Aug 05, 2022
‘Soon I Will Own You’: Inside the Wild Life of a Fake CIA Bro
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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.
News Source: thedailybeast.com
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