where 419 UK scam artists meet their match where 419 UK scam artists meet their match



The Scambusts

The General Practitioner

The Aristocrat II

The Massage Parlour Proprietor

The Football Club Manager

The Vicar V

The Astrologer

The Worm Sanctuary Owner

The Signwriter

The Brewer

The Member of Parliament II

The Door Furniture Specialist

The Inventor IV

The Retired Wing Commander IV

The Baker

The Farmer

The Hotelier

The Veterinary Surgeon

The Vicar IV

The Psychosexual Therapist

The Orphanage Director II

The Cess Pit Cleaner

The Dating Agency Proprietor

The Adult Video Director

The Retired Wing Commander III

The Inventor III

The Poultry Magnate III

The Poultry Magnate II

The Vicar III

The Miller

The Member of Parliament

The Lottery Winner

The Inventor II

The Circus Ringmaster

The Undertaker

The Retired Wing Commander II

The Butcher

The Vicar II

The Vicar

The Doctor of Economics

The Rubber Duck Manufacturer

The Orphanage Director

The Aristocrat

The Poet

The Poultry Magnate

The Retired Wing Commander

The Professor of Economics

The Inventor

Mapping Gilbert’s activities

Map of Gypping in the Marsh

The Global Scamming Community

Internet Fraud Information

Classified Advertisement Scams

Investment Scams

Job Vacancies in the Scamming Business

Internet Resources

Scambusting Advice

Scambusting Tips

Gilbert’s Guide to Sending Money to Scammers

Blank Western Union and MoneyGram Receipts

Reactions and Feedback

The Scammers’ Reactions

Feedback from Fans

Contact Details

Copyright Notice

The Orphanage Director

In which Gilbert proves willing to do just about anything to save Saint Bunty’s Home for Parentally-Challenged Children from closure, and in which a bogus lawyer proves spectacularly willing to embarrass himself time after time in a shameless attempt to get his hands on the orphanage’s money.

Cast of characters

  • Gilbert Murray – Financial Director of Saint Bunty’s Home for Parentally-Challenged Children.
  • Vincent Joe – allegedly a lawyer in Nigeria.
  • Tanko Mahmood – allegedly the Director of a Nigerian bank.

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: GET BACK TO ME Gilbert Murray

Sent: Wed, 19 Nov 2023 20:04:33 -0500 (EST)


ATTN: Gilbert Murray

I am Barrister Vincent Joe, the attorney to Mr Mark Murray, a national of your country, who used to work with Shell Development Company in Nigeria. Herein after shall be referred to as my client. On the 21st of April 1999, my client, his wife and their three children were involved in a car accident along Shagamu express-road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives.

Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients’ extended relatives this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank here. These huge deposits were lodged particularly, with the ECOBANK INTERNATIONAL PLC, where the deceased had an account valued at about $15 million. The bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you have the same last name so that the proceeds of this account valued at $15 million can be paid to you and then you and me can share the money. 60% to me and 40% to you. I will procure all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make. Based on that you are to furnish me with the below information to enable the bank transfer the fund to your bank account.

  • Your full name and contact address.
  • Your telephone and fax number for communication purpose.
  • Your occupation, age and position.

All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.

Note: you can reply through my alternative email address (

Best regards,

Barrister Vincent Joe

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: In response to your email

Sent: Thu, 20 Nov 2023 08:55:36

Dear Mr Joe,

I am writing in response to the intriguing email that you sent to me yesterday. I am terribly sorry to hear about the fate of your client, Mr Murray. What dreadful news.

I am fairly sure that I am not related to the deceased – I am not aware of any relative of mine called Mark, and certainly nobody in my family has mentioned that anyone related to me has died in a car crash. However, your proposition intrigued me.

I am in rather a sticky situation at the moment, and the company I work for is in desperate need of an injection of funds, so I am extremely interested in your proposal. I feel that I may be in a position to be able to help you out, provided that you can assure me that there is no risk involved in this affair.

If you require my assistance, please email me back with further details.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray


Sent: Thu, 20 Nov 2023 06:20:55 -0800 (PST)

Dear Gilbert Murray,

I hope that you and your family are fine today. Thanks for your prompt reply to my email and offer for a mutually beneficial business relationship regarding the transfer of the $15,000,000 abandoned by late Mr Mark Murray in EcoBank International Plc.

I have noted all the concerns you raised in your email and I wish to reassure you that there is no cause for alarm at all. This is because, as a lawyer and an attorney-at-law, I know all the legal framework within which to make the claim and neither you nor I will breach the law in any way.

Following your positive response, today, I went to the bank and obtained from the secretary of the bank, the diskette which contains the text of application for claim as next of kin to a deceased depositor and to ensure that we commence the full operations of the claim process without any delays, I am sending this to you below.

Be assured that as soon as you successfully send over the signed application to the bank and inform me so, I will go to the bank and push for the necessary approvals which will culminate in the transfer of the full claim amount by the bank to the bank account you will indicate.

You could call me for detailed discussions on my direct contact telephone: +234 80 331 25276. I will call you also, if you give me your secure direct contact telephone number.

Best regards,

Barrister Vincent

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: I am keen to move forward

Sent: Thu, 20 Nov 2023 15:05:27

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your detailed email, and for sending me the text of the document I have to complete and forward to the bank. I must say, from your email, you sound like a very down-to-earth, straightforward and businesslike person, which is excellent. I have a feeling that we will make a good team.

As you have provided me with so much useful information, I feel it only right and proper to provide you with more information on myself. I am Financial Director of Saint Bunty’s Home for Parentally-Challenged Children, a privately-funded orphanage based in Lincolnshire. We provide care for over 100 children here, ranging in age from 6 months to 16 years.

Saint Bunty’s receives no government funding, and up until three months ago we were funded entirely by a generous local benefactor, Lady Godiva. Unfortunately, Lady Godiva died three months ago following a fall from her horse – hypothermia set in due to her inadequate clothing and her body was not discovered for four days – and we have discovered that she made no provision for the continued funding of Saint Bunty’s in her will. Lady Godiva had no descendents and left her entire fortune to the Royal Society for the Protection of Rabbits. Whether the lack of provision for Saint Bunty’s was an oversight or not is neither here nor there now – what matters is that as a result of this, the orphanage now finds itself in a precarious financial situation.

With no money coming into the orphanage, I took drastic steps to try and improve the state of our finances. Unfortunately, I made a number of unfortunate financial decisions and invested rather unwisely – horse fell at the last fence, you know the sort of thing – with the result that Saint Bunty’s is now desperately short of cash.

To be perfectly frank with you, if Saint Bunty’s does not receive a large injection of cash within the next six weeks, I am afraid that the orphanage will have to close. We have just enough money in our coffers to pay our staff next month and to pay for food and fuel and the like, but after that, we have nothing. We will have to close the orphanage and throw the poor little orphans out onto the street to fend for themselves. With Christmas just around the corner, this would be a complete disaster.

This is why your proposal attracted my attention – I see it as the only way to save Saint Bunty’s from closure. Saint Bunty’s coffers have just over £27,000 in them at the moment. This may sound like a lot of money to you, but it is barely enough to cover next month’s wages and bills. As we are in such a desperate situation, I am willing to make as much of this amount available as is necessary for the successful conclusion of this business proposal. The end result will make this worthwhile.

I have not told the other members of the Board about the dire state of Saint Bunty’s finances. For one thing, I do not wish to worry them, and for another thing, I would rather they did not know how much money I have lost in the past two months by investing rashly. Therefore, confidentiality is key to this business – I am keen to keep the details strictly between the two of us. If your proposal can solve Saint Bunty’s financial crisis, the Board need never know how close the orphanage has come to closing down.

My dear Mr Joe, I need this business transaction to work. The fate of over 100 poor little orphan boys and girls rests on its successful outcome.

Here are my personal details.

Full name: Gilbert Arnold Murray

Address: Hemlock Cottage, Cold Harbour Lane, Gypping in the Marsh, Lincolnshire, UK

Telephone: 01927 58367

I will get onto my bank and arrange for a suitable bank account to be cleared in preparation for this business, and will put details of the account onto the document I send to the bank.

