I received a tip from IRTA and then a very interesting email from a Dennis Smith regarding Ormita and Daniel Evans recently. For my readers that don’t know Daniel or Ormita, they are an exchange claimed to have had explosive international growth in their few years of business. From what I know of Daniel, he’s quite the jetsetter and has been all over the world setting up his super-exchange – something he calls an International Commerce Network.
Daniel hasn’t been without his detractors and has amassed a bit of a reputation for steamrolling anyone that disagrees with him.
I used to regularly receive email from a Ms. Selina Markham, an employee of Ormita, and their inventory has always seemed legitimate to me. That being the case, I was a little surprised to receive information from Dennis, who has says that he has tracked Daniel for 12 years and is finishing up a 60,000 word report following a major investigation into Ormita, making two fairly wild claims: that Daniel Evans is not who he says he is, and that Ormita is not really a global company at all. As I reached out to Dennis, he agreed to do an interview to defend his conclusions. What follows is our conversation via email over a number of days.
Me: First, Dennis, I have to know, why did you write this? What would possess you to spend 12 years investigating one man, who, by all measures, isn’t very important?
Dennis: Nobody who has crossed swords with him would ever say that, Tyler! Unfortunately he can make his presence felt very successfully when he’s on the defence or out to get people who he thinks will undermine his current con.
I actually started asking questions when he sought my investment into his new barter business in 2002 in New Zealand. He put a couple of references into his marketing materials that I actually bothered to check out. The first reference didn’t even recall him at first, then when pushed, thought that Daniel was probably was the guy he had met in an elevator and exchanged cards with sometime previously. I could visualise the eyes of the second reference roll around in pain over the phone as he groaned and then shared his long story of trauma with Daniel!
That a guy who was selling something would put two dud references into his sales materials caught my attention. Something was obviously a little bit different, and it all started from there. I invested a bit into his business, watched him take the money and run with it; asked a few more questions; then in 2008/2009 I wrote a private report for the other shareholders saying essentially, we’ve basically lost our money, and he’ll probably carry on taking peoples’ money around the world, which has happened.
I wrote a blog post warning people that all was not well (Warning XO/Ormita etc [LINK: http://www.dennis.co.nz/2009/12/warning-xo-ozone-ormita-etc/]) and pretty much left it at that. That blog post became the most hit page on my entire website (of 500,000 words) so there was certainly something happening out there! Throughout 2014 the level of people contacting me got to the point that I just couldn’t sit back and watch people lose money hand over fist when I could do something about it.
Me: You use the word con. Is Ormita somehow a con? Your investigating Daniel could just be a case of sour grapes…
Dennis: In answer to your question, the answer is, “Yes, Ormita is a con”. Ormita can be best described as ‘a conscious programme of deception; a litany of lies resulting in an international trail of trauma’.
The facts are that Daniel Evans is a convicted fraudster, found guilty in a court of law in New Zealand of multiple charges of dishonesty.
The facts are that he is an Australian, born David James Anthony Harlow, but now he claims to be a New Zealander (Kiwi) and changed his name to Daniel Mensi Evans. I give more details in The Ormita Report even including the reference number of his Australian birth certificate if anybody wants to check these facts.
The facts are that Daniel creates and uses aliases and false identities to create the impression that Ormita has multiple staff and incredible turnover. His lawyer a so-called Julia Vinson doesn’t exist and her image used on LinkedIn was a stolen identity from the wife of a university employee in the USA. Communications to and from Julia Vinson are to and from Daniel himself posing as Julia. There are many more aliases like that too.
The facts are that Ormita is not and has never been what he claims it to be with 3.4 billion dollars of trade annually! Many of us in the industry have suspected this about Daniel and Ormita. Anyone can do what I did – ask questions; find the answers and publish them, but I am the one who just did it.
The Ormita Report details a lot more about this conman what he does, and how he does what he does but these are all facts.
