Thursday morning Marcy, Jeanna and I departed Morton Field at 0800 for Thimble Shoal Island after dodging reporters that were everywhere. I stopped long enough to answer two questions.
Thimble Shoals was a two island nation – one island a five star resort with casinos that catered only to the very wealthy, the other the banking island and private residence. There were no motels on the banking island and a simple bridge connected the two.
Thimble Shoals was the illegal banking capital of the world and an independent nation. They were not aligned with any world government and were anti-disclosure of any private agreements. Even the famous Swiss banks had finally thrown in the towel and agreed to divulge their depositors to the world’s tax collectors and courts. Thimble Shoals told the UN banking system and foreign tax collectors to put it where the sun didn’t shine.
They had enough of the world’s movers and shakers – powerful people – as depositors that the UN backed off. That just proved where those unaccounted billions were that were missing in the UN’s annual budget.
There were two main banks in Thimble Shoals. The Thimble Shoals National Bank and the Pirates International Bank. Several of the board of directors rotated between the two banks.
The National Bank handled international transactions – including electronic transfers – and everything for the resort and its casinos. It bought gold, diamonds, platinum and other hard currency for its depositors and sold such items. The directors of the National Bank were essentially the government of the island.
The National Bank was the island’s treasury with the President of the bank as the island’s governor. There were less than five thousand permanent residents on the island. There was no immigration to the islands and only temporary visas. The residents worked the resorts, casinos, airport and tourist shops. There were no personal taxes or property taxes. Heavy taxes on the tourists paid the bills. There were no taxes on the winnings at the casinos.
Pirates Bank was a storage facility and accepted transfers and such deposits directly from depositors who walked in the door carrying the items to deposit to their numbered accounts. New customers walked out with a numbered account with their names sealed in Pirates Bank system. Funds deposited in Pirates Bank gained no interest.
When funds were sent to National Bank that were destined for Pirates Bank, a bank director withdrew the money and physically carried it across the street, listing it as a cash withdrawal on the electronic accounts. Certain electronic transactions were never recorded as being received.
My security team had loaded twenty of the gold bars and four bags of diamonds onto the plane. Marcy had twenty of the five million US treasury bonds in her briefcase that we had taken from the Prince. I had opened the door by promising to invest in the bank. It was a two hour flight over the Caribbean past our Deep Water Cay resort island.
Two taxis carried us and our investments from the airport to Pirates Bank to our meeting with the board.
Winston Churchman was the senior board director and apparently the spokesman of the Pirates Bank. Sidney Blake and Oscar Dente were the other two directors who met us.
”We can only assume that you are here for more than investing in our bank. We stay up on the world news and have seen recent news events that seem to be focused on you a lot the last few weeks. Let’s talk about the investment to see just how serious you are, then we can talk about other things.”
Winston went through all the bank’s investment opportunities including levels to buy in and all the services they offered to those wealthy individuals, including the untraceable numbered accounts.
They laundered money, cut and reshaped diamonds or other jewels and melted bars of gold and silver into coins or other collectibles.
”We mint coins for over a dozen other nations as well as for our nation and can mint special coins for special occasions of customers. Thimble Shoals only uses gold and silver as it’s national currency and is accepted worldwide using the gold standard and US dollar,” Winston said.
Jeanna informed them that she was an executive Vice President of Midwest Bank and wanted to know about the executive positions and how one progressed to a bank director.
He looked a long time before deciding if he was going to answer. ”There are ten directors. The original directors put up the money to start the banks. One hundred million each for a total of one billion dollars. All transactions are in US dollars. The bank charges three percent and we don’t do transactions less than one million dollars. That is the return that is divided between the directors.
”There is only one way to become a director and that is to buy out a director who wants to retire – or his estate if he dies – for the original one hundred million amount and you have to maintain a ten million minimum on deposit. Directors are the only ones who have access or can make changes in the numbered accounts,” Winston said.
”So there are few turnovers at the director level,” Marcy said.
”Yes, very few. Director Olgermeir is ninety and has been looking to retire for a while; he would be the first in a decade,” Winston said.
”Do you have a specialist to place a value on uncut diamonds?” I asked.
”Yes, Benjamin Otto,” Winston said.
”Call him please. We wish to deposit diamonds and need to have a value placed on them, along with several gold bars. We wish to start a numbered account,” Marcy said.
”I would also like to talk with Mr. Olgermeir – if he is available – to see if he could be persuaded to retire and sell his directorship,” I said.
A little while later Ben Otto was seated in a meeting room at a table with a stainless steel tray on it.
”Just pour the diamonds on it and I will get started,” he said.
