corruption together, not on in Azerbaijan but in Georgia and Afghanistan.

Many former employees have been in contact with me. My friend was killed because of money and corruption in ACDI/VOCA used to buy weapons for Chechen terrorists.

Can you make a rough English translation of all what is being written in the Azeri press. It is time for me to start a war on a very high level. The time is right. I will also share with the Washington Post.

I can also share information with Armenian organizations to try to get an investigation started from America, as to the wholesale waste of US tax money, and allowing Azeri intelligence services to loot credit unions, give out loans to dead people, and writing off good loans as bad to cover up the wholesale corruption.

I want you to correct their mistakes, please, and help bring the criminal elements to justice under US law. It would not surprise me if money from ACDI/VOCA and the fake passports provided by Georgian authorities provided helped in terrorist acts carried out in Europe in recent years.

Best regards,

Jeffrey K. Silverman

Quoting xayyam cavadzada <>:

To    President ACDI\VOCA and CEO:    Mr. Carl Leonard

Subject:           Situation in CredAgro Azerbaijan

From:             Former Credit Officer

I felt the urge to write to you. Because, in CredAgro Azerbaijan, there is something wrong going-on. I have worked in CredAgro Lenkoran branch as a credit officer for 27 days from 25`th of October 2006 until 22`nd of November 2006. I have given up the work because, the administration left me without any assistance and educational process. I want to tell you from the beginning of the events. In order to give an interview for the vacant work place the administration  of CredAgro in Baku called me to the head office. On October 17`th 2006 nearly at 16:00 the director of CredAgro Eldar Jafarov took an interview with me. Auditor Ramin Mizeyev was also there. During interview director Eldar Jafarov complained  of Lenkoran region and about their people. He was prejudiced about Lenkorani people and generalized that sentence; ‘There is inner defect in Lenkorani people’.

I did not liked this sentence but, also I did not reflect upon him. So, I thought, I must to get that work and to prove him that he was made a mistake. I decided doing my best work in Lenkoran branch. I was very willing.

I struggled for 25 days, but I had no assistance from directorship. I was only a worker at Lenkoran branch  with an office woman who worked there for years and complained of apathy to Lenkoran branch. Yes, I saw that apathy. When Bahruz Ibragimov form head office came to Lenkoran on 8`th of November, he reported to Auditor Ramin Mirzeyev that there is need for an accountant and more experienced credit officer for a short time. But, Ramin Mirzeyev and director did not do anything. Also, I demanded for a more experienced credit officer to train me in Lenkoran, but none react to me and they left me without any work training. So, I decided to give up my position and I made a petition for leaving my position at CredAgro. I stated that, in this organization I did not satisfied materially and morally with the process training of a new worker.
After all they called me to the head office which I did not agreed with. Because, from whom I am going to complain to whom. I decided to complain to you. Not because I am not satisfied, because the apathy to Lenkoran branch and the sentence was expressed by director is an insult for Lenkoran. Director ruling such an organization must love every piece of a country. Being behind in the competition in Lenkoran is a fault for CredAgro.

I want to state that, although other workers have gotten their monthly salary for November  CredAgro have not paid my salary yet. Also, other former workers worked before me at CredAgro Lenkoran branch xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  have not been paid their salaries for September by CredAgro.

If any docoments  share these directly with the following and the US Embassy in Baku. The American People wants to help Azerbaijan but not to feed corruption.

From: Bill Polidoro <BPolidoro@acdivoca.org>
Subject: Out of Office: ACDI/VOCA, feeding frenzy in Azerbaijan, weapons

Date: Friday, 22 July, 2011, 2:24

I will be out of the office until Monday, July 25.

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - The way an email service should be
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4 Comments

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  1. X / Jul 24 2011 7:18 am

    Elnur was a very good worker. He knew many secrets. He lost and will lose work as a result.

  2. Rahim / Sep 24 2011 5:04 am

    Please focus on persons not on organization, who personally involved in fraud, abuse ,and corruption. For CredAgro it is clear that CEO involved

    • joninews / Oct 10 2011 11:50 pm

      Statement and Response: I hope so, and this has happened in Georgia and Azerbaijan too, and the money was used for illegal purposes, support of Chechens and Afghan Warlords. I know that Washington could have cleaned up this mess many years ago if they had wanted. I hope that my articles and information has helped in someway. There has been very big corruption in USAID over the years. I worked in Azerbaijan many times, as far back as 1993.

