The Walter Soriano files: The consultant once claimed to be ex-Israeli intelligence officer
July 19, 2019 1:57 pm
Walter Soriano, the shadowy international consultant wanted for questioning by the Senate Intelligence Committee, told at least one high-profile client that he was previously a high ranking member of the Israeli Army’s intelligence.
The contract signed between Soriano’s British Virgin Islands LLC Westward Management and American Ruth Parasol wherein Parasol states that Soriano told her he was ex-Israeli intelligence is now available in full to our staff. Forensic News had previously mentioned the connection between Parasol and Soriano in a profile on the security consultant.
A treasure trove of Israeli court documents and internal USG Security Group files were recently shared by a source on the condition of anonymity to Forensic News given the highly sensitive nature of the information. The details in this article are just the beginning of a series we are going to dub the Walter Soriano files.
Ruth Parasol is an American billionaire who made her forture through online pornography websites before selling those companies and founding a online gambling websites called PartyGaming in the late 1990s. By 2006, Parasol was named the 197th richest American on the annual Forbes list with a net worth of $1.8 billion.
Soon after, Parasol ran into trouble after the United States passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The Southern District of New York began an investigation into PartyGaming to determine whether PartyGaming or any of its principals were breaking federal law. Prosecutors who worked on the case did not respond to requests for comment.
Documents, mainly court proceedings from 2012 when Soriano sued Parasol for not paying part of the Parasol-Soriano contract, offer extraordinary details about the activities of Soriano in the United States from 2008 to 2010. Overall, Soriano was paid over $30,000,000 but believed he was entitled to more. The two eventually settled their dispute out of court and the terms of the settlement are not known.
Prior to and possibly during the time with which Soriano and Parasol were acquainted, Hunter Biden signed a lobbying contract for Parasol. The contract caused a controversy when Hunter Biden’s father Joe was tapped as then-candidate Obama’s running mate. The younger biden ended up dropping his lobbying clients. There is no indication that Biden ever had contact with Soriano.
Beginning in 2008, Soriano and Parasol were introduced to one another. Soriano pitched himself as an expert in “consulting, investigation, crisis management, and advisory services to…high net worth individuals.” The contract was conducted via intermediaries (mainly Soriano’s British Virgin Islands LLC Westward Management) “given the sensitivity of the DoJ investigation.”
View the six relevant pages from the sworn affidavit of Ruth Parasol:
Soriano also claimed that he had “a significant network of contacts (personal, business and political),” in the United States. It was not immediately clear to which US political or business contacts Soriano had a relationship.
Some of the statements made by Parasol under oath in 2012 can be verified. For example, it can be confirmed that Soriano had a British Virgin Islands (BVI) company called Westward Management. Documents filed in the UK for Soriano’s Universe Security Group show that the company was majority owned by the BVI firm. The corporate documents also confirm Parasol’s assertion that Westward Management was controlled by a trust fund for Soriano.
The Parasol affidavit also includes tantalizing claims that can partially be verified based on separate corporate documents first revealed by Forensic News. Parasol recounted a September 2008 meeting in which Soriano brought one of his references, who was described in the 2012 lawsuit as, “a person who had served and is serving at the highest levels of the Israeli government.”
Parasol, who didn’t name the senior Israeli government official present at the 2008 meeting, said that her decision to hire Soriano was based in part on the official’s recommendation.
In recent days, a businessman who worked with Soriano around the same time as the Parasol contract, stated in court that Soriano told him that Benjamin Netanyahu himself was his business partner. Additionally, emails obtained by investigative journalist Raviv Drucker shows that Soriano was arranging a mid-September get-together with Netanyahu just days before the Parasol meeting.
Though it cannot be confirmed that Netanyahu attended the meeting with Parasol and Soriano, circumstantial evidence points to either Netanyahu or a member of his inner circle being present. Soriano, knowing that this potential deal with Parasol would net him millions of dollars, would have likely wanted to impress Parasol in any way possible.
The fact that Soriano was planning a meeting with Netanyahu at the precise time he brought a “senior Israeli government official” to the meeting with Ruth Parasol will surely raise more questions in court as Soriano continues to sue multiple journalists and bloggers who have written about him. Attorneys for Soriano did not respond to requests for comment. Reached by email, Parasol referred Forensic News to her attorney Sean O’Shea who said that they have no comment.
Soriano has previously strongly denied that Netanyahu was ever his business partner.
Perhaps the most stunning claim in the Parasol lawsuit, however, is the claim that Soriano told the businesswoman that he was a major in Israeli intelligence.
“The claimant [Soriano] represented as follows…” Parasol swore, “He was a man of action and a former major in an elite intelligence unit in the Israeli army.”
Though the assertion could not be verified, very little is known about Soriano’s activities prior to his founding of Universe Security Group. The shadowy consultant, who incorporated the company in 2002 when he was 34, managed to have just one partially obscured image of himself in the public domain prior to Forensic News exclusively acquiring the photos seen in the featured image of this story.
Elsewhere in the court document, Parasol claims that Soriano told her that he had “killed people.”
The total lack of information on Soriano prior to age 34 coupled with his alleged claim of being ex-Israeli intelligence, adds to the intrigue about the man who has recently landed in the crosshairs of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.
The Senate wants to know more about Walter Soriano’s connections to Russian oligarchs and Israeli private intelligence companies Psy Group and Black Cube. This newly revealed information sheds light on why Soriano is of interest to investigators.
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