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#136 The Founder


The story of a person who wanted to change the world using the internet — by committing crimes on an unprecedented global scale.

Check out Evan's book on Paul Le Roux, The Mastermind, here

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people in each so print. Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for it. Listen unspent fi or wherever you get your pot. Forgive my reply and he gave up a couple weeks ago, I talked to us repugnant, Evan Rat life. Ok, so how long have you cover technology? I have covered I've, coveting algae since ninety. Ninety eight sinister the wired magazine another, could sales covering it at that time over internal open the mail. But that's how many theoretic away I was kind was party to an institution. Those covering technology haven't really interested in people who use the internet too many new kinds of crime entry.
Ray Cyber extortionists bounty hunters bio pirates, but for the last five years in working on this one book called the mastermind it's about a guy who Evans leaves could be the most prolific cyber criminal of all time. A man who started out as a broken nerdy. Peter Paramour and in an astonishingly short amount of time built this criminal empire that spent across the world sewing devastation pretty much everywhere. The eyes name is Paul, the room he was born in Zimbabwe, which at the time when he was born in nineteen, seventy two Christmas eve, one thousand nine hundred and seventy two was Rhodesia, he's white. So he was part of the minority. That was at the time controlling the country. Evans, as there is nothing, Paul's early life to give any indication that what this guy was going to become. He was not a bad kid. I mean everyone says he was a good kid and he's a sweet kid, and there were even You know bad kids in the neighborhood, one of whom I talked to, who said no powers, never lie that he knew tat. You never had bad kid. I took to look good neighbourhood gang kid accrue to said yeah. We all did
stuff in and he was he was just like a kind of panic- Kid who was quiet and friendly and his relative loved him, and it was very smart and then he's a teenager, Paul's family moved to South Africa after that started to struggle Paul, went to school there and did not like it. He didn't like the people he didn't like the kids. He was really really upset for some reason, with learning Afrikaans as a kind of dead language. And it was really in his teens, like with many teens. He started to sort of changes are cut a project, attitude of superiority and then he got a computer. He his cousin told me that he got a computer for washing a car and from that moment forward, he became obsessed possible the rest of his teens
twenties just teaching himself everything he could about coding and then a ninety ninety nine. He goes on line and releases. This computer program is new kind, encryption software that streaming powerful, an extremely effective, its call d for encryption for the masses and was well known in the christian community, because it was a piece of disk encryption software that lets you encrypt your whole hard drive. But one of the things I did is that it's sort of heed the fact that you had encrypted it, because even if you could your hard drive. If the authorities are whoever's looking, no, is that it is they sort of nowhere to look to try to break that ray it's like. I know, if there's one house on the back, the has like eighty locks on I got vineyards exactly trying to ban them has been all their effort trying to break in their souls. It was threads of that power women also just be a more advanced, sophisticated peace. When crib suffer, he incorporate a lot of different types of software and algorithms in HU it and when he did so, he released it as open source software. So he released it for free here all the source code at the
you're being under the principles of open source software that other people could work on it and improve it and when all get better, that's exactly what happened. People take paltry software and they've been improved at they made a better and any charged money for the things that they made. Some of these people got to cash in and told he tried to start a company that failed, but she doesn't one huge reduced to this working for a guy who's product was actually based off Paul's work, commercialize version of IE for em that wasn't bad enough that I fired paw. None of this had been the plan he cut of thought. He was participating in this open source world wherever and help each other and then he came to feel that he never got any money at everyone was taking advantage of him, so he had really been sort of exploited in putting his coat out there and he peeped express that on message boards. What would you say he would say? He basically said it's been nothing but
Double I've got releasing for free. It's been nothing more trouble and also I broke, and meanwhile the guy who's running the commercialized encryption software company is leg, has send the Riviera and is living very high and Paul. He gets divorced, he bounces around, and then he ends up in Rotterdam and if you need some anew and gets Harry but their living in the small apartment, and they have a kid and they have up car and he really he wants what he's seen these other tat people have, particularly the sky, owns the company. He wants that an he so far from it, despite having created a really valuable, interesting piece of software to make matters worse. All of this is happening right at the end of the dock, comparable these years were everywhere Paul ACT. He would have just seen the internet turning people, people nowhere you're a smart as him into millionaires Paul rule was not gonna. Let this happen again this
