Mountebanks

How not to buy a brick in a box off the back of a truck.
Anaxagoras
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Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

But not politicians. They have their own forum, and we can stipulate that most of them are charlatans or at least charlatan-adjacent.

So this thread is for other imposters, fabulists and frauds.

The Fake Sex Doctor Who Conned the Media Into Publicizing His Bizarre Research on Suicide, Butt-Fisting, and Bestiality
If you look up Dr. Damian Jacob Markiewicz Sendler online, you might think he has a MD and a PhD from Harvard Medical School. He presents himself as the chief of sexology at a non-profit health research foundation based in New York. His website states he’s one of the youngest elected members of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and that Barack Obama gave him a President’s Gold Service Award for his contributions in medicine and mental health.

Based on the information available online, Sendler could be one of the most accomplished 28-year-olds in medicine.

But he’s not. Those are all lies.

Sendler is a serial fabulist. The accomplished doctor character Sendler has created has appeared in numerous media outlets—Vice, Playboy, Savage Lovecast, Huffington Post, Insider, Bustle, Thrive Global, Women’s Health, and Forbes, among others. Many of these platforms have published Sendler’s lies and publicized his bizarre and irresponsible studies on necrophilia, zoophilia, lethal erotic asphyxiation, and sexual assault. And until recently, he was soliciting patients through his website where he offered online psychotherapy and sex therapy.

After weeks of interviewing and corresponding with dozens of sources at universities and hospitals, I’ve finally parsed fact from fiction. And after interviewing Sendler for several hours, I figured out how he’s gotten away with it—until now.
I guess it also goes to show how due diligence and basic fact-checking takes a back seat to the opportunity to publish a flashy, click-baity headline.

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/im ... snct5z.png

When confronted with the fact that all of his credentials and honors were fabricated, he had a very Post-modernist sort of defense: that everything is subjective and besides, we live in a post-truth world anyway because Trump.
When I asked Sendler during our main interview, at the Gizmodo office, if he saw these falsifications as marketing or misrepresentation, his demeanor shifted, and he finally spoke to me in a way that seemed earnest: “That’s sort of subjective, right? Isn’t everyone sort of misrepresenting themselves in every way?” he said.

Then he seemed to threaten me. “Like I don’t know you, right? You might be working here today but you might not work here tomorrow, right? And I might feel intimidated by you today but tomorrow you don’t have a job, right? And I still have mine, right?”

As his diatribe continued, Sendler helped me realize why people like him believe they can get away with falsifying their entire career and lying to vulnerable people.

“You have to understand that in the world where people use—even the President of this country uses Twitter and creates falsehoods every day,” Sendler said. “How do we then quantify the degree of guilt that you can do, right? Because, you see, if the most powerful man can do this eight, nine thousand times... and he doesn’t care. He still does his thing, and people still support him because they believe in the agenda that he executes.”
So basically his excuse is that it's OK to lie now because Trump lies and he gets away with it. There's no consequences and it doesn't matter what the Fact-checkers in the media do, or how many "Pinocchios" or "Pants-on-fires" they award him. It's the old "Look What Trump Made Me Do" excuse (apologies to Abdul).
Witness
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Witness »

Interesting thread start. Wonder where it will go. :)
Doctor X
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Doctor X »

I sometimes wonder if the more absurd the claims, the more believable they are since people think, "well . . . he must be telling the truth since no one would lie like that!"

That stupidity was and is, incidentally, a cornerstone of Christian historical apologetics. "No one would make that up!"

In the rain.

--J.D.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

But insofar as people like to use him as an excuse for their own bad behavior.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

The old "it's to crazy not to be true" reverse logic.
Doctor X
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Doctor X »

There are a number of such I may have mentioned, and it seems ridiculous that anyone would follow them.

Yet they do.

--J.D.
ed
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by ed »

Most people are reasonably honest and they expect honestly from others.
How you ever met a real pathological liar? I mean someone who simply lies about everything? Knew one. A friend. Bought presents (like a quilt) for us and claimed she made it. Explained how she joined a quilting circle. Ornate fucking story. Any pressure on her would cause her to kill off her father. I recall driving around Lake Michagan with a business associate and reconstructing how many times her father died to get her out of jams. But the lies were delivered earnestly and matter of factly. And they concerned EVERYTHING. And we bought it for a long time.

John Edwards. Lied right to the faces of the people who thought he could communicate with the dead. Just opened his mouth and lied. Jimmy Swaggart and dozens of others of his ilk.

