It all started in August of 2004, when Grammy-winning composer and classical pianist Roger Davidson discovered a virus on his computer. Fearing it might wipe out decades' worth of compositions and recordings, Davidson dropped his computer off at a Westchester computer and specialty IT services store called Datalink, owned and operated by Indian immigrant Vikram Bedi and his Icelandic girlfriend, Helga Invarsdottir.
When Davidson returned to pick up his de-bugged computer, Bedi told him that he had never before encountered such a vicious and difficult piece of malware. According to Bedi, Davidson's computer was so badly infected, so incredibly contagious, that simply plugging it in had led to every other computer at Datalink being infected! Furthermore, Bedi said he'd researched the origins of the virus and he'd tracked it to a hacker enclave in Hondouras. Fortunately for Davidson, Bedi had an uncle in Indian intelligence who was willing to travel to Honduras and investigate... for a substantial fee, of course.
Davidson was intrigued. Why had he been targeted? He also had money to burn, being the heir to a multi-million dollar trust fund set up by his great-grandfather, the founder of Schlumberger, a Fortune 500 oil-field services company. He agreed to fund a hands-on investigation, if only to get some answers.
Those answers came, but Davidson wasn't going to like them. According to Bedi, the virus attack was only the beginning. It turns out Davidson had been targeted for assassination by Opus Dei, a hard-core Roman Catholic secret society.
Not pausing to wonder why an order of right-wing priests should be out to get him - perhaps he assumed they didn't approve of the ecumenical nature of his Society for Universal Sacred Music - Davidson immediately went into panic mode. Fortunately, Bedi was well equipped to calm his fears, because aside from being a computer security specialist, he also happened to be an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency! Even better, he was also currently involved in a Top Secret CIA "op" to keep Opus Dei from infiltrating the highest levels of American government!
What an incredibly fortuitous coincidence! Davidson jumped at the chance to have his computers, himself, and his entire family protected from Opus Dei by this real live agent from the CIA!
Of course, round-the-clock protection doesn't come cheap. Bedi charged Davidson $160,000 each and every month for his services. This went on for just under six years. When added to the amount Davidson paid for the initial Honduras investigation and other incidental fees - for instance, the tuxedo Bedi wore while hulking behind Davidson in full-on "pretend bodyguard" mode in the video, below - investigators figure Bedi ultimately took Davidson for roughly 20 MILLION dollars.
Within months of their first encounter at Datalink, Bedi and his girlfriend, Helga, had insinuated themselves into every aspect of Davidson's life. Davidson put the duo in charge of his Universal Sacred Music Society. He also made Bedi a co-trustee of his 60 million dollar fortune, believing that someone so tied in to the mechanics of America's intelligence power elite would surely make wise investment decisions.
As you can probably guess, that was the beginning of the end. Within a few years, Bedi had managed to lose nearly $13 million of Davidson's fortune on bad investments. By August of 2010, the local police got involved when new neighbors of Davidson's complained that someone had planted GPS tracking devices on their family vehicles. It turns out Bedi had told Davidson the family was actually a group of Opus Dei assassins, the latest twist in their nefarious plot to end his life. A doubtful Davidson told the police he had planted the GPS devices himself in a misguided attempt to confirm or debunk Bedi's assertions.
As soon as the police cracked a window into Bedi's byzantine conspiracy construct, the whole thing came tumbling down like a kooky house of cards. Police swooped in on Bedi and Invarsdottir just as they were about to high-tail it to Iceland, where Helga's pop is a prominent businessman. At the time of their arrest, the dastardly duo had almost $8 million in the bank, several expensive cars, the deeds to many of Davidson's properties, and $150,000 in cash stuffed under the bed in the master bedroom of their gorgeous Westchester home.
Bedi, of course, offers an alternate explanation. According to him, HE is the victim in all this, and all that conspiracy hoo-hah was Davidson's creation. The TRUTH is that Davidson - who also, according to Bedi, had amassed tons of pornography on his hard-drive - was trying to surreptitiously sneak $400 million into the country from a Liechtenstein bank without paying any taxes on it. He was also under the impression that the French and US governments were spying on his computers in an effort to get back 60 years worth of unpaid taxes. That's why he hired Bedi. Topping it all off, Bedi claims Davidson made repeated sexual advances on Invarsdottir, claiming it was his natural right as a "high-born" person. All that money? It was just what Davidson felt Bedi was owed for recovering 30 years' worth of music from a damaged hard-drive. Oh, and there was also a $2 million gift that Davidson had given the couple, just because Davidson was "generous" and he "liked" them.
Of course, elsewhere, Bedi has also claimed that he "invented the world's first Pentium-based computer laptop", and that he's best buds with both George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. So, you know... caveat emptor and all that jazz.
As F. Scott Fitzgerald's old truism goes, "the rich are different than you and me." That's why yer old pal Jerky assumes that Davidson was far more upset by Bedi and Invarsdottir's betrayal of his trust than he was by their pillaging of his loot. Regardless, all you trust-fund billionaires out there reading this should take Davidson's lesson to heart: Just because you're worth a bunch of money, that doesn't necessarily mean Opus Dei is out to get you. M'kay?
A $20,000 donation to the Democratic Party doesn't get you what it used to!