"Ah, good morning Andrew. Glad you could come." Said Liam extending his hand.
"And good morning to you too !" Said Andrew "Love the digs !" he added looking around at the panoramic view over London. In the background was The Shard.
"Coffee ?" enquired Liam. Andrew nodded and put his briefcase down.
"Sarah, could you hold my calls for a while, bring in a standard NDA and two coffees for us, please." said Liam and Sarah left the room.
"OK, lets sit by the window and I'll tell about our service." said Liam. Andrew sat down on the sofa opposite Liam.
"As you may know, once you get to a certain level of wealth, it attracts all manner of gold-diggers, litigation, tax inspectors, long-lost 'relatives' all thinking that somehow they are entitled to what you spent so long earning." explained Liam.
"God, tell me about it !" said Andrew with a sigh. Sarah walked in with a few sheets of paper.
"Thanks Sarah. Before we continue, I'll need you to sign this NDA". Liam handed the papers to Andrew who studied them for a few seconds.
"Is this really necessary ?" asked Andrew.
"Yes, very much so as you will soon see." explained Liam.
"OK, Done." said Andrew handing the signed papers back.
"OK. The service is split into three phases. Phase One is passive scanning. We scan their social media posts and friends for suspicious activity, we install special spy-ware on their computers, we secretly enable the mic on their phones and record their conversations ..."
"Wait ! Who gets to listen to all this ?" interrupted Andrew.
"No one, it's done automatically by our AI systems. They read their emails, scan their web-history, listen to all the conversations and extract the gist and the intent of them. Are they planning to divorce, or extort, are they planning to murder ..."
"Murder !" interrupted Andrew.
"Oh yes" replied Liam "We actually have a lady whose spouse is planning to kill her as we speak."
"Shit ! ... what are you doing about that ?" asked a very astonished Andrew.
"We're moving her to the next phase as soon as possible. We can also tell if people are searching for them." Continued Liam "Like dodgy long-lost relatives, various busy-body bureaucrats, investigators, the whole works. If and when we get a hit our system will alert us and you."
"OK. That's sounds quite useful. What's next ?" asked Andrew.
"Next is Phase Two. This is handled by another organization for obvious reasons, as you will see." explained Liam looking out over London.
"Phase Two is where you prepare to leave your current life behind, by unwinding financial assets, property, stocks, shares, etc. This takes a while and should be done slowly to attract as little attention as possible. It also needs to be untraceable hence the need for NDAs."
"How do you 'unwind' property ?" asked Andrew.
"If there is a mortgage on it, we suggest you stop payments and let it default. The spouse will be unlikely to afford it, get kicked out and the property can be sold at auction by one of us and the proceeds laundered and passed back to you."
"And if there's no mortgage ?" asked Andrew.
"The deeds of the property are quietly passed onto a few shell companies. When you're ready it can be sold and the proceeds passed back to you."
"How do you move the money without it being traced ?" asked Andrew.
"We have many methods including crypto-currencies, precious metals, cash, bearer bonds, diamonds ... we have many different ways, and we use them in combinations."
"What about personal items like artwork, photos, furniture, family heirlooms ?" asked Andrew.
"We have special storage facilities around the country. You will slowly put your belongings there bit-by-bit. When the time comes, we move your belongings around a few times and finally into storage near your new location." explained Liam "If anyone comes poking around we can fake break-ins, fires, computer crashes etc to hide the true destination." he added.
"OK ... and Phase Three ?" asked Andrew.
"Phase Three is like the FBI's witness protection service, but we arrange a fake death for you, move you somewhere far away and start transferring your wealth back to you via our special network." explained Liam.
"Fake 'death' !" asked an astonished Andrew.
"Yes, for all intents and purposes, your spouse, friends and the government must truly believe that you are dead." replied Liam "Obviously you can never make contact with anybody in your old life, not even by email, social media or phone." he added just in case it wasn't obvious to Andrew.
"What about my wealth ? If it vanishes at the same time that I do, won't that raise suspicions ?" asked Andrew.
"No. Phase Two normally last about a year giving you plenty of time to unwind investments, pull cash from savings, sell properties and businesses. That's also enough time for money to slowly 'vanish' and re-appear in your new accounts."
"OK. What if this needs to be done inside a month ?" asked Andrew.
"Ahh, that's a lot more complicated, risky ... and expensive." replied Liam "It's normally done by proxy."
"OK. So I have a genuine need for this service. My 'nice' girlfriend tried to extort money from me and when I refused, she told the tax man about my offshore accounts. The tax man now says I owe them £50 million which would bankrupt me totally, so I need to fade away - fast. Where do I sign-up ?" enquired Andrew.
"I'll pass you over to one of my collogues shortly, but first let my law firm handle the tax man, we should be able to hold them off for a month or two giving us enough time to prepare your wealth for untraceable transfers. Where and in what form is the bulk of your wealth ?" asked Liam.
"As you may have guessed, much of it is offshore, some of it is in UK in art, wine, Rolex watches and cash ..." he was interrupted.
"Anything physical can be moved to our storage facilities. We suggest you replace the wine bottle-by-bottle with fakes that we can provide, same with the artwork and the watches. The cash can just be moved at your convenience." explains Liam.
"OK, and the money in UK ?"
"There are many ways to do this. One obvious method is to over-pay for our services and the excess to be transferred over." explained Liam. "Another way is fake tax demands" he added.
"Huh ! what's that ?" he asked.
"You already have the tax man demanding large sums of cash, you receive a demand letter with payment account details, you pay, the money ends up in your new account after getting bounced around some offshore accounts. The tax man sends you a final demand, you explain that you've already paid showing the letter. In the resultant confusion we fake your death." Explained Liam.
"I would love to see Susan's face when they go through my 'estate' and see most of it is fake !" laughed Andrew "Won't there be an investigation ?"
"Probably. They will trace the art, wine and watches back to the original suppliers and see that everything was correct." explained Liam "We can plant fake evidence suggesting that Susan sold the real items and replaced them with fakes."
"Oh that's brilliant !" said Andrew smiling.
"OK. We will skip Phase One and will pass you directly over to the Phase Two team. You will receive an email very soon."
"It's been a pleasure ... and a relief." said Andrew standing up. They shook hands and Andrew left.
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