Mark Clark and Gerry Smith on the Nigerian Scam Network
I first started conversation with Mr. Clark on August 07, 2015. We started a conversation on a gay website bbrt.com. The following day he asked for my email address to communicate that way. I gave it to him. Our correspondence has continued on this platform but we decided on the 16th of August to also use text messaging. I gave him my number and 2 days later we began texting one another.
We discussed what we felt both wanted in a relationship if we choose to pursue it with each other. We found to have similar interests with what to expect in a relationship and decided to move ahead with one.
I learned at this point that Mr. Clark said he was a civil engineer from Australia working as an independent on a project in the Houston Texas area in the United States. He said he had several employees and that the project was funded with his own finances, with payment refunded with profit upon completion.
He claimed he had sold his home in Australia to fund the project because he felt this was an opportunity of a lifetime. I told him I was in a second career study program to be a paralegal with completion in January 2016.
The first time I was asked for money was August 20th 2015. It was $461.00 Cdn for repairs to a broken piece of equipment necessary for the project. I was hesitant at first but later convinced it was just a temporary loan as he was without emergency funds for such repairs or unforeseen problems that might occur.
He claimed that to be because the project was running late and that all his capital and existing loans he received for the project were exhausted. I then agreed to help. He asked that I wire the money to a Mr. Wayne Durham’s bank account because he did not have a US account active and that Wayne was an employee of his, so it was safe. I was sent all pertinent banking information for this transaction and forwarded directly to the account.
This was the beginning of many amounts of money forwarded. After approx. $8000.00 was sent to Wayne on behalf of Mark, Mr. Clark offered me a business deal to invest up to a certain amount of money that was to be used for sundry expenses as needed and to help aid in paying his freelance employees. A contract was sent to me for review.
We then spoke briefly on the telephone regarding this (2-3 minutes) and agreed that the use of electronic signatures was binding. That was revised on the contract and sent back (copy attached with documents). I was asked that when funds were needed I would send them directly to certain people that were involved with the project as payments towards their services or other financial obligations he was subject to pay. The initial amount was not to exceed $38,000.00 US.
In the latter part of September, Mr. Clark confessed to me that he had a pending court case back in Australia regarding unpaid taxes for a project he and his father did for the Australian government. He claimed his father had died during this project and that the onus was put on him. He declared they were wrong with this assumption and that for the past year the family lawyer was working diligently to resolve it. (There is an email attached explaining this in its entirety).
Beginning of October, 2015 Mark has said that the project was completed and paid. He had opened up a Chase bank account to deposit the payment. Immediately afterwards he claimed the account was frozen by request of the Australian government until he returned to Australia to confront the allegations of tax evasion that was pending in the courts. Further monies were sent as he claimed were needed to pay taxes with the Houston project and perhaps by doing so he
could get access to some funds to pay workers and myself back. I did so until the max amount of $38k was reached.
Mark shortly thereafter said he was under house arrest with the US government as requested by Australia and claims he was deported October 14th 2015.
Mr. Clark sent to me in November a signed document acknowledging the outstanding debt owed and accrued interest under the terms of the contract. I assume in honesty in this matter and continued correspondence with him until April 21st 2017.
During beginning months of 2016 I again helped Mr. Clark with finances with claims of penalties and stamp charges that were needed to be paid. The amount were sent to certain individuals Jim Behr, Robert Niemoeller, Sean Tate and Robert Baker all US Resident addresses he claimed as tax agent representing the Australian government that were to receive monies on Mark’s behalf as he was restricted from any sort of money access until his accounts were unfrozen.
He assured me that they were government agents that would pay his charges to the US Government to get his US account unfrozen. I ceased sending any more money June 2016 but an additional approx. $10,000 Cdn was sent during that time.
Amicable dialogue continued with Mark. In November 2016 he confirmed that all had been resolved and that he had received his passport back and abilities to work and continue business as usual, he put it.
He claims he arrived back in the United States November 16th 2017, by loan of a claimed friend Gerry Smith who’s partner James Weaver was sending me money on Mark’s behalf for expenses. I received a total of 3 payments from James via my PayPal account totaling $6600.00 US between October to April of this year. I started to become suspicious of having Mark tell me to redirect these funds not to him but to a resident Peter James in Nigeria. When I questioned this matter I was told that this was Gerry’s wish and to please follow instructions. The final payment of $2200.00 sent by James in April 2017 I took it upon myself to contact James and to question what was asked of me.
James, I had now discovered was not partnered with Gerry but had been in contact with him giving monies for projects etc. We then discovered that his correspondence with Gerry was the exact same telephone number being used by Mark Clark. He had been involved funding Gerry for many months prior. This last loan payment was to be used for Mark to travel to Canada for 2 weeks to visit at which time all banking matters and lifts of frozen accounts were to be complete and I would drive with him back to Houston to finalize his matters and receive my payment back.
On April 22nd he was to fly into Buffalo NY where I was to pick him up. He never showed. This entire ordeal is fully document with contract, agreements of debt payment, countless emails and text messaging I have kept on my phone since commencing communication with Mark.
I have researched and confirmed correct addresses of monies sent to these individuals, each one when I have tried to contact refuse to co-operate or even admit that indeed I sent them money. All these denials I have proof that indeed I did either wire or courier money to their homes or cities they reside in. I believe they are part of this and have taken my money denying to have done so. I have included the address of these individuals except for Robert Baker. Apparently James was sending money to Corbett Baker who both resides in the same town in Texas.
We have traced the number used by Gerry and Mark to Clint Texas and at the writing of this statement is still active and in use. James believes that Gerry will contact him again for more money.