- The art of the Con
One of the great business around is the stock market.
You can make money when things are bad by short selling, you can make it when
they are good by buying and you can leverage yourself into a pretzel should
you decide to buy options or futures. There are just so many products around
that they are too numerous to count and while, when I started in the business
I tried to keep track for awhile but now that is virtually impossible. Rich
or poor however, the best thing to have is inside information. While having
a leg up on the competition is a laudable pursuit but the line between making
money on something you know that on one else does can sometimes become a crime.
When does it cross the line is still open to debate. If the person that told
you about something that was going to happen like a merger or acquisition and
this person was a corporate insider or received information from one, that is
probably a very bad thing and should be carefully examined. However, corporations
are always holding special telephone conferences with their favorite Wall Street
analysts giving them information that no one else has. Are these insiders in
a criminal sense, I guess they are but if it something that everyone is doing
it probably is ok.
In any event, that is not the issue. Many people outside of
the publicily held corporation for numerous reasons have access to confidential
material. Some come by it rightly and some come by it wrongly. Some come by
it rightly and misuse it creating a crime. Some of those that misuse the information
are dangerous people who innately have little fear. One recent example of this
is that of Amr I. Elgindy who is also known as Tony Elgindy and Anthony Pacific.
Amr is 35-years old and for a time he was an FBI agent. Amr had maintained many
of his connections at the bureau when he left and some of those people were
very close to him.
Amr determined that there was more money to be made in the
stock market and got himself a webpage where he published his list of pubic
companies that were certain to go down in price. He was extremely accurate in
his picks and soon developed a large clientele. As he became more powerful,
from a point of view of being able personally to influence the market, he divided
his clientel into two parts, the first would pay a substantial premium and get
advanced news of what he was going to publish and the second would pay a smaller
fee and get the news later. However, because what he distributed was always
fairly accurate, both groups stayed well ahead of the game.
Moreover, much of the information that Amr was passing
on to his customers was not yet in the public domain or probably anywhere else
for that matter. The question arouse among law enforcement officials that were
watching Amrâ€™s act, how was he doing it? The question wasnâ€™t answered until
Amr once again expanded his operations. He formed another division that would
solely deal in blackmail, however this division was not for his public clients.
Because the companyâ€™s stock would probably tank when Amr released his bad news,
he started to call the senior officials of these companies and told them what
he knew and then in innocent enough fashion asked for substantial blackmail.
He was never wrong in his telephone calls to corporate management and they were
usually astounded at how he came by this confidential information. Some paid,
some didnâ€™t and some went the police, not something that Amr had planned on.
He was of the belief that the information that he had was so devastating that
no one would dare call his bluff.
It didnâ€™t take long before the agents pieced together the nefarious
scheme. It seems that another ex-FBI agent, Jeffrey A. Royer, who had only recently
turned in his badge and gun, was friendly with Special FBI Agent, Lynn Wingate
who was still in our nationâ€™s service. Wingate would tell Royer the dirt on
public companies contained in highly classified FBI files, he would filter it
and if it was good enough, it would be passed along to Amr. Obviously this was
the sleaziest of all ways to make a buck and these folks should be fried in
oil for what they did. They have attempted to compromise our national market
system, and if many more of these, people would lose faith with the system itself.
However, later we talk about some of those have done similar things ages ago.