You asked me to print and fax the text of the document to the bank. Unfortunately, we do not have a working fax machine at the orphanage; one of the dear little orphans broke it some weeks ago. Would it be possible for me to email a copy of the signed document to the bank?

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: I am keen to move forward

Sent: Fri, 21 Nov 2023 01:50:26 -0800 (PST)

My dear Gilbert,

I hope that you are fine today.

Thank you so much for your detailed email and positive comments concerning my humble self. I felt positively flattered.

I was touched by the pathetic story of Saint Bunty’s Home for Parentally-Challenged Children and I wish to reassure you that we (you and I) will resurrect the orphanage in no distant time from now.

It has always been my desire to do something for charity, because I enjoyed so many scholarships during my growing up. I am therefore highly gratified that the opportunity has finally come for me to pay back. God works in miraculous ways and I am pleased that He has brought me in close contact with you (that already have a full experience of how to go about providing for charity). This is wonderful. Maybe God wanted me to actualise my dreams this way and caused Lady Godiva to forget to make any provisions for Saint Bunty’s in her will. Much as the present predicament of the orphanage is worrisome to you, I want you to regard this as a blessing in disguise because I believe that God wants His greatness to manifest and be a practical testimony in Saint Bunty’s and this will prove to all around that when one door closes, another opens. Blessings can only come from God!

I have noted your full contact information and your direct contact telephone. I will call you later today for a discussion.

It is however unfortunate that your organisation does not have a fax machine for now. Be that as it may, it is no big problem. What you should do immediately, is to quickly sort out the account aspect with your bank (note not to tell your bank anything yet concerning the transfer to the account) and prepare the signed application and send to me by email as an attachment. I will submit it to the bank as soon as I receive it from you. The reason is that in this environment, banks do not yet accept the email for official correspondence. It will work better if I submit the signed copy to the secretary of the bank, who is my personal friend, after I receive same from you through my own email.

I have also noted your promise to give me all needed support to ensure that we succeed with the transaction as quickly as possible. I am greatly impressed by your promise to keep our secrets secret and this makes both of us. As for the other staff of Saint Bunty’s, please do not mention to them the financial state of the home, or the transaction, so that the innovations they will see after we inject huge cash into the orphanage will come to all of them as a great surprise.

We will discuss any other matters when I call you today.

Much love,


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: The application form is attached

Sent: Fri, 21 Nov 2023 10:54:49

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email. I am overjoyed that with your kind assistance I will now be able to ensure that Saint Bunty’s Home for Parentally-Challenged Children does not have to close. If invested wisely, the six million dollars I stand to make out of this business should be enough to keep the orphanage running for years to come. This will be all down to you, my dear Mr Joe. Hundreds of poor little orphan children will have you to thank for the loving, caring upbringing they will be able to receive here at Saint Bunty’s.

I arrived here at work this morning to find that there had been some trouble at the orphanage overnight. Some children had broken into the kitchens during the night and stolen some food. Mr Ramsay, the cook, discovered the break-in first thing in the morning, and informed Mr Bumble, the Director of the orphanage, immediately. Mr Bumble was outraged – he does not stand for any insubordination, and punishes theft of any kind especially severely. He stood in front of the children in the hall at breakfast this morning and announced the theft, demanding that the culprits came forward. None did. The culprits only came forward when Mr Bumble threatened to withhold all food from everyone in the orphanage for a whole week.

The three culprits, all boys aged 15 and 16, stood in shame at the front of the hall as Mr Bumble lectured them about the importance of honesty. He then sent for his birch, ripped down the boys’ trousers, bent them over a desk and thrashed them mercilessly in front of the rest of the orphans. He only stopped when one of the culprits passed out from the pain. Bumble then sent the three thieves off to the nurse to have their wounds dressed, and sent for the cleaner to mop up the blood. I have to admit, it was difficult to watch such harsh punishment taking place. But Saint Bunty’s has always placed a strong emphasis on discipline. Mr Bumble’s frenzied thrashing certainly taught those boys a lesson, and they will certainly think twice before they steal again.

You mentioned in your email that you would call me later. I have not given you Saint Bunty’s telephone number – given the delicacy of this business, I simply cannot discuss it at work. The telephone number I gave you was my home number. Therefore, unfortunately we will not be able to talk during my working hours. I would rather communicate via email if at all possible – it is a much more private method of communication.

You will be pleased to hear that I have arranged for one of my personal bank accounts to be cleared in preparation for this business. You mentioned that I should not tell my bank anything about this transaction – surely this would not present a problem? My bank, Bartletts, is a small, long-established local bank, with a reputation for discretion and service, and I have an excellent relationship with my bank manager, Nathaniel West. I thought he may be able to help us out with this business – smoothing the way for any money transfers, for example – and was planning to discuss the matter with him later today.

Thank you for offering to forward my application form to the bank. We do have a fax machine here, but one of the orphans accidentally broke it a few weeks ago (for which they received a sound thrashing from Mr Bumble). As you requested, I have printed out the form, signed it, scanned it in and attached it to this email. It includes details of the bank account I wish the money to be transferred to. I took the trouble of correcting the numerous spelling mistakes it contained – I thought it would be best, to avoid problems later. I know how punctilious these bankers can be.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding our next step.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

Gilbert’s application form
(Click to enlarge)

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: I am concerned about delays

Sent: Fri, 21 Nov 2023 15:46:37

Dear Mr Joe,

I am rather concerned that I have not heard from you since I forwarded on my application form for the bank. Is everything alright?

I had a bit of a scare earlier today. Mr Bumble burst into my office to enquire why no new birches and canes had been ordered for him in the past few months. He gets through them at a rate of knots, and likes to have a good supply handy for the maintenance of order and the prompt administration of punishment. He noticed that his supply was running short late this morning, after he broke a cane in two while beating a little girl who sneezed while walking past him in a corridor (“children should be seen and not heard, and preferably not seen either” is one of his mottos). I have been cutting down on all sorts of expenditure over the past few months in an attempt to keep Saint Bunty’s open for as long as possible – hence the lack of birches and canes – but of course I could not tell Mr Bumble the current state of our finances.

I muttered some excuse about the supplier letting us down, but Mr Bumble was not impressed, and demanded to see the balance sheet of the orphanage! I lied and told him that the books were currently at the accountants for their annual review, but he has demanded to see them within the next few weeks.

Mr Joe, you are aware of the financial situation in which I find myself. Therefore I hope you can appreciate that I need this transaction to be completed as soon as possible. The sooner I can plug the gaping hole in Saint Bunty’s finances, the better. I would therefore appreciate it if you could do your best to hurry things along, my dear fellow. My fate, and the fate of over 100 poor little orphan children, rests with you.

Unfortunately, I will be unavailable this weekend. My wife and I are spending a weekend away, hillwalking in Cambridgeshire. However, we are returning late on Sunday, and I look forward to resuming this transaction with vigour on Monday morning.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: The application form is attached

Sent: Sat, 22 Nov 2023 11:10:33 -0800 (PST)

Dearest Gilbert,

Thanks for your emails and the attached application which I already submitted.

I hope that you and your wife had a nice time as you hillwalked. I had called your telephone throughout yesterday as I promised, but I could not obtain a connection. I now know why and this is because you and madam had to go away for the weekend. Maybe, you switched your telephone off.

You will be glad that I already submitted the application and also started made the necessary application at the probate Registry of Births and Deaths for the issue of the deceased’s certificate of death and necessary letter of administration for backing up the claim at the bank. This will cost a total of $12,000.

Be assured that I also want an expedited process so that we could succeed as soon and as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, it is holiday here on Monday and Tuesday next week. So further actions from the bank are expected as from Wednesday next week. I wish to assure you again that there will be good attention to the claim file soon after the holidays. This is because I am well known at the bank and the top officials of the bank were happy to learn that the next of kin to the deceased has eventually been located. Late Mr Mark Murray was a very reliable customer of the bank and I an sure that the claim process will receive top level attention from the bank’s management.

