This story was given to me by the victim via Facebook and Email. The first part is in her own words and several police reports have been filed.
Thank you for doing a posting of my experience with a conartist. I do not know how much detail you want from me. I have started off with a lot of detail so you can get an idea of just how premeditated and elaborate the scam was. This continued for the whole of the scam. Because so much happened, I have not described it all and have summarized most of it.
The following all happened in person to me, beginning in April until Novermber when I left Europe to come home to Australia. I have attached photos of Goran Markovic and his partner, Nicola Penny (both are on facebook). Nicola Penny is his partner of 5 years and they have a daughter together. I have spoken to her on the phone since arriving home (I got her number from numbers left on my skype account when Goran used them and did not delete them. At first she seemed helpful telling me she was innocent. I then became suspicious when she told me things like, "I stood at the ATM as he withdraw the max amount from the credit card. She knows that he is illegal in Europe with an expired Australian passport, with no way to earn money to afford their expensive holidays, and knows that he continually steals from people. She stopped contact with me when she suspected I no longer believed her innocence.) She knows about his criminal activities and continues to receive stolen money that he sends to her, knowing it is stolen. They also had 3 expensive holidays together between April and November. Nicola Penny lives in Hounslow, London and Goran Markovic is from Blacktown, Sydney. Goran Markovic is still somewhere in Europe. I have made contact with 2 other victims of his from the workaway.com site which I was registered with. He went into the site, changed the photo and details and started staying with people and stealing from them (not on the scale that happened with me). I do not know if he is still stealing from people through this site. I only know his activity up until his latest victim in February. Workaway has since blocked any access through my account to stop him. His mother, Jovanka Arezina is also involved in the scams, pretending to be the sweet old mother who will return the stolen money, also adding "credibility" that, with his mother involved, it is all genuine and above board.
I met Goran Markovic last year in April when I was staying in a hostel in Florence, Italy. He told me how he had been holidaying with his partner, Nicola Penny, and their 5 year old daughter, when all of his documents including passport had been stolen. He showed me a police report from the Italian police. I offered to receive money on his behalf. Over the next few days, his mother, Jovanka Arezina, sent me money that I gave to him. He said he was waiting on his passport being issued from Rome. In the meantime, he used my laptop to skype with his partner and daughter. He portrayed himself as a devoted family man who loved his partner and daughter, and someone dedicated to putting away criminals. He told me he was also a pilot working for the SES in NSW. I saw his partner and daughter many times on skype. He showed me photos of the hotel they had stayed in in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background from the hotel room.
He then started telling me he and his mother were wealthy. He showed me a document which was a newspaper article (online source, see document attached) which reported the arrest of criminals by a Colonel Goran Markovic who was an Interpol Investigator. He said he also took assignments with ASIO/ASIS because of his military background in the airforce (he was also a pilot and colonel in the air force) and his expertise with many languages. I also heard conversations (which I now believe were faked) with a man called Todd Brown who was suppose to be the Assistant General Director of ASIO. In fact I believe that the majority of conversations I heard were faked as well as all of the emails I received from this "Todd Brown. I will forward some examples of these emails to you.
We chatted quite a lot over the next few days and decided on a brief trip together (as acquaintances) as travellers often do. He gave me a cheque to cover his portion of the trip (I recently found out the cheque was stolen) as well as an airline ticket back home (fake as well-see one of the attached documents). During the time we traveled together he gave me a gift of 25,000 pounds. He spent many hours on the phone to Australia with his accountant and online to transfer the money (all fake because there was never any money). I heard many conversations with an accountant. I also saw him organizing things like electronic signatures etc online. I did not check as the transfer was apparently going to take to a month or more, according to Goran, and by that time I had forgotten about this when he started escalating things.
