Misplaced Trust – Despite my loss, the story ends well.

After the death of my wife of 40 years, of all but four days, I felt lost. I used to spend my time working in my garden and taking my dog out for long walks. It was shortly before her death that she introduced me to a young Turkish man. He ran a restaurant in the nearby town of Kemer that was close to my house in the village of Kuzdere. Jimmy as he was known, was a pleasant young man who spoke excellent English. He ran a restaurant in Kemer, was married to a Russian woman and lived in a large villa. At the time she was back in Moscow staying with her parents. While in Kemer, I found Jimmy was having the restaurant renovated. As I had time on my hands, I used to go and see how the works were ongoing. My previous job involved quality control, so I advised Jimmy on anything I thought needed attention.

During this time, Jimmy’s wife returned from Russia. She and I used to play chess in the restaurant. On completion of works, I suggested we hold a pre-season opening party. Jimmy agreed and arranged for a group to play live music that evening. To my surprise, a few days later I received a call from an American singer friend. I was taken back when she asked why I had not asked her to sing at the opening. I said as she usually only sang at 5-star hotels, I did not think she would be interested. Despite this, she sang a few songs at the party, then sang for us one night a week. Thanks to the restaurant serving excellent meals, plus her singing, it became trendy. I found myself drawn to the restaurant and I took great pleasure in being there. I soon found myself acting as quality control of the meals served. Plus, I used to talk with the customers who were mainly foreigners.

After the death of my wife, I found myself with two cars. However, I had problems getting her car transferred into my name. Therefore, when Jimmy asked if I would sell him my car, I agreed, and he paid for it.

All was going well with my life until out of the blue, Jimmy told that he and his wife of seven years were getting divorced. That day proved to be the start of my having major problems.

Previously, over a period of several months, I had accompanied Jimmy to several banks in Kemer. To my surprise, he had deposited large amounts of US dollars bills into his accounts. Therefore, I was surprised when he asked to borrow 1,000 TL, approx. 400 Pounds Sterling. I asked him why he did not draw money from one of his numerous accounts. He said that since the start of his divorce case, all had been frozen. I accepted this as being quite normal and lent him the money. He repaid this, and over the next few weeks borrowed more money that he also repaid.

In March, I was shocked when Jimmy asked to borrow €30,000. On asking why he needed this large sum of money, he said, “My wife gets our villa as part of our divorce settlement.” He then explained that a friend needed money and was selling his villa. “It’s a bargain,” he said. “I want the money to put down as a deposit on it.”

I felt dubious about giving him such a large sum of money and told him so. He then showed me a bank book that had $122,000 in his account. I asked why he did not use some of this money. He said that until his divorce was finalised, their bank accounts were frozen. I thought this normal and agreed to lend him this money. Jimmy then wrote me out a cheque for €30,000.

After an accident and writing off my late wife’s car, I had big problems in getting her car put into my name. Therefore when I bought a beautiful old American convertible, I decided to put the car into Jimmy’s name. In the event of my death, my daughter would not have the same problems as I had. Jimmy gave me a cheque for the value of the car. He said my daughter could then either have the car or the money. At the time I thought this a great idea.

In May, I asked Jimmy about my €30,000. He said that due to his wife being Russian all the paperwork had to be translated into Russian. It was causing delays in finalising his divorce.  Due to the delay in repayment, he said he would give me an extra €5,000 when he did receive his money.

During late May and June, I was in and out of Turkey and also busy arranging a three month trip around the world starting in October. I was not unduly worried about Jimmy repaying my money, as I trusted him and also had his signed cheques.

Nevertheless, by the beginning of August, I had doubts as to if Jimmy was ever going to receive his settlement money. By then I had paid for my trip around the world, but due to Jimmy not repaying my money I had to cancel my trip. I told Jimmy that thanks to him I had lost over £1,000 in cancellation fees. To my surprise, he said he could use his air miles and get me tickets for nothing. I was delighted when a few days later he told me that he had booked my flights. On enquiring, at the local travel agency, the clerk confirmed that my flights had been booked. However, I was shocked he said Jimmy had told him that I would be paying for them.

Ongoing to see Jimmy, I demanded an explanation. He shrugged his shoulders. “I do have plenty of air miles, but they are tied up with my credit cards. As they are at present blocked, I am unable to use them”.

Given this news, I was once again left disappointed.

A few months later I received a call from Jimmy that cheered me up no end.

“Good news Colin. I have your money. I will bring it to you tonight along with a bottle of champagne to celebrate.”

I felt as though a ton weight had been lifted from my shoulders. However, my joy was short lived. Jimmy never came that evening with my money. Neither did he later turn up at one of the banks where he said to meet him and he would transfer the money into my bank account. On talking with the bank manager I was shocked when he informed me that Jimmy did not have an account with the bank. As I had cheques issued by the bank in Jimmy’s name this seemed most strange. After that things just got worse. Over the next few months, Jimmy called several times to say he had received his settlement money. Unfortunately, all proved untrue.

One evening Jimmy called and said for me to be at the marina early the following morning. On asking why he said, “I am going to propose to my girlfriend who arrives tonight.”

