Natural Danger – Inner Fraud

by | Sep 28, 2011 | Archives

Natural Danger – Inner Fraud

I depend a lot on coincidence in choosing what thoughts to share in these messages so a note from a reader about yesterday’s message on scams and fraud quickly caught my attention.


Minkow back in jail.

That reader, a retired fraud detective wrote:    Gary,  You need to know that Minkow was sent back to Prison last week on another major fraud case.  It’s been covered in the LA Times for months.  I believe Minkow was sent back to prison about 6 days ago.  Good article, however, on your part.

Fraud – a constant alert for consumers, especially us “baby boomers.”

 “As through this world I’ve rambled,
 I’ve seen lots of funny men.
 Some rob you with a six-gun,
 And others with a Fountain Pen.”
 (Author Unknown or Unrecalled)

The coincidence is that the data on Minkow was a copy from an old message I sent to a reader over five years ago.  I had not thought about nor heard about Minkow for over half a decade… but other events led me to write about his book on how to combat fraud yesterday… just a week after he was sent to jail for… fraud… again. 

I did not know.

This coincidence really fortified the main theme of yesterday’s message… “Take Care in All things”.

A July 22, 2011 Los Angeles Times article by E. Scott Reckard “Barry Minkow is sentenced to five years in prison” tells the tale and gives an a really valuable message.  Here is an excerpt:  The ex-con who reinvented himself as a pastor and crime fighter was given the maximum sentence on the single count of conspiracy to which he had pleaded guilty. He was also ordered to pay $583 million in restitution to the home builder Lennar Corp. for attacks that battered its stock price.

Barry Minkow is headed back to prison to serve a five-year sentence for securities fraud, but the ex-con who reinvented himself as a San Diego minister and crime fighter was looking on the bright side of his situation.

In his plea bargain to a single count of conspiracy, Minkow admitted that his falsehood-filled attacks on Lennar Corp. had caused the home builder to lose $583 million in stock market value. Because that amount was so huge, he might have been sentenced to 30 years or more had he gone to trial and been convicted instead of pleading guilty.

Minkow burst onto the national stage in the 1980s as the head of ZZZZ Best, a carpet and furniture cleaning company he started as a teenager in his parents’ garage in Reseda. He was widely hailed as a young genius until it was revealed that ZZZZ Best was built on credit-card fraud and fabricated work orders.

Minkow, who testified that mobsters had infiltrated his company, was convicted in 1988 of 57 fraud counts. He spent more than seven years in prison for defrauding investors, but after his release he reinvented himself as the chief minister at Community Bible Church in San Diego and head of his own Fraud Discovery Institute on the side.

In his latter role, he became closely watched by stock traders, especially short sellers, the speculative investors who place bets on declining stock prices.

He pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to torpedo the share price of Lennar by publicly denouncing the builder as “a financial crime in progress” — an attack he said was intended to force the Miami home builder to cough up cash and stock to settle a long and bitter legal battle with its partner in a private golf community in Rancho Santa Fe.

Minkow said he used the Internet and his contacts at the FBI to recklessly spread falsehoods about Lennar. In pleading guilty, he also acknowledged placing illegal bets himself that Lennar’s share price would fall based on confidential information — that the FBI had launched an investigation of the company based on his own allegations.

The really important message is “Buyers beware in all things and of all things… especially ourselves”. 

There are scams everywhere and the risks of encountering fraud grow in an increasingly changing world.  The greatest tool a con artist has is our own greed.

Take for example a reader at this site recently reported an example in Ecuador of a so called broker who sold a 7 acre property on a deserted beach with no road to it no power, no water, for $170,000. Then the buyer discovered that the seller wanted $30,000 for 40 acres!  The broker kept 33 acres and pocketed $140,000.   Then the broker proceeded to sell other acreage for many more dollars.

$170,000 for 7 acres of beach property seems like an incredible… to good to be true… price compared to USA beach property prices.

This is why we recommend to always rent first when moving to a new country. Buy later and always use an independent attorney to help complete the sale.  One is at risk enough when you are familiar with prices, customs and contacts.

New environments increase our risks!  

Yet Minko’s disaster reminds us of even more… this was guy who had so much going for him… who after years in jail… knew and should have learned.  Yet the world is so full of temptation.  The Western material world… the advertising…. the marketing aims at making us want more and more… faster and faster in so many ways… every day.

Merri receives a daily message from Abraham-Hicks and occasionally passes them onto me.

She sent on the same day as this Minkow coincidence which shares how to fight these pressures to be led astray. It says:  

Be easy about it. Don’t rush into things. Savor them more. Make more plans and be more deliberate and specific about the plans that you are making.

