Days in Palmasola Prison
Jacob Ostreicher is a 53 years old American citizen, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He and his wife Miriam raised five children and are blessed with 11 grandchildren. Scrupulous in his business affairs Jacob has had a successful career built on his reputation for integrity and for the compassionate treatment of his workers.
Name: Jacob Ostreicher
Today Jacob is languishing in a jail in Bolivia where he is at the mercy of prison gangs who have the run of the notorious Palmasola Prison. Prisoners here are dropped off by the “justice system” and forced to buy or rent their own cell, their own food and their own protection. There are no guards inside the prison where the most hardened criminals make and enforce the rules in this hellhole that was designed for 1,000 prisoners and now holds 3500. Observers report that there is an average of one “suicide” per month here– the term used by officials there for insider murders.
Why is this American citizen wasting away (he has lost 60 lbs.), living in fear among these killers and drug lords? Because he invested in land in Bolivia and managed a rice business whose success caught the eye of powerful government officials who used a deception to arrest him and have now been holding him without trial for more than eleven months while they move to strip him of his property.
His innocence is documented. His elderly parents and young grandchildren are distraught. His family is torn apart. He is in real danger.
The US has a proud history of standing up for its citizens. Please sign the petition asking our government to do so now, before it is too late! If we allow our nationals to be abused with impunity what is our own citizenship worth?
50,000,000 – pounds of rice “disappeared” from the facilities.
There was a ban on exports of rice for the past two years. The ban was lifted on March 16, 2012 a few months after the rice was confiscated. The local market was flooded with rice stolen from Jacob.
1,041 – More than one thousand forty one documents
Were submitted to the prosecution proving Jacob’s innocence. To date, the prosecution did not submit any evidence of their suspicions.
More than 24 Hearings Scheduled.
At the hearing on September 23, 2011, the judge ordered the release of Jacob based on the evidence submitted by the defense. The prosecution failed to submit any evidence. Five days later, on September 29, 2011, the judge rescinded his decision, an unprecedented move even in Bolivia. A few weeks later the judge was promoted and a new judge was assigned to the case. After several postponements the judge recused himself from the case. Currently there is no judge assigned to Jacobs case.
Jacob Ostreicher – incarcerated in Palmasola prison. Santa Cruz Bolivia
In December of 2010, Jacob traveled to Bolivia to take over management of an agricultural venture that was mismanaged by a local agent.
The plan was to harvest enough rice to create a surplus in Bolivia by flooding the local market, thus resulting in the government lifting the ban on rice exports. The end goal was 500,000,000 (500 million) pounds of rice harvested twice a year (for a total of close to 1,000,000,000 pounds annually).
During the first harvest, which netted 50,000,000 pounds, Jacob caused quite a stir when trying to purchase 500,000, 100 lb., bags to store the rice. Such an order was unprecedented in Bolivia and most vendors thought he was a con man trying to rip them off. In addition, during the harvesting season, all the trucks in the surrounding cities were working exclusively for Jacob, transporting the rice from the farms to the 8 largest storage facilities in the area which became full to the brim with rice. Jacob employed over 200 Bolivian people.
An American capitalist was going to feed the entire country of Bolivia single handedly utilizing free market methods.
Desperate to stop Jacob by any means (Bolivia is a socialist country), they started investigating all the properties and by chance found that one of the properties had been sold to the local agent (who no longer worked for the company) by a man that was wanted in Brazil for a crime committed in the 1990’s..
On June 3, 2011 Jacob was arrested for “suspicion” of money laundering and criminal organization. No evidence was presented by the prosecution. Instead, the prosecutors claimed that one of the investors was under investigation in Switzerland.
The plan had worked. Jacob was in prison and work at all his farms screeched to a halt.
50,000,000 pounds of rice disappeared.
After countless hearings which were continuously suspended, after providing legal documentation to refute the “suspicion” of money laundering, after providing official documentation from the Swiss Federal Police and Interpol proving that the investor is NOT under investigation and after failure by the prosecution to present any evidence to support their “suspicions”, the judge granted Jacob his freedom only to reverse his decision 5 days later.
After reversing his decision, the judge was promoted and a new judge was assigned to the case. The new judge recused himself from the case after five hearings. Currently there is no judge assigned to the case
Jacob is in prison for 11 months with no proof of any wrong doing.
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Steve Moore, FBI Agent, Supervisory Special Agent (retired)
In a career that spanned 25 years, Steve Moore earned a reputation as a go–to investigator on high–profile cases. His entire field–career was dedicated to the investigation of violent crime and terrorism. Following the attacks of 9/11, he was in put in charge of all Al Qaeda investigations for the Los Angeles FBI Field Office, and was later tasked with creating and directing a team responsible for the investigation of all acts of terrorism against the U.S. in Asia.
His team disrupted Al Qaeda cells throughout the world, from Indonesia to Pakistan, investigating the murders of hundreds of victims. Steve then testified before the 9/11 Commission on Al Qaeda preparation for the attacks of September 11, 2001. Following assignment as a term Assistant Legal Attaché at a U.S. embassy, Steve was assigned to lead the investigations component of the Los Angeles Rapid Deployment Team, which (among other taskings) was responsible for terrorism response at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He has lectured on investigative procedure and terrorism throughout the world, notably at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok, and has received several awards for his investigations from both the Department of Justice and the Director of the FBI.
In addition to his investigative responsibilities, Steve also served as an FBI counter–espionage undercover operative, SWAT team member, sniper, and helicopter pilot. He is a regular contributor to network news and has appeared recently on The Today Show, Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show, Fox News and CNN.
The Honorable [SENATOR/CONGRESSPERSON NAME] By now you may have heard of the plight of one our friends and fellow citizens abroad. His name is Jacob Ostreicher and he has been held in a Bolivian prison for past 11 months with no charges having been brought against him. Jacob, along with his Swiss partners, invested money to purchase land in Bolivia to pursue a business venture. After being conned by someone Jacob had brought in to run operations in Bolivia, the Bolivian government arrested Jacob on claims of money laundering. After more than two dozen hearings and eleven months, not a single piece of evidence has been found, nor have any charges been filed. Jacob now languishes in Santa Cruz’ notoriously dangerous Palmasola prison. Prosecutors claim Jacob and a partner laundered money and used that money to purchase the land in Bolivia. Authorities in both the United States and Switzerland confirmed no wrongdoing by either man and confirmed neither had ever faced criminal charges. I’m asking you to please pursue Jacob’s case and pressure the Bolivian government to release this innocent US Citizen. You and your colleagues in both the SENATE/HOUSE and at the State Department have a duty to protect the citizens of the United States and I ask that you take whatever measures necessary to ensure the safe release and return home of our husband, father, friend, and fellow American. Sincerely, YOUR NAME