After 2 weeks of travelling together, Goran had received an assignment from ASIO and suggested I come with him to Belgium since I had not seen Belgium. He said that ASIO was organizing a credit card for his expenses and he would reimburse me any money owed to me from our trip. He then told me that the assignment had been brought forward and asked if I wanted to come along. He said he would be working and I would be free to sightsee. I agreed and that's when the scam was escalated. He then said there was a complication and there was a problem with the credit card from ASIO and asked if I could organize a car for him, insisting I would be reimbursed. I agreed thinking that he had been generous to give me 25,000 pounds which more than covered the expense of a rental car.
So I went off sigtseeing in Brussels for the next week. I always kept my 2 credit cards separate for security reasons. When I went to pay for my hotel bill one of my credit cards was declined. When I looked for the other credit card, I could not find it. I called him to ask if he had it. He said he did have it. There was less than $2,000 available on the credit card that he had so I was not panicking to get it back, also still thinking there was that 25,000 pounds gift to cover everything. My funds were not linked to that credit card and he had no way of getting access to that money. He knew I planned to leave and travel by myself. I told him I wanted it back and when I eventually saw him, he was scared and said that we had to leave Brussels in a hurry as the operation had gone badly and the criminals knew his real identity and mine and we were in danger. We left Belgium for France. He showed me a sealed postal package that he said contained the bloodied t-shirt of the hit man who had killed an oil executive in Brussels (the package was kept sealed). He was acting very scared and told me that these criminals might be listening via his mobile phone so we had to talk as if we were going to Bruges when we were actually headed for France. When we arrived in Calais, he called his boss Todd Brown. I mention these details because for the next 7 months, Goran Markovic planned a very elaborate and detailed scam, just as I am now describing, that convinced me that he was an agent and we were hiding out from criminals.
This is all when things really deteriorated from this point onwards. For the next few weeks I lived in fear that we would be found by these criminals. We used fake names to book hotels so that we could not be traced. After a few weeks he told me he had to complete this assignment and it would be a joint operation with the American and Australian secret services. He would have to go back to Belgium but that it was too dangerous for me to be anywhere near him so I went to Luxembourg. By this time, he was still using my credit card and I believed that I needed his protection. He reassured me it would all end soon and our money would be reimbursed. I had started receiving emails from his supposed boss who kept me informed of the progress of the assignment. Goran called every day when "the right satellites were in position to provide coverage so that our locations could not be discovered by any of the criminals." He had shown me pictures of 3 US politicians and their names, saying they were all involved in the murder of this very important oil executive. He also said a dutch politician was also involved. Because of their position, power and wealth he said that someone from ASIO would be keeping me under surveillance at all times, as well as my emails and phonecalls being monitored. I was told that this was for my protection.
When we met up Goran told me that the operation had been a disaster- they had only caught 1 of the politicians and he believed that the Americans had betrayed him, nearly costing him his life. He said the American secret service now wanted to take him into custody but he refused saying he would not be treated well and their idea of custody was a prison cell until the case went to court. So it was literally (although all a deceit and lies) a cat and mouse game where he had me believing that the Americans, as well as the criminals, were now looking for us. Further to this, he started telling me that his boss, Todd Brown was playing both sides and wanted him to go into American custody. I started receiving many emails from Todd Brown. Goran would stage events in which I was the go between, often passing messages back and forth. Goran would often stay up late at night which is when he must have written these emails and planned what would happen the following day. He was always meticulous with his details and plans.
We travelled between many countries- France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. For the first few months he attempted to return the money, either by getting his "wealthy mother" to put money into my mum's bank account (which never happened), or his accountant "Shaun Brown" who I know now was fictious, or his many "wealthy friends". None of this ever worked and he gave the reason as being that he was blacklisted by the americans in order to cut off his money supply, including any one connected to him who tried to send my family money.
He also became increasingly abusive towards me, and this started to being occasionally after about a month and then increased in frequency. The arguments became increasingly nastier and more threatening towards me in which he told me many times to cooperate and "not to make an enemy of the secret service as they could do nasty things to people." I tried many times to leave and he would physically stop me, wrestle my luggage from me, and sleep in front of the hotel door to stop me leaving in the middle of the night. He had a very nasty quick temper which I thought was due to the ongoing stressful situation but now I believe it was that he had a nasty temper. I was also told that I would never be able to leave without his help and that we had to leave Europe with fake passports otherwise we both would be detained for a lengthy period of time. There were many other times I wanted to leave but there was no money. My sister and mum sent money as he convinced them of what was happening but eventually they stopped once their money was gone. He also tried to alienate me from my friends and family by telling me that my emails and phone calls were monitored by the Americans and Australians so I had to limit use of emails and phone calls.
By June he started to leave me more frequently and for longer periods by myself, often with no money for food or accommodation. I then had to rely on resources like craigslist. For eg in Lyon, France, when we arrived he hid my car somewhere in Lyon and refused to tell me where it was. After a few days, he suddenly disappeared telling me that the Americans had found him and he was forced to fly to the USA to give evidence in court. He left me with a 400 euro hotel bill. After about 10 days, he returned by telling me he had used a passport belonging to his friend and got into the Netherlands undetected. He then did this repeatedly to me in different locations, with different reasons for leaving and returning. Eventually he would meet up with me. Sometimes he would be gone for days or weeks at a time. When he was away for longer periods, he was with his partner and daughter, using my credit card to pay for it which his partner confirmed to me. My family continued to put money on my credit card or send us money until their money was gone.
By this time (from June onwards), I was very traumatized and was often going days without food whenever I was suddenly abandoned. I was too embarrassed to continually ask my sister to send money. Goran told me that the Americans often blocked and unblocked Western Union depending on the state of negotiations going on between his boss and the Americans. He convinced me of this by having fake friends send money and giving me fake numbers (I did not know this at the time). I think he did this to continue the scam and keep retraumatizing me. He would set up fake transfers when he had left me to live on the street. He did many sick games like this with me. At other times, he would tell me that I could leave with my car and belongings and drive me to a remote location and then refuse to allow me to leave, or give me the car keys, credit cards or belongings. I think he did this to teach me a lesson and to cooperate.
The months from June onwards were a repeat of everything I have mentioned, just the scenarios and events sometimes changed ie different locations or reasons why he suddenly left and reappeared. The waiting around drove me crazy as he kept telling me it was ending and it never did. Apparently he was trying to negotiate a deal with the Americans but there was always a reason it never happened. And then an international negotiator was brought in and still negotiations broke down. He often left me waiting around for him to arrive or there were many instances when people were going to meet up with me to give me money. Usually he or these people never turned up and it was especially traumatic because I had no money and was very hungry. Whenever he disappeared the emails were still being sent from his boss Todd Brown and he always asked me to keep checking emails.
During the month of July he even involved my sister in passing messages between his boss and us.
By November I was very ill and my sister begged me to come home. I ended up leaving the car with him (as I still did not believe it was a scam because it was too elaborate and complicated), telling him I would arrange for someone to come pick up my car and take it over to the UK to sell it (my car was bought in the UK). He still continued with the scam and lies etc until I find out in February that it had all been a scam. This is when I found the skype numbers he called and one of them was his partner's Nicola's. But she did give me the name and number of a previous victim was 18 years ago and I have spoken with him and found out that Goran has been imprisoned many times in Australia, at least once or maybe more times in Serbia. He has stolen millions of dollars from people in Australia. He has been arrested for impersonating a Serbian army colonel. When he was arrested he was driving a stolen car, he was connected to a car theft racket, and had a lot of money with him as well as fake passports. He has made a life out of being a conartist.
I will send examples of emails tomorrow and any other information you want. I hope that all of this makes sense. There is a lot more things that happened and other information but it is hard to get it all down because I am not sure what you want either.
GORAN MARKOVICS MOTHER.jpg
GORAN MARKOVIC NICOLA PENNY.jpg
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