Please call me as soon as you return read this email.

Happy weekend,

Barrister Vincent

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: I am concerned about delays

Sent: Sun, 23 Nov 2023 07:29:03 -0800 (PST)

Dear Gilbert,

I guess that you and your wife would have returned to your home by the time this email arrives your box.

I observed that I did not react to your discussing the transaction with your bank manager Nathaniel West. This is not deliberate. I felt it was more important to inform you of the progress that had been made already.

Please note that my reason for asking you not to discuss the transfer with your bank, is because it will amount to putting the cat before the horse. I want you to have all the transaction documents in hand before you talk to your bank about the transfer you expect. This way, there will be something concrete to show to your bank. I am also afraid that your bank manager might not believe you, because of the amount involved, except you have the classified documents of the transaction to show or present to him. I will still advise that you keep things the way I have suggested to you so that when the transfer is ready to be made to your indicated account, I will tell you to inform and discuss the transfer with your bank manager.

Having known your bank and its staff for a long time, I do not think that it will be too late for them to make any special arrangements that might be required before the transfer arrives your account, by the time I will ask you to inform and discuss the matter with them. OK?

I have also noted that the telephone you gave to me is your home number. Since we cannot discuss while you are at work, I will suggest that you call me from your home any time you think it is necessary. Aside from this, we can rely more on the email for most of our communication.

Let me know if you have any issues you want clarified further.

Best regards,

Barrister Vincent

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: Thank you for reassuring me

Sent: Mon, 24 Nov 2023 10:29:25

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for the emails you sent me over the weekend. My wife and I had an excellent time hillwalking in Cambridgeshire, even though the weather was somewhat inclement. The wind was so strong that we were nearly blown off the top of Wicken Fen, but thankfully we managed to make our way down safely.

I am pleased to hear about the progress you have made so far with my application form – thank you very much for your diligence. The boys and girls of Saint Bunty’s will be eternally grateful for your unstinting efforts.

Regarding discussing this business with my bank manager, I quite understand why you think that I should not do so until we have got a bit further down the line. As you so rightly said, this would amount to putting the cat before the horse, which is never a good idea even at the best of times. I often find that if you attempt to run before you can walk, you’re in danger of letting the cat out of the bag and throwing the baby out with the bath water, often while scoring an own goal in the process.

I arrived at Saint Bunty’s today to find that the whole orphanage was being turned upside-down in the search for a missing boy. The boy, Oliver, was found to be missing at breakfast, and it appears that nobody has seen him since Sunday lunchtime, when apparently he complained to Mr Bumble about the portions of food that were being served, and asked for more. Quite rightly, Mr Bumble beat him soundly in front of the other children for his impertinence – so soundly that the boy passed out – and he has not been seen since. Mr Bumble is afraid that he may have found a way to get over the wall, and if so, he could be anywhere. Mr Bumble is organising search parties right now to go and seek for the missing boy in the surrounding countryside – no doubt I will be involved in one myself. Hopefully we will be able to find him before he gets into any trouble, and bring him back into the loving arms of Saint Bunty’s once more.

I understand from your email that you have a public holiday today and Tuesday. Is this a special occasion in Nigeria? Some annual tribal gathering, perhaps? Whatever the occasion, I do hope that you enjoy it, and I look forward to resuming work on this business on Wednesday morning.

Mr Bumble has just strode into my office and instructed me to join a search party that will be combing Gypping Marsh for the missing boy. No doubt this will take up most of the rest of my day. I hope we are successful. Lord only knows what harm the boy could come to out there on his own.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: Thank you for reassuring me

Sent: Mon, 24 Nov 2023 07:47:28 -0800 (PST)

Dear Gilbert,

Thanks for your usually detailed email. Nice to learn that you and madam had a nice time hillwalking and nicer to hear that God saved you both from being blown off the hill crest.

It was however sad to learn about the missing Oliver. I pray that he would be found, as your details suggested.

I am also pleased that you have better understood my reason for advising you against talking to your bank manager about the expected transfer until a time I regard as appropriate. Please confirm to me if your indicated account in your bank is denominated in US dollars or in Pounds Sterling. If it is denominated in Pounds Sterling, this should not bother you. It will only mean that the US dollars deposit will be converted to Pounds Sterling in the course of the transfer. Of course the bank here should also be able to identify in what currency the account is denominated.

Yes, the holiday here is a Muslim one. It is the end of the Ramadan fast period for the Muslims here and they are celebrating the Eid-El Fitri festival. You will like to learn that in Nigeria, we recognise the two major religions of Islam and Christianity. In this regard, it is in our laws to call public holidays on any special occasion the adherents of the two religions have are deemed to need some time off work to attend to their religious needs.

Frankly, at times I feel these holidays are unnecessary, such as in our case right now. This is because, like you, I want an expedited process for our transaction and we could make more reasonable progress in these two days that we, including the bank, have been forced be at home.

Be that as it may, be reassured that our process would certainly move forward as work resumes after the holiday. For instance, I have put up the needed amount of $12,000 and paid to the Probate Registry of Births and Deaths at the same time I made the necessary application. Since I had earlier discussed it with the registrar, I strongly hope that the highly classified and all-important document should be issued to me first thing on Wednesday morning.

Also, since the bank has already received your application, I strongly believe that they should respond accordingly and I should be able to receive a copy of whatever official document they raise in response to your application same Wednesday.

However, I will have a little problem in communicating the documents to you, since you do not have a fax at which the bank or I could send document to you. Considering the need for absolute confidentiality, I will suggest that each time I receive copies any of the classified documents of the transaction, I will scan them and send to you by email as attachment, the same way you sent the application.

Please let me know what you think about this my suggestion.

Let us hope for the best after the holidays.

Much love to you, madam and your whole family.

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: Your suggestion regarding documents

Sent: Mon, 24 Nov 2023 16:14:03

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email, and for your kind sentiments towards my family and I.

I am afraid to say that little Oliver has not yet been found. Mr Bumble sent out six search parties this morning to find the little fellow, but we all came back empty-handed. Mr Bumble was most displeased at this, and called all the orphans together in the hall at Saint Bunty’s. He then picked a little girl at random from the front row and told the assembled orphans that he was going to thrash her, and that he would not stop until someone came forward with information. Sure enough, he threw her across a desk and started to lay into the girl with his birch with all his might.

After about sixteen severe blows with the birch, a small boy stepped forward and shouted for Mr Bumble to stop. Mr Bumble tossed the crying, bloodied girl to one side, and pulled the young boy up onto stage. He explained that Oliver, the missing boy, had told him that he was going to escape and go to the local police to complain about ‘brutality’. Mr Bumble was incensed to hear this, and thrashed the boy viciously for keeping this a secret, until his shirt hung in tatters on his wounded back.

This is ridiculous. If little Oliver does make it to a police station, it will surely become clear that his accusations of brutality are entirely without foundation. True enough, Mr Bumble runs a tight ship, and does not spare the rod (“spare the rod, spoil the child”, as Mr Bumble says). However, he loves and cares for the little orphans in his charge. He is like a father to them all. Saint Bunty’s is a haven for them – this is why I am so desperate to keep it open. Oh well, we shall see what happens. No doubt there will be developments soon.

You must have an awful lot of public holidays in Nigeria if you respect both Christian and Muslim holidays. It’s surprising you get any work done at all. Don’t the Buddhists feel rather left out?

You enquired about my bank account. It is indeed in Pounds Sterling. I trust that this will not be a problem.

And your suggestion regarding documents was an excellent one – emailing them to me would be ideal, given that our fax machine is no longer working.

Anyway, I must not keep you from the rest of your holidays. Enjoy fasting, or whatever it is that’s going on over there right now.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: Oliver has been found

Sent: Tue, 25 Nov 2023 11:25:31

Dear Mr Joe,

I trust that today finds you well. We had a shock today at Saint Bunty’s: I arrived at work this morning to find three police cars outside. It appears that little Oliver, the missing orphan boy, had made his way to the local police station and told them that he was being maltreated at the orphanage. The police were here in force this morning, investigating little Oliver’s claims and interviewing staff and children alike.

