Info About OMEGA

Clyde Hood was the founder of the Omega Scam that was promoted at RSE by JZ Knight/Ramtha.
It never paid off, and Hood is in jail. Share your experience about RSE scams and ponzi schemes here.
Whatchamacallit
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Info About OMEGA

Unread post by Whatchamacallit » Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:42 am

Posted on Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 3:24 am:

This artical is of interest- on the Omega 'deal'


The Tacoma News Tribune.

The victims didn't always fit the stereotype of elderly shut-ins wooed by smooth-talking grifters. Joseph Dispenza, a chiropractor from Rainier, gave $11,700 to Omega. He thought it sounded legitimate.



The grifter is Clyde Hood, a retired electrician from Mattoon, Ill. He's serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison for mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.


A decade ago, Hood created an investment fraud scam called Omega. Dove almost never mentions Omega these days, but without it, her celebrity and her cybercult might not exist.


Omega robbed thousands of people, including South Sound residents, of at least $12.5 million. That was the traceable part. Federal attorneys and investigators who prosecuted Hood and 18 co-conspirators think the real number was greater - at least $20 million, perhaps $50 million.


In 1994, Hood started telling a story to Midwestern churchgoers. He said he'd worked for Fortune 500 companies, been in the investment business for 15 or 16 years, owned a foreign bank. He had become an expert in offshore trading, European high-yield investment programs and prime bank notes. He could do a $250 million deal in the morning and again in the afternoon, four times a week.


"I'm the only one with control," he said. "I'm the only one with the collateral account, I'm the one with the fiduciary bank. There are only seven or eight people in the world that can do all this."


With a nod to his Christian audience, he said a vision from God came to him during a business trip in Hong Kong: It told him to help the little people, and do a big trade for humanitarian causes. For that, he had formed a company called Omega Trust and Trading Ltd. He was offering hardworking people a chance to reap their share of "the Lord's storehouse."


They could buy Omega "units" for $100 apiece. Under Hood's supervision, each unit would "roll" for 275 days, with a 50-to-1 return. Investors could let it "roll" again, for another 275 days, again at 50 to 1. After that, they could do one more roll, but that was all.


For onlookers, the math wasn't too hard to figure. In less than three years, $100 could become $12.5 million.


Hood sealed the deal by sending investors an official-looking document called a "private party loan agreement." They even got receipts.


Thousands of people fell for his pitch. Later, he admitted it was bull.


"Did you get a vision, an actual vision from the Lord?" a federal prosecutor asked Hood in 2001.


"No," he said. "I did not."


"Have you ever worked for a Fortune 500 company as a trader?" the prosecutor asked later.


"No," Hood said.


"What is Omega?"


"It's a scam."


The loan agreements were worthless. "Prime bank notes" didn't exist. Hood didn't own a bank and had no experience in finance - just a few financial terms picked up from wealthy friends, and the knowledge that others had engineered the same swindle.


"There's other programs similar, and I just picked up on it and thought I had something I could work," he said in court testimony.


Omega lured suckers from all 50 states and a few foreign countries. Dove was one of them. She says she bought two units in 1998 after learning about the program through a friend in the town of Rainier.


She says she began publishing Internet reports in November 1999. In those early writings, she called herself an Omega investor, still waiting for her "prosperity deliveries" like everyone else. She named Hood and his allies and described her contacts with them.


The Omega pitch spread by word of mouth, through relatives and friends. Hood and four confederates created a network of phone lines in 17 area codes. Omega investors could hear phony, prerecorded "updates" from Hood, explaining Omega's status, and why promised fortunes weren't being delivered.


It worked for six years. From 1994 to 2000, Hood got by with excuses.


"Omega has been interrupted due to some unforeseen financial conflicts," he said in a June 3, 1996, phone message, typical of his style. "These situations or those situations should be completed on June 17, 1996. And the banks then will continue to process your checks and credit cards."


Scores of similar messages explained more delays. The deliveries, always a few weeks or months away, never came.


Meanwhile, the money for new Omega units poured in. Hood's four "coordinators," a handful of allies who collected money for Omega shares, piled cash, cashier's checks and money orders into cardboard boxes. The biggest producers collected between $60,000 and $100,000 per week.


They laundered the money through banks in Texas, California, Illinois and the United Arab Emirates, then spent it on themselves. Hood bought a fleet of classic cars, and handed out interest-free loans to friends and family members who bought houses and businesses.


The messenger


Washington was an Omega stronghold. Only California and Texas ranked higher in the list of documented victims. Within the state, the majority of victims lived in and around Yelm.


"It proliferated throughout this entire town," said resident Emily French, whose mother gave $1,100 to Omega.


"It was just by word of mouth," said Rainier resident Frances Motyer, who lost $4,500. "Some friends of ours told us, and when we turned around to talk to other people about it, they already knew."


The victims didn't always fit the stereotype of elderly shut-ins wooed by smooth-talking grifters. Joseph Dispenza, a chiropractor from Rainier, gave $11,700 to Omega. He thought it sounded legitimate.


