What is an advance fee fraudster to do when his company is shut down by the authorities? Serial scammer Monte Friesner must have looked around in his ravaged financial empire and found one vehicle he had not really been using lately: The Carlyle-Coutts Capital Corporation.
Like with so many scams, the name is a kind of a fraud already, banking on the name of established corporations like the Carlyle Group and Coutts bank. Needless to say that neither Friesner nor his wife Tatiana Nazarova have anything to do with these institutions. They would probably not even be allowed near them.
Carlyle Coutts Capital Corporation S.A. is registered in Panama (PDF document) and has zero capital, the registry says. It features the same cast of characters as Pronto Cash did, with Tatiana Nazarova, Lawrence B. Heath and one Curtis Taylor, and the same registered agent, crooked lawyer Herbert Young.
In case there is any doubt; the domain name carlyle-coutts.com lists as its contact one Aaron Grazette, to be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website is where it really gets interesting. As usual, no principals are listed. Friesner offers just about anything from venture capital to asset management and a myriad of other investments that he has in the past consistently used as tools to swindle people out of advance fees paid to him. Credit facilities are offered starting at $10 million - eerily reminiscent of the scheme that landed Friesner in jail in the nineties. These services are promoted with the usual Friesner-financial-gibberish:
Enter, Carlyle Coutts Capital Corporation S.A., highly focused with the ability to move quickly and decisively with a hard driving experienced entrepreneurial team. Potential investee applicants can directly negotiate terms and an early financing to close the right projects and compete successfully in the venture market- place. Under these circumstances Carlyle Coutts Capital Corporation S.A. can negotiate better terms for less money, particularly during depressed public markets, as corporate valuations are low.
Friesner claims that he has $30 billion under management (but about a year ago he was struggling to pay rent....):
The establishment of Carlyle Coutts Capital Corporation S.A. has produced a global force that will have a major impact on creative financing. With total assets under management and administration exceeding US 30 billion, our teams offer investment banking services that range from asset management to corporate finance, research, and representation in 29 jurisdictions and centers within a network that spans six continents.
He has also found a new way to make it appear as if he has offices worldwide. How? Simple: He just set up a bunch of email addresses, like, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, for the Bangkok, Berlin and Dallas "offices" respectively. Yeah, right. The Liechtenstein office has the name misspelled, another characteristic of Friesner's prose. To our surprise, there are no Panama offices. Scared, Monte?
The company is not licensed in any of these jurisdictions to offer venture capital or other investments. And because Friesner is not just a scammer but a dumb scammer, he hosted his website in the US, where it falls under SEC rules.
Last but not least: The webmaster of the new website is listed as strommemedia.com. However, like the worldwide offices, that domain name does not exist.
INSTANT UPDATE: For SEO purposes, Friesner also maintains a blog at blogspot.com, where he announces - believe it or not - that Carlyle Coutts has been appointed for the distribution of something called the "Papaya Master Card" by the defunct Pronto Cash. Paying with papayas in a banana republic!
Of course, Carlyle Coutts was also mentioned as a principal conduit (as in, money laundering) of looted assets from the former Soviet Union, according to a Duma report which mentions Friesner by name.