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‘I want to set up a $200 million sham company’

The Hamilton Conspiracy - behind the scenes

‘I want to set up a $200 million sham company,’ I told the businessman with whom I was no more than slightly acquainted. Short and stocky with a thick head of white hair, he exuded wealth and confidence. ‘Easy,’ he replied., sounding unnervingly confident.
‘Truly,’ he smiled, taking a large slug of whisky from the cut glass tumbler. ‘Bear in mind though, if it goes wrong you’ll get to know a number of other businessmen who had their own ideas about how to coin it, and whose ideas also left something to be desired.’
‘Problem?’ I enquired, nervously.
‘Not as long as you don’t mind sharing a cell with others. They do allow conjugal visits for trustees, I believe.’
‘Wonderful,’ I breathed. ‘Okay, so talk to me. I’m writing a book, and don’t bank on sharing a cell with anyone.’
‘Fine,’ he smiled, and went on to explain.

It seems that whatever kind of contacts you want in the world of finance can be found in, of all places, any of the bars of London’s mainline stations, after working hours on a Friday. So I went to inspect, and took myself off to a couple to find out whatever I could find out. In the crowded atmosphere of each bar I visited could be heard money talk. It was just a case of listening on the fringes of each group until one found a conversation that seemed to relate to whatever one had in mind.

One has to say, some of those conversations piqued one’s interest. Words overheard included, fraud, investment, windows of opportunity, juice, squid, slug, scrilla, meal ticket, (that’s a million dollars). I could go on, but you get the picture.

So, $200 million non-existent scrilla. That’s a lot of greenback. The secret, it seems, was to find a small country with a small national bank and a small minded manager one could win over with compliments and a generous contribution of loot to his personal benevolent fund.

The question facing Jack Gregory was which country and which bank? Easier said than done, particularly when any attempt at bribery might be faced with a report to the authorities, or the claiming of the prize by the manager without delivery of the goods.

It seems Mr Gregory was faced with something of a puzzle. His Gordian knot? Alexander the Great sliced through his. Jack’s was to involve a tad more risk.

Author: Andrew Segal talking about his first book The Hamilton Conspiracy

Hard Back special limited edition available to purchase in advance of launch.

Please email Carle - HappyLondon@gmx.co.uk