Pearlasia Gamboa

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Pearlasia Gamboa
Born Elvira G. Gamboa
Other names Princess Bae Catiguman, Bae Katiguman, Princess Bae Katigumen, Bae Cat, B. Cat, pbc, Rebekah Mesaleah, Elvira Katiguman, Elvira Catiguman, Bae Elvira Gamboa, Ming Zhu, Mingzhu, Pearlasia Korem, Pearlasia Grace Gamboa, Grace (Pearlasia Gamboa), E. Pearl Asian, Elvie G Gamboa, Elvira G, Elvira Gamboa, Elvie Austin Gamboa, Elvira G. Austin, and Maria Gamboa, Grace Gamboa, Grace Austin, Pearl Mayor, Perla Mayor RN, Fei RN
Notable work(s) BankAsia AG, Pearl Asian Mining, Dominion of Melchizedek, International Monetary Reserve, Greengold Ray Energies, Bio-Genex Labs, Premier Home Health Providers, First Public Securities Transfer Corporation, Gamboa Properties
Criminal charge
securities fraud, bank fraud, identity fraud, passport fraud
Spouse(s) Tzemach David Netzer Korem (alias Mark Logan Pedley, Tzemach Ben David Korem, David Korman) m. 1994-present
Children Raymond James Austin (alias Greengold Ray), Bernadette Austin Bower

Pearlasia Gamboa (alias for Elvira G. Gamboa, principal aliases "Princess Bae Catiguman", E. Pearl Asian) is a Filipino American business woman involved in controversial banking, investment, and financial transactions, including bank fraud,[1][2][3] securities fraud,[4][5] and passport fraud.[6] From 1991 to 2011, Gamboa and her husband, David Korem (Tzemach David Netzer Korem, alias Mark Pedley, David Korman, Branch Vinedresser, multiple aliases), received international press coverage for numerous fraud and crime schemes, including "Pearl Asian Mining", "BankAsia AG", "International Monetary Reserve", "Dominion of Melchizedek", and others. Their activities were summarized in the media as being "an astonishing series of worldwide swindles."[6][7] In 2011, the Nigerian magazine, EagleEnStyle. listed Elvira Gamboa as one of the "World's Most Notable Fraudsters" and as using hundreds of aliases.[7][8]

In August 2010, federal prosecutors for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) successfully prosecuted Elvira Gamboa in a civil securities fraud action involving her Pearl Asian Mining (ZNext Mining) in San Mateo County, CA. The federal judge in San Francisco ordered a lifetime ban on her selling securities or operating as Pearl Asian Mining. At the same time, David Korem was arrested by the FBI in Santa Clara County, CA for securities fraud involving Pearl Asian Mining (ZNext Mining). He was extradited to Florida where he received his fourth felony conviction. The arrest was part of Operation Broken Trust, which United States Attorney General Eric Holder announced as being the largest multi-agency fraud bust in US history.[8]

In 1995, California state banking officials successfully prosecuted a civil bank fraud case against Elvira Gamboa involving her "BankAsia AG", which she had represented to be a bank operating in California, Canada, and Philippines. The California state judge issued a lifetime ban against Gamboa using the name "BankAsia AG," or representing herself as a banker. Gamboa responded by declaring that she did not recognize the court decision or the laws of the State of California.[1] In 2002, the anti-Mafia Directorate in Rome, Italy investigated Elvira Gamboa and David Korem for their International Monetary Reserve banking fraud scheme.[9][10] In 2011, an arrest warrant was issued against Gamboa in the Philippines for illegal use of pseudonyms (fictitious names).[11]

In the 1990s, Elvira Gamboa was the president of the Dominion of Melchizedek, a micronation known for facilitating large scale banking fraud in many parts of the world. A micronation is an offshore location outside of any government's law enforcement jurisdiction. David Korem was vice president. Korem created the micronation as part of a fraud scheme with his father, David Wellington (alias for David Pedley, multiple aliases).[2] Both Korem and Wellington have been convicted of multiple felonies in the United States.[8] Korem's activities in fomenting rebellions generated press coverage in Asia and the South Pacific from 2000 to 2002, ultimately leading to the government of Fiji considering if it would be possible to charge him with sedition even though he was operating from outside their country.[6][6][12][13][14]

Banks and companies[edit]

Gamboa claimed to own banks, gold mining companies, biodiesel plantations and refineries, and other companies in the United States, the Philippines, and around the world, which the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) called empty shells in 2009.[5]