can be the last time anybody made a sucker out of him for a couple years. He lays lab and in two thousand for shows up online with his new venture. An online pharmaceutical company called our acts limited the sort of pitch for the company. Is that in the United States there is a really messed up healthcare system and as part of that healthcare system, people get prescriptions for painkillers for their back for their head aches, MIKE then what have you? Then? They health insurance lose get their payments anymore, and then they go online anymore. And then they go online looking for cheaper place to find them? So the premise of the company was too satisfied that demand isolated going to let Americans by painkillers quickly cheaply with very few questions, asked it's not going to make an appointment, some doctor and then go to a farmer seeing at their drugs problems would take care of it. Just put your credit card felt a questionnaire
Then, somewhere on the internet in american doktor will prefer prescription senator pharmacies else in America and in the pharmacy or just Fedex drugs right, your house. That was the plan, of course, for this to work, Paul needed doctors and pharmacists, so arson, it searches, faxing all these mom and pop embassies saying hey, we're very sewing opportunity for you: using the internet, when I help connected with customers, not just near neighbourhood but all across Amerika Evans said even though pretty much the only drugs that these pharmacist trying to be a sour, addictive painkillers arc, summed it was really good. Emma handsomely, there's nothing shady going on so, for instance, there's one instance: there's one Charles Schulz who's this sort of seventy, something Pharmacist and Oshkosh Wisconsin, who has to small pharmacy, is their family run. Modems called Schulz Pharmacy and everyone's called medicine marked, and he he gets US solicitation from our Ex limited and he actually says well, I'm not so sure about this and ignores it for a while and then times get a little harder any sort
poles back out and says you know it maybe we'll, try this any contact them and when he calls are limited back the obvious question: he has it just like Is there any way this operation could possibly be legal and they say absolutely because we're not dealing and controls since as we're not dealing in substances that are strictly speed, illegal under american law, but ass. If that's true, that is true. None of the three painkillers that the network dealt in mass mass quantities. None of them were controlled substances. According to the d in the federal government, a prescription for them. They aren't under the same legal controls at something like oxy. Cotton would be here Firstly, heroin are marijuana anything else and they even say: hey call this x de agents down in Florida. An ill reassure you and they did. They had a guy who the farmers could call an actual accede. No, no. It was not a perfect backpacker, but very good at play.
Got it or at least to the satisfaction of a seven year old pharmacist. You know who would say: ok, well, you're, not this. It sounded too good to be true, but I guess it's not. What is there, even though these main painkillers aren't control subsidies? Are they things that people thing is creating misery. Yes, something like tram at all. There are plenty of users of tram at all here who they're using it as an addictive drug. Like many of the sea, where are are the same story that you here on the ability epidemic. So when the when the authorities are tracking this, they would go interview, people they find out who is buying all these drugs. This volume of drugs, who could possibly be the people they found were people who got into a car accident. Their job lost their health insurance at one point were prescribed, painkillers got hooked, then there is ordering tram at all online. The orders kept coming in coming Pollard had Cassandra's in Israel and the Philippines just filled with people who all day were taking orders for Americans, even calling them up in asking dean.
More. This was years before the opium crisis will become front page news in America, but the people working in these call centres. They were seeing it. It was basically their business model and was profitable. Everybody in the chain was being lots of money the pharmacist, the doctors and more than anybody else, Paul hundreds of millions of dollars, his big advantage over. His competition was that he was able to make himself untouchable online. For instance, the thing would happen to other double online pharmacies where they have their domain names. Taken away like go to he or whoever would just kill their websites revealing the terms of service that ever happened upon what the route did, was through arcs limited. He created a thing called Ebby Systems which was a domain registrar. So it was basically, it was literally like he himself was like a go: daddy was godaddy- and he got it officially proved by I can t be the right, one of two domain registrar is operating in the Philippines, not only
could they protect them in that way? If something did get taken down, let's say at a different place, in the stream, a website I've taken down, they could print a thousand more in an hour. They could just meant domains in an unlimited fashion, because Pooh back and to make whatever domains they wanted. So they would have you know our expertise, pay out dot three four five like they, they could just make. Add numbers at random strings. The ended just keep making them and making them and making them, and it made it s impossible to take the network down, how to do it. Devious yet was bred and white link at the height of politics ass, like how much of the online pharmacies market wishes to his. There was one us at the time that half The domains on the web that were devoted to internet pharmacies, Rogan or night pharmacies were actually are ex limited. So it was potential responsible for for half of all of the grey black market. Distribution of food,
