Harry Hindenberg: A Minor Legal Problem

The latest column from acclaimed Papakura lawyer Harry Hindenberg

As a successful and experienced lawyer, I’m always pleased to see a fellow practitioner get the acclaim he deserves for doing a good job. I don’t know Greg King personally, but he cast quite a spell over the jury during the Macdonald trial, and if I was in the dock for something serious I’d be on the phone to him straight away.

Except that he hasn’t answered any of my calls. It’s probably better that way, because I know how much lawyers like him charge and I’m probably better off defending myself.

No, my readers, do not concern yourselves over my affairs. It’s a trivial matter concerning some complicated financial transactions that one of my close friends from Kyrgyzstan got me involved in. Who knew that the Serious Fraud Office had so much time on their hands? Don’t they have more serious crimes to investigate? Perhaps it’s better that they don’t, because if they ever find out where I invested the money from the Davidson Estate I will be in serious shit. I use the word “invest” advisedly, though I personally think the two million dollars spent over three years on high class prostitutes, cocaine and fast cars will prove to have been a valuable investment in my well-being.

Anyway, it’s only money. They’re always printing more of the stuff.

This business with the SFO should straighten itself out soon enough, as soon as my mate from Kyrgyzstan turns up to the hearing. It’s all over nothing anyway. All I did was help him set up about 500 shell companies, a service for which he remunerated me handsomely using suitcases full of cash left underneath park benches at agreed times and locations. I put half the money into various investments (no, real ones!), and kept half for myself.

The SFO tell me that they think the money is dirty, but I’ve tried to explain to them that most of my biggest clients pay their bills that way. These good folk don’t want the complication of dealing with banks and other financial institutions. A man who pays his bills in wads of hundred dollar notes is bound to be judged harshly by his peers, who will jump to the most ridiculous conclusions about where the money came from. What I offer is complete privacy and a helpful non-judgemental service. It’s not my role to determine the rights or wrongs of my clients; I’m here to represent them to the best of my abilities. If it turns out that the money I’m handling is dirty cash obtained through drug deals, gun-running, child slavery and international crime then I’ll pretend to be as surprised as everyone else when it comes time to explain myself.

I reckon I’ll beat this rap, just like the last three, even though I’m starting to wonder whether my mate from Kyrgyzstan will bother to show up. I’ve never actually met the guy, but his emails to me assured me he was legit. So why hasn’t he shown up at my offices like I asked him to?

The SFO are now telling me there’s this law that says I have to verify the identity of people if they pay me large amounts in cash. Who knew? Do these people think I have time in my busy day job to read the law? Anyway, it’s a minor technicality, and the whole thing’s a joke. I’m a lawyer who believes that a man’s word is his bond. If someone emails me from out of the blue promising me huge amounts of cash if only I will just help him to get money out of his dodgy third world country in a hurry, then why shouldn’t I take him at his word? Has it come to the point where we can’t even trust the word of a total stranger in a foreign country notorious for various scams? Sometimes I wonder what our society has come to.

The last time they tried to take me down they failed, so for the SFO this might be getting personal. The first time they tried me they were laughed out of court, mainly because I hid the most crucial evidence in a shoebox in my ceiling cavity, and because the star witness for the prosecution recanted just before going into the witness box. Of course, I wouldn’t know anything about that, although I may have need to call on the people who helped me out of that tight spot if this current matter continues to escalate.

So don’t concern yourself over my fate, because I expect to be around for a while yet. Despite numerous attempts by the authorities and the Law Society to sully my good name I remain in practice. If there’s any little thing I can do for you or your business associates please don’t forget to call me. Confidentiality is assured, and my prices are very reasonable, at first, until you get in so deep with me that you’re hopelessly trapped. I’m also very good at solving the little legal problems that my clients experience from time to time, because unlike most other lawyers I don’t get bogged down in the little stuff, like the law and ethics. But remember my motto: cash is king. My terms are strictly money up-front, in hard currency. And while you’re there, ask me about my latest business venture. I may just have the perfect car for you!

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