The elusive con man, Alan Abrahams, also known as James A. Carr, was arraigned on parole violations in U.S. District Court in New York yesterday - and nearly was released on $50,000 bail.
But federal prosecutor Daniel Beller protested the decision by Judge Lawrence Pierce to set bond, because of Abrahams' history of jumping bail. Abrahams was captured by FBI agents at an expensive Florida resort last week for alleged fraud in the sales of London commodity options. He had fled Massachusetts and forfeited $100,000 bond posted in a Boston federal court following his arraignment on those charges in late December.
"Described by federal officials as "the greatest con man who ever lived," Abrahams also, according to police records, jumped bail on at least two other occasions.
Beller told the court that Abrahams has a 22-year-long criminal record, including arrests in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, California, Canada, and the Bahamas. He asked that Abrahams be held without bail because of "his past record of non appearances."
But Abraham's attorney, Anthony Cardinale of F. Lee Bailey's firm in Boston, stipulated to the court that no effort would be made to meet bail until after a Monday morning hearing scheduled before another federal judge.
The bail question may be irrelevent, court sources said, because New Jersey and Massachusetts authorities have issued warrants for Abraham's arrest, and are waiting to take him into custody should be released.
Meanwhile in Boston, more details of Abraham's alleged operations with his options firm, Lloyd, Carr & Co., were disclosed. Lloyd, Carr salesmen used high-pressure, boiler room telephone sales tactics to push London commodity options at greatly inflated prices to thousands of individuals whose names appeared in Dun and Bradstreet's business directory.
According to investigators, Carr salesmen referred prospective customers to the Better Business Bureau and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for confirmation of Lloyd, Carr's business reputation.
The salesmen provided their prospects with a local telephone number for the BBB and an 800 number for the CFTC. When customers called the numbers, the investigators said, they were assured that Lloyd, Carr was reliable.
But the BBB numer was really a telephone in the Lloyd, Carr offices, according to sources. And the CFTC has said that it had no knowledge of the 800 number.
"This is the first time I've ever heard of anybody setting himself up as a Better Business Bureau with his own telephone number and giving himself a good report to rip people off," said Leonard L. Sanders, president of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Massachusetts in an interview with the Associated Press.