      S: Credit Agri, which was first set up by ACDI/VOCA has been running a Pryamid scheme – and writing off performing loans as good and giving loans to people that exist only on paper, first to bankrupt the credit union – make money in the process – and then for the same players that were involved a long time ago with USAID (back in 2004/5 to take it over).

      R: That is the point. Credit Agri is separate from the new training and support program that ACDI has. There is no question that Credit Agri is a fiasco and they should be penalized for allowing it to get off track as it has. It was a mess when it was originally proposed. I tried to make the USAID mission director aware of the problems but they refused since ACDI is considered to be one of the ‘good guys’ since they are a non-profit (at least according to the Birkenstock wearing USAID types). The new project has no lending connections and ACDI has no ability to either set up or enter into any loan programs, only to facilitate existing micro-lenders. In that regard Credit Agri could not have done the damage they have done if they had been a micro lender. It is pretty hard for a micro lender to enter into the kind of corruption that CreditAgri did because the loans are so much smaller and the total portfolios smaller as well. Most micro lenders have total country portfolios under a million or two, that doesn’t even cover the overhead for a regular ag credit project like ACDI’s project.

      S: The Norwegian government has been screwed and the WB is in for one in the not so distant future. This all follows the same MO as what happened in Georgia with Rusty and team – and I have the documents and letter to ACDI/VOCA by former employees of CredAgro. I was speaking with a Norwegian a few hours ago and I am told tell me that I can do a great service in cleaning up this scam in Azerbaijan – and perhaps even get rid of Eldar Jafarov, and do a service to those obtaining micro credit. Would you by chance have the email, in confidence for Scot Taylor, Country Manager for USAID/Azerbaijan.

      R: I think he is the Mission Director. I don’t have his address, and I’ve actually never met him, though I understand from a couple of folks that he is not a bad guy. All USAID addresses follow a standard protocol as do those for the State Department. So, for instance, if you look at USAID addresses in Georgia and they are AndersonG3@usaid.gov or AndersonGerald2@usaid.gov they are following a standard format that are used throughout the organization.

      S: See attachment – file on ACDI/VOCA and what is brewing. This all is a very tricky scheme and some high level players are involved (governmental). What do these players all mean to you?

      R: What do you mean? Do you mean ACDI and the government players or the financial organizations mentioned below??

      S: KfW. IFC, EBRD, DWM, Triplejump, BlueOrchard. Oikocredit. Cyrano-managment, Symbiotic, Incofin.

      R: If you were referring to the financial organizations, the first three as you know are multilateral donors. The others are all investment banks created to service the new hot button growth industry of MFI (microfinance institutions) acting as the investment bankers to the microfinance organizations (mainly NGO’s). In the same way Credit Suisse First Boston or Merrill Lynch puts together IPO financing or new offerings for fortune 500 firms these guys make huge fees connecting investment capital from the private sector along with consulting fees for management services going to the MFI’s. It is a big business that didn’t even exist 10 years ago.

      S: I got the staff of Credit Agro spilling the beans – and let’s see how far they will go – I am feeding it to both OIG, USAID/State and the Norwegian Embassy. I have copies of their correspondence with the US Embassy and ACDI/VOCA and it seems that things on the part of the American People is again in the damage control mood.

      My very best,

      Jeffrey
      Feedback from readers, ACDI/VOCA Corruption Scandal, Azerbaijan

      1) Why do you think this is a corruption scandal? Unlike some of the other ACDI projects like the ones in Georgia and Afghanistan, USAID has not provided ACDI with the authority nor the financing to actually make any loans or to be actively involved in the lending process. In this case they are nothing more than glorified seminar presenters and teachers trying to put together meetings and seminars to bring the actual lenders who do make the loans and the sources of private capital to the seminars with the hope they will talk to one another.

      They are taking credit for the fact these organizations are working together, for which they had nothing in reality to do with the actual transaction or the process, but in typical USAID fashion, they have to tout the fact that they “had successes” because people in the industry who every reason to be talking to one another anyway actually did hook up.

      The scam is that they are trying to spin the fact their “seminars” had anything to do with it, and that their $6 million from USAID therefore has a leveraging factor. Obviously they are hoping USAID will give them more money to do more of the same. These people they are inviting know more about microfinance than ACDI will ever know since they are ‘in’ the business so having ACDI doing seminars is just another way of wasting more USAID money.

