Old Wives' Tales
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Claim: Saddam Hussein owned part of a number of popular magazines.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
Origins: For once, a bit of widely-circulated anonymous
Saddam Hussein's personal fortune was estimated to number in the billions of dollars, and some financial analysts guessed it to be between 10 and
Investigators have long believed that much of Saddam's fortune was in Switzerland, squirreled away in a maze of secret accounts, dummy corporations, and front companies which are shielded from public scrutiny by Swiss banking laws. The architect of this secret financial network, Barzan
Montana Management is one such deceptive repository. It has been registered in Panama since 1984, and in 1989, when Montana first declared its stake in Lagardere, it claimed to be a holding company representing a group of several
Hachette reacted to the 1991 news of Montana's true ownership by freezing the block of its shares owned by that holding company, so neither Saddam Hussein nor anyone else involved with Montana Management profited from sales of Hachette-published magazines for well over a decade. (Spokespeople for Hachette also said at the time that Saddam Hussein had no editorial control over their publications.) Hachette has talked of its buying out Saddam's interests ever since the Persian Gulf war in 1991, but that hasn't happened.
Barbara "elle of a way to do business" Mikkelson
Last updated: 16 October 2007
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