The greatest asset con artists have is our desire to get something for nothing… to get rich quickly… to make problems go away instantly… to  take advantage of something that is almost too good to be true.   The reason we have this desire is because… we are not happy with what we are doing.  This can lead us to being unrealistic and make us vulnerable.

Be easy. Don’t rush. Savor the process more.  Worry about the immediate result less. Make more plans. Be more deliberate.

A wise investment manager at Jyske Bank once outlined what to do during market panic.

  • Turn on the auto pilot and normally add to your position.
  • Do not panic.
  • Do not let feelings influence you too much.
  • Ask your wife!
  • Do not count on extra ordinary returns. Be realistic.
  • Add some restructuring stories to your portfolio.
  • Know that a period of high returns will be followed by a period of low returns.
  • Do not underexpose yourself for the long term.
  • Risk is your friend or alibi for expecting higher returns.
Follow these tips and you’ll reduce your risk of being deceived by fraud.


Learn about how to gain safety at our International Business Seminar October 7-9, 2011.

Online Earn With a Seminar & Tours Business Course

Learn how to earn extra income from a seminar, tour, exhibition or events business.


Delegates at a recent writer’s camp… one of the events we conduct at our North Carolina seminar center.

Many readers of this site crave freedom… and perhaps adventure.  At least they desire the ability to get out of the rat race.   They want  to travel… spend time… live… laugh or love in more than just one place… and they want the places to be ones they choose.

How can one live such a lifestyle… where a suitcase is a necessary and vital friend?

There are few people more capable of answering this question than… Merri and me.

For 44 years (from May 1968) we have been paid to travel and live exactly where we have wanted to be… because we have had an events business conducting seminars, courses and tours.

Our seminar/conference/ events business has allowed us to visit and to live almost anywhere we have chosen… or not.

Sometimes we have incredible adventures.


Here I am with Merri and an Ecuadorian Yatchak deep in the Llanganatis jungle creating a shamanic tour.

However when we want to stay at home we can also do so.  One does not have to travel to have an events business.


Here I am (in brown shirt) speaking to a delegate that we conducted at our Florida home.

We even built a…


seminar hall on Little Horse Creek so we can stay in the mountains when we desire… and still conduct events.

Here is one of the small groups at a retreat we conducted in the seminar hall.


Most owners of an events business do not do this much, however!  Lesson Two of a new course we have created called “Event – Full Business” shows how to start small and gradually build a larger events business (if that is your desire) as we have done.

We have conducted events as small as two delegates and some with over 400 so…


we know the events business inside and out… large and small. Here Merri and I are speaking to over 400 + people in Quito, Ecuador.

There are innumerable fringe benefits to an events business. For example almost all of our global travel has been tax deductible for all these years.

The pay has certainly not been bad either.  As you’ll see below, one time we earned  $142,260 in three days.  In another instance we earned over $135,000 in two days.  Once our earnings exceeded $200,000 in just three days.

Yet the income has been a small part of this adventure. The expanded horizons… the people we have met… the adventures we have shared… the tens of thousands of delegates we have enjoyed and hopefully helped…. the poor we have served… the freedom we have felt… to be able to go where we desire and come home, when we desire, with more than when we left.

These facts have dramatically enriched our lives….and we hope others.

Now we would like to help improve your lifestyle as well… if… earning with a seminar, tour events business appeals to you.

We have conducted seminars or events or spoken at them in… (alphabetical order)  Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary (before the Iron Curtain came down), Indonesia, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands,  Panama, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and at one time or another most of the United States and more.

There is a possibility that  Merri and I know more about conducting events than 99.9% of the people in the world and because so many have asked… we have finally decided to provide an online correspondence course on how to create your own seminar, tour or events business.

We call this brand new emailed correspondence course:  “Event – Full Business”.

We have completed 17 lessons and to give you a better idea about “Event – Full Business”. The Introduction Lesson is below.

I am ready to send you the Intro and Lesson #1 of “Event – Full Business” and am ready to accept your enrollment of students in our beta program.

See how to benefit from this first stage in our course development after you have studied this introduction.

“Event- Full Business” – How to Profit Conducting Seminars, Workshops & Tours

Sometime about 24 years ago…. around 1987:


Photo from

A white water symphony… harmonized in crushed octaves.  A melody amplified by nature’s power and white water sound conducted in the fresh air amphitheater that is Niagara Falls.

Merri and I walked arm and arm along the Canadian side of the falls…overwhelmed by its strength and its spectacular beauty.  We had driven from our home in North Carolina to conduct an International Investing and Business Conference… one of the largest of our own seminars that we had ever conducted…380 people.

