Inventive Ways to Steal
Thomas A. Droleskey
The vagaries of fallen human nature are seemingly inexhaustible. Each of us falls prey to the machinations of the adversary to say or do things that we come to regret, sometimes instantaneously, prompting us to respond to the graces sent to us by Our Lady to get us into the Sacrament of Penance to receive absolution from an alter Christus and to receive the graces necessary to persevere more steadily in the pursuit of sanctity with every beat of our hearts. As I note so frequently, however, it is one thing to sin and to be sorry, to seek out the mercy of the Divine Redeemer in the hospital of Divine Mercy that is the confessional. It is quite another to persist in sin unrepentantly, no less scheme with others to engage in sins regularly and systematically.
We were almost the victims of a rather sophisticated scam involving multiple violations of the Seventh and Eighth Commandments. This article is an effort to alert readers and their friends about this scam and to try to shed some sunlight on the scammers' activities to make it a bit more difficult for them to operate.
As those of you who are regular readers of this site know, we have had some purgatorial experiences in recent months. Most of these have revolved around the aftermath of our 2005 Chevrolet Trail Blazer's breaking away from our motor home on the evening of September 20, 2005, as we were escaping Hurricane Rita in Texas. There are still some unresolved issues with the flatbed trailer that we had to purchase in the early morning hours from some enterprising people in New Caney, Texas, in Montgomery Country, which an official with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles informed me a few days ago is a bastion of some of the worst criminality in the Lone Star State. We have an attorney who goes to Queen of Angels Church in Dickinson, Texas, working on those unresolved issues.
More to the point of this story, however, is the Trail Blazer itself. Our financial situation is as bad as it has been since we lost the support of a private foundation in April of 2003, which was the last time we had regular, predictable monthly income. All to you Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls. We thus came to a decision after the Catholic Family News conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, that we could no longer afford to make the monthly payments on the Trail Blazer. We decided to take out an advertisement on an online site, www.carsdirect.com, noting that anyone who qualified with General Motors Assurance Corporation could simply take over our monthly payments and receive the equity in the car that we have earned with our payments. We simply wanted to be rid of the payments.
The advertisement was placed on the evening of All Saints Day, November 1, 2005, within several hours of our return from Indianapolis. We started to receive a number of responses by the morning after the advertisement was posted. Several e-mails were received from men who describe themselves as automobile brokers who specialized in exporting cars from the United States to Canada or Africa. Each of them said that they had a client who would send us a cashier's check for the full amount of what we owed GMAC plus an additional sum of money to cover the cost of shipping the car out of the country. The additional sum of money was to be wired to a shipper after the cashier's check was negotiated. That seemed a little odd. After all, why send the additional sum of money? Why not simply allot the money for the shipment and set it aside?Why send it to me? Although a bit wary, I figured that I'd be apprised of any problems with such a transaction when I attempted to cash the check.
As I now realize--and suspected pretty much all along, the "brokers" have artificial names. One was called Dr. Silvester Charles. Another was James Darbyshire. Yet another was Frank Gateway. Oh, yes, there was a man named Joseph Beaker. The man with whom I had the most dealings was a chap named James Carter. "Dr. Charles" was most anxious to make a deal. As there was the prospect of paying off our loan to GMAC in full if the deal was legitimate, we delayed our trip to Wisconsin in order to be present for a promised check to arrived, staying over at Battle Row Campground in Old Bethpage, New York, for one day following the conclusion of a conference about the disproved ideology of evolutionism that was sponsored by the League of Kingship of Christ on Saturday, November 5, 2005. No check.
I did not want to have Sharon to drive the Trail Blazer as we towed our white van (that had been given to me in 2000, sold to the Turpins in 2001, given back to me by the Turpins a little over a month ago now) aboard the now repaired flatbed trailer. Hoping that we could sell the Trail Blazer before we left for Wisconsin, we pulled up stakes from Battle Row Campground on November 8, 2005, to go to Black Bear Campground in Florida, New York, which is not far from where the Turpins live in Sussex, New Jersey. This afforded Lucy Mary Norma yet another opportunity to visit with her beloved cousins. It gave Sharon a chance to visit some more with her sister, Bridget Turpin. I was able to get more writing done. Unfortunately, though, no check arrived for the car.
Acting upon the advice of James Bendell, the famed attorney from Port Townsend, Washington, who works with Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., I made the car available to other buyers after not hearing anything from this "Dr. Charles," who had warned me sternly at one point not to entertain any other offers for the car. Jim Bendell said that he suspected the whole thing was a scam. I learned from my experience with Mr. James Carter that Jim Bendell was absolutely correct.
