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French Con Artist Jailed for ‘Magic Cheese’ Scam

French Con Artist Jailed for ‘Magic Cheese’ Scam

A French woman was selling kits for people to make their own magic cheese

Wikimedia/Jean-Noel Lafarge

A French woman was sentenced to three years in prison for tricking people out of millions with a plan to make "magic cheese" for high-end cosmetics.

A French con artist has been sentenced to three years in prison for running a wildly succesful pyramid scheme in which she tricked unwitting customers into making “magic cheese.”

According to The Local, 74-year-old Gilberte Van Erpe told people that she had special, secret, easy-to-use kits that would allow them to make “magic cheese,” a dairy product that was allegedly the secret ingredient found in high-end cosmetics. Her $415 kits came with sieves, filters, and a powder that could be mixed with milk to create “a small cheese pat.” Van Erpe told customers that tiny bit of cheese could be sold to cosmetics companies for a fortune.

The scheme was shockingly successful, and Van Erpe reportedly sold more than 5,500 people on the idea and made more than 14.5 million euros.

The cheese, however, was totally worthless, and some families lost their homes and all their savings. Van Erpe was arrested in Nice, France, in 2008, and was just sentenced to three years in prison.

The cheese was never actually sold, and tons of it were eventually found stored in a warehouse, abandoned and rotting.


Ruben Rosario: Have they got a deal for you. Scam expert urges vigilance.

You are a sucker if you believe a sucker is born every minute. It’s more like every nanosecond.

Consider the multitudes of old- and new-school scam artists out there feverishly toiling to separate us from our hard-earned money. The losses are in the billions annually.

The cons are many and diverse. There are garden-variety muggers, pickpockets, grifters, telemarketers, forgers, counterfeiters, ID thieves and e-mail “phishers.”

There are also now “con artists who pose as U.S. census takers and ask for personal information which they will later use to steal money,” as one scam watchdog Web site warns.

I get so many scam e-mails at work that I often slip into Dr. Seuss mode: I get them in the morning. I get them when it’s snowing. I get them in Chinese. I get them in Cantonese. I get them in French. I get them when I’m drenched.

Last week, terminal cancer was the common theme.

“I am William Stevenson and I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer,” reads one. “It has defied all forms of medical treatment, and right now, I have only about a few months to live and I want you to distribute my funds to charities.

“I have set aside 40% for you and your family keep this secret to yourself,” it continues. “Reply me via my private email: [email protected]

The French one was far more imaginative.

“I’m a 51-year old woman dying from cancer that was diagnosed two years ago,” the e-mail roughly states. “I have done some illegal things in my life. Now that I am facing death, my pastor has advised me to leave my entire fortune to a person I don’t know in order to receive God’s divine grace and reach paradise.”

Her fortune: $2.5 million in euros. And she picked me out of the 6 billion people in the world. The odds are off the charts — like getting hit by lightning at the same time a great white shark is about to turn me into an entree but somehow escaping while I’m watching the T-Wolves win the NBA title with a last-second miracle shot.

And all I have to do to get my hands on this fortune is discreetly send some of my personal information to her notary public. Yes, my name is Mickey Mouse and I and my tail and my main squeeze Minnie reside at 777 Magic Kingdom Lane.

But seriously, do these scams work?

“Sadly, many people do fall for these scams,” says Eve Edelson, a scam expert and author of “Scamorama: Turning the Tables on Email Scammers.”

Edelson, who also runs the Web site scamorama.com, gave me a tutorial on what would likely happen if I swallow the bait and follow through on the largesse offered by “Mme. Aurora Miller.”

I would contact the woman’s notary public — a “Mr. Dossou.”

Before I get a penny, this guy would first ask me to cover notary fees, court costs and other related expenses in order to transfer the dying woman’s money.

I would send a money order, typically Western Union, to cover the fees.

“You have now been scammed,” Edelson explains. “The first scammer and the ‘closer’ share the loot according to a ‘sharing percentage.’ ”

Although U.S. law enforcement officials and their overseas counterparts are doing their best given the plethora of scams out there, “the odds of an individual U.S. resident recovering a money order from a scammer overseas are low,” Edelson says.

“I dislike parroting the old saying, ‘If it seems too good to be true, it is,’ ” Edelson says, “but there you have it.”

Great advice. But I have to cut this short. I just got another promising e-mail as I’m writing this.

“Hello, my name is Richard Tang,” it says. “I live in Hong Kong. I want to offer you a business transaction of $44.5-million. We will share 50/50 after we complete the transaction. …”

Rubén Rosario can be reached at [email protected] or 651-228-5454.

People fall for e-mail scams and other ruses all the time. Scam expert Eve Edelson provided some tips:

To learn more about online scams or file a complaint if victimized, go to ic3.gov.


Big scams: Rich people who have done stupid things with their money

As any London or New York company will attest, South Africans make grand recruits. Resourceful, diligent, and willing to fix almost any problem with duct tape, South Africans are renowned for their rarefied business skills.

Nowhere has this been more apparent than in our ability to extract cash from the more trusting members of our society through an ingenuous schlenter. (“Trusting”, of course, is the more polite nomenclature for more direct phrases, such as “credulous” or “startlingly idiotic”).

Here, we’re not talking about the mammoth, yet tedious, financial frauds such as Steinhoff, VBS Mutual Bank, and Leisurenet, which would have taken an accounting professor many litres of single malt to decipher.

Steinhoff, Mr Jooste and the corporate swindle that rocked South Africa

Far juicier are the forehead-smackingly obvious cons that, despite being as clearly fishy as an Atul Gupta wedding invitation, succeeded in swindling people whom you’d otherwise consider the smart money.

It’s a skill that dates back many decades.

NOTHING BUT EVIL

Take the story of Joseph “JB” Robinson — one of the original randlords and one of South Africa’s richest men at the turn of the 20th century.

Moustachioed, fond of wearing his pith helmet in public, and utterly Machiavellian, Robinson was “renowned for his meanness”, according to the Sunday Times of the day.

“Before he would enter a bar, it was said, he would peep inside to find if there was anyone there who might expect him to pay for a drink,” it said.

Not that he couldn’t afford it: he was the original owner of the Langlaagte and Randfontein farms, after all. While JB was second in wealth to Cecil John Rhodes in SA then, the book The Gold Crusades reports that, nonetheless, Robinson “had no rival for the title of most distrusted and reviled Randlord”.

When he died, The Star newspaper entitled its obituary “Nothing But Evil’, describing the stock-exchange building he designed in 1886 as “perhaps the most hideous building that the perverted fancy of man ever imagined”.

Given that typecasting, there’s no little schadenfreude in how Robinson was duped into handing over £30,000 to buy a British peerage he never got to have.

In 1920, a man named Maundy Gregory — dubbed “the prince of conmen” — set his sights on Robinson. Gregory had set himself up as a “purveyor of honours”, and wrote to Robinson, offering him peerage and a place in the House of Lords for a mere £50,000.

Robinson, characteristically, haggled over the price. He must have been tickled pink when he bargained the price down to £30,000.

The result: the 1922 Birthday Honours list records that Robinson was to be given peerage. Only it sparked a rip-roaring scandal in the UK, so much so that prime minister Lloyd George sent Robinson an “angry letter”, after which he “declined the honour”.

Furious at what had happened, the British government made it a criminal act to sell honours within three years of the scandal. Gregory, appropriately, ended up in the infamous London prison Wormwood Scrubs, serving a sentence for “an offence against the honours act”.

Still, Robinson, who was prone to famously fire-infused flushes of fury even before he was ripped off, never got over the fact he’d paid £30,000 for a title he never got.

VROTMELK

Fast forward to the traumatising khaki-yellow era of PW Botha’s 1980s, and a forgettable dorp known as Garies in the Namaqualand.

It was here that Adriaan Nieuwoudt dreamt up the “vrotmelk” scam that many consider a defining scam of the 1980s globally — a scheme built, impossibly, on rotting milk.

Niewoudt’s pitch was this: all you had to do was buy a dried plant named “Kubus” from him, as well as an “activator”, made of a “secret compound”, for R500.

The idea was that, when mixed together, it would produce about 10 jars of a milk culture per week. The “Kubus farmers” would then scoop out the culture, dry it out and post it back to Nieuwoudt, who’d buy it back for R10 per envelope.

In theory, you’d break even within five weeks — and thereafter, it’d just be gravy. Or sour milk, as the case may be. Then again, in theory, socialism works.

As he told it, Nieuwoudt was gathering this culture to on-sell as a miracle beauty cure. In practice, it was a classic Ponzi scheme, recycling the R500 paid by “new investors” to repay the “older investors”.

The sheer cynicism was mind-bending. Inside a secret laboratory, Nieuwoudt had hired people to take the envelopes sent back to him and grind them up (including the paper), which would then be repackaged and sent out as new “activator kits”.

At the time it was a sensation. Just before the Kubus bubble burst in 1984, the town was a hot mess: the Garies post office was wall-to-wall Kubus envelopes and almost everyone in town sported a Kubus-branded T-shirt.

It left an awful smell, both figuratively and literally. Speaking of the smell from thousands of jars of “vrotmelk” fouling up the town, one grower, Wilma du Toit, bragged to the Sunday Times: “You don’t smell it after a while. The smell of the money is what matters.”

Inevitably, some people saw through it. But any criticism was seen as “an attack on downtrodden Afrikaners and an attempt to jeopardise their golden opportunity”.

One freelance photographer, Bill Fry, described how he’d arrived in Garies and casually suggested a bit more scepticism was warranted. “I was almost lynched,” he told the newspapers. “These people say that if the business collapses, it will be due only to the negative publicity.”

In the least surprising twist of events since Jacob Zuma fell ill on the eve of his court hearing, the vrotmelk scam collapsed in November 1984, leaving 70,000 people owed R140-million high and dry.

It turned out that Nieuwoudt had been skimming money off the top, and had clocked up an almost-unheard-of fortune at the time: R80-milion.

But it all disappeared. In the end, the sheriff of the court attached all his furniture, his children’s bicycles, and even, embarrassingly, his sheep.

Nieuwoudt whined: “If people had left me alone, I would have made a success of the business. Now, I am forced to live from day-to-day, and do not always know where my next meal will come from.”

His estate was sequestrated, his six farms were repossessed and, while he later went to jail, it was for illicit diamond buying — not duping gullible investors.

There is, however, an intriguing postscript. In a ringing endorsement of South African enterprise, some budding conmen exported the con to the British Isles and to the US.

In Wales, a Zimbabwean (well, Rhodesian at the time) named Courtney Ferguson began selling milk cultures to Welsh farmers for R24 a pop, which they would “activate” with milk and grated cheese. Ferguson would then buy the product back for R144.

Supposedly, Ferguson told them he’d use it as “an ingredient for special biscuits, which he planned to export to Ethiopia to help solve the famine”.

To this day, Kubus remains a high point of South African swindling.

GREED AND EVOLUTION

The 1980s were, of course, an era of unrepentant capitalism. It was the decade in which Michael Douglas, swaddled in the personality of Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street, spoke crisply of the guiding philosophy of the time.

“Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms: greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind,” he said.

For some, this was a clarion call. Ronnie Skjoldhammer was a slick conman who, in 1983, duped some of SA’s top businessmen who ran a company called De Bond Corporation into handing him R5.5-million’s worth of diamonds.

De Bond was run by a number of eminent South Africans — including Sanlam chairman Fred du Plessis, Progressive Federal Party MP Harry Schwarz, and Mercabank MD Charles Ferreira.

Skjoldhammer had introduced himself to them as a “wealthy international diamond buyer and racehorse owner”. He told them he’d keep the diamonds in a safe deposit box in Geneva, Switzerland. But after he disappeared, they opened that safe deposit box, and discovered just a motley collection of marbles.

Speaking afterwards, Ferreira told the Sunday Times: “I know Skjoldhammer very well now… if he greets you, you count your fingers afterwards.” Unusually in today’s terms, there was actually a reckoning: Skjoldhammer ended up in prison in London.

The 1980s also saw the arrival of “The Amazing Mr Vermaas” — known as the “missing millions lawyer” because of, well, exactly that.

In that case, Albert Vermaas managed to dupe a number of “investors”, including National Party cabinet ministers, out of R50-million within two years. He did it by offering to pay them interest of between 40% and 60% per year.

With all that loot, Vermaas lived what journalists described as a “caviar lifestyle”. He bought a diamond mine, an airline business (Chieftan Airlines), the Ciskei-based Eurobank, and a fleet of cars, including Ferraris.

Before ripping them off, he’d treat VIP guests to game auctions, where they enjoyed French champagne and dined on caviar and nibbles prepared by a French chef.

As one insider put it: ”He’s generous with his largesse. Everyone who’s anyone in government, the SA Defence Force and the SA police circles is on his guest list.”

That old thug Magnus Malan, minister of defence in PW Botha’s government, was one person who enjoyed Vermaas’ favour.

But again, it was a Ponzi scheme. The money put into Vermaas’ scheme by “new investors” was used to repay the older investors.

Later, judge Louis Harms would marvel at how so many smart people had never asked the obvious question: why wouldn’t Vermaas simply have borrowed money from the banks at a 15% interest rate, and invest himself to make the 40% return?

“Avarice remains highly contagious and incurable,” said Harms.

GETTING THE SKATES ON FOR RUNAWAY BAY

All of this was before the granddaddy of shifty schemes.

In 2009, it emerged that Barry Tannenbaum, the scion of the founders of Tiger Oats, had swindled R12.5- billion from thousands of “investors” with a scarcely-credible story about how they could invest in the components of HIV/Aids drugs and earn returns of up to 219% per year.

Tannenbaum’s “investors” were top drawer: besides a swathe of lawyers from gilded law firms, others duped included the former CEO of Pick n Pay, Sean Summers, the former chair of the JSE, Norman Lowenthal, and former OK Bazaars boss Mervyn Serebro.

Speaking about it later, Summers appeared sanguine: “Does one want to lose R19.2-million? No one does. But it’s in the past. I made a decision. It happened to be the wrong one. I’m over it.”

Intriguingly, Tannenbaum’s scheme was operating at the same time as Bernie Madoff was running his own, remarkably similar, Ponzi scheme in the US.

The glaring difference is that Madoff was swiftly arrested, tried, and jailed. Tannenbaum, however, hid out in Australia and the Keystone Cops who make up SA’s police haven’t even got it together to write an extradition application.

Still, he did it with style: when the scandal broke, Tannenbaum fled to Runaway Bay, on Australia’s Gold Coast. He was last spotted driving an Uber, claiming he’d run out of cash. Blame his gambling addiction.

It’s hard to know what goes on in the heads of these con artists and scamsters. Perhaps it’s nothing more complex than the reasoning that if the financial markets have already been gamed, they’re just getting in on the joke.

Near the end of Wall Street, Charlie Sheen’s character, Bud, asks Douglas’ Gekko just how much would be enough money to make.

Gekko responds: “It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero-sum game — somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred — from one perception to another. Like magic.”


Are you at risk of being scammed? Former con artist and bestselling author of Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale shows you how to stop scammers in their tracks.Maybe you're wondering how to make the scam phone calls stop. Perhaps someone has stolen your credit card number. Or you've been a victim of identity theft. Even if you haven't yet been the target of a crime, con artists are always out there, waiting for the right moment to steal your information, your money, and your life.As one of the world's most respected authorities on the subjects of fraud, forgery, and cyber security, Frank Abagnale knows how scammers work. In Scam Me If You Can, he reveals the latest tricks that today's scammers, hackers, and con artists use to steal your money and personal information--often online and over the phone. Using plain language and vivid examples, Abagnale reveals hundreds of tips, including:- The best way to protect your phone from being hacked - The only time you should ever use a debit

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'Just the tip of the iceberg'

Bardai said it appears that Simmonds and his organization were using the money to support "a lavish lifestyle."
Now, several more complainants have come forward. "I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg," Bardai said.
The $10 million he received in the deal with Simmonds is gone, re-invested into his now-bankrupt former company.
The people who were once his employees are now jobless, without severance pay. "I lost my life," he said. "Forget about the $10 million."


