DESPITE the fact that there is overwhelming publicly available evidence that Monte Friesner is a fraud artist who has never made an honest buck in his life and left a trail of criminal convictions and victims behind him, he and his wife Tatiana Nazarova can actually count on people who support them among Panama's expatriate community.
We already related on these pages how Canadian Peter Gordon went on a road trip with the Friesners to visit one Mike Hinton, a notorious drunk with a habit of sending death threats to people he doesn't like. Similarly, Don Winner working as Friesner's underworld PR flack is another well documented fact we reported on earlier.
The Friesner crowd includes even worse, however. Take for example Ron and Esther Davis, an American expatriate couple living in Paitilla. They're regulars at Friesner's offices and have been for quite a bit of time, an inside source told Bananama Republic when we showed the picture. Various sources said that pony-tailed Ron Davis actively recruits new victims for Friesner's advance fee fraud schemes. Davis tells entrepreneurs that he knows this "investor", and then hooks them up with Monte Friesner and his wife Tatiana Nazarova.
Friesner served years in prison in the US for falsely promising loans to entrepreneurs, for which he covered an advance fee. The loans were then never provided and he simply took off with the money. It appears that with Ron Davis, he has a recruiting agent in Panama for a similar scam.
Davis, while inviting "prospects" to dinner dates with the Friesners at his home, hypes the Friesners claiming that Friesner and his wife have already successfully invested in 15 or so companies in Panama, making it sound as if they're some sort of venture capitalists. However, the Friesners have only invested in their own schemes, and most are failures. Their real estate businesss "Swiss Hannover" is dead, the website still exists but is no longer updated. The Panama Sailing School has no boats, and Friesner updates its Facebook page with fake whale watching pictures he gets elsewhere on the web. Pronto Cash, say (ex)-employees, has hardly any clients and moved to a cheaper office. Carlyle-Coutts and all the rest are hollow entities.
Recently the Friesners attended a dinner party at another one of their good friends, American expat Marion Ellner, who used to run a hair removal business in Florida before retiring to Panama. Ellner, our sources inside Friesner's business say, hangs out a lot at the offices of the Friesner couple. The dinner party also featured yoga entrepreneur Michael Ducharme and his girlfriend, among others.
Ducharme is another good friend of the Friesners, especially of Tatiana Nazarova. One source who visited the Friesner residence recounted how Ducharme was there, "it was almost as if he lived there". Ducharme dabbles in yoga, saunas and various other businesses, together with his family. Given the close relationship, we were surprised to read Monte Friesner on Yahoo board "Americans in Panama" go on a rant against yoga entrepreneurs:
1. The ones who represent themselves to be lawyer, doctors or even faith healers without certificates or even knowledge. Their excuses are "do not go to a doctor; you do not need a lawyer, I can do it fore less money for you; what do you need a doctor for, let me touch your forehead and you will be cured of your cancer".
2. Then there are the Yoga Therapists, Holistic Doctors, Massage Therapists who portray a more volatile danger especially to retirees who need proper medical attention.
Interestingly, on his friend Michael Ducharme's page it reads:
(...) yoga prevents and cures innumerable diseases including stomach acid, cancer, heart problems, anaemia, appendicitis, arthritis, asthma, backache, high or low blood pressure, loss of memory, breathlessness, bronchitis, broncho-pneumonia, cold, cough, colic, colitis, constipation, coronary thrombosis, diabetes, diarrhea, dilation of heart, dysentery, dyspepsia, epilepsy, fatigue, flatulence, gastritis, gout, halitosis, menstrual disorders, migraine, nervous debility, obesity, polio, paralysis, piles, pleurisy and pneumonia, rheumatic pains, sciatica, sterility, thrombosis of the legs, tonsilitis, tuberculosis, tumour of the stomach, gastric and duodenal ulcers and varicose veins.
And then over to Monte Friesner again:
In Panama anyone can be what they want with PhotoShop and forge documents to represent that they are even the Prince of Holland or Lower Slobovia. We have hundreds of real estate agents who are not certified nor registered who will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge which has already been sold many times over.
Hilariously, Friesner's own qualifications are all bogus. His doctorate in economics is a fake from a diploma mill, he hangs himself out as a diplomat which he is not, he claims to be a lawyer without ever having finished law school, his MBA is fake and he was reportedly trying to pay for things using counterfeit Central American government bonds.
