An injunction was issued barring Gamboa from representing herself as a banker anywhere in the state. That put a stop to banking schemes involving the Dominion in California, Sayre-Peterson says, though it prompted an unusual form of retaliation. Gamboa used her position as president of Melchizedek to declare "spiritual warfare" on California's government. "I will do metaphysical battle with you in your dream state," Gamboa wrote to former California Deputy Attorney General David Green, according to a 1995 account of the episode in the Sacramento Bee. "And if you interpret your dreams correctly you will know that I am the victor."

What, exactly, had state bank regulators stumbled upon? Melchizedek, according to fraud experts who have studied it, was originally the brainchild of David and Mark Pedley, father-and-son con artists who operated for years in California, Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere. The pair perpetrated various acts of fraud in mystical symbiosis, sporting matching Nazarene-style beards and long, flowing hair. They created their own version of the Bible, a cribbing of the King James translation embroidered with idiosyncratic metaphysics. (In the so-called Melchizedekian Bible, the Holy Ghost is referred to as "Scientific Being.") One of Korem's oft-used aliases, Branch Vinedresser, appears to be a form of filial homage inspired by a verse from John 15: "I am the vine, and my father is the vine-dresser."

In 1982, the Pedleys were indicted and convicted for a real estate swindle in Placerville. Mark Pedley was sentenced to three years in prison. His father — who had four previous fraud convictions — fled to Mexico following the indictment, and was imprisoned there on unrelated charges.

Gamboa’s husband, Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem, is serving time in the federal pen for stock fraud.
Washington Post/Getty Images
Gamboa’s husband, Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem, is serving time in the federal pen for stock fraud.
Eric Diesel says Gamboa stole 
$300,000 from him and threatened to cut off his hands.
Frank Gaglione
Eric Diesel says Gamboa stole $300,000 from him and threatened to cut off his hands.

Rumors trickled back to the United States that the elder Pedley had died while incarcerated. But his body never turned up, leading many American law-enforcement officials to believe he had bribed his jailers to help fake his death. "We got a report that he had died in a Mexican prison, but there was nothing to support that," says Edwin Tomko, a former federal prosecutor who drew up the indictments against the Pedleys.

After he was released from prison, the younger Pedley began doing business under a new name: Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem. In 1993, through associates in Canada, he met Elvira Gamboa, a Manila-born divorcée who had begun dabbling in gold-mining concerns. Gamboa says she immigrated to the U.S. in 1973, and worked as a blood analyst in Bay Area medical laboratories. Upon meeting Korem, she says, she was intensely drawn by the beauty of his spiritual state, and decided to give up material things for a life of religious cultivation. "I was tired of making money," she says.

But this couple was not destined for asceticism, and worldly ventures were soon in the works. Gamboa says they hatched the idea of securing a homeland for the faithful. "I can help you get an island, because in my country we have lots of islands," she recalls telling Korem, who had previously laid claim to the remote Colombian island of Malpelo. "As long as we're doing what is righteous."

Melchizedek claimed as its new territorial capital one of the Karitane Islands in the South Pacific. The island was uninhabited, and for good reason, since it is completely submersed for part of the day. "By high tide, you better get out of there," says Gamboa, who acknowledges she has never personally visited the land mass.

French testing of nuclear weapons on South Pacific atolls prompted another declaration of war by the Dominion in 1995. Rather than the spiritual challenge issued to California banking officials, the Dominion threatened the French with old-line Soviet nuclear weapons it claimed were hidden by Melchizedekian allies in the Carpathian Mountains. This brinksmanship was ignored. France, like almost every other sovereign nation, has never recognized Melchizedek's existence. (The Dominion did succeed in establishing diplomatic ties with a single country, the landlocked and impoverished Central African Republic.)

The Dominion eventually expanded beyond its underwater seat of government to claim more land: three more tiny Pacific islands and portions of Antarctica. After annexing its polar territory, the Dominion began listing among its senior officials a figure with the surname "Penguini," a touch that a veteran California fraud investigator describes as "cute."

What was the point of such a lovingly detailed fiction? The Dominion of Melchizedek, according to government authorities, was intended to act as a sort of mothership for con artists worldwide, issuing fake banking licenses, passports, and other documents to lend a veneer of official authenticity to fraud schemes. "Everything about it is phony," says John Shockey, former head of the fraud unit for the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency.

In 1995, a man calling himself Gerald-Dennis Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, who claimed to be a prince of the Dominion, was thrown in jail by a judge in Hong Kong for trying to pass a bogus $319,000 check from a Melchizedek-chartered bank. Jeff Reynolds, Melchizedek's secretary of commerce, was sentenced to four and a half years in federal prison on charges related to insurance fraud in Texas in 1996.

As for the car-loan episode that first put the Dominion on California officials' radar, Gamboa insists it was a misunderstanding. At the time, she says, she and Korem were living in a cabin on a riverbank near Mount Shasta. The inspiration for "Bankasia" was simply a combination of this salient geographical feature — the "bank" from riverbank — with a reference to the continent on which she was born. She has a harder time explaining why "AG," a suffix that stands for Aktiengesellschaft and refers to German financial institutions owned by shareholders, was included in this new identity.

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* Pearlasia Gamboa (alias for Elvira Gamboa) was the president of International Monetary Reserve (“IMR”).

* Louis Lesser was Chairman of the Board of Directors of International Monetary Reserve (“IMR”).

* David Korem is the pretend-to-be-estranged-husband of Elvira Gamboa.

* Kathy Sanson is the daughter of Louis Lesser.

* Craig Lesser was the son of Louis Lesser.

* Craig Lesser was sued for kidnapping and drugging people for the Adi Da cult.

