On Monday, we learned that Deloitte found itself in a bit of awkward situation with New York's Department of Financial Services because they "apparently aided" Standard Chartered Bank in hiding about $250 billion in transactions with Iran. In the order, DFS Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky states that Deloitte "intentionally omitted critical information in its 'independent report' to regulators." And those are his scare quotes!
Anyway, on page 19 of the report is where we get more details around Deloitte's involvement and we called attention to in our post from Monday; we'll refresh:
SCB asked D&T to delete from its draft “independent” report any reference to certain types of payments that could ultimately reveal SCB’s Iranian U-Turn practices. In an email discussing D&T’s draft, a D&T partner admitted that “we agreed” to SCB’s request because “this is too much and too politically sensitive for both SCB and Deloitte. That is why I drafted the watered-down version.”
In her post at Forbes yesterday, Francine McKenna reported that the partner in question is "Michael Zidlin" although Deloitte would not confirm the name. We were tipped later that the last name of the person in question is actually "Zeldin" and when we were doing some research (read: Googling) we discovered that the dude has his own Wikipedia page and, somewhat hilariously, the page outs him in the "Controversy" section as the partner (Zeldin is technically a principal) cited in the DFS order. The order itself did not name him.
As awkward as that is, Mr. Zeldin has many impressive career highlights, including a connection to then-Senator Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Let's look closer, shall we?
Per the Wiki (that references his Deloitte bio) Mr. Zeldin is the Global Leader of the Anti-Money Laundering/Trade Sanctions Division, which matches the title of the partner cited in the DFS report. Anyway, per his Wiki bio he graduated from Binghamton University in 1973, got his JD from George Washington University in '76, and obtained a Master of Law at Georgetown in '82 and was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow there. Other items of note from the Wiki:
- [A]cted as deputy majority counsel for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, October Surprise Task Force in 1992. In this capacity he investigated the events surrounding the holding and eventual release of the American hostages in Iran.
- [A]ppointed Deputy Independent Counsel by Joseph DiGenova in 1993 and succeeded DiGenova in 1995. The commission of the Independent Council in this matter was to investigate allegations that the Administration of George H. W. Bush violated the privacy rights of candidate Bill Clinton in the 1992 campaign.
- [A]n active supporter of Senator [Barack Obama]'s campaign for the presidency beginning in April 2007. He was a member of the National Finance Committee and served on the Criminal Justice and Law and Judiciary policy committees.
His Wiki also states that he has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal (this one?), the New York Times, and the Washington Times.
The most amusing thing here, obviously, is the "Controversy" part of the Wikipedia page. Initially, I suppose it was created to show off his career highlight in a non-LinkedIn setting but now someone has gone to the trouble to point out this little hiccup. Probably not something the authors of the page foresaw as being an issue. Stupid Wikipedia, anyway. It's usually not right.
An email to Mr. Zeldin was not returned.