Meanwhile, on aforementioned Americans in Panama (which is a sort of the official bulletin board of the Tea Party Abroad), Friesner's shill Ron Davis went on another racist rant about Panamanians:
Has anyone else on this forum noticed that the overwhelming majority of Panamanians, regardless of class, religion, race, or gender continually LIE? For example: they often promise what they can't deliver; they often fail to call you back after saying they will; they often arrive in far larger groups then you have invited them; and, regardless of the number of times you have invited them to your home to eat and to drink, they rarely, if ever, will invite you back to their own homes.
Actually, this generosity of spirit of so many ex-pats is looked down upon by many Panamanians. They all too often steal money from people they believe are richer and better off then they are, almost as if it was their god given right to do so. In short, we have found over the years, that there are too many Panamanians who we would classify as users and abusers of the first order.
Mind you, this, accusing Panamanians of being thieves, comes from someone who shills for Monte Friesner, a convicted thief, fraud artist, arsonist and money launderer.
Even more staggering is the fact that not too long ago, Mr. and Mrs. Davis were featured in a La Prensa supplement (here in English, PDF) where they were quoted saying things like:
According to the Davis’, the people are Panama’s best resource. “We’ve met many very good Panamanians that have traveled extensively, are educated, know the country and even offer advise”.
“What the government is doing is very good. I believe it’s very good when you are extended a discount when you go dining. It’s good that the government is worried about people who have worked so long”.
The Davis’ swim as fish in the water in their new home and walk almost every place. “I like the idea that people are now recognizing us. They call us ‘Johnny Walkers’ because we walk every place”. This is the way they go to the malls, a doctor’s appointment, the supermarket or dining. And the people that see them daily in their walks already know them.
So what happened? We think Monte Friesner's vile language and racist attitude has taken a hold of the couple that shills for him now. After all, to Davis's slander Friesner, who keeps four piranhas at his home as pets, immediately responded with similar bile about his employees:
I completely agree with your view point and perception and would like to add a few words. I operate a yacht company and a sailing school [sic] and our work hours are from 8 AM until 5 PM however, I have noticed that many staff come in at first at 8:10 and the after 3 days it is 8:20 and then many times after 10 AM and their excuses are wonderful to hear.
Out of 13 employees in five years 13 of them requested dire loans just withing days of starting work and not one of them ever paid back a penny.
In other words: ALL his employees are stealing by not repaying loans! The truth, dear reader, is of course that Mr. Friesner's employees abandon him at a staggering rate amidst a flurry of accusations about sexual harassment, bullying and similar complaints.
Friesner, Davis and the unavoidable Clyde Jenkins then immediately teamed up to start what is best described as a Panama Tea Party Online Tribunal, with Friesner throwing in the use of his wife's website wantedsa for "know your customer" searches. True to form, Friesner claims that Wanted SA is some sort of investigative firm, but reality is that the entity does not exist. Yes, another scam.
So far, the antics of Monte Friesner, Tatiana Nazarova and their community of scumbag friends and associates had been more or less contained to the realms of online fora such as the Americans in Panama pigsty. However, believe it or not, but Friesner appears to have landed a gig as a financial columnist at Newsroom Panama, an online publication run by David Young. Young used to be the editor of The Panama Star, which he ran into the ground and which was then closed down.
We asked Young about Friesner now being featured as a "Crime consultant" and financial guru on Newsroom Panama, but have not received a reply.
N.B.: We just saw this. Thanks, Otto, for the heads-up!
UPDATE: OMG, this David Young is soooo lame. Instead of responding, he removed the "Crime Consultant for Wanted SA" from Friesner's byline and added the line "The facts and opinions stated in this article are those of the author and not of Newsroom Panama" at the bottom of the article. Well, Mr. David Young, this doesn't change the main issue - which is that you have a convicted financial fraud artist as a financial columnist on your publication without disclosing his past - does it? Sort of having Bernie Madoff report for the business section of the New York Times.
N.B. 2: Friesner is toast. Over. Done. Finished. You can stick a fork in him. We put our listening ears out everywhere, called our spies and informants and they all tell us the same: He's history. The crooks with money in Panama avoid him because he's too much trouble, too high-profile with the bullshit he does. Honest people with money run away as fast as they can when they hear him coming. Gullible prospective clients and victims can't escape the publicity and even the idiocy he himself writes about himself on his own websites and on forums. So it's downhill from here. We suppose that soon there'll be a nice apartment in the Bellagio for sale to fund efforts to avoid prosecution and worse. Bye, Monte!