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Aug-17-2007 04:02printcomments

Slippery Slopes for Financial Mogul Charles Schwab

As the stock market falls and top federal officials resign, an Oregon man steps forward with strong allegations against an American financial giant.

Charles Schwab
Allegations against Charles Schwab include computer hacking, and a suggestion that Schwab is guilty of insider trading.
Photo courtesy: coldfusion-guy.blogspot.com

(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.

Wayne Pierce of Oregon

In recent time, this self-made billionaire has left his seats on the New York Stock Exchange and he continues to reduce his staff as the nation's economy shrinks with stock prices are falling. Now, a set of documented allegations from an Oregon man who lived with a woman Schwab had been involved with might possibly indict not just Schwab, but a network of politicians and the FBI as entities that could have taken steps to investigate the case but chose not to.

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.

Kim Haines and Wayne Pierce in Southern California

Pierce discovered the interception of his emails after detecting an emerging pattern that he found particularly distressing: his girlfriend would know personal information that he had not revealed to her.

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: newsroom@salem-news.com Reporters and media organizations attempting to reach Wayne Pierce should contact Tim King at the above email address.




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Scab December 24, 2007 5:25 am (Pacific time)

Dear B.S. Detector, Do you work for Charles Schwab's client advocacy team in Phoenix, AZ? They seem to be just as much if not more advocates for the corporation. The "Team" is located at 2423 E. Lincoln Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85016. Their number is 1-800-468-3774.


James P. November 25, 2007 8:12 pm (Pacific time)

It is very difficult for most people to cope with the idea that so many of our heroes are pretty bad people. As Tim King stated in his story, he contacted the Charles Schwab Corporation and the FBI about his intent to publish the story. If he or Pierce were lying or it wasn't Chuck himself that Haines was talking about, the Charles Schwab Corporation would have notified King of a potential defamation of character lawsuit and put a stop to it. This obviously has not happened, which leaves the story quite believable. George Bush is obviously protecting one of his largest campaign contributors. This view is supported by the fact that these stories are out on Google and being carried in Blogs, yet the mainstream media don't dare touch it. Tim King and Salem News are to be comended for their courage.


BS Detector October 10, 2007 5:58 pm (Pacific time)

Just a couple of points here to point out: #1) I've seen two stories on this topic from Tim King, but he spells Ms Haines name differently in both. Which is it? Haynes or Haines? #2) Could it be that she lied to Mr. Pierce and never really knew Chuck Schwab? Or maybe it was someone else with the same name or posing as him. #3) Could it be that Mr. Pierce is lying himself. As I read this, either he sounds like a conspiracy theorist or maybe it is the pathetic writing of Mr King. #4) If Micron was buying this South Korean company, WHY WOULD SCHWAB LOAN HAINES $20 MILLION TO BUY MICRON? SHOULDN'T IT BE USED TO BUY THE SOUTH KOREAN COMPANY? LAST TIME I CHECKED, YOU WOULD WANT TO BE THE OWNER OF THE COMPANY BEING ACQUIRED, NOT THE ACQUIRER. AND $20 MILLION IN MICRON IS NOT GOING TO GET HER A SEAT ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS. #5) Schwab's net worth is in the Billions. Doesn't this whole thing seem like pocket change?


Henry Ruark August 25, 2007 7:03 pm (Pacific time)

For anyone who needs reality of Wall St. and its people, "see also": FORTUNE issue 9/3/07 35pp. special coverage of "Risk Returns with A Vengeance"


Cynic August 25, 2007 4:21 pm (Pacific time)

With the story being up on Google News for a week now, one would think that reporters would be asking Bush's press secretary what was going on out there in Oregon. It is obvious that most reporters are all on a tight leash while a few, like Salem New's Tim King, represent reporters of the past who were not afraid to investigate and present the facts as he sees them. America's interests have been abandoned by the US Congress and the media. Sigmund Freud said that America's Democracy and Capitalism was the greatest experiment of mankind, but that he was afraid it would never work. He understood human nature all too well. In the end it is all about greed and money.


Henry Ruark August 25, 2007 10:26 am (Pacific time)

Cynic et al: Ran fed-funded schools media multimillions program for Oregon; tough school supt. used to phone me re problems, always first stating: "How would you know if I didn't tell you ?? That's major operational principle of free press, for citizen wellbeing, protection from the malign money-powered private-profit interests. That's why Founders made it THE FIRST Amendment ! - thus partially offsetting their own private interests in that act.


Richard S. August 24, 2007 10:31 pm (Pacific time)

Truth Seeker: HUH? I think that most media tend to be liberal and would like very much to discredit any Republican "fat cat" they could. Whether Charles Schwab is guilty of anything significant is unknown, but I'd think that there are plenty of reporters in the media who'd be only too happy to bring down anyone who is tied to corporate interests. Exposing prominent people seems to be a favorite sport these days.