      2) “Why don’t you send this to Der Speigel magazine?

      I am sure that NATO/EU did not want to agree to 4 more years in Afghanistan in Lisbon, for no country has the money or the voting public in favor of even four more months. To expose corruption in USAID would be like jelly beans to make the German public demand to pull out of Afghanistan.

      Then get a contract or promise of payment and write up a much more detailed and factual expose for them, not just the word “corruption” and Rusty, ACDI/VOCA over and over.”

      I am sure that NATO/EU did not want to agree to 4 more years in Afghanistan in Lisbon, for no country has the money or the voting public in favor of even four more months. It seems that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been milked by the same players, along with credit associations.

      Normicro’s vision is to be a sustainable and leading organization in alleviating poverty through providing broad access to credit in Azerbaijan. Normicro promotes viable enterprises for internally displaced and low-income Azerbaijanis by providing sustainable lending services.

      Here are points of contact that know all the details, and much effort has been made on the part of the Norweigan government to clean up another Eldar Jafarov mess, and he seems to have some rather high level corruption from the first family.

      SC Chair: Nils Atle Krokeide

      CEO: Bahman Asgarov
      E-mail: bahman@normicro.az

      CFO: Babek Shabazov
      E-mail: babek@normicro.az

      COO: Nizami Shafiyev
      E-mail: nizami@normicro.az

      We need to get all the information that they have and this is bigger than what I first thought, and not only USAID corruption but organized corruption on the highest level – and it is clear that NATO countries are aware of the corruption and they have turned a blind eye to many criminal acts.

      Jeffrey K. Silverman, Tbilisi Georgia
      Update Latest and “on-going” ACDI/VOCA Corruption Scandal in Azerbaijan,
      In follow up:
      Name:” E. G. wrote by email today: Content: “I read your article from 7th September 2010. I agree with you in all you wrote and want to give you some facts about corruption among Eldar Jaffarov, ACDI/VOCA and USAID in Azerbaijan. Also materials about wheeler-dealer finance of Eldar Jafarov. Do you speak Russian? […]” 23.10.10.”
      As provided a few days ago:
      Dear Joni:
      “Here is something you might want to look into, and how can I get in contact with you to give you more information. I was provided documents yesterday from Azerbaijan of a major fraud case involving USAID and credit unions, (perhaps some World Bank money too), involving approximately 3.5 million dollars.
      The information consist of a letter to Scot Taylor, Country Coordinator, USAID Azerbaijan, and provided by a group of former CredAgro credit employees, and related to a grant provided by ACDI/VOCA in 2005. Aside from this “official complaint” and request for an investigation as to how the money was used and allegations of wholesale corruption, specific allegations are made as much of the funding is serving the interests of one Eldar Jafarov, and is being misused under both the terms of the grant and based on acting legislation.
      I also have a copy of the letter sent to the US Embassy in Baku about this same corruption – and it is alleged that the Credit Agro, which was established with US and World Bank money operated a pyramid system and gave fake rural credits to various organizations. This will not be the first major cover up of USAID in Azerbaijan and Georgia – and they have also been active in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even some of the same human resources. You know all about these things, even better than I do.