  • Peter John, author of Around the World in 80 Scams, explains top cons
  • From worthless gemstones to phony take away menus and corrupt cops
  • Scammers offer refundable airline tickets on gumtree.com

Published: 09:40 BST, 9 February 2015 | Updated: 14:51 BST, 9 February 2015

Travelling has never been easier or more popular. And like moths to a flame, scammers are drawn to people who are on holiday or 'just passing through' with money to burn, no local knowledge and all their valuables tucked neatly nearby.

Every year foreign visitors are tricked out of small change or, worse, find themselves in dangerous situations or the victims of crime.

While this is by no means a warning against travel, being prepared and on guard can go a long way to evading confidence tricksters, wily locals and credit card bandits.

Scammers are drawn to holiday goers and travellers but if you know what to look out for you can avoid cons

Together with Peter John, author of Around the World in 80 Scams: An Essential Travel Guide, we run down some of the most well-worn ruses, and how to dodge them.

PETER JOHN'S 10 POINT PLAN TO BEING VIGILANT ABROAD

1. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is. This applies anywhere, from advertisements in newspapers or online to offers from touts in bus stations.

2. Do not accept food or drink from strangers who you've just met in hotels or on buses or trains.

3. Before travelling, research whether the destination is notorious for any particular scams. Embassy websites and online travel forums are particular good sources.

4. Watch taxi drivers like a hawk. Many are honest, but many will cheat given the slightest chance

5. Find out the exchange rate before you arrive and familiarise yourself with notes and coins as soon as possible.

6. Keep as many of your possessions as possible in sight at all times.

7. Don't assume policemen or customs officials are honest, especially in poorer countries.

8. Carry a backup ATM or credit card in case you lose your main card.

9. Try not to arrive in foreign cities after dark. Thieves love darkness.

10. Don't buy expensive goods overseas unless you know exactly what you're doing.

Cheapflights.co.uk commissioned research into the most popular travel scams and found that hotel guests are often duped by fake wake up calls.

Late at night the phone rings with someone claiming to be from the front desk.

They explain that the internal computer system has crashed and that they need your credit card information again. In fact, they are a prisoner speaking to you on a smuggled mobile phone.

In your sleep addled state you give them everything they need to empty your bank account. This scam was especially common in Georgia, in the US.

Avoid it by: Refusing to give any information and putting down the phone. Tell hotel staff and the police immediately.

2.) Airline ticket refund ruse

Beware cheap tickets and refundable schemes.

'Scammers advertise refundable airline tickets free on sites like gumtree.com,' says Peter John.

'They sell them for cash (to you) and then get the money they paid for the tickets refunded to their credit cards.'

You wind up with no ticket and an airfare down the scammer has your money as well as the cash they originally paid for the ticket refunded.

Avoid it by: Buying tickets direct from airlines or first-hand through trusted websites.

No matter how hungry you are or late it is watch out for fake menus. After you've settled into your hotel room a takeaway menu might be surreptitiously slipped under your door.

If you order from it there's a strong chance you won't see any food but the person on the other end of the phone now has your card details and will be making a large withdrawal.


Fake cures, scams, phony medications and price gouging: Predators pounce during coronavirus

Three weeks ago, Lorina’s cellphone rang. Seeing it was a local call, the 61-year-old Riverside resident picked up.

A woman’s voice said she was working with Medicare, the national health insurance program, to distribute tests for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. All she needed, the woman said, was Lorina’s name, address and Social Security and Medicare information.

“And stupid me, I gave it to her,” Lorina, who asked that her last name not be used to protect her privacy, said in an interview.

So goes one of the many frauds local and federal authorities say have emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic, feeding off the fear and confusion bred by the virus and its lack of a cure or vaccine.

They range in perniciousness, from purveyors of unorthodox medical treatments who pivoted to hawking remedies for COVID-19, to sophisticated Medicare scammers, identity thieves and fraudsters who are soliciting investment in coronavirus treatments that don’t exist or aren’t recognized by government scientists.

“There is no shortage of people trying to cash in on this crisis, unfortunately,” Nick Hanna, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, said in an interview.

Hanna has assigned a prosecutor in his office to coordinate COVID fraud cases, reviewing tips from a hotline to potential scams within the sprawling Central California district and coordinating with the FBI and the array of other federal agencies investigating these types of cases. A second prosecutor is overseeing investigations into price gouging and hoarding of medical supplies and other products in high demand during the crisis.

Hanna said his office is prioritizing cases that would have the largest impact and deterrent effect, focusing on those that affect public health and safety. He declined to specify the number of investigations underway in the district.

“We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the works,” he said, including probes into fake test kits, hoarding and price gouging — “the full gamut.”

In one widespread scheme, said Timothy DeFrancesca, a special agent who leads the Los Angeles office of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General, fraudsters call Medicare beneficiaries at home, knock on their doors or approach them in the parking lots of grocery stores and pharmacies, then offer them home-test kits for COVID-19 or packages of hand sanitizer, masks and other protective equipment.

What they’re after, DeFrancesca said, is personal information such as Medicare numbers, which they can use to bill the federal government for procedures that aren’t performed and costly equipment that isn’t needed. They aren’t constrained by ripping off only Medicare, he said armed with this information, “they could use it for any sort of financial fraud scheme.”

Any unsolicited phone call or visit from someone claiming to work for or with Medicare should be “an immediate alarm bell,” DeFrancesca said.

Lorina, the 61-year-old who was talked into parting with her Medicare information, said she didn’t suspect anything was amiss. The woman on the phone “was pleasant,” she recalled. “She wasn't in a hurry. But after I gave her my information, I was going to ask her a couple questions and she just hung up."

Two weeks later, she was thumbing through the newsletter distributed by her senior-living apartment complex when, between the recipes and the word searches, she spotted a warning from a group called the Senior Medicare Patrol. The scam it described, she thought, sounded an awful lot like her promised COVID-19 test kit.

She reported the exchange to a hotline listed in the newsletter, and worried. She’s received no kit nor has she gotten any of the expensive and unneeded medical equipment that fraudsters commonly charge to the federal government, she said.

"It worries me that people would do such a thing, but I guess they're finding suckers like me,” she said. “I trust people — I’m too trusting, that's the thing.”

As of Monday, the Federal Trade Commission, the agency tasked with protecting American consumers, has fielded about 16,800 complaints of coronavirus-related fraud, with a total reported loss of $12.78 million. The median loss for a complainant is $570.

Monica Vaca, the FTC’s associate director for consumer response and operations, pointed to two reasons why the pandemic has served as a springboard for fraud.

"First, it's in the news," Vaca said in an interview. "Scammers follow the headlines. And second, it's triggered a highly emotional reaction. They feed off of that."

California leads the nation with about 2,000 reports to the FTC of fraud, identity theft and other scams related to the coronavirus outbreak, 800 more than Florida, the state with the second-most complaints.

The FTC has sent letters to 25 companies and individuals, warning they’ve run afoul of consumer-protection laws in selling purported remedies for COVID-19, which include Chinese herbal solutions sold by a pharmacy in Kansas City essential oils marketed by a Buena Park yogi who calls himself “Dr. Fresh" and, more than any other substance, colloidal silver. Despite federal health officials’ insistence that colloidal silver cures nothing and can even harm your health, a number of businesses have hawked it as an antidote for COVID-19.

John Baxter, whose Orlando-based sleep technology company received a warning letter from the FTC, said he had trouble finding a silver supplier because many had sold out. He bought about $1,000 worth of silver and advertised a“Colloidal Silver CoronaVirus Convenience Package,” which he intended to sell as a loss leader, he said in an interview.

After getting pushback from the FTC, the FDA, Amazon and Facebook — which refused to run his ads, he said — “I was like, ‘Look, I’ll just pull it down.’”

“It’s good for the public to do their research," Baxter said, "but I’ve had good success with the product. I haven’t been sick in seven years.”

The FTC is also warning of robocall and imposter scams, which con artists have injected with references to the coronavirus “to make things a little more scary,” Vaca, of the FTC, said.

In some of these scams, fraudsters offer to help businesses and individuals apply for government assistance payments, Vaca said, either to obtain their personal information or extract a bogus fee for “help” filing for the relief.

Confused and fearful as the country is, this scam is finding victims in every age group, she said. “You might think, 'I've warned grandma we're good.' This fraud, these scams, it's like bird shot. It's targeting everyone.”

Hanna, the top federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, said he expected the scope and breadth of such scams to grow as the government distributes payments to millions of people affected by the crisis, offering a fresh pool of money for scammers to exploit.

“These are not stupid people,” he said. “People work hard for their money, and these people work hard to steal your money.”

To date, Hanna’s office has charged two people with peddling phony cures for COVID-19.

Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, a small-time actor and bodybuilder, advertised to his 2.4 million Instagram followers both a pill that inoculated people from the virus and a cure for the disease it causes. His Instagram videos were viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Middlebrook was charged with wire fraud, arrested at what he believed would be a rendezvous with an investor from whom he’d solicited a $300,000 investment, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit filed in court. The “investor” was an undercover agent.

Middlebrook, whose attorney didn’t respond to a request for comment, was released after his mother put up his bond. Among the conditions of his release: He cannot “promote, market, advertise and/or solicit investments” for any “purported cure or preventative treatment for COVID-19,” his bond sheet says.

Frank Richard Ludlow, a resident of the United Kingdom, was charged last month in Los Angeles with introducing misbranded drugs in interstate commerce with an intent to defraud or mislead. He was arrested by British authorities in southern England it wasn’t clear from court records if he’d retained a lawyer.

Ludlow, who has for years peddled a “miracle cure” called the “Trinity Remedy,” repackaged the product as a treatment for COVID-19 and shipped dozens of the purported antidotes to Los Angeles and Utah, Virginia Keys, a special agent with the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, wrote in an affidavit.

The Trinity Remedy, according to a Utah woman interviewed by investigators, was a mixture of vitamin C, potassium salts, enzyme mix and hydrogen peroxide. The woman, who suffered from “severe” health problems, started taking this cocktail in 2017.

“A consumer was supposed to add 18 ounces of water, say a prayer, drink half of the solution, take a probiotic along with bee pollen, and then ingest the remainder of the solution,” Keys wrote.


From extreme catfishing to wine fraud, here are 6 documentaries about con artists

Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying to watch than a good con or, at least, watching how someone who has perpetrated one gets caught.

In those narratives, there’s often a really appealing push-pull between admiring the artfulness of the fraudster and rooting for the investigators on their trail. It’s also a brand of true crime that’s a little lower stakes — and inherently less problematically salacious — than some of the gorier serial killer stories.

If you’ve already blown through HBO Max’s “Generation Hustle,” a new 10-episode show about the scammers and schemers who walk among us, then check out a few of Salon’s favorite documentaries and docuseries about some of the most intriguing cons in recent history. From an extreme catfisher to a man who donates forged art to museums, there’s something for you.

“Love Fraud,” Showtime

This four-episode docuseries looks into a man who has taken catfishing to an absolutely wild extreme, resulting in a multi-state manhunt spearheaded by all the women he’s left in his wake. “Love Fraud” investigates the case of Richard Scott Smith (that’s just one of his names, by the way), a Kansas native who would try on different identities to lure new romantic partners — though just long enough to marry them and make off with their cars, credit cards and hearts.

A number of women who were scammed by him hire Carla Campbell, a pint-sized bounty hunter with a foul mouth and quick temper, to track Smith down before he strikes again.

“Sour Grapes,” Tubi

The world of high-dollar wine is one filled with excess, tradition and gatekeepers. But in 2006, Rudy Kurniawan, a 30-something Indonesian wine collector, seemingly burst out of nowhere when an auction company broke records by selling $35 million worth of his wines.

Kurniawan soon became a wine world darling as restaurant owners, Hollywood producers and billionaire Bill Koch purchased from his collection of Burgundies. And people loved him! He was a wine genius who had always had an encouraging word (and often a spare bottle of wine) for everyone.

However, elements of his origin story — how he accumulated his collection, how he learned about wine and how he made his money — started to unravel once a French winemaker started looking into his claims.

In “Sour Grapes,” filmmakers Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas investigate how Kurniawan pulled one of the biggest wine world scams in history.

“Art and Craft,” Amazon Prime

Mark Landis was one of America’s most prolific art forgers. For over 30 years, he conned museums by donating paintings to them that he claimed were made and signed by famous artists, but had actually been created by him.

He generally targeted smaller museums, however his habit for making copies of the same painting — sometimes up to six at a time — finally caught up to him when Matthew Leininger, a museum manager with a grudge, started tracking Landis’ movements.

However, when the two finally came face to face, Landis wasn’t exactly the picture of the con man Leininger had painted in his mind. “Art and Craft” is a surprisingly heartwarming and humorous documentary that delves into truth, belief and mental illness.

“FYRE: The Greatest Party that Never Happened,” Netflix

Some of the best con stories are ones that are bolstered by schadenfreude — the kind where you’re actually kind of okay with what the scam exposed about those who were taken. Then there are the ones where you’re just dying for the con artist to get their just deserts instead.

“Fyre,” Netflix’s documentary about the ill-fated Fyre Festival, is the best of both worlds.The Fyre Festival was billed as a luxury music experience on a private island. It was supposed to be headlined by blockbuster acts and attended by an endless stream of Instagram influencers and models. But in the hands of a cocky entrepreneur, it failed in a spectacularly public fashion, leaving said influencers stranded with nothing but some lackluster cheese sandwiches and their cell phones.

“The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley,” HBO Max

With her deep voice and collection of black turtlenecks, Elizabeth Holmes was billed as the next Steve Jobs. Her company, Theranos, gained traction when they announced the invention of miniature blood testing labs called “Edisons.” Holmes hit the covers of major magazines and managed to get glowing profiles about her purported genius — but a couple whistleblowers eventually tipped off reporters that Holmes was more interested in accolades than the scientific advancements her company was allegedly making.

“An Honest Liar,” Amazon Prime

This 2014 documentary is one of the oldest on this list (“Art and Craft” is from 2014, as well) and there are times that, watching it seven years later, it looks a little dated. That said, “An Honest Liar” is a splendidly meta examination of a man who used his talent for deception to build a career, who is also deeply intent on exposing the people who believes to be real fraudsters.

“An Honest Liar” documents the life of magician and escape artist James Randi. After turning 50 — and nearly drowning during one of his escape attempts — Randi turned his attention to exposing psychics, faith healers, and con-artists, many of whom used the same sleight of hand he had mastered for his stage shows.

The filmmakers also caught Randi and his partner of 25 years, José Alvarez, in some deception of their own, calling into question the bounds — and ultimate importance — of complete honesty.


Millennium Bank: Perhaps Not A Scam, But Not Safe Either

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

You have seen via Google Ads on my or other financial sites advertising 8% CD rates from Millennium Bank. Wow, sounds great! But given the internet age, when you see “bank”, it could be from any corner of the world. The terms “certificate of deposit” or “savings account” may imply security here, but don’t necessarily mean anything internationally. The FDIC website gives some good guidance on Safe Internet Banking:

Read key information about the bank posted on its Web site.
Although it tries to distract you by saying it is owned by some Swiss trust company, if you read further it you find that Millennium Bank is located in the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). So, it’s not even located in the United States. From Wikipedia, St. Vincent has a population of just 119,000, it’s main industry is banana production, and has an unemployment rate of about 22%. Also of interest:

There is […] a small offshore financial sector whose particularly restrictive secrecy laws have caused some international concern.

