Missing The Boat

Tony Bell couldn’t leave well enough alone, it seemed. Even though he seemingly had gotten away with collecting millions of dollars in deposits for new yachts from his famous and well-heeled customers before disappearing with the money, he couldn’t resist the temptation to taunt his victims from afar. He insisted on sending them cheery Christmas letters outlining in detail how he was spending their money.

Anyone who thinks it’s easy making a living as a private investigator has been watching too much television or reading too many mystery novels. Having watched his competitors come and go for 40 years, Gary Glanz knows that better than anybody. To him, there is only one measure of success in this business, and that is producing results for the client – for every client, every time.

Case Details

Tony Bell couldn’t leave well enough alone, it seemed. Even though he seemingly had gotten away with collecting millions of dollars in deposits for new yachts from his famous and well-heeled customers before disappearing with the money, he couldn’t resist the temptation to taunt his victims from afar. He insisted on sending them cheery Christmas letters outlining in detail how he was spending their money.

A Tulsa client who had invested $700,000 with Bell didn’t take kindly to the taunting and decided to get even by putting Gary Glanz on the yacht broker’s trail. Glanz discovered Bell had disappeared with his girlfriend, so Glanz intercepted phone records and quickly tracked Bell and his girlfriend to a resort in Mexico. Glanz confronted Bell on the phone and warned him his former client wanted his money back. An unnerved Bell quickly agreed to wire $500,000 back to Tulsa in order to get Glanz off his back.

The private investigator ended his involvement in the case, but not before he turned over all the information he had pieced together on Bell to the authorities. The once-cocky swindler eventually was apprehended by law enforcement officials in Florida and was awaiting trial on charges of racketeering, organized fraud and 10 counts of felony grand theft when he committed suicide, unable to face his fate. The only victim of his to recover any money was Gary Glanz’s client.

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About The Firm

The Wall Street Journal calls him “The Super Sleuth” —and with good reason. For more than 40 years, Tulsa private investigator Gary Glanz has been solving major crimes, locating missing people, recovering tens of millions of dollars in cash and other valuable materials and securing priceless art collections—all with a flair, and a sense of professionalism and discretion that have earned him an international reputation. Originally making a name for himself as one of the youngest detectives in the history of the Tulsa Police Department, where he received numerous awards and citations, Glanz left the police department in 1967 to establish his own private investigative firm. Gary G...

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