Mr. Carter e-mailed me and laid out almost the same terms as had Dr. Charles. Payment would be made via a cashier's check. Part of the check would be wired to a shipper in Canada, who would then come to pick up the car and take it across the border. Although Mr. Carter kept in contact with me more assiduously than Dr. Charles, the check, which we would have use to pay off GMAC and be on our way to Wisconsin with a few hundred extra dollars in our pockets, did not arrive as promised. It was supposed to arrive on Monday, November 14. It was then supposed to arrive on Tuesday, November 15. When it did not arrive on Wednesday, November 16, I wrote to Mr. Carter, who had called several times to inquire if I had received the check via FEDEX, to say that we were leaving for Wisconsin on Thursday, November 17, regardless as to whether the check arrived. An e-mail I sent to the shipping agent, a "Peter Bass" at
75 Thornton Ave,
London, Ontario N5Y 2Y4, Canada, London, to ask for information about the FEDEX package went unanswered.
Mr. Carter was most distraught over the non-delivery of the check, writing me that he made his money on the "shipper's end of the deal" and urged me to wait for it to arrive. I explained that I had spent money I could ill afford to spend by waiting an extra week at a campground at the same time we were paying rent for a house in Wisconsin.
I alerted the bank officials at the Bank of America in Pine Island, New York, that it was possible for a sizable cashier's check to arrive after our departure. We authorized Bridget Turpin to deposit the check for us if it did in fact arrive, leaving the Trail Blazer at the Turpins in Sussex as we drove off down the road for further adventures in our motor home. The car would be sold or it wouldn't be sold. The worse case scenario for us was (and remains) to call GMAC and have them auction the car off to the highest bidder.
Well, we learned while driving in eastern Ohio on Friday, November 18, 2005, that the check did indeed arrive via FEDEX at the Turpins. We awaited word of its being deposited into our account before writing a check to GMAC and proceeding to send a money gram for the "shipper's fee." With Bridget Turpin a bit ill during the early part of her sixth pregnancy (yes, Lucy has another cousin for whom to pray!), our brother-in-law Benoit went to deposit the check. And here enters the hero of this story, Mrs. Christy Rowe, a very alert teller at the Bank of America in Pine Island, New York.
Mrs. Rowe remembered seeing an e-mail about fraudulent cashier's checks drawn supposedly on Wachovia Bank. She told Benoit to wait until she did some checking. Her initial checking indicated that the check was not legitimate. Benoit telephoned us with this information. I was neither surprised nor shocked, just grateful for Mrs. Rowe's diligence. Indeed, I telephoned the bank a short while thereafter, speaking to the manager, Mrs. Nancy O'Toole, and to Mrs. Rowe, who said that she the check aroused her suspicion because it was drawn on two banks, no less, Wachovia Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase. She called both banks. Neither had any record of a serial number of a cashier's check that matched the one sent to us and presented for deposit by Benoit Turpin. Mrs. Rowe said that the check lacked a watermark that is placed by banks on their own checks to prove authenticity, telling me that a man in Newburgh, New York, had lost his motorcycle in such a transaction. I thanked her profusely for being so competent and alert.
Upon arriving late Friday night at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Good Remedy in Lizton, Indiana, I composed and sent the following e-mail to Mr. James Carter at email@example.com:
Dear Mr. Carter,
The check that was sent to us is fraudulent. It is a counterfeit. Further investigation has revealed that this is a scam operation in which it is hoped that a bank will cash phony cashier checks without question, thereby leaving the unsuspecting depositor holding the bag for the money paid out for the "shipping" costs. This scan is essentially one in which people such as yourself contact people selling their cars to assist these people into become unwitting accomplices in the theft of their own vehicles. The "shipper" comes and gets the car, replete with a signed title. The seller losers his car, is still responsible for the payment of his debt to the finance company and owes the bank the "shipping" fee. How truly diabolical.
You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Carter. Unless you convert to the Catholic Faith, the true Faith that Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, and get yourself to the Sacrament of Confession, you will have to answer to God at the moment of your Particular Judgment for the crimes you are committing against innocent human beings. You have taken food out of the mouths of my wife and daughter by our spending time at a campground to await your check. Have you no shame to deprive a three year old girl of nutrition? Shame on you, Mr. Carter. Shame, shame, shame.
Unbeknownst to you, Mr. Carter, I am an internationally known Catholic writer. Please be advised that I will alert people worldwide on my own website and on countless others of this criminal activity. The Bank of America is on to this scheme, thanks be to the Blessed Mother. I want to help countless thousands protect their personal property from thievery.
The command of the Divine Redeemer Himself requires me to forgive you the sins you have committed against my family and me. I bear you no malice. I will you no harm. One can seek justice without vengeance, without malice. I will try to seek justice in this matter, if for no other reason, Mr. Carter, than to help to protect others and to save your own from a further descent into the devil's grip. You are heading straight for Hell, from which there is no escape, if you and your confederates do not reform your lives.
We will pray to the Blessed Mother, Mary Immaculate, for your conversion. You can start my apologizing to us.