Does this sound like a place that you would want to keep your money? Maybe if you were trying to hide it! If something goes wrong, do you want to navigate a foreign system to get your money back?

Verify the bank’s insurance status.
This bank isn’t even located in the United States, so there’s no point in even running a bank search to see if it is FDIC insured. It doesn’t even appear to insure its deposits by any private or public agency. If a bank claims to be a subsidiary of a bank that is FDIC-insured, call the parent bank. If they’ve never heard of it, run away.

Gut check: Is it too good to be true?
Finally, risk and return are closely linked in legitimate bank products. If the best any other bank can do is barely 6%, there’s virtually no way a bank offering 8% return with the same level of risk. They have to be doing something riskier, whether it is making some currency bets or investing in lower-quality debt. Given the lack of disclosure of what these risks are, you might as well buy some junk bonds, which are at least rated by reputable independent companies.

Bottom line, I hope you’ll agree there’s absolutely no reason to put your money anywhere near this institution.

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Comments

Millennium Bank is a sponsor of The Wealth Collection (magazine for super wealthy people like Donald Trump). I dunno if that means it’s safe, but it’s definitely ligit.

If you don’t like them, you can opt not to have them shown by Goggle Ads.

FDIC is an american thing…..if the bank is overseas, why should they be insured under FDIC. I am sure great British banks are not FDIC insured nor have presence in the US.

There are some Australian, Indian banks that offer around 8% or more. (I think the money has to be kept in local currency, thus currency fluctuations are also a concern)

If allowed, I think i wll try to keep $50 in millenium bank to see how legit they are.

The reason these banks are not under FDIC umbrella is because FDIC requires/advices/forces these banks on how to invest their money etc. These banks are risky but not necessarily a bad investment. I am sure there are many american based stocks that are worst.

When they say they are a sponsor, i think what they mean is they put advertisements in that magazine. (which anyone can)

I have seen fantastic, high quality magazines with ads from diploma mill universities.

If one fully understands the deposit insurance available in another country, and feels that they can get the money back easily in the even of trouble, sure, go for it. Neither is available from this bank. I don’t want to have to make a flight or write letters just to get a resolution.

Your money at Millenium bank could be perfectly safe… until it isn’t.

Most foreign bank accounts are also held in their home currency, which can be a good or bad thing depending on one’s situation.

Jonathan – thank you for your comments, I believe you are just trying to be transperant and make people as ignorant as me think before investing in such banks.

I hope it’s also perfectly clear that sponsorship and endorsement are completely different animals.

Just because you see an ad in between your favorite TV show, in a magazine, in a newspaper, or in a website, does not mean that the advertiser has the endorsement of that media outlet. Chances are they haven’t investigated it at all. It doesn’t matter if it’s for beer, make-up, cars, or banks. It’s paid placement, nothing more.

I don’t have the time or inclination to filter every single ad that gets submitted through Google. I’ve tried, it’s a losing battle. My goal remains to write useful information about topics that interests me, and trust each of my readers to make the proper decision for themselves regarding the advertisements.

We should clarify some things. Millennium Bank (with two n’s) based out of Reston, VA, is FDIC insured. Millenium Bank (with one n) is not. The latter is the bank in question.

When i click on the website, the bank is wth two n’s.

I was reading the following from their executive statement. The English doesnt really seem very professional, especially in the last sentence. Seems like 3rd grade to me.

“What is the catch? Deposits in most countries are protected by a form of deposit insurance. Deposits in international private banks are not. It is therefore important to choose an international private financial institution that is strong. Millennium Bank is strong. “

I sent them an email with the following questions:

1) I have USD$100,000 to invest, what is the best rate I can get?
2) How many branches do you have?
3) When was the current branch opened?
4) Who is the president of your bank?
5) Has anyone lost money by investing in a CD?
6) Are you a member of any bank associations local or international?

Lets see how they respond.

Can someone send them an email and ask who the president of the bank is and what is their email address. I want to see if we get conflicting answers.

Other countries often have higher interest rates because they have higher inflation. Since you have to keep money in their local currency it means that by PPP their currency should decline at approximately the difference in the rates, all else being equal.

Thus you cannot get higher real returns in this way without taking on higher risk. However it doesn’t mean that just because they offer higher nominal returns that it is more risky.

In fact if you have some reason to own that currency then this may make sense.

Overseas banks can offer higher interest also due to different prevailing rates for their country. NZ banks offer 8% CDs — probably guaranteed by the NZ FDIC equivalent. But due to currency flux, you may end up getting less than 8%. (There’s a local bank here that offer 25K 1mo NZ CDs.)

I looked into that bank a few months ago, lured by their high rate. I found the same stuff you did, plus some ‘unsatisfied’ customers who’d posted their experience on the web. I can’t *conclusively* say so, but that wanna-be-Swiss connection plus what I read was enough to keep me away from them.

I’m glad you’re posting about it though, because if it’s really not legit, it needs to be discussed more openly.

Thanks for the comments. If you really want nice foreign rates, check out the Everbank Icelandic Krona CDs paying 12.5% APY right now!

But as mentioned before, if the account is denominated is US Dollars, it’s got to have some currency exchange risk built in. The issue with Mill Bank is that you have no idea what they are investing in. Way too vague.

There seems to be at least two US-based banks also name Millennium Bank, all with two n’s. Shrug.

If it is a bank we do not already know or have a relationship with at Sovereign, I cannont comment on safety.

Jack Crooks, Currency Director

P. S. Bob Bauman, our legal counsel did comment on this type of inquiry previously, as follows:

Dear Sir/Madame:
We checked with two leading and trusted financial advisors with whom we work in Zurich. They report that the “bank” you named is not registered as a financial institution as required by law (see: http://www.ebk.admin.ch/e/institute/index.html) nor does it appear in the trade registry of Swiss corporations.

It appears that the “bank” is little more than a web site full of words. To quote one of our experts: “Unless we missed something?this is a sham…”

I hope this information is helpful.

BOB BAUMAN, Legal Counsel
The Sovereign Society Inc.

Customer Service/Conference Associate

Any and all communications from Sovereign Society employees should not be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice.

nony-mouse you are right. when you go to the website and look on thetab, it has only one “n”, which I had looked at. oh well, still wouldn’t dump money there.

As everyone knows, you can get a 5% rate FDIC insured a lot of different places.
Is the extra 3% return really worth risking never seeing your money again? I don’t think so!

If you had $10,000 invested, 5% would get you $10,512 & 8% would get $10,830. Is the extra $318 worth losing the $10,000?

I researched this “bank” extensively and can say that either it is a ponzi scheme type of fraud or is a money laundering operation for tax evasion or drug dealers. If it is money laundering then your money is probably safe until the “bank” gets into trouble with US or European governments. There is no such institution as United Trust of Switzerland. Some investors of Millenium bank purchased the United Trust in a bankruptcy auction and is not even registered in Switzerland.

What about Royal Savings and Loan, Czech republic. Its interest rates are higher and is insured by Czech government which is quite stable. Any comments .

I am grateful for all this information. I was about to go “Wow” and send in my money for a 12.5% CD. Now I won’t. Thanks.

thank all for this invaluable info….as the Millenium website is pretty slick in it’s professional appearance and message ….creating a sense of security …..wow, think I’ll keep my investments in the US…..keep up the good detective work!

Here is a great way to get good rates on CDs, even for short term and lower investment amounts:

Of course, I’m torn in posting this. More people going there means more competition to my bidding. But, with more bids coming in, hopefully they’ll be able to get better sponsor deals to pass on to us.

I am from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and I think that investors should be very concerned about investing in Millennium Bank (the one that’s registered here). I have seen this type come and go over the years. They are operating is very questionable manner.

This type behave like high rollers with an endless bank account and are usually big investors in political campaigns. True to form, of late a very expensive jet/s (Spirit of Millennium/Millennium Bank) arrives here every week and are given the executive treatment by some shady characters in high positions.

I could easily contribute further but it is not my job to do so.

First, let’s get past “FDIC” – If you’re investing in anything that earns greater interest than a domestic CD, that money is NOT FDIC insured. We give up that security when we choose to invest in Mutual Funds or the Stock Market.

Now,
Has anyone read the following? In my opinion, One Million people can read this no more than half will come to the same conclusion. Suffice it say, ALL offshore investments will pose greater risk with greater reward – our countries Billionaires have been putting their money overseas for decades, even Legit Swiss banks are full of American money. I’ve been to the Caribbean and some islands seem to have more foreign banks than actual people.

Anyway, the guy in this interview puts up a fight without revealing much of anything. It feels like shady people are making a lot of money with this shady bank. link

All I wish to know… Knowing the offshore risk factor,… Is, Where are the complaints against Millennium. If they are sour, some one should have already been burnt. Helloooow. Where are you?!

I know the Millennium bank you are speaking of and I also am one of their clients and am very happy. It is true that they are NOT FDIC insured and as others have stated it’s because they are outside the US. I have been to the Bank and must say the employees are very pleasant and show great respect for my privacy. I am a real fan and will be there for the long haul with it extending to my heirs.

what about investments – re cd’s offering 8.5% in Panama. Is this safe.
After all the Donald is building his tower over there

I was hoping some investors for several years experience with this bank would comment. All the comments seem to say stay away from Millennium Bank. It may be too good to be true. I called up and spoke to a representative, the person I talked to said that he had been with them over nine years but if you are squeemish then don’t invest.

Need more information & story in re: Millennium Bank located in Caribbean of St. Vincent and Grenadines

Where can get anyone 5% on a CD at any reputable bank ( with FDIC ) in the USA after April 2008 ? The Fed will lower the rate to 2 % – from 5.25 %, soon no matter the term, matterfact nowadays the longer term means lower rate…. The banks have wised up….Stelwagen

Millennium Bank, National Association (FDIC Cert: 35096)
is a National Bank and has been FDIC insured since April 1, 1999. Some one has not been doing their home work.

Michael – One should always be sure before telling others to “do their homework”. The bank you are listing is not the same bank offering extraordinarily high yields that I am talking about above.

I, too, am waiting to hear from an actual, disgruntled investor who has actually had a PROBLEM with these guys!! Yes, there’s always risk, especially with an off-shore banking institution, but even some of our own US-based institutions have had their share of lumps!! Has anyone successfully invested with Millennium Bank for longer than a one year period?? Would like to hear something besides scare rhetoric…

@Larry Gutter:
> I, too, am waiting to hear from an actual, disgruntled investor who…

Their About Us page claims they’re owned by ‘United Trust of Switzerland’. When I googled for that name, I could not find a public website for the parent company. I did find 4 pages of other blogs, forums, etc. where people like us were complaining about this bank. Do you really think a Swiss bank established in 1931 would not have it’s own public website? I didn’t show up on the first 4 pages of google results for that name.

If you think we’re being unfair, please produce one reputable 3rd party that publicly vouches for MLNBANK, and post the URL on this thread. Also, if someone could post a picture of a building with the ‘United Trust of Switzerland’ logo in Zurich or Geneva?

The reason we’re being suspicious is because banks are held to a higher standard than any other business. A real Swiss bank would know that.

The website at mln.com actually tries to explain why its “parent company,” United Trust, does not have a public website.

“Due to a long-established tradition of providing absolute confidentiality for its premier private clients and its unwavering commitment as a private trust, United Trust of Switzerland does not offer a public website.

Privacy and confidentiality are the ultimate trademarks of established Swiss trust companies. United Trust of Switzerland is a globally recognized leader in upholding these values and principles.”

What a bunch of bull! First they say it is confidential and private, then they go on to say how it is a globally recognized leader in upholding these principles. You can’t have it both ways! If they were truly globally recognized, wouldn’t someone have heard of them from a reputable source? Avoid this “bank” at all costs!

I am a FORMER and CURRENT customer of UNITED TRUST OF SWITZERLAND for very good reason: this is a wonderful company that knows their business and sets the standard in integrity.

I had a 1 year, 12% CD with United Trust of Switzerland, and it was the easiest investment I have ever made. It was like a Swiss Clock. I also had a large 9% CD with a 7 year lock. After two years, I became nervous about some of the negative opinions I was reading online about offshore investment banks and asked if I could cash out. United Trust of Switzerland didn’t hesitate, and fully refunded all of my investment with 100% of the earned interest to date, with out penalty. They also paid all expenses to wire transfer the money for me and then thanked me for my business. Show me any other bank in the world that would do that.

For my money, United Trust of Switzerland is FIRST CLASS, and has more integrity than any other bank. I am back with them and plan to stay.

@David
> For my money, United Trust of Switzerland is FIRST CLASS …

And you’re a “reputable 3rd party” how exactly? Because your first name is David and you have an internet connection?

Let me spell it out. Reputable 3rd party is: The Wall Street Journal, 60 Minutes, Kiplinger’s, Warren Buffet, etc. Someone with the means to research this and a reputation (to keep them honest). And yes, I don’t fit the “reputable 3rd party” definition either. But I’m not asking people to wire their hard earned money to me.

Although Millenium bank is owned by United Trust of Switzerland S.A
it would be prudent for any potential investor to examine the Commercial register of canton Zug and to ask Millennium bank to suplly verifiable trade references from their correspondant banks or accountants.

On accessing the Commercial register of Canton of Zug check under Identification number CH-400.3.001.264-6 – Alington Consulting AG was established 31.01.1931 but it’s name was changed to United Trust of Switzerland S.A on the 02.08.2007. Unless proved otherwise they do not appear to have recorded trade history.

Did you visit this public website?

I am from SVG and I am telling you investors that you need to watch where you invest your money. You might find that your entire retirement fund has been totally pissed off by UNCLE WILLY.

The cradle that is expected to house the verry expensive cigarette hull boat with big engines that he might use when he arrives on the big jet at Arnos Vale is to cost a cool half mill EC. The 24/7 security on the same boat being served gourmet prawns for dinner.

RICHIE RICH could not get better than this. Might have bank rolled an election………or two.

Yes genius. That’s Millenium Bank’s own website. Again, it’s not a reputable 3rd party.

My wife and I have been doing business with Millennium Bank in St Vincent since 2004. This was at the recommendation of a friend who had been dealing with them for a few years prior to that. I have recommended their high-paying CDs to several friends. All have paid as promised. We fully understand that as a non-US bank the CDs are not covered by FDIC. To me, the premium returns are worth the additional risk. If this is a Ponzi scheme, it’s had a long, long run.

My wife and I have been doing business with Millennium Bank in St Vincent since 2004. This was at the recommendation of a friend who had been dealing with them for a few years prior to that. I have recommended their high-paying CDs to several friends. All have paid as promised. We fully understand that as a non-US bank the CDs are not covered by FDIC. To me, the premium returns are worth the additional risk. If this is a Ponzi scheme, it’s had a long, long run.

@Jim:
> My wife and I have been doing business with Millennium Bank

And you’re a “reputable 3rd party” how exactly? Because your first name is Jim and you have an internet connection?

John states:
>And you’re a “reputable 3rd party” how exactly? Because your first name is Jim and you have an internet connection?

Not representing myself as a “reputable 3rd party” or an authority of any kind. Just sharing my personal experience with Millennium.

