The Bank Exchange

In 2001, OffshoreAlert revealed that a Montana-based group called The Bank Exchange was forming ordinary IBCs in Panama with the words "credit union" in their names for hundreds of dollars each and selling them to North Americans for up to $55,000 by falsely claiming they were "financial institutions", with the buyers then using these shell companies with impressive names to offer a variety of fraudulent investment products, including CDs and other financial instruments bearing annual interest of 108%. Within two weeks of OffshoreAlert questioning The Bank Exchange about its activities, the group shut down its U.S. operations. The Bank Exchange was controlled by William Abraczinskas, Dale Erickson Sr., and Darryl Willis, all of whom subsequently went to prison, with Abraczinskas receiving 10 years for money laundering, while Erickson and Willis received 15 years each for swindling a 101-year-old woman out of her life savings.
Timeline
31

December

2001

Unlicensed offshore ‘credit unions’ offer high yield products to members

A United States firm has been forming IBCs in Panama and selling them to North Americans at a huge mark-up on the basis that they are "financial institutions", OffshoreAlert can reveal.At least five of the IBCs are currently offering investment products and services from web-sites hosted in Montana or the Bahamas even though none holds a license.
31

August

2002

‘Bank Exchange’ principals charged with defrauding 100-year-old widow

Two men whose involvement in sham offshore credit unions was exposed by OffshoreAlert last year have been charged with defrauding a 100-year-old widow out of more than $6 million in the United States.Dale A. Erickson, 53, and Darryl K. Willis were arrested on June 27, 2002 in Connecticut and Montana, respectively, and are currently in custody, with bail set at $2.5 million for Erickson and $100,000 cash, plus conditions, for Willis.
31

December

2002

Businessmen plead ‘no contest’ to defrauding elderly woman

Two men previously exposed by OffshoreAlert for promoting and operating sham offshore credit unions have pleaded "no contest" to defrauding a 101-year-old woman out of more than $6 million.Dale A. Erickson, 53, and Darryl K. Willis, 63, entered into plea agreements with state prosecutors at Montana Third Judicial District Court, Powell County on December 16, 2002.
30

June

2003

Insider Talking: June 30, 2003

The Bank of Bermuda sacked 14 staff in June after catching them distributing pornographic e-mails, reported The Royal Gazette newspaper; Imperial Consolidated co-founders Jared Brook and Lincoln Fraser are close to being arrested by the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom, according to the June 12, 2003 edition of 'Private Eye', a British satirical magazine; Meanwhile, UK-registered financial services firm Kingsbridge Holdings PLC has partly blamed its "very disappointing" loss of £1.397 million (US$2.3 million) for the six months ended February 28, 2003 on Imperial Consolidated; While owners of web-sites in the United States are legally protected against libel actions from people who believe they have been defamed on Internet message boards, that does not appear to be the case in the Cayman Islands; In the United States, where there is a tax protester, there is usually an illegal offshore investment scheme not far behind and Eddie Ray Kahn, who lives in Sorrento, Florida, is no exception; The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission issued a warning about Richmont Investments Inc. on April 10, 2003; Former Bank of Bermuda (Cayman) officer Marc Vanmarsenille, who lost his job in the aftermath of the Cash 4 Titles fiasco, is a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed at the Turks & Caicos Islands Supreme Court on November 7, 2002; At the same court, a lawsuit has been filed against TCI-registered Sealand Housing Corporation in an attempt to collect on a judgment awarded in the UK High Court; Two businessmen previously exposed in OffshoreAlert for their involvement in the sale and operation of sham offshore credit unions involving Nevis, Panama and the United States have each been sentenced to 25 years in prison, ten of which is suspended, for defrauding a 101-year-old woman out of her life savings; and If creditors of Bahamas-based Suisse Security Bank & Trust were wondering why the winding-up of the bank is taking so long, they should read the prelude to the recently-released written judgment by Bahamas Supreme Court Justice Austin Davis in which he turned down the bank's attempt to regain its banking license, which was suspended on March 5, 2001 and revoked on April 2, 2001.
07

August

2007

Sham Nevis ‘credit union’ received $3.8 m of fraud proceeds, claims US regulator

A sham offshore ‘credit union' that was controlled by the now-defunct, fraudulently-operated Global Prosperity Group received $3.8 million from a United States-based investment scam, it has been claimed.Prosperitas Internationale, described as “a purported ‘credit union' purportedly operating out of Nevis”, has been named as a relief defendant in a complaint for a permanent injunction that was filed by the U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission at the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on August 1, 2007.