Fortunately, once he found out that Oliver was making his way to the police station, Mr Bumble had anticipated that such a thing might happen. He announced to all the orphans yesterday afternoon that if anyone asked them how they were being treated at Saint Bunty’s, they were to insist that they were treated with love, care and compassion, and that any claims of brutality were completely unfounded. He warned them that if anyone said anything different, he would beat them until his cane broke, once a day for a week.

Fortunately, this seems to have done the trick: all the orphans told the police that they were treated very well, and the police left after a few hours, satisfied that little Oliver’s tales of maltreatment were nothing but fantasy. They left little Oliver back where he belongs, here in the loving arms of Saint Bunty’s. The poor dear looked very thin and frail: he had not eaten properly since Sunday lunchtime. Mr Bumble immediately took Oliver under his wing, gave him a damn good thrashing, then locked him in the coal bunker for a week with nothing to eat but dry bread and water. I am sure that this will teach little Oliver a valuable lesson.

Annie, the little girl that Mr Bumble birched in the assembly hall yesterday, asked me this morning if Father Christmas was going to call at the orphanage this year. She was worried that she might not get any presents for Christmas because she has no parents. I told her not to worry, and promised her that Father Christmas was definitely going to visit the orphanage, bringing lots and lots of toys for all the boys and girls. Annie looked delighted at this news, and I sent her on her way with a cheery slap on the back. Unfortunately, this made her howl with pain and brought tears to her eyes – I had forgotten about the beating she received yesterday.

I only hope that I will be able to keep my promise to little Annie. She, and the rest of the little orphan boys and girls, are depending on you, Mr Joe. It must be a wonderful feeling, knowing that you personally are preventing over 100 orphans from being thrown out onto the street to starve. I am sure that when it comes to judgement day, God will reward you for your actions, Mr Joe.

I look forward to resuming this business tomorrow, once those fellows at the bank start eating again.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: Your suggestion regarding documents

Sent: Tue, 25 Nov 2023 09:35:09 -0800 (PST)

Dear Mr Murray,

Thank you so much for the good news that poor little Oliver has been found.

I wish to reassure you that Annie’s hopes for the visit of Father Christmas would be answered. We will certainly succeed.

Your joke about holidays here was quite interesting. In fact, I wish things could change and we run a completely secular society that would be devoid of such special attention to any religions.

Be that as it may, thank God it is already Tuesday and work MUST resume tomorrow. I strongly hope that there should be some good news about our process before the end of tomorrow. I hope to be to receive the deceased death certificate from the Probate Registry of Births and Deaths and to check at the bank to know if they have any official response yet to your application (I strongly hope there should be one especially after these long holidays).

It is interesting to note that you approve of my suggestion to email any documents I receive to you as attachments. This way, I believe, the process would be better secured.

Finally, I wish to once again reassure you that with your maximum co-operation which you have already placed at my disposal, we will both be happy soon and Saint Bunty’s would be happier for it as we will inject any needed funds that would keep it going smoothly. Also, Mr Bumble might have to take orders from you after you become the major reason for the changed fortunes of the orphanage soon.

Lets hope for the best in the coming days.

Much love to you, madam and your whole family,


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: Is the fasting over?

Sent: Wed, 26 Nov 2023 13:59:42

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email. I was hoping to have heard from your bank by now, but so far have received nothing from them. Is the fasting over? Perhaps they have forgotten to start eating again and open up the bank? Hopefully I will hear something from them later today. I will let you know as soon as I do.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Bank letter and deceased’s death certificate

Sent: Wed, 26 Nov 2023 07:20:23 -0800 (PST)

Dear Mr Gilbert Murray,

Good news!

As you will find in the attachment, the bank has issued its first official letter to confirm receipt of your application, with a promise to release the account closure application to me tomorrow with a covering letter that will bear instructions and requirements the bank will want you to fulfil immediately for the final approval and remittance of the full claim amount of $15 million to be effected to your indicated account within 72 hours of your carrying out the bank’s instructions.

You will also find in the attachment the deceased’s death certificate which was equally issued and released to me about 30 minutes ago.

Be assured that I will email any fresh documents I receive from the bank tomorrow to you same way, before the close of work tomorrow.

Let’s hope for the best soon.

Best regards,


The receipt from the bank
(Click to enlarge)

Mark Murray’s death certificate
(Click to enlarge)

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: This is excellent news

Sent: Wed, 26 Nov 2023 16:03:51

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email, and for the documents you forwarded on to me. I am extremely pleased to see the progress we are making in this business. I feel completely confident now that the future of Saint Bunty’s, and all its happy little orphans, is secure. And this is all thanks to you.

I am sad to say that we had more trouble from little Oliver today. The orphans were becoming unsettled by the wails of anguish and hunger coming from the coal bunker where Oliver has been locked for the remainder of the week. Something had to be done – we cannot have the children upset in this way – so Mr Bumble took action as soon as the problem became apparent, to prevent the children from becoming distressed. He unlocked the coal bunker and removed little Oliver from the darkness. As the little orphan boy stood blinking in the bright sunlight, Mr Bumble tied a thick gag around his mouth, gave him a slap and told him to be quiet, then threw him back into the bunker and locked the door. Problem solved.

I look forward to receiving the remainder of the documents from you as soon as you receive them. Best wishes to you and your family.

Kind regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: This is excellent news

Sent: Wed, 26 Nov 2023 11:07:16 -0800 (PST)

Dear Mr Murray,

Thanks for your email and the confirmation that you received the documents correctly. Your commendation is welcome.

I hope too that you and your entire family are fine today, as my family are I am.

I think that Mr Bumble is a disciplinarian of the first order. Little Oliver would be useful to himself and his country, if he takes adequate correction following Mr Bumble’s punishments.

As for hunger in Saint Bunty’s, this will cease soon after you receive the full amount of the claim.

Could you please call me from your home this night or tomorrow morning. I have tried several times but I could not obtain a connection to your indicated number.

Meanwhile, I have started preparing the contract and as soon as I finish with this, I will send you the draft copies for your perusal and inputs so that when I join you after you receive the transfer, we could sign the hard cover.

As from 10 am tomorrow morning, I will check with the bank to see if the documents I will send to you are ready and it they are, I will email them same way I sent those of today immediately I get to my office.

Happy night rest to you, madam and your entire family.

Much love,

Vincent Joe Esq.

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: I will telephone you tonight

Sent: Thu, 27 Nov 2023 11:32:34

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry I could not call you last night, but I did not receive your email until today. Obviously, I cannot call you this morning – I am at work, and I do not want the other staff members at Saint Bunty’s to know about the transaction we are working on. I shall therefore endeavour to call you from home tonight.

My wife, Elizabeth, does not know anything about this transaction either. In fact, I have not told her about any of the financial problems that Saint Bunty’s currently finds itself in. She is a very nervous woman, prone to worrying too much about things, and I do not wish to upset her. I have enough on my plate at the moment without my wife becoming hysterical with worry. Therefore, to maintain the secrecy surrounding this business, I suggest that we use a code when talking on the telephone tonight. I can therefore tell Elizabeth that I am talking to someone about supplies for Saint Bunty’s.

I would suggest that we employ the following code:

When I refer to:

I mean:

Jamie Theakston

You (Vincent Joe)

Paul Daniels

Mark Murray


The Shagamu express road

Jones the Butcher

The Shell Development Company

Half a pound of prime steak

Our business transaction

Evans the Greengrocer

Ecobank International PLC

Forty-five cauliflowers

$15 million

Fifty kilos of King Edwards

The application form I sent to the bank

Two hundred turnips

The bank’s letter of confirmation

Mickey Finn the Fishmonger

Bartletts Bank

Twenty kilos of coley fillet

My bank account

Biddles the coal merchant

The Registry of Births and Deaths

Fifty sacks of coal

Mark Murray’s death certificate

One hundred sacks of anthracite

The letter of administration

Winston Smith

Mr Bumble

Ken Livingstone

Little Oliver

Janet Street-Porter

Little Annie

This may seem a little complicated at first, but believe me, it will be worth using the code if it means that I can keep details of this transaction from Elizabeth. It may help to try to memorise the code, ready for when I call tonight.