I have the account application in front of me now. I am still uncertain about this. Has anyone spoke with David Jones at the bank? I have and he seems to have all the right answers. He also gave me 4 referances here in the states of which 3 I did call. All were very satisified with the bank and were paid on time as stated. They had conducted business with the bank from 2 to 4 years. Jim’s comment about him and his wife being satisified are favorable to the other referances. What recourse do you have if something goes wrong?

>>My wife and I have been doing business with Millennium Bank in St Vincent since 2004.

Dose anyone has bank with Millennium in USA?

I don’t know that you have any real recourse other than hiring a lawyer in St Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG). I thought long and hard about this issue before we bought their CDs. Relied largely on the experience of a trusted friend who is an agent for Millennium’s US distributer. I spoke to a few customers before taking the plunge. Of course, references could be paid agents who are part of the “scam”. However, one was a priest (verified) and another a reputable business man in our community. I did speak with a David in SVG but can’t remenber his last name. Glad I had confidence! Our experience has been very positive.

Clearly, Millennium’s CDs involve a greater degree of risk than you would incur at a US bank. There is no free lunch. You can’t get additional return without additional risk. They are able to invest in ways that US banks, limited by regulation, cannot.

I contacted a lawyer in Panama and he recommended Stanford Bank.
He sent me a Dunn & Bradstreet report which gave them a 5 S rating which is excellent. I then looked for Millennim Bank at the D & B website and they had no listing for Millennium Bank. Why is that?

To David: If you will go to http://www.stvincentoffshore.com it should take you to the the web site of International Financial Services Authority which are the regulators for the Grenidines including St. Vincent. On their web site is a list of approved licensed banks for the Grenidiens and the bank you spoke of, Stanford Bank is not listed. Maybe the laywer has a connection to that bank. I spoke with two people at I.F.S.A. and they said Millinnium Bank is licensed and approved. I assume the reason they don’t have a Dunn & Bradstreet rating is because they don’t issue credit in the USA. Their investments are not tied to the USA, which given the recent mess we are in should be a good thing. I have recently put my “toe in the water” and opened a CD with Millinnium after several months of research. I have found nothing against them anywhere. Trust me, if there is I will be spreading it all over the internet.

To Dave: Thanks for the response. Most offshore attorneys say you visit the bank and talk to the manager. I guess I’m lazy and don’t want to make the trip. Did you go there or just call them?

I have not made the trip. Just talked to them on the telephone, but they have invited me to visit and better still they will pay for the trip up to a certain amount. I plan on making the trip this winter. I also called another licensed bank in Kingston under the pretense of having a wrong number and ask them if there was a Millinnium bank in Kingston and they said there was. I wanted to make sure there was brick and mortor there. (don’t grade me on spelling…I’ve never won a spelling bee….smile……)

I sent an email to the other banks on the island to see if they would recommend Millinnium and if they were legit. I am curious to see what they say. Will let you know.

Why would you ask another bank… competing for your business….to recomend another bank?? What do you think they are going to tell you, if they respond at all??

Just curious. If I went to my local bank and needed help, telling them that I wanted to protect my money and get the best rates, they would help me with my problem. They would even help setting up jumbo CDs at other banks to make sure my money is insured and safe, checking out their ratings, rates, etc. Is it too much to ask of a foreign bank. Wouldn’t they do this for the general public in telling them info on other banks and accounts. Maybe I am stupid. Just curious of response from competitors.

Then what you are saying is that your local bank, the one you bank with is not safe and you want to move your money and they are going to tell you,
David, we are not safe, you had better move your money now! Do you think even if they were not safe they are going to tell you? The bank president would fire them on the spot if they did that. If they help you set up jumbo CD’s at other banks I’ll bet your bank will charge you points. Banks don’t do anything for free. They may tell you it is free, but you can bet it is hidden in a fee somewhere. Do you think the depositors at Washington Mutual knew the bank was going to fail. Do you think the employees told their customers a week in advance the bank was going to fail? I don’t think so! I see your point in asking, but I sure wouldn’t put much faith in the answer.

You are right. I got two responses today. One told me they never heard of them and one said to check and see if they are licensed.
That was it. I found one bank, Sanford Bank in Panama, they required a personal visit to their bank for identification purposes, signatures, etc, they also have higher than normal rates. I also found one in Dominican Republic, they also required a visit their bank for proper procedures. Both banks were referred to me from different offshore attorneys. You weren’t required that at Millinnium Bank. Maybe it’s a requirement on jumbos.

The most interesting thing about this bank is when you correlate it back to the other banks in the area, most of the others offer a max rate of 2% but the Millennium bank offers 3 times that amount, they must be doing something that is extremely high risk and I agree with the some others that it revolves around currency bets and hedges. They must also be heavily involved in the Forex market.

Good catch, Randeep. This is how all risky high-yield investments usually work. The interest payment comes, and comes, and comes… until one day it doesn’t and they stop answering their phones.

Maybe there is a Millenium Bank somewhere that is risky. However, it is irresponsible of you not to distinguish it from Millennium Bank, National Association
1601 Washington Plaza
Reston, VA 20190
FDIC Certificate #: 35096
Surely, you are not referring to the Reston, VA bank, are you?

No, he is not referring to that one. He is referring to the one that is offshore at St. Vicent and Granados.

I am also curious about Millennium Bank of St. Vincent/Grenada because their high CD rates are tempting. So far nobody has shared any negative experiences with their investments in Millennium Bank there has just been lots of idle speculation due to their jumbo jet and association with “shady” bigshots. I’ve just read glowing testimonials from satisfied clients who could redeem their CD’s immediately without penalty. I do care about what commodities investment banks sink their/our money into, but how do we know what even legitimate banks finance? They could also be providing funds for drug and arms dealers. Are banks required to be transparent with regard to their investment portfolio?

Yes, I think they are. It would be adviseable to jump a jet and go down there and talk to them. Most offshore banks require it to set up a CD account for various reasons, mainly seeing your signature as you sign. If you are serious, go down there. It’s the best way.

A Ponzi scheme is full of satisfied customers – until the last moment. You can’t rely on testimonials, some perhaps made by genuinely satisfied customers, some made by shills. There is no insurance, so when the bank fails, you lose everything – unlike in the US, where the depositors for the failed banks did not lose their money.

I have had 3 CD’s with Millennium Bank since 2007. I have dealt with David Jones, whom seems to be very real and helpful. As the maturity date approached on each CD, I renewed at the 7.5% rate. I hope I am not making a huge mistake, but I did feel reassured when I was ASKED if I wanted to call the CD in or renew. I have requested to cash one in that matures on 1/14/09. I will advise to what transpires.

With most of Madoff’s money invested in off-shore accounts, I wouldn’t be surprised if banks such as Millennium take a hit. The SEC has a list of where Madoff’s offshore accounts exist, and to my knowledge, hasn’t moved yet to seize those funds. But if/when they do, I’d expect a number of banks to be more than squeemish when it comes to cutting you a check for your investment, especially if they themselves are a Ponzi scheme.

Jessica, did you cash your CD in on 1/14/09. Haven’t heard from you yet.

Just did 5 minutes of research on this “bank”. I can’t believe that anyone would risk a even a dime on one of their investments.

Please run away from this.

I’m guessing that Jessica tried to cash in her CD and lost her money…

David Jones very real and helpful? I’m sure he’s real, but that name…David Jones?….as in Davy Jones Locker…? Think Pirates of the Caribbean…

I have been looking at Millenium Bank for over a year. I am very apprehensive and skittish. I have lost $100,000.-
in Annuities in 2008 and as a Senior am living on my savings
now. I have a CD that is mature tomorrow and would like to get more than two and a half %.
Jessica, did you get your CD cashed in? Please let us know.
It all sounds too good to be real, doesn’ it.

Editha, can’t you still invest in 30 year treasury bonds and get 4%? Even if you aren’t around for the maturity, you get 4% while you’re here. I’ve haven’t tried these, maybe theer’s a catch, but looks like the recent auction last November is 4.5%.

I am amazed so many are considering this bank and others who have money with them. Truly astounding. Your comments just confirm to con artists how easy it is to scam the average investor. Keep your money with insured banks and stop being so dumb! I practically pleaded with some clients to take money out of Stanford B years ago and only now is it about to crash-big time.

Some very interesting comments and mind sets regarding your investment ideas.
I have Vincentian heritage and visit the country at least once a year. I’ve observed Millenium for a few years now and know some of their clients. So far i have not had any negative feed back from the clients that are prepared to take the risk.
However, because i am from the offshore investment industry, personally the bank is not for me.
Before i talk about getting greater returns for my clients, i make sure their current investments are moved to institutions that offer at least 90% protection on their capital. Only then will i look at improving their returns. There are products available that offer gaurenteed returns of 12.5%p/a which include 100% capital protection. And that’s just one product.
The perfect solutions are out there, you just need to find the right advisor to assist in your decisions.

With regards to the Madoff incident and copious amounts of banks in trouble, the saying goes
“A rising tide will float the biggest of ships but when the tide is out, only then do you see who is swimming naked”

I am here to help if anyone would like me to, at NO cost because i am an advisor and you should NEVER pay an advisor directly .

Please accept my apologies.
I worded my previous post wrongly.
“I make sure their current investments are placed into institutions that offer 90% protection on their money, should the institution fail to meet its liabilities.
I think that section of my previous post could have been missleading.
Kind Regards
Kyle

Editha – how did you lose $100K in an annuity? I have quite a bit in “guaranteed” 10-year term annuities. What gives?

Well Kyle, give a place to contact or website. I would look at what you have to offer.

I to Kyle would like an e-mail address or web site to contact. Strange you made the offer and then left no contact point. You made a huge claim about a product with a 12.5% gaurenteed return and 100% capital protection. When the whole world economy is going to hell in a hand basket it leaves me to question what this company would invest in. Why wouldn’t every failing bank in the world be dumping money into this company with both hands. I’m not saying your statement is not true, I am just stating I would need SOLID proof of this claim especially in this economy.

To keep it simple, how much? how long? what access? what risk?

Obviously i will need a few more personal details but apart from that it can be very straight forward

Initially i didn’t leave my contact details because i hadn’t read the BLOG T&C’s so thought it best i wait until requested.

As far as the quoted 12.5% gaurenteed return is concerned, it’s actually 12.48% to be precise. Comprises of four stocks in the telecommunications sector.
Due to the current financial climate i am concious not to make statements which may miss lead any one. i am more than prepared to provide SOLID proof for your peace of mind.
There are obviously T&C’s attached to these attractive notes of which i can explain in more detail via email and providing the relevant fact sheets. Also there are restrictions depending on the country you reside. Again i can clarify in more detail via email.
I will also want to clarify your understanding regarding the capital protection provided by the institution against the capital protection on the investment product. (again via email)
As far as the failing banks are concerned, i don’t know their stratagies because i don’t get involved with those institutions.
What i do know is that the Stock Markets are in a very unique position, similar to the early 20’s and 70’s. Take a look at what has happened historically after the markets have been in this position. (please note that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results)
By all means submit you details and i will be more proactive and contact you first. Also finacial advise via a BLOG is not preferred.

One of my three CD’s matured on January 14, 2009. Instead of renewing as I had done in the past, I requested to redeem it and on January 21, 2009 the funds were electronically transfered into my bank account. So for all those who were wanting feedback from a legitimate Millennium Bank client, I can at this time offer nothing other than a positive experience.

I looked into it and this bank is not insured in any form they pretty much state that in there FAQ section of there website. I put that part in the buttom of the link.

I wouldn’t put my money in this bank. The author is right your better off buying bonds. You’ll be able to accuratly see your risk and get real and accurate info about the company. Millennium might not be a scam but dont be fooled by the word “Certificate of Deposit” its only safe when its backed by the FDIC and these CD’s arnt backed by any form of insurance. Beware!

“Are deposits in Millennium Bank protected by FDIC insurance or any similar deposit insurance plan?
Deposits in all private or offshore banks in the Caribbean and around the world are not protected by FDIC insurance or any other insurance plan. Deposits in Millennium Bank are safeguarded by established laws and regulations strongly enforced by the International Financial Services Authority (IFSA). This strict regulatory audit and monitoring system ensures that private or offshore banks are financially viable at all times therefore eliminating the requirement for deposit insurance. For further information click on the URL on our website’s home page under International Financial Services Authority.”

I haven’t received and email from you yet. .

It’s nice to see a positive experience had by Jessica from MB

I spent a little time building a portfolio for a client and i”ve proposed 40% of her investment to go into the following.

How does this sound? and the answer is NOT “too good to be true”.

Please note i am not trying to solicite any business. However, i hope the following installs a little confidence in the fact that there are Fantastic products out there, you just need to know how to find them.

Profit Lock-In Note,
Protected price is set at 90% of initial issue price.
Thereafter, at the end of each quarter, 90% of the performance will be added to the protected price. Once added the protected price cannot fall and is gaurenteed by . . . . . . . . . . . (a german bank)
If the performance goes down at the end of any quarter, the protected price remains as the previous protected price.
As a client you will never be exposed to a negative performance during the life of the product.
Intelegent Risk Managed Futures. Target return 15% irrespective of rising or falling markets.
Previous two year annualised return 18.96% (past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results)

Your feedback would be of interest.

All of Bernie Madoff’s clients were happy too – right up until the end! Then their opinions suddenly changed. Strange, isn’t it?

Everyone is happy DURING a Ponzi scheme.

I’m sure yesterday everyone invested with Stanford Financial Group was happy too, now ask the question again of them today.

“Intelegent Risk Managed Futures. Target return 15% irrespective of rising or falling markets.
Previous two year annualised return 18.96% (past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results)”

Your advice was against Millineum because it wasn’t insured by FDIC, then you offer investments that are offshore which is surely not FDIC.
Don’t know your thinking but you kind of contridicted yourself.

Please understand and re-read my initial comment MB. My only comment that maybe construde as negative was saying that the bank was not for me due to my involvement within the offshore banking industry.

As for FDIC, I have no real interest in this insurance. I’m not saying that at least some insurance is better than nothing but to follow is my example.

FDIC = $100,000 USD insured should the institution fail to me their liabilities.
Government Backed Investor Protection @ 90% should the institution fail to meet their liabilities =

$1,000,000 USD FDIC = Kiss goodbye to $9,000,000 USD
$1,000,000 USD GBIP @ 90% = Loss only $100,000 USD

When i consult with my clients i am not saying “invest with me because you’ll only lose 10%”, I’m saying place your money in secure and safe enviroments before even thinking about potential growth.

Which protection would you choose ?

Regarding the portfolio product i breifly described. First I would find an institution with the 90% protection, set up a professional portfolio bond with them and then invest in funds like the one descibed.
This way i am doing my best to minimise risk.

To be honest i refer to my initial comment. “It’s not difficult, you just need to find the right advisor”

Oh and David, i’m still awaiting your email.

Please re-read my initial comment on Millenium Bank and note that i only said the bank is not for me.

FDIC = $100,000 protected should the institution fail to meet their liabilities
Government Backed Investor Protection @ 90% = The obvious but i’ll give you an example.

$1,000,000 USD FDIC Protection = Kiss goodbye to $900,000 USD
$1,000,000 USD GBI Protection @ 90% = $9,000,000 USD is still yours.

I don’t consult saying “invest here because you’ll only lose 10%”. The idea is to place clients investments into secure and safe enviroments.

As for the Portfolio Product i mentioned. I would find an institution with 90% protection to set up the Professional Protfolio Bond with and then diversify your investment into funds, the previously descibed being one of them depending on your attitude to risk.

Like i said before, the right solutions are out there you just need to find the right advisor.

Oh and David, i’m still awaiting your email. . and also read my comments properly next time or maybe twice over.

