There seems to be no end to the number of connections between the real estate scammers of San Cristobal - now masquerading as Tropic Star Properties S.A. - and known international fraud artists. We reported earlier how their associate broker, fraudster and money laundering consultant Homer W. Forster aka "Dr. Leonard Adams" was arrested and subsequently released in Dubai for lack of an extradition treaty with the US.
Forster is a friend of San Cristobal/Tropic Star's former bookkeeper Tom Rowley while current vice-president Barry Miller wrote us several months ago that he talked and corresponded regularly with the wanted criminal. Interpol in France, by the way, lists Rowley as yet another fraud artist and maintains that position even when doubts arose about a mix-up with another person.
Forster, at the time, had an associate, one Gregg Rene Walter. While Barry Miller, Tom Rowley and Tom McMurrain were maintaining their cozy relations with Forster, he and Walter were running yet another scam. They set out to raise money for a series of high profile rock concerts, of which the benefits would supposedly go to UNICEF. Forster did what he could to get UNICEF to provide a veil of legitimacy to the bogus scheme, while Walter falsely claimed to prospective investors to be a former keyboard player for Michael Jackson. We exposed the scheme before it could really take off, UNICEF was warned and quickly cut all ties with the scammers, and eventually it turns out that Gregg Rene Walter has been arrested and deported to the USA. And guess what? The UNICEF concert fraud is an exact copy of an earlier scam he pulled off in Alaska and which has now landed him in jail.
According to the indictment we obtained from the Alaska court house, Mr. Walter misrepresented himself as a musician associated with Michael Jackson and lured his unsuspecting victims into sending him money which was supposedly to be used to produce a music CD. Walter's attorney, one George Richard Gibel from Cleveland, Ohio, claimed to the author in a telephone conversation a year ago that he was familiar with Walter's Alaskan troubles. Gibel then claimed that the case was civil, while in reality it is a criminal fraud case.
Gibel also spent a month in Spain to discuss the rock concert scheme with Walter and San Cristobal broker Homer W. Forster. We may thus safely assume that all members of this trio were aware that they were executing an enlarged copycat version of Walter's earlier scam. Although we have no evidence that San Cristobal/Tropic Star principals have had any direct involvement with the rock concert swindles of their broker and his associate, the fact that these principals maintained and still maintain business as well as personal relationships with the fugitive ringleader should raise all available red flags to potential clients of the San Cristobal incarnation Tropic Star, which aims to sell the remaining noni plantations in Bocas del Toro.
And this story may not even be the end of further revelations about the turbid past and present of San Cristobal/Tropic Star principals. Little is known, for example, about president Peter Ernst, other than that he managed a diving outfit on Contadora and was fired from the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. In an email we received from Ernst, he claimed to us that he has been living in Panama for 15 years. Yet, a biography of him in a San Cristobal bond investment offering his age is stated at 41. The bio also says that before arriving in Panama, Mr. Ernst worked for 10 years with the German police. Now, doing the math, this we find very hard to believe. Nobody in Germany starts working for the police at the age of 15 or 16. Developing....