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Slippery Slopes for Financial Mogul Charles SchwabTim King Salem-News.com
As the stock market falls and top federal officials resign, an Oregon man steps forward with strong allegations against an American financial giant.
(SALEM, Ore.) - When David brought Goliath down, he used a single stone. Most thought the deed too ambitious, but it worked. Now a new version of the old story emerges with new faces, and a similar fate may await one of today's financial Goliaths, perhaps the most known of all of America's money men, a Californian named Charles Schwab.
As this financial giant slowly slides from atop his mountain, an Oregonian named Wayne Pierce exposes a more sinister side to this icon of wealth; one teeming with allegations of infidelity, spies, computer hackers and worse, much worse.
In fact, he says it involves the office of the U.S. President directly, reasoning that no other agency had the power to quash or control the FBI and the Department of Justice in their investigation of this money man except those at the top of the administration.
Pierce says it began when he became acquainted with a woman who was formerly a romantic interest of Schwab's. The woman, who at the time went by the name of Kim Haines, hails from one of America's wealthy families; one known for manufacturing medical equipment.
"All I wanted was to be able to have a relationship with Kim, but Charles Schwab called her constantly."
He says the calls would come early in the morning and late at night.
"She would tell him that she didn't want to constantly have him calling, she was trying hard to not have a relationship with him at that point but he refused to listen."
According to Pierce, there was a reason that his then-girlfriend could not avoid Schwab. He says this legendary man who is credited with actually opening the stock market to the masses, had planned at one time to marry her, and he had "set her up" to be in his financial debt.
He says he believes that while Schwab's attempts to derail their relationship came partly from jealousy, the mogul was far more concerned with her disclosing insider trading and improper manipulation of a proposed deal between Micron and Hynix. Pierce says he was told by Haines that Schwab loaned her $20 million to close the deal.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Schwab’s management of Ms. Haines’ business activities and finances turned into a disaster. Soon after Mr. Schwab loaned her the money to purchase Micron stock, the price plummeted along with the rest of her stock she had put up as collateral. Because her loan was suddenly in default, Mr. Schwab not only gained control of what remained of her assets, but took control of her life. Rather than call the loan, he used the situation to manipulate and coerce Ms. Haines into actions against her will," Pierce said.
When she left the billionaire and began her life in Oregon, "Schwab couldn't stand it" Pierce said, adding that the harassment shifted from Haines, to include him as well.
Pierce documented everything he could. Pierce says he was building the files essentially as a case regarding Schwab 's illegal activities, based on the stories from Haines.
His letter writing campaign to public officials was thorough, he says. President Bush, Nancy Pelosi, the chairmen of the New York Stock Exchange, Schwab's wife Helen, the list goes on and on. He also brought the story to the attention to a number of reporters and media groups, finding it fairly incredible that they showed no interest in investigation the allegations against Schwab.
This story appears to be a classic example of where not only politicians and federal law enforcement, but the media as a whole remained silent, sleeping for all intents and purposes, as injustice was allowed to walk unchallenged. It does not seem to be in the nature of Mr. Pierce to stay quiet.
An open and shut case for the FBI
This should have been an open and shut case for federal investigators, Pierce says, adding that the agents showed interest in the allegations against Schwab early on, but that interest quickly disappeared.
Pierce says Schwab placed frequent calls to Haines' cell phone during their relationship and while he believes that in itself was harassment, as the calls would come in at all hours, an even bigger problem Pierce says, is that the financial giant constantly encouraged Haines to leave the relationship with Pierce.
The 36-year retired IBM employee says he began noticing changes with his computer that alarmed him, he suspected and then concluded that his computer was being victimized by hackers.
He says Haines later confided in him that she had not only seen the personal emails of his that were intercepted by Schwab's people, they were actually given to her. She even went so far as to place copies of the emails in his hand.
Pierce says that private information he was sharing via email with associates and friends was being intercepted and read by hackers connected to Charles Schwab, the man who brought the world online trading. He says Schwab would then share his findings over the cell phone with Haines.
He says he was branded as a guy who saw her as "a meal ticket" by Schwab.
Haines is the granddaughter of one of the Varian brothers who founded Varian Associates in California. Her father, Ray Kimbro, was the developer of technology that resulted in the founding of Micron Corporation. Pierce believes Ms. Haines was heavily invested in both Micron and Varian.
Soon Pierce felt that he had enough information to at least get Schwab off his girlfriend's back. He called the Eugene, Oregon FBI office and believed he initially had the attention of the agents there. Hopeful, he was sent to the Portland, Oregon FBI office to talk to a senior agent there. That is the agent that he says showed interest at first.
It is also the same agent who would tell Pierce a short time later that the case would not be moving forward due to a lack of evidence.
Pierce's letter writing campaign continued, but his relationship with Kim Haines did not. He says the outside forces provided by Charles Schwab were too much to bear in the end, and Kim moved back to California.
The monitoring of his email allegedly continued after she was gone.
Did Schwab Lie to federal authorities?
Pierce emailed friends in his home state of California to tell them he would be there in early August of 2003 to visit. "I told them I was going to take pictures on 17-Mile Drive like I used to do in High School," he said.
But his plans changed, and Pierce ended up not taking that trip to California, so he called those same friends to tell them he would be staying in Oregon instead.
He says he received a call on the 3rd of August and it was Kim Haines, asking if he was in California and if he had been around the Charles Schwab office in Carmel or Schwab's vacation home at Pebble Beach.
Each of the Schwab properties had a reported bomb on the premises, and Wayne Pierce of Eugene, Oregon had according to the F.B.I., been identified by Schwab as the man who he believed put the bombs on the property. The bombs turned out to be apparent duds, or "fake" devices.
"That was funny," Pierce said of the F.B.I.'s sudden interest in talking to him. "Had I taken that trip to California and just been anywhere near Carmel, I'd probably be rotting behind bars."
Pierce reasoned that the feds would take him seriously now about the email theft, but says he was disappointed to learn that the case was remaining cold at best.
And Pierce says, that he was never contacted again about the bombs, and neither were his alibis contacted to verify his whereabouts. The F.B.I. didn't seem to have a problem with Pierce's credibility.
The F.B.I. told Salem-News.com that they will attempt to make a statement about the case, but they were not prepared to make that statement at press time.
The offices of Charles Schwab in San Francisco, California were also contacted by Salem-News.com. While Charles Schwab was not immediately available to speak to the allegations, Greg Gable, the head of public relations for Schwab, took the information and said their agency will get back to us soon.
Kim Haines today goes by the name Kim Doheny. She could not be reached for comment.
Salem-News.com's Tim King is a reporter with almost twenty years of experience in television news. A former U.S. Marine, Tim has pursued military reports throughout his reporting career and spent two months last winter as an embedded reporter and photojournalist in Afghanistan.
See Dispatches from Afghanistan for over 30 of Tim's video reports that also aired on Oregon's KPTV FOX-12. You can email Tim at: email@example.com Reporters and media organizations attempting to reach Wayne Pierce should contact Tim King at the above email address.
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