I guess I need to backtrack a little bit as I did not exactly tell you the ending scenario of the Valcor scam and how it dissolved. As we were not bringing in any more money for the project due to my order that the sales team not sell another share, it was only about a month and a half until the firings had begun. The office was now just Vince and I. My job……..that’s right, answer the pissed off investor calls, which was not fun in the least. At night I was telling them the truth.
After the month I was told to help close the office and because Vince had no balls at all to tell the office complex property manager that although I had said we would have the rent for them that it was not going to be paid and we were moving out. This was the end other than the fact I had to take the Vonage phone up to my apartment and continue answering calls. I had to beg for one more months’ pay and I spent it all on drugs and booze.
During this last month of working at Valcor, I had made contacts in the commodity business from around the world. This was formed from when I was trying to sell the non-existent timber for Val. Being that my brain was not working at all I was getting super excited about closing one of these deals. I was on Skype talking to people about gold bars, gold dust, and all different types of fuels (D2, JP54, and JP1A). The deals and people were all over the world and my days were about 21 hours long. When one part of the world went to sleep another was waking up.
One of the people I had met was a guy named Federico that lived in Escazu. I went and met with him one day and sold him on the fact that this was a great business in which to become involved. Although deals did not close very often when they did there was millions in our pockets. Being that he was for Colombia, he said he could bring people to the table both to buy and sell these commodities. We had these pipe dreams etched in our minds and visions of wealth clouding reality.
I was behind a month on my rent so in the middle of the night I packed Federico’s car and headed down to live with he and his gringa, Betsy. Betsy was a hoity, toity blond that was getting supported by her ex-husband. She had obviously married for money and was using that money to control Federico. Fed was more than happy though having a place to stay and being her “arm candy”, in exchange for not working. Betsy was probably good looking back in the day, but the years and chain smoking had caught up with her. One thing had not faded, her greed and desire for money.
Through an arrangement that was made from a few days before I was given a deal. In exchange for working on these deals, I would receive room and board and when something closed it was to be split 3 ways, each of the 3 “partners” getting a third of the closing money. I set to work with visions of adult sugar plums in my head. Looking back I was basically an indentured servant, but did not care.
You may be thinking that this was not a bad deal, which it would not have been if something had actually ever closed. My sleeping quarters was an upstairs storage bedroom that they had been using for storing Betsy’s 500 pairs of shoes and other items she had collected over the years. My bed was an a used doggie bed of one of their Rottweiler’s that had fortunately been cleaned, well as much as it can be. When I did try to sleep, the padding in the bed would squish to the sides and by hour 2, I would be sleeping basically on the hardwood floor.
I did not sleep much. I spent between 18 and 21 hours a day working these deals with contacts I had never met. For all I knew these people could have been some 15 year old kid in his mom’s basement. But I kept pushing to try to get one of these deals closed. I was working gold dust deals in Ghana. Gold bar deals in Zurich. Platinum deals in Manila. Diamond deals in Sierra Leone to South Africa to New York. Lastly were the fuel deals that spanned the globe from Houston to Rotterdam to Russia. I was excited and learned all the terminology so I sounded intelligent on Skype conference calls that would begin at 2 in the morning and continue until 9 pm at night.
The people I met in these “deals” were probably what I will remember most. I met people that “knew the prince in Bahrain”, people that were “connected to the Russian mafia”, people that “had connections to De Beers” for diamonds, people that “had buyers for oil for Shell and Exxon”, and so much more. What was the worst part is I believed all these lies. Each lie would get me excited and push me further to keep working the long hours to try to put those millions in my pocket.
During the hours I was working, Betsy would be looking online for the yacht she was going to buy with her money. She told me in confidence that she and Federico had not been intimate for a while and that I could join her on her world cruise on her yacht. It took all the effort in the world to smile and not admit I was vomiting inside my head. Guess that was where the term “I just threw up a little in my mouth” was coined for me.
The closest in our minds we ever got to closing one of these wastes of time was a gold deal that was brought to us by a mandate that was Costa Rican and had connections in Zurich. We brought a buyer to the table and sat down in Costa Rica and they were “negotiating”. In order to celebrate the non-closed deal Federico and I went to meet with an infamous strip club owner in Costa Rica that was in his own words “connected to the Maloof Brothers” and has thinking of doing a Palms in Costa Rica. We were going to be investors with the money from our gold deal. We were the guests of honor that night at the club and took full advantage. Tequila shots were lined up and after about 15 of those, I do not remember the rest of the night. I was told the next day though that I ran naked through the club. Keeping it classy! As you already know the deal did not close.
Eight months of working 21 hour days I was no closer to closing one of these fictitious deals than I was on day one. I began asking the people I was dealing with if they had ever closed one of these commodity deals. Every time the answer was the same “not me personally, but I know a friend of a friend that closed a small one.” It was quite obvious that these deals were a joke and if someone has $10 million do a fuel deal or $100 million to do a gold deal they did not use all of us idiots online to do the deals and connect them to a buyer.
I was in need to get on with my life and leave this behind. After talking to a couple of friends I packed my things and made a quick stop in Heredia at a house there where I crashed and drank for a few days until I headed to Atenas. I had a little money coming in from a woman I had met through the commodity deals. She was willing to pay me a little bit in exchange for my working the deals and I think that she wanted a little bit more than just working with me. Being that my pride and self-worth had been flushed down the toilet months ago, I was willing to play the game in order to survive.
I was not getting anywhere in life but at least I was surviving. I still had a roof over my head and was eating, but I was right on the edge. My addictions were getting worse and I was rationalizing giving up food in order to drink and do drugs. The pain in my heart and soul was growing each day. I already knew that I had pushed my family away with my actions and each day I grew more disappointed in myself while falling into a long depression.