Panorama - The Trillion Dollar Con-Man (2011)BBC
NOT MY RIP, THANKS TO ORIGINAL CAPPER
Remember when the former manager of the English football (soccer) team coached for North Korea during the last World Cup??? Ever thought about how that came about? Bet you thought that was a a bit, well....odd. Well what if you were told that that was only one element of a TRILLION DOLLAR CON, pulled off by, perhaps, one of history's most successful conmen? BBC's Panorama has uncovered a story, which will for some, defy belief.
This investigative report tells the story of Russell King aka Lord Valdemeer, who was able to dupe celebrities, bankers, politicians and even dictators by leading them to believe they were going to make billions.
King first came to people's attention when a "wealthy middle eastern benefactor" had supposedly taken over Notts Football club. A company named Qadbak convinced the town to sell the citizen owned team to them for $1, promising they would invest millions in order to turn the club into a Premiere level team. They quickly hired Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England manager, and a star from the English National Team...but after not too long bills were starting to turn up unpaid, and beginning to pile up fast. The thing is, that not one single person knew who was directly responsible for paying the bills, let alone a way of tracking that person down. But one name did keep turning up during inquiries...that of Russell King....and so begins the drama.
The Panorama team track down King and find him living in Bahrain- where he is either hiding out, or possibly being protected. Turns out the key to King's con was that he is an acquaintance of some members of the Bahrain Monarchy, and was able to convince a very wealthy bank in London- London First PLC- that he was acting as financier for the family's trillions. Thinking they were about to receive billions of dollars that they could turn around and use for foreign investment, the bank agreed to back the purchase of the football club by the company set up by King. The deal was brokered by (now) British Conservative MP Tim Yeo...but the thing is...the money never came.
The bank never actually approved a guarantee for Qadbak's bid, but that didn't stop King from bringing a fake 5 million pound guarantee from a defunct branch London First, which he offered to the football club's Board of Directors as an assurance. He sealed the deal (for the purchase of the club) by introducing his friend as Prince Abid Hyat Khan from Bahrain, claiming that he was the investor behind the money that was going to be put into the club. In reality, Khan was on the lamb from the British government for another million pound fraud.
Oblivious at the time- and only a month into his contract- Eriksson was told that he was going to accompany King to North Korea, where he would coach the despot regime's World Cup team....convinced it would somehow benefit the Notts club....? Anyways, King was actually using Eriksson to make himself look good in the eyes of the N. Koreans; using the N. Koreans to make himself look influential in the eyes of Eriksson....all the while setting himself up for the next level of his con.
Because while in N. Korea, King would woo the regime by offering them "shares" in the Notts club (which was plunging deeper and deeper into debt). He would then use the lure of Bahraini money to convince the regime that they would be in to make billions if they were willing to sign over all rights to exploit the gold, iron and coal resources in the country to a (fake) company set up by King- Swiss Commodity Holding. Shortly after it's conception, Swiss Commodity Holding was boasting a net worth of over a trillion dollars...and was suddenly the largest mining company in the world.
So, why was this deal working, you ask? Because it was all backed by London First PLC, with which King had good standing at the time.
But when those who were promised money realized that nothing was being funneled their way, they realized something was up and that they had possibly been conned. Realizing the gig was up King fled Britain to Jersey, where he continued to live off cheques from Notts. When they cut off his access to funds, King fled again...this time to Bahrain, where Panorama heads to track him down.
When approached, the Bahraini Prince responsible for PR says that, while King may know people in the Royal Family, they do not have any financial connections to him or his business dealings (whether he's telling the truth is up for you to decide). Despite being given the wrong address by the Bahraini government, the Panorama team still manage to find where King is living. They knock on his door...but he (understandably) refuses to talk.
Meanwhile... back in Britain, the Notts football club is in absolute ruins, the London First bank is out millions and has some questions to answer, and God knows how pissed the North Korean's are after being embarrassed in front of the international community (they DID get a WC coach though!). The investigation is just beginning into King's trillion dollar con. He still lives freely in Bahrain, but he's got to be hoping that he didn't burn all his bridges in the DPRK these days...
PLEASE SEED AND ENJOY!!!
Apr 22, 2011, 04:27:42
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