I’m glad you find it funny. Obviously your understanding of investment banking is also laughable.
Anyway, continue to think what you think and i’ll continue to open professional portfolio bonds with institutions like Generali International who also endorse these products.
I would imaging you are unaware of Generali International. They are an institution based in the British Channel Islands that offer 90% Liability Protection, which i believe considerably supercedes the FDIC protection that you all seem to get hard over. Oh and for your information, Generali had no exposure to the sub prime crisis, but you’ll probably LOL at that too.
Maybe try looking further than between the east and west coast when you’re considering investing and levels of insurance available.

Please don’t let all the scams scar your views on investment oppertunities. There are some fantastic offers out there.

Just to educate you further, the two investment products i have mentioned so far are linked to Institutionalised Funds. They are NOT scams.
The 12.48% gaurenteed return is awesome. Email me and i will email you the fact sheet. PLEASE NOTE i have no interest in taking you on as a client, however i would like you to understand that these products are out there and can be wrapped in a bubble of protection, security and confidentiality for your peace of mind.

4 posts in a row! Don’t you think you’re OVERselling things a bit?

You calim you can offer 󈫼.5%p/a which include 90% capital protection” – if that’s TRUE, then why didn’t the Chinese and European Central Banks invest with YOU in stead of buying up all those treasuries and CDOs at a much lower rate of return without the guaranteed protection?

Or better yet, why doesn’t the U.S Treasury or Federal Reserve invest with you? Hmmmm

The whole sub-prime mess that started this crisis was due to that fact that “investors” were told their investments were “safe” because the risk was spread around.

Warren Buffet is an investor not a salesman, he picks the companies in his portfolio. You sound like a “salesman” for someone elses investment “strategy” and YOU don’t REALLY know what you’re ACTUALLY selling do you?

What with your comment “the protected price cannot fall and is gaurenteed by . . . . . . . . . . . (a german bank)” – ummmm, you don’t know the name of the bank or what?”

By the way, The German cabinet approved a law on Wednesday (Feb 18, 2009) letting it nationalise banks – so how good is 90% protection by a bank that may no longer exsist in s few weeks?

Four postings in a row, a result of my adjutation. Not really trying to over sell.

12.48% Structured note from Morgan Stanley, exclusive to deVere & Partners. 3Yr note in euro’s and sterling. Opened 19th Jan, Closed 17th Feb,
15% Target return P/A , alpinvesta managed futures profit lock-in note. 7 year note in USD and Euro.
Quoted “protected price cannot fall and is gaurenteed by Deutsche Bank AG London.

Warren Buffet, , , , , awesome.

Salesman, mmmmmm. well, people use me as their broker and i recommend financial solutions to match their profile

I work the Latin Americas, Office Mexico City, Company Head Office Zurich Switzerland.

Stanfords unacheivable double figured CD’s has been a problem for us for a while now. Our continuous advice to our clients not to invest, obviously, like you say, means i don’t know what i’m talking about.

I must be being missunderstood because all i’m trying to put across is that Protection Security Confidentiality is out there whilst also having the oppertunity to receive high returns.

I’ll retract from commenting anymore as i don’t want to get into a slanging match. I’ll leave you with:

Handsard Global
Generali International
Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
& this just come through on email.

Deutsche Bank High Income Note. 10%p/a Gaurenteed for five years, 50% protection barrier. Investment into four Blue Chip companies.
Minimum investment 50k sterling or euro’s.

As a portfolio it’s a great oppertunity to take advantage of the strength of the USD.

Banks and Big investors. …….Why did carlos slim purchase 1% of city bank last year. One because he can, Two because he knows the stock value over the next few years will rocket as it always has done historically when the indicies have been in this position.
If you put all your money in gaurenteed notes like the 10-12% quoted, there’s obviously no extra return should the stocks rocket as predicted.

I thought the sub prime crisis was caused by wall street brains who created bundled lending packages that where not understood by banks but made Banks short term fortunes. Then it all hit the fan.

So Mike 2. If an investment strategy works and you can clearly see it does, would you follow it or would you try and think of something else.
If Micheal Phelps swims a certain way and he always wins, i guess you would try and swim like someone else. This way making it more difficult for yourself.

Similar to how professionals involved within the Stock Market, make it alot more complecated than it really is.

Your “guarantees” are only as good as those who are backing them.

If companies go bankrupt or banks are nationalized, the “guarantees” are as good as poo.

Citi Bank is on the verge of collapse, Carlo Slim only bought 1% because he knows he will most likely lose his investment when Citi is nationalized – otherwise he would have bought WAY more. It’s a gamble he’s willing to take.

Just check out the “guarantees” that Stanford Financial Group was offering – your recommendations sound pretty similar to me.

My energy has gone mr friend.

Does AAA Credit rating and Stamford Financial Group have any similarities, , , , , , , , , ,NO.

If you look into my recommendations and all of the aspects, you will see there are NO similarities.

I wish yo all the best with your financial future.

Oh and if the link doesn’t change you prospective on my recommendations, i suggest you use the Pillow & Carpet Bank. I believe you have their address. Unbelievable gaurentees with them . . . .

@ Kyle : you are a complete and utter twat. You have no f**king idea what you are talking about.

What you are talking about are equity linked debt securities. Debt securities from Deutsche Bank are NOT guaranteed by a public insititution. In contrast savings at a bank are insured up to a certain amount (USA: FDIC, Germany: Einlagensicherungsfonds). This is a big difference!

“Deutsche Bank High Income Note. 10%p/a Gaurenteed for five years, 50% protection barrier. Investment into four Blue Chip companies.
Minimum investment 50k sterling or euro’s.

As a portfolio it’s a great oppertunity to take advantage of the strength of the USD. ”

Tell the f**king truth – the problem is you have no idea. This product is a so called worst-off reverse convertible. You forget to highlight one important: Your capital is only guaranteed if none of the 4 stocks in the basket never trade below 50% of their initial fixing. As a buyer of this note you are long a zerobond and short a worst-off put option on the basket. Even if its guaranteed, the guarantee only helps you as long as Deutsche Bank doesn’t default. The 5Y CDS rate is trading atm at around +125 bps p.a.. Otherwise you will just receive the recovery value.

I am working at an international bank in the derivatives department – don’t even dare to spread b*llshit if you haven’t got your facts right.

Back to Millennium:
100% Ponzi.

“Obviously there are T&C’s attched to these notes” Don’t really think that i misslead but thank you for continuing the explanation insuch detail.
Cap Gaurenteed note have been working for our clients thanks. As for institutions, Please give me another option than Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, an option that offers a higher level of protection
So what should clients do then Monger? Where should they safely stick their money?
If it’s B.S. why are we doing PPB’s whilst being transparent in our recommendations.

Whilst you conduct your analytical role at the international bank and i continue to be a TWAT . what should clients do when looking for a safe enviroment to place their money? ? ? ?

What do you recommend when you are speaking to clients that only read and maybe experience horrors like Stanford. I was outside the Polanco office watching the disturbing comotion yesterday whilst people cried at the thought of potentially losing their lifes savings.

I recommend institution in the british isle for offshore investing, can’t think why you’d listen to me cuz i’m, as Monger puts it a TWAT. But you do get 90% protection against anything happening to the institution. Is that not true Monger?
Maybe you whould lose the M.O & G in your name and replace it with W.A.K

Okay, no more comments along this line. You guys have made your positions clear. Please keep future comments on topic to Millennium Bank.

Thanks Jonathan. It does look like Kyle may be trying to solicit some business here and none of this seems to have anything to do with Millenium bank. I did e-mail Kyle and he returned my e-mail, but seems to want more information from me before he releases any information on his ultra safe high return investments. Kyle, if you are not looking for clients why don’t you just post the information on where the investment is, what it is in detail and who to contact and let those interested obtain information from the source and make their choice.
It’s a sad note about the times we live in. I am 70 years old and have been a business man since I was a teenager. Most of my life I have done a lot of business on a hand shake and never had a problem. I guess in those days it was called TRUST and MORALS. What have we become. Seems to me greed has replaced T an M. The dishonesty that
exists in the financial markets is a disgust. When you say to your best friend, Everybody is dishonest except you and I and now I’m not so sure about you. Not that I have said that, but I’m making a point. A sad point. Our children are our furture and the lessons we are teaching them will leave them with no furture. Kyle, I’m not pointing a finger at you, I am making a statement in general.

This looks great . After all….you don’t want to put all your eggs in one PONZI. A little Madoff, a little Stanford, a little Millennium…..how am I doing? Diversified?

Listen people, overseas banks have a greater return/risk for many different reasons. If you guys think that an 8% interest return is crazy on a cd, think AGAIN! I have 2 cds in the Dominican Republic and my return is 18% with the Banco de Reservas. Do your research, and like with any other investment figure out what ur willing to risk. I’m flying next week to close out on one that matures on feb 27th and guess what, i’m doubling my initial investment!

Are you getting 18% on US dollars or on Paso dollars.

Looks like the Peso lost about 10% against the dollar over the last 2 years.

May continue to drop and wipe out your return… may not be worth the “risk” – No FIDC Insurance & currency instability

THE joe thew plumber. joe..you’re an idiot. try to stay out of the public eye from here on

SEC Indictment of Millennium Bank as a $68 Million ponzi scheme. Hope none of you “long-haul” shmucks had any money with them. A bank that offers that kind of rate (320% ) higher than all other banks is obviously a shady instituion.

i am still putting my all my money there. its a great opportunity

Washington, D.C., March 26, 2009 — The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an emergency court order halting a $68 million Ponzi scheme involving the sale of fictitious high-yield certificates of deposit (CDs) by Caribbean-based Millennium Bank.

The SEC alleges that the scheme targeted U.S. investors and misled them into believing they were putting their money in supposedly safe and secure CDs that purportedly offered returns that were up to 321 percent higher than legitimate bank-issued CDs. The SEC’s complaint alleges that William J. Wise of Raleigh, N.C., and Kristi M. Hoegel of Napa, Calif., orchestrated the scheme through Millennium Bank, its Geneva, Switzerland-based parent United Trust of Switzerland S.A., and U.S.-based affiliates UT of S, LLC and Millennium Financial Group. In addition to Wise and Kristi Hoegel and these entities, the SEC has charged Jacqueline S. Hoegel (who is the mother of Kristi Hoegel), Brijesh Chopra, and Philippe Angeloni for their roles in the scheme.

“As alleged in our complaint, the defendants disguised their Ponzi scheme as a legitimate offshore investment and made promises about exuberant returns that were just too good to be true,” said Rose Romero, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. “This case demonstrates that investors need to be especially cautious when placing money with entities that may be outside the reach of U.S. regulators.”

According to the SEC’s complaint, at least $68 million was raised from more than 375 investors since July 2004. Millennium Bank, a licensed St. Vincent and the Grenadines bank, solicited new investors for its CD program through blatant misrepresentations and glaring omissions in its online solicitations and in advertising campaigns targeting high net-worth individuals. For example, in offering materials, Millennium Bank claimed that its parent, United Trust of Switzerland S.A., provides Millennium Bank with “over 75 years of banking experience, correspondent banking relationships, decades of knowledge in privacy and confidentiality as well as extensive training for our customer services professionals.” In fact, the SEC alleges, United Trust of Switzerland S.A. is not a Swiss-licensed bank or securities dealer. Potential investors visiting Millennium Bank’s Web site also were falsely informed that Millennium Bank is not affected by the global financial crisis and has a 100 percent client satisfaction record going back close to 10 years, and has its own affiliate asset management company with highly seasoned professionals who invest meticulously.

The SEC alleges that investor funds were not used for legitimate banking or investment activities. Instead, to create the appearance of a legitimate offshore investment, investors purchasing the CDs were instructed to deliver their investment checks to the offshore bank. The SEC alleges that the checks were then packaged and delivered to UT of S LLC’s office in Napa, Calif., where the checks were electronically deposited by a remote deposit machine into a UT of S, LLC account. The account, which is held at a U.S. financial institution, also received millions of dollars of investor funds via wire transfer. From that account, the SEC alleges, the defendants misappropriated a vast majority of the investor funds to enrich themselves and pay personal expenses, while making relatively small Ponzi payments to investors.

Judge Reed O’Connor, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, granted the SEC’s request for an asset freeze and emergency relief for investors.

The SEC charges that the defendants violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC’s complaint also alleges that the defendants violated the registration provisions of the Securities Act. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement together with prejudgment interest, and financial penalties.

Additionally, the SEC’s complaint names four individuals and four entities as relief defendants: Lynn P. Wise of Raleigh, N.C. (the wife of William J. Wise) Ryan D. Hoegel of Lincoln, Calif. (the brother of Kristi Hoegel) Daryl C. Hoegel of American Canyon, Calif. (the husband of Jacqueline Hoegel), Laurie H. Walton of Raleigh and United T of S, LLC, Sterling I.S., LLC, Matrix Administration, LLC, and Jasmine Administration, LLC. All four entities are based in Las Vegas. The SEC’s enforcement action seeks an order compelling them to return funds and assets traceable to the Millennium Bank fraud.

Scot….The Millennium bank you are talking about is in Virginia I think and I’m not sure you hve your facts straight. It is not the off shore bank we are talking about.

David…read through the SEC charge and you will see that it is, in fact, the Millennium Bank in St Vincent and the Grenadines. This is the very same bank that has long been under criticism at this web site.

I came to the defense of the bank some time back having done business with them. I must now admit I was wrong.

I stand corrected…Thanks for the info.

Well, it appears that are Millennium bank got busted. I am glad that I didn’t send my money down there. I was also dealing with Stanford Bank in Panama, same thing their high interest rates were a scam. I do not trust any of the banks off shore, and now for sure. Better get that money FDIC insured here in the United States

It is interesting that you bring up Stanford bank David, even though the Millenium bank that got busted is not the same one we are discussing, I would be real interested to see the link between Sir Allen Stanford and this bank. Remember that he is a dual citizen of America/Antigua and Barbuda. This is all based in the West Indies. He has a lot of financial derivatives in the West Indies and I wondering if he is running another scam scheme there.

People respect Allen a lot there and he has done a lot for the people, i have to say this has been on my mind for a while but i did not bring it up until David said something. I wonder if there is a way to see if he has any link to the Millennium bank in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, since he has so much business(in the financial sector) in the West Indies.

We are a local business (law firm) and had one of our commercial accounts at Stanford Bank here in Panama City. In Panama, they were operating as a regular commercial bank, not an investment bank. If you spoke to them about high yield deposits, they referred you to Stanford, USA or the Caribbean. But they did not offer these types of yields in Panama itself to the best of our knowledge (we had asked about for our own deposits and were given the choice of local rates which were comparable with the other local banks or dealing with the Caribbean people). Probably because in Panama the regulator holds executive of the operation personally responsible for these types of things, so I suspect they were very cautious about local accounts and activities.

The regulator in Panama has advised that the local operation is fully or close to fully liquid and all depositors will be getting their money back shortly – the main Stanford branch is still staffed (but not engaged in day-to-day activity) and when we went in a week ago they were advising the regulator was intending to release funds to account holders in the April 1-15 period.

The bank regulators here in Panama are really tough, they audit frequently (and in detail) and don’t hesitate to lay down fines at the drop of a hat. This may be why there has not been a bank failure here in as long as anyone can remember. That is not to say it could not happen in the future, but banking rules are pretty tough. For example, our local banks are not allowed to invest deposit capital outside of Panama in the types of investments that any American bank could undertake routinely. In January, it was announced that the average Panamanian bank had 58% liquidity (vs OECD avg of 8% approx).

We spoke directly with one of the regulators (we are a law firm) and were told that as a matter of principle, the govt inplicitly stood behind all banks in respect of deposits.

