Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Ramy Fahim case: Chapter Three “A murder in Anaheim by An Irvin Man”

When Fahim moved to work at Pence Wealth Management, it was the beginning of the end for three people including himself.

Ramy Fahim as a suspect
A screenshot from Fox LA's report about the crime in April 

In the previous chapter last week, we stopped at September 2021 when Ramy Fahim, current Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Nabila Makram’s eldest son announced that he was going to work in a wealth management company in California.

Ramy Fahim joined Pence Wealth Management in Newport Beach, California as a full-time research associate in November 2021 which means he only worked there for 6 months only.

The only known connection known between Fahim and victim Griffin Cuomo was the fact that they were co-workers at Pence Financial Group.

Griffin Cuomo was a fresh graduate from Chapman University in 2021 with a B.A. in Strategic and Corporate Communication with a minor in Creative and Cultural Industries.

He had a girlfriend called Vivien. He joined the company in May 2021 as a marketing and media assistant.

Late Griffin Cuomo 

Now searching around online, the profile of the late Griffin Cuomo was featured in the “Meet the team” with his photo in black and white on the official website of Pence Capital Management before it was removed.

Here is a screenshot from the Internet Archives’ Way back Machine. 

“He serves the team by working closely with the Chief Investment Officer regarding promotion of intellectual products, demonstration of the firm’s investment process and philosophies, as well as coordination of national media appearances.” Pence Capital Management said.

Cuomo’s Instagram account is a private one.

Cuomo lived with his University roommate 23-years-old Jonathan Bahm at a Katella Avenue apartment in the city of Anaheim, California. Bahm wanted to work in the games industry as a fresh computer science graduate. 

Jonathan Bahm
Late Jonanth Bahm
 Copyrights : Champan University

It is just sad, the two men are young and had a promising future. It should not have ended like that by all measures. 

But it is an end that was written when Ramy Hany Fahim joined Pence Wealth Management.

The Wealth Management Company

Pence Capital Management and Pence Wealth Management are part of the Pence Financial Group and they both share the same floor at 5000 Birch Street, Newport Beach, California.

Pence Wealth Management’s President is Laila Pence, an Egyptian-American businesswoman whose name is brought now in Egypt.

Her husband is Dryden Pence “Thanks to Journalist Fathy Abou Hatab for the link and together they founded Pence Wealth Management.

Dryden is the Chief Investment Officer of Pence Wealth Management as well as Pence Capital Management.

Left Egypt at the age of 12 years from Suez city, Laila Pence is currently from the bright of successful Egyptian businesswomen abroad.

She was chosen by Forbes Magazine as the No.1 Forbes Best-in-State Wealth advisor for the year 2022 in Southern California.

It is the 6th successive time she is chosen by Forbes. The first time was in 2017. Her company’s assets reach more than USD 2 billion now.

Laila Pence is a well-known figure in the Egyptian community in California. She began to appear in the Egyptian media in July 2017 as a successful Egyptian women expat abroad during the “Egypt Can (Taa Marbouta)” conference.

She was honoured at the conference organized by the Ministry of Emigration and was interviewed by Egyptian media.

Now on social media, Egyptian internet sleuths refer to the fact that in February 2021, Minister Nabila Makram congratulated Pence for being featured in Forbes Magazine. “She spoke about how Laila was a great example for Egyptian women abroad in February 2022 after being featured in Forbes Magazine in 2022 too”.

Laila Pence signed a cooperation protocol in June 2021 between her company and the Ministry of Emigration to support the Presidential initiative “Decent Life” which aims to upgrade life standards in general in the neediest Egyptian countryside villages.

In September 2021, the Pences launched a fundraising event in US and Canada for “Decent Life” and their daughter Sarah launched too a fundraising campaign in the same month.

According to the Egyptian Press, the Pences managed to gather USD 500,000 donations for the presidential initiative aimed to upgrade the Egyptian countryside.

Laila Pence does not donate only to Egyptian causes because her FB account is full of other donations to charities in the United States.

Now there is a question repeated over and over on social media which is very reasonable and logical to be asked: Was Ramy Fahim appointed at Pence Wealth Management because of his mother’s relation with Laila Pence!?

In other words: Did his mother use her position to get him this job regardless of his qualifications?

Ramy Fahim announced that he would join a wealth management company in September 2021.

In democratic states, this question would be asked normally in the Parliament but because we are in Egypt, people are asking this question on social media, and they reached to the conclusion as expected that yes because “all officials use their connections to appoint their kids in successful companies”.

Nevertheless, I know that Laila Pence could be thinking now that having Ramy among her multinational team was one of her worst decisions ever taken.

Searching for any motive

In Egypt, People are trying to find a motive for the horrible crime and some went and adopted an alleged motive based on a screenshot of some reply at some website.