suitable on the internet again impossible to know the exact numbers. If you ask anyone who was looking like spam or pharmacies at that time, a bee systems was the absolute juggernaut. Almost from the beginning, like into doesn't eight Paul's new business, completely transformed aside his able to move with his wife and kids to the Philippines, great, whether my show you at our environment he's got a luxury, Penthouse Kano and then another and then another he is more money than he had ever spend after a few years. This Paul, like anybody whose outrages they successful in a somewhat Cheney business, phases, two options, one. He can take his somewhat shady business and just make it above board like make sure the doctors are actually reviewing all the precautions like there's pursue. In that case he primates a little less money, or he just keep doing what he's doing and hope that he doesn't get in trouble. Paul chooses a third option and nothing that happens next makes
any sense, according to my understanding how the world works. This is where the life of cholera becomes completely absurd. Paul rude decides to grow and expand into new businesses. He decides that he knows exactly how to put his wealth. Use people advised them would say: hey invested in this Sir Branch out into this, but he decided well. If branch out into cocaine, trafficking and math trafficking and moving gold across Africa, those are very high margin. Businesses- and I can make five thousand- percent return on my money. Instead of eating a five percent at some. You know some boring call center business. I can really really maximize my money and to watch his first step. Tat sort of that like going, being like. Ok, I'm a businessman who, with variegated the internet too, like darker the first step was probably hide this kind him Dave Smith, who was a former sold
from the UK is actually from Northern Ireland and he operating the Philippines. Are all these security companies that sort of provide protection for projects, physical protection in building a damn or something like that and Dave Smith was a guy who had worked in Iraq. He worked enough. Ghana, and he had a whole network of sort of mercenary ex soldiers who were willing to do. Pretty much anything as it turned out for a salary of ten thousand there's a month, Dave Smith, sort of said hey. I can open up this whole world for you now. I can give you the ability to project your growing. How're all over the world and the rue jumped at that opportunity. So that included starting to do gold purchases in Africa. Under money, said cow without work. He would send guys been all this stuff sounds. And because one of one of the things that so remarkable at him as he would just send people to do something that had come up.
His heads, we hadn't idea in his head and then he would say: hey go, go tried do this and if they failed to do- another guy, at another guy another guy until either worked or maybe was a bad idea to begin with, but like he was like he's doing this remote and Agatha he's paying a video game like it's, like the actual I mean he's sitting at his laptop, does not leave us how very often he works- many hours and days. You could possibly work and sleeps. Maybe a few hours a day, he's gonna beat up old. Windows machine that he is outfitted exactly how he wants it, exactly the encryption software that he has written to make sure he can hold everything on there and it's all protected. So for the gold, for instance, he would just send a guy to like a cry and Ghana and say: ok, we're gonna buy some black market gold literally x, you a soldier sent to across.
The big bag money walking around saying whose goggled really yes, and so then they would. You can find a eat. The crazing as it works like you, can find some. How? Well you start. I mean it darts with they just talk to a taxi driver? I mean there's a known black market for gold, so this there's there's wherever there old mining. There is also an urban centre where people are sick, cutting off gold from the mines and its ending up being sold in sort of. Back alley so to speak, but it's like you would expect that the way that story ends is like when your friends go to a city for the first time tried by weed, and they end up with, like a bag of Arabia, arena like you should just be able to send some eighty go by gold. I agree. Sometimes it would go that way, and so all the mercenary guys that I talk to They would have a story about how this one guy- bag of money and he has got jack to suit your right at the airport.
Congo and Shiro, had a bag of money, and he just got jacked as soon as he arrived at the airport. Really you can't just show up in the Congo with a bag. Full of money expect not to get jacked, but you can send thirty and safe houses and contacts and then use and the guy with a bag of money and when he shows up at the airport. And then use and the guy with a bag of money and when you the airport there you guys with automatic weapons who are there to offer him in? Hu, a safe house too, then provide the money to get the gold and then the golden driven across borders in a pickup truck or an suv with five guys who are ex? U S, military british Terry, south african military guys who their entire job is to protect the gold. So that's how they did it really Like you think, he's fine videogame, unlike you, try to level once it didn't work, as I was like you said, like how I just needed I've. My weapon Alex and in more guys it is. Video game and he was operating he's video game. It was sort of like
