A TRUE CRIME STORY

my life in the secret world of international financial fraud

by Annie McGuire

 

I thought I knew it all - The Underground Network - Moving up the food chain

 Finding Mr. Goodbar - Through the looking glass: Annie in Wonderland - In the Trader's confidence - game - The worm turns - A maze of half-truths and outright lies - Pack Rats Rule! - Getting straight answers - Getting it together - Coulda', Shoulda' - Something for everybody

 

Annie McGuire, fraud victim, Fraud Victim Advocate, Founder, RetiredHello, my name is Annie McGuire. For a very short while I was a Fraud Consultant to the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a division of the California Department of Justice. The educational process required to achieve that honor was nasty.

I thought I knew it all

I have a college education, a good IQ, and simultaneously owned and ran 3 businesses before I retiring in my late 40's.? My husband and I had a very comfortable, growth-oriented retirement fund.

But we wanted more - we wanted to send our grandchildren to private schools; we wanted to set up trust funds for them and hire experts to teach them how to manage their money.  We wanted to travel, and have summer and winter homes to save our aching joints from inclement weather.   My husband wanted horses, I wanted a drop-dead audio system.

I figured I'd been around enough to make a lot of quick money if the opportunity presented itself.

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The Underground Network

Opportunity showed up in the form of a very nice, honest young man. He told me he had discovered that good money could be made brokering cigarettes on the international market. He had connections to a cigarette manufacturer, and I was more than welcome to join him, sharing my commissions with him. He would act as the go-between.

Hey - piece o' cake! I had all kinds of connections for buyers. He and I were ready to become a real money-making team.

Well, cigarette sales didn't work out the way we thought they would. In fact, we didn't make a single sale. Not a problem - one of my friend's connections introduced us to crude oil sales, and then gold sales. By comparison, commissions made peddling cases of cigarettes seemed silly - a waste of time.

And so we became members of the Underground Network - a huge international network of phony brokers, inept intermediaries, and professional wannabe's. Only we didn't know it. We thought we had hit the big time. Eventually, each of us had so many individual contacts and separate deals that we drifted apart, each of us chasing his own personal rainbow.

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Moving up the food chain

I worked literally around the clock trying to put deals together.  Oil deals and gold deals.  Platinum deals and sugar deals.  Wheat, teak, scrapped tankers, frozen chicken, rare woods, diamond, and emerald deals.  Nothing worked, nothing ever went anywhere.  I racked it all up to experience.

My monthly telephone bill ranged from $700-and-some per month to $1500.  But I wasn't worried, I knew that somewhere out there was the guy with the right connections, the guy at the top.  All I had to do was demonstrate my professionalism and move up the food chain.

Finding Mr. Goodbar

I knew I was on the right track when the caliber of deals I was handling moved into the elite financial market. I was now being given the chance to sell Letters of Credit, Standby Letters of Credit, international corporate loans, loans to foreign countries, and the creme de la creme - Trade Programs. Specifically High-Yield Investment Programs, but in my day they were called Trade Programs and Roll Programs. And the commissions were primo. The guy at the top now had a title - the Trader.

After several months of moving through one unsuccessful financial deal after another, I was finally introduced to "Mr. Goodbar" - a real, honest-to-gosh Trader. And not just any Trader, mind you. This fellow carried CIA identification. He ran a Trust that was comprised of international financial institutions and foreign governments. Oh yes indeedy - he rubbed elbows with The Rich and Powerful.

I knew without a doubt that I had reached the end of the go-nowhere deals. All I had to do was persuade the Trader of my supreme worthiness.

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Through the Looking Glass - Annie in Wonderland

As it turned out, I didn't have to work all that hard to prove myself. Within a few days the Trader was absolutely thrilled with my intelligence, knowledge, and moneyed connections. Don't ask me how I missed the fact that he was drooling all over himself from delight at having found such a prime-quality patsy.

Eventually, he gave me a Limited Power of Attorney over his high-powered Trust.  He gave me the names and phone numbers of attorneys and bankers at major European financial institutions.  Once I started bringing in investors, he provided me with stamped and signed bank receipts for my instructions to the bank for the execution of trades.  He gave me a full-fledged contract with his Trust for the execution of trades and one-on-one contact with an important foreign government official who was supposedly one of the Trust officers.

And I found myself a partner who had even more moneyed connections.

The Trader told me that the investors' funds were helping to fund vital government projects and that because of the tremendous service I was providing the foreign government, I was to receive eminent recognition, special dispensations, and other rewards.

All my years of blood, sweat, and tears were finally paying off. I had arrived. With honors. When the weather turns cold I still get a twinge in my shoulder where I sprained it patting myself on the back.

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In the Trader's Confidence ... Game

And so I brought the investors in, one right after the other. I issued contracts to them based on the one I had been given by the Trader. I personally guaranteed the investor funds based on money I had earned through my dealings with the Trust. I had several hundred thousand dollars sitting safely in a Trust sub-account in the Bahamas, and had the bank receipt to prove it. Over time I brought well over $1,000,000.00 into the Trust; $1,000,000.00 of other people's money.

I was a real hero. I didn't have a red cape, but I was pretty sure I could fly without one.

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Next... The worm turns >

 

   

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