      And finally, there is a chain of correspondence between impacted employees who were either jailed or fired – and some of the top management of ACDI/VOca, including its Project Corrdinator, Seth McDonagh and Bill Polidoro, Chief Operating Officer, Presidents’s Office, ACDI/VOCA, Washington DC. Currently Creditagro operates in 27 districts of Azerbaijan. Can you suggest how best to distribute this information – also – do you have anyone in DC that can go to ACDI/VOCA and get all the reports and complaints made under a FOIA request about alleged corruption in ACDI/VOCA for both Georgia and Azerbaijan.
      The point of contact would be Seth McDonald, Project Coordinator/Financial Services 202 469-6172 or Bill Polidoro, Chief Operating Officer, President Office.
      A complain has been made to the US Embassy in Baku but there has been no reaction on their part, only closing ranks – and this is ‘a pity, and more than 60 honest employees of the organization have been replaced as part of the cover of a massive corruption scandal.’
      Again, as with earlier complaints to ADCI/VOCA and the Office of Inspector General – the home office is telling that it is ‘a non-meritorious claim, and there needs something to be investigated – not just generalities.’ The person at the center is Eldar Jafarov, who head up this credit association, and he has organized some kind of pyramid scheme and payments for credits are made by money from the organization and not the creditors themselves. The so-called world financial crisis has also been used as a cover to write off some loans as bad when they were not. In many cases the loans were not even in arrears, and the purpose was to devalue the worth of the credit unions in order to privatize them at next to nothing.
      I will let you connect the dots, as it is possible that there are other dark forces of such schemes and various scenarios. Employees of the credit union, “Credago” suggest to you that a commission should be set up that knows credit and finance, and this body consist of independent people (those not working for CredAgro) to carry out an audit. Most of the corrupt loans were given out in the period 2007-2008, and the vast majority in the second half of 2007. It is clear that some other motivation was involved – as the change was sudden, in the credit policy, and this put forth the conditions for the above-mentioned pyramid scheme, as an effort to reduce the so-called risk and cook the books. However, in spite that the risk exposure was brought down on paper, outstanding old debts continued unabated.
      In order to try to shut up the staff of the credit unions, so to turn blind eye to illegal practices, promises were made to give some share of ownership when the credit unions were privatized. Those that did not play along were forced to resign, and in some instances, set up in cooperation with local enforcers in the government, and sent to jail on apparently bogus charges.
      Naturally it would appear that there is direct government involvement in the fraud – as few would take such a risk of sending innocent people to jail unless they were well paid. The motivation is clear, not only for the director Eldar Jafarov, to bankrupt the organization, make as much money in the process by writing off loans, pocketing the money, along with corrupted officials and then to turn around and set fresh by privatizing the credit union and then to seek fresh international funding from various organizations such as the Word Bank, German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KFW), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and others, especially the greatest milk cow of all – USAID.”
      NB: Background as earlier posted on this site:
      Corruption in USAID Azerbaijan and ACDI/VOCA
      On-going investigation of corruption in Azerbaijan and USAID
      Name:” E. G. wrote by email today: Content: “I read your article from 7th September 2010. I agree with you in all you wrote and want to give you some facts about corruption among Eldar Jaffarov, ACDI/VOCA and USAID in Azerbaijan. Also materials about wheeler-dealer finance of Eldar Jafarov. Do you speak Russian? […]” 23.10.10.”
      Here is the case file on this investigation and it has many side plots and connection with funding mechanisms in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan.

      Earlier Article from September 7, 2010 with all the sorted history.
      Rats everywhere, can you fill in the gaps?
      Intercepted correspondence from USAID, OIG
      RE: Everyone looks bad, so everyone looks the other way.’
      “Can you please advise a telephone number and let me know of a few convenient times, which I may try to contact you in reference to the information about USAID programs and activities?”
      Thank you,
      KC Smith
      Special Agent
      USAID Europe & Eurasia
      RIG Frankfurt, Germany
      OFFICE: 49-69-7535-7845
      FAX: 49-69-7535-7841
      SmithKC2@state.gov
      A source under contract to USAID, as employed business development expert, Mr. X, who may be the source on ADCI corruption with good access states the following: ACDI started a rural credit SME program funded by USAID about 2001 in Azerbaijan. It was the largest of the USAID funded credit projects. About $4 million was in loans. They made loans to rural enterprises, farmers, etc. They had offices in most areas of the country (Lenkoran, Imishli, Ganja, etc.) ACDI/VOCA, an international development organization dedicated to empowering people worldwide.4
      However, regardless if this source will be forthcoming, he can give more information about the basis of Azerbaijan Business Assistance and Development Program (ABAD), and how things were flawed (how there was bid rigging, and how it was the contract was awarded to a group with weak organizational credentials in business development at best. You just need to look into how the project was solicited, and it may not have been a RFP, and the winner did not win in full and open competition, and thus USAID participated in corruption and did not acquire the services of the most capable technical assistance provider.
      The ACDI system in Azerbaijan was established to provide local control and a local company was set up to run all the local offices. The company was called CreditAgro This system was unlike that in Georgia, where credit associations were formed. This was more centralized, with offices reporting to a central office in Baku. However, the same propensity to hand the operation over to corrupt locals was observed. In this case, ACDI/VOCA hired a man called Eldar Jafarov, initially as credit officer, but he eventually became head of CreditAgro. Soon problems developed between Eldar and the ACDI/VOCA Chief of Party and other expatriates, who considered that Eldar was taking too much power and hiring cronies for every position in CreditAgro. Despite numerous attempts by ACDI/VOCA expatriate staff to remove Eldar Jafarov these attempts were consistently blocked by ACDIVOCA Washington. An internal audit proved many allegations against Eldar. Still, ACDI/VOCA refused to fire Eldar or change human resource personnel practices.