Your second comment though suggesting the possibility of sour grapes is a little more difficult to address. At the outset of the investigation I simply wanted to know the truth and publish the facts as I said before, as a result of a lot of people coming to me seeking my advice. I sought backing, backed myself and entered into a major private investigation, I thought to find the truth and just get it out there. During the investigation though my take on the whole situation changed and I came to the conclusion that just speaking about the facts was not enough. I determined that there was so much collateral damage from this guy around the globe that he simply had to be stopped, thus my motives went from just trying to cover my costs, finding the facts and getting them out there . . . to actively promoting those facts and working with others (like yourself) to stop this man. Hence the YouTube video, the Selena Markham website, The Ormita Report Media Kit and other online activities.
No sour grapes Tyler, just a determination to get the word out there and stop a white collar criminal from conning any more victims.
Me: Ok, so I have been receiving email from a woman at Ormita named Selina Markham for a long time. Is she a legitimate person? I had always assumed she is…and as a second, follow up to the question about Selina, I notice on Facebook that it is her birthday today. She has what seems to be a legitimate profile picture, we have five friends in common, her profile says she’s married and lives in Brisbane. Her marketing messages may not be very original in content or execution, but they seem real. How can you be sure she isn’t real?
Dennis: She’s a real person all right – it’s just that she is not a female and not who ‘she’ says ‘she’ is!
You’ve raised an interesting point though and that is the different levels of proof – beyond reasonable doubt is a legal definition that I’m happy with though. Proving anything (especially something negative) like the fact that Selina doesn’t exist is not simple, but the website www.selinamakham.com explains this identity theft in greater detail and gives the proof of a fraud showing where the stolen photograph was scraped from – a musician in the UK. I have spoken personally to the original photographer Rob Dunsford who has confirmed that Selina is a stolen identity. So we have proof that there is identity theft and fraud.
Linking this fraud to Daniel Evans though goes like this:
I have proved that Selina’s identity is a fraud (www.selinamarkham.com)- that’s the big one and a good starting point. I can prove that none of her Facebook friends have ever met her (In fact I haven’t actually contacted ALL of them though but enough for me to make a judgement call, again beyond reasonable doubt) – that’s now very strong supporting evidence. I can show that all her communication styles match that of Daniel Evans, He has a unique way of thinking and talking – quite distinctive, so now this is starting to look very much like yet another Daniel Evans alias. We can see that all her interests match his and that her timelines broadly match Daniel’s – when he is in one region, she too gains interests and befriends those in the Barter or business worlds where he is, and that every single post she makes online is Ormita-related – that’s starting to look for sure like a Daniel Evans alias. Then there are things that I can’t share publicly – feedback from people in the industry who have had various experiences where Selina (supposedly in Australia) responds in support of Daniel when he is on a con, or in a conflict situation which is the middle of the night in her time zone.
There are many other little clues too like no personal information about her on any of her and many other little unnatural pieces of the puzzle; similarities to other aliases he uses. There is also information that comes to me from sources close to Daniel and Ormita who share information that cannot be shared for fear of their identification – he has made a lot of enemies and people who hate will often talk about these sorts of things.
In the process of investigating you can’t just follow a hunch and find all the pieces that support that hunch, you have to really want to know the truth and simply let the evidence take you where it leads you. I have actually deliberately sought to find anything that actually validates her real identity, because there is a possibility that everything could perhaps be coincidence. In the absence of anything that proves the real identity, then I let the evidence speak for itself. I found nothing to support the contention that Selina was who she said she was and a truckload of evidence to the contrary. If it walks, talks and quacks like a duck . . . we’ll it’s a duck!
Lastly, the call when or if I go public with this information is a big one. On my investigation website I identified two fraudulent identities at the outset and provided the proof. This was enough for the public to see that Daniel and Ormita did conduct fraudulent impersonation, but I didn’t share all my knowledge. I have released the results of my investigation into Selina in The Ormita Report, thus making it a public claim but I’ve investigated more of his fraudulent online identities and aliases apart from this one. As they say, but wait, there’s more!
When you make a claim like this, you’ve got to be ready to defend it. I am, and rest assured that I would welcome increased exposure of this conman’s activities – through you or the courts!
