CHILLING: Terrorism Link, A Ponzi, An HYIP, Gold, Mysterious ‘Offshore’ Businesses, ‘Rebates’ — And A Brutal Murder In California

EDITOR’S NOTE: HYIP or autosurf promoter? Can’t say no to the commissions from recruiting people into scheme after scheme? Position yourself as an “expert” on Internet forums — even though you don’t have a clue about the motivations of the program owners and may not even know their names? Find yourself promoting programs that reference “gold” and “funds” and relying on marketing assertions that cannot be verified? Tell your recruits that the programs are money “games” or nontraditional investments? Been involved in one program after another that has failed in this seedy and dangerous world? Think that you’ll have a lifetime of plausible deniability and that professional investigators will believe you when you explain you didn’t really know what was going on — despite the fact you’ve been involved in one failed “program” after another, perhaps for months and even years?

Here’s a story about what can happen in the sea of HYIP, “Gold,” Ponzi and autosurf corruption . . .

UPDATED 12:42 P.M. ET (U.S.A.) Yesterday a reader provided us a document that can only be described as chilling. The document, from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), includes exhibits from a 2003 Canadian civil-securities case against convicted Ponzi swindler Brian David Anderson, a former Christian clergyman from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Last week, Anderson was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison in the United States for operating a $4 million Ponzi scheme known as Frontier Assets. Anderson also was linked to a mysterious scheme known as the “Alpha Project.”

U.S. and Canadian investigators, meanwhile, also identified Anderson as a pitchman for an international HYIP known as Flat Electronic Data Interchange (FEDI). FEDI’s operator, Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, also known as “Michael Mixon,” was convicted in September 2009 of financing terror and fleecing investors in the FEDI scheme.

Why is the document chilling? For starters, its references a bank account held by Goldfinger Coin & Bullion Inc. in Camarillo, Calif. If that name does not ring a bell, think “E-bullion,” the now-shuttered money-exchange business purportedly backed by gold.

James Fayed, the operator of Goldfinger and E-Bullion, was charged in 2008 with operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Investigators said E-Bullion had been used to transact at least $20 million in Ponzi scheme payments.

During the same general time period in 2008, the SEC was conducting a Ponzi scheme investigation into a separate company known as Gold Quest International (GQI), which used E-Bullion and claimed to be registered in Panama.

GQI operated from Las Vegas. It initially tried to claim that it was immune to U.S. law because of links to a “sovereign” Indian tribe. GQI was charged in May 2008 by the SEC with operating a Ponzi scheme. The purported “attorney general” of the purported “sovereign” tribe reacted by trying to file a lawsuit against the SEC for the preposterous sum of $1.7 trillion. A federal judge was not amused, and struck the bizarre filings.

Woman Stabbed To Death

On July 28, 2008, Pamela Fayed — James Fayed’s estranged wife — was brutally murdered in a parking garage in California. She was stabbed in the chest, neck and face — and left to die, according to court filings. Prosecutors said there was no evidence of robbery or carjacking. The murder, according to court filings, occurred just minutes after a meeting Pamela attended with her criminal attorney and her husband’s criminal attorney.

James Fayed was present at the meeting, according to court filings. A meeting with separate attorneys — this one involving a divorce hearing — had been scheduled for the next day, July 29, 2008. Prosecutors said that James Fayed was at risk of being ordered to turn over nearly $1 million to Pamela at the divorce proceeding.

Pamela had advised the government in June 2008 that she wished to cooperate in its criminal investigation of E-Bullion, according to prosecutors.

“Pamela’s murderer left the crime scene in a red SUV that was captured on surveillance video, along with its license,” prosecutors said. “The license was traced to Avis car rentals in Camarillo, not far from [the] defendant’s business. The vehicle had been rented from Avis on July 3, 2008 using an American Express card issued to defendant and GCB.

