The Long Con, conclusion

July 18, 2010

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The final part of the three part story.


Murray and Smythe spent the morning analyzing the financial records of Wallaby, as well as the records of the foreign suppliers Wallaby was interested in taking over. The offer Murray had on the table would give Smythe a sizable ownership interest in Wallaby. Based on the past performance of the company, it looked like a solid bargain.

During post-lunch cocktails, Murray made a final pitch.

“In most case, I would never dream of taking on an outside investor. Unfortunately, my silent partners and I are stretched thin at the moment, and the banks think my plan is a bit on the risky side, given the financial state of the suppliers.”

Leonard Smythe nodded, not totally disagreeing with the opinion of the banks.

“If we can get the infusion of cash to take control of these suppliers, we’re going to have a very strong year. Our revenue has been on a steep upward curve for the last few years. But if we’re forced to renege on the deals we’ve made with the computer manufacturers, we not only lose that revenue, but the trust of those companies.”

“I’ve heard good things about you, Mr, Smythe, so I wanted to give you a crack at this. I’m confident that you would be a fair partner and would not put your own interest in front of those of the company. Unfortunately, though, time is of the essence. I have a meeting with another venture capitalist on Monday, so I’m going to need an answer by tomorrow.”

Smythe gulped the rest of his scotch and sat silently for a moment. “Silas, my boy, I’m seriously considering investing in Wallaby. However, we’re talking about a serious amount of money. I’ll have to sleep on it and give you an answer in the morning.”

Smythe headed back to hotel in the early afternoon, saying that he needed to make some calls about some other deals he was working on. He arranged to meet Andrea in the hotel bar once again.

The next morning, Andrea told Silas she was very confident that Smythe was going to come through with the money.

“I think our Mr. Smythe is a bit smitten with me,” Andrea told Silas over breakfast in the morning. “He tried to convince me to run away with him for the weekend”

“Did you agree?”

“Actually, I did. I thought it would give you some time to shut down operations and leave town. By the time Smythe smells a rat, all traces of Wallaby Industries will be long gone.”

Silas Murray smiled. “By the time he realizes that he’s being conned by a beautiful woman, his money would be sitting safely in the Cayman Islands.”

As Andrea had predicted, Leonard Smythe had his checkbook out when he met with Silas. He quickly signed the contract and handed a check to Silas.

“A million now, and the rest in ten days, as we agreed.”

Silas smiled and took the check, amused at receiving an old school form of payment. “I look forward to having you as a partner, Mr. Smythe.”

“Please, now that we’re partners, call me Leonard,” replied Smythe. “Oh, and if it isn’t a terrible inconvenience, I’d like to borrow your VP of Sales for a few days.”

“You kids have a good time. I think the company can survive for one day without Ms. Noonan.”

An hour after Smythe left the office with Andrea, Silas was at the bank. He deposited the check and left instructions to wire the funds to his Cayman account after the deposit had been verified.

Silas spent the rest of the day removing any trace of their presence from the location they had used as the headquarters for Wallaby Industries, including wiping for fingerprints. They had had upfront cash for the rent to avoid a paper trail. Silas Murray jumped on a plane and headed back home.

When Silas didn’t hear from Andrea on Monday morning, he got a little worried. When the funds hadn’t been verified by Tuesday, he got more worried. On Wednesday, he received a letter in the mail from Leonard Smythe.

My name is not really Leonard Smythe, of course, just as yours is not Silas Murray. I simply assumed the identity of Smythe for a few days, in order to use his credibility to gain your trust.

You conned a friend of mine several years ago. I doubt you remember it – it was just one of many victims you have conned over the years.

I took it upon myself to get revenge for my friend. You thought you were conning me out of my money, but I was actually conning you out of your wife. I made my sales pitch to her the first night I was in town. She’s tired of life on the run, Silas. I can give her a comfortable life without the need to constantly look over her shoulder.

Making our escape over the weekend bought us some time. Andrea knew that you wouldn’t get truly worried until the check bounced. She’s an amazing woman, Silas. You don’t know what you’ve been missing all these years as you focused all of your energy on the almighty dollar.

One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Martin Kelly
    Jul 19, 2010 @ 12:05:31

    Nice. I tought that Andrea would be the double con-artist.


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