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12. THE BIG STACK FOLDS

November 1, 2007

Mark McGuire sat in his office regurgitating his conversation with Behzad Rezvani. Somewhat agitated and uncomfortable.

 

Rezvani had paid five hundred thousand to make sure McGuire had heard his proposal. A proposal that began with an attempt at censorship and legal threat; continued by desperately trying to get a trump card over other bidders; and finished with an out and out personal bribe.

 

It was very clumsy. Clumsy and anonymous. It didn’t add up. Maybe he was being tested. Maybe one of the big boys was trying to set him up. Maybe a few of the big boys were in on it. Yes, it would be in their interest to discredit him. That would change the power relationship. The big boys don’t like being dictated to. He was very glad he had been firm with Bezhad. He had played the white man. Nothing but professional. Yes. He would have to be very careful how he played his hand. Strong and transparent. The only way to go.

 

It would be interesting to see if Behzad came back with the details by six. He bet no. Even if they did turn up it could still be a proxy attack on him. But they wouldn’t leave a trail, would they? Hold on, they already had. Behzad and the money transfer. Hmmm. It was scrambling his brain. Play your own game guy, play your own game. He’d made enough side business on this one to retire for ever ten times over. It’s a no lose situation. All he had to do was play hard and straight. Didn’t stop him from having that worried feeling though. He would have to stretch out negotiations so that all the money from the other transactions was banked. Darn, that conversation had unsettled him. Maybe a good thing. He had become over-confident.

 

[McGuire]:

“Tony, find out which organization the transfer came from and get me some background on it.”

 

[Tony, PA]:

“Done it already Mark. It’s from an account belonging to Rezvani and Chooper, a small law firm in Chicago. It’s gonna be a generic client money account. The actual client name will only be accounted for in their internal systems. They look after a couple of mid-sized Illinois corporations. However, the standout is that they represent a religion called the Baha’i Faith. I think you’ll find that is the link you are after. Layla was a Baha’i and the Baha’i Faith was very vocal in its criticisms of Layla.

 

Is that all?”

 

[McGuire]:

“Oh yeah, yeah. Great work Tony.

 

Tony, I’m out for the rest of the day. Get all these contracts signed and sent. Communicate me the progress as and when.”

 

Aaarggghhh. Baha’i Faith my ass. That’s far too easy. Best just to assume it’s a setup. I’m ready, let’s play poker. Mark McGuire caught a copter home. En route he tended to look around, his sensitivity heightened.

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