I asked if she knew about his intention, to which he replied, “No, it will be a surprise for her.”

The next morning I met with Jimmy, a group of his friend, and his girlfriend. Ongoing to the marina, we boarded a large Gullet (wooden boat) full of passengers and set out to enjoy a cruise. Jimmy’s girlfriend who I knew well asked what was going on. So as not to spoil Jimmy’s surprise, I said I had no idea. During the cruise, Jimmy went below. On his return, he no longer wore shorts and a T-shirt but was smartly dressed. Holding a microphone, he announced his undying love for his girlfriend and asked his shocked girlfriend to marry him. She was overjoyed and accepted his proposal, which was greeted by cheers from numerous passengers.

In late September Jimmy told me that his ex-father-in-law had agreed to pay off all his debts. The only provision, he returned to his wife who was then living in Russia. Two weeks later he said he was going to collect money from his ex-father–in-laws accountant, to cover what he owed both his staff and me.  Unfortunately, like all his other promises this never happened.

I no longer thought I would ever get back my money from Jimmy. Given this, I decided to get my Chevy put into my name. When I first asked Jimmy to transfer the Chevy into my name, he said he was busy. I then found there was a charge on my car that had to be paid before Jimmy could transfer the car into my name. Not only did he not do this, but more charges were added against it.

In early October, I was delighted when Jimmy called to say his settlement money was at last in his bank account. He asked me to meet him at his bank at 10 am the following morning. As along with a friend, we went to the bank, I felt relieved that at last, I would get back the money I had lent Jimmy. However, when Jimmy did not show up, we spoke to the bank manager. To my disbelief, he informed us that Jimmy had no money in the bank. As I had cheques issued by the bank in Jimmy’s name this seemed most strange.

Shortly after this, I met Jimmy. He told me that he had no money, and had major problems. On asking about his divorce settlement money, he said he thought his ex-father-in-law was causing it to be delayed.

In mid-December, I received an SMS from Jimmy’s fiancée. In it, she wrote that a friend had informed her that Jimmy was still married. I couldn’t believe it. I then sent an SMS to Jimmy’s wife. I wrote, “As you most likely know, Jimmy owes me a lot of money. However, that is not why I am contacting you. I have just heard that despite what Jimmy has told everyone, you and he are still married.” Her reply came like a devastating thunderbolt

“I don’t know about him owing you money, but yes we are still married.” She later sent me an email informing me that Jimmy had cheated her father out of a huge sum of money. What he owed me was nothing compared to what they had been cheated out of. It made me realise that Jimmy had used our friendship and my stupidity to cheat me. He never had any intention of repaying me the money I had foolishly lent him.

When I informed Jimmy’s finance of this shocking news, the poor girl was left broken-hearted. She like everyone else believed he was divorced. Had she but known, she would never have accepted his marriage proposal.

It was about this time that Jimmy disappeared from Kemer. No one seemed to knew where he had gone, and he did not re-appear for several months

After opening a court case against Jimmy, I was shocked to learn that Euro cheques were illegal in Turkey. I was even more shocked when informed another cheque he gave me was out of date. At the time, I never knew Turkish cheques were only valid for ten days from the date written on them. Therefore, I could do nothing about either of these cheques.

Nevertheless, I was pleased when I eventually won my case about the cheque given to me as security for my car. To my disappointment, Jimmy appealed his conviction. On discussing this with a Turkish friend, he advised I drop my case. He said it would cost more money on top of what I had already spent to fight his appeal.

Moreover, even if I won, as Jimmy had nothing in his name, I would not receive any money. Given this, I did pursue my case. Another Turkish friend, one among several Jimmy had cheated, took him to court. I for one was well pleased when it resulted in Jimmy put in prison for four months.

As for my beautiful American convertible, under Turkish law, as it was in Jimmy’s name, I had no claim to it.

Sometime later, a Turkish friend introduced by to another Turkish man who he said could help get my money back from Jimmy. As a result, I agreed to pay him a sum of money in return for his getting my money back. This turned out to be another big mistake. The man took money from me but did nothing to help me. In fact, he caused me huge problems. In the end, I was left with no money or car.

Despite my loss, the story ends well. I had been planning to move to Ecuador, but after losing all my money, could no longer afford to do so. As a result of staying in Turkey, I later met and married a wonderful Turkish lady. Had I gone to Ecuador, I would have missed the chance of a second happy life in Turkey.

Jimmy’s now ex-wife tell me Jimmy is still up to his old tricks. Therefore, be careful should you ever meet him..

I have been informed that Jimmy owes money to numerous people including his ex-fiancée. Therefore, should you ever happen to meet a charming young man named Ozay (Jimmy), don’t be fooled by his charm and lying tongue.  Under no circumstances should you lend him any money.

This post is contributed as a Guest post by Colin Guest.

Coln Guest is a freelance writer whose books include An Expat’s Experiences of Living in Turkey, Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps, Terror Holiday, For the Greater Good, A Dangerous Love Affair and Impending Disaster.
Colin Guest loves writing. Apart from books, he has had articles published in various online magazines, with one published in the UK
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