The Last Amigo: Karlheinz Schreiber and the Anatomy of a Scandal

by Harvey Cashore, Stevie Cameron

Macfarlane, Walter & Ross | April 9, 2001 | Hardcover

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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 Amigo is 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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 376 pages

Published: April 9, 2001

Publisher: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1551990512

ISBN - 13: 9781551990514

Found in: History, Homelessness, International Relations, True Crime

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– More About This Product –

The Last Amigo: Karlheinz Schreiber and the Anatomy of a Scandal

by Harvey Cashore, Stevie Cameron

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 376 pages

Published: April 9, 2001

Publisher: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1551990512

ISBN - 13: 9781551990514

From the Publisher

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 Amigo is 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.

From the Jacket

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 Industries, 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 Amigo is 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.

About the Author

Stevie Cameron is one of Canada’s foremost investigative journalists. The founding editor of Elm Street magazine and a contributing editor at Maclean’s, she is currently writer at large at the Globe and Mail. Her most recent book, Blue Trust: The Author, the Lawyer, His Wife, and Her Money, appeared on the national bestseller lists for two years; On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years, her 1994 bestseller, is the most successful work of political journalism ever published in Canada.

Harvey Cashore is an award-winning producer at the fifth estate, CBC-TV''s flagship investigative program. Cashore began his journalistic career as the research associate for the bestselling biography of Brian Mulroney The Politics of Ambition (1991). Among his numerous awards over the past decade is Best Television Documentary from the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Editorial Reviews

"Money, intrigue, war, a little sex, a couple of mysterious deaths - they''re all here. ...The Last Amigo peel[s] away the actions, the machinations, the false bonhomie and the true nature of this group of the rich and powerful."
–Toronto Star

"The practice and philosophy of Schmiergelder is at the heart of The Last Amigo. It''s a cautionary tale of globalization, a glimpse into a world that many of us suspect exists but, especially in the Canadian media, prefer not to acknowledge."
–Montreal Gazette
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