      In 2005, however, enough was enough, and ACDI decided to fire Eldar. Then Eldar told all managers of Creditagro to go on strike in his support. As a result, ACDI/VOCA Washington completely caved in (ACDI’s VP Dennis DeSantis), and gave the position back to Eldar. The fallout was immediate and the ACDI/VOCA Country Director resigned in disgust, [check out this source] and Eldar, now much more powerful, personally fired the other principal expatriate himself, cleaning up loose ends. The impression was that Creditagro was now a private enterprise of Eldar.
      The United States Agency for International Development, USAID was well aware of this scandal but decided to turn a blind eye, and often sided with Eldar in subsequent criticism of ACDI/VOCA. However, they still made a grant of the USAID funds (about $4 million) to ACDI/VOCA/Credit Agro. ACDI continues to be the owner of CreditAgro, yet it forced into a curious position where they are telling all potential investors and lenders to stay clear of CreditAgro because of the above-mentioned shenanigans, and not to taint their reputation more than it is already.
      It was obvious that ACDI/VOCA had really mishandled the project, setting up a private company serving one individual. Still, even though USAID was for a very long time aware of the problems, never penalized ACDI/VOCA, but instead, in 2005, rewarded ACDI/VOCA with a major rural enterprise development project in Azerbaijan, which is now employing the old second in command fired by Eldar.
      Successful Track Record
      This is not the first incidence of ACDI/VOCA incompetence in running credit projects. The Georgia ACDI rural credit project was a well-known complete disaster, as local credit associations created by ADCI and funded fully by USAID and USDA were taken over by the local managers selected by ACDI/VOCA and turned into a private money making racket with accountability to none. A later USAID project to assist these entities found out later that the managers had illegally fleeced the associations of most of their funds. Most of the funds disappeared as “dividends” to the local project managers, who normally had been selected due to their power within the local community (for example, some of them were heads of the local tax inspectorate and well known bandits, including members of state security, and not because of any credit or relevant knowledge.
      Professional skills are not the decisive factor. The result is that senior local bureaucrats, politicians, and businessmen gain positions. This was part of the problem with the credit unions set up by ACDI/VOCA in 1993 and funded by the US government.
      ACDI/VOCA hired these people ostensibly because their muscle could be used to guarantee repayment from poorer farmers. Even as far back as 1998 the then Agriculture Deputy Minister Nugzar Duchidze had remarked that ACDI/VOCA’s setup was a “rich farmer’s club designed to help these well connected individuals. The Georgia operation was obviously even worse than the Azerbaijan setup. Still, USAID encouraged the Azerbaijan operation was to be patterned after Georgia by the USAID program officers who controlled aid programs in both countries.
      One International TV network producer wrote an email dealing with accountability in international organizations ‘Ahh – there is the problem. Nobody is interested in corruption. Western agencies would be very embarrassed to be seen dealing with a bunch of second-rate crooks. After all, you must remember that it looks bad if your programme which is funded by the US or Europe has no correct oversight. Everyone looks bad, so everyone looks the other way.’
      Nonetheless, it does appear that the US government and the Bush Administration were a bit concerned about the “total” lack of accountability NGOs (including a host of international organizations) have when receiving grants and cooperative agreements from USAID. These NGOs can do what they want, and are “assumed” to be doing well, because they are “fellow travelers” with USAID. They all claim to be helping in improving the livelihood of local farmers, small business, etc.
      No noise was made of this incredible debacle of ACDI/VOCA in Georgia because none other than Rusty Schultz a very close friend of Gerry Anderson, high-ranking USAID official in Tbilisi, ran the ACDI/VOCA project in Georgia. Many sources (including those close to a Chemonics run project of assistance to credit organizations) confirm that Anderson did everything in his power to protect Rusty and his corrupted minions. And finally because of their disastrous management, Jim Holderbaum, ACDI Country manager was lost as what to do. Many claim that working in NGOs only a good way to come to Georgia in order to get laid regularly, something Rusty was good at arranging. Then visiting experts had access to the Rusty castle where they could be entertained, and the rest is history.