I look forward to receiving the draft contract from you later today. I promise to give it my full attention as soon as it arrives.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray


Sent: Thu, 27 Nov 2023 06:24:09 -0800 (PST)

Dear Gilbert,

Thanks for your email and your very intelligent suggestion concerning our using “codes” when you call me tonight in order for your wife, Elizabeth, not to understand the subject of our discussion. As you rightly observed, it will be a little difficult for me initially, but I hope to get along better with the codes as time goes on. In fact, I will print out your email and have it before me as we discuss on telephone when you call tonight.

I had earlier received and emailed the bank’s approval letter with instructions and the two pages of the next of kin account closure application documents to you this afternoon. You did not confirm receipt of these in your email of today. Maybe you have not seen them yet. Please confirm receipt as soon as you see the documents in your email.

As a follow-up to the successful email of the documents to you, please find below, the full details of the information for filling the next of kin account closure application, as I promised in my earlier email to you today.


  1. Full name of deceased account holder: Mr Mark Murray
  2. Next of kin: Your full names as you wrote in your first application to the bank
  3. Relationship with deceased: Cousin
  4. Last address of account holder: Plot 234, Abiola Crescent, Ikeja, Lagos
  5. Date of death: April 21,2023
  6. Cause of death: Car crash
  7. Account type: Personal current account
  8. Cleared balance to date: $15,000,000.00
  9. Do you wish to be paid in instalments?: No
  10. Form of payment preferred: Bank transfer
  11. Choice of currency: Pounds Sterling
  12. Applicant’s declaration: Just sign, thumb-print and write date, ONLY, on this page, including on the section marked “Signature and thumb impression of applicant”, directly below the Referee section.
  13. Referee section: Leave this section vacant and send back the duly filled and signed application to me by email as attachments. I will arrange for one of the bank’s respected merchant customers to fill this section.

You will notice that a processing charge of £6,650.00 is needed. I feel it is important to throw more light on this for your understanding and performance of the expected responsibility. Please note that this is very important as it is part of the proof that you are really paying the charge from your current indicated place of abode (abroad).This is crucial and fundamental to the success of the transaction, that is why I want you to handle it as this will go a long way to establish your claim as the next of kin to the deceased.

This is because when I take the documents to the secretary after you fill, sign and send them back to me, he will attach the other documents and the receipt of the fee remittance to your claim file and submit same to the bank manager for the next and final stage of the claim process. The sender’s information on the receipt (your name and other details), will have to tally with the information the bank already has on you, in their files. All these make up a complete claim package.

After I submit the documents to the bank I will email to you my personal and passport information and with these, you will write the necessary letter of invitation and send to me. This is to assist me with processing and securing the visa I need and with which I will travel to me up with you for the disbursement of the funds and the post transaction investment which you will assist me to plan and execute.

I will send you the draft copy of the contract this weekend.

Looking forward to meeting you soon.

With my best regards,

Barrister Vincent Joe

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: Sorry, but I am slightly confused

Sent: Thu, 27 Nov 2023 15:11:20

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email, and for your detailed instructions on how to complete the bank’s approval letter. Unfortunately, I have not received the approval letter, or the two pages of the next of kin account closure application documents to which you referred. Could you please send them to me as a matter of urgency?

Regarding these two documents, I think we should add them to our code, along with a couple of other items – I am sure we will need to discuss them tonight. I would suggest:

When I refer to:

I mean:

A large bag of onions

The bank’s approval letter

Two hundred pilchards

The next of kin account closure application

A bag of cockles

The processing charge of £6,650.00

Two pounds of pork sausages

The letter of invitation I must write to you

I am pleased that you approve of using the code I suggested. I appreciate that it may be rather difficult at first (for both of us). To get us into practice, I have written the rest of this email using the code. Perhaps you should reply to this email in code too, to get as much practice as possible.

I have to admit, I found myself rather confused by the second half of your email, in which you explained what would happen next relating to our half a pound of prime steak. You said that a bag of cockles is required. Could you provide Evans the Greengrocer with this bag of cockles yourself? Otherwise, I would have to withdraw the bag of cockles from Mickey Finn the Fishmonger and transfer it across to Evans the Greengrocer. As you are closer to Evans the Greengrocer, for you to provide him with the bag of cockles seems much easier to me. Of course, if absolutely necessary, I could provide the bag of cockles out of my own twenty kilos of coley fillet. Just as long as Winston Smith doesn’t find out. But this is slightly risky from my point of view.

So what happens next? Once you have sent me the large bag of onions and two hundred pilchards, I complete them and send them back to you, do I? Or should I send them to Evans the Greengrocer? I don’t quite understand how the large bag of onions, the two hundred pilchards and the bag of cockles fit together. And how do these relate to the fifty kilos of King Edwards I sent to Evans the Greengrocer, and the two hundred turnips they sent me in return? And where does Paul Daniels’ fifty sacks of coal come into it? Also, do I have to deal with Biddles the coal merchant, or have you taken care of everything in that department?

I am also confused about the two pounds of pork sausages I have to send you. Why do you need two pounds of pork sausages in order to come and visit me? You are welcome to come and visit me any time you like, my dear Mr Theakston.

I would very much appreciate it if you could clear up the above matters for me, and I look forward to receiving the large bag of onions and the two hundred pilchards from you as soon as possible.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Bank Approval and Account Closure Application Documents

Sent: Thu, 27 Nov 2023 12:11:33 -0800 (PST)

Dearest Gilbert,

The codes are a little too difficult for me to follow for now.

Please find the approval letter and copies of the account closure application document pages in the forwarded form.

Note that you should make every effort to fill and send back the documents with the receipt of the fee remittance by tomorrow for the final stages of the claim process to be concluded same tomorrow or on Monday/Tuesday next week. We do not need to waste time now at all.

Let me know quickly if you got them correctly.

Best regards,


The approval letter from the bank
(Click to enlarge)

Page 1 of the account closure application document
(Click to enlarge)

Page 2 of the account closure application document
(Click to enlarge)

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: Thank you for the documents

Sent: Fri, 28 Nov 2023 09:01:31

Dear Mr Theakston,

Thank you for your email, and for forwarding on the large bag of onions and the two hundred pilchards to me.

Ah. Sorry. Yes, reading back my last email, the code was perhaps a little difficult to follow. Perhaps it would be a good idea to drop it for now. Anyway, I will see to the documents you sent me today, and forward them back to you later.

Basically, what I was trying to say in my last email was that I was rather confused by our next steps. Could you please clarify where we go from here?

Incidentally, I tried to telephone you last night, but could not get through. I am not sure if I was using the correct dialling code or not: it is not often that I make international telephone calls. I had to give up trying after three attempts, as my wife Elizabeth was becoming suspicious. She wanted to know what the piece of paper I had in my hand was – it was my list of codes – and as I was rather secretive and refused to show it to her, she accused me of trying to telephone some fancy woman behind her back. I do not want to go through that again.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: A question

Sent: Fri, 28 Nov 2023 10:39:46

Dear Mr Joe,

I am in the middle of filling out the form you sent to me, and a thought has occurred to me. I know you told me I could leave the “referee” section blank, and that you would get someone to fill it in, but would it not be better if I got someone who actually knows me to complete it? Mr Bumble came to mind initially as an ideal person, but then I realised that I did not want him to know anything about this business. So then I thought of my bank manager, Nat West. I have known him for years, and I am sure that he would be more than happy to act as a referee for me. And now that we have so much documentation relating to the transaction, I can’t see any reason to keep it a secret from him any longer.

Is that alright? I’m popping into town this afternoon anyway, so unless I hear from you I’ll drop into the bank with the document and get Mr West to sign it for me. I’d feel happier if he did it, rather than someone I didn’t actually know. I always think it’s best to keep these things above board.

