Fraud accused: Obama called

By Michele McPherson

The man accused of pretending to be rich and agreeing to buy property and vehicles he couldn't afford has taken the stand in court to claim he was the victim of a scam and believed emails that told him money was on its way.
He claims he also received phone calls from United States President Barack Obama about the money.
Christian John Glennie, 68, is on trial in Tauranga District Court and yesterday was asked to respond to the Crown's allegations.
Glennie said he does not deny signing an offer to buy a farm in Martinborough, but believed he had funds coming to him from overseas and that the emails sent to him from international sources were genuine.
He said he was convinced that if he paid various fees, including "anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist charges", the funds would be paid to his bank account. Glennie said he even flew to Holland to "chase the money up" so he could pay for the farm, but found "it was a scam".
When asked about the Isuzu truck he tried to buy, Glennie said he also believed he could afford it.
"I received a document from the Union Bank of Switzerland about US$6 million [in] funds and believed the money was on transfer to my ASB account in Wellington, but the money never turned up. I believed the document was genuine."
One of the many documents Glennie was asked to comment on was one labelled "Guarantee bond from the President of Nigeria".
He said he had believed if he paid $7800 in fees, US$20,500,000 ($25,440,643) would be paid to his bank. Glennie said the president "had reneged on the deal".
Between May and June 2009, he said he engaged a lawyer by the name of John Williams who is based in Nigeria to pursue the matter for him.

He said he had never actually met Mr Williams, but since their first phone conversation there had been almost daily contact between them, either by phone or email, which included regularly receiving documents to confirm how his court case was going and regular payment of fees via Western Union Bank transfers.
When asked how much money he paid to Mr Williams, Glennie said he wasn't certain, but estimated close to $150,000.
He also claimed to have received calls from the President of Nigeria and from United States President Barack Obama to discuss a "joint guarantee bond certificate" in relation to money owed to him held in America.
His judge-alone trial, which began on Monday, has seen 26 prosecution witnesses gave evidence.
Glennie allegedly told people he had amassed a fortune through financial deals, mining interests in Nigeria and a lottery win, and that the money was held in banks in New York and the Netherlands.
At the conclusion of the prosecution case, Judge John McDonald discharged Glennie on the count of incurring a debt by deception after he ruled there was not enough evidence to support the charge.
The trial continues today.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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