some combination of of other set video game and then, like I'm driving again but maybe the sins where what's her one arm enough use played rebuild my draft minecraft, where you can make your own rules too. You can. You can create world So the crazy example of that is that he tried to start essentially his own militia in Somalia and he just from the Philippines here, just like you know, is a good place to go Somalia because the government there has no control environment, and if I were to set up an operation there, I could operate entirely law Firstly, I do whatever I wanted, so he's at about creating. What was sensibly, a fishing, a tuna fishing operation, a tuna fishing in Somalia, ok, which is actually not a terrible idea by the way. So I don't know this but haven't homey that tuna fishing is actually a very lucrative industry and apparently through speed lots of fishing off the coast of Somalia, but is our foreign fishermen, which not everybody in smile
and so some people actually are going on in capturing the boats. That's apparently how small pirates, for speaking a thing, anyone knows a lot less big commercial, both fishing and if your Pollard to all of this is somehow just something you know and Paul Aroun always looking for a market than opening an opportunity. He said you know what I bet there's it's just teeming with fish there. So we set up a fishing operation and we just coordinate with the power its weakness by them off. We can use them for protection, we can protect them. We have our own forces, then we could fit for tuna there. So is the superpower lay duration of cares, laws, ideas, early or things to do and he's very audacious like. What is why why is he the person who has an alien? Does it, whereas another person you like another criminal doesn't do it. I think The combination of he maids How much money in this form so go business that he really had the ability to kind of displeasure at around on crazy idea, so he really was, like you know, Version of like richer,
Branson are actually better tables. His version of Elon Musk, who's sort of you know. Now I'm going to start this now, I'm going to start a bizarre tesla start this, his version. That was hey one Somalia, hey. Why, like gold mine, hey, went on arms dealing here? That's where he, the splashes money around. He thought I can be the big global criminal in history, Evan actually manage to get a picture of what Paul was like as a c o turns out kind of annoying like he had too many ideas, for instance in Somalia. He never even guess the tuna fishing you decide that was gonna. Take too long so said he flew in a botanist to try to see if he could grow poppies and cannabis and Somalia stuff, like that, completely frustrate his militia, plus he's just a micro manager. You caught up in the middle of night and have some complaint about the gold, You are doing, and that's just not with the ceo. Should we spend time on like the ceos delegate that
and how did he ask Mercenary, hit men feel about getting hassled by like the computer in her boss, whose micromanaging them, while they were, they didn't like it? but a lot of them, the mercenary guys they were like this is better than working in Ghana. An or Iraq like some thought. It was incredible: fun, they're getting paid, I was now is a month flying around the world, doing crazy shit and they can get enough of it and how would he higher they? How do you pick which mercenaries where they get mercenaries, they would do through networks. It is not working days with just had contacts who worked with him at. Deflect crucible, like like a security contractor, that's contracted to work in Iraq, so he's got people that he can email and say Hey I've got a rich guy. This rich guys paying they get money for grey area work shop in the Philippines
We'll have a meeting. If he likes you hire you, that's how they would do it. So it's like invisibly there on Linkedin, like it's like, inform all word of mouth from ass. Well, the they did not higher through linked in, but it likely Remington. Really Yasser Arafat was so they had, they would have front companies so that a front company called echelon, echelon or southern ace was coming up in Somalia. They would take Razumihin. You scimitar Meda Echelon, Erasmus, as I have you, no close protection, combat experience, and so, when I started looking for these guys, I'm at first was really I'm, never find these mercenaries. How can I possibly find them there a hold up somewhere if they have been arrested? They are in hiding literally what I'm linked in typed in southern ace and a guy does comes up. He's got southern Asia on his Reza may as a place that he worked. Hats he's described. Work in a way, that's very sort of sounds vaguely like it's any other.
Security company. You know provided protection for projects in Papua new guinea- and you know, management of equipment and like when I found out that he did was he. Burned another operation, that if too or operation in Papua New Guinea. He burn the other operation to the ground, the competitive operation and like the guy, there were four southern ace. He was a hitman. He was hired by Larue as his personal hit. Man and you are come to cancel the name. He just put it on his resume. This invitation had southern eighth like human troubleshooting exactly like Hitman, exactly that so wild, it's weird also gets you never thought of it, but just that there is like that. It's an industry, Do you mean that there is like a world of people who can know each other and used to work together and like oh, that guy's great that guy's terrible issues strange that a computer nerd finds himself in that industry? I think that was one of things that was so remarkable to me was how you could get
