Description :
The following series details the involvement of Bill Rath, who together with Ross Alexander set up and ran the TCI Investment Club. It recruited money actively from 1998 to around 2005.
Full Text :
Part One: Offshore Banks
We’ve spent the past seven years trying to investigate the TCI Investment Club. Bill Rath was the man who managed and controlled the money. Ross Alexander was in charge of Marketing, bringing in the money. But Rath was likely the brains behind the operation. We believe that this scheme was created, from the beginning in 1998, with much research and planning. Experts were consulted to give advice on how to pull this off without being caught, how to protect the identity of the people running it and how to hide the money. Rath studied books on encryption and set us up on Syncrypt, sold out of his friend Marty Mullens’ offices in the Hyde Park area of London and Cryptocipher, based out of secure servers in Israel.

As victims, we were set up by Rath, from the beginning, to fail in both the investment and in recovery efforts. Most of us were required to send our money to an offshore bank. By doing that, they made it difficult and expensive to trace funds at a later date. Police agencies here feel it is too difficult to trace the money and have no interest in recovery of funds for victims. Too bad we weren’t Bernie Madoff’s victims because the US Government is going to great lengths to recover money for victims, but the Canadian Government doesn’t care. So Rath was smart to set this up in Canada rather than the US. Overseas banks will not release the information we need without huge sums of money for lawyers in those foreign countries. It is virtually impossible for us, as victims, to trace the funds. 

Part Two: Global Prosperity
The requirement to buy into Global Prosperity, had two benefits for TCI management and Marketers. It provided a vehicle for commission to be paid to Marketers without charging a commission on the TCI investment directly. That could have brought them to the attention of the Securities Commission. Also, unknown to most victims, Global Prosperity was already under a Cease and Desist Order by 1998 in many parts of the US, and was suspected of preaching tax evasion strategies. As a result, instead of receiving a 'valuable education in investing' as we were promised, Global seminars had many presentations on setting up structures such as IBCs and Pure Trusts and advised people how to use them to avoid taxation. This was not what most of us expected from the Global Seminar and we were not looking for ways to avoid paying taxes. We were all painted with the same brush and our victimization is being ignored by police authorities because we’ve been labelled as tax evaders. Of course, investment fraud is not an area that receives much sympathy from Police or the public in general. We are laughed at for believing that higher interest rates were possible and for getting sucked into a scam without realizing it. The prevailing belief is that we should have known better. Was this a lucky coincidence for Rath and Alexander, or was it carefully planned?

Part Three: Trust and Credibility
Rath was ingenius enough to buy trust and credibility, literally. He spent huge sums of (our?) money to pay for renovations at Word of His Power Church in London. He chose the Church well since this particular Church preaches a Prosperity Gospel with the message that true believers will be given blessings and wealth. Much Marketing of TCI was done at that Church. Rath and Alexander also used the trust between friends to target us. It’s called an Affinity Scheme when people are recruited by friends whom they trust and believe. TCI provided steady and consistently high interest rates in the early days and paid out withdrawals efficiently, leading to investor confidence that ultimately led to friends recommending the investment to other friends and family members. (During 2001 a concerted effort was made to slow down withdrawals and we all remember the sudden rule changes that permitted radically fewer withdrawals. Ross and his colleagues phoned individulal members to discourage them from taking monthly withdrawals. This would be when they began a rapid accumulation of money, cutting us off totally in January 2002. I personally had a withdrawal in January 2002 and Cathy Rath told me that I had Ross to thank for that.) Rath and Alexander did not hold public meetings where their leadership was announced, but had most Marketing done in people’s homes or in small halls where others would present the opportunity, again playing on our trust of friends' advice. At large meetings Rath and Alexander would often sit at the back and not participate in the discussions. But Rath wasn’t known as ‘The Maestro’ by his family for nothing. He pulled the strings and orchestrated this scheme all along. Even though many Ponzi Schemes end up broke, Rath squirreled away, and had under his control, TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars. We believe that Bill still has control over this money although it is likely parked in various places. Too bad he decided to keep it all for himself. Clearly, he could have paid everyone of us back and still had more money than he could ever spend, but I guess we are no longer deluded into thinking that Bill Rath is a good guy who wanted to do the right thing. Bill’s oldest son, Kevin Rath, said to me in our last conversation: If my father had control over the money, don’t you think he’d pay people back? Obviously not, Kevin. 

