Century City, CA--Goldfinger Coin and Bullion Sales was the apparent brainchild of James Michael Fayed, 45. Today the government says it was nothing more than a $20 million scam and its byproduct was the brutal stabbing murder of Pamela Fayed, 44 in a Century City parking garage.
Author, Ian Fleming created that great spy, James Bond and among others that master criminal, Auric Goldfinger. Goldfinger was a man of unparalleled greed who concocted a scheme to contaminate and make useless the world’s gold reserves starting at Fort Knox, KY. Goldfinger’s plan was to make all gold but his own nonnegotiable thereby dramatically inflating his own immense wealth.
James Michael Fayed had his own scheme for wealth and adopted the Goldfinger name for his business. It was just a decade ago in 1997 when Fayed filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy listing thousands in debts. Today he was found to have surrounded himself with millions in gold bullion, cash, guns and real estate. Prosecutors say Fayed’s new wealth came from a common Ponzi scheme designed to part investor’s from their money.
Fayed found himself and his wife under criminal investigation and his marriage crumbling. His wife, Pamela Gouldie Fayed wanted out of this greed fueled cabal and James Fayed filed for divorce. Pamela began to cooperate with the government. That is what federal prosecutors say sealed her grim fate.
Over the years I’ve investigated some really interesting characters that have stolen millions through Ponzi schemes. Some like Fayed have taken dark names for their businesses that should have tipped off their customers such as Quality Screw, Pro Con Inc, Sunovabeach Club and Mein Geld.
Ed Schneider of Quality Screw who bilked his way into a fortune before he went to prison was famous for the savvy businessmen he ripped off. They were almost all accountants, lawyers and physicians.
Ponzi Schemes always flourish when interest rates, real estate and stocks take a tumble. People desperately search for new ways to invest that promise big returns.
This fascinating story could never be made up. There is so much more to learn about the characters and their world.
Disclaimer: The allegations against James Fayed are just that, allegations. He has not even been formally charged with fraud or murder at this juncture.
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