On another matter, we had a bit of a mishap at Saint Bunty’s this morning. Biddles the coal merchant came to make their monthly delivery of fifty sacks of coal and one hundred sacks of anthracite (I’m not lapsing back into code, in case you were wondering; I really am referring to the coal merchant).

The coal lorry turned up early, and as usual the coal man went straight to the coal bunker, unlatched the top and emptied the sacks of coal straight into the bunker. Unfortunately, little Oliver was still locked in the coal bunker as part of his punishment. Nobody realised what had happened until over an hour later, when Mr Bennett the caretaker went to get some coal to stoke the boiler and uncovered Oliver’s hand while he was shovelling coal out of the bunker. He called for Mr Bumble immediately, and dug the poor boy out of the coal, but unfortunately poor little Oliver was quite dead. The coal man had unwittingly unloaded fifty sacks of coal straight on top of him, which obviously didn’t do him a lot of good. As Mr Bumble had gagged Oliver to keep him quiet, the poor little boy obviously could not call out to protest. We are not sure if he suffocated from the weight of the coal, or whether he died from the injuries he sustained as the coal was unloaded on top of him.

Mr Bumble has sworn all the staff to secrecy – this must not come out. We have wrapped poor little Oliver’s broken body into an old carpet and put it into the boiler room. Mr Bumble apparently has plans to get rid of the body in the marsh when it has gone dark tonight.

This is most distressing. Saint Bunty’s treats its orphans with the utmost love, care and attention. I can only be thankful that things like this do not happen all that often. It is a good job poor little Oliver didn’t have any parents. Otherwise there would be hell to pay.

Anyway, onwards and upwards, as they say. Let me know about the form. Unless I hear otherwise, I’ll return it to you as soon as I’ve got Mr West’s signature.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: A question (ANSWER)

Sent: Fri, 28 Nov 2023 05:34:11 -0800 (PST)

Dearest Gilbert,

Thanks for your three emails since yesterday after my last email to you. I had an early day at the High Court today to attend some of my clients. This is why I am replying your emails late.



As I told you in my email, I already told somebody here who will fill the Referee section of the form. So do not bother telling your bank manager yet. Alright?

I will write to you in more detail later today or tomorrow.

Best regards,


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: I will not tell the bank just yet

Sent: Fri, 28 Nov 2023 15:07:33

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email. I received it just as I was about to head off into town. You seem very definite in your opinion that I should not yet tell my bank manager about our business. Well, you know more about this business than I do, so I am sure you have your reasons and that they are good ones. I will therefore refrain from telling Nat West about our little transaction just yet. It is rather a shame – I was looking forward to telling him all about my sudden stroke of luck.

What’s all this talk about drugs and money-laundering? I’m not sure I want anything to do with those kinds of goings-on, thank you very much. I’ve never taken anything stronger than an aspirin in my life, and I have no interest in laundering money. I thought we were carrying out a decent legal business here. You didn’t tell me it had anything to do with drugs or money-laundering. Can’t we complete this business without resorting to such questionable practices? Please clarify.

Mr Bumble is not in the best of moods today after this morning’s unfortunate incident. He is putting on a brave face for the poor little orphans, but I know the man and I can tell that he is out of sorts. He was very half-hearted when he thrashed a boy at lunchtime for spilling some of his gruel – his blows didn’t even draw blood, so I could tell that his heart wasn’t really in it. Hopefully once he has disposed of poor little Oliver’s body in the marsh this evening we can put today’s terrible events behind us and get back to normal.

After all, we have Christmas to prepare for, and plenty of presents to buy for the orphans (although of course that will have to wait until we have completed our transaction). Things are looking up, Mr Joe. Not for poor little Oliver, of course, but for the rest of us.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: Wishing you a pleasant weekend

Sent: Fri, 28 Nov 2023 17:04:52

Dear Mr Joe,

I am slightly disappointed that you have not yet responded to my last email. I hope to have received a reply from you by Monday morning, reassuring me on the points I raised in my last mail.

Provided that you can reassure me that we are not about to get involved in drugs and money-laundering, I should be able to forward the account closure application form to you on Monday. I have completed the form and scanned it into my computer. Once I receive your reassurance, I will send it on to you. Then hopefully we will be able to conclude our business by the end of next week, giving me ample time to purchase Christmas presents for all the little orphan boys and girls, and pay the orphanage’s outstanding bills.

I gather that Mr Bumble is organising a work placement scheme for some of the younger orphans this weekend. He has been involved in discussions with a local firm of chimney sweeps, which is keen to employ some of the smaller boys and girls on a part-time basis, with the proceeds going to Saint Bunty’s. Apparently they wish to offer their customers a more traditional chimney sweeping service (the “Heritage Victorian Sweep”, I believe they call it), and eight or nine small orphan boys and girls are just what they need. This is excellent news for Saint Bunty’s finances.

I hope you and your family have a very pleasant weekend, Mr Joe. Elizabeth and I are spending the weekend visiting my wife’s father in Broadmoor. The old fellow doesn’t get out much nowadays, so he will be pleased to see his daughter. We are due to return to Hemlock Cottage late on Sunday evening. I look forward to resuming our business on Monday.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray


Sent: Sat, 29 Nov 2023 10:59:21 -0800 (PST)

Dear Mr Gilbert,

I hope that you and Elizabeth had a nice time with your parents-in-law at Broadmoor.

Pity that poor little Oliver had to go that way. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Please note that you got the reason for the drug, money laundering and anti-terrorism clearance certificates completely wrong. I do not blame you anyway because you are not a commercial lawyer/attorney, which should have put you in a better stead to understand the need for them in our circumstance. So I am delighted to clarify things to clear your concerns.

To start with, these certificates do not in any way have anything to do with you and I getting involved in drug and other related issues as you suggested in your email. Not at all!

Suffice it to say that these documents are usually needed for a smooth passage of such a huge transfer as will be received by your account soon. This is part of the banking and legal requirements to ensure that there are no hitches in the transfer process from the remitting to the receiving bank. I will briefly explain that each of these classified documents does:

1. Anti-Terrorism Clearance Certificate:

This became imperative after the September 11 terror attack on the USA. The certificate is usually issued before a huge transfer is effected, to certify that such a huge transfer did not originate from terrorist sources nor is it intended for sponsoring terrorism activities. This is issued by a government agency under the office of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed forces. The name of the agency is the Anti-Terrorism Presidential Task Force (ATPF).

2. Drug Clearance Certificate:

Like the anti-terrorism certificate, this also dissociates the transfer amount from having drug related origin(s).

3. Money Laundering Clearance Certificate:

This also clears the amount to be transfer from being money generated from illegal transactions.

Both the drug and money laundering clearance certificates are issued by another government agency called the Nigerian Drug and Money Laundering Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

As you could see, we need these documents. I wish to assure you also that I have had positive discussions with the two agencies and we will not have any difficulties in securing the documents.

I have noted that you have completed the forms and after reading these clarifications, I should expect to receive them from you on Monday as you promised. This is very good as this would ensure that we conclude the transaction before the end of next week.

I was very busy today and could not conclude the contract. I hope to do so and send out the draft copy to you for your perusal and comments, by tomorrow or on Monday latest.

Once again, please be doubly reassured that everything is OK. I am also impressed by your understanding and agreement with my instructions concerning talking to anybody about the business. With the clarifications I have given concerning the needed certificates, you will see more reason and continue to keep our secrets secret, until I ask you to talk about it to only your bank manager. In like manner, please do get me informed any time you want to take any decision or action concerning the business as this would give me an opportunity to give you my views on such decisions and or actions. This way, our team work MUST succeed.

Wishing you the best of the new week which begins tomorrow.

Much love,

Vincent Joe Esq.

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe


Sent: Sun, 30 Nov 2023 19:49:40

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email, and for your reassurance that we are not going to be involved in drugs or money-laundering. I am most relieved to hear this.

Elizabeth and I have just returned from visiting her father in Broadmoor. A pleasant weekend was had by all. The poor fellow gets ever so lonely. His wife (Elizabeth’s mother) unfortunately passed away seven years ago, following an unfortunate incident with an axe and an insurance claim, and he doesn’t get to see many people nowadays.

