Samuel Israel was crazy about money.
What happened when Ponzi conman Samuel Israel met Bob Nichols, a conspiracy theorist and con man?
Mr. Israel came from money, and he wanted more. He set up a company called Bayou Group, a hedge fund that seemed to be making money for his investors, but in reality had lost hundreds of millions of dollars. He needed to score some quick cash.
When a psychic was right about meeting a man named Robert who would provide a great financial opportunity, he dismissed it, until he met Robert Booth Nichols, a kind of master spy, assassin, arms dealer and con man who knew about a clandestine computer program that secretly monitored financial transactions.
If only Mr. Israel could get ahold of that technology.
Mr. Nichols said he could get him something better:
Nichols told Israel that the most powerful institutions of the modern world—the U.S. government, the U.N., the IMF—were all a front. “There is a secret government operating within the world’s government,” he said. “They run a secret trading program—the high-yield market. Only a few chosen people participate in the program. The returns are staggering. The proceeds are used to fund black operations, fight wars, pay off foreign governments, and conduct good works in the Third World. I don’t know if I can get you into the market. But I know people who can give you a shot.”The con game proceeded, with heavy doses of conspiracy theory.
And then there's the murder, where Mr. Israel blew out the brains of a Pakistani assassin with a silencer-equipped 9-mm. Beretta handgun. Or so he believed:
In the year before his arrest, Israel had been living a kind of fantasy life, at the very center of an impossible-to-believe international conspiracy that mixed elements of dime-novel spy thrillers and an Illuminati-style financial cabal. But it was a fantasy life that had been remarkably well choreographed for him by a master confidence man who wove the story with just enough plausible detail, and staged just enough real-world encounters, that Israel, a con man himself, had come to truly believe it.For Mr. Israel, it all ended with him being arrested and sentenced for his frauds. But before he could be put in prison, he faked his own suicide, and then, after four weeks of secretly living in a campground, he was talked into surrendering by his mother.
His story is detailed in the book Octopus: Sam Israel, the Secret Market, and Wall Street’s Wildest Con by Guy Lawson.
Read the article: The U.S. Government Is a Sham. The Federal Reserve Is Running a Secret Bond Market. Global Finance Is Controlled by an “Upperworld” of Rogue Black-Ops Fixers. New York Magazine>>
Fund Manager Who Faked His Suicide Surrenders, The New York Times>>