      Gerry Anderson, USAID Georgia, directly instructed even those visiting experts that were involved in proposal writing when he was in Georgia in mid-2001 that they needed to hook up with ACDI. Now that is interesting and what authority would Gerry have in making such recommendations? He was proposing to work with a specific group and the instructions were outlined in such a way in terms of value chains, and that the only clear choice was that ACDI as the company that they he needed to work with. A month or so later on other business, same instructions were provided to visiting experts to make sure that there was a connection with ACDI.
      It should also be noted that ACDI/VOCA has a policy of putting on its payrolls mainly old USAID hands. That is why ACDI/VOCA is a favorite in all parts of USAID’s world. Others need not apply. Financially ACDI/VOCA is a disaster, but it is doubtful that any of the board members have the brass to go against the entrenched senior employees, for whatever reason, and AgVantage is doing well as can be expected. SAVE, the original project in Georgia, which was renamed AgAdvantage and this project was doomed from the start because of the problems with ACDI. First their money problems: Then there was a lack of any clear direction or focus, other than to pander to Gerry Anderson and USAID.
      It is clear that what happened is Azerbaijan and Georgia is par for the course; Gerry Anderson had gone to great pains to cover up USAID scandals and to protect his friends. What is less clear is the motivation. He has made sure that many project evaluations are stacked with the people that will come back with results that conform that all went well and program objectives were achieved. In one instance, he had bumped off a person from an evaluation that may not have brought back the desired results. Allegations of his morals are well documented, and there is a large age difference between him and his Asian mail order bride, and there are still allegations of sexual harassment of staff of USAID floating around Tbilisi (he demanding that some USAID staff works share in housekeeping responsibilities, such washing his plates).
      Eventually it is known, as part of damage control Rusty Schultz, the program coordinator in Georgia, was sent to head up a high profile ACDI/VOCA operation in Iraq. It was clear that criminal activity had proliferated unchecked in the Georgia project and the cover up was complete. And still, with similar noise filtering out of the Azerbaijan project and still USAID does nothing other than praise a bankrupt project and continue to dole the pork to an incompetent but rich organization.
      Moreover, there are serious allegations of money being used to support the trafficking of weapons. One source shares the following: “If there was money going to arms I rather suspect it would have been more likely to have been connected to Rusty’s sidekick, the New Zealander mercenary who had been all over Africa and Asia soldiering in places they would pay. I heard lots of stories about how he and Rusty got hooked up, but I suspect all of them were at least partial fabrications just to make both of them look good.”
      There are many stories in Tbilisi about how he and Rusty got hooked up, but in all likelihood most of them were at least partial fabrications just to make both of them look good. The bottom line, Rusty needed the soldier of fortune (he may have officially been his deputy but it is difficult to say if he had that title) because he made the parties and the stories so much more fun for Rusty to use to encourage people like Gerry that he wanted to co-opt the parties. Gerry is all about spin and control and the soldier wanted everyone to know that though he was in the background it was he who was still the one carrying the entire buzz.
      The most notorious corruption in Georgia involved Micro and SME Credit activities in the South Caucasus countries of Georgia and Azerbaijan. It is hardly accidental that such programs have been so unsuccessful that there is even doubt if they were even intended to be effective from the very start.
      How long can USAID continue to support an organization with such a record of negligence and criminal malfeasance as ACDI/VOCA and others? ACDI/VOCA continues to win all the contracts it wants and nobody brings their record to the public light. ACDI/VOCA works in approximately 40 countries and claims to foster vibrant communities, organizations and enterprises that can manage and finance themselves.
      See acdivoca.org for more information. All this is a matter of record with USAID, OIG, Office of Inspector General.
      This information connects many dot, and what is going on today, and what has gone on – where did the money come from and where did it go – and while the wool was being pulled over the eyes of the American People as they try to help Georgia and Azerbaijan develop. It is also clear that one local operator cannot function with a sense of impunity when so many allegations have been lodged, and how these have already been proved true in many instances with internal audits.

    • joninews / Jan 15 2012 8:30 am

      It is hard to separate the organisation from the people who were the face of the organization, and the level of the financial crime was high, and so many innocent people impacted. I would like to know more as to what was the final result of the case of ACDI/VOCA in Azerbaijan and CreditAgro

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