Guy looks you in the eye and tells you something. Takes your hand, shakes it. Exudes gravitas. Wouldn't you believe?

Recall the story of when I engaged in communicating with the dead? I did it. Because people want to believe.

</rant>
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

ed wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:48 pm Most people are reasonably honest and they expect honestly from others.
How you ever met a real pathological liar? I mean someone who simply lies about everything? Knew one. A friend. Bought presents (like a quilt) for us and claimed she made it. Explained how she joined a quilting circle. Ornate fucking story. Any pressure on her would cause her to kill off her father. I recall driving around Lake Michagan with a business associate and reconstructing how many times her father died to get her out of jams. But the lies were delivered earnestly and matter of factly. And they concerned EVERYTHING. And we bought it for a long time.
I wonder if she had any brothers or sisters or other family members. It would be fun to get them in the same room together and then try to steer the conversation to their father and see what the sibling says.
Witness
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Witness »

https://i.imgur.com/0N95Kp7.jpg

http://www.bramstoker.org/pdf/nonfic/04imposters.pdf
Bruce
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Bruce »

ed wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:48 pm How you ever met a real pathological liar?
Knew one in college and another that was a former landlord. Their ability to lie without any hint of guilt is unreal. Remember that lady in Michigan who claimed her dog had special powers and could find missing people? She lead police on wild goose chases for years and was on multiple TV programs before she was finally busted planting bone fragments and training her dog to "find" them. The police found bags of bone fragments in her home. Her mom knew she was a pathological liar and couldn't bring herself to turn in her daughter. This is a woman who looked families straight in the eye and told them her dog would find their missing loved ones. Sick.
Witness
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Witness »

Key players charged in $200 million psychic mail fraud case

Two people have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud for their roles in one of the biggest consumer scams in history, according to court documents unsealed this week. 
Canadian citizens Maria Thanos and Philip Lett managed the day-to-day operations of  Infogest Direct Marketing, according to the documents. Previous government filings show that this Canadian company used letters allegedly written by French clairvoyant Maria Duval to prey on the sick and elderly. Infogest ran the North American arm of the scam, raking in more than $200 million from more than 1.4 million victims in the United States and Canada.   

Their alleged boss, who the government says was the leader of Infogest, has also been charged. Patrice Runner faces 18 counts of mail and wire fraud and  conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Court records show that Runner's arrest warrant was provided to both Interpol and authorities in Spain, where the Department of Justice says he was arrested in December. Social media suggests he lives in Ibiza, Spain, and the Spanish government is now considering an extradition request by the United States, according to the DOJ. 
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/07/worl ... index.html
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

The Internet Has a Cancer-Faking Problem
When Stephany Angelacos was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2016, she immediately turned to the internet for support. Online, there are numerous groups and forums where people dealing with cancer can share their experiences. Angelacos researched her disease and its treatments, and then, inspired by how knowledgeable everyone was, decided to found her own invite-only breast-cancer Facebook group that same year.

Today, this group has grown to 1,700 members. About a third have a metastatic or terminal diagnosis. Others are family members or medical professionals who share advice. The members comfort one another, organize fundraisers, and coordinate visits to those who are alone at the end of their lives. Angelacos, who has now completed active treatment, oversees many of these efforts.

Over the past year, one of the group’s more active and popular members was Marissa Marchand. When she joined in 2017, according to group members, Marchand said she was a terminally ill, grieving single mom. She posted pictures of herself bald from chemotherapy and wearing an IV drip. She quickly became close to many women in the group, and received an outpouring of sympathy, money, and gifts—including expensive wigs—to help defray the costs of medical care and raising her family.

“She came across as genuine, loving, and funny,” says Angelacos. “No one questioned her authenticity, including me—and I usually have a pretty active BS radar.”

Marchand’s posts gradually became more extreme, the group’s members say. She wrote that her son was being bullied over her diagnosis, and that her dog had been shot. Then, in December, according to Angelacos, Marchand announced that she was out of treatment options. Her cancer had spread to all of her major organs. She didn’t have much time left to live. Soon, she stopped posting.

Angelacos assumed Marchand had become another tragic cancer statistic. But when Angelacos reached out to Marchand’s family to check in, she was shocked to learn that Marchand was alive—and apparently healthy.

Around the time Marchand stopped posting in the Facebook group, she was arrested in Colorado for faking terminal cancer on the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe and accepting donations through multiple accounts. It seemed she had faked her illness to the Facebook group, too. At trial, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to community service. “The entire group was devastated, angry, and in a state of disbelief,” Angelacos says. “Everyone felt they had come to know her so well. There was a huge sense of betrayal.” (Marchand and her lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.)