to so many world, so easily haven't found a bunch of early usenet posts pour out. He hasn't come across, as always, unlike I shall insight into the world beyond coating software he actually comes across a super blinkered misogynist. Racist has an idiotic territory for every country so turns out. Here is what happens when you give a misanthropic, unilateral access to lie The funds and lots of mercenaries he's moving cocaine and math throughout the world. He selling weapons to IRAN and one point: having concerns an armed coup of the government in the Seychelles. My twenty ten during our long waiting, ensure that none of this stuff can get traced back to him his business, it just a web of shell companies and he's either larger, raise his name from the internet. And in the real world. Isn't here the Philippines, totally under Control Evans said Paul had bribed so many hopes that even one who wanted to mask anymore to scare their bosses. They figured Paul poorly paid them off
he had moles in the american Embassy buy and sell intelligence reports. Converted his money into gold bars, which is an hiding under his estate in the Philippines, apparently went under our tab. Seems totally untouchable. Though it Pollard didn't now was at somewhere in Minnesota. DE employees had already begun to Paul on a tiny thread This episode is proxy I'd better for it? A new podcast from eighty peed hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes
better, for it looks at how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working for you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his, and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers business cards in a week later ahead of business and H our rule breaker, whose learned why we all care about work in the first place that you wanted to proud of the work that you do. You want to be able to tell your friends it that you want to be able to feel like you're, making a difference. You'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for listen on Spotify Wherever you get your pockets. So the story of how Paul the rule would eventually be caught. It started slowly so far away into doesn't
even in an office building a Minnesota there, these to obscure DE investigators, whose job is they just to regulate pharmacies in the? U S, they were what A diversion investigators, which means there not like d agents in care guns. They don't bus people's cocaine in like that. They only investigate the diversion of prescription drugs onto their legal market. That's their job so Kimberly, Brill and Stephen Waldron. They would raid pharmacies pharmacies that were selling control drugs online. So one day there investigating a suspicious pharmacy in Chicago this place called Altgeld garden I'll. Give garden is part of Paul's Rogue pharmacy empire, but they don't know that all I know is uncle garden shipping waiting in colors and Kimberly Brutal once know exactly how many into who, and so she subpoenas Orchids Fedex Account and when she does, she summoned it. Catches are completely by surprise. The finnish account is being shared with dozens of other pharmacies all across the United States,
it's like the shady pharmacy version of eighty people who all used the same Netflix password. So it's like someone got a whole. The fact that more account music shared with all their friends and everyone's shipping on it, which is really sloppy like our summit, is having multiple pharmacies in their network like share login. Basically, basically, so that's when those invest yet have realised. Oh now, we can see that the other entity or ex limited is the thing behind all this worthy surprise. It to rise. They transmit, like maybe then what they ve been looking for. They were stunned. I mean when Kimberly Brill opened up this spreadsheet. She was basically said. Oh my god, this is unbelievable, unlike called her partners even holderness. You have to come look at this right now, because think they knew that a network might have multiple pharmacies, but the volume of shipments that were happening was just staggering and we're talking about tens of thousands of drug orders that are putting all on the same Fedex account and TAT is where the game Cadmus really stars, because you
that there's a network, but she has no who's running it. By her own admission, junior partner or not internet experts, so in to understand what our summit it is up to date. It teach themselves how the internet works there to learn about like domain registrars. An ip address is pure locations, it's funny because there are learning they they'll understand drug dealing and they're trying to learn the internet. He understands the internet and is learning like relay frog, pioneering and he's operating with hundreds of in the dollar's, whatever but then he wants anything. He wants to buy no bureaucracy and their operating in cubicles in it. Our in Minneapolis, with liberal no books like five. I have no books keeping ledgers on everything they found and like an old, desktop computer and There are taking on this man and his network online paused network doesn't look like a network. It looks like an infinite number of unrelated spamming pharmacy websites but when Kimberly in her partner map it all out, there that even others, always websites when you actually,