According to media reports and those by state officials, Gamboa's method of operation in her banks and companies is to claim that she is highly religious, to display wealth and provide luxury,[10] to create associations with international achievement and celebrity, to use numerous variations of her names and pseudonyms, and to use fictitious business names similar to existing businesses in order create the impression of being companies that they are not.[2][5][9] In 1995, after being investigated for representing herself as a bank, Gamboa claimed a "religious freedom" by which she did not recognize the laws of the State of California, as the Dominion was set up as a religious theocracy, and she declared spiritual warfare on California's Deputy Attorney General.[1][10] In 2002, the address Gamboa listed with the SEC as an address for two of her businesses was the largest private residence in Beverly Hills, used as the fictitious residence of a wealthy film producer in the 90210 television series.[15][16] Gamboa has used hundreds of aliases and fictitious names; according to the SEC one of her business itself had 59 different names.[4][4][5] Gamboa's victims include people in Bangladesh, the Philippines, southern Italy, Europe, Fiji, China, and in America.[2][6][9] The anti-Mafia Directorate in Rome has investigated Gamboa for her activities in Italy.[9] Gamboa has been sought by police worldwide.[10]


A United States law enforcement official said Gamboa's banks were involved in serious fraud and were being closely watched by law enforcement.** Banking regulators in California and Indiana said Gamboa represented herself as BankAsia AG, and California state officials sued her to stop her from representing herself as a banker, receiving a default judgment against her in 1995.[1][2][17] In 1994, the counsel for California State banking authorities describe Gamboa as having tried to get loans representing herself as BankAsia AG, causing the lender to alert state authorities, and local authorities sued her to stop her from doing business as a bank.[1] Gamboa claimed net banking assets of $25 Billion, and the California State Banking Department sued Gamboa to prevent her from representing herself as a banker.[2] She and her husband, David Korem (various aliases), continued to represent her as being in banking after the judgment.[2][3] In America, state regulators described claims made in her business applications as "invalid," and a Special Assistant to the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said "this phony bank... it's a phantom bank"[17] and "It's a con artists' operation through and through... It's a phony bank... the whole thing's a phony."[2]

The anti-Mafia Directorate in Rome investigated Gamboa's International Monetary Reserve banking scheme for fraud by her method of operation being to display vast wealth to convince customers of her many banks around the world, when in fact they did not exist.[9] The First Canadian American Holding Corp and the International Monetary Reserve (IMR) were headquartered at 1156 Shadow Hill Way, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210, used as the fictitious residence of a wealthy film producer in the 90210 television series, and the largest private residence in Beverly Hills at the time, according to Bruce Nelson Real Estate of Beverly Hills.[15][16] The United States Office of Comptroller General said about Gamboa's bank, "It's a con artists' operation through and through... It's a phony bank... the whole thing's a phony."[2][17]

Banking micronation[edit]

Further information: Dominion of Melchizedek

Gamboa was the president of the defunct micronation known as the Dominion of Melchizedek during the 1990s.[6][18] She and her husband, vice president David Korem, (a.k.a. David II, DavidsRoyalHouse, Mark Pedley, David Wellington II, David Korman, "Branch Vinedresser", Tzemach David Netzer Korem, others), conceived of the Dominion of Melchizedek international bank fraud scheme shortly after Mark Pedley's release on parole from Walla Walla prison in the early 1990s.[2][3][6][6][10] Gamboa used the Melchizedek scheme by defrauding small farmers and investors in southern Italy, buying time until the victims found out they had been cheated, when it was too late.[10]

Among Gambo's Melchizedek schemes was to defraud hundreds of Filipinos, Chinese, and Bangladeshis to pay as much as $35,000 for useless Melchizedek passports which purchasers were told were internationally recognized.[6] State of California and United States officials alleged her micronation was a front for criminal activity, a front for international fraud since 1990, and only existed in the mind.[1][18] Gamboa stated that she did not recognize the State of California, and ran afoul of its laws.[1] As president of the Dominion of Melchizedek, she declared spiritual warfare on California's Deputy Attorney General.[1] The Washington Post wrote that "getting to the truth requires a walk down a bizarre labyrinth that includes a home-brew appears to exist mainly so that money can be whisked through shell banks."[2]