So while we would recommend caution with deposits at any financial institution, we would also advise that one should examine the past history in any locale, as well as review the regulatory conditions. For Panama at least, the past history has been extremely good (much better then the USA for example), and the regulatory regime is reasonably stringent (and has been stepped up as I am sure it has been elsewhere as well).

Yes, Millenium SVG sure was tempting … 8% interest! But being offshore made me gun-shy so I never pulled the trigger, but I’m glad the cat is out of the bag now. Hopefully the scammers enjoy a short vacation in San Quentin followed by a visit to their brand new execution chamber. Sadly, the gallows and gas chamber are no longer used, but lethal injection does the trick!

Unlikely Stanford and Wise would be connected. Both were on the other side of the coin of each other. Here is how it works:-

Individual wants to get rich quick so he starts a ponzi scheme. He sells the idea to a greedy politician who wants to control a whole Country, with promises to finance election campaigns. The politician is greedy also, and wants to be addicted to power. Together they concoct a plan and set out to hatch the plan.

Politician provides protection for ponzi scheme to operate and when International Authorities decide to investigate, politician, through all kinds of antics and shenanagans, is able to block, delay and do all kinds of things to protect his nest egg.

Finally, he is not able to hold out any longer and the process goes through. Then he comes out with big statements to say that he was trying to throw them out of the Country because of mismanagement of funds, when in fact he had only put the pressure on because ‘crook from foreign’ was falling short of expectations at some point in the start up period.

Politician smart too bad. He makes sure his collections are in cash money and when the s–t hits the fan he has the power to appoint one of his partners in crime, who happens to be associated with a Int. Auditing Firm to make sure that no one of importance to the administration is implicated in the crime.

Meanwhile, all of the partners in the crime enjoyed a wonderful a feast at the expense of investors, including fine wine, the best food and lots of p—y. Banker goes to jail and paracites searches for a new host. Cycle begins again.

Stanford in fact came late, when the fiefdom was already established. He engaged in financing the losing Party, but our friend, Millennium, had already successfully established the fiefdom under the current set of bandits with lots of dough to grease the palms of a poor and uneducated population, who only trying to get a little piece of the pie from the greedy politician via handouts for votes. Some times all it takes is a EC$100.00 to start up operations and a repeat at christmas or if someone has fallen to hard times.

During the year, the greedy politicians would run a few fetes with free food liquor and entertainment and would tell them that he ‘loves’ them. Politician creams of the top and controls underlings with laws and trigger happy young men with big guns provided by ‘foreign’ hand me down stock.

Just want to let you know that Mr Wise have purchased a big area of beach front property in St Vincent & the Grenadines. The area is called Blue Lagoon. Mr Wise, locally called “Wiseman” have built several luxury villas, swimmingpool and a guesthouse/hotel. He has got the most expensive car in Vincyland, and a driver with that. All through the years he have been tipping heavily, dropping dollar notes right left and center. This has bought him the eyes and ears of the locals. Wiseman left the position as CEO of the bank 2-3years ago and put others in place. He is connected to the richest families in St Vincent which have bought him protection from being scrutinised by the authorities. They have also gained from this, there are a lot of culprits mark my words but they thought they were just giving him a social network.

I am convinced Wiseman has a Vincentian passport he knows all the right people for that. But his wife should know he also had a habit of bringing in young sexy blondes to the country on his private jet. They were quite a sight with their high heel shoes on the jetty….

Millennium Bank is now under investigation by the SEC. Also, the government of SVG revoked its licence in 2003 for mismanagement of funds but the bank appealed and got a new license.

As a national of SVG, I would like to say that our offshore banking laws have been changed and there is now less secrecy and more oversight. We are no longer blacklisted. Also, the unemployment rate has dropped below 22% and tourism has overtaken banana cultivation as the main industry. (pirates of the caribbean was filmed here for pete’s sake)

Parts of the first Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed in SVG. Only very small fraction of 2nd movie. None of 3rd. Unemployment is about 60 – 70 % in SVG. The biggest industry is marijuana cultivation, harvesting and shipment to other islands. And also the reapackaging and distribution of cocaine.

Obumi is obviously on the ground to have that type of detail.

My issue with the whole thing around Wise and Millennium Bank is that he is not the only one who should be going down with this Ponzi Scheme. All the Politicians who have a habit of telling the nation that they were appointed by God, may have been bankrolled into office by the same Ponzi Scheme. That is, if we care to look a little closer.

Many connected to the same politicians made a bundle off the same Ponzi Scheme. And what is happening now? The same bunch of bandits are the same ones in positions to put everything in place to keep the man under house arrest with their security. Their choice of Auditors now in place to secure the books, and perhaps clean the files of any evidence of anyone connected to high office. Somewhat like putting the rat to watch the cheese. Some of the same ‘rats’ may have worked for Wise already also.

Junior would have to be on the gravy train to be making those kinds of bogus statements to deceive the public about proper oversite and all that crap. There can’t be anything transparent about the so called oversite of the Banking Sector. If that was the case why would the designated local authority say that they got resistance from the bank just over a month ago to have an independant audit conducted. I am willing to bet that no legitimate audit has ever been done on this operation since its startup.

No man, that authority has more important work to do. Like investigate innocent Vincentians who might happen to speak out against the ills of this administration. Like the time they had the offices of PH Veira and Company completely surrounded by a whole arsenal of SSU and RRU with a hell of a set of big guns. Locked of the whole of Bay street and interrogated the man, Brian Alexander, and some others for hours and days on end. Did they not have him under house arrest too? Did they use Guardsmen for security that time?Have we seen anything come out of that fiasco since then?

Wise has been operating in SVG since 2000 and since this administration got into power, he has been operating with impunity. Not only that, Wises’ lawyer is professionally connected to those in high office. And further, the same lawyer’s sister in law is in charge of the local authority that is supposed to oversee the Off Shore Banking Sector. Is that not a conflict of interest?

The only time Wise was ever pressured was in 2003, and that had more to do with his not living up to the greedy expectations of those well connected to the politics of the Country. He was also not able to meet his financial obligations in which to operate here. And who was the landlord at the time? Who sold him the property on the waterfront? Has that been paid for yet or will the former owner be able to now move in a seize the property after Wise has spent millions of dollars of investors money on the property. That should not happen, should it? Oh boy, what a tangled web we weave.

Furthermore, whenever Spirit of Millennium landed at the ET Joshua Airport, the red carpet was rolled out and the underlings in authority at that institution knew to look the other way when the bag men and women came to pick up their stash. The pretty girls in high heels that arrived on the jet were only working girls brought into keep the parasites happy. They were happy to lap up some of the finest and most expensive wines available, and some of the best food at the expense of the unsuspecting investors. Shame on all of them!

Right now, the British should step in and take back the blasted territory, strip all the criminals of all the noble titles they give them that helped to provide the prestige and privilege that open all the doors for them to run the criminal acts. Those connected to the crime should be tried and punished for their role in the operation of the Ponzi Scheme along with Wise.

There has to be laws under the International Criminal Codes to hawl some of these bandits before the justice system.

Enough is enough, and God alone knows that the law abiding citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines have had ENOUGH of the corruption!

t is with deepest regrets that I am writing you this email. Last Thursday afternoon, March 26th, I was contacted and informed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had been at the Napa, California office. After several hours, and no further communication with anyone, I went online to the SEC’s website and read the immediate release, dated March 26, 2009. In order to inform you of everything that I know thus far, I will direct you to their website and navigate you to the press release:

under the icon “News and Public Statements”, click on “Press Releases”. This will give you the actual Release Statements, the Litigation Release, and the SEC Complaint.

After I called and spoke with the SEC on Friday, March 27th, they directed me to the following website:

It is my understanding that this website is accessible to assist you and I in gathering information as the investigation unfolds. You can contact the controlling Receiver by email at:

The Millennium Bank Receivership

1722 Routh Street, Suite 1500

Please understand that I am a depositor just as you are, and not only have I also lost my life savings, I am also no longer employed by UT of S & Millennium Bank. Therefore, I have no authority or authorization to do anything, including any communication with you in any form.

The websites I have provided for you are all the information I have at this time.

During my five year employment, at no time whatsoever did I ever see anything in the day to day operations out of the ordinary that would raise suspicion. I know that this is a devastating tragedy for you, as it is for me.

Due to the overwhelming volume of calls I have received since Friday from clients, coupled with the fact that I have no authority whatsoever, and now the situation is solely controlled by the SEC and the Receiver, it is in my best interest and the interest of my family to change my contact numbers to non-published.

May God help us to someday recover our monetary loss, as well as our emotional loss.

where do you get you information from.

The real sad thing about Millenium is that there are so many different currents opinions and information sources floating around offshore that you never know who to believe. Can you trust one person who calls another a scammer, or is he just a scammer himself? Words are freely spread about and taken as fact, without any understanding. Im sure some duped investors believed Millenium bank was more trustworthy just because it was owned by a swiss trust.

If you cannot trust professionals like lawyers and accountants, if you cannot trust the government itself to regulate these places, who can you trust, other than yourself?

David Jones: Thanks so much for your informative post. It is valuable information for those trying to find out what happened in Napa.

My question for all is what should investors do at this point? Contact the Receivership and get in line, or get a lawyer of their own?

Your helpful, professional advice is appreciated.

In the islands, we have a tendency to use different ways of expressing ourselves. And the elders in our society have a saying which goes “when Barracuda comes out of water and tells you that Shark has a tooth ache, you should believe him”. Old people are usually very wise, at least those that I know.

Early on, when I first discovered this ‘chat’, I identified myself as being resident in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and used the opportunity to caution potential investors because of the movements and whispers on the ground.

Unfortunately, I was and am not in a position to identify myself by name because of the nature of some of the people involved and what they are capable of. It would be downright dangerous, especially now.

Mr. Jones: Respect man! I am really sorry that you and other people are having these experiences. I love my Country because there are still a lot of good, honest and hard working people here, and we have been blessed with a most beautiful place to live. Our Country’s involvement with William Wise and Millenium Bank is not representative of who we are as a people on the whole and it certainly does not make us proud to be Vincentians.

I want the injured parties to know that most of the people that I know in St Vincent are angry and outraged by the entire situation. Some of those same people were sources of information that inspired me to come on this web site and state the position.

On behalf of all like minded Vincentians, I would like to express deepest regrets and our sincerest apologies to all those affected by this crime.

I currently have or should I say, had two CD’s issued by Millennium. I received the email from David Jones and immediately sent out a submission of claims to the receivorship. I understand the Thompson and Knight website will advise account holders with steps in order to make a claim but I went ahead and sent a certified letter with all my details today just so I could get the ball rolling.

Jessica I to have CDs with mln bank and I also have mailed in the things to get it started.If you or anybody here any news please post this sight.I just hope and pray that we get most of our money back.

The truth will never come out. Too dangerous for those that know the truth in Vincy land to speak out. Just look at the newspapers, they are too afraid to write what they know. Not even next week will they write much about this, too fraid of the consequences. There is no free speach in SVG. Free speach is followed by loss of work, loss of friends, loss of land, loss of rights. Applications of any kind made to gov authority disappear, mail sent at post office vanish. People are hungry and desperate and will do anything for a dollar. Reason only 22 % is officially unemployed is that most people would not know where to register (including me). They get by on donations from relatives abroad that send home money. They eat rice and provision and some chicken. They steal from each other, they beg for a dollar, they clean rich peoples houses. Or stretch out the hand for Mr Wise to give them a dollar..

Does anyone have any info? I tried to contact several people but got no replys no-where. seems everything is froxen for the time being. maybe things will work oput, maybe not!! My guess is all of us involved will be contacted sooner or later for instructioms on what to do. Good luck all….

On the local scene, Wise breezed in last Thursday and breeze back out again on Monday morning. Cool as a cucumber!

Saturday was a free for all for the regular workers, with plenty of give aways. Construction workers who did not have their pay checks honored on Friday, apparently went on a rampage of looting on Monday when the person in charge of the site told them they han take whatever they wanted and they did. The SSU had to be brought in to secure the premises. They are still guaring the property along with a private sevurity firm affilliated with someone closely associated with a Minister of Government, I am told.

No indication that the authorites paid any attention to Wises’ presence on the island and one can only assume he was allowed to secure whatever cash and other valuables he had stored in SVG, and would have moved out with whatever he could. His forwarding destination is unknown so until further information is made available of his whereabouts, we can only assume that he is on the run.

Circumstanes are most unfortunate for many of the workers who thought the employment situation was secure. Some of them had quit their jobs in Mustique and other Grenadine islands to work for Wise because it allowed them the opportunity to be closer to family and friends. Now they have no jobs and many have bank committments to meet.

The situation is rough from every angle.

Don’t assume that anyone is going to contact you. David Jones provided useful information in a recent post. You need to go to the Receivers website that was provided by him and follow their instructions for filing claims.

A friend of mine went to Millennium offices here in SVG on Friday (27th) to collect a payment and he told me that the shredder was working overtime. Chances are, investor information will be lost in the frenzy of covering tracks. Meanwhile, the Receivers are tying to piece together the entire situation and your information will be vital to that process.

Bud: If I learn of anything I will be sure to post here. This really has me so sick to my stomach, but I should have known better. I will just pray that we all recover at least some of our money and that justice is served here on Earth or on the other side.

Crapaud ….ah bawling……Just heard all the stoories from my family. All round st vincent guys that living in shacks now have flat screen tvs they pull out from wisemans storage when they did not get their paycheck. Oh laaaaaard……them they dont even have current or cable tv but they have 50 inch widescreen flat screen tv covering the wall. when the reality hit the fan the site manager opened the doors to paradise and out came sunchairs sunbeds expensive china wineglasses french wine frozen shrimp bed linen pillows silk sheets. Wiseman got to stay undisturbed in the country so that he could destroy all the evidence …some of the highranking families in the country one of the MOST powerful families, that represents several banks already. Three speadboats have disappeared into the hands of the drivers wiseman had. the cars are parked up in the garage of the drivers. all staff gone into hiding with their trophys, the boats left to be sold in st martin or trinidad. and the luxury villas and the hotel and the resturant and the swimmingpool is all sitting on leased land from one rich family. they are laughing all they way to the bank cause they now just take over the whole property. all evidence been shredded and burnt and local highranking people that had their hands in the jelly is thankful. In six months everything is back to normal. the flatscreen tvs going to rot in galvanise sheds without current, the speed boats going to be running drugs and a new social club will be opening on the former land of wiseman. please someone make us a movie.

The Searchlight this week (newspaper)

Former workers of Tommy and Nelson Legacy Place, sister company of the embattled Millennium Bank, spent the last weekend and the earlier part of this week angry and frustrated.

Approximately 140 of the company’s employees, including laundry workers, bartenders, maids, waiters, construction workers, and security officers, spent their last day on the job on Friday, March 27, 2009, following a move by this country’s International Financial Services Authority (IFSA) that placed Millennium Bank Inc under receivership.

According to a release from the IFSA, Kris Beighton of KPMG, Cayman Islands, and Charles Thresh of KPMG Advisory Limited have been appointed as joint receivers of the Bank.

The Authority is presently assisting the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its investigation into the St. Vincent and the Grenadines registered offshore Bank, after the SEC alleged that the bank deceived targeted US investors in a US$68 million fraud scheme. The bank is owned by William J. Wise.

On Thursday, March 26, 2009, when workers at Tommy and Nelson Legacy Place, a resort at Ratho Mill, received their pay cheques, little did they know that their employer’s account at the National Commercial Bank (NCB) for that business, as well as those of several other related businesses in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, had been frozen.