That rumour comes from the Egyptian community in the States and transferred via the Atlantic and crossed the Western desert to the people at the Nile Valley Egypt online. People digested it, especially some from the Islamist anti-regime team. 

Ramy Fahim
Ramy Fahim 

The rumour claims that Ramy Fahim was gay and that his deeply Coptic religious family in Cairo disowned him when he came out of the closet and lived with his boyfriend Cuomo before breaking-up earlier this year !!!!!!!

The rumour went so far and spoke about the role of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church in the States and its gay therapy as well as forcing him to marry a woman that led him to that heinous act.

The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church prohibits same-sex, but it may not be involved as it has been claimed.

I think according to the timeline and social media traces presented here in this series whether in chapter one or chapter two or the current chapter, both Cuomo and Fahim did not meet before working at Pence Financial Group.

Both men went to Different universities, had different internships and even joined the Pence group at different times according to their LinkedIn profiles.

Griffin worked there first in May while Fahim in November officially.

Cuomo had a girlfriend called Vivian and Ramy according to his Twitter account on 6 December 2021 was also straight and was searching for a girl who understands that he was an introvert. 

He had also two girlfriends too while he was in Italy when he was a teen according to his trauma thread on 4 March which he shared publicly.

Aside from the Crucifixion hanged in his home or bedroom which appears in his photos on his Twitter, Fahim spoke about his beliefs on 7 February 2021, and he seems to be a devoted Christian young man who reads Agpeya prayer every day in the morning and night. He does Bible readings twice a week and communion weekly.

The motive has not been declared by the DA yet and we will have to wait until the trial to know what really happened.

Yet in the research for this series, I found interesting detail about the relationship between Cuomo and Fahim before the murder. 

In a Fox 11 news report about the murder on 20 April 2022, an unnamed co-worker in Pence Group was quoted by the reporter that “there was a workplace incident between the victim and the suspect that turned violent”. [Starting from 2.48 min]

Cuomo’s Co-worker arrived on that Friday earlier to check on him and to know why he did not show up only to be informed of the murder. He was filmed in an NBCLA news report about the murder [0:56] but did not talk on camera.

Now was that “workplace incident” the reason or rather the motive!? 

I think we will know more in the trial

Fahim’s lawyer

According to Oxygen.com, Fahim’s lawyer is Thomas Welbourne who is a former DA whose practices range from DUI defence to white-collar cases to Death Penalty cases.

Welbourne is a law firm lawyer at Corrigan Welbourn Stokke law Cooperation, and he is truly specialized in death penalty cases.

Interestingly his last case featured in the media was a triple murder case where he managed to get the defendant a life sentence instead of the death penalty based on a psychological diagnosis.

I believe this will be the case with Ramy if there is no plea and the death penalty is brought up.

Update : According to a comment I received below Fahim has got court appointed lawyers Sara Chieme Nakada and Jennifer Ryan. 

According to the prosecutor, Fahim hasn’t yet entered a plea on his behalf.

With a clean sheet and a traumatic experience shared publicly including sexual molestation, bullying and searching for a cheap therapist, the mental disorder can be pushed in the court. 

Yes, he was searching for a cheap therapist in December 2021.

On 8 December 2021, he tweeted that “Therapy is expensive in California” and that he found a therapist that is cheaper in Oregon.

That tweet was published shortly after being appointed at Pence Wealth Management in November. Already I think the Twitter account is left for this reason to create some public sympathy.

I do not know but it seems that therapy is covered in the medical insurance supposedly the company presents to its employees or he could not it use because he “as Egyptian Young man who is a son of a current minister in cabinet because he did not cause a scandal for him or his mother. 

Again people are blaming her with no mention, to be honest for the role of his father, the other completely absent figure in the debate but it is expected because Nabila is a famous, minister and a diplomat. Regardless of politics , women are usually blamed for children's neglect. 

Some reports in Arab media claim that Welbourn and his team will push forward that Fahim is suffering from some mental disorder.

The trauma and sexual molestation experience remind me of the defence of Omaima Nelson in her infamous trial. 

Her lawyers brought the FGM experience to her defence. 

Nevertheless, I do not know how the lawyer will justify the waiting part aka special circumstances. For instance, in the trial of Nelson, her lawyers highlighted that she stabbed her husband after sexually assaulting her on that bloody night in December 1991 so she was reacting and did not plan for the murder in advance.

In the case of Ramy Fahim, we got the DA mentioning the special circumstances as a reason for demanding the death penalty.

Interestingly we have not seen huge international media coverage about the case as expected in any case related to Egypt’s regime stories.

Only Newsweek published a news report that was syndicated from Zenger News “digital wire news service” and that’s it for now aside from the Gulf media and Daily Mail.

Maybe we will see more coverage when the trial starts.

The next new bail hearing and arraignment for Fahim will be held on 17 June  held on 23 July at the court’s North Justice Center in Fullerton