In the dry Sun
One day in Las Vegas on November 2000
Drew a secret meeting of his disciples. -
His popular investment firm, the Millennium Group, has hundreds of clients.
They were told to dial a mobile phone number at noon to find out where it could be: a monotonous meeting room in the gold block area.
Investors have handed over millions of dollars for Groupon and partners to invest in a series of highly secretive, lucrative deals.
The monthly reports they receive show a return of up to 30% per year.
Now, a blue one.
The front-eye Mormon missionaries are attractive, square chin and nearly 6 feet inches high, with new suggestions: a new deal to pour its investment, a $20 billion oil and gas company in Mexico, they will become extremely rich. So they did. The oil-
The gas game is the creative idea of Alexa's partner, Edgar M. Bias, the 300-
The chairman of Sterling, an institution called FIIK investment holdings.
There is only one suspicious follower who has the courage to stand up at the meeting and challenge directly to respond: "Is this a scam? "he demanded.
I replied calmly: "No.
If so, I will go to jail.
Do you want your money back?
The dissidents sat down.
What customers don't know is that few of them receive a promised quarterly payment.
Two years ago, Bias had served 18 months for money laundering.
He shamelessly named his company a private joke.
According to all reports, FIIK represents "F--k If I Know.
"Five years from now, Groupon and Bias are charged with 32 securities fraud charges and will be tried in Arizona next month.
Bias is in prison in Florence, Ariz.
Locke is waiting for trial in Rockville, United States. D.
Federal officials, the goal is the most clear.
The case was cut, claiming that the two raised $18 million from 11 people, never invested, and returned $8 million from new investors to "calm down" their inaction.
Neither of them pleaded guilty;
Their lawyers declined to comment.
According to some estimates, the couple took $100 million from 550 investors who were too eager and too credulous.
Claudia Nelson, 66, a retired real estate agent in Boise, Idaho, said: "I am greedy and gullible . ".
In 2000, she invested $100,000 in the Millennium's "high-yield" private equity fund.
The existence of the LGBT and prejudice is largely attributed to her efforts.
When she was apparently cheated, she organized an Investor Uprising, aligned with disgruntled deserters in the inner circle of men, and gathered evidence to push law enforcement to take action.
The two men were arrested a week after being sued by a federal grand jury in Arizona.
The two also face investor lawsuits in California and Utah, and the bias has stopped. and-
Stop orders from Michigan, Washington and Homer. (
Julie Ann Goble, the "broker" of Groupon, was charged with 18 securities fraud charges in the Indiana Circuit Court on April. )
From wrangler and retired insurance salesmen to professional athletes, the breadth of what they call the list of victims is impressive.
The recruitment began mainly with Mormon senior citizen groups.
His early investors persuaded friends and acquaintances to invest and got the equivalent of 10% of the new deposit.
Groupon received additional cash through the car club, life insurance sales and discount travel program, and Roger Conrad, a Utah real estate developer, said he invested $1 million.
"You are not satisfied with taking your change.
"He wants it all," he said . ".
Dean Browning Weber of Vancouver.
He filed a extortion lawsuit against a former Wells Fargo banker, adding: "There are affinity fraud, Ponzi scams, and multi-level marketing scams being carried out by Groupon and Bias ---
All rolled into one
Claudia Nelson, a Mormon, attended a secret meeting in Las Vegas.
She recalled that she was shocked by the fact that no one dared to doubt Shirley.
He is very mysterious about how he can produce such spectacular results when the stock market is in hell.
She now says that his secret is "like a spring medicine ";
It's like his client is doing something special.
She said that the fact that the Mormons are also Mormons is an advantage.
"It's like we're only one step away from God.
Months have passed and Nelson has been given some statements showing her nest eggs getting bigger and bigger-
But no quarterly profit check promised.
Groupon blamed the mistake on bank mistakes, regulatory red tape, and the "unexpected profits" of the secret deals he made ".
Nelson then found out that the others she had spoken to were not paid at all.
When she suggested coping, in the email
He declined the email saying it was "time to get some help from upstairs" and offered to organize a prayer group.
"At that time, I really began to lose confidence.
"A good Mormon will never refuse the offer," she said . "
Nelson complained to the attorney general's office in Arizona but found nothing.
So she took the lead. -
After a lucky breakCope's son-in-
The law sent her an email in error.
Each group member is listed in the mail and she starts to contact some of them.
So she started the "record deception" for four years ".
She and other Millennium members signed contracts, internal memos and corporate credit card records with FBI agents, prosecutors, Securities and Exchange Commission investigators and the IRS.
A detailed picture of the so-called scam has gradually emerged.
Groupon and Bias are considered to have come across in January 2000 when they both sold to the same investor.
After being released from prison, prejudice formed a five
National salesman network looking for investors to fund the restaurant REITs managed by Shell he created-FIIK.
He also controls Richmond Energy in Houston, which owns a range of Mexican restaurants.
According to investor business plans in 2000, Richmond shifted its investment focus from refrigerators to $20 billion in the US market. S. -
The Mexican energy company will mine 38 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under the Cortes sea.
Meanwhile, riot told people that he made a fortune flipping the golf course in Georgia.
