In May 2000, Brent Wagman pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud -- something to do with his pocketing $30 million in worthless high interest corporate notes sold to retirees and other elderly folks across the U.S. and A. Wagman ran several companies out of a Dallas office, among them Redbank Petroleum, Inc. and AmeriTech Petroleum, Inc., in which he got folks to invest their hard-earned scratch while guaranteeing big returns on their investments -- only, the government said, Wagman had nada with which to back up his guarantee. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against Wagman in June 1999 -- after which he and his family immediately skedaddled to Panama, where he was arrested in March 2000 just before taking the guilty plea and being ordered to fork over $24 million. Wagman was found to have connections to this guy, got his own chapter in a 2001 book, Global Pirates: Fraud in the Offshore Insurance Industry, and last I heard of the guy, he was suing his now-ex-wife over the house in 2005.
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So, here's the weird part. Last night, Unfair Park received an e-mail from Wagman with the subject heading, "GOVERNMENT STRIPPED HUNDREDS OF ELDERLY OF LIFE SAVINGS--HELP!" The missive itself is a lengthy diatribe against -- who else? -- the S.E.C., in which Wagman claims, among other things, the government went after him "to steal a gas field worth nearly $1 million," and did so with the help of Enron and Senator Phil Gramm's wife, no kiddin'. Also, Wagman claims "he was kidnapped by the FBI while his family was held hostage until he plead guilty" and that "the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals backdated a decision to silence his allegations of corruption." And, of course, there's a Web site full of docs and photos meant to prove his case that, yup, it was all a conspiracy and he didn't do nothin'. Swear, pal, I'm gettin' to it, right after I finish this pot of coffee. --Robert Wilonsky