NY prosecutor: Scammers fleeced wealthy musician, Schlumberger heir for $20 million

Vickram Bedi A wealthy musician lost $20 million over six years to scammers who persuaded him of threats against him coming out of Central America, the conservative Catholic movement Opus Dei and the CIA, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Vikram Bedi’s co-defendant, Helga Invarsdottir, pleaded guilty last year to grand larceny and is awaiting sentencing. [Read more...]

Opus Dei members in French court on abuse charges

Opus Dei Two members of the secretive Roman Catholic society Opus Dei were due in a Paris court Thursday accused of subjecting a disciple to years of abuse.

Catherine Tissier says she was forced to work 14-hour days and brainwashed, resulting in charges of “undignified punishment” and illegal employment. [Read more...]

Virus Leads to $20 Million Scam

A noted music composer and oil-family heir was fleeced out of as much as $20 million over a six-year period by a Westchester computer repairman and his girlfriend, authorities said Monday.

The saga began in August 2004 when Roger Davidson, 58 years old, a pianist and jazz composer who once won a Latin Grammy, took his computer to Datalink Computer Services in Mount Kisco, saying the machine had been infested with a virus.

The owners of the company, Vickram Bedi, 36, and his girlfriend, Helga Invarsdottir, 39, became aware of Mr. Davidson’s high profile and allegedly proceeded to convince him that he was the target of an assassination plot ordered by Polish priests affiliated with Opus Dei, a conservative Roman Catholic organization, authorities said. [Read more...]

Opus Dei lets film director in on some of its secrets

Opus Dei British film-maker Roland Joffe is to recreate the life and miracles of Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, the Spanish priest who founded Opus Dei, one of the most influential and secretive organisations within the Catholic Church.

The film seems set to stir up more controversy, following in the wake of several screen hits tapping into public fascination with tales of Opus-inspired crimes and conspiracies, which have set Vatican chasubles aflap. [Read more...]