In order to join his Millennium Group, people have to pay $1,200 a year and deal with them with famous quotes from Confucius and Dale Carnegie.
On his website, Groupon cited a strange source of revenue: the sale of multi-level marketing rights to bioengineering bottled water, which is said to have changed the electronic aura of drinkers.
Despite this, he has a large number of investors eager to participate.
Todd Crosland, a developer in Salt Lake City, invested $1.
6 million. He was told that he had tripled his money to deal with government securities, he said.
Baltimore Orioles (
And accused of taking steroids)
Rafael Pamela and all
Celebrity Detroit Tiger catcher Ivan (Pudge)
Rhodes invests $1 million together
Generate private placement contracts provided by Bias.
Neil Smith, a former Denver Broncos defender, gave Bias $1 million.
They claim that none of them received a penny in return.
He was even fascinated by Gordon Hinckley, the leader of his parish and chairman of the Mormon church. The publicity-
The shy Hinkley agreed to take a photo with Julie after he pledged $5 million to a church conservation program.
The photo was published in the Millennium newsletter and urged investors to send him donations he would make to the church.
Instead, he sent a deposit certificate worth $2 million to the church from a bank in Montenegro, the Republic of Yugoslavia.
The church says CD is worthless.
Groupon and Bias told potential investors $1 million-
Into a poor Mexican restaurant-
300% will be returned within 90 days.
Federal prosecutors say they don't have evidence that Groupon is making money for investors on these projects.
He is not a registered securities broker of Arizona or the National Association of Securities Dealers.
The prosecutor said that the organization's main operational activities were to collect money from its members.
In the summer of 2001, Nelson went to the Arizona office and made six trips, winning her first victory: a search warrant for her own home.
But investigators were not authorized by the Millennium Group office next door.
"This is a huge mistake," she said . ".
Nelson expanded her circle of "informants" to 40 investors, coaxing them to send their stories to the SEC and the IRS.
Robert Block, retired insurance executive in Santa Ana, California
He has invested $540,000 in Groupon and compiled a 500-page dossier.
He gave two.
The volume set, including the documents sent by the IRS, claims that members can get a return on IRS agents tax-free.
"They are in awe," Block said . "
Nelson has also started working closely with Charles White, who was a repeat offender in charge of the travel program for the CBC.
White said that after Dawn hired uncle White, who had cancer, as a consultant, and then allegedly cheated the dying man for $1 million, he began retaliation for the death.
"Some people don't trust Chuck, but he's the best weapon we have," Nelson said . ".
Lawyers like him too.
More than a dozen lawyers have traveled long distances to his home in mazatran, Mexico, and carefully checked 10,000 documents he collected, White said.
The treasure trove of data includes the flight logs of the Falcon jets used by SpaceX, bias, and evidence of their squandering spending habits.
"I can tell you where the bias went, who he called, what he spent every day for three consecutive years," White said . ".
His biggest trick was to help plan a video of bias taken in Las Vegas in 2003, in which bias admitted to using fake proof of deposit.
The tape has been sent to the Texas securities regulator, SEC and the United StatesS.
In the attorney's office in Arizona, it may be used as evidence in their upcoming trial.
By the summer of 2000, Groupon had raised about $30 million and started talking about Mexican projects.
He told members of the Millennium Group that their accounts would be converted to FIIK holdings and used for "mortgages" for bias energy businesses ".
He once again called for greed and told the client that the transfer of the principal to FIIK would receive a bonus of $5,000.
"Groupon promises that the money will never leave the FIIK account of Wells Fargo in Houston," Nelson said . ".
Investors said that, in evidence, Groupon showed them a letter signed by Tony Dashir, who was then a bank official at Wells Fargo branch in Houston. (
Dashir said the letter was forged.
He was named in a lawsuit filed by Vancouver lawyer Webb in Federal Court of California. )
Investors were asked to keep the project confidential.
With money pouring into FIIK, Bias has spent huge sums to attract new supporters and fly Falcon planes to Mexico's resort.
He hosted dozens of dinners at a Morton Steakhouse in Houston for $18,000 a night.
He had a wine cabinet there, and his name was engraved on the brass plate between the other two regulars: George H. W.
Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker
In clubs and luxury goods that are bare, the amount of bias is much larger.
In July 2000, he spent $42,000 at the Texas men's club.
Including a tip of $8,800).
His FIIK American Express bill shows he lost $122,635 in stores such as Armani, Gucci, Tuano and Neiman Marcus.
Groupon has invited 80 big customers to get their long-term investment.
The long-awaited payments range from $100,000 to $2 million.
A one-day tour to Mexico on January 2001. Big-
The ticket investor received an envelope with the cashier's check.
"It seems too good to be true," Nelson said . ".
A week later, the CRA sent an emergency memo to the attendees explaining that all cheques must be voided and returned due to mysterious bank errors in order for a new check to be issued.
"Our theory is that Groupon no longer attracts enough new investors to repay his old investors," Nelson said . ".
At the same time, Dennis Kemp and Edgar bias have started a new adventure.
Chuck White, a former colleague at Groupon, said that Groupon now runs a convenience store near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and plans to build an amusement park nearby.
At the same time, the millions of people who have been separated from their enchanted customers have hardly been recovered.