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Friday, August 6, 2010

Bishop Marty Sigillito Accused of Fraud, Theft...and Forgery Too?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 8:59 AM

click to enlarge bishopring.jpg
Clayton attorney and American Anglican bishop Marty Sigillito stands accused of running a $45 million Ponzi scheme that, allegedly, fleeced regular Joes and members of the St. Louis Racquet Club alike. He's currently under federal investigation. For more, see our cover story, "White Collar Crime," out on newsstands this week.

How did Bishop Sigillito get people to fork over millions of bucks? Well, he was just the middleman. The man behind the curtain, the man who would supposedly make everybody rich -- that was Derek Smith, an English real-estate developer.

He does exist. Daily RFT talked to him on the phone, briefly, in which he declined comment. However, it's unclear whether he knew that the bishop was collecting tens of millions for his real-estate purposes (after all, the developer says he only ever got $900,000).

In fact, it looks as though Bishop Sigillito could've been ghost writing e-mails from Smith's account. Consider the following bizarre e-mail exchange: 
  • Sebastian Rucci, attorney for major investor Phil Rosemann, demands documents from Derek Smith.
  • Derek Smith, writing from his son's computer (?), says he doesn't possess those documents.
  • About a week later, Smith completely avoids the topic, but says he'll keep everyone "informed."
  • Rosemann calls bullshit and suggests that Sigillito is ghost-writing Smith's e-mails.
  • Smith confirms it, saying, "You were largely correct about authorship!" (At least, we assume it's Smith, this is complicated.....)Sigillito Possible Forgery Email Chain

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