“An American Express credit card with the same account number was found in defendant’s wallet during a search of his residence in the days following Pamela’s murder. During the search of defendant’s residence, officers also found approximately $60,000 in cash wrapped in plastic material; approximately $3,000,000 in gold; and approximately 31 firearms, including one with a long-range night vision scope, along with thousands of rounds of matching ammunition,” prosecutors alleged.

Prosecutors also alleged James Fayed arranged for the July 28 meeting to create an alibi.

Read a court filing in the federal case against James Fayed in which prosecutors alleged he operated an unlicensed money-transmitting business. The filing references the alleged murder plot.

Murder Charges Filed

James Fayed and an employee — Jose Luis Moya — were charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office with murder and a conspiracy plot in September 2008. Fayed paid Moya “approximately $25,000 to arrange the murder of Pamela Fayed,” investigators said.

On July 3, 2008, investigators said, “Fayed and his company — Goldfinger, Inc. — rented a Suzuki sport utility vehicle that was used by the killers at the Watt Tower parking garage where Pamela Fayed was killed.

“The Suzuki SUV was driven to Fayed’s Ventura County ranch on Happy Camp Road after the killing,” according to investigators. Moya returned the vehicle to Avis the next day.

OSC Document Outlined Purported Anderson/E-Bullion Meeting In 2003

The OSC document filed in Canada is important — and we suggest you read every word of it from the link below — because exhibits in the document show the murkiness and just plain creepiness of the HYIP and Ponzi worlds. One exhibit suggests Anderson planned to meet with Fayed and his wife in 2003 to discuss business.

The document also references Alishtari and FEDI, claiming an investment program was backed by $125 billion in gold. Among other things, the document lists the name of Goldfinger Coin & Bullion and an account number, along with directions on how to open an E-Bullion account.

Screen shot: From exhibit in 2003 OSC filing.

Also included in the document is a purported joint-venture agreement marked “STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL” that purportedly was used by Anderson to recruit investors into an international fraud scheme.

Parallels To AdSurfDaily Case

Parts of the document include claims very similar to claims made by promoters of the alleged AdSurfDaily (ASD) Ponzi scheme in the United States. Anderson, for example, was positioned as a “very successful business executive” who attended a function to observe Alishtari receive an award “for Republican Business Man of the Year for the State of New York.” Similar claims were made about ASD President Andy Bowdoin.

Investor payouts, according to an exhibit in the OSC document, were called “rebates.” ASD, whose assets were seized by the U.S. Secret Service in August 2008 amid Ponzi allegations, also called its payouts “rebates.” Exhibits in the OSC document were thick with references to God and family — another similarity to the ASD case.  Anderson’s efforts to promote the program were deemed “heroic,” and business was conducted in part from Boca Raton, Fla. ASD was thick with Florida members.

In a purported email from Anderson dated April 17, 2003, according to an exhibit within the OSC document, Anderson laid out the case for the new venture.

“Dear Family,” the email began. Chillingly, the email appears to reference Pamela Fayed, allegedly murdered by her husband and conspirators five years later. The email suggests there once were happy days between the Fayeds.

“I am very pleased that my recommendations and leg work have paid off and the Alpha Project will be merging its gold value/currency transfer through E-Bullion,” the email purportedly sent by Anderson claimed.

“E-Bullion is owned by a wonderful couple who have their roots in Egypt and, therefore, are Arab in descent. I will be spending personal time with them on Monday in California.”

Screen shot: Exhibit of purported Anderson email in 2003 OSC filing.

The email, which discusses a trip to Panama, promised investors an “offshore” company and outlined a plan to sell “debit cards” through vending machines that would be positioned in posts offices, hotels and college buildings.

Put “$20 into a vending machine and the machine spits out a loaded Debit card for you,” the email said. “Now you can begin to see why the Alpha Project in will in time be another Microsoft in size.”

Claims in HYIP and Ponzi schemes that a company is destined to become the “next” Microsoft or Google are common. Beyond that, the use of debit cards in the murky HYIP and autosurf words is becoming increasingly popular — as are appeals for investors to entrust funds to “offshore” businesses, amid claims that such businesses are outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

Read the OSC document from 2003.

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