Part Four: Front Men
Rath used Front Men. These men were the faces of the Investment, but make no mistake, Rath was the one in control at all times. He still is. Alexander was his most obvious Front Man, partnering with Rath from the beginning and speaking with him several times daily. Ross organized the Marketers under 8 Team Leaders, both in Canada and the US, holding monthly meetings in London.Ross gathered incoming funds and sent them off to offshore banks. Together Ross and Bill also used Greg Hall (of Toronto) at first, recruiting millions of dollars into Hall’s IBC (Arcadia). Hall’s investments produced investment losses of 3.6 million dollars but investors were not told about the losses. Rath took control of investor accounts away from Hall and gave them to Stephen Hawkins, of IIG in Hamilton. Those offices handled our accounts for a couple of years, but Stephen went on spending sprees buying luxury vehicles, and hiring a group of personal bodyguards to protect himself as he played the big guy. Hawkins also bought 2 Sea Do boats which were put into Jason Rath’s name. He is Bill Rath’s third son. Kevin Rath said publically that those boats were a gift from ‘grateful investors’ Do you feel ‘grateful?’ Hawkins blew millions of dollars on bad investments. It makes you wonder though, whether those bad investments were just shells through which money flowed to crooks at the other end or even back to Rath. Who knows? Rath met his new Front Man, Tony McCreath in 2001 and installed Tony at IIG to take over for Stephen. Tony was hailed as a big wheeler-dealer with connections that could make big and successful investment opportunities. Rath closed up the IIG offices immediately after he was arrested in the satellite card case in June 2002. Tony was sent to live in Spain where he was supposed to generate lucrative investments that Rath said would pay back TCI Investors. Despite bankrupting one of our members by continuous Advanced Fees, no big deal materialized. (We have heard that Tony also bankrupted a family in the TTI case using the same Advanced Fees story, so beware of this man.) There is no evidence that McCreath successfully completed any investments or transactions during his time in Spain. Of course we are all familiar with Front Man Charles Gordon. Rath and Alexander used this fictitious name to hide behind in their messages on their website. One tidbit, did you ever wonder why the TCI website disappeared suddenly? Coincidentally, it closed up the same week that a judge ordered early Front Man Greg Hall to answer our questions about TCI. It seems as if Rath and Company knew the jig was up and quit pretending. Besides, they were probably tired of dealing with all of those anguished emails from the many TCI members who were trying to access their money.

Part Five: Escape Artist
Bill Rath also planned his escape very carefully. He tried to get the Court system in Canada to protect him from being sent (extradited) to prison in the US, hiring top lawyers from Toronto and appealing right up to the Supreme Court. When it looked as if he might lose his appeal, Rath is said to have offered almost 20 million dollars to US authorities to drop the charges and avoid prison. (Anyone wonder where he would have gotten so much money to use to buy his freedom?) Since he obviously had control over and access to that much money in 2006, he seemed to be making the choice to use it for his own self-preservation rather than pay back his victims.) So, when the offer was turned down, he took off. Disappeared into thin air. He wasn’t allowed to have a passport but got away undetected anyway. Actually, his passport was surrendered to the RCMP but he somehow applied for a new passport before he disappeared. It didn’t take Rath too long to figure out how to get past the Canadian passport officials since he was not supposed to have a Canadian passport. The photo from that passport is now being used by the FBI on their Most Wanted poster. We’ve been told that Rath studied books on how to disappear, and planned very carefully how to hide and stay hidden. He also arranged for his current wife Anne to join him a few months after he disappeared, and was able to pull off her successful disappearance as well.

Rath is on the FBI Most Wanted List, under Cyber Crimes, and is an International Fugitive. Bill Rath certainly knows what he’s doing because it’s been almost five years and we’ve heard nothing about his being found by US authorities. He must be very shrewd and cagey to be able to go undetected for so long. Also, he has had tens of millions of dollars under his control which he has successfully hidden from authorities, likely moving it around the world continuously from bank to bank and using some of the money to pay off bankers and protection agents We presume that Bill Rath has been living a lavish lifestyle in some tropical climate the way we all dreamed of living before our money disappeared. We’ve heard that Rath may have even had facial reconstruction surgery. He’s as hard to find as Osama Bin Laden.

.....Whoh!! On the very day that I posted the above comment about Osama, the US found and killed him!! The wheels of justice may turn very slowly, but they do work. Do you think that if we asked nicely, they'd focus on finding Bill Rath next?

Part Six: Ongoing Legal Issues
Bill’s partner Ross Alexander has more recently gotten himself in some major trouble with police in a scheme called TTI. He has been charged with fraud over 5000 dollars and goes on trial in September. We’ve heard rumours that Ross has been contacting ‘friends’ and trying to hit them up for money. He even continued to hold small meetings with supporters/believers until the past year or so. He promised them that money was still coming back from TCI and strung out stories of 12 million dollars coming in, getting some members to give him money, while bragging to others about beautiful antique cadillacs now sitting in his garage. But perhaps that rumour is not true and Ross is really a saint.

There have been other legal problems for many other TCI Marketers. Dr. Michael Hennessy’s tax evasion issues have been covered on this site recently and the local news has covered the TTI charges which include Alexander, along with Richard Hughes (Kitchener) and Peter Snyder (Woodstock). A second round of TTI charges also included Lars Soderstrom (IIG) and his wife. Previously, jail sentences were issued to Paul Stapylton, Andy Toth, Donald Coatsworth and Donald Boyle. Marty Mullens has served his time in a US prison on the same satellite card charges for which Bill Rath has been convicted and sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment . What does this long list of legal woes mean? On one level it means that the police are taking (some) victim complaints seriously, but on a deeper level it tells us that smaller, more easily investigated cases are successfully being pursued by both victims and police. It begs the question: if police had investigated TCI from the beginning, could some of these later schemes been prevented? The large US satellite case was actively investigated, but that was in the US, not Canada. Further proof of Rath’s wisdom in basing TCI inside Canada.

