PRIME BANK NOTE FRAUD IS BACK AGAIN
Unfortunately, prime bank note fraud looks like it’s coming back into prominence. “Prime Bank Note” frauds often include statements such as “Approved by the International Chamber of Commerce!” They also often feature mandatory “noncircumvention provisions” and “strict nondisclosure confidentiality” provisions. You may be told that if you disclose any information about the investment opportunity to anyone, the offer is immediately and permanently withdrawn.
The international fraud artist’s scheme supposedly offers high yields in a short period of time, buying “bank guarantees” at a discount and selling them at a premium. By reselling “bank guarantees” repeatedly, fraudsters claim to produce exceptional returns on investment. For example, if $10 million worth of “bank guarantees” can be sold at a two percent profit on 10 separate occasions — or “traunches” — the seller would receive a 20 percent profit.
The con artists often refer to the “guarantees” as being issued by the world’s “prime banks,” hence the term “prime bank guarantees.” Other official sounding terms are also used, such as “prime bank notes” and “prime bank debentures,” all based on forms supposedly required by the International Chamber of Commerce. The ICC has issued a warning to all potential investors that no such investments exist.
The purpose of these frauds is generally to encourage the victim to send money to a foreign bank. The funds are transferred to the fraudster’s off-shore account and are used for personal gain.
We had a new client referred to us by an outside corporate attorney who represents a multistate, wholesale kitchen-appliance dealer that had invested in a “wonderful prime bank note opportunity.” This new client voluntarily retained us to look at his investment deal at the insistence of his attorney, although he “knew there was no problem, because he had been making good money on this deal for several months.”
Through our research, we learned the two men the client had invested with were from London, England, and had fled to the U.S. after being charged with 18 counts of security fraud. They were currently under investigation by the State Securities Division for “securities” they had sold to six police officers who had withdrawn all their funds from the police department retirement program and bought “securities.” They were also under investigation for taking all the money a retired minister and his wife had and “investing” it in prime bank notes. When I met them, they were both applying to be greeters at Wal-Mart!
I reported the findings to our client, and he was outraged — at me! He explained that before investing $300,000 of their two sons’ college funds, he and his wife had met with the “securities salesmen” over breakfast at Denny’s. He pointed out that these men had never been convicted of anything and he and his wife received monthly computer print outs showing their monthly income and profit — which they were reinvesting for their boys. I was discharged from the engagement and asked to leave his office.
We took the case pro-bono for the minister and his wife and worked with the State Securities Division staff to recover their “investment.” I’m happy to say that we were able to present the retired minister and his wife with a check for 100 percent of their lost retirement funds.
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