DEVELOPING STORY: Feds Make Major Arrest In Tax Case Linked To Offshore Forex Fraud Scheme Known As Tradex; Arthur A. Ferdig, Who Claimed To Be ‘Taught By Angels,’ Detained On Felony Warrant
DEVELOPING STORY: Arthur A. Ferdig, who purported to be “taught by Angels and other wonderful beings of light, including the Christ Energy, Holy Spirit and more,” has been arrested and is listed as “in transit” to an unspecified federal detention facility.
Ferdig, 70, was indicted under seal in April 2009 for evading taxes on income of more than $6.4 million tied to a failed Forex scheme known as Tradex, which operated in the Caribbean and allegedly gathered more than $100 million before collapsing.
At the time of the indictment, federal prosecutors in California asked that the charges be filed under seal because Ferdig, a U.S. citizen, was known to spend long periods “overseas,” was believed to be living in California “under a false name” and was considered a “serious” flight risk.
Ferdig fancied himself “The Bridge” between angels and earthlings. His non-Forex product lineup included “Angel Tears,” defined on his website as “an all-natural, bio-traceÂ mineral tincture developed to enhanceÂ human health and vitality.”
A federal magistrate judge has ruled Ferdig indigent, and a public defender has been appointed.
The case against Ferdig, who called his online followers “Truth-Seekers,” remained sealed for more than a year as investigators sought his arrest. That arrest occurred at an unspecified location on June 27, 2010. Ferdig was arraigned in West Palm Beach, Fla., according to records.
He is listed as “in transit” to an unnamed federal detention facility, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Prosecutors said he had not filed a tax return for at least 15 years and owed nearly $2.5 million in taxes for the 2002 calendar year.
Wire transfers to “shell companies” were used to evade the taxes, according to the indictment.
Ferdig claimed to have met his first angel, Metatron, on Sept. 22, 2002, while Ferdig was peering over rocky sea cliffs in Negril, Jamaica. He later met Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, Ezrael, Ariel, Raphael, Muriel, Bethany “and other wonderful and loving angels and spirits of light,” according to his website.
NOTE: Make sure you read this story from September 2009 in Wired UK. (It very well may blow your mind.)
Visit the Tradex liquidator’s site. (You’ll find case documents there. They, too, may blow your mind. Although Tradex purported to have millions of dollars under management, missives to investors were signed “The TRADEX Management and Staff” or “The Tradex Management.” Here is the first report by the liquidator,Â a serious document that shows just how bizarre Ponzi investigations can become.)