A Seattle-based tax attorney with a Yelm address gave Omega $280,000, the largest documented restitution claim filed in the Omega case.


Her name is Ruth Sparrow, and she works for Garvey Schubert Barer, a Seattle law firm. Her biography on the firm's Web site states she spent 14 years in the tax department of a Philadelphia law firm and describes her as having "significant experience in federal income tax matters concerning corporations, partnerships and individuals in business and real estate transactions."


Sparrow refused to discuss Omega when reached by The News Tribune.


Ramtha


As he gathered Omega's threads, Esteban "Steve" Sanchez, the assistant U.S. attorney in Urbana, Ill., who prosecuted the case, noticed the Yelm connection. He realized several victims were linked to JZ Knight, the ethereal New Age guru who claims to "channel" the spirit of a 40,000-year-old warrior called Ramtha.


"I cannot tell you what, if any, direct relationship there was between this person in Yelm, Washington, and Clyde Hood," Sanchez said of Knight. "We knew that there were people associated with her that apparently had invested in Omega, but that was not an angle that we wanted to pursue, because apparently it's very difficult to pursue that angle."


Omega was an open secret at Knight's Ramtha School of Enlightenment, four former students say. They asked not to be named, citing the fear of legal retaliation from Knight, who requires students to sign nondisclosure agreements.


"That's how I became involved in it, was through the school," one student said. "I was involved in it and practically everybody else I knew at the school was involved in it. There were tons of people involved in this on just a cash basis. People were sending in cash - cash with no paperwork, no receipt, no nothing. People were promised their money was going to come in before the next snowfall."


The students say Knight never endorsed or promoted Omega. Some recall her telling students to cultivate an "abundance mentality" if the promised fortunes ever came.


Knight did not respond directly to requests for comment from The News Tribune. Greg Simmons, a Ramtha school spokesman, acknowledged Omega was discussed informally among students at the school. When asked whether Knight lost money in Omega, Simmons would not comment.


In the late 1990s, as Omega reached its peak, Shaini Goodwin was living near Yelm, in a gated community called Clearwood.


She had taken classes at the Ramtha school in the late 1980s and later claimed to be a kind of channeler herself, according to those who know her. She sprinkles her daily Dove reports with frequent references to the "Ascended Masters" and "the Illuminati," common figures in New Age teachings.


Dove's mission


In her early Internet messages as Dove, she claimed access to secret information.


"Two new pieces of info suggest that important strides forward are being made," she wrote March 20, 2000. "You are well advised to GET READY. I have personally been reprogramming my old ideas about prosperity so that I am ready to wisely steward this great abundance."


The News Tribune interviewed 12 Omega victims, including current and former Washington residents. Most said they had heard of Dove through her Internet reports. A few remember Goodwin. None recalls her selling Omega units, and Goodwin says she never sold any. Sanchez found no evidence of it, though he didn't know Dove's real name.



August 09, 2004
one born every minute
The internet is terribly vulnerable to scams, crackpot theories and bent religions. Every sucker with a telephone line and an old computer is waiting to give their brains to some cunning nutbag in a double wide trailer.

The story of Shaini Goodwin and her deluded followers is perhaps the most baroque efflorescence of zombie credulity yet spawned on the internet. You want to send a stranger money wrapped in aluminium foil so the government can't track it?

Thirteen years ago engineer Harvey Barnard doodled onto the internet an amateur theory to save the American economy called NESARA.

Sadly, it would collide with an investment scam called Omega run by Clyde Hood, a retired electrician now breaking rocks in a US Federal Prison, J.Z.Knight who runs a School of Enlightenment and channels the spirit of a 40,000 year old warrior called Ramtha, and Shaini Goodwin, the "Dove of Enlightenment".

She believes the US Government has signed a secret law forgiving all debts, abolishing taxes, and eliminating credit card bills. For some reason the Feds are keeping this a secret so the nation goes on paying imaginary taxes, honouring debts that don't exist and suffering under credit cards with no power.

She has inspired her disciples to believe that Barnard is now an apostate corrupted by the Illuminati, and to demonstrate at public meetings around the world, and to send money to the aforementioned trailer home to help her campaign.

She also, at least on the surface, believes in Omega, and came to prominence with her email newsletter urging victims to keep schtumm or the government would find out and ruin it. She does not seem to have benefitted financially from the scam.

The whole thing functions on the internet, and its intricacies are neatly described by Tacoma News Tribune, which follows the story because it's their locals who shovel the most money into this maw of stupidity.

"A Seattle-based tax attorney with a Yelm address gave Omega $280,000, the largest documented restitution claim filed in the Omega case.

Her name is Ruth Sparrow, and she works for Garvey Schubert Barer, a Seattle law firm. Her biography on the firm's Web site states she spent 14 years in the tax department of a Philadelphia law firm and describes her as having "significant experience in federal income tax matters concerning corporations, partnerships and individuals in business and real estate transactions."
Posted at: http://www.factnet.org/discus/messages/3/6799.html

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