Monday, July 20, 2009

'Birth certificate' seller vanishes into thin air

Dubious eBay character dodges agent, lawyer, verification team By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily Posted: July 19, 2009 11:23 pm Eastern eBay seller Lucas Smith (left), from online auction pageCEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The eBay seller who first offered – and then promised to reveal to WND – an alleged Barack Obama birth certificate from Mombasa, Kenya, has dropped communications with a team of people offering to help him verify the document, only fueling belief that the sale was a scam. As WND reported, an eBay seller known originally as "colmado_naranja" claimed to have an authentic document from Coast Provincial Hospital in Mombasa proving Obama's birth there at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961. WND followed the ongoing saga, as "colmado_naranja" attempted several times to sell the document, or photos and stories surrounding it, on eBay, only to have the auctions repeatedly removed by site administrators. Eventually, the seller promised to make a YouTube video of his story and reveal the "birth certificate" to WND. Neither promise was fulfilled. WND also launched an investigation into "colmado_naranja," which led through several online aliases and reported collaborators, including Dawnella Wilson, "InspectorSmith" and, eventually, Lucas Smith, a former resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who still claims to have possession of the document. Smith, whose background includes a lengthy criminal record and a reported attempt to sell his kidney to a man in need of organ transplant, nonetheless insists that his motives are above board, even if his past looks dubious. "I do have a background. I've made mistakes in my life," Smith told WND in an email. "It took a guy like me to go and get tangible proof about Obama. I don't mind breaking a few laws or policies here and there. I don't mind paying the military in foreign countries to look the other way ... The military [in Africa] will grant you access to anything for just a few dollars. People are starving. So yes, it takes a guy like me to get things done once in a while." When WND, however, pressed Smith to offer any evidence of the document's validity – a birth certificate number, a photo of the embossed seal on the alleged document, anything – Smith balked. "I'm going to have to meet with my attorney before we can go any further," Smith told WND in a phone interview. "I'd rather have a middle man go between WorldNetDaily and myself." Smith did then authorize a public relations agent to speak on his behalf and hire an attorney, but after several unsuccessful attempts to get Smith to offer any proof of the document's authenticity, the agent has since withdrawn his representation, now convinced the alleged birth certificate sale was nothing but "a money-grabbing fraud." [CONTINUE READING]
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