Tory Lord tells peers about a weird Internet scam at great length

On February 16th, Lord David James of Blackheath (a Conservative life peer) spoke for 11 minutes in the UK House of Lords about a supposed $15 trillion federal reserve conspiracy that involved more gold than has ever been mined. It turned out he had fallen for a widespread scam.

“Mr. Riyadi has sent me a remarkable document dated February 2006,” Lord James continued, “in which the American Government have called him to a meeting with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” That meeting, he said, “was witnessed by Mr Alan Greenspan, who signed for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of which he was chairman, as well as chairman of the real Federal Reserve in Washington. It is signed by Mr Timothy Geithner as a witness on behalf of the International Monetary Fund. The IMF sent two witnesses, the other being Mr Yusuke Horiguchi.”

“These gentlemen have signed as witnesses,” he continued, “to the effect that this deal is a proper deal. There are a lot of other signatures on the document. I do not have a photocopy; I have an original version of the contract.

“Under the contract, the American Treasury has apparently got the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to offer to buy out the bonds issued to Mr Riyadi to replace the cash which has been taken from him over the previous 10 years. It is giving him $500 million as a cash payment to buy out worthless bonds. That is all in the agreement and it is very remarkable.”

Riyadi, as the tale continues, supposedly had 750,000 tons of gold backing the $15 trillion the United States took from him to prop up the U.S. dollar.

The World Gold Council, however, estimates the only 165,000 tons of gold have been mined in the history of the world.

British Lord fell for $15 trillion federal reserve scam


    1.  It makes one wonder, who gave him unfettered internet access, and why aren’t his staff checking his mail? If his staff are trying to restrain his actions, what even Crazier things have they prevented him from speaking publically about? It makes one realise why chain letters go so popular before chain e-mails.

        1. It amuses me that they’re worried about the photo belittling the dignity of Parliament. That horse bolted years ago.

          Edit: Also “remove the photo from the internet.” Ha.

          1. “Black Rod was involved in another bruising encounter with ex-Labour Minister Lord Foulkes”

            I could not read that without giggling.

  1. The internet has smitten him;  his Wikipedia article now gives yesterday as his date of death.

    1.  He and Andrew Breitbart were both silenced on the same day. Coincidence?  WAKE UP, SHEEPLES!

  2. Be sure to click through to the comments in the linked article.  The tinfoil hat brigade seems to hang out at that site, and he has no shortage of defenders there.  If I was a Nigerian scam artist, I’d do my best to mine for some contacts there.

  3. At 10:35  he introduces his “104 megabyte memory thumb”.  Could I have one of those too please?

  4. Speaking of scams, I just got an e-mail from a Brazilian domain claiming to be the SEC investigating misconduct at my firm.   I wonder why the SEC is using a Portuguese URL.  I guess I’d better click the link and see.

    1. Hmm if the SEC are going to come knocking, you should delete any incriminating files from your hard drive.  Back them up onto your 104 megabyte memory thumb first, though.

    2. And I’ve apparently been suspended as a CPA because one of my staff has been tagged as defrauding…. someone or other. Oh, and my appeal on taxes to the IRS has been refused and there is  a nice convenient link to follow to re-appeal.
      I live in Canada. I don’t employ anyone.
      You just can’t get the sort of quality of spam that used to be available…

      1.  I took over the .com domain of my name ( when the guy who’s had it for years and years let the registration lapse, and he is apparently actually a CPA and consultant so I get a lot of emails addressed to him regarding that kind of thing.

        The way these real emails are written is little different from the scam and spam ones, strange logic, grammar, and spelling included!

  5. For those of us not deeply up on our British politics: Does this particular conspiracy theory flatter the guy’s worldview in some way, making him especially inclined to believe in it? Or is he just not the sharpest bulb in the rocketship?

    1. He’s just dim. Since most readers probably don’t know that much about British politics: this isn’t actually unusual for end-of-day Lords debates about nothing in particular. A substantial amount of what is said during these sleepy hours is of no merit whatsoever, and is about on a level with internet forums (if anybody thought the internet invented that kind of nonsense, I regret to inform you that the Lords have been doing it for centuries).

      The Lords have a general prerogative to talk about whatever they like when there’s no important business to take care of. On this occasion the motion under debate can be summarised as “We think some things have recently happened in Europe” – and I’m not overstating how fluffy it was. Some of the speakers talked about Europe and many did not. A substantial number of them merely engaged in mockery of other members of the house. This particular guy doesn’t really stand out from the crowd, he’s just the only one whose speech is obvious nonsense to boingboing readers.