The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Gamboa of selling securities in empty shell corporations from 2007 to 2009, using falsified financial information to make them look real, and in August 2010 a court ordered her to stop selling securities in the United States and to reimburse her victims. The SEC alleged that from 2007 to 2009, Gamboa had sold nearly 2 billion shares in what she claimed were Philippine gold mines but the companies were in fact only empty shells with falsified accounting, and only had names that were similar to real gold mines.[4][4][5] According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), between 2007 and 2009, Gamboa sold nearly 2 billion shares in what says are phony gold mining companies in the Philippines.[5][10] In 2009, the SEC alleged that Pearl Asian Mining was not a real gold mine, but just an empty shell corporation which Gamboa was selling shares in as a real Philippine gold mine.[5] Pearl Asian Mining, ZNext, and First Canadian American Holding Corporation are empty shells according to the SEC.[4][5]

Operation Broken Trust[edit]

Further information: Operation Broken Trust

Gamboa's Znext mining fka Pearl Asian Mining was the target of this SEC action, as well one of the targets of United States' Operation Broken Trust, involving Homeland Security, the FBI, the SEC, the Secret Service, and other government agencies, as a result of which her husband, David Korem (as Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem), was convicted and imprisoned in August 2010.[4][5][19][20] Operation Broken Trust was the largest investment fraud sweep by the Federal government of the United States, conducted between August 16 and December 1, 2010.[20] The stated purpose of the operation was to "root out and expose" investment scams within the U.S. and to educate the public.[20] The operation involved 343 criminal cases with damages of $8.3 billion and 189 civil cases with damages of $2.1 billion;[21] more than 120,000 victims were affected.[22] The operation included arresting Gamboa's husband, David Korem, involving her ZNext Mining fka Pearl Asian Mining. According to the December 6, 2010, joint press release by the United States Attorney General Eric Holder, the Office of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the United States Secret Service (USSS), the Postal Inspector of the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Trade Commission Southeast Region (FTC), the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the State of Florida's Office of Financial Regulation, and the Miami Police Department, their nationwide investment fraud investigation involving Znext Mining aka Pearl Asian Mining, "Operation Broken Trust is the first nationwide operation of its kind to target a broad array of investment fraud schemes that directly prey upon the investing public."[19] In the joint press release involving Znext Mining fka Peral Asian Mining, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said that some investors "lose their entire lives' savings. While the victims of fraud are financially ruined, the fraudsters live a life of luxury."[19]

Banking and corporate methods[edit]

According to a Special Agent for the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Gamboa works in the open, presenting a "façade of religious respectability," including to victims in the Philippines who were "conned out of in excess of $1 million,"[23] saying "Everything that comes out of this so-called religious organization is phony."[3] Gamboa listed a residential address with the Securities and Exchange Commission as being 1156 Shadow Hill Way, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210, at the time, the largest private residence in Beverly Hills according to John Bruce Nelson Real Estate of Beverly Hills.[15][16] Among Gamboa's schemes was to defraud hundreds of Filipinos, Chinese, and Bangladeshis.[6] under her "Bae Katiguman" alias, Gamboa is listed as Chairman and Director of Royal Oil & Alternative Energy Co. Inc. (PROL), using the honorific "Princess" in her emblem, in her corporate filings published by the Penny Stock News and her company website.[24][25] The same filing lists a "Brother" as both corporate executive and head of the Missionaries in Action outreach to local Catholics program, Operation Reach Out, who is also stated to be the "former regional director of the Philippine Anti-Graft Center."[24][25]

International scope[edit]

Gamboa is from the Philippines, and has operated internationally and in numerous states, including Redwood City California, Los Altos California, Portola Valley California, Palo Alto California, Woodside California, San Francisco California, Sacramento California, Las Vegas, Nevada, the state of Oregon, the state of Washington, the state of Hawaii, the state of Delaware, and other countries and cities, such as: Canada; Germany; Venice, Italy; London; Mexico; Tahiti; Colombia; and Fiji.[2][5][6][10][10][17][18]

