Escheatment: Maltese Cat Book Series. Chapters 19 & 20

Book 1 in the Maltese Cat Book Series entitled Escheatment continues with new chapters. Enjoy:
Chapters 1 & 2,
Chapters 3 & 4,
Chapters 5 & 6,
Chapters 7 & 8,
Chapters 9 & 10,
Chapter 11,
Chapters 12 & 13.
Chapters 14-16,
Chapter 17,
Chapter 18.

Chapter 19

Cat Wants a Deep Financial Check of the Boys Club

The Maltese Cat walked into the Zapp, Inc. office and surveyed the room. Arby was talking to Effie and Vishnu was at the copy machine. Twerk sat near a window, staring out into the summer fog.
When the Cat walked over to Tommy’s desk, he asked, “Is Twerk OK? He looks a little out of it.”
Vishnu spoke across the room, “He’s just practicing his Boketto,” referring to the Japanese concept of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking.
Tommy’s rejoinder was, “That’s a slight improvement over his previous attempt at omphaloskepsis.”
Both Effie and Arby laughed out loud. They knew Tommy meant the contemplation of one’s navel as an aid to meditation.
Twerk made no motion to acknowledge the conversation about him, and continued to stare, deep in thought, somewhere.
The Maltese Cat spoke directly to Tommy.
“I haven’t forgotten about speaking to Tessa. I know you trust her, but I have had some other thoughts. I think the IPO would be better handled by a company with more experience. Tessa’s company wouldn’t be able to reach the audience you want.”
“I am open to suggestions.”
“It should be a local company. We could take a look at several.”
Tommy said sarcastically, “Well then, why not give it to Van Houten? They’re the biggest.”
The Cat surprised Tommy with his next sentence.
“That might not be a bad idea.”
“I was joking! They only deal in the big companies.”
“Yes, but they are the best, I hear.”
“They wouldn’t be interested in us.”
“Why not give it a shot?”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“Why not ask James Van Houten for an appointment. After all, you have been checking up on him.”
“You think that is wise?”
“The worst he could tell you is No.”
“OK. I’ll check with them. Should I ask for junior himself?”
“Yes. Do that. He probably would know you from the Flash Trading incident several years ago. If he doesn’t, remind him. That will get his interest.”
“Will do.”
“Now, I have a new project for you.”
Tommy made a show of pushing all the papers on his desk to one side and said with a smirk, “I’m all yours.”
“How hard would it be to remove funds from a bank or a wire house and channel it somewhere else without leaving a trace?”
“You mean embezzlement.”
“For lack of a better word.”
“There will always be a trail. It’s just a matter of how well you can cover it up.”
“Well enough to make the money disappear.”
“Today’s magicians are not magicians. They are illusionists. They give the appearance of things disappearing. But Einstein has stated that no matter or energy ever really disappears.”
“Then it is possible?”
“It’s possible.”
“I want you to track a trail from a bank.”
Tommy said slowly, “O-kay.”
“What will you need?”
“Ideally, I would need to sit in on the bank’s system.”
“Not likely.”
“Thought so. Tapping into the system will be difficult due to all the firewalls and such.”
The Cat appreciated Tommy putting his explanations in layman’s terms.
“What if I could physically connect you to a bank terminal?”
“That’s an idea, but it would have to be one that has access to the one that makes the transactions.”
The Cat thought for a moment. “Then I guess that it should be on the terminal that makes the actual trades. I have an idea”
“That would be even better,” Tommy replied. He added, “Security systems are not what they used to be.”
The Cat rebutted, “The future is not what it used to be.”
Tommy smiled, rolled his eyes, then he wagged his finger at the Maltese Cat in his best Robert DeNiro imitation as if to say, “You. You’re good!”
Cat just shook his head as he exited the front door. Computer geeks!


Chapter 20

James Meets With Tommy

James was at work in his office. The book cases behind his desk, instead of being filled with the prototypical financial books and achievement awards, were strewn with models of sports cars and luxury yachts. It was a boy’s room filled with toys. They gave an indication of his psyche. As he perused some papers, his secretary entered announcing his 11 o´clock appointment. He looked down at his day-timer with scribbled notes that his secretary had written for him. Ah, yes. Mr. Hsia of San Francisco. Another little company that thought they could hit the big time by
going public. I mean, who really cared? One company, more or less. Everybody was looking to make a killing like in the good old days. I’ll take care of this quickly. But why was it that this company seemed to ring a bell?
Tommy had arranged, first by e-mail and then by telephone with the company secretary, to meet with James Van Houten at his office. At 11 o´clock on the dot, Tommy was escorted in by the secretary and left with James as she closed the door.
James ruffled through a large packet of papers on his desk.“Mr. Hsia. Take a seat,” James ordered brusquely without looking up. James had hoped to gain the upper hand
with his breviloquence. All he achieved was to irritate Tommy. James pronounced Hsia as ‘Hee-See-ah’ instead of
‘Shay’. Tommy ignored that and took one of the two chairs in front of James’s desk and sat down casually, saying,
“Just call me Tommy.”
“Very well, Tommy. So, I understand that you would like to arrange for an Initial Public Offering for your company…ah…Zapp, Inc.”
Tommy replied calmly, “That is correct.”
“You are a software company?”
“Also correct.”
“Do you make anything I might know of?”
“uBiquity, for one.”
James now realized where he had heard their company name. uBiquity was a major search engine application that had gained a substantial share of the market. It was unique in that it linked one’s credit card to searches for hotels, restaurants, and airlines, giving special priority access to the companies it found. Now it was linked to almost every kind of shopping outlet and appeared to be everywhere these days, just as their name implied.
“Of course. I use that every day!”
“You and millions of others,” Tommy added, drolly.
“And you would like to go public with this?”
“Actually, we are looking only to raise a little capital. To test out the waters.”
“How much are you looking for?”
“Two to three million.”
“That is hardly worth the bother, Mr. Hsia. You are sitting on a product that is worth many hundred times more, if not thousands.”
“We are not looking to give up the company. We just want to raise some cash.”
“OK. Let me see what I can do. I will probably give this to my assistant because I don’t usually work on accounts this small. Is that alright with you?”
“That’s fine,” lied Tommy. He could see how this spoiled boy was trying to pass the buck. If he only knew what we also do!
“It might take a few weeks to have the papers drafted. I will have my assistant call you,” James said, without mentioning what assistant he might use. Oh, well. A 6% commission is still something.
Tommy got up to leave. “Here is the information you wanted,” he said, handing James a manila folder.
They parted at the office door. As Tommy walked through the trading room and out the main door, he had a queasy feeling about selecting this company. But the Maltese Cat had assured him that all would go well. And he had always known the Cat to be good in his judgments.

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