      1.  You make a very reasonable point. And it’s not as if legislators in this country, elected or otherwise, have anything particularly important they could be discussing in these peaceful, affluent, harmonious times.

        1. Due to the fact that most of the members have more important things to do than sit around yammering on all day every day, the Lords schedule is arranged so that some days are free from critically important matters and skippable by those with no direct interest. This looks like one of them; hence, most of the sane people were not present, so the debate was dominated by the obsessive and crazy.

          (It came immediately after three days of intense debates on healthcare, welfare, and civil liberties, where real legislation was hammered out and bugfixed)

          There’s nothing I see wrong with that system.

    2. Tragically, he’s not even a hereditary peer. He was quite a big noise in the City at some point. Can’t remember if the Blair lot or the Cameron lot gave him his peerage, but I’m sure they bought something nice with the proceeds. Allegedly.

      1. So there was some sector of the economy that paid a substantial sum of money for his presence at some point in the past? SRSLY?

        1. Dude, this guy has connections, the sort of connections used to moving real money via unorthodox methods (Russian oligarchs, real African dictators etc — par for the course in London). 

          It’s funny how being so rich makes you actually more credulous about certain things which look patently absurd to the common man. Makes you wonder what sort of “operations” guys like this are used to.

          1. I haven’t read the original article but my first thought was “you can’t cheat an honest man.” Today’s financial markets blur the line between insane complexity and extremely subtle fraud and I suppose he found himself on the receiving end of the latter. 

      2. Wikipedia says he was nominated by the Tories, but “gazetted” under Blair. Unsurprisingly, his name was on the cash-for-peerages list.

      3. There have only been two hereditary peerages granted in the last forever, both to old, childless people.

  6. I went to look this up in Hansard (to see whether they’d transcribed “memory thumb”) and couldn’t find it on Feb 16 or under Lord James

    Is Hansard applying an idiot-filter, or am I looking in the wrong place?

      1. Ah, I was looking at Feb 16 2011, that’s embarrassing.  Thanks.

        Pleased to see that the 104-megabyte memory thumb has made it into the parliamentary record.    

    1. As usual for that question, the answer is really embarrassing.

      However, the list of people it is embarrassing for is substantially shorter than usual…

    2. They’re not voted in – I wish! Members of the House of Lords are either hereditary peers (read in-bred over privileged out of touch numbskulls), nominated by a political party and ennobled by the Queen (read knows where a sufficient number of skeletons are rattling around) or Archbishops of the Church of England (read deluded, out of touch, reactionary sky pilots).

      That such a dreadfully mandated arrangement quite frequently works to give the presiding government a bloody nose when attempting to pass poorly drafted self-interested legislation is a triumph of human nature over poor genetics

      1. Hmm.  Looks like I’m defending the Church of England again. “Archbishops of the Church of England (read deluded, out of touch, reactionary sky pilots)” is not a good description of them at all.  I won’t argue over “deluded” since that’s your personal opinion, but quite often it is the Bishops who are, if not leading the charge against abusive legislation (mostly in the social welfare field), then at least making a stand and, yes, giving the presiding government a bloody nose.
        It’s the presence of people like the Bishops that makes me support the idea of a secondary chamber selected by lottery, rather than by election or appointment.  Yes, that means you would get people like Lord James of Blackheath, but they would be more than outnumbered by folk who actually lived in the read world – and who weren’t constrained by the need to be re-elected every few years.

        1. I’m against religious/hereditary positions being allocated in the lords, even if they do occasionally do the right thing.

          But i must fully agree with the final paragraph there. A second chamber selected via a variant on the jury service system would be an immensely awesome and democratic solution to many of the numerous problems with politics in the UK.

        2. “Archbishops of the Church of England (read deluded, out of touch, reactionary sky pilots)” is not a good description of them at all

          uh, you don’t even want to know his description of Catholic archbishops …

          1. @toyg:disqus This is supposed to be a response to toyg but for some reason there’s no reply option by his post. 

            So if I follow what your saying, the C of E – supposed and self-appointed moral authority of England – lacks the moral fibre and backbone to stand behind its own convictions because it’s afraid of losing a popularity contest? 


        3. Until the C of E grows up and allows gay marriage, gay bishops & female bishops I will happily stand by my earlier description. 
          Evidence of occasional benign behaviour does not excuse such reactionary bronze age beliefs or behaviours in my view.

          I don’t follow your logic at all in your last paragraph. Either by lottery or election it is a very different thing than an automatic right which the Archbishops currently enjoy surely?

          1. Dude, have some Christian mercy. The CoE is basically going to pieces over gay marriage; the British establishment would be happy to open the gates to progress, but the huge (and growing) African community would split in a heartbeat if that happened, and CoE would end up reduced to the (political and economic) size of a peanut, ready to be cracked by our friends in Rome.