Truth Seeker August 24, 2007 3:52 pm (Pacific time)

I agree with Cynic here that the story is about a rich man's illegal activities and not only the government's failure to pursue justice, but to conspire to hide the case. We might find Charles Schwab's case hidden in those files that Bush is hiding from Patrick Leahy. The story does involve politics, for Schwab is one of the largest contributors to Bush's election campaigns. And Bush protects him because he is a wealthy contributor to Republics. An interesting question is, why hasn't this story hit the big newspapers like New York Times and Washington Post? Again, it's political, for most the media is owned by rich guys who control the news for us. Or they are afraid of Charles Schwab's wrath.


Richard S. August 24, 2007 11:51 am (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark: You're correct that stocks can be held for short-term speculation and that shares of stock are separate from the money that originally capitalized the corporation. That there's a market for these shares is what makes them liquid and of greater value than money invested in companies that are privately owned and can't be liquidated without selling the entire company. So, a stock market--buying and selling these tiny pieces of companies in an organized way--is a good idea. The expectation of future gain allows large sums of money to be raised to start or expand businesses of which most are honest. Phonies like Enron, Worldcom, etc. are not typical. Many investors (including me) don't trade much at all because we don't view our assets as "stocks," we view them as companies (tiny portions of those companies, of course) and and hold them for long periods. Buy and hold investors are quite different from short-term speculators. I own some company shares I've had for decades and they've grown in value and pay substantial dividends now, too. There's no question that a diversified stock portfolio built without insider information nor deceit, makes sense. Young people can approximate this performance by dollar cost averaging into one or more diversified index funds. If they do this for 25 or 30 years, they will build wealth and do it honestly. Yes, some people (usually losers) treat the stock market like a casino. But thoughtful investors don't do that at all. It's like saying that some piano dealers are crooks because they buy and sell sub-standard instruments. Then there are those people who buy a good piano, keep it for decades, and learn how to make music with it.


Henry Ruark August 24, 2007 6:58 am (Pacific time)

Cynic et al: Where've you been for the past century ? Exposing power misused against the common people has always been --and still remains-- an essential responsibility of any free press. That's why it IS the First Amendment --placed there by the Founders Themselves. Without that, the newspaper becomes just another ad-sales channel.


Cynic August 21, 2007 9:23 am (Pacific time)

It seems the story was written to expose allegations about Charles Schwab and the fact that the US Government has failed to go after Schwab. There is noting new about wealthy people breaking the law with impunity. Though is seems to happen more often within Republican ranks, it is pervasive within all parties. Turning it into a political debate does not contribute to the solution.


Henry Ruark August 21, 2007 7:11 am (Pacific time)

R.S. et al: Any history of Wall St. will prove up "Anon"-charge since for the knowing it is surely only a speculator's enterprise, with insiders sure to slice off any dollars from outsiders...see fantastic failures of leading firms in recent past years. That's not only "historic" but inevitable, given current capitalistic system. Did you know corporate incoming capital for stock sale goes ONLY ONCE --on original sale-- to company ? Every following sale is only speculative by both seller and buyer...with average hold only for weeks or a few months...corporate needs for cash carried by loans from other sources, at whatever rate speculation helps set.


Richard S. August 20, 2007 7:58 pm (Pacific time)

And you, Anonymous (clever name!) are probably some cheap loser who wouldn't know a good company or corporate leader from a bad one. Schwab hasn't been "giving it to the people" in your sense unless you made stupid trades in your own account there. Maybe you should stop blaming your inadequacies on people who have been more successful than your losing self.


Henry Ruark August 20, 2007 3:05 pm (Pacific time)

R.S. et al: But point is it is "the conservatives", esp. the Far Right-religious, who spout re morality...and then prove up as perverted as allarestofus. Gingrich leads the pack. See BIG LIES, Conason, Ch. 6, "Private Lives and Lies";ISBN 0-312-31561-9; "stay tuned".


Anonymous August 20, 2007 2:44 pm (Pacific time)

Oh give it a rest, why do these morons have to turn everything into a liberal/conservative thing? Schwab has been giving it to the people and now he got caught, get over your stupid politics Richard S., it hasn't got a damned thing to do with it. You are corrupted man, what a loser point of view.


Richard S. August 20, 2007 11:54 am (Pacific time)

Maybe Schwab had an affair--so what? Not nice, but human. Seems like a paranoid competitor for love here and little more. And non-mogul liberals never cheat, do they?


Henry Ruark August 20, 2007 11:33 am (Pacific time)

Review of thirty years for "Conspiracy" Op Ed provides much documentation that wealth believes dollars provide full opportunity to forgo morality, as public records show for most ostensible Far Right "conservatives". Check out details on Gingrich and others of '94 class of GOP arrivistes...they who led public clamor vs their political enemies.


Ellen August 17, 2007 7:08 pm (Pacific time)

Anne, my take on this is that Ms. Haines is nothing more than a victim, I did not detect her as being shadow based on this account, just my thoughts.


Pal G. Jr. August 17, 2007 3:06 pm (Pacific time)

Lead the crook to jail and lock him up, the day of these "moguls" living off the flesh of the working class is grinding to a halt.


Anne August 17, 2007 8:51 am (Pacific time)

Playing the cynic, I find it hard to rule out Ms. Haines as the shady character in this saga.

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