This was not the first time many of the group’s members had felt this way. As harrowing as the experience can be for those involved, people in online cancer support groups are routinely outed as healthy. It’s difficult to speculate exactly how common this phenomenon is: There have been no large-scale scientific investigations into the internet’s cancer fakers, and the evidence is limited to only those who have actually been suspected or caught. But among the internet’s cancer communities, it’s an often acknowledged problem, albeit still a shocking one. Among 10 people from three groups I spoke with recently, every person recalled someone being outed for faking in their communities at least once, if not more.
Doctor X
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Doctor X »

That happened at THERE I believe when I stopped associating with it, for which I Blame Hal. Funny, the female fool has a name very similar to a user HERE, but they are not the same person, though the user probably caught "teh ghey" and follows Inferior Sport Teams. Whether "she" returned to THERE as yet another sockpuppet I neither know nor care.

It happened also on a grotty little Fan Boy blog. The idiot actually claimed that her "life saving teh brainz surgery" was delayed, IN ENGLAND, for Thanksgiving. I am not making that up.

Took little time to tear that all apart. Idiot made the mistake of thinking if you give a name of a place in a "far away country" no one can confirm it. You can. Even back then. Many members were pissed at me for exposing her since they "liked her," and, you know, acting like a victim to attract attention was, in their minds, empowering or something. Of course, we were dealing with a Fan Boy blog so rational thought long ago died. Some of them thought Fr. Guido Sarduci could actually "reverse the curse."

This sort of crap has been going on for centuries. The internet just makes it easier.

Now, in Allah's name, praise Jesus, I need your help transferring $400 million from Saddam Hussein's personal bank account to I can use it to sodomize help Poor Children in Haiti or even Cleveland my dear.





100% risky free!

--J.D.
ed
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by ed »

Doctor X wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:06 am I sometimes wonder if the more absurd the claims, the more believable they are since people think, "well . . . he must be telling the truth since no one would lie like that!"

That stupidity was and is, incidentally, a cornerstone of Christian historical apologetics. "No one would make that up!"

In the rain.

--J.D.
Would a modern scholar actually say that? If so my head is ready to explode.
ed
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by ed »

Without getting too in the weeds, I sorta see a difference between a crook who knows s/he is lying and someone who just lies .

Maybe it is all a continuum and the reward is on a continuum too. For the non-criminal liar it is acceptance, avoidance of responsibility, adulation maybe. For the crook it is those things plus money. In either case, is there awareness of the lie?
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

ed wrote: Tue May 07, 2019 10:37 am Without getting too in the weeds, I sorta see a difference between a crook who knows s/he is lying and someone who just lies.

Maybe it is all a continuum and the reward is on a continuum too. For the non-criminal liar it is acceptance, avoidance of responsibility, adulation maybe. For the crook it is those things plus money. In either case, is there awareness of the lie?
I'm a bad liar myself because I don't like to lie. Makes me physically uncomfortable. For some people it is second nature. Either it doesn't bother them or perhaps they aren't even entirely aware of it, as you suggest. People can rationalize all sorts of things to excuse themselves. It takes some sense of guilt or shame to be a good person I think.
ed
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by ed »

When I tried cold reading (on strangers) "dirty" was the way I would describe my feeling doing it.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

https://www.reddit.com/r/Whatcouldgowro ... _homeless/

Does this work? Just straight up begging?
ed
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by ed »

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES THE MAN WITH THE TWISTED LIP
Here's what's going on:
St. Clair has some experience as an actor, and he has also spent time writing for a newspaper. Working on an article on begging in cities one time, St. Clair uses his acting experience to disguise himself as a beggar.

St. Clair makes the happy discovery that, as a beggar, he can actually make lots more money than he ever made as a reporter. And it's pretty easy work: his secret is that he's good at witty repartee, which rakes in the big bucks.

The only person who knows St. Clair's secret (well, besides Holmes, Watson, the inspector, and now you) is the owner of the opium den, who St. Clair pays well to keep quiet.

He's been doing this for years and years, making upwards of seven hundred pounds (U.S. $92,000 in today's bucks) annually on begging alone. That's how he's been supporting his wife and family.
https://www.shmoop.com/sherlock-holmes/ ... mmary.html

Old as time itself
Pyrrho
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Pyrrho »

Link:

Rob Lister
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Rob Lister »

Very creative. I suppose it helps to have a generic name ... like Bill Smith. Or ed.
Pyrrho
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Pyrrho »

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48790276
A Frenchman who killed his parents, wife and children in a case that inspired a book and two films has been freed after 26 years in jail.