            If it turns out that what the almighty Catholic Church could not do in almost 500 years, will be accomplished in a decade by a few activists for gay rights, I’m not sure I’ll keep cheering on for equal rights. CoE is probably the best of a bad bunch, when it comes to religious institutions.

            And I say that as an agnostic who was never baptized.

          2. Feh. The Archbishop of Canterbury just destroyed his own credibility by coming out against gay marriage. Everybody knows that he personally supports gay rights, so he now looks like a complete tool.

  7. I also have the sum of $15,023,546.74 in a bank acccount in the name of Mr Riyadi.
    My attmepts to contact so far him have been fruitless and I believe he is dead. As an agency of my government I can send this money to an new account openeed by yourselfs in your names and all I need is your name address bank account number and passport number to open the new account on your behlaf. There will be a small fee to pay in addition. Please let me know at your soonest convenience about the same.

      1. Congratulations Mr Riyadi,
        All I need for you to do is send me your name address inside leg measurement social security number date of birth and pay the $300 international identity verification fee and then I can process your claim fully. Would you please either make a western union money transfer or save time and destroy the money yourself and send me a picture. ;-)

        (What makes that less funny is that to verify my ex-wife’s identity and validate some documents prepared by a solicitor when she is not UK resident is costing £150. So $300 could be a valid charge and you really might be able to get $15mill one day. I suspect it will probably cost you more than $15M in the number of times you don’t but hey, you have to be in it to win it!)

  8. I love everyone else (that is, the four people) in the room looking completely bored while he’s describing possibly the greatest crime in the history of the world, all waiting for him to be finished.

    I’m guessing he’s been badgering them all about it for the past two years. “Have you taken a look at my latest evidence, Louise? I can give you another copy of my 104 megabyte thumb if you lost it again?”

    1. I bet he’s bullied by those rude Labour peers. I can totally figure “Lord” Prescott going “Hey Dave, how’s things? Any new conspiracy today? Did aliens invade Cardiff again, eh? Let me know if you need help moving those trillions… Ta-ra!”

  9. 750,000 tons of gold…unless the UK has a secret space program that has been mining asteroids then his decimal place is off by several places.

  10. The Federal Reserve is still a scam of epic proportions and so I assume the nervous joking here is more about the impending financial collapse of a rotten system.

    1. Gold is a scam also.  It’s just shiny metal, dude.  Until we get Federation credits (or quatloos), we are doomed to an inherently unstable, illegitimate monetary system.

      1. That’s not accurate. Gold has properties that Mickey Mouse credits don’t. It’s physicality, unlike keyboard strokes to top up the elite private concern called the Federal Reserve it does need to be mined to start its journey, it’s electrical conductive properties are far superior to the reptiles in Goldman Sachs. It’s ability to protect in space are highly appreciated, its malleability is unusual, its durability is extraordinary even for a metal and while you call it shiny, its far more pretty than a bunch of self serving lizards topping up their R Complexes. It will prove to be a good half way house while we build the future based on shared burden. The system is going to collapse. Tick tock tick tock.

    2.  The enormity of that scam was brought home to me when I heard the explanation that the Federal Reserve is about as “federal” as Federal Express.

      Just let that sink in.

  11. I’d love to hear a genuine, not satirical, justification for the House of Lords in a modern political system.

    In essence it’s a bunch of out-of-touch retirees that are as qualified to make decisions on behalf of their country as my dog, Barry.

    I know what they do, but what are they for?

  12. When Britain really ruled the waves–
    (In good Queen Bess’s time)
    The House of Peers made no pretence
    To intellectual eminence,
    Or scholarship sublime;
    Yet Britain won her proudest bays
    In good Queen Bess’s glorious days!

    When Wellington thrashed Bonaparte,
    (As every child can tell)
    The House of Peers, throughout the war,
    Did nothing in particular,
    And did it very well!
    Yet Britain set the world a-blaze
    In good King George’s glorious days!

    And while the House of Peers withholds
    Its legislative hand.
    And noble statesmen do not itch
    To interfere with matters which
    They do not understand.
    As bright will shine Great Britain’s rays,
    As in King George’s glorious days!

    – W.S. Gilbert, Iolanthe

  13. but has the Honourable His Lordship the Viscount St. Austell-in-the-Moor Biggleswade-Brixham weighed in on it yet?

  14. I guess if you can believe that you and your colleagues have a hereditary right to rule England, you can believe anything. 

    1. We don’t pretend to understand your government.  We’re too busy trying to restrain ourselves from saying ” You can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart
      threw a sword at you.”

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