January 2, 2012
Some weeks ago, I wrote an article dealing with a bizarre lawsuit full of twists and turns that has been filed against individuals, governments, private institutions, and secret societies spanning the entire globe. Essentially, the plaintiff of the lawsuit is alleging that billions of dollars worth of U.S. bonds were stolen from him by a wide-ranging cartel -- bonds that he was entrusted with by the extremely rich and reclusive Dragon family of Asia.
But what at first may seem like an isolated incident, now appears to be an emerging pattern of theft of U.S. bonds from individuals who have either acquired them individually or have had them passed down through generations. That is, at least the claims of stolen bonds are becoming more and more common.
Take, for instance, another recent lawsuit filed with the Eastern District of Pennsylvania – U.S. Federal Court, by Joseph Riad.
Riad is suing the U.S. Federal Government for $15 billion as a result of the fifteen $1 billion bonds that he alleges have yet to be returned to his possession by an agent of the Department of Homeland Security. Riad claims to have a total of 735 $1 billion Federal Reserve bonds that are stashed in banks outside of Philadelphia where he lives. These 735 are in addition to the 15 bonds he is suing for.
The 15 bonds at issue, according to Riad, came from three rare “sealed and certified bronze boxes,” each of which contained 245 $1 billion Federal Reserve bonds dated back to 1934.
As Reuben Kramer of Courthouse News Service writes, “The billion-dollar bonds allegedly were used by the government for debt-management purposes in the 1930’s when physically moving lower-denomination currency or gold was impractical.” Riad allegedly discovered the bonds after his attorney suggested he open the boxes to determine whether or not there was anything of value inside them.
But, while some may automatically assume that Riad’s claim is false or that his bonds are fake, all indications are that the bonds are, in fact, real. Indeed, Riad has cited in his lawsuit “extensive and exhaustive proof of the authenticity of the Bonds.” However, according to Riad, no federal agency will redeem them, despite this proof.
As part of his case, Riad has provided what he calls and Affidavit of Procurement, in which he states that the boxes became collateral for over $76,000 in loans made by him to “a mandate to the South African government.”
Riad claims that he has spent nine years confirming the authenticity of the bonds, including contacting a number of officials and experts in the field of bonds, finance, and sculpting and metal.
Riad claims that he contacted “Kermit Harmon, PE, CEM, CCP, DGCP, a former Security Director for the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, and an expert in bonds, notes, and other financial instruments,” and that Harmon, along with “Bruce Colburn, PhD., PE, CEM,” inspected these bonds meticulously and determined that they are authentic government-issued Federal Reserve bonds. Riad has attached the report made by Harmon and Colburn to his lawsuit as an exhibit.
Riad also claims that he consulted “A.J. Obara, internationally-renowned bronze sculptor and bronze metal expert,” who “inspected Plaintiff’s three bronze boxes containing the bonds.” It is then claimed that Obara also confirmed the authenticity of the bonds. Like Harmon’s report, the report by Obara is also included as an exhibit to the lawsuit.
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that Riad contacted Dr. Franklin Noll, “a consultant with the Bureau of Public Debt who is an historian with expertise in the history of government-issued, high-denomination bonds, such as those Plaintiff possesses,” as well as former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Stuart Eizenstat, Esq., and Patrick Oxford, Esq. of Houston, all of whom recognized the bonds as real and authentic.
Riad asserts that he was then referred to the Secret Service, where he met with Secret Service agents Chad Sweet and Craig Caldwell who took the bonds, confirmed their authenticity, and then returned them. Again, Riad includes the report that the agents produced in reference to their documentation of the receipt of those bonds, as an exhibit in the suit. It should be noted that the filing points out that if the bonds had been fraudulent or fake, the Secret Service would have been bound by law to seize them and that they would not have been returned.
This is where Riad claims his fortunes took a turn for the worse. He claims he was referred to the Bureau of Public Debt, and specifically to an official of that department by the name of Donna Ayers. However, according to Riad, Ayers completely denied the existence of such bonds and referred him back to the Secret Service agents, who, in turn, “inspected plaintiff’s bonds, reviewed the accompanying expert reports, and performed their own evaluations and tests so as to render their own opinion as to the authenticity of plaintiff’s bonds.”
Riad claims that the agents then contacted Ayers and “informed her that plaintiff had completed the appropriate and required examination and authentication of the Bonds and that the redemption of said bonds did fall under the purview of the BPD, since the bonds were outstanding government issued securities/debts.” However, Riad states, he still received no cooperation from the BPD and was forced to take other avenues.
