I’m not sure about you, but I always love a good spy story.
Just recently, I came upon the true story of a CIA agent who, incredibly, was able to sell government secrets to Russia for almost ten years before finally being arrested by his superiors.
It was the mid-eighties, and Aldrich “Rick” Ames was desperate for money. He also was burned out as an agent, having become disillusioned with the continuous spy games between the U.S. and Russia.
So, on June 13, 1985, inside his Langley office, Ames made a fateful choice. He carried off a six-pound stack of classified documents from his office to his car. Those documents showed the case files and cryptonyms of some of the agency’s best Soviet sources, complete with their code names.
His offer to the Russians?
Essentially, Ames said, “Over to you, KGB. You guys take care of me now. I’ve done this. I’ve demonstrated that I’m holding nothing back. You guys take care of me.”
In other words: I’m tired, and I need money.
Ames was known for his heavy drinking, his slovenly appearance, and his teeth were in desperate need of a good dentist.
But after a while, his superiors noticed he was looking sharp. For instance, suddenly, his teeth, which had been yellowed by heavy smoking, were capped. His clothes, which previously had been shabby, were exchanged for expensive tailor-made suits that not even his boss could afford.
And despite an annual salary of $60,000, somehow Ames had acquired:
- A $540,000 house in Arlington, Virginia, paid for in cash
- A $50,000 Jaguar luxury car
- Home remodeling and redecoration costs of $99,000
- Monthly phone bills exceeding $6,000, mostly calls by Ames’s wife to her family in Colombia
- Premium credit cards, on which the minimum monthly payment exceeded his monthly salary
It’s always in the details, eh?
Ames’ betrayal was eventually discovered. He and his wife were arrested on February 21, 1994. When arrested, Ames still maintained his innocence, claiming, “You’re making a big mistake! You must have the wrong man!”
Well, he was the right man, after all. And today he’s still in jail.
Trust is precious and once lost, it’s lost forever. It’s especially difficult when people betray the trust of their country. And all for a few high-quality suits and some dental work.
At Money & Clarity, we do everything we can to not only earn your trust—but keep it. When you speak with us, you can be certain that we’ll always have your best interests in mind. We’ll study your options carefully and offer you a solid financial strategy.
Call us today at 513-563-PLAN (7526) or book online, and we’ll give you a free portfolio analysis. Because when it comes to taking care of you, we won’t let you down.
Nikki Earley, CFP® & Dan Cuprill, CFP®
P.S. Tomorrow will wrap up the “How to Develop a Wealthy Mindset” series. I’ve saved the best for last! This email will reveal where wealth is truly born.
P.P.S. To learn the steps you can take to protect and even capitalize on recent investment volatility in light of COVID-19, check out my webinar.