Before the murders, Jean-Claude Romand, now 65, spent 18 years pretending to be a medical student and then a researcher at the World Health Organization (WHO).

He was in fact making money by taking cash from family friends and claiming to invest it in Switzerland.

He went on a killing spree in 1993 as his fraud was about to be exposed.

...

In January 1993, he killed his wife with a rolling pin at their home before killing his seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old son with a rifle.

On the same day, he travelled more than 80km (50 miles) to his parents' house and killed both of them, as well as their dog. He returned home, where his wife and children lay dead, set fire to the house and swallowed sleeping pills.

...

Romand has expressed remorse and is reported to have become religious during his 26 years in prison.

His former brother-in-law has criticised the decision to release him. Emmanuel Crolet told French radio earlier this month: "The word 'free' is hard to hear... For me, he's won."
Doctor X
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Doctor X »

Why I support the death penalty.

Provided the standards are strict.

I also support ponies!

There is no justice. There is just us.

--J.D.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

My only problem with the death penalty is that the system seems to make too many mistakes.

Life in prison without parole: if, on the off-chance that we discover decades later that a mistake was made and an innocent person went to prison, they can at least get the rest of their life back. If you already executed them, though, too late.
Doctor X
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Doctor X »

Anaxagoras wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:30 amMy only problem with the death penalty is that the system seems to make too many mistakes.
Same here.
Life in prison without parole:
But it is, as that case shows, almost never that.

And life in prison is not a punishment for a Charles Manson or Robb Schneider.

Like I said, there is no justice. There is just us. And it sucks, because you can never get that "justice." There is never any balance.

Which is, of course, why I am Team Jonas.

--J.D.
Witness
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Witness »

Unlicensed “health coach” claims health advice is free speech—court disagrees

The judge noted that the "health coach" was free to offer pro bono advice.

https://i.imgur.com/03ksLLY.jpg

A federal court on Wednesday rejected claims by an unlicensed “health coach” that the unqualified health advice she provided to paying clients was protected speech under the First Amendment.

In rejecting her claim, the court affirmed that states do indeed have the right to require that anyone charging for health and medical services—in this case, dietetics and nutrition advice—be qualified and licensed. (State laws governing who can offer personalized nutrition services vary considerably, however.)

Heather Del Castillo, a “holistic health coach” based in Florida, brought the case in October of 2017 shortly after she was busted in an undercover investigation by the state health department. At the time, Del Castillo was running a health-coaching business called Constitution Nutrition, which offered a personalized, six-month health and dietary program. The program involved 13 in-home consulting sessions, 12 of which cost $95 each.

Under a Florida state law called the Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Act (DNPA), anyone offering such services needs to be qualified and licensed to protect against bogus advice that could cause significant harms. Those qualifications include having a bachelor’s or graduate degree in a relevant field, such as nutrition, from an accredited institution; having at least 900 hours of education or experience approved by the state’s Board of Medicine; and passing the state’s licensing exam.

Del Castillo had completed none of those things. Her only credential for providing health services was a certificate from an unaccredited, for-profit online school called the Institution for Integrative Nutrition. Otherwise, she had a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s in education.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/07 ... disagrees/
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

NJ man scammed women out of $2M on dating sites: DOJ
A New Jersey man scammed dozens of women out of more than $2 million by posing as a US service member — who was stationed overseas and looking for love on internet dating sites, according to federal prosecutors.

Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Cumberland County, would allegedly “woo” his victims online and then convince them to send him money under the promise that he’d be sending back “gold bars” from the Middle East.

Using “myriad email accounts and Voice Over Internet protocol phone numbers,” prosecutors say Sarpong and a number of conspirators communicated with over 30 women and instructed them to wire him money.

“Between January 2016 and Sept. 3, 2019, Sarpong and his conspirators, several of whom reside in Ghana, allegedly participated in an online romance scheme, defrauding victims in New Jersey and elsewhere,” said Department of Justice officials in a press release Wednesday.

