It was in the mid eighties and I had a small Real Estate office. I got a call one day from someone with an accent stating they wanted to know what I had for sale. I played along with some Q & A and then was abruptly cut off. The caller said, I want to buy everything you have...I paused and considered hanging up
HERE IS WHAT I FOUND OUT
Marcos had just left the Philippines a couple of weeks ago with billions he stole. Unknown to me, his personal aide was now on the phone with me and they wanted to take some of that money and hide it into Real Estate.
SHE WANTS IT ALL
I continued with the caller who claimed they cannot tell me too much but just enough to keep me on the phone. My skepticism couldn't be held back. Who are you sez I. Not important, but gives a strange name. Look, I am busy. What do you want? I want to buy everything you have. Give me some addresses and I will call you back in an hour. I play along..
THEY WILL TAKE IT..TAKE WHAT? ALL YOU HAVE
I had large expesnive apartment, commerical, and residential properties maybe about 10-12 at the time. I submitted some addresses and abruptly hung up. I got a call back in 2 hours stating that they want it all. She doesnt counter any pricing or ask pertinent questions either. I said, this has gone far enough and don't you have anything to do? Thoughtful silence ensued and then I said skeptically...
SHOW ME THE MONEY..HONEY
How do I know you can perform? I can give you a number to call she says. What do you mean you want everything I have. What number? What is going on here? I want it all and if you have anything else, I will take that too. How can I get back to you sez I? She stated that they would call me a a pre-determined time.
I CALL THE NUMBER
I call this out of the country number which happens to be the Bank of Canada banks private line where no less than the Vice President answers the phone. I am thinking this is too much. I start asking questions and this guy is purposeful but professionally vague. I said, look, I am going to hang up if you don't start telling me precisely what is going on here.
HE BECOMES ULTRA PROFESSIONAL CONVINCING ME HE IS WHO HE IS
He identified himself as such and said he was in a fiduciary relationship with his client and controlled their funds. What did I need to know he said rather curtly to me. I said, I have millions of dollars worth of Real Estate product and I need to know if your client can close an escrow. He said who is the client. I share this strange name (like a code word) and he says they can perform. I said how much do they have. He said he cannot tell me. I press it and he says..they can purchase 100 times what you are asking for...with a smirk in his voice
SHE CALLS BACK
The lady calls me back and says get all the paperwork ready. I said I am not doing anything without a deposit of some sort. She said they will close it all in a few days. I said I wont hold property on your word. I need a good faith non-refundable deposit and I blurted out $25,000. She didn't flinch and said okay. She took my address and visited with me
THREE SIMPLE PEOPLE DRESSED DOWN ENTER
She came in with two other Filipinos...they were treating me like they were skeptical about me. She asked me to call several of my clients and competitors asking them if they wanted to sell all their listings too. I did this at her prompting. Everyone I called remained skeptical and said yea right...sure no problem and laughed.
THREE DAYS OF QUESTIONABLE CONDUCT
She made two other visits to me and several phone calls...it appeared shady but was too sloppily done to be a con. The explanation came out was a follows: Marcos was trying to put a lot of his stolen money into Real Estate using his family and friends. He had to be careful that word didn't get out to the United States government or his enemies of the money trail. I was asking too many questions and without knowing it, created too much of a money trail history...IT RED FLAGGED THEM
THEY DISAPPEARED LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED
After about the third day, all communications were broken off and I never heard from anyone again. I read about Marcos looting the treasury and other related articles and the whole thing lined up. Here is one crazy example of me doing my job thoroughly and how bringing everything into the light for examination killed an all cash deal in the multi-millions for everyone....