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.