Sincerely yours in Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen,
Thomas A. Droleskey
There it is in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen. The scam in which Mr. Carter and others are involved is a very clever way to steal both money and a motor vehicle. The conspirators surmise that their victims will have enough money in their accounts to pay back their banks for the monies withdrawn against the cashier's check. The victims surrender their vehicles with a signed title to the thief, posing as a "shipper,"
becoming, as I noted to Mr. Carter, unwitting accomplices in the theft of their own money and their own vehicle. The car is driven across the border into Canada and then re-sold for its face value there or shipped off to another country. Each of the conspirators gets to share in the loot derived from the theft.
Please make this scam known to everyone you know. I do not believe much has been written about this scam prior to now, which is why I am attempting to bring it to light on this site and for the matter to receive wide exposure. Authorities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have the obligation to investigate this scam and to try to bring the shadowy figures who hide under various pseudonyms to justice, a task that I am sure is quite difficult, especially since the scammers probably use celluar phones and are not easily traceable.
I was discussing this scam with Father Paul Petko yesterday morning, November 19, 2005, reading to him the e-mail I had sent to Mr. Carter. He asked me if I had received a response. I said, "Well, let's check." Thus, I fired up the cellular phone, connected it to my computer and checked my e-mail. Sure enough, there was a response with the following subject line: "Pray for me." Here is Mr. Carter's e-mail.
Hi thomas, thanks for your mail to me.i was indeed very touched by your mail.i dont do this intentionally but it was due to circumstances am facing.please pray for me so that GOD will help me and grant me my requests to change. thanks
Who is evangelizing this poor man? Who is telling him that we cannot steal from others even in the most desperate of situations? Who is urging him to rely upon the maternal intercession of Our Lady and to give to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart all of the difficulties, material and spiritual, that we encounter each and every day? Sadly, the ethos of the Second Vatican Council and ecumenism leaves souls such as Mr. Carter so adrift the morass of relativism and religious indifferentism that overt, repeated acts against the Ten Commandments become the norm rather than the exception in their lives. All the more reason for us to pray fervently that Pope Benedict XVI will correct the problems in the Church and in the world by simply consecrating Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with all of the world's bishops. In the meantime, though, please pray also for such desperate men as Mr. Carter, if that is his real name, to convert to the Faith and to sure the sure refuge of Our Lady, Help of Christians. Pray for Mr. Carter to be able to steal Heaven with the help of Saint Disthmas.
The thought of Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell) should be the focus of meditations every night before we go to sleep. The thought of Last Things should be especially borne in mind during this last week of the liturgical year, so rich in symbolism for the end of time itself and the Second Coming of Our Lord in glory. Each of us has a solemn obligation to prepare for the moment of our own Particular Judgments, trying very hard by our weekly confessions to grow in virtue and thus to climb the ladder of sanctity as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Meanwhile, the Trail Blazer sits at the Turpins awaiting a legitimate buyer. We will give it another week before surrendering the vehicle to GMAC.
As this is being written late on November 19, 2005, we sit at present in a campground after having survived yet another harrowing experience with our motor home. The sideview mirror on the driver's side of the motor home has come off. Well, actually, it is now duct-taped to the side of the motor home after all of the rotted screws fell out as we were driving on Interstate 80 in the southern suburbs of the Chicago, Illinois, area. This is a bad situation. Our rear-view video monitor is still not working (finding motor home repair places in the northeast is difficult). It is now impossible for me see anything on the driver's side of the motor home, forcing Sharon to stick her head out a window on the driver's side to advise me if I can change lanes and when it is safe to merge. We hope and pray that some good soul at Our Lady Immaculate Church in Oak Park, Illinois, can either help us with the repair or direct us to a place where the repair can be done. It will be difficult enough to drive to Oak Park from where we are at present. We simply cannot drive to Wisconsin without a sideview mirror, a little item that is costly to purchase and costly to install. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls. Yes, better this than Purgatory (or worse)!
God has known from all eternity that the crosses we encounter will come our way. The graces He won for us by the shedding of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross are sufficient for us to deal with each and every cross we encounter, each of which is perfectly fitted for us to be given back to Him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And as I noted a few nights ago in a plea to Father James Haley, being given a chance to suffer with Our Lord in this life is a sign of God's great love for us. He expects those who say they love Him to rise to the occasion and to prove their love by the way they accept their crosses with resignation and serenity, thanking Him for the opportunity to become a co-redeemer of the world with Him. It's not a bad deal all in all, is it, my fellow Catholics?
We do ask for prayers in the midst of our current challenges. Please know of ours for our many friends, both those who support us by their fervent prayers and those who have been able to support us with their prayers and their very sacrificial giving. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
All to you Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
Our Lady of the Way, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint Disthmas, pray for us.
Saint Christopher, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint Rita, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pontian, pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, pray for us.