For many of our readers this may be a bit too long ago to remember, but once upon a time, around 2003, out of the Tom McMurrain scandal and his San Cristobal noni scam came the next adventure, our global investigation into fugitive fraud artist Homer W. Forster.
The entire story about him is here - worth a read - but the grist of it is that Homer Webb Forster, who ran a financial business, fled the US using fake passports after he stole the money from his clients and became a high-prized consultant for international crooks, assisting them in the laundering of their money and obtaining new identities.
He was an accomplice in stealing millions of dollars from the American Cancer Society, and yours truly caught him in a myriad of other schemes, one of them being to move funds out of dormant Swiss holocaust bank accounts to offshore accounts that he and a Swiss accomplice would control.
Using a variety of aliases and pen names such as "Dr. Leonard Adams", "Dr. Frederick H. Miller,” and “Dr. Cavendish”, this journalist then found him setting up a bizarre scheme to launder many millions of dollars. He had been busy, together with his client and associate, the convicted criminal Gregg Rene Walter, supposedly organizing a series of high profile rock concerts together with and for the benefit of Unicef. Gregg Rene Walter was another fugitive wanted for fraud out of Anchorage, Alaska, who was hiding out in Spain and was considered dangerous, according to the NCIC arrest warrant. Both Walter himself and Forster falsely touted him as a former keyboard player for Michael Jackson. The Unicef concerts, supposedly featuring artists like Santana, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and The Eagles, would be recorded for TV and broadcast using a pay-per-view system by satellite and over the internet. Supposedly, a concert with Santana was planned for the 23rd of January, 2004 in Dubai. A proposal was written concerning the Rolling Stones to do a concert in EuroDisney, and even a concert below the Eiffel Tower in Paris was discussed.
However, neither Forster nor Walter were organizing any concerts. They were the facade to move large amounts of money around, most likely the proceeds of a €85 million Dutch investment fraud perpetrated by one Rene van den Berg. Forster was arrested in Dubai the day before $25 million would be deposited in an account of the sham company he had set up to produce the concerts. Unicef, upon learning about Forster’s arrest, immediately disassociated itself from the project and the two perpetrators.
There being no extradition treaty between Dubai and the US, Forster was released and returned to his residence in Estepona, Spain, thinking he was safe. He wasn't. Spain and the US do have an extradition treaty, and Forster ended up on a plane to Atlanta where we was thrown in jail. Your reporter, meanwhile, was contacted by a number of people and (credit card) companies who were owed substantial amounts of money by one or more of Forster's personae, and his lawyer wanted to know if I had hacked into Forster's laptop computer.
Today, Forster is a free man again - and has been for a while already. And we couldn't help laughing when we saw that Homer Webb Forster, the man who used so many fake names, alternative passports, and invented identities, recently requested an official name change in Fulton County, Georgia:
"Notice is hereby given that Homer Webb Forster, the undersigned, filed his/her petition to the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, on the 22nd day of August, 2012, praying for change in the name of petitioner from Homer Webb Forster to Leonard Homer Forster."
No objections were filed against the name change, but then again, who can keep track?