In 1994-1995, Shasta County, California, and the state of Indiana were used for BankAsia AG.[1] In 2002, Gamboa listed Beverly Hills, California, as the corporate contact address for her International Monetary Reserve (IMR, different from International Money reserves - IMR's).[9][15] She operates as Gamboa Properties and owns land in Hawaii. Anti-Mafia law enforcement has been monitoring her activities in Italy.[9] The SEC alleged that from 2007 to 2009, operated using the alias "Elivra Katiguman" and "Pearl Asian," and lived in Foster City, California.[4][4][5] In her various corporate filings in 2009-2010 for her Philippines Royal Oil & Alternative Energy Co. Inc. (pinksheets PROL, different from Phillips Petroleum Company) alternative energy and missionary outreach company, and its subsidiaries such as Greengold Ray, she listed Corpus Christi, Texas, as one corporate address and location of biodiesel refineries, the Philippines as the location of land and "Jatropha" plantations, and used multiple aliases in the filings.[24][25]

Use of aliases and corporate names[edit]

Gamboa has operated under various pseudonyms and fictitious business names, described by the Securities and Exchange Commission as being a "woman with multiple aliases," and by the Washington Post newspaper, "names that change with kaleidoscopic ease."[2][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i ""Nation" Waging "Spiritual War" on State Official". Sacramento Bee. February 13, 1995. p. B1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Richard Leiby; James Lileks (November 5, 1995). "The Ruse That Roared". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Fantasy Island, CBS NEWS 60 MINUTES, April 10, 2000". 2000-04-10. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Litigation Release No. 21084: SEC Sues ZNext Mining and its Principal for Fraud and Registration Violations". Securities and Exchange Commission v. ZNext Mining Corporation, Inc. and Elvira G. Gamboa, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Civil Action No. CV 09-2611 (VRW). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. June 12, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "SEC Ties Gold-Mining Shares to Empty Shell, Courthouse News Service". Jun 15, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Knight, James (Feb 17, 2000). "Cyber Nations with Real Repercussions". Asia Times. 
  7. ^ a b Jamison, Peter (Jan 9, 2012). "Pearlasia Gamboa Named 'Notable Fraudster' by Nigerian Magazine". SF Weekly. 
  8. ^ a b c Jamison, Peter (July 6, 2011). "Fantasy Island". SF Weekly. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Cronaca. Operazione Mulciber, una colossale truffa internazionale sgominata dai carabinieri". RAI News 24. 2002-05-14. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Massimo, Luigi (15 May 2002). "'Dominio di Melchizedek' stato fantasma sull' Appia" ['Dominion of Melchizedek' Ghost State] (in Italian). Rome. pp. 5–6. 
  11. ^ Criminal Case # 46240709, Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila, Judge Juliet Manalo-San Gaspar
  12. ^ "Fiji Troubles, Rotuma bans two from island: Makrava, Fiji Live". 2000-07-25. 
  13. ^ Fiji Threatens to charge fraudster with sedition, New Straights Times, 2-8-2000, [1]
  14. ^ Fiji moots sedition charge against American linked to Rotuma secession bid, Radio New Zealand International, 2-7-2000
  15. ^ a b c d "First Canadian American Holding Corp • 8-K • For 1/7/02". Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  16. ^ a b c "1156 Shadow Hill Way ("at that time the largest private residence in Beverly Hills)", Beverly Hills, John Bruce Nelson Real Estate, [2]
  17. ^ a b c d SP DINNEN (Nov 9, 1994). "Indiana trying to expel `phantom' Asia Pacific Bank". The Indianapolis Star. p. E1. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  18. ^ a b c DeSilva, Craig (February 5, 2000). "Fiji's cyber secession". Asia Times. 
  19. ^ a b c "36 Year Old Palm Beach County Man Sentenced to 327 Months Imprisonment for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy". United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida. 
  20. ^ a b c Federal Bureau of Investigation (December 6, 2010). "Operation Broken Trust". Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  21. ^ Yost, Pete (December 6, 2010). "'Operation Broken Trust' Targets Financial Fraud". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  22. ^ John Carney (December 6, 2010). "Operation Broken Trust: Over 500 Charged in $10.4 Billion Investment Fraud Sweep". CNBC. Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  23. ^ "this is not a covert scam... available is his 'cosmic wife', a Philippine woman now named Pearlasia who happens to be the current President of DOM... clothed in a facade of religious respectability... victims in the Philippines were conned out of in excess of $1 million on the scam", Presentation of Mr. John Shockey, Former Special Assistant, U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, to the 4th International Financial Fraud Convention in London, May 27, 1999
  24. ^ a b c Philippines Royal Oil & Alternative Energy Co. Inc. (PROL) , Corporate Filings, Penny Stock News, [3]
  25. ^ a b c Philippines Royal Oil & Alternative Energy Co. Inc. (PROL) website

External links[edit]