Dallas Financier Convicted of Securities Fraud Says He's Being Targeted by Nigerian Scammers

Categories: Biz, Legal Battles

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Barrett Wissman
There's plenty of evidence to suggest that Dallas financier Barrett Wissman is not entirely on the up-and-up. That story he told hedge fund colleagues of taking over his father's sizable chemical company two years out of college? D reported that it was a tiny company that manufactured tablecloths and lawn-care products. That signature he'd used to pocket $96,250 of his aunt's money a quarter century ago? A Bexar County court ruled that it was forged. Then, of course, there was his central role in a massive 2009 fraud case in which Wissman, one of the principals in the Hunt family's hedge fund, admitted to giving kickbacks to officials in exchange for business with New York state's employee pension fund.

Now Wissman's on the receiving end of fraud. In court papers, Wissman says his identity has been hijacked by scammers hoping to get money from friends, colleagues and others.

The scheme allegedly targeting Wissman isn't of the old-school help-I'm-a-Nigerian-prince variety. In his case, the scammers have created an email account in his name, barrett.wissman@yahoo.com, and pepper their messages with references to Wissman's personal and business dealings.

The message Wissman saw, which was forwarded from a friend who'd received it, mentioned his passion for "classical music" and "antique furnishings," spoke of his business interests in the United Arab Emirates, and used the sign-off "Warmly, Barrett." It offered the recipient a job, with $500,000 up front provided he would provide his bank account and passport numbers to ease the transaction.

Wissman says he has no idea who's sending the emails, but he's trying his damnedest to figure it out. He's demanding that a Dallas County judge require Yahoo to give a deposition providing identifying information on whoever set up the email account. A hearing is scheduled for next month.

Of course, none of this proves that Wissman isn't actually the person behind the Yahoo account. What better way to preemptively cover up your new Nigerian email scam than by filing a bunch of court papers swearing you have no idea who's sending those crazy messages? But that's way too bush league for Wissman. It might be something the aunt-swindling lad of 1990 might try, but he's matured since then. And he probably doesn't need the money.

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9 comments
youtoo
youtoo

...doesn't everybody get Nigerian scam mail???  No???

JackJett
JackJett

I have always wanted to start a punk band called The Nigerian Scammers.

Would that not be PC?  Does anyone play drums?  Bass?  Lead?  I do the tamborine and tone deaf lead vocals. 

joeinbost
joeinbost

Scam are common in Texas in 2006  VR Business Group of Dallas 972-792-0100 sold me 80,000 worth of lien items. I paid the company 750 to pay for a lawyer to draw up sale Documents. Then the Company will not tell the name of the Lawyer  I think it might be  John Brian Williams, who is now the Judge at the Rockwall County  Court of Law.  Also  watch out for Howard "TREY" Teichelmann III  who now works at Atlantic and Pacfic  Real Estate in Plano  He helped out in the Fraud he is a Tax Cheat and Self Notarizes , if he screws the IRS   you are no threa to him.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Dear Kind Esteemed Sir:


Allow me to make introductions of myself in order that a financial transaction may be conducted to our mutual benefit ...

bhObummer
bhObummer

Yo we's ought ta make da pie higher in the hood.

WishIWasInLakewood
WishIWasInLakewood

It would be nice if when mentioning ties to the "Hunt family" we knew which branch of the family.  The Times article refers to the Lamar branch and not the Ray branch.   It may not matter on the NY Times level but in Dallas, it is a pretty big difference.

James080
James080

Why link to a story that is behind a pay wall?

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