Last Spy Standing
By Robert Lance
Douglas Findley completed his espionage assignment in Russia but left the back door open. Inadvertently he left millions of dollars to stand in front of a Russian money laundering scheme and the money has the US Treasury seal all over it. Only Findley knows where it is hidden and he is the only one who can shut it down. To do so will result in the largest bank heist in history.
At play is the high stakes game of super power manipulation. On both sides of the iron curtain there are dangerous men who want the account to disappear and just as many who don’t. Either way, all of them want Findley in a coffin. Findley is in a situation where he cannot trust his closest ally, his best friend, or his wife. Time is running out as he discovers the people churning the money machine have an agenda to finance a resurgence of the Soviet Empire.
Findley sees all the exits blocked and finds help from a mysterious FBI counter espionage agent whose job is to break him, manipulate him and wipe the fingerprints of US involvement from the crime scene. Their journey takes them on a frightful flight across Europe and they encounter ambushes, double and triple crosses, and a foe relentlessly one step behind, or perhaps one step ahead. It’s a matter of who is manipulating whom. Findley has to be at the top of his game. To win it, he has to be the last spy standing, no exceptions.
Last Spy Standing is based upon true events during the pivotal period of the disappearance of the Soviet Union as a super power in 1991 and 1992.
The set up. Findley’s job is to buy an election in Russia for the independent and reform movements challenging the Communists. Findley seeds funds into fifty bogus Russian companies that he registers in places like the Jersey Isle, Cyprus, Luxembourg, and Ireland. Each company has sub accounts out the Wahzoo and are linked to a central letter of credit from a secret CIA black fund. All his Russian Mafia counterpart needs to do is exercise the letter of credit and thirty four million dollars disappears into the multi-verse of bank transfers. For insurance, Findley builds a fire wall so that he doesn’t have a clue to the ultimate dump destination. Like wise, the Russians have no idea where the letter of credit resides. It’s a perfect one-time transaction that Findley wrongly believes he can walk away from.
What could possibly go wrong? The toilet doesn’t flush the way it’s supposed to. The Russians simply let the letter of credit stand, while backfilling it with worthless rubles on a daily basis. They are simply borrowing from themselves, rectifying the account balance at the end of business each day. In the meantime, US hard currency does a whirl wind tour of every black market scam on the planet, netting the Russians millions. Not only does it buy an election, it builds a war chest to oust the Gorbachev government.
As far as Findley is concerned it’s business as usual. The Russian opposition wins the election, the Communist are on their heels, and He’s the man of the hour. Then he gets a wake up call. The money didn’t come from a CIA black fund. They have never heard of his mission and have never heard of Doug Findley. He doesn’t work for the CIA and never did. Oops.
His caper puts him in every rolodex of every intelligence agency on both sides of the Atlantic. He’s everybody’s onion and they want to peel him before they devour him. If he keeps his mouth shut, whose going to know? But who did he work for? When he thinks about it, the CIA, State Department, FBI, and every organization in the Federal food chain has been compromised and badly so.
He gets hit by lightening as soon as the wheels of the airplane taking him to Dulles touches the ground. His demure, suburb-dense housewife has been after him to reveal what they were really doing in Russia. Normal. They are met at the airport by no one less than the President’s special counsel, who happens to be his wife’s ex-fiancee Birch Hayes. He’s also a family patron and partner of her scum bag father who is a lobbyist on an international scale. Doug is essentially under house arrest at his father-in-law’s gangster estate and learns the “ex” relationship between Helen and Birch is anything but. He has been betrayed, humiliated, coerced, and threatened by the one person whom he trusted and treasured most. He has to pull it together and maintain a front.
At the same time his life long friend rats him out to the real CIA on a different matter. Doug negotiates a tit for tat deal to keep him above water and soon finds himself delivered into the care of Ginger Pruitt, a foul mouth twerp, who is an agent in the FBI counter intelligence division. He’s met his match and doesn’t like it one damned bit. He has three choices. First, he can go away into witness protection, buy a bait shop in South Georgia and wait for an executive hit at some time in the future. Two, he can cooperate, stay in play with whoever has penetrated the organs of government. Lastly, he can go directly to Leavenworth and make liscense plates for the State of Kansas until automobiles are a thing of the past.
He believes he’s dealing with a twit, so option two should be a sleigh ride. He joins the task force and enjoys the adulation in his exalted cover legend as a State Department expert on Soviet affairs. He’s contemplating divorce, but Ginger solves that problem for him. Poor Doug was never married to begin with. The quick ceremony on Justice Leland Parker’s lawn was never record in Virginia commonwealth files. The socialite he knocked up didn’t miscarry their child, because it wasn’t his and she aborted it.
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