By the expression on his face, he wasn’t expecting a bag of uncut diamonds the size of a ten pound bag of flour to be dumped into his tray. He put on his little monocle and started grading and assigning a value on his pad. I didn’t have the heart to tell him we had three more bags from the South African mine.
Director Olgermeir had arrived and was talking with Jeanna and Marcy off to the side. I’m sure they were negotiating with him. He better be up on his game because he was dealing with two experts.
”I will evaluate the gold if you will bring it in. I will start on it while Otto works on the diamonds,” Winston said. He was holding a scale that looked like something that drug dealers used. I guess he thought we had dust or nuggets.
I went to get the first bar and had the security men bring the rest back. We had wrapped the bars in cardboard. As I cut the cardboard off to expose the first bar, he looked at the scale, then went and got a hand cart.
”It’s been ten years since I saw any bars that size and the mine marks are the same as those back then. I have a much bigger scale in the back.” We loaded four bars onto the cart to be weighed and made four trips to weigh them all.
By the time we were finished, Otto was working on the second Bag. Marcy and Jeanna were smiling and shaking hands with Olgermeir. I knew a deal had been reached; I wondered what it was. I guess I would soon find out.
Winston came back with a paper, ”At today’s market price the bars are worth $514,500.00 each and you have 20 of them for $10,290,000. How do you want to handle it?” he asked.
The three of them came over to the table where we were.
”Winston, these ladies have convinced me that it is time to retire. They have met my financial conditions. BJ, if you want to come to my office before you leave I will show you your duties and how to access the things I know you are looking for,” Olgermeir said.
I was pissed, as everybody would be pissed if – when – the word got out that I was a director of an outlaw bank that flew in the face of every ‘I can’t get enough taxes’ loving nations, there was someone who would try to rip my head off for sure. I didn’t think I had time but Marcy must have thought differently. Maybe she had found out something different while talking with him. Marcy could see the concern on my face.
”BJ, the full board only meets once a month on Mondays, for which you have to be here, and they do a video meeting every two weeks. I’m thinking we leave Friday evening and spend that weekend at Deep Water Cay. You go the meeting on Monday and pick the rest of us up on the way back. We are not spending enough time in the sun and surf and you need to recharge,” Marcy said. She was always thinking of me it seemed.
Jeanna was standing behind her trying to control a smile.
”Let’s go to your office and these ladies can finish up with the paperwork here. Marcy knows what I had planned,” I said.
I was surprised how simple the duties of a director were, but then they were all millionaires and more. They spent their real time on the beach or traveling around the world. They only required two of the ten directors to be at the banks. I would need to come and do two weeks every six months, unless otherwise needed.
He gave me his manual with all the policies, directives and copies of bank forms they used with instructions. Long time employees handled everything else that took place in the bank.
He showed me how to access the numbered accounts. When we were done I had the names and copies of everything on the six numbered accounts that were being paid from the former Black Bear accounts. Passwords, logins, nicknames – everything.
All of them were current holders of Senate or Congressional seats. I locked the accounts so no money could be withdrawn using his instructions. They were being compensated heavily from Black Bear; no wonder they upset over the turn of events.
There were other deposits to the accounts, other than the ones from Black Bear. They were supposed to be untraceable but he showed me how to access the National Bank records across the street and backtrack to their origin. The world of bribes and payoffs in defense industries was immense.
Then there were the deposits from stockbrokers; I wondered about that. Then I realized they were proceeds from insider trading. The Congressional people had the inside track on many things. They knew in advance when a defense contract was going to be awarded and who was likely to get it.
They couldn’t actually buy the stock themselves but friendly third parties could and then split the proceeds.
I would bet I would be approached to ease the pressure and smooth the way for JBG or maybe outright threatened to continue the payments. They were in for one hell of a surprise.
We walked back just in time to hear the debate on the diamonds.
”Each of these bags has some very interesting pieces in them and a value between 75 to 85 million dollars in the current state. With a skilled cutter and the right polishing, the value would double – possibly more,” Mr. Otto said.
”The diamond department over in the other bank would drool over these,” he said.
“Mr. Olgermeir is to get the bag of his choice and ten of the gold bars for his Director’s position. You can take one bag and have them cut and retail them,” Marcy said. There was quick agreement and smiles.
”The funds from them and the rest we want deposited into four numbered accounts with these names. They were the names of our children with parents as co-owners.”
I – or I should say we – filled out the forms as I assigned the numbers.
The flight home was a conversation blow out. I now knew what I was going
to do with some of the gold and definitely with the diamonds over time.
I paged Andy as he had asked. As soon as it went live Lorrie came on line.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.