by the drugs like it check out. You get redirected to a payment page and Payment page is only hosted at one of two different places until they subpoena one of those domains. This place called system CIA, so that was a sort of centralized point where they could say: ok, whereas that hosted they found it hosted at place in Canada. They could get a subpoena to go in there and try to get the information off who's paying. For this, and they came across the name Paul through he just put his name- is like them, the owner, when he first start He put his name on everything he leave. All railway was gonna, be he didn't know, it's gonna be here no one else he was gonna be doing. He didn't know the extent to which he was going to be tracked by the authorities all over the world. He figured it out later sorry taking his name off of everything and actually one of the investigators more basically said to me If he had done that a little bit earlier. He would be free today and data I understand it this way. I guess that's the thing that they're all here is the least shady thing that he probably does at this point
yeah at the beginning. I mean he wasn't doing as many shady things at the time they first started. Looking two thousand and seven slash two thousand and eight. He was just getting into real serious other types of crime, but then they would start see these, These anomalies that they couldn't understand like they could understand. Why is making phone calls. The Somalia he's not running a fucking farms in Somalia and so These pieces like slowly started to go here, because it was almost impossible to believe that he was involved in the scope of things eventually discovered like you, wouldn't sit there and we, like you, know what we should look into whether or not he is buying method of North Korea? Under these frantic over a country we was, he really buying method of Austria was buying without North Korea. How does that work? that's the classic Paula real. He had a. He had a guy who worked for him is actually bartender you on the bar in Manila and then the guy came to him and said look. I know this man and this man has contacts in the chinese triads in that
that organized crime in Hong Kong and you talk to him and so Larue goes in storm in the sky, had the bartender guy it's his brothers friend or something and Eventually, it comes to light that actually man does have contacts. He is part of organ, crime in Hong Kong, and he knows method of North Korea, so they start up An operation figure out how they're gonna get it out of their where it's gonna go. It seems like they bought in a fifty those initially and then eventually he bought a ton and only a literal time I mean a little time, it's manufactured by under the direction of the state. In North Korea, and so it's like ninety nine point: nine percent pure it's like purest map in the world, and so that was on business that he had was getting some method of North Korea actually try to buy a summary and from our free as well, because you want to use its ship the stuff and cause. Why not yeah and you ve sent to like how he would was he feeling like
Was he enjoying it? Was you that extra that, like? What is the experience of this like for this guy who started in a very different place and is now micromanaging a burgeoning dragon buyer. I sort of think like any you know ceo of something that becomes massive ends? rolling and you're trying to keep it in time, early under your control that there were times when he was. Really doing the thing he had always dreamed of. Like he loved deals, he love making deal the bigger the deal the better and he would talk with a sort of satisfaction about how any deals he had going on in all these different industries is like a diversified. His company aims just just six feeding in so many areas, but then I also hold of a lot of chats that he had with his cousin and in those chats. You can also see the stress,
that comes with that. You know he owes people money and people him money and there's violence involved, and it starts to get very serious and that is where on him and he will periodically say hey. I need I need a death certificate because I need to disappear. I need people to think that I'm dead and then he'd see sort of works whenever problem that was needed, and even death certificate anymore, like Africa, s which, having at the then six months later his leg. I need surface to air missiles, so we gotta get serviced Aramis. You know he's just cut flake, always ways churning and there's one sense in which that's what he was born to do, and there
Nothing more satisfying than that and there's another sense in which it seems like the world was kind of closing in on him by two thousand and eleven two thousand twelve Evans has the by this point, pod just started to lose at the very paranoid and very blood thirsty for years. He'd use Dave Smith, his chief, mercenary to threatened people, some employee who thought could talk to the cops or somebody who, without its own money, but now you just one of those people killed and the list of people to be killed, kept expanding. It wasn't just people who are threats to Paul. It was anybody who crossed him his cousin item, fifty grand Paul had his house via around a realist, agent, Lawson Money, the deal he had her murdered, so he really kind of like got so deep into his head on betrayal, that He would just have anyone. He would have eight by the anyone. Have any one killed his hit. Listen there people who owed him? A thousand dollars really mean hundreds of millions of dollars- and he had a woman,
his Hillis, another real estate agent, who had supposedly built him for a thousand dollars. It's insane. What's the closest? He got ten like that things. He was doing like. What's the part where he was most actually like not directing video game of violence. The close ass he got was he participated in three of the murders that he ordered set out. He had this south african hit man, and he was kind of his personal hit- and so he had a security team. But then he had his personal hit. Man, who nobody else knew about so he could use him, carry out more is that he didn't want. Anyone in the rest was operate. To know about those murders, involve people in his operation, so for urging him to kill your had met beneath him. Agriculture hitman insect. That's exactly what he did. He used the south African hit man too, he'll Dave Smith, who was his head of hitman operation, fly