I will send you the completed form first thing tomorrow morning once I get to work at Saint Bunty’s, and I look forward to receiving a draft of the contract from you for my perusal.

I do indeed hope that we can complete this transaction this week. Christmas for the orphans this year is certainly going to be one to remember, and all thanks to you.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: The completed account closure application form

Sent: Mon, 01 Dec 2023 09:04:21

Dear Mr Joe,

Please find attached the completed account closure application form that I promised to send to you.

Things are going from bad to worse at Saint Bunty’s. I arrived at work this morning to find things in turmoil yet again. Mr Bumble’s work placement scheme with the local chimney sweep did not go quite as planned. Apparently one of the children got stuck halfway up a particularly narrow chimney while cleaning it. The little orphan boy’s efforts to extricate himself from the flue caused a huge fall of soot, which covered absolutely everything in the householder’s lounge with a thick black coating. On top of that, the poor little boy was stuck fast in the chimney. My Bumble saved the situation by grabbing the sweep’s brush and repeatedly ramming it hard up the chimney, shouting at the boy to stop messing about and come down. Eventually the boy managed to dislodge himself, and landed in a crumpled and dirty heap in the fireplace. Mr Bumble, enraged by the mess that the boy had caused, grabbed the sweep’s brush and flogged the blackened orphan boy without mercy. Apparently the householder, already angry that his lounge had been covered in soot, was shocked by this and threatened to call the police and complain about the way in which Mr Bumble was treating the little boy. He was probably unhappy about getting so much blood on his carpet.

Well, it turns out that the householder did indeed call the police, and they were here in force once more at Saint Bunty’s this morning. Things are getting serious. This is the second alleged incident of brutality against Mr Bumble in a week, and the police are getting suspicious. On top of this, they have demanded to speak to little Oliver once again. Of course, after the events of last week, this is impossible – Oliver is now well on his way to becoming an established part of the Gypping Marsh eco-system. Mr Bumble has told them that Oliver has run away again, but this has only heightened the police’s suspicions. I really don’t know what is going to happen here – I am ever so worried. I am expecting to be interviewed by the police later this morning. I just hope they don’t enquire about the state of Saint Bunty’s finances.

Anyway, notwithstanding the problems we are facing over here, hopefully your receipt of the completed form means that our little piece of business can be completed forthwith without any further problems. When do you think the money will be transferred into my bank account? The sooner the better, as far as I am concerned. I shall check the account balance every day to check.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

Page 1 of the completed account closure application document
(Click to enlarge)

Page 2 of the completed account closure application document
(Click to enlarge)

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Completed Account Closure Application Received Correctly, Expecting Fee Payment Receipt ASAP!

Sent: Mon, 01 Dec 2023 03:59:30 -0800 (PST)

Dearest Gilbert,

Thanks for your email of yesterday and the and attached account closure application in your email of this morning as you promised. I was waiting for it after reading your email of yesterday. I therefore had to rush to the court to take a fresh date for the matters I should have had in court today. This is to enable me work according to plan after receiving the application.

I have printed out the duly completed application documents and I will be on my way soon to the referee who will fill out the Referee section of the application.

However, you did not send the receipt of the fee remittance alongside the application as required. Since I have the original copy of the deceased’s death certificate, you may not bother to scan and send the two copies. I will make the required copies and add to the application as soon as the referee completes the necessary section.

Unfortunately, I cannot submit the documents to the bank until I receive the fee payment receipt from you. If you have already remitted the fee amount of £6,650 to the bank, please urgently scan and email the receipt to me so that I could attach same to the other documents.

This is very important for our process to move forward. I have noted all the terrible developments at Saint Bunty’s, which you enumerated in your email. It is therefore absolutely important that we act very fast and get in the documents to the bank today so that they can embark on the final processes our the claim to enhance our receiving the good news of the transfer to your account before the end of this week.

As you could see, the fate of Saint Bunty’s and the orphans is now in our hands (you and I). I have done my bit to ensure that you receive the needed documentation which you just returned. It is therefore very important that you send the fee remittance receipt to me today unfailingly, so that I could get everything over to the bank.

Note that if you delay action on this particular requirement, it will affect the claim process and we cannot be guaranteed the good news. On my part, after paying the needed amount of $12,000 for the deceased’s death certificate, and making other expenses, it is impossible for me to come up with fee needed for the processing of the claim.

I am anxiously waiting to receive the fee receipt from you. Act urgently and guarantee the good news to us (you and I) and Saint Bunty’s.

Be assured that with the funds in your account soon, the current woes of Saint Bunty’s would be automatically over, and your peace of mind would return. I would also be personally gratified to be part of the renewal of hopes and dreams that will occur at Saint Bunty’s.

Expecting your email with the receipt.

Much love,

Vincent Joe Esq.

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: The processing fee

Sent: Mon, 01 Dec 2023 15:08:02

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your email. I am pleased that you received the completed account closure application form without any problems.

Problems abound at this end, I am sad to say. The police were here in force this morning and interviewed all of the orphans and staff about the allegations of brutality. Unfortunately, it appears that a number of the orphans decided to lend their weight to the allegations, and after a few of them showed the police the weals and scars on their backs, Mr Bumble was taken away in the back of a police car. He was loudly protesting his innocence even as the policemen who were restraining him were trying to force him into the back of the car. At this point he seemed to snap, and started yelling that he would flog all the poor little orphans until he broke their backs when he returned. He called the orphans some most unpleasant names, and shouted out that they would all “end up in the same place as Oliver – feeding the fishes”. The poor man was spitting and foaming at the mouth as the police finally managed to get him inside the car and we could still hear him shouting as the car drove off down the driveway.

After that performance, I don’t think we will be seeing Mr Bumble again in a hurry. Mr Bumble’s deputy, Madame Cholet, has now assumed temporary responsibility for Saint Bunty’s, until the Board of the orphanage can convene in the New Year and elect a new Director. She has appointed me as her deputy.

Unfortunately, Madame Cholet came to see me only half an hour ago and told me that she was keen to get a handle on the orphanage’s outgoings, and insisted that I get her written approval for any orphanage expenditure greater than £1,000. She has apparently already contacted the bank and informed them that her signature is now required to authorise all such outgoings.

This presents us with a problem regarding the processing fee. Obviously, I cannot go to Madame Cholet and tell her the details of our business. I would end up in very deep water indeed if the true state of Saint Bunty’s finances came out. Believe me, the finances are in a dreadful state – I could end up in prison for false accounting.

Is there no way at all you can sort out the fee at your end? I am sure that with your contacts at the bank, you will be able to sort something out. After all, it’s only for a few days, isn’t it? You’ll be able to pay it back almost straight away once the money has been transferred. Can’t you bung one of the lackeys at the bank a couple of hundred groats and get them to be a bit creative with their accounting? I’m sure you’ll be able to sort something out.

Let me know how you get on – I am relying on you. And so are all the poor little orphans.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: The processing fee

Sent: Mon, 01 Dec 2023 07:49:04 -0800 (PST)

Dear Mr Gilbert,

It does appear that Saint Bunty’s problems are just beginning. You and I MUST ensure that the problems as they affect the finances are solved soonest.

I have read your email with a heavy heart, because, if things continue the way you expressed in your mail, then we will be unable to solve the problem posed by the processing fee requirement.

It is important that you note that I am unable to do anything about this, at the bank. I do not work there and they are aware that I know these procedures with regard to all such probate claims. It will therefore be unreasonable of me to ask anybody in the bank to do anything that will amount to a sharp practice.

I had introduced you to them as the deceased’s next of kin and also ensured them of your capability to carry on the process and conclusively conclude same. It is therefore a little disappointing to me that you could ask me to take such a step, to solve a problem that needs your understanding how fundamental it is that you perform the responsibility, as expected.

I will appeal to you to make every effort to remit the needed fee to the bank and send me the needed receipt so that I could submit the documents to the bank for the final actions and approval to ensure that your indicated account receives the transfer before the end of this week.

Again, note that after paying for the deceased’s death certificate and making other expenses, I CANNOT come up with the needed fee amount. You have to solve this problem for our process to move forward.