Selina Markham is a pure fabrication created and used as an alias by Daniel Evans for the purposes of sustaining the Ormita fraud.
Me: What about all the pictures Daniel has on Facebook? He is clearly depicted in Ormita offices all over the place. Are those in business or not? It would be quite a chore to falsify all of those photos…and there are a lot of them. The UAE opening comes to mind. Are you saying there isn’t an office of Ormita in the UAE?
Dennis: These are good questions for they reveal Daniel’s modus operandi and why the Ormita fraud is so hurtful to the victims. There are also two types of falsification of Ormita’s Social Media presence . . . fully false identities generated from scratch by the master fraudster (stealing photos from the Internet in order to trick people by impersonation) and misleading use of real information (claiming that past people/contacts are still current or using real people’s Social Media presence on behalf of them for his own benefit). Daniel does both.
Daniel’s MO is to move into a new country, talk VERY big, take the money and get out fast. During that time he works the victim over heavily for marketing material such as Facebook befriending, Ormita office photos, staff photos with the Ormita logo and so on. These are all easy to get and are gold to a conman because they were genuine AT THE TIME. The only way you’d know that they are no longer current is to do the investigation I have!
The fraudster always encourages the victim to do a public launch because ir gives him more valuable publicity material, but also more importantly it locks his victim into an embarrassment that is too hard to back out of. When the victims twig that something’s not going right, it’s generally too late for their own reputation and so they have little choice to just fade away and keep quiet about the entire fraud.
All relationships that Daniel has ever established in Ormita have all broken down, and most of them within a month or two. Doing the investigation was not easy in this area because Daniel established and controls even to this day Facebook pages for many of the Ormita Agencies himself when they all die. Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Poland, India, USA the UAE and most of the rest of them are all dead, but their Facebook pages still remain somewhat active!
The answer to UAE specifically is . . . Yes the office was established. Yes the opening occurred. Yes the photos of the opening are real. Yes, the people are real . . . but the UAE Ormita agency closed down on the first day when the Ormita trainer arrived to commence training when the licensee realised that the trainer knew less than he did and the whole thing was a joke, and a con. He basically turfed Daniel and Ormita out the window in a twinkling but his photo is still on the Internet and the branch is still listed as a part of the Ormita network and the office opening photos remain! Despite his multiple requests for Daniel to remove it all, Daniel hasn’t obliged, for as I said, this is all gold for a fraudster!
Me: You say all of the relationships Daniel established have all broken down. That’s a very intense categorical statement. Are you saying there are literally no currently operating offices of Ormita anywhere? Or are you saying that Daniel has no confirmed partnerships anywhere? Or both?
Dennis: The statement that ALL relationships have broken down is broadly true but there are different levels of breakdown so the corollary that there is NO Ormita operating office as a result is not EXACTLY true. Slovenia has only just signed on (February 2014) so if they follow the normal pattern then their relationship will die by mid year, probably with little or no trading at all but wild claims of large membership, but they could still exist. South Korea for example is just one older man but with no meaningful trading. Just ask the Israel Agency what they think and how they’re doing and you’ll find that nothing is happening and the relationship has broken down irretrievably! The pattern is the same over the entire world.
The longest personal relationship that I’ve identified in the last 13 years was that of his civil union with Tarsis Ludi Evans (nee Alves) that as far as I can determine lasted around three years. The longest business relationship that I’ve identified is that of the ‘struggling’ Ormita Italy agency that appears to have kept going for 2 years but if you were a fly on the wall in their office you’d witness a lot of pain and Daniel will be seen to be the prime cause of it. Before that his relationship with Jim Gielarowski lasted just over a year. Every other relationship that I’ve seen (in both a personal and business sense) has only ever lasted months. Daniel has discussed this very difficulty with me personally. It’s far from a secret and I would note also that this was THE biggest factor of concern that I identified to the Ozone/Ormita shareholders in my first report and investigation 2008/2009.
The importance of this all in a business sense is that relationships built on fraudulent claims will always create stress when the victims find out they’ve been lied to – so Daniel not only destroys relationships quickly he also sets them up to fail with his techniques of chronic deception.