Dave Smith had gotten very frustrated that here now making more money, so he was doing all the dirty work for the Larue had gotten to all this drug dealing or the lucrative ventures and got them all these mercenaries felt that he wasn't getting paid and was also using a lot of drugs, and then he started stealing from Larue Eastern stealing gold through laundered a lot of money and gold and hid it all over. The Philippine, so dates with was digging it up and selling it borrowing so to speak from the rule to feed increasingly expensive appetites. Larue had said: don't buy, fancy car style by fancy, watches were low. Price file. We don't want any attention, so this guy's driving up turn on the main drag of the red Light District in Manila. In a Lamborghini like it's, not it wasn't a secret right that he was out there going crazy. He just didn't care and I think pro because he thought I'm lose hit man. What's he gonna do order me to call myself right Lou had another hit men, and so they
a lure him to a piece of property in the south of the main aims of the Philippines criminal is he had a kind of a beach front property there under the guise they were gonna bury some gold, so they brought Dave Smith there. And then the south? Having I shot him and then it became a kind of like black. Comedy in a way like the guy's gun jammed days was still alive and they try to get the gun on jammed and then dogs ran onto the scene, they were chasing off. The dogs. Then they got the gun on jammed shot him in Larue also had a gun, so the roof. I'm too, and that was but where it felt like when I, and about that that he he had gone so far that he really wanted to participate in that element of the business. But then you know I to view this hit man and he was leg and then Larue. You know he could have fuckin killed me like he was action in this crazy automatic weapon. All over the place is noise,
it is doing and I'm lucky I wasn't. Killings are standing right across from him and then he added me, a roll of lake plastic RAP and was I wrap up the body and hit man being experienced Man- was like your fucking out of your mind, like we ve got to leg, wrap up this boy the incident bigger and then like drop in the ocean and that's what they did other than it would sink so then the rule I got in the water and like cut holes in it so would sink here. There's something so bizarre about LE ruse, sort of amateurish approach to killing people, and it's all really like some who has been playing a first person shooter, whose in the real world doing first person shooting here and really has no idea what they're doing event they were able to dispose of days, Miss body, and then they killed two other people and sort of similar ways, I point like how many years away easy from having to spend a guy who invented some encryption software, those opensource from encryption thing. He sees a decade away like in a decade here
from a guy who was making open source software for this community and also going on message board than saying hey. Does anyone have contract programming they need done? I can do it. I'm great! You can see my room from that to being a guy. Who is you know, killing his long time number two deputy and dumping his body in the ocean and it is impossible to answer, but do you think that that person was always inside him? That's Everley puzzled over that I've. I've in some ways tried to refrain from from being person who cycle psychoanalyze his enemy in the. If you interview anyone in his orbit. They will provide that kind of a now, this and say either yeah He was like the nerd kid who everyone beat up, and so he was forever taking vengeance on the world, and so he was always that and then other we'll say he was not lose the sweetest kid and teenager and even young adult
and actually something changed in him, but he kind went down a path, that led him to exercise impulses that he may already had some version of like he would always felt sort of superior to other people intellectually, and then that just gets metastasized within network where he also feel like that's part of business. Killing people is how you work in this business. That's just too bad. If you want to be in this business, you gotta kill people This could see why this place is a video from the data powers arrested me. It was all he's in a hotel room in Liberia, sank into a big red vinyl couch he's gotta shaved had oversized royal blue polo he's almost forty years old and he's ever make a deal with the head of a kind.
In our town halls gonna help him build a math facility in Liberia. He just sent him the precursor chemicals or urgent You this week a man get the actually went to I it to is all you too lotion, she went out. The conversation moves on for mass to cope to drag king pin small talk partially starts times, Cardona about thieves, math about the murder about why he got so pissed off. So five hundred and five million.
Or for himself cities. Mercedes assess energy, What is wrong stay outta. My partners know it, but other people in the room laughing sycophantic early, the recording for the d, the cartel boss is actually a paid in former. What had happened months before this meeting Paul had relocated from his criminal operations to Brazil. You wanted to traffic okay, now to South America. The problem was: the Minnesota DE aimed skaters. Did he get way better and from the brazilian authorities than they ever could in the Philippines. They gotta a tap on his cell phone. They were found him all over the place they were.
