Friday, 8 August 2014

Talking To Angels

Australian Securities Investment Commission
Richard Pembleton called his offsider, Craig Daintree, into his office and said to him, “Last week we received an anonymous tipoff suggesting there may be some significant embezzlement occurring at the Gladrags Corporation in Brisbane.  Provisional enquiries indicated there may be some substance to the allegation.  Accordingly an Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) investigation file has been created.  Insofar as the substance of the matter is concerned, our target is Jackson Evergreen, a 53 year old director of the Gladrags Corporation.  Mr Evergreen is in a fairly privileged position in the Corporation.  He has all the perks of office as a director, together with access to the significant finances of the Corporation.  However apparently too much is not enough because Mr Evergreen has allegedly been systematically embezzling from the Corporation for the last four (4) years. I would like you to look after that file and I will see you from time to time to assist you in relation to it.”

“No problems” Daintree replied.  He then returned to his office to do his own reading of the file and familiarise himself with its contents.

Gladrags Corporation
Constantine Constantinople was oblivious to the embezzlement situation when he joined the Gladrags Corporation not long after he graduated from university with his accounting degree.  A thoroughly decent man and well proud of his Turkish heritage, Constantine got on well with the rest of the staff. They knew him as a happily married man, devoted to his wife and two young children, possessed of a pleasant disposition and always keen to lend a hand or help out. He enjoyed working in the accounts area and did what he was asked without question.

For reasons known only to Jackson Evergreen, Constantine Constantinople was to be the fall guy for the embezzlement Evergreen was perpetrating.  These acts of dishonesty by Mr Evergreen started about six (6) months after Constantine began with the Corporation.

Evergreen was not particularly disposed to draw attention to himself. However he seemed to have enough business connections and nous to stay a step or two ahead of the game.  One-day whilst having lunch with a business friend, that colleague mentioned something about having heard that ASIC had his Gladrags company in its sights. However he did not complete the conversation because his circumstances required him to be elsewhere. Nevertheless Jackson Evergreen told himself that he would need to take particular care to ensure that his extra-corporate endeavours were not traceable to him.  When he returned to his office he set about reviewing his financial affairs so that it looked like Constantinople was doing the embezzling. His plan was that by the time ASIC finished their investigation, Evergreen would be out of the country enjoying the delights of his ill-gotten gains.

Jason Haldis
Evergreen also knew that Jason Haldis was a man with an impeccable record for delivering packages and doing what was necessary to get the job done. The Evergreen plan was to put Constantinople in the frame, have Jason deliver him a package and there be nothing of substance for the ASIC investigation to be traceable to Evergreen.  Evergreen pondered his plan for some time and then telephoned Jason.  Jason said he wanted to meet in person to discuss the details of the Evergreen proposal.

Evergreen told Jason that Constantinople had been stealing from him, doing it in such a way that made it look like Evergreen was the culprit and with the impending investigation from ASIC soon to commence, he thought his only option was to "have a package delivered to Constantinople".

Jason thought there was something not quite right with the Evergreen proposal, but he could not immediately identify what it was he found to be upsetting. He agreed to accept the engagement, but said it would take him a little time to plan the delivery before it could be carried out. Jason then gave Jackson Evergreen some clear instructions about how he might be contacted. Evergreen did not question those instructions. Jason also said if he found that Evergreen was lying to him, it would be a decision Evergreen would definitely regret.

Hermione McEwen
Jason then left the meeting with Evergreen and ruminated upon his latest engagement. He decided to contact his friend Hermione McEwen. Hermione was a woman with an impressive reputation for being able to infiltrate an organisation and obtain important information without being detected. Jason and Hermione discussed the Gladrags Corporation situation and settled upon a way to justify her being added to the Gladrags Corporation accounting staff, without her addition being seen to be controversial in any way.

After she had been at the Gladrags Corporation about three (3) days, a staff member told her that there was a courier at the front counter with a delivery for her and she needed to sign for the delivery. Hermione attended the reception area and accepted the package. She immediately took the package with her to her office and opened it. The package appeared to be a compact disc containing music. The accompanying card said "Congratulations on your new job"

The card also included the following quote:
"... She keeps a lock of hair in her pocket,
She wears a cross around her neck.
The hair is from a little boy
And the cross is from someone she has not met, not yet ..."

Hermione immediately put the disc in her personal laptop computer and located the track "She Talks To Angels" by The Black Crowes. Once she located the track, she identified the album art that accompanied the track and copied that art to her personal flash drive. She then accessed some software she had on her personal laptop computer to look more closely at the artwork she had just been provided. As she suspected, encoded within that artwork were instructions on where to look for the missing money.

Hermione considered those instructions and realised that the defrauding of the accounts she was seeking to prove was complex, so there was merit in writing down her instructions. She made notes of those instructions on her personal laptop computer, so as to not have to go through that decryption process again.

