Thursday, May 19, 2011

James Fayed Found Guilty of Murder in Los Angeles Court

A jury in Los Angeles today found Camarillo businessman James Fayed guilty of first-degree murder in a plot to kill his wife Pamela. Also convicted of murder for financial gain and a charge of lying in wait, Fayed could face the death penalty. Why is this of interest to libertarians? Because Fayed and his wife once ran the digital gold currency e-Bullion.

We're curious about digital currencies, as a way of attaining greater financial privacy and reducing our exposure to the mad ways of the Federal Reserve. But Fayed's story does serve as a sobering reminder that they're vulnerable to scam artists. In the case of e-Bullion, things began to go wrong in 2008, when Fayed was arrested by federal agents and indicted on charges of operating an illegal money-transfer business. Digital-gold accounts are normally funded through exchange providers, who take your cash and credit your account with a corresponding amount of gold; by not taking cash directly, digital-currency providers aren't subject to banking laws. Since e-Bullion technically operated its own currency-exchange service, it appears the prosecutors had a good case. The indictment created a bitter rift between the Fayeds, who filed for divorce and accused each other of embezzling large sums from their business. Pamela Fayed apparently chose to cooperate with the authorities, but was murdered in Century City by men her husband hired before she could speak to prosecutors.


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