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Abuse of Power

 

Until November 2002 crimes-of-persuasion was a valuable source of information about a multiplicity of fraudulent schemes.  Not only did Les Henderson's site define the scams and the tactics used, it offered a rare source of comfort and information for the victims who might otherwise have felt that the world was ignoring them.  It has been instrumental in bringing together victims and anti-fraud concerns, and in raising awareness of the grievous social ill that besets millions of people each year, but which goes largely unaddressed by the courts and government agencies.  There are some encouraging signs that, in the U.S. at least, governments are waking up to fraud, which may be read in the Articles section of this site.

 

Crimes of Persuasion recently took the bold and laudable initiative of naming a FOREX (FOReign EXchange) operation whose owners/directors include a known fraudster, who is the subject of numerous Cease and Desist orders in the U.S. in regard to FOREX scams. They currently operate out of Spain, and bank in Nassau. Their transactions are cleared through another clearing services company, in which they also have an interest. They might be likened to International Currency Advisers operating from Costa Rica,  whose activities are detailed in the Alerts section of this site, in the Hot Talk but Chilly Prospects article. Read it to learn how they target and abuse their victims.

 

Despite there being a wealth of information in the public arena about these dubious operations and the individuals involved, the Spanish/Nassau company has taken legal action against the owner of Crimes-of-Persuasion, Les Henderson, forcing the closure of his site pending a multi-million dollar lawsuit against him for defamation. Naturally, the FOREX merchants would not take action against any court or government agency for finding them guilty and publishing the findings, but as Les is a public-spirited not for profit sole trader he represents a soft target for their malice. They claim that his motive in exposing their operations is one of personal gain, but Les can clearly show that his book sales did not even cover the enormous costs of maintaining his resource. It is, in fact, now out of print.

 

FOREX companies do not operate in countries that have stringent regulations in place such as the UK and US where their Financial Services Authority and Securities and Exchange Commission are the respective regulators. Whilst not all FOREX companies are scams per se, they almost invariably use the tactics and hard sell techniques typical of "Boiler Room" operations.

 

The Les Henderson issue might represent one of the more sordid abuses of the Canadian court system; a David and Goliath battle in which the little man has been hamstrung by having his slingshot taken away, by having his site taken down on the insistence of dispassionate lawyers whose sole motivation is the protection of wealth, irrespective of how it has been acquired.  The only losers in this action could be Les Henderson and the Canadian taxpayers who will doubtless end up footing a large bill, and see their courts, which should otherwise be attending to matters of right and justice, being clogged by malicious and spurious actions.

 

The Internet, despite its perils and pitfalls for the young, the vulnerable and the unwary, also offers the silent majority a chance to be heard, to exchange information, and to expose those who abuse it for the sake of their own immoral or illegal gain.  The iniquity of offshore havens permitting dubious schemes to operate with impunity needs to be addressed. The real question, however, is how can companies enjoying the protection of lax and offshore havens and jurisdictions nevertheless bring actions in the courts of other countries based on the spurious grounds of alleged damage caused to them by the publication of information that is publicly available?

 

Mr Henderson does not deserve to be forced to endure protracted, malicious legal action.  There is hope, however, that the Canadian courts will recognise the nature and motivation behind the action against him and throw it out.  Any readers wishing to offer a message of support to Mr Henderson, or qualified legal assistance, may email him here: persuasionles@netscape.net

 

Paul Bantock

14 December 2002

 

Update:

As at 13 March 2003 Crimes of Persuasion is now back online. http://www.crimes-of-persuasion.com