They were thrown into a state of shock when tellers at the NCB requested that they return the cheques to the person(s) who had issued them, because the account was frozen.

However, Brian Glasgow, local partner of KPMG Eastern Caribbean, told SEARCHLIGHT: “Nobody from KPMG had jurisdiction over that (Tommy and Nelson Legacy Place). We did not have direct jurisdiction over that property.” Glasgow explained that he suspected the Bank (NCB) had reacted to the US Freezing Order to freeze all assets associated with the defendants.

Irate that the possibility existed that they may not be paid for their month’s work, or for any other entitlements, it is alleged that some employees stormed the premises on Saturday, March 28, 2009, and looted the property of several expensive pieces of furniture.

On Monday, March 30, 2009, it is claimed that a loaded truck was just about the leave the Ratho Mill property when members of the Royal St.Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force who were dispatched to the resort arrived on the scene and were able to stop it.

When Searchlight visited the Ratho Mill Property, it was being secured by Premium Security Firm headed by Adolphus ‘Famo’ Adams, who said he was called in on Monday by the Hadley family, from whom Wise had leased the land.

According to Adams, two other security firms who were at the property before were asked to give way to Premium Security Firm, which was successful in retrieving a significant quantity of the items such as beds, mirrors, tables, mattresses and chair sets which had been removed from the resort and which were hidden in nearby bushes.

Adams said his security team also had to deal with persons who came with trucks as late as Tuesday night to continue the looting. Up to press time, Premium Security Firm and the Special Services Unit were stationed at the property.

A group of security officers who had worked with the Tommy and Nelson Legacy Place visited SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday afternoon, having spent most of the morning outside the Bedford Street branch of the NCB awaiting word on their money.

When questioned about the looting, they were adamant that they did not engage in such activity.

They, however, were naturally concerned about receiving their wages. Their salaries range between EC$1,500 to EC$2,000 a month.

The workers received the good news on Wednesday that they could return to the NCB to cash their cheques.

“We are happy that we were able to receive a month’s pay, since some of us live from one pay cheque to the next. We will, however, be going to the Labour Department to find out about our severance,” said a security officer who called SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday to inform us that the workers were at the Bank receiving their money.

The security officer said while they feel a bit better, some of them are upset that they left other jobs for this one that has not worked out.

Is it that I am just not getting it or is it a conflict of interest that most people would prefer to just ignore?

How can KPMG (local) be the accountants for Millennium Bank and KPMG (international) be the Auditors. Everybody knows that KPMG local is an affiliate of KPMG International. So what the hell is going on here?

I can’t see KPMG International acting against the interest of its local counterpart. Apart from that and based on my understanding of the nature of the relationship between the local KPMG man, Wise and other local big wigs associated with the activities of Millennium Bank here in SVG, how can there be any confidence at all that the Receivership process is going to be handled in the interest of the people who suffered the losses?

As a matter of fact, for an international firm that is supposed to be so reputable, I am very surprised that they did not recuse themselves from this job. That would be the professional thing to do, given that scenario.

But somebody should really be asking the local man if in fact he was the accountant that was in dialogue with Wise along with another person (a lawyer) until the wee hours of last Friday morning (March 27th) at Wise’s property. They should ask him also, if the nature of the discussion was the development of a strategic plan as to how things were going to be handled in the days and weeks ahead.

Can there be hope that any of those questions are going to be asked. The way things are going, I certainly can’t see it happening. Instead, you might hear that he ‘fire that work’ some time back and somebody else ‘tek’ up the job. These fellars really slippery. Lord have mercy!

The other thing that is most objectionable, is when the Prime Minister can misconstrue the facts by making statements to the effect that he was trying to get Millennium out of the Country since 2004. Total nonsense! The Court Case that took place between Millenium and IFSA in 2004, tells a completely different story. It also serves to accentuate the kind of Kangaroo Court that we are capable operating here in SVG. As a matter of fact, that has become a way of life for us. Plenty of people are under pressure because of the corruption in the whole system. Look at what happened to Michele Andrews and her case against the Prime Minister. If ever there was a travesty of justice, that was it. The handling of the Millennium case can easily be put in a similar category. If Millennium had been dealt with expeditiously at that time, the damage would have been at a minimum.

The Prime Minister is the maximum leader and moreso the Minister of Finance, and it is his job to know and to act in the public’s interest. Instead, he chose to look the other way and allow a feeding frenzy to take place unabated, at the expense of investors from foreign. You can’t see them so who the hell cares about their losses and their pain, seems to have been the attitude.

Ah sorry to say but the buck stops right at the Prime Minister’s desk. The international criminal court should be the ones to deal with him and his role in this entire matter. If they can’t get him for being a participant, he should be held reponsible for gross negligence while in office.

The other statement that he made that is really grievious, is the one that exonerates SVG from all responsibility for this crime. He had the nerve to say “We have dealt with all the regulatory issues properly. The wrong doings which has been alleged in the complaint has taken place in institutions based in the US” (Associated Press – March 27th). So where was all the money spent and where did it come from?

I would not like the investors to see the bills for what their money was spent on. The fireworks alone that were used on ‘Tommy and Nelson Legacy Place’ New Years eve party had to be worth more than 50K. Fireworks were still going on past 3:00 AM, even after all the other establishments in the area had closed down and the workers had long gone home. I heard that champaign was flowing like water. Was the Prime Minister and other local dignitaries celebrating at Wise’s property that night also? If so, who were all the persons there?

What about the wine cellar in the same property? Isn’t it amazing how fast some of these local bandits are able to acquire expensive tastes? Who paid for all of that? Not the investors? Did it not all take place under the watch of this same Prime Minister. This is a little two bit Country, not a single thing happens without the whole country knowing. And better yet he has all the security forces and Special Branch people employed specially to keep him informed.

Is it not the same reckless behavior that caused the IFSA to revoke Millennium’s operating licence in 2003. I wonder what direct and indirect benefits were derived from putting some lackeys in control the IFSA? Did the person in charge of the IFSA ever fly in the Millennium Jet, and if so how many times and where to?

How many people know that the Millennium establishment gave new meaning to 24 hour service in SVG. Some of the kitchen staff were reportedly on 24 hour call. So if one of the guests wanted a gourmet meal at 4:00 AM the Chef had to get his b-hind out of bed to make it. And who is this ‘Tommy’ and ‘Nelson’ legacy that this free hotel is named after anyway? We need to ask those kinds of questions also. It might shock us to learn the answer.

I hope someone will show the US bankruptcy lawyer what is going on in SVG. First of all, the resort that Wise built and that is described above, is sitting on leased land. Now, will the landowners – the Hadleys – be able to just take over the property now valued at millions of dollars and run it like their own? SEC should have someone buy the lease which should net a couple of millions of dollars to the people that lost their property. Second, send some US officials down to SVG and ask to visit all the employees of the bank and the resort with police. There are cars missing, speed boats and furniture for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Act fast and some of it can be recovered. But most of all do not just give this resort to the land owners that have leased out the land and collected money on the lease already. They are filthy rich already. Do not give them a fully functional resort that have taken two years to build and millions of stolen dollars. Offer it to buy, or sell the lease to someone else.

Offshore Banks Under Controllership
Millennium Bank Inc. 32 BK 2000

Financial Service Center
Stoney Grounds
Kingstown, St. Vincent
Tel: (784) 451-2100 Fax: (784) 451-2101

Contact: Mr. Marcus Ballantyne
Controller of Millennium Bank Inc.

Mr. Isaac Legair
Suite 104, 97B Granby Street
P.O. Box 1639
Kingstown, St. Vincent
Tel: (784) 451-2645 Fax: (784) 485-6591

On a technicality, Victor Hadley would probably like to fool the public into believing the lease hold story. Yes there WAS a leasehold but it is now a purchase arrangement and my understanding is that the purchase price was 20M, or there abouts. Approximately seventy five percent has already been paid but the technicality is that the Deed has not been registered. More than likely, that would be one of the documents already shredded.

Which idiot would spend that kind of money on a property and not own it. And besides the purchase price is wayyyyyyyyyy over the top. Victor has to be a conduit for funds intended for other people. Wonder why Wise still doesn’t own it? Well the Receivers need to ask the Government if Mr. Wise has gained citizenship for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there might be some answers in that. The other thing that they need to do is to follow the money. Victor Hadley has Bank accounts all over the world, including the UK and Canada. They should get all the names of all his family and friends, including the former daughter in law in the UK that is fronting as an agent to get big commissions on the sale of lands by National Properties Ltd. Victor Hadley should not be allowed to get away with investors money so easily.

When people start acting dishonestly, it is very difficult to divert from the dishonest behavior, because the preditors are swarming all the time, like bees to honey. Take for instance the relationship between Wise and the GG. Wise couldn’t get enough money to satisfy that kind of greed, and that was reason for the Court case in 2004 and he was the ‘then’ landlord. All the reckless behavior they were talking about in the 2004 clamp down if the authorities can follow the money they will know who are the real beneficiaries of some of this money. Rumour has it that the accountant that had done the report for IFSA at the time was ‘spot on’ in his assessment of the situation but ‘money’ compromised the judgement. I heard that the then ‘landlord’ even laid own a threat on the same accountant who worked on the case.

These bandits are not easy. They are lord and master of all they survey. How so? Well check the secret societies. If you don’t belong to one well you can’t get anywhere, no matter how hard you work. When you are on the top, all the underlings have to submit to you regardless of what positions they hold. And that is how the crime is being operated in the Country. Sometimes people can’t even live an honest life in peace for these people because if you don’t tow the line you can’t eat.

The poor fool Wise thought that he was in control but he was in so deep that the only thing that he could do was to get better at convincing people to invest their money with him. Once he was on that bicycle he had to continue peddling to avoid falling down. Don’t get me wrong, he was satisfying his own ego too and boy did he enjoy the high life and being able to feel important. Flying around in big jet and ‘ting’ and the natives bowing down to him like he is King Tut. That is all there is to it. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that Ralph is any different. With only a few minor differences, he epitomizes King Henry V111.

The bottom line is that Wise dropped some real money in this Country and the challenge is to find out where it was spent, for what purpose and how it was moved. Once the Receivers can follow the money, they would be able to link all those involved in the crime. And all those who might have had money arrive in their account without proper accounting as to the source, arrest them too for money laundering. Ask the Prime Minister how his wife’s property at Cane garden was paid for and things like that.

As to the so called ‘land lord’, you will hear more about him. Between he and the PM, they started a company called National Properties Limited and tranferred all the land that is owned by the Government or should I say the people of SVG into that Company. They hatched a plan to develop a big Airport to distract people, while they loot the nations coffers. They say that they are selling land to build the big Airport but when the bottom falls out of it, there will be no Airport, the land will be sold, National Properties will be bankrupt and Victor will retire on his ‘investments’ in the UK, or Australia or Nova Scotia…. or whereever.

As a citizen of the World, I trying to find a human rights organization that will take up these matters before it is too late. Before it gets to the stage like Haiti where they will have to deal with a set of starving people, rioting and looting in retaliation. I know we are only a little speck on the map but it would be cheaper for the developed nations to deal with the ‘problem’ now rather than later.

The people in Binginton NY know how to take care of business. Do the folks at M bank know this could happen in a NY second? It’s your money, or your life.

does anyone have any-more info??

I was able to pick up a news link for the the ‘Observer’, that gives a wee bit of information on William Wise. The link is http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1471105.html. It is captioned “Raleigh man accused of $60 million fraud”. Here in SVG, we don’t have a whole lot of information as to Wises’ background so that little piece of information was enlightening.

Apart from that, St Vincent is as quiet as a graveyard. Every body seems to have burrowed under, waiting for the storm to pass. Even the Prime Minister is as quiet as a mouse. And you wouldn’t know this but he likes to talk a lot. He is usually the great explainer. In fact he talks so much that people now turn off the radio and television when he starts to speak. The only two leaders we know who like to talk as much as him are Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. But he is very quiet now.

The local news this morning reported that he went up to Antigua in recent days. We suspect he went there to familiarize himself with the proceedure that is taking place with the Stanford matter. That is of course to prepare himself and others as to what is to be expected when the US authorities arrive here to do their own investigations.

Thanks Crapaud, I have tried calling everywhere and get no respond. The SEC did call me and I had quite a chat w/them. They were cool. I told them they should put some info out as to what is going on and to keep the investors up-dated. He said he thinks the judge will do something like that soon. There is a lot to this and I am sure it will take a while. I recently invested three 1/2 weeks ago. What bad luck!! Every dog has it day though. If I were them, I would be VERY scared for my family. There are a lot of crazy’s out there and if it takes a month, year or several years, someday, some time, one of these dirt-bags family member will turn up missing. In my youth, I owed someone $40.00, I blew them off after another warning I still blew them off. I did not have the 40 bucks. A few days later they went to me elderly father’s house, dragged him to the middle of the street and nearly beat him to death. I got the cash the next day. And paid them off!!
Like I said, some people play for keeps. I wouldn’t want someone killing me for what my dad did. But when it comes to family, I guess they find money more important then family. Good Luck all

The SEC should investigate the other four (4) offshore banks operating in SVG. Prior to the revokation of Millenniums operating licence, there were 6 banks licenced to operate here. United Trust had its licence revolked along with Millennium, they say because of some ‘uncertainties’ around ownership of the bank. However, it seems that two of the persons that were associated with United Trust were listed in the Court action brought against Millennium Bank. Those persons were Philippe Angeloni and Brijesh Chopra.

There are ‘whispers’ around the place that the Governer General is involved in the ownership of one or two other banks that are currently operating. Of couse there will be other persons fronting for him because according to the laws, locals are barred from owning offshore banks.

The Court file for the case against the IFSA by Millennium Bank in 2004 has one financial statement listed as an exhibit and the lone signature that signed off on the financial statement on behalf of Millennium Bank was none other than the same Freddie Ballantyne prior to him becoming GG.

The GG’s son was listed at some stages as holding positions with Millennium also. The same son provided services to Millennium under the cover of International Financial Services Inc. I am willing to bet that IFS is involved in providing professional services to other offshore banks here.

The Governor General’s position is a political appointment and a very privileged one to boot. How would F. N. Ballantyne get the postion unless of course he has done exceptional favors for the ruling Party.
Subsequent to his appointment, the man shocked the whole nation with wanton abuse of the privileges. No time would he travel without outriders with sirens blasting in front of his vehicle and always overtaking long lines of vehicles in rush hour traffic. He even takes them along when he is invited to private parties by ‘friends’. Would you believe that?

Don’t talk about the espenses that are being incurred by the Office these days. First Class everything and using the position to promote his personal interests. One would think that St. Vincent owns a few oil wells. You would never believe that this is a piss poor Country.

The SEC needs to do a proper investigation of all the characters that are/were associated with Millennium. Run checks on all of their bank accounts everywhere as well. Forget about who is holding what position because very likely it is just a cover for dirty deals.

Jessica,
Did you get back anything from Mr. Roper on receiving your certified letter? If you want to email me direct at [email protected] or you can post here if you want.My wife and I are not doing very well with this.Its about to get us down,we are praying for all of us to get are money back.I am 50 years old and have done alot of bussiness with banks,but these people have no soul in their body.And they pretent to be christian people. Lord help them and us

im concerned also i have alot invested in this supposed called bank im trying to get infor also

I want to suggest that this blog be turned into a support group for all those persons who have been affected by this crime. It seems that persons are really stressed out and feeling really damaged and so they need some help. We don’t even know the extent of the damage to some of these investors.