* Kathy Sanson is a member of Craig Lesser, LLC

* Craig Lesser, LLC was a major shareholder of UN Dollars.

* Elvira Gamboa and Louis Lesser operated International Monetary Reserve from 1156 Shadow Hill Way, Beverly Hills, 90201 -

* International Monetary Reserve was called “one of the most diabolical schemes in recent memory" by the Italian newspaper La Republica - 

* The Anti-Mafia Directorate in Rome is hunting for Korem, Gamboa, and the elusive leader of International Monetary Reserve -  


Louis Lesser was mentor and early partners of Warren Buffet, landlord owning Howard Hughes’ aircraft facilities, and partners with JFK in the largest urban renewal project in western US history. Developer Donald Trump called Louis Lesser “the Legend” as the biggest developer in the history of the Western United States. Louis Lesser was partners with Meyer Lansky in owning Las Vegas Hotels and casinos. Louis Lesser was last in the news in a fight with Jimmy Hoffa’s attorney Morris Shenker over a Teamsters deal in Las Vegasr. In 2009, Louis Lesser was in a fight with Clippers owner and attorney/developer Donald Sterling over who developed Sterling Towers, renamed from Lesser Towers -


* More information on the more unusual aspects of this story, and links to some associated international news stories, is here -

*Here is a page  background documentation -

* Here is the Wikipedia page on Eric John Diesel -

* Here is the Wikipedia page on Elvira G. Gamboa -

* Here is one of the email threats she sent as "Princess Bae" to Heidi Fleiss' father (Paul Fleiss) and Aldous Huxley's nephew (Piero Ferrucci) -

* Here is a little more information (click on "more" in the section called "The Dominion of Meyer Lansky: Louis Lesser's Life Story") - 

(That last link also shows which law enforcement officials are investigating, in the "connections" section.)

Babaldy 1 Like

Eric (OOP) Diesel is very charming and amusing man. Whom on first impression is one of a clown.Poor fellow.


Don't be so quick to feel sorry for him. He is a vile person.

Getting high is more important to him than the safety of innocent people, which is why he has multiple DUIs and a revoked license, and the real reason he is homeless.

The family of his supposed "business partner," 94-year-old Louis Lesser, have restraining orders against him because he is a relentless, deranged stalker.

He was also convicted for water pollution, among other weird and disturbing activities.

Anon 1 Like

Do you have the details of the restraining orders?


@Anon There is no restraining order. Louis Lesser's son, Craig Adolph Lesser, was partners with Robert N. Rooks and David Korem. Louis Lesser's daughter, Kathey Sansom, manages Criag Lesser, LLC, which is the principal shareholder of International Monetery Reserve, of which Louis Lesser was chair of the Board of Directors when Elvira Gamboa was president. Michael Ioane is Gamboa's "senior broker" for IMR real estates. Michael Ioane was named as a defendant with David Korem in another fraud action. If you click on the Linkedin page of Michael Ioane -, he keeps being propped up with endorsements on his Linkedin page by Jack Farcas, who claims to be "commander in chief" of the Layette district Freemasons - , and they pretend to have judges and crooked cops in their pocket by means of their nuttball cult. 


This story is about a seriously mentally ill woman who continues to be taken advantage of - first by a "husband" who was trained by his own father to be a con-artist, and then by a reporter who wanted to mock the life of someone clearly in need of some help. What I find utterly disturbing about this story is Jamison's lack of integrity in choosing to cite the names of two children - minors, innocent young people with classmates whose parents will likely read this. First amendment rights and all, I don't understand how a) making fun of a mentally ill person is newsworthy, or b) how it is at all ethical to drag children through the dirt when they are already subjected to the odd if not unhealthy behaviors of their parents.

Look it up
Look it up

That creepy guy Eric Diesel is as bad or probably worse than anyone else in this article. He was convicted and fined over $300,000 in California for creating some bizarre pet cemetery.


@Look it up

You have it backwards - CBS News and the president of Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists say that Diesel was the one who ultimately stopped Cal Trans from  dumping, in what they called CalTrans' Secret Pet Cemetery , and the phony initial conviction was overturned in federal court, and Diesel was compensated, according to CBS News and the other references cited here -

Look it up needs to look things up a little better.

Tim Hanner
Tim Hanner

The world would be so boring without the insane.

John Rinaldi
John Rinaldi

How can there not be one comment besides mine? There were 600 fucking comments on the puke in Dolores park thing. This is actual news, in the real world of actual people who actually do things and no one has a peep. She is the president of a island nation that is underwater for 5 hours a day!!!!! C'mon, you gotta be kidding me!!!!!! She bought property in Antartica and named it Penguini. The world is her clam sauce. I for one am dissapointed that the MIsion Man or at least Eric Sir would come here and call all of them morons or.... something. C'mon... someone at least tie this into the conspiracy to keep photographs of Blue Bottle flavored vomit from being sold at my illegal American Apparel outlet on Army street... or something. Anything!!!!!!!!

John Rinaldi
John Rinaldi 1 Like

Holy shit. It's all real. Oh. My. Dear. God. I've been listening to this crap for years. Eric Diesel is known to us as Oooops, his pet nick name. He's the smartest person I ever met. I brought him food from time to time at hotel rooms, and met that woman. I can't belive she's 60. Wow. Oooops is a mathematician. He paid my mortgage once when I broke my wrist. He buys land that have no roads to get to them. He's a weird guy, for sure. But harmless and mirthful. Island nations that are underwater at high tide. Why didn't I think of that? They are definatly right about the Koreans, the Fleiss clan and Oooops owning Mercedes Benz of Mountain View. Last time I saw Oooops, I got drunk and he STOLE over 350 novelty vomits I had left over from the whole Dolores Park kerfluffle. That bastard.

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