Amateur Sleuth: The Case of the Phantom Broker . by Alice B. Clagett

Written on 6 November 2019

  • URBAN LEGEND: THE PHANTOM STOCK BROKER
  • PHANTOM BROKERS: DAY TRADING WITH CLIENT STOCK ACCOUNTS LIQUIDATED ‘ON THE BACK END’?!
  • CRIME FAMILY URBAN LEGEND: CONFIDENCE GAMESTERS IN KEY ROLES NATIONWIDE
  • ONESIE-TWOSIE GAMBIT: SHEARING THE WARRING ‘SHEEP’
  • THE ‘ONSIE-TWOSIE’ AND THE ‘SHELL’ STOCK BROKERAGE ACCOUNT GAMBIT
  • POOF! THE MONEY DISAPPEARS!
  • THE WRAP

Dear Ones,

On the astral airs, I heard about the most ‘out there’ confidence game featuring the world of high finance, crime families, and subversion of the fiduciary responsibilities of those big-time players, the stock brokerages that are household names worldwide.

URBAN LEGEND: THE PHANTOM STOCK BROKER

Here is the urban legend: There are ‘phantom stock brokers’ who may steal the identities of legitimate stock brokers, by assuming their same name and taking over their accounts. When I heard the astral story, I asked myself: How might this be done?

After all, to my knowledge online security is pretty good for the major stock brokerages. Could it be that their ranks, like those of other industries, have been infiltrated by unethical sorts, members of nationwide confidence gangs, for instance? Might these people be posing as stock brokers … or maybe office staff or custodial personnel … who, by reason of their employment at the brokerages, and through access to computers there, can position themselves to perpetrate ‘broker identity theft’? One is not to know the up and the down of it, in the case of mere rumor.

They might begin using a reputable broker’s name, or a variant of it, instead of their own. What with internet phone services, they might have a phone number with an area code for a brokerage located thousands of miles away, and no one might be the wiser. Or so the story goes.

PHANTOM BROKERS: DAY TRADING WITH CLIENT STOCK ACCOUNTS LIQUIDATED ‘ON THE BACK END’?!

The urban legend goes on like this: Having gained access to client accounts, members of crime families might, on the back end, liquidate the accounts of clients they have ‘stolen’ from reputable brokers in a firm, use the accounts for day trading, pocket the profit. Then on the front end of the client account … the part that the client might view online … they might cover for possible losses in day trading by purchasing for the client stocks or bonds they expect to take a tumble. In that way … so the rumor goes … they might fatten their pockets at the expense of clients they have ‘stolen’ from a reputable broker.

CRIME FAMILY URBAN LEGEND: CONFIDENCE GAMESTERS IN KEY ROLES NATIONWIDE

Here is a wild variant of the ‘phantom stock broker’ urban legend: The phantom broker is in touch with a group of confidence artists that operates across the United States. (For all I know, there may be more than a handful of such con artist networks.) Indeed, the ‘phantom’ may even be a member of such a network, which has its own lawyers (naturally) and has operators in post offices here and there across the nation, and has operants who serve a dual function as ‘ladies or gentlemen of the night’ so as to gain the favor of carefully targeted law enforcement officers. It is also rife with cyber criminals adept at identity theft.

ONESIE-TWOSIE GAMBIT: SHEARING THE WARRING ‘SHEEP’

The con artist network seeks out families who have some money and are not getting along. That way it can ‘scatter the sheep’ and their ‘wolves’ can sneak in an pick the ‘sheep’ of a warring family off, one by one. Apparently, that is the way con artist groups operate; it is called ‘the cull’. Then they will try wooing the sheep, one by one, and shearing them.

A favorite way of shearing the sheep … at least according to the astral airs … is to arrange an illegal gambit with a disgruntled family member … a gambit that purports to shake down another family member with which the disgruntled person is angry. But the ‘onesie-twosie’ game plan of the con artist is a little bit more complex: He or she plans to perpetrate the gambit … either by ‘sidelining’ the targeted ‘sheep’ … That is the ‘onesie’. And the ‘twosie’ is, to get the disgruntled family member arrested for the deed, and leave him or her ‘holding the bag’.

THE ‘ONSIE-TWOSIE’ AND THE ‘SHELL’ STOCK BROKERAGE ACCOUNT GAMBIT

Now on to the complicated stock market gambit, which features the ‘onesie-twosie’. The ‘phantom stock broker’ finds a number of zeroed out client accounts. This is like a ‘shell account’ in the ‘shell corporation’ schemes of old. The confidence network of which the phantom is a member learns that one of these belongs to a ‘sheep’ that is ‘ripe for the plucking’ … as the network knows there is dissension in the ‘sheep’s’ family.

The lawyer in the network reaches out to a disgruntled family member, proposing a shake down. An agreement is reached. A cybercrime specialist in the crime family steals the identity of the ripe ‘sheep’, including brokerage and bank account information, and passes it on to the ‘phantom stock broker’.

The ‘phantom’ funnels money from the ‘sheep’s’ financial accounts, through the zeroed out ‘shell’ brokerage account. Then a token amount of the swiped dough is moved to the disgruntled family member’s financial account. The rest is funneled to the crime family, under a name different from that of the ‘phantom broker’ … maybe to real estate, through a cash transaction, using corporate shell-within-a-shell accounts … or maybe, infamously, offshore.

POOF! THE MONEY DISAPPEARS!

So the stolen money is gone, and the path of its departure is hard to trace, because … according to the urban legend … the ‘phantom stock broker’ can remove notice of the progress of the money through the zeroed out account, on the backend, with the ‘sheep’ never being the wiser (in the same way that the day trading scheme described above is purportedly accomplished ‘on the back end’).

All that remains is to tip off the law that the disgruntled family member has stolen the cash from the ripe ‘sheep’ … who through a separate ploy has been kidnapped, jailed on false charges, or worse yet, maybe murdered.

THE WRAP

This ‘phantom stock broker’ story is quite an amazing urban legend, Is it not? It is so ‘out ther’ I feel it could not be true. If it were true, then disclosure would likely make the headlines in every United States newspaper. But, as with the Goldman Sachs and Bank of America debacles of recent years, no doubt the best minds of the finance world would come up with a work-around and a solution.

Gosh, what an urban legend! Its imaginative scope brings to mind the high finance plots of the Reuben Frost Mysteries authored by lawyer James H. Duffy under the pen name ‘Haughton Murphy’ … http://mysteriouspress.com/authors/haughton-murphy/default.asp ..

In love, light and joy,
Alice B. Clagett
I Am of the Stars

This reminds me of the now-out-of-print book “1001 Ways to Avoid Being Mugged, Murdered, Robbed Raped and Ripped Off” that I co-authored many years ago with my friend Vivo Bennett. Back then, my pen name was ‘Cricket Clagett’. As I recall, and for what it is worth: On the jacket of the hardcover book, with a neat turn of the pen, we billed ourselves as ‘specialists in criminology’.

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amateur sleuth, finance, economics, corporations, stock brokers, stock brokerages, law, law enforcement, disclosure, urban legends, identity theft, confidence games, patsy, stories, stories by Alice, killing cults, crime families, money, security, Bank of America debacle, Goldman Sachs debacle,

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