Me: Sounds like someone with problems discerning reality from fiction. I’ve never met Daniel, but he seems lucid…is all of this deception intentional? Is he just a pirate trying to hijack people and their money? Or is he trying to set up a legitimate business and just failing spectacularly?
Dennis: That’s a hard call to make Tyler because you are raising the issue of motive and determining motive is a different beast from just getting the facts and identifying the fraud. I’ve actually chosen not to answer that question (whether he’s just a greedy conman or a man, as you say, who lives in another world of his own making). In the report I discuss his psychiatric issues briefly and I make the best guess that it’s a mixture of both.
The bottom line though is that his actual conduct is what one has to look at, assess and judge and the clear results of his conduct are trauma, serious collateral damage and lots of people in the barter world who have had their fingers burned.
Me: What’s your estimate on how many people and how much damage has been done? What is the nature of the fraud? Is he making promises he can’t keep or taking money on false claims? What has he done that is illegal; aside from misrepresent himself and Ormita?
Dennis: The angle I’ve taken has been more to identify the modus operandi, and get the facts out there (which counters the extraordinarily prolific deception) rather than to find the money or quantify the losses.
Your questions though dig into what the fraud is, so let me explain the essence of the fraud:
1. Establish a brand that has a digital/virtual presence in dozens of countries, using VOIP and serviced offices. I show in great detail in The Ormita Report how he did this in 2008.
2. Claim an ultra-high membership and trade volume. Almost quarter of a million members around the globe and 3.4 billion of annual trade is the oft-repeated claim!
3. Validate the claims through myriads of websites, multiple fake Social Media identities, a wide range of repeated news articles and self-generated ‘authorities’. In The Ormita Report I explain the biggest con of all, which was an amazing act of chutzpah in London in 2011.
4. Secure software for a trading platform. Dishonesty and conflict occurred here too BTW!
5. Sell licenses for the various country agencies based on the false pretences – which is then, “Yes” to one of your questions.
Lawyers can take the facts I have found and determine the actual crimes in their own jurisdictions. Identity theft for commercial gain plus commercial gain based on fraudulent claims are crimes in most jurisdictions that I know of. One of the things that makes a difference is the context in which misrepresentations occur. Telling a mate down at the pub that you’ve got a billion dollar business is a far cry from establishing an elaborate fraud with deliberate intent to deceive for commercial gain!
There will be more that comes out of the woodwork I’m sure, but I’ve not been privy to everything nor am I a forensic accountant.
Losses for the victims range from just a few hundred dollars from minor investors to hundreds of thousands for some Ormita Licensees. They include direct licensee fees as well as consequential losses. Many report the wasted time, embarrassment and emotional trauma to be as much, if not more costly than the actual financial losses.
Me: So what’s your advice then to people in regards to dealing with Daniel & Ormita?
Dennis: Stay right away from them; as far as you can. If you’re entangled in the web of deception that surrounds Ormita just cut your losses as soon as you can and walk. The Ormita Report has a section in it specifically addressing this very issue, how to extricate yourself and avoid the inevitable pain that will come from disengaging.
If you’ve spent money on the basis of the wild claims of billions in trade volume you will likely be able to make a criminal complaint. Litigation in a commercial sense is likely to be a waste of time but would very likely succeed based on the evidence in The Ormita Report but as far as I can tell the barrel is very much empty! They do say that empty barrels make the most noise eh?
You can get The Ormita Report at www.theormitareport.com. Enter the promotional code BARTER if you’re in the barter industry for a half price offer. Enter the promotional code BUGGER if you’ve been ripped off and it’s yours for $10. Law Enforcement’s promotional code is STOPTHISMAN for obvious reasons and I give it to them at no charge.
It’s a developing story and I can assure you that there will be more news probably very shortly as some of the people I have spoken to take their own matters further. I’m also very sure that The Ormita Report will give others the evidence and also confidence to do things they wished that they could have if they had the evidence.
Thanks for the opportunity to share more here, Tyler. Faafetai Uso [Samoan for “Thank you brother”]