These other avenues led Riad to the Department of Homeland Security and an agent, Nickolaus Jones, who Riad claims was determined to fraudulently acquire the bonds. Riad claims he learned about Jones through a man named Neil Gibson, an individual that was,
an alleged British financial consultant who claimed to have experience in the repatriation of high-denomination U.S. government bonds, and who represented to plaintiff that he had a contract with the U.S. government to complete such transactions and that he had successfully handled such projects on behalf of the U.S. government in the past.
The lawsuit further states that Agent Jones confirmed his ability to repatriate U.S. government bonds and that he had a working relationship with Neil Gibson in this specific regard. Jones then confirmed the bonds held by Riad as bonds he already knew existed and told Riad that he wanted to know more about them. This, Riad claims, was all part of the ultimate deception.
Nevertheless, Riad says he met with Agent Jones at Jones’ Irvine, California government office for approximately three hours in March 2009. According to the suit, Jones once again confirmed for a second time that he was an agent with DHS, and produced his identification badge and business card to prove it.
However, Riad says there was another man present at the meeting who refused to do any of those things, even after being asked repeatedly by Riad and his then-lawyer for identification. Interestingly enough, Jones made no attempt to help identify the man either, even though he was witness to a discussion involving such a large amount of money.
Continuing the story, the filing reads:
Based upon Agent Jones’ stated and apparent authority to act on behalf of the U.S. government as a DHS agent [and] . . . based upon the fact that Agent Jones repeatedly and unequivocally told plaintiff and Mr. Oxford [his then-attorney] of his ability and authority to assist plaintiff with the repatriation of his bonds . . . plaintiff provided Agent Jones with fifteen (15) of the at-issue bonds: five (5) original bonds from each of the three (3) metal containers, as well as the treasury-produced authentication documents . . . .
Surprisingly, Agent Jones refused to sign . . . [an] inventory, and he refused to issue a general receipt to plaintiff indicating that he received the bonds from plaintiff. However, in that meeting, Agent Jones assured plaintiff and Mr. Oxford that he would return the bonds to plaintiff after he completed his investigation into the authenticity of the Bonds, and that said investigation would take approximately one week to complete. Because they were meeting in DHS offices and given that Agent Jones had provided valid identification and appeared to be a legitimate member of the Irvine, CA DHS staff, plaintiff, upon advice of counsel, reluctantly provided the bond samples to Agent Jones.
Riad’s lawsuit provides the court with what it claims are copies of Agent Jones’ identification and business card as exhibits, as well as some email communication exchanged between Riad and Jones.
After about a week, Riad claims, he was contacted by Agent Jones via email and told that his bonds were not authentic. After so much evidence to the contrary, Riad claims that he demanded his bonds back from Jones, who promptly refused, stating that he had destroyed them. It is then alleged that Jones stated he could not explain his investigation methods and procedures with anyone who did not have the proper clearance. Fortunately for Riad, Kermit Harmon, who had helped identify the bonds as authentic earlier on, had such clearance. Thus, Riad then demanded a face-to-face meeting between Harmon and Jones. However, Jones subsequently refused to continue discussing the matter any further with Riad or his then-lawyer, Mr. Oxford, essentially killing the communication between them.
Riad’s lawsuit claims that Agent Jones is either currently in possession of the bonds himself or has transferred them to a third party.
It states, “Retrospectively, it is clear that Agent Jones, while operating under the actual and apparent authority that is inherent to his position as a U.S. agent with the DHS, provided plaintiff with false and/or misleading documents and information with the intent to illegally obtain the Bonds from plaintiff.”
The interplay between members of official government agencies and shadowy individuals who seem to appear at just the right moment to develop trust, only to then disappear back into the shadows after a large amount of government bonds have been stolen, has popped up in the judicial system twice now. Indeed, this lawsuit bears traits very similar in nature to that of the Dragon Family suit filed weeks ago.
Unfortunately, we will have to wait and see how the suit works its way through the courts in order to see if any further information will come out regarding world governments’ apparent attempt to prevent the theft of legally owned bonds and prevent them from being exchanged outside of the system it has designed as a rigged game. If the suit is to be believed, it will be interesting and quite revealing to witness the information brought out in the courtroom as it runs its course.
Needless to say, Riad’s claims are certainly not unbelievable, especially when one is dealing with such nefarious organizations as the Federal Reserve and the Department of Homeland Security.
As it is, Riad is suing under the Federal Tort Claims Act, for what he alleges to be trespass, conversion and intentional representation. Albert Iacocca of West Chester, Pennsylvania is representing Riad in the case.