Reading as emails and attacks, and so at that point they were really starting to get information. They ve never been able to get, and he was talking about. All of his business is drugs. The huge amounts of drug moving South America, it was signed by the pharmacy business money laundering. All of it haven't said now way more people to de work site about trying to arrest PA the nine six either, which is the DA's elite, Knocker Terrorism, squad for agents with actual guns and badges and real resources. Now they jumped onto them is after a long time of not being interested, they became interested in trying to catch Larue, and so they took over the job of actually catching him. To do that, they set up an elaborate sting operation which required that they find an insider but no one had ever paid attention to his emo and toughen is that have it were apparently a lot because there are multiple people, they found a guy who had worked for Larue, who had actually contacted the USA arrest him, which meant setting up a sting operation. The tree part about there was actually just finding waiting at potter physically, come to the meeting,
a lot because there are multiple people who work for the room who attempted to contact the seller and these building here from anyone for six months, but now they wanted to arrest him, which meant setting up a sting outbreak The tricky part about that was actually just find a way to get Paul to physically come to the meeting to go in person to a drug deal that wasn't Paul style. Remember this guy West do everything Well, they but the way they found. There was a plain to his ego. They told him the boss, depositor nation. This powerful commune cartel had wants to meet his equal in person and Paranoid and cautious, as Paul was on the internet. It turned out that in the room, not so much is immediately you just talking so much he's showing off his whole criminal operation, but he was a nerdy kid talking at his prize winning side. Product to his moms new boyfriend. We we also You sang very
One does not very high, does just awesome tell you that, but later on, but now you have to talk about it thus with clear that he gets off on. Making these deals in being an international operator. I mean it's, it's incredible power trip, I don't understand it's almost like the disgusting little like a joke. Your brain when you name dropping I bet you like saw some celebrity on the street or something it's like. He gets habit for buying like north korean math. It right, if you felt like you, could you know go anywhere in the world and sort of meat with high level people like I could see that that would be it. You would feel like our like look at the power that I have at my fingertips The sting operation was a success. Paul left me the hotel room, got characters on hotel and was arrested. Monoplane and x rated him to the? U s he started cooperating before the plane had even landed
but what happened next confounded a lot of people who follow this specially Evan. So you said that Minnesota d D actually lost control. The case that elite squad that nine six unit they took over and for some that team, along with the federal prosecutors Hark decided, got your pals organisation in this very unusual way. Normally the way the government rested drug, then, is the target the loan. While people an organization there s them there and we can see that turn their bosses, any just move their way up. Button Paul's case did the opposite. The government offer Paul what happens, as was a generous cooperation, deal in order to use him as a witness against his own underlings, France's all the operators of the pharmacy business where you say. Ok, these are people who were born I'm scared for their lives working for the rue. If you had gone to them and said hey you come to American testify against Palu. They would have jumped at that opportunity and instead
they were using Palu in custody to lure these people France's out of it. Real to Romania, so they could be arrested and brought here and prosecuted. The garment strategy created very bizarre spectacle so picture. That's! Ok, it's fall of twenty thirteen you got prepare our who, at the time as a U S, attorney for the southern disturbing york. Now is a party s house. He. Doing this press conference or he's announcing these huge arrested, they ve made bone chilling allegations in today's indictment like they were ripped from the pages of a Tom Clancy novel. The charges tell a tale of an internet. No band of mercenary marksman who enlisted their elite military training to serve as higher guns for evil ends you These murderous contract killers who they nabbed, but what he doesn't talk about is who these guys are working for. All five defendants allegedly worked to help import hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the United States. He doesn't talk about Poland, even they had him in custody and the reason
so they ended up in a situation where they can actually charge him for the worst of what he done for the murders, the evidence that they gathered about those murders, alot of it, came from real, so they would say well. Can we won't even know about these murders? If he hadn't told us we had given him the pleaded in the first place, and then you can charge and with what he tells you under the cooperation agreement, now again, there's two sides of the DEA on this and the ones that investigated Larue for very long time say: that's bullshit. They say you didn't have to just flip him. You could have done it the way we do a traditional operation, witches get the lower level people to talk about the high level people. So there's some dispute there it's hard to even fully measure the scope of the damage caused, all the country or, as mercenaries ran a mark Somalia, the Philippines Purcell all painkillers he pumped into America. Whatever was it you think I bigger than when any
as punished for as far as everybody knows, it's not policy able to flip on some big fish, I m no arranging arms dealers went to jail no big time. Manufacturers Paul himself has now been in custody for seven years, but he has even been sentenced. Evan says it might happen The next few months, what do you think will happen like it? What are you? What do you expect her sentence, all right, I've, I'm I'm scared of predicted, because I've heard everything even people involved like agent at the nine hundred and sixty group has been a lot of time. Larue said, I think he said I'd meet him. He'll get ten and he's already served almost seven. Seven this year, so that serve three more and who get out and they'll never by the United States again, who probably go back to his business, but he'll never mess with us again and that's the person who worked to catch Larue and have him prosecuted and then worked with him in a cooperation
scenario to catch all these other people. So, whether or not that's what the judge will think is that's not an implausible scenario to me that that would happen, but then it seems like three years now. If he's back on the world, it's really hard to imagine him changing his behavior. It feels like you just pick up where he left off its it almost impossible. To imagine I mean, certainly when I saw him testify for many many hours at one point he said to turn over a new leaf, and it was the most unconvincing cliche, I've ever heard, someone utter like it was actually dripping with the opposite feeling like he's not trade turnover they leave now there certainly not any evidence that you can see from the outside that it would make any sense that you do anything other than go back into business. In fact, haven't said Paul, doesn't even simply waiting until I get out of prison. The controller recently
trying to open new call centres in the Philippines from his own Evans Book about Pollard is called the mastermind there's. So much more absurd detail and craziness in that book than we can cover here, go check it out. My office by me out on her report,
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.