Sample Chapter of Memoir Set to be Released in Mid-December

5:28 PMBradley Susser

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Rude Awakening

Tuesday morning I awoke around 5AM to do some work on the computer. Michelle was in the next room sleeping, and out of the blue there was a knock at the door. Startled, wondering why the hell someone would be calling on me at this hour, I approached the door and looked through the peep hole. I found several people sporting badges which read Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and IRS.
“Can I help you?” I asked through the closed door.
“Authorities. Open the door.”
As soon as I opened the door, several men and women lunged at me. One grabbed me and said, “Are you trying to run?”
Was I trying to run? What the fuck? We were on the 19th floor; where was I going to run?
The federal agents were all over the apartment. One of them said, “You’re a good Jewish boy, so I’m sure you won’t give us any trouble.”
Due to all the noise, Michelle awoke as agents entered the bedroom. They handcuffed her briefly, then un-cuffed her and took her into the living room where a slew of agents surrounded us.
One of the agents asked, “Do you have any weapons or drugs?”
I looked at the agent like he was nuts and exclaimed, “No!
Another man took a small wooden chest I had on a shelf and began opening it, asking what it was. “Those are the cremated remains of my German Shepherd,” I said.
He apologized as another agent asked, “Do you know why we’re here, Brad?”
Of course, at this moment I was in complete shock and disarray. The agent said he was a member of the United States Internal Revenue Service and indicated that he was there because I was charged with orchestrating a pump and dump scheme.
My heart abruptly skipped a beat. “I have no idea what you are talking about,” I said.
“Do you know what a pump and dump scheme is?” he asked.
“Yes, but I never did that and I always use disclaimers.”
I was asked by a member of the DEA to sign a document. I couldn’t think clearly, and I signed the piece of paper without thought.
One of the other agents asked Michelle, “Do you know about Nikki?”
She told them she did. Michelle’s face was lined with worry, distraught by what the agent was asking. That same person shouted at Michelle, “Did you know your boyfriend was trying to run?”
Once again, this was an absurd statement; clearly this was just a ploy to get under Michelle’s skin. An IRS agent asked me about a number of publicly traded companies and stock symbols, which I was unfamiliar with. In the interim, several agents began collecting what they deemed to be evidence, such as various computers, peripherals, CDs, paper documents, and anything else they could get their hands on. An IRS agent wrote down the inventory on a piece of paper for me to sign.
Most of the agents were around my age, although they looked older than me. My 5”9 frame, combined with a full head of brown hair, made me look 10 to 15 years younger than most of them.
The IRS agent seemed puzzled while going through my information. He turned to me and asked, “You’re 40 years old?”
As he continued asking questions, Michelle—obviously now more alert and less nervous—asked, “Do you people have a warrant?”
It was then that it dawned on me—although I believe it’s better to be cooperative, especially if you feel you’ve done nothing wrong—that I should ask for a lawyer. I did just that.
A Hispanic DEA agent named Diaz stopped everyone in their tracks and said, “All right everyone, he asked for a lawyer. Everyone stop what you’re doing.”
Diaz specified that there was no warrant, looked at Michelle and said, “But I can get it.”
I figured if they went through all the trouble to arrest me, the agent was probably telling the truth, so I said “Don’t worry about it.”
I couldn’t understand why they didn’t read me my Miranda rights when Agent Diaz said he was going to take me downtown. Michelle and I talked briefly as I gave her my father’s number and asked her to contact him. We hugged for a moment, followed by her saying she would stay behind until the rest of the agents were finished collecting their so-called evidence.
Agent Diaz took me to the elevator, saying he would go against protocol and not handcuff me if I wouldn’t run. Of course, I was grateful and we exited the building with no one in my complex suspecting a thing. He placed me in the front of what appeared to be an older, dark-colored Toyota Corolla. Thankfully, the car did not resemble a typical undercover or police vehicle. I was embarrassed and humiliated enough.
As we drove out of the complex, the agent rolled down the window and asked one of his fellow comrades to follow us. Before that, however, he made slight remarks about how beautiful the Jewish pieces of ass coming in and out of the complex were.
I was not surprised by the comment, since a large number of tenants in my building came from Jewish backgrounds, comprised of many young women in their 20s. Normandie Court” was the name of the development; however, its nickname was “Dormandie” due to the overwhelming number of recent college graduates residing there.
As we were leaving “Normandie,” Diaz asked, “Would you like a cup of coffee?
I replied, “Yes, please,” as we made our way to a local convenience store.
Since I was not handcuffed, he made it a point to say again, “You’d better not run.” Smiling he went inside. Once back in the car, Diaz talked on the radio to one of his partners who happened to be at the garage where I parked my vehicle. The partner mumbled something, then I overheard him say the garage attendant refused to give him my car. Diaz, somewhat aggravated, shouted, “You tell him he’d better give you the fucking car… or else.”
In the background I overheard the agent doing just that, but the attendant stood his ground: “You’re not getting Brad’s car without a fucking warrant.” In my head I was saying that’s my boy. Looking back, I wish I had been that way when the agents first entered my apartment.
As we drove, Diaz asked what I thought of the economy. I was well-versed not only in the securities arena, but the economy as a whole. Being a skeptic, I assumed the agent was trying to garner some additional information with respect to the case, but the conversation was not involving specific stocks, only pertaining to the overall economy and the Federal Reserve’s policy easing. He must have had some insight as to my knowledge in this area and appeared generally interested in what I had to say. So, here I am being arrested—allegedly for a pump and dump scheme—yet the agent was clearly engrossed in everything I had to say regarding the economy.
We pulled up to the side of a manned booth and Agent Diaz said he was there to escort a prisoner. There was a gate at the entrance which opened. Passing into a garage complex, we continued to drive down several levels until Agent Diaz parked. I asked if I could use the bathroom, and he was kind enough to escort me to an elevator in what appeared to be a courthouse or federal building. I’m not sure if he was allowed to do that, but he could see I wasn’t a threat. After I relieved myself, we got back on the elevator and headed for another floor.
As I walked off the elevator, there stood several agents and three other civilians handcuffed to chairs. To my amazement, I knew all of them. John, a bald man with a stocky build sat alongside a skinny man with a nervous twitch named Jose. To his left was David, a slightly younger, overweight orthodox Jew with a receding hairline covered by a Yarmulke, with trousers situated slightly above his belly button.
The agents spoke amongst themselves. They were talking about David, making jokes and demeaning him. It was as if we were back in high school. This was, of course, inappropriate, but I didn’t want to stir up anything so I kept quiet.
They began questioning me with respect to the various places I had gone—especially in South America—and the women I had bedded. They seemed quite aware and intrigued of my past exploits. As I described some of the places I had travelled, and the women I had slept with, several of the men made disparaging remarks towards David, such as: “The Jewish kid over there knows what we’re talking about, don’t you David?” David was anything but macho looking, and even though he was in his late 20s, they could tell he most likely had very few women vying for his attention. In fact, I would be willing to bet he was still a virgin, but that didn’t give these agents the right to mock him.
When a locked door opened, an intimidating United States Marshal with a bad attitude stepped out. He told the agents to handcuff me. Thirty minutes later, we were all allowed to enter. One by one, the Marshal frisked us. We were then taken to another level of the building. We were led into a room filled with chairs, a bathroom, and an open corridor. We were cuffed to chairs again. No one looked at each other or uttered a word. I looked around, waiting for someone to bring in the person who had introduced me to David, Jose and John, but that didn’t happen. 

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At the Studio

At the Studio
Cartoon Image of Brad Susser and Producer Mike Caro

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