“Sarpong and the conspirators set up dating profiles on various dating websites, using fictitious or stolen identities and posing as United States military personnel who were stationed overseas,” the release said. “They contacted victims through the dating websites and then pretended to strike up a romantic relationship with them. After establishing virtual romantic relationships with victims on the online dating platforms and via email, the conspirators asked them for money, often for the purported purpose of paying to ship gold bars to the United States. Although the stories varied, most often Sarpong and the conspirators claimed to be military personnel stationed in Syria who received, recovered, or were awarded gold bars. The conspirators told many victims that their money would be returned once the gold bars were received in the United States.”
Pyrrho
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Pyrrho »

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime ... story.html
Kit Clark didn’t hesitate when she received a text message in mid-December asking her to help out with her church’s Christmas gift-card collection for women in a local cancer ward.

The 76-year-old Rodgers Forge woman made several trips to the Giant supermarket, bought $800 in eBay gift cards, and texted back the codes to redeem them, just like her pastor, the Rev. Tom Harris, had asked.

Only he hadn’t asked. There was no gift-card collection.

After Clark, a longtime member of Govans Presbyterian Church, brought the receipts to the church to be reimbursed, she and church officials realized someone had preyed on her generosity — the latest iteration of a long-running, widespread scam in which fraudsters pose as friends, family, clergy and others to trick people into wiring money, buying gift cards and sharing personal information.
Witness
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Witness »

Predatory publishing, hijacking of legitimate journals and impersonation of researchers via special issue announcements: a warning for editors and authors about a new scam

Recently, several proposals have been received by this journal for a Special Issue. The proposals are sometimes well written and appear to come from well credentialed researchers, using the email addresses of the said researchers, with links to valid web profiles. On one occasion the proposers were asked to provide more detailed information on various aspects of the proposal, and they did so promptly and professionally. However, there is a catch to these proposals; the email addresses being used to represent the proposed special issue editors have very slight changes (e.g. insertion of a single letter in the middle of the name, replacement of a full-stop with a dash etc.) indicating that the apparent proposers are actually being impersonated.

The impersonators seek Special Issue announcements in legitimate journals, using the false email accounts. Any correspondence and enquiries regarding the special issue would then go to the fake email address rather than the real researchers. Presumably the aim of this practice is to use the fake email addresses, along with the real names of the impersonated editors and the journal itself, as a point of contact to collect money from enquiring authors.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 19-00835-5
Anaxagoras
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Anaxagoras »

The CryptoQueen
From beauty pageants to mafia ties; from cryptocurrency zealots to FBI raids; from Dolce & Gabbana clad Dutch millionaires to "the biggest scam in the world" — this story has it all.

Last year, BBC producer Georgia Catt and writer Jamie Bartlett stumbled upon the bizarrest of stories. In this episode, we follow their tale as they chase leads all over the world trying to unravel the mystery of one enigmatic company, and its charismatic founder — Dr. Ruja Ignatova.
Basically, to make a long story short, they used multi-level marketing to sell a "cryptocurrency" to suckers. It's a pyramid scheme but a pretty sophisticated one with lots of bells and whistles and razzle-dazzle.
Witness
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Re: Mountebanks

Post by Witness »

Westminster pastor set to plead guilty to more than $33 million fraud

The pastor of a Westminster-based church accused of swindling more than $33 million from investors has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kent R.E. Whitney, 38, of Newport Beach is expected to admit to federal counts of mail fraud and filing a false federal income tax return, court filings show.

Prosecutors allege that Whitney ran the Church of the Healthy Self – along with a related investment arm known as CHS Trust – out of a strip mall in Westminster.

Whitney directed church representatives to appear on television and at live seminars – appearances that were recorded and frequently uploaded on YouTube – in order to solicit investments. Among the false and misleading claims prosecutors allege were presented to investors were promises of a 12% rate of return, a guaranteed return of principal with no risk due to federal insurance and a claim the organization was audited by an accounting firm.

In reality, prosecutors say, little investor money went into trading accounts, and fake monthly statements purporting to outline nonexistent investment returns were prepared for investors.

Prosecutors also allege that Whitney reported an income of $17,539 in the 2018 tax year, far less than the $452,872 he is believed to have earned that year. Of that, prosecutors believe $435,333 came from the alleged fraud scheme.

Previous court filings tied to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation alleged that investor funds were used to purchase Rolex watches, a Bentley automobile, Gucci apparel and guns, as well as on rent for various Newport Beach properties. That filing also alleged that Whitney founded the church in 2014, three months after completing a 44-month prison sentence for a commodities scam.
https://www.ocregister.com/2020/04/17/w ... ion-fraud/

"funds were used to purchase Rolex watches, a Bentley automobile, Gucci apparel and guns, as well as on rent for various Newport Beach properties"
These dudes are all the same. :roll: