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Counter-espionage missions in China and Russia. Top-secret assignments for the CIA. And can’t-miss real-estate investment opportunities leading to big paydays.

This is what Kiernan Major allegedly sold to his friends and followers for years, including at least two veterans of the armed forces, who told The Daily Beast that he invited them to invest in his string of businesses, which they say turned out to be shams.

Prosecutors say Major also duped two young women out of their savings, for a total of $125,000 combined, before the FBI arrested him last week on stalking charges.

As The Daily Beast first reported, authorities say the 26-year-old Marine Corps washout pretended to be a CIA operative who ran his own cyber security firm and even pressured one of the victims, whom he claimed was his then-girlfriend, to drain her bank accounts to pay for his hotels, airfare, and other expenses all “in the name of national security.” A criminal complaint states Major threatened his ex, saying one of the “agencies” he and his firm, EyesOnly, was affiliated with would target her if she didn’t foot his bills.

Now acquaintances tell The Daily Beast that Major also scammed them in a real estate enterprise, using tens of thousands he siphoned from them to bankroll his luxurious lifestyle.

According to his accusers, Major began some of his schemes in Cayuga County, New York, where he grew up. The alleged fraudster flitted to Tampa, New York, and Los Angeles, his latest domain before the feds nabbed him in Ames, Iowa. It’s unclear why Major was in the Hawkeye State when authorities found him visiting a friend, who is from New York State and isn’t charged with any wrongdoing, but his criminal case will proceed in California. (The friend, who claimed no knowledge of anything Major had been up to and asked not to be identified, declined to comment on the circumstances of the arrest.)

Major waived his right to a detention hearing and preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 1, court records show. “Mr. Major understands that waiver of the preliminary hearing means the case will go forward and be presented by the government to a grand jury at some point in the near future, after which either a formal indictment will be returned, or the current case dismissed if an indictment is not returned,” his lawyer, Melanie S. Keiper, of the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Des Moines, noted in a recent court filing. Keiper did not return a message seeking comment.

“Kiernan was a nobody but he wanted to be a somebody. He’s very cunning. He’s a very charming kid.”

As for Major’s detention, Keiper wrote in a separate filing, “Although Mr. Major is waiving his right to a detention hearing at this time, he reserves the right to have a detention hearing and seek release from custody at a later date.” (The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California had requested pretrial detention for Major, arguing he was a flight risk and that “no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure ... the appearance of the defendant as required” and “safety of any other person and the community.”)

In the meantime, multiple people who say they’ve lost big in some of Major’s alleged investment schemes hope federal agents keep digging—and help them, too.

Some residents in and around Major’s hometown of Auburn breathed a sigh of relief when they read the wannabe intelligence maven was behind bars.

One acquaintance said that Major seemed to target kids from relatively affluent families in his alleged scams and that he’d take as much as $10,000 from unsuspecting pals. They said that many young people weren’t repaid until their parents confronted his parents, who initially bailed him out. “In a small community it’s a difficult call for one family to expose another family’s improprieties, especially knowing that the parents are good people,” the person said. (Major’s mother did not return messages left by The Daily Beast, and his father died in 2021.)

Major provided at least two of his alleged victims with a “contract” to invest in one of his sham companies before taking off with the funds, the person said, adding that they were thankful that he was finally caught. They believe Major’s long-running schemes were due to mental illness. “For the longest time no one could find him,” the person continued. “He was moving from place to place constantly. Hopefully Kiernan will get the help that he needs.”

On social media, Major used one of his Instagram accounts to target some former allies who accused him of running a scam. The Daily Beast reviewed one Instagram story with text that offered $2,000 to anyone with negative information about one friend-turned-accuser below the person’s photograph. In a separate Instagram video, Major stares into the camera as he sits outdoors on a patio and appears to be gripping a cocktail. He looks beachy, with his shirt open and a bandana around his neck while lounging in the sunshine. “There’s people who think, you know, that I owe ‘em money and I don’t. Or they’d take me to court. Where the fuck are the lawsuits, you pussies? Sue me, fucking sue me…” He then mocks the audience and laughs, “You guys are doing this over, like, a couple k, a couple thousand…”

“Sue me, sue me, sue me,” he theatrically growls while gripping a different drink, which he tells viewers is champagne, and kicking his legs up in the air.

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Tags: fever dreams pets a detention hearing the daily beast preliminary hearing the person said did not return in a separate in a separate to invest at least two accounts his alleged real estate

Mesmerizing video shows car get its first wash in 10 years so it looks like a totally different vehicle

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Here are 12 of the BEST luxury beauty deals Amazon is offering during its epic Cyber Monday sale, including best-sellers from Philosophy, Clarins, Olaplex, Moroccanoil, Vichy, and more

SHOPPING: Products featured in this Mail Best article are independently selected by our shopping writers. If you make a purchase using links on this page, will earn an affiliate commission.

There’s no time to waste – Amazon has slashed the prices on thousands upon thousands of premium beauty items. Nothing is left off the list, from glam makeup to high-end skin and hair care.

Whether you’re looking for an epic gift for someone on your list or just want to give yourself a well-deserved treat, now is the time. We’ve rounded up some of the best of the best, with prices starting at just $11.

Moroccanoil Smart Styling Infrared Hair Dryer 

Frizz, begone! This hair dryer uses just 1300 watts, but offers the same high-powered intensity as an 1875-watt dryer. 

Exposing your hair to less heat overall, this tool lends your hair the shiny, smooth, frizz-free look of your dreams! 

Says one user, ‘This thing is a beast disguised in a very nice pretty package. The main difference I noticed is the faster drying time and the lighter weight.’ 

$133 (was $190)  Shop Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Moisturizer 

Its blend of hyaluronic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, fruit extracts, and SPF 30 make Renewed Hope in a Jar a true powerhouse moisturizer. 

Not only does it lock in moisture to keep skin extra-supple, but it safeguards your complexion from potent UV rays throughout the season. 

Great for all skin types but especially useful if you’re on the dry side, this cream promises to become a year-round favorite. 

$29.40 (was $40)  Shop Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Nail Polish Set 

Life looks a whole lot better with some fresh paint — so why not make sure you’ve got a few bottles around at all times? 

Deborah Lippmann’s vegan gel colors are beloved for their staying power and 10-free formulas, which means you never have to worry about nail damage. 

This set contains a gorgeous selection of holiday-friendly hues, so you can rock gilded tips and crimson toes all season long. 

$28.80 (was $36)  Shop Mario Badescu Drying Lotion 

There's a reason so many gravitate to this cult favorite time and time again: it simply works.

Whether you're dealing with a surprise breakout or waging war with a cluster that won't go away, you've finally found the answer.

With its blend of calamine, camphor, and and salicylic acid, it works wonders overnight so you'll wake up fresh-faced.

$10.13 (was $17)  Shop LORAC Mini Pro Eye Shadow Palette 

A gorgeous medley of shimmering and matte colors lends this LORAC palette endless versatility.

Wear it during day or night to play up your eyes — with this kind of color variety, you can easily keep things understated or bring the drama.

Offering incredible color payoff, the shadows are housed in a cute compact that's sized just right for your purse or desk drawer — and great for quick touchups.

$13.60 (was $16)  Shop Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 Repairing Treatment 

If you're wondering whether you need a. bottle of Olaplex No. 3, the answer is a resounding 'yes.'

Few products live up to all the hype, and as the darling of the Olaplex lineup it's definitely worth all the buzz and raves.

A veritable miracle in a bottle, this highly concentrated treatment strengthens and fortifies strands with regular use.

$24 (was $30)  Shop Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Frizz-Fighting Hair Mask 

Give your hair the VIP treatment with this moisture-building mask that's loaded with nourishing ingredients, including vitamin C and castor oil.

The formula's Anti-Frizz Nano Technology helps define curls while locking in moisture, so your mane looks its best all day long.

Use it to keep the frizzies at bay while softening, strengthening, and nourishing your locks. 

$16.50 (was $44)  Shop Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil 

Few oils are more healing, nourishing, and good for dry skin as Clarins' beloved Santal Oil.

This luxe amber emulsion not only looks beautiful, but treats your skin to a cocktail of pure plant extracts — think lavender, cardamom, and sandalwood.

With regular use, redness and irritation are diminished and skin feels softer and more nurtured. 

$44.80 (was $64)  Shop Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Face Cream 

Dry skin has nothing on this gel-based moisturizer that's formulated to provide 48 hours of continuous hydration.

Its hero ingredient is Vichy's own Volcanic Water, a proprietary blend infused with 15 minerals sourced from the French Auvergne region.

It's proven to soothe, balance, and restore good health to tired skin, and is the perfect antidote to winter dryness. 

$22.40 (was $32)  Shop ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm Trio 

Why choose just one when you can enjoy three of most effective ELEMIS cleansing balms available?

This trio includes a jar each of Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm, and Pro-Collagen Summer Bloom Cleansing Balm.

The three-in-one texture offers the hydrating benefits of a balm, an oil, and a milk all in one, leaving skin extra-soft. 

$57.60 (was $72)  Shop MALIN+GOETZ Rum Hand + Body Wash 

The MALIN+GOETZ rum collection is world-renowned, offering a heady blend that's at once rich, spicy, and sweet.

This hand and body wash makes the ideal addition to any cold-weather beauty routine, drenching skin in moisture while leaving behind its gorgeous fragrance.

The skin-loving formula generously cleanses without stripping skin, so it's left ultra-soft and smooth to the touch.

$25.20 (was $36)  Shop Foreo Luna Mini 2 Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush 

Prepare for the ultimate deep cleanse! This best-selling facial cleansing tool can handle it all, from everyday grime to oil.

It's all down to the device's T-Sonic pulsation system that delivers high-powered cleansing action, effectively clearing pores and removing makeup residue.

The Mini 2 is especially cute thanks to its palm-size silhouette and array of fun colors, ranging from pink to blue. 

$83.40 (was $139)  Shop

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