Bud,
I have yet to hear back from Mr Roper. I understand they probably can’t and won’t reply to all their mail, but some sort of response would really be appreciated. The Receivership’s website still offers no procedures for us to file a claim either. I am guessing we should know something soon, I hope. I am also terribly sickened by this. I put all of my inheritance from my grandfather’s estate into this. What a loss. I will pray for us all and for the people working towards justice. I will post if I receive anything from the lawyer. It would be a great idea to start a support group as Crapaud mentioned. My email is [email protected] God Bless.

my family lost every penny in this. If anyone has any information or hears anything at all please, please, please contact me at [email protected]

Bud:
Mr. Roper’s office just received my certified letter on April 7. So I will give it a week or so to see if I hear back from them and let you know. David Jones kindly sent out an email stating investors should be receiving a questionnaire from the SEC in the mail soon.

i think a lot of people knew or suspected that something was not right and no one thought to call a lawyer or the local goverment.

now all the money is gone. i warned my parents but i can see how this was so tempting for them and everyone else.

i heard from someone on this board that their bank accont was tapped into . i recommend everyone check for thier withdrawl information.

jessica,
I tried to email you direct, but I am not sure you are getting it.If you are not than try to email me and see if I can get yours at [email protected]

Here in SVG, it makes no sense calling a lawyer or the local government. If we want a lawyer we have to go somewhere else in the region to get one, if we can afford it.

The local Government? Ah boy, those are the real crooks. That is the reason why we have to put our information out into cyber space so that people can understand what’s going on here. And you can forget about the police, the politicians employ them.

If anyone wants to understand what St. Vincent and the Grenadines is like these days, Kathy Marks, in her description of the residents of Pitcairn Island in ‘Paradise Lost’ (pg. 165) sums it up very accurately. In essence that is what the US authorities are likely to find in the local authorities handling the Millennium matter, when they get here.

She said …..”The islanders assiduously nurture their myth. They even have a term for it: “hypocriting the stranger”.” and went further to say “They pretend to be simple, unsophisticated folk. But they are actually shrewd and manipulative. They are professional charmers.

SVG is not far different than Pitcairn, only on a larger scale and not as isolated. In fact the irony of the situation is that St. Vincent was the destination of the breadfruit plants that was transported by Capt. William Bligh in the famous story of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’.

Inspite of all the anti Colonial talk, we have not really moved on from those dreadful days of Colonial rule and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. This is just how our society has evolved. When you hear them fellow talk about enobling the Caribbean Civilization, that is a load of bull
s–t.

Every day they are honoring each other and wanting to make themselves National Heroes.

yes i know the most islands are corupt but most of us who invested are americans and as i said before a lot of poeple knew and did nothing. but the thruth will come out soon.

I pray that justice is served. Hopefully the other “Millennium Banks” out there are stopped ASAP!

as most of you know because I have contacted you my parents were scammed out of 560,000 thousand and now have nothing. they wanted to make some extra money before retiering and the intrest would allow to leave some inheratance for my borther.

I work for the federal goverment in DC. My husband does as well, in fact he is part of the internet fraud team. The issue here is altought the American gov. is invloved we can not regulate banks/website from other countries even if they are scaming against US citizen. the US does not have any authority over this bank or other bank. Most presciption drugs that are sold illegally via the net have the domian of the website registertred to a diffrent country for this reason too.

The goverment is involved in this case because luckily the money never went to this bank, but the bank website will continue to opperate as it still does.

It is very sad to learn the lesson this way. I warned my parents but they chose not to listen. When you do someothing high risk at times you do pay the price.

I will be paying the price as well , as now I have to support my family. I hope others can learn from this and realize the USA is as good as it gets, we may not have the best % in our banks but at least we have a decent goverment system that can help us if we do get scammed.

if i hear anything new i will post.

Someone who seems to have a lot of information told me a couple of days ago that Wise had established Banks in other places as well. One is supposed to be located somewhere in Eastern Europe and another in Turkey, on an island in the Med. that is shared with Greece. Apparently the SEC seems not to be aware of these establishments and I was told that they aught to be. I am only the messenger on that piece of information.

I know for sure that our Prime Minister went to Turkey on a couple of occasions and we were quite befuddled to understand the reasoning behind it. In fact one such trip was taken in the wake of the rape allegations against him by Michele Andrews. All of the photos that were subsequently published in the local press featured a very pious looking Eloise making sure that she kept her place a few feet behind her husband, the accused Gonsalves. All of this was featured in some kind of religious context and the PM was trying to look kind of apologetic and remorseful.

But what could have been the reason for that trip to Turkey?

Other locals went there as well, including another of the shareholders of Young Island Resort and long time business partner of Freddie Ballantyne. What would be the purpose of that individual being in possession of a diplomatic passport?

It is interesting to note that Sir Frederic Ballantyne, the Governor General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and representative of Gueen Elizabeth 11 of Great Britain was the President of Millennium Bank long after he became Governor General in September 2002. Some of us are wanting to believe that he is a shareholder of the Bank. Everything else seems to be in place, all we need to have to confirm it is the physical evidence.

I was told that the SEC must check on the ownership of the United Trust that is supposed to be registered in Switzerland. Further, the authorities will not necessarily find it registered in the usual way that banks are registered. Apparently, it was some other kind of business and there were a couple of name changes and then it arrived at that name. Perhaps that is the reason why the Swiss Banking Authorities are having difficulty identifying its authenticity.

The British Crown had better watch all those titles they are sharing away at the whims and fancies of third world politicians. Especially those who learned only too well at the hands of Colonial Rule. It is making a lot of us in the former colonies feel slighted all over again by the British, in that there is no due diligence to handing out these titles except for a recommendation by a politician. And with that, I want to remind the British that they have a major responsibility to the Citizens of former Colonies. Not in the form of a check but they have to correct some of the mistakes that they made in the past that are the cause of some grief on the part of Commonwealth citizens, even after all this time.

They can start by retracting some of the fanciful Knighthoods that were lavished on the likes of Allan Stanford and Freddie Ballantyne The latter is just another lazy bastard who happens to have a PHD. All that he has going for him is his PHD but I have been made to undertand by reliable sources that his homework was done by lots other people, while he pissed his time off hunting for the next pleasurable experience between the sheets. He has a big ego, likes the enjoyment of material comforts, women of fair complexion and last but not least, to be treated as if he is someone important. He is really a very egotistical assh— with not very much substance to his character at all.

If anyone wants to have a good look at his professional accomplishments, take a tour of the Kingtown General Hospital now Milton Cato Hospital where he served as the Administrator for eons. You will suddenly realize that these kinds of people are not capable of of fulfilling any responsibility of any circumstance. A simple portfolio of providing health care for a small population and future development thereof. It is not rocket science.

The one good thing we had going for us in SVG was the Kingstown Medical College and both the Governor General, Sir Frederick Ballantyne, and the Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, managed to get rid of them so that he Freddie Ballantyne could start a ‘Trinity University’ School of Medicine to make money for himself and to make excuses to the Nation as to the loss of the KMC. Now Vincentians have to go to Grenada if they want to have proper medical attention and have access to specialized medical professionals.

Apart from that, loss of the Medical College operation here is having serious impact on our tiny economy. Banks are foreclosing on people who facilitated accommodation and other services to medical students. All legitimate business and all gone because of greed and selfishness on the part of Ralph Gonsalves and Freddie Ballantyne.

There is not a caring bone in the bodies of any of these people but they are very capable of bul s–ting any unsuspecting individuals who are likely to be swayed by the titles and ‘accomplishments’. And they have been able to get away with it this long because as the old people are used to saying “in a blind man’s country, a one eye man is King”. That is the reason why we have children coming out of high school that are not able to read but yet, they are boasting about a ‘revolution’ in education under their stewardship.

Those fellows need to be publicly humiliated for their crimes. The world needs change and no better place to start but with the criminals at the top of the food chain.

it is a fact, that the US goverment will not go after any bank in another country. Not our role, trust me this is my job in the US.

Furthermore, if anyone did a search on google you can find stock scam run my this bank back in 2002 and guess what it went to the SEC and again nothing can be done because it is all off shore!

have anyone read about the new tax relief the IRS will do for all victims on ponzi scam. this is minimum help but it allows us to write off what we lost. you can google it

The way I understand it is you can go back 5 years or go foward up to 20 years and write off all your ponzi loss after we find out what the SEC will gather up off these crooks and return to us.My hope and pray is that we wiil not have much to write off if somehow we get a miracle from GOD and these people return our money.They should try to do it so they might recieve less jail time.
Also any interest over the past years that you thought you were earning and reported to the IRS on your taxes.The way I understand it these are called Phantom profits and you can go back and take those off your taxes on an admendment. I am going to my tax man next week and have these removed and get some money back.
Check with your tax man and you can do the same thing.GOOD LUCK TO ALL AND KEEP PRAYING

Good grief . What have we come to. I am ashamed to tell people where I come from after reading about this.

The current government and its cronies in St. Vinanct are clearly dishonest. Crapaud’s great posts exhibit the type of people that are down there. In St. Vincent, your money is’nt safe. In St. Vincent, your investments are not safe. In St. Vincent, your LIFE is not safe. Drugs and AIDS is rampant. People are not educated properly. How come the “public transportation” is so thugged out in St. Vincent? You don’t see that in any other country in the Caribbean. The culture has degraded along with the banking system. I am sorry to all of you who lost money with this scheme… orchestrated in part by Vincentians. I hope the USA will get to the bottom of this.

My friend works for the government in the office of Finance and Planning. This friend told me the current administration is emblezzling money left and right. For example, if they get monies from the EU or UK for training, or some other public program, those funds gets diverted to bank accounts of people within the current administration. In order to account for the money, they then write up numerous “per-diems or other bogus records. They then organise a nominal group of people to make the purpose of funds look legit.

Meanwhile, my friend makes only $250US per week, while these big shots are living it up, first class style!

Bombo: I would believe that. That’s just how these bandits operate.

I received an email today advertising a Furniture Sale to be held at the Millennium Bank former offices tomorrow, along with an entire listing of the items. Well I think they are going to have to find a lot more furniture to sell off to pay the Receivers that they hired to shred all the information that was important to the case. I hear they were shredding documents morning, noon and night. By the thime the Americans arrived, nothing of real importance as to the St. Vincent Operations, was left.

Someone told me that the Governor General has already made arrangements to take over/lease the Tommy and Nelson Legacy Place from Victor Hadley, to house the students that are enrolled at the Trinity University that he started with a few other bandits. Don’t take that as gospel yet but anything is possible.

I heard also, that the Lawyer boy for the Bank done craft up some ficticious lawyer bills, in order to lay claim on the power boat that is still hanging up on the jetty of the ‘Legacy’ Place.

Those fellows have absolutely no shame at all and they don’t waste any time either. They take it right up to the wire and dn’t ever stop until they suck every piece of marrow out of the carcus.

You know, the GG was featured on the website of Millennium Bank as President long after he was appointed to that position. Both he and the Prime Minister had letters up on the site saying that people can feel confident to invest because Millenium was a Bank of integrity and with all the oversite and good governance that we have, nothing can go wrong. Your investment would be safe and secure. Lord have mercy!

You know the IFSA had pulled the license in Nov. 2003 and Wise appealed to the Court in 2004 to have it reinstated. As a Vincentian, I am ashamed to say what happened to that case. Even the Financial Statement that they put on the Court Files were signed of on by Freddie Ballantyne. His was the lone signature on the Financial Statement. And it don’t take any big business mind to look at those figures and see that the Accountant was absolutely correct in his assessment of the situation.

Did the Court see it fit to rule in favor of Millennium based on Wise’s word alone that the Accountant was not qualified to make such an assessment? I guess we will never know! The Judgement,, it seems, has been misfiled. What do you know!

We have to do something to catch these bandits. I am looking for an original prospectus for Millennium Bank that would have been published anytime after 2004. Anyone who might just have one in their possession, please notify me on this post so that we can arrange to get from you.

I have been contacted by email to join a growing list of investors in this scam to file a civil suit against the KMPG accountants. If you are interested in joining this, please contact George Grabek at [email protected] or call him at 850-671-2222. I just got off the phone with him and he will fill you in on all the details. The lawyer he is dealing with is currently working on the Madoff and Stanford law suits as well. It is worth a try and he needs enough authorizations in order to make this happen. Thanks –

Jessica: Why don’t you suggest to those lawyers to look into the possibility of bringing a class action law suit against the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. After all, it is the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines that provided the opportunity for you all to be ripped off by Millennium. Here is the text of a letter that was up on the Millennium Web site by the Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister:

It fills me with a great sense of pride to know that St. Vincent and the Grenadines had played a leading role in the establishment and the development of the East Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). The ECCB promotes and maintains the monetary stability of the single common currency (The East Caribbean Dollar) of the group of the eight small island economies, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Montseratt, St. kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Europeans in the development of the Euro recognized the sophistication of the East Caribbean single currency and used it as a model. Such are the high standards that we have addhered to in the domestic finance sector in st. Vincent and the Grenadines for over twenty (20) years now.

My Government is committed to ensuring that our international banking sector is equally cridible and reputable as the domestic banking sector. which is supervised by the ECCB. It is for this reason that we took the stragegic decision that the ECCB should have a significant role to play in the supervision of the international banks in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In fact the deputy Govenor of the ECCB, Mr. Errol Allen, is also a member of the Offshore Financial Authority (OFA) Board of Directors.

My Government is cognisant of the great value the international banking sector brings to the economy. International banking generates great opportunity for Vincentian professionals, in particular those with accounting and legal backgrounds.

The jurisdiction of St. Vincent aand thee Grenadines is an excellent one in which to conduct reputable offshore banking business. St Vincent and the Grenadines demonstrates the best practices of “good Governence”. It is a Country of political stability. it possesses a talented and magnificant people.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Millennium Bank to St Vincent and the Grenadines and wish them the best success.

The other letter that was up on the website as at Sept. 15th, 2003 was that of the President of Millennium Bank, Dr. Frederick Ballantyne, the then Governor General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and it reads as follows:

On behalf of Millennium Bank and Trust we welcome you to our website. We are a full service bank domicile in St. vincent and the Grenadines with experienced and caring staff ready to cater to your needs. Recent Government legislation supported by us, ensures that only banking institutions of the highest integrity can exist and prosper in this jurisdiction.

Should you choose to do business with us, we guarantee that you will be satisfied with the quality of our service.

Please feel free to contact our office at any time for further information.

Signed: Dr. Frederick Ballantyne Bsc., L.M.C.C., MD (Internist Cardiologist)

It does not get better than that!

Crapaud, thanks for your post. I will forward the information on. Reading that just makes me cringe! You are correct in saying there is a bigger fish to fry…….I will post when I hear from this lawyer in Boston. Thanks.

jessica i have cds also with millenium bank will you give me your phone number so i can talk to you on the phone

Unfortunately I am another investor into Millennium Bank’s CD’s. Could anyone tell me if you have received a questionaire from the SEC concerning this fraud. I have not received one as David Jones would have us believe. It seems some investors have retained lawyers that are communicating with the United States Court (Federal). I would appreciate getting more info from other victims. My e-mail is:[email protected]
thanks

Kentucky girl and Anne: Please email me at [email protected] or you may call my cell at 432-517-0413 CST.
Thanks,
Jessica Price

Thanks guys for the detective information so far. This Millenium Bank offered me a Credit Card line of $5000 and I dont know if to accept it or not.

Beside following the instructions on the receivership website, are you all doing something else? I have lost 60k in this scam and it’s devastating. I just saw the forms to fill out on the site, but don’t want to miss out on a class action or other steps being taken.
Thanks to all of you for posting.

were trying to dee give me your phone number i dont like talking on computer ive talked jessica and george and call me at 270-676-3432


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