Part Seven: Moving forward
So, now that Bill is in deep hiding, who is his Front Man? Perhaps Kevin Rath, the oldest son. He is still around the London area along with his wife Cathy. Cathy once told me that the Rath family took money off the top of TCI funds every month and they reported making income from commissions on other people's investments. Kevin never seemed to work, so one had to wonder where his money came from. Cathy also said that she and Kevin spent time inputting TCI investor data into the computer. Perhaps they acted as Charles Gordon part of the time. But Kevin is the most likely of the Rath family members to carry the torch for Bill right now. He was always in the loop, bragging about encrypted satellite phones (Hyperphones) that Bill, Ross, Tony and Kevin used back around 2003-2005 to avoid detection of their calls, another example of Bill Rath’s foresight and planning. If you knew Kevin Rath or any of the inner circle, Bill exerted much control over them all, requiring total secrecy, and it paid off because most investors had no idea who ran TCI and therefore who stole our money. Since Bill Rath’s disappearance five years ago, there is still a tight lid on any information concerning TCI. It makes you wonder what hold Bill Rath has over those around him in order to achieve such long term loyalty from them.

Part Eight:
What can WE do now to move forward? First, we want members to know that this case is still alive. We haven’t given up on tying to find Bill Rath and our money. We believe that the family and inner circle of friends of Bill Rath do communicate with him and know where he is located. It is hard to imagine that Bill and Anne would cut off contact with their children: Kevin ( Ailsa Craig), Mark (Hamilton) and Sharon (Melbourne), who are Bill’s children from his first marriage and the younger Jason and Kristin, children with his current wife Anne. Bill’s inner circle included his partner Ross Alexander along with close friends and Marketers such as Ted Long (London) and Gary VanLeeuwen ( Aylmer area). Long term, it is possible that Anne will return to this area if anything happens to Bill (Kevin always said that Bill had heart problems ) and it would then go to Kevin and “Uncle” Ross to manage the money for the family. Eventually this will all become apparent if we wait long enough, but I’m sure that none of us want to do that. The big question is....if Bill’s Family and friends are aware of his activities and choices as outlined above, and know that he could pay us back without altering his current lifestyle, why would they continue to protect him? Two possible reasons come to mind. One, money. They may be choosing to protect their piece of the money pile. Two, we suspect that Bill’s family realize that he could die in prison, if/when he begins serving his 25 year sentence, and believe they are protecting his life. Bill has chosen a life of hiding which can’t be that comfortable a life for his wife and children, all with the purpose of evading justice and ultimately holding onto control of a big chunk of money. Perhaps some family members and close associates can convince Bill to pay us back and stay in hiding, taking the pressure off of them up here. As much as they have focussed on Bill’s needs, perhaps they should consider what his fugitive status is costing them. They could potentially be forced to look over their shoulders for the rest of their lives, or go into hiding as well. If and when they do get access to Bill’s stash of cash, they won’t be able to use it around here as people will be watching. So what’s the point? They may need to go into hiding as well. Of course, this is speculation. Perhaps all family members and close associates have already been nicely taken care of and are happy with the status quo. But the current status quo might be changing. A London judge recently labelled the TCI/IIG managers Rogues, and stated that after the rogues do their thing, it falls to the court system and lawyers to try to straighten things out. We have heard that both Michigan and Ontario police have investigations ongoing into TCI Marketer fraud issues and will provide updates when we can. 
Michigan has been actively investigating and convicting participants in Pure Trust/ IBC tax evasion. Will that spill over into Canada? Some of the top Ontario players, such as Ross Alexander, participated in the activities in Michigan, so it’s possible that they could come under US scrutiny as well. Many TCI Marketers have been charged in other schemes, however the fact that nothing has happened to them in the TCI matter, yet, does not mean they won't face charges. The wheels of justice continue to turn. 

Part Nine: Sociopath?
Sociopath: defined as a psychopathic personality, whose behaviour is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. There seems to be evidence that many of the players in the TCI Investment scheme fit that description. Since Bill Rath had the money available to pay everyone back their principal at least, with lots left over to hide from US authorities and live in luxury the rest of his life, it appears that a choice was made to NOT pay us back. In my books, there is a lack of moral responsibility and social conscience in that choice. Otherwise, how could Rath sleep at night? It is often said of mastermind crooks that they had the superior intelligence to be successful in legitimate ways, so why did they choose to deceive? William Charles Rath fits that description. He’s been a shrewd planner who made astute choices that have protected him from prosecution and apprehension. Rath worked hard to have the world see him as an honest, trustworthy man who adhered to strong Christian values. Yet his behavior towards our group suggests a different set of values.