In the last story we published the letters of American brothers James and John McCleary who were jailed along with a few Thai policemen for the kidnap of American boiler room boss Mark Hutcherson.

Hutcherson as kidnap victim

The McCleary brothers, who have a Thai mother, claimed they were hooded and tortured with the use of wire, pliers, and electric shocks by Thai police who wanted to know where they had hidden the documents they had secretly stolen from a boiler room run by Hutcherson, an American from Georgia, and Paul John Hayward, 39, from Birmingham, UK, who were carrying out international swindles.

Those documents I handed to Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, now the National Crime Agency.

The McCleary brothers claim they had left the boiler rooms after which Hayward had put out a price for their address.

They claim they went to police to expose the boiler rooms, but instead police decided to kidnap Hutcherson themselves.  Word in the ‘boiler room’ community is that Hayward was also kidnapped himself for a short period himself at around the same time but ‘sorted it out himself’.

In letters published today the McClearys again allege US complicity in their arrest. They were arrested after turning up at the US Embassy for documentation for their children. This site does not suggest any US officers were involved in any crimes. It does however appear that the investigation of the McClearys was lacking in substance and they were portrayed as wanted felons from the US which they were not.

Huctherson (left) in Phuket

They were also very unlikely kidnappers but whereas the police kidnappers were sentenced to 12 years the McClearys got 18.

In these letters smuggled out of Klong Prem Prison the brothers say they want to give a press conference in Australia to reveal how victims there were duped out of their cash.

This is a may be a reference to the Brinton Group, International Asset Management, the Sigama Group and others, which were raided by Thai Police, with Australian Federal Police, with an FBI presence in 2001 at Bangkok City Tower and other locations (It’s accepted that the Brinton Group frauds took some AU$400 million from Australian victims) – but more likely another group who were targetting Australia.


The McCleary brothers were working for the boiler rooms at the time, although they claim they did not know they were share scamming.

A number of ‘loaders’ were deported and the bosses, the principal of which was Irishman John Kealy, now of the Dubliner bar and guesthouse in Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 in Bangkok, were merely fined for breaking Security Exchange Commission Regulations.

However most came back on the next flight including Canadian Stephen Sharpe, aka Birt, who was later to flee the same boiler rooms and who was subsequently falsely arrested on drugs and rape charges in Manila – another boiler room stronghold. Sharpe was later released after an enquiry by the Philippines Human Rights Commission.

None of the accounts in Hong Kong where the defrauded cash was held by major international banks were touched.

Over the last ten years there have been several raids in Bangkok by the Thai Police Crime Suppression Division on boiler rooms, referred to in the Thai press as ‘telephone calling centres’ but nobody in authority has ever been charged.

FBI man in foreground right at  Brinton Raid in Bangkok City Tower

This is because the CSD has in fact been operating with the boiler rooms, as have the Thai Immigration Police, who supply the visas.

Names of FBI agents have been redacted.

Picture left: How the Daily News reported the arrest of the McCleary brothers.

In the inset are two of the policeman involved.

The US$400,000 ransom which was paid was never recovered – nor was the most senior policeman.