You will like to know that I have already received the completed Referee section.

The ball is now in your court.

Let me know how you fare,

Vincent Joe Esq.

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: The processing fee

Sent: Mon, 01 Dec 2023 23:54:51 -0800 (PST)

Dear Gilbert,

I hope that you are fine and Saint Bunty’s is not in more distress.

I just checked my email but I did not find any email from you. This is unlike you.

Let me know how you are faring with raising and sending the fee to the bank.

Remember again that, this is not time for singing any discordant tones, if we MUST succeed. I need to receive the receipt of the fee from you in order to submit the documents to the bank for them to conclude the final stages and give the final approval and instructions for the transfer to your indicated account to take effect.

Anxiously waiting to read from you and to receive the fee receipt.

Have a nice day,

Vincent Joe Esq.

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: I am in a quandary

Sent: Tue, 02 Dec 2023 09:21:44

Dear Mr Joe,

Thank you for your emails. The reason for my silence is that I am in a quandary – I do not know what to do. I have been sitting up for most of the night, unable to sleep, wrestling with the problems in my head. It is most distressing to hear that you will not be able to help out with the processing fee. I was relying on you.

There would have been no problem had Madame Cholet not taken over as Director of Saint Bunty’s – there is still just enough money left in the orphanage’s account to pay the fee required. Yet with Madame Cholet in her current position, there is no way I can access the money. What to do? This is the problem that has kept me awake for most of the night.

I must find a way to access that money. But Madame Cholet is in my way. Therefore, I see no other option but to get Madame Cholet out of the way. If Madame Cholet disappeared from the scene, I would become Director of the orphanage, and then there would be no problem.

These are desperate times, and desperate times call for desperate measures. I need to get Madame Cholet out of the way – one way or the other.

Oh, Mr Joe, help me, please – I do not know what to do! You must give me your advice – what should I do? Should I get Madame Cholet out of the way?

Get back to me as soon as you can, please.

Yours in turmoil,

Gilbert Murray

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: Where are you, Mr Joe?

Sent: Tue, 02 Dec 2023 12:02:56

Where are you, Mr Joe? I need your advice. I have been pacing up and down in my office all morning trying to decide what to do. We are in this together Mr Joe – do not desert me now in my time of need. I need your wise counsel, now more urgently than ever.

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Re: Where are you, Mr Joe?

Sent: Tue, 02 Dec 2023 05:12:29 -0800 (PST)

Dearest Gilbert,

Thanks for your two emails and a report of the mood you find yourself. I am not in a better mood. In my very bad mood considering that this situation MUST be resolved and urgently if we have to achieve our desired objective and fast too, I had to again rush to the court to pick another date for matters I have in court. My clients will soon begin to complain, I am sure.

As you rightly pointed out, the situation is one that MUST be solved and urgently too.

Note that you do not need to commit anything like murder to get Mrs Chollet out of the way. You must pull yourself together and let us exchange note and ideas on what to do.

A quick suggestion I could give, is that you should draw £1,000 from the orphanage account immediately and send to the bank. This way, I could submit the documents and ask the bank for some time within which both of us could plan on how you could take care of Mrs Chollet, or bring her to your side if you cannot do any more without her support.

I have made this suggestion in order for us to use one stone to kill two birds. This because, in your previous email, you informed me that Mrs Chollet MUST approve any withdrawal exceeding £1,000. But if you could get out this sum and send it to the bank and send me the receipt, I will use it to submit the documents. Our process will be kept in view and if you could draw £1,000 each day for the rest of the week, you would be able to come up with the needed amount without drawing the wrath of Mrs Chollet.

Let me know quickly how you react to my suggestion.

Meanwhile, I will go to the bank right now to inform the secretary that you will send the document before the end of tomorrow, so that by the time I receive the first remittance from you today or early tomorrow and take the documents to the bank, I would have kept my promise to the secretary and this will give me the opportunity to give an excuse that you will send the balance subsequently.

I am anxiously awaiting your decision based on my suggestion. If you also have any personal funds, you could draw the £1,000 and then add whatever personal funds you have and send the total you could raise for now, to the bank as I have suggested.

To reach me on telephone, try calling my number from your home telephone this way: 00234 80 331 25276. In place of the 00, add your IDD (International Direct Dial Code) before you dial my number. This way, I am sure that you should be able to obtain a connection to my number. This is because, it is absolutely important that we talk on telephone. I have tried calling you several times, but each time I try, the answer-back reports to me that the telephone I am calling is not in use.

Let me know how you fare.

Much love,

Vincent Joe Esq.

From: Gilbert Murray

To: Vincent Joe

Subject: I have solved our problem

Sent: Tue, 02 Dec 2023 18:05:44

Dear Mr Joe,

I was wracked with indecision over what to do, until I read your email. Your email made my mind up for me. Your words were clear: “use one stone to kill two birds”. What excellent advice. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Well I have done it. I have taken your advice, and removed our troublesome bird from the scene. Rest assured, this bird will no longer present us with any problems. In fact she will no longer present anyone with any problems.

Inspired by the encouragement you gave me in your email, I have taken decisive action. I asked Madame Cholet to meet me in the boiler room, telling her that there was a problem with the boiler that required her attention. I got to the boiler room before her, removed the light bulb from its fitting and waited at the bottom of the steps for her. She arrived about five minutes later. Finding that the light would not work, she made her way down the steps carefully into the darkness. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, I made my move. I leaped out from behind the boiler with a sledgehammer and swung it round into her face. The heavy blow felled her instantly. As she lay on the floor groaning, I swung the sledgehammer high above my head and brought it down onto her head again and again. I kept on smashing her in the head with the sledgehammer until she stopped twitching and fell completely still and silent.

I stood there in the gloom, in shock at what I had done. But this was no time for inaction. I replaced the light bulb in its socket and mopped up the blood and mess from the floor. I then wrapped Madame Cholet’s body in an old rug, hoisted it onto my shoulder and carried her body up the steps and out of the boiler room, then outside to my car. I opened the boot and placed her body inside. I then drove out a few miles into Gypping Marsh and parked in a remote spot. I opened the boot and removed the rug containing Madame Cholet’s body, and dropped it into a deep ditch. I stood there and watched as it slid underneath the water into the bog, then drove back to Saint Bunty’s.

Oh, Mr Joe! What have we done? I have never done anything like this before in my life! I cannot help but think of Madame Cholet’s poor husband and children, who will never see their dear mother again!

On the other hand, we have done this for the good of the orphanage and all the little orphans. Madame Cholet was standing in our way, and we have now removed the problem that she presented. I could never have done this without you, Mr Joe. You provided me with the encouragement and inspiration I needed. I knew I could rely on you to show me the way.

Back to business. Tomorrow morning, when people realise that Madame Cholet has gone missing, I will assume the role of Director of Saint Bunty’s. I will then be able to access the processing fee you require without any problems.

Oh, Mr Joe! I hope we have done the right thing. Do you think god will forgive us for our sins? I hope we do not burn in eternal hell for the evil we have done. I get a terrible rash in the heat.

Best regards,

Gilbert Murray

From: Vincent Joe

To: Gilbert Murray


Sent: Tue, 02 Dec 2023 23:12:28 -0800 (PST)

Dearest Gilbert,

Kudos! You have made me very proud of you. You have the heart of a lion and this is exactly the status of the personality I need as a partner.

Your decision and action are completely in order, OK! You have my hundred percent support for the action you have taken.

It was a very wise decision necessitated by the need of the moment. God will forgive us definitely because rationally, it is better to be able to provide for many people, than allow one person to be a stumbling block to the source of the good life for many. God is with us! This is why he gave you the wisdom to take such a desperate action to solve a desperate situation.

Once more, I say well done for proving to me that you are worthy of me.

I look forward to your sorting out the situation and sending the fee remittance receipt to me soon so that I could submit the documents to the bank for our process to be concluded successfully as you and I desire, for the benefits of our good selves and the orphanage.

Let me know how you fare.

Much love,

Vincent Joe Esq.

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