For years, Byron Muldoon and Conrad Black have held common cause in their personal crusades to restore their soiled reputations.
Tubby’s quest for redemption has taken him to some dark places. His hatred for those he blames for his 2008 fraud conviction–vengeful prosecutors, corrupt governments and fake news media–has reduced him to embittered public proctology for Donald Trump.
While Black’s contortions may yet land him a presidential pardon, the still-unindicted Muldoon has chosen a different route to restore his reputation: A $100-million vanity project called The Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University, the old crook’s alma mater in Antigonish, N. S.
In September, at a sod-turning ceremony for the institute, which features Mulroney Hall, a $50-million monument to his ego, the former PM noted that the money raised was thanks to the “generosity and support of benefactors [across] the globe.”
Step forward, Wafic Said, the Syrian-Saudi billionaire arms dealer and Muldoon crony. From 2004 to 2009, Byron sat on the board of a Bermuda-based company controlled by Said, who helped broker an oil-for-arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia that, in 2010, resulted in criminal bribery fines against a British manufacturer, BAE systems.
No matter, Said was still awarded an honourary doctorate from St. F. X. in 2015. Price? A $4-million donation to the Muldoon Institute of Kickbacks™.
Said is a man after Muldoon’s heart. Who can forget the time, many years ago, when Wafic was lavishing his attentions on a group of potential clients. Lacking the cash to take his friends to dinner in Washington one night, he wrote a cheque after business hours for $30,000, had the vault at the National Bank of Washington opened and out he waddled with his cash in a brown paper bag.
Speaking of schmiergeld, how about Victor Dahdaleh, yet another happy recipient of a St. F. X. honourary degree.
The Jordanian-born metals magnate has fought criminal charges and a billion-dollar lawsuit on two continents over an international bribery scandale.
Dahdaleh was the mysterious middleman known in U.S. court documents as “Consultant A” — described as having handed out tens of millions of dollars in, er, encouragements, to officials at Alba, a Persian Gulf smelting company in exchange for supplier contracts that went to one of the world’s biggest aluminum conglomerates.
Dahdaleh was acquitted in a British criminal trial, but his client, a unit of aluminum industry heavyweight Alcoa, pleaded guilty to a U.S. bribery charge in 2014 as a result of the scandal. With its parent company, it paid a whopping $384 million(US) penalty.
Dahdaleh later settled a billion-dollar U.S. civil lawsuit filed by Alba alleging conspiracy, corruption and fraud by him, Alcoa and another defendant out of court for an undisclosed amount.
The following year, Vic was awarded his honorary doctorate from St. F. X. Price? A $3 million donation to Muldoon’s skool.
Another Muldoon crony, David Koch, one-half of the Krazy Koch Brothers, recently made a multi-million dollar donation. Honourary degree pending.
Frank eagerly awaits the announcement that Karlheinz Schreiber will soon be honoured. And why not? He’s already paid his $300,000!