Temas Especiales

10 de May de 2021

Nacional

Scammmers and their tactics

Our recent series of articles and exposures of the network of scam and con artists in Panama have largely drawn favorable reviews. At a ...

Our recent series of articles and exposures of the network of scam and con artists in Panama have largely drawn favorable reviews. At a recent embassy function, readers of this column asked the Star staff to keep up the good work, and Canadian ex-pat Robert Brown, whose web site carries names of friendly real estate “sales people” and sellers of dreams who want to empty your pocket, was deluged with approving messages. But not everybody was happy in response to a reference to a review of some of the major cons of the past, by iconoclast Eric Jackson , publisher of online The Panama News we received a communication from the Who’s New in Panama Club. The letter follows:

Your recent article (June 9, 2009) on scam artists, undesirable people and illegal activities in Panama inappropriately mentioned our organization, and our past president Sandra Snyder , in such a way as to imply their explicit or implicit involvement with the less than admirable subjects of your article.

Please allow us to correct that misinterpretation and to provide you with accurate information about the Who’s New Club and our members.

The Who’s New Club was created in 1973 by a group of women in Panama to welcome newcomers and bring together women of all nationalities to enjoy living in Panama. Over the years the Club with its volunteers has provided a welcoming forum with monthly hospitality coffees for newcomers and members, as well as activities designed to help women new to Panama acclimate and find like interests. The club is run by an elected board of directors and is a non-profit organization that derives no monetary benefit for its efforts and the same may be said for its members and officers.

The subjects individuals in your article are not and have never been members of Who’s New. Further they are unknown to us except by reputation.

It was signed by by Who’s New Past Presidents: Freddieann Matheney, Sandra Snyder, Judy Callaghan, Aminta R. Konawicz, Rebeca Angel and Jeannette Vega.

The reference the letter objects to was “He (Eric Jackson) goes on to outline the cons of people now sitting in US jails, like Marc M. Harris and Tom McMurrain , both of whom, says Eric, managed to infiltrate Who’s New, operated by Sandra Snyder....”

In checking back, we found references in an Atlanta Daily Newspaper, and Panama’s La Prensa in 2000, during an exposure of the activities of Marc Harris to Brent Wagman , the sales manager for Harris, whose wife Mary Beth was a member of Who’s New.

The aim of get rich quick operators, as the original article pointed out, is to get close to those, who are the movers and shakers in the community.

Mary Beth was also active in the American Society and once organized the annual Easter egg hunt in the grounds of the American ambassador’s home in La Cresta. The revelations of her connection to Harris, did not sit well with the Society or the Embassy. Sources available on request.

Submarine Ahoy. If you thought that grey shape in the waters off Punta Pacifica and Paitilla was a submarine, think again. It is a newly constructed island that has sprouted not only a building but four well grown palm trees. A quick survey of local residents brought out a number of possibilities. It is a new penal colony (Devil’s Island) for all the gang members that the new tough chief of police will be rounding up; a turning point for races from the fishing and yacht club; a high ground for Punta Pacifica and Bella Vista residents escaping the flood waters on the city roads; an asylum for stressed out drivers avoiding Cinta Costera construction.. more suggestions welcome.