Once she was satisfied that her “new job gift” had served its purpose, she systematically shredded the compact disc, the card and all its associated wrapping material. She then took that shredded material and put it in a plastic bag. During her lunch break she placed all of that shredded material in a variety of rubbish bins around the city, so that no one bin would contain all of the discarded material.

Upon returning from lunch Hermione set about looking for evidence of the embezzled money. The information contained in her “new job gift” proved very useful and before too long she was mapping the true Evergreen embezzlement path. Hermione was uninterrupted in her role at Gladrags Corporation and after two (2) more days, she had enough information to be able to present a nicely collated report to the investigating authorities from ASIC, when the time comes. Her departure from Gladrags Corporation was as seamless as her introduction.

Hermione and Jason
Hermione then visited Jason Haldis and showed him what she had found, in significant detail. There was no doubt that Jackson Evergreen had been embezzling money from  Gladrags Corporation and that he was trying to put the blame for his so doing on Constantine Constantinople.

Upon hearing this news, Jason was not happy with Jackson Evergreen, although ultimately he was not surprised by his behaviour. Jason recalled telling Evergreen that if he found that Evergreen was lying to him, it would be a decision Evergreen would definitely regret. Jason had every intention of keeping his word to Evergreen in that regard.

Hermione said to Jason that Constantinople would go through some grief whilst the ASIC investigation runs its course, but the material she collated will ultimately exonerate him. Jason agreed with her assessment. That was pretty much the end of the conversation between Hermione and Jason. Shortly thereafter Hermione left to return to her home.

The Next Move
Jason then spent some time pondering his next move. He now knew his retainer was in reality to kill Constantinople to facilitate him being blamed for the embezzlement from Gladrags Corporation perpetrated by Evergreen. Jason decided that if he possibly could, he would see to it that Evergreen meets his demise instead and the whole sorry, sordid tale would be laid out for all to see.

The next day Jackson Evergreen rang Jason Haldis to see how his “delivery” was going. Jason let Evergreen believe everything was going to plan.

“In fact I think we should meet so I can go over the details of my plan with you” Jason said to Evergreen.

“OK where do you want to meet?” Evergreen responded.

“Meet me in two (2) hours at the top of the Rummage Parking Facility in Fortitude Valley” Jason said.

“No problems” Evergreen replied and the conversation then ended.

As soon as that telephone conversation ended, Jason rang Hermione and told her to tell ASIC of the fraud they had discovered, so that the embezzled money could be frozen and ultimately retrieved for the Gladrags Corporation. Hermione new Jason well enough to know that something was going to happen quickly, so she rang her contact at ASIC soon as she got off the telephone from Jason. She told her contact what she had discovered and that they wanted the embezzled money to be frozen, so that it could be ultimately retrieved for the Gladrags Corporation. Her contact said to leave it with him and that he would get onto it immediately.

Rummage Parking Facility
Jason arrived at the top of the Rummage Parking Facility in Fortitude Valley a little ahead of schedule. At that time Jackson Evergreen was nowhere to be seen. Jason then positioned himself relatively out of sight, but so that he still had a good view of the top floor of the parking facility. Not long thereafter Evergreen arrived. He got out of his car and started to look around the top floor of the parking facility. When he got to about five (5) metres from his car Jason shot Evergreen in the left knee area. Evergreen immediately fell to the ground and was screaming in pain.

Jason then briskly walked towards Jackson Evergreen and as he got almost upon him he said to Evergreen, “I told you if I found out that you were lying to me, it would be a decision you would definitely regret. We both know you lied to me about the embezzlement and the involvement of Constantinople.”

Before Evergreen could react to what Jason said, Jason said further, “Your regret starts now!” He then shot Evergreen in the head, killing him instantly.

Jason then rang a friend at the Central City Hospital and said “I have a delivery for you. I will be there in fifteen (15) minutes”.

His friend replied, “No problems. I will be expecting you”.

Central City Hospital
Jason immediately picked up the now dead Jackson Evergreen and put him in the boot of Evergreen’s car. He then drove Evergreen’s car to the Central City Hospital.

Fifteen (15) minutes later Jason was greeted by his friend in the furnace room in the bowels of the Central City Hospital. Without delay the body of Jackson Evergreen was put into the furnace with a great deal of waste from the hospital that was being destroyed and like that hospital waste, it was never seen again.

Jason then rang another friend of his who arranged to “steal” the car of Jackson Evergreen and subsequently dump and burn it.

As Jason made his way to his home by taxi, he reflected upon Constantine Constantinople. His plan was that Constantinople would never find out that Jason did him a favour in relation to the embezzlement. Jason did not feel as though Constantinople ought be grateful to Jason for what Jason had done for him.