We arrived a day early… took a suite with a large red garden tub… soaked after the long journey and then enjoyed the wonder of this natural phenomenon…Niagara Falls.

This was the day to enjoy because the next three we would be busy, very busy… with stress-of course. Marketing had shot past our expectations and this was a large crowd. We would work hard yet we would also earn approximately $142,260 for three days work. Actually more. You’ll see why below.

We have earned in many ways since then… until now… 24 + years later.

This morning a reader enrolled in our 2011 International Club allowing him to attend all the seminars we’ll conduct for the next year.

He wrote: “Hi Merri. I am looking forward to meeting you both again. Had met in Niagara in the 1980s. Thanks.”

Obviously, something we did for this client 25 years ago brought this extra business to us now.

This fact stimulated me to get on with this course which I have been outlining for some time. A seminar, conference, tour business not only creates unusual profit opportunity now… but when a seminar business is properly run, it can create income for a lifetime!

This course shows how Merri I and have created riches and a lifestyle beyond our wildest imagination and shares steps you can take to create a profitable and fun business conducting seminars, workshops conferences and tours wherever and whenever you like.  (Or perhaps you want to conduct seminars online or live or with a video sent through the internet.)

When it comes to conducting seminars, courses and tours, there are few people with more experience than Merri and me. Over 43 years we have organized, marketed and conducted thousands of tours for tens of thousands of people in dozens and dozens of countries (even behind the Iron Curtain).

This course shares how we have done this… what we did right… what we did wrong… how you can get started and what you can do much better than we have.

Here are the initial lessons in an outlined that I am writing.

#1: How to earn millions from seminars, courses and tours. See how we have earned as much as $200,000 for three days’ work. (Once $135,000 in two days.)

#2: How to build a seminar business. See the one day Washington-Atlanta-San Francisco system that helped our courses evolve and how to use this approach to help your teaching grow.

#3: When and when not to use other speakers. Seminars for speakers… a way to get it all out as your bank accounts gets it all in.

#4: How to use other speakers. Gain the key to the room and the people within. Why the golden pen is mightier than a glib tongue, the sword and the overloaded brain.

#5: Dealing with hotels/locations. Why the marketing does not talk to catering who will not communicate with accounting and the mess this could mean for you. How to choose… arrange and survive the hotel. Forget the $11,314 coffee bill… for swill.

#6: Scheduling seminars. Magic dates and times for marketing… how far in advance to market and seminar death dates to avoid.

#7: Creating a back end business. How Merri made $12,936 dollars at a seminar in 37 minutes by just standing still.

#8: Three types of courses… delegate driven… speaker driven… third party driven.

#9: The importance of strategic partnerships for added wealth.

#10: How to market seminars, courses & tours.

#11: List building.

#12: Alternative seminar and course location options.

#13: The benefits of both big seminars and small courses.

#14: How to survive the dreaded problems: What to do when enrollments are low. Handling the heckler, the takeover and the cell phone. When the hotel fails. Surviving speaker no shows and all of those types of things!

#15: How to enhance your other businesses with seminars.

We welcome you to “Event – Full Business”.

We’ll be doing all we can to help you create your riches and a lifestyle beyond your wildest dreams with an events business so your life and income can be filled by events and event full!

The first lesson will look at seminars, workshops conferences, exhibitions,tours, various events, how they differ and their strengths and weaknesses so you can begin to zero in on what would be best for you.

This is the introduction.  We invite you to become a subscriber to this new online correspondence course, “Event – Full Business”.

We’ll send you the first lessons immediately and each lesson as it is completed.  Plus we’ll ask for your input.

Never Ending Story – Save Next Year

The world is changing at an ever faster pace, so no course on business remains current for long.  Our events business evolves every year.  Consequently our courses never end… they evolve with our business.

Throughout the year we update, rewrite and expand our courses… adding new tips and share real time what we have learned and what we are still learning.  We show the changes we are making… how and why… in our business through the year.

This continual update is like an Alumni Club. Imagine attending Harvard. After graduation you stay in touch with your fellow students. You share. You help one another. You network and stay up to date. Our online business courses work in the same way so we… all our subscribers… and you,  help the courses evolve and keep pace with new ideas, new technology, innovation and changes in the market place.

So you gain more than just savings as a beta subscriber.  The extra added benefit is that you help direct the creation of the course and make it more useful from the very beginning.

Then year after year… as long as you like… you stay in touch with us, our webmaster and with the other subscribers from around the world though a special password protected site.

The first 17 lessons above are set and will be sent regularly. Your questions, comments, actions, successes and failures will help expand and direct this course over the next year.

Enroll in the online Event – Full Business course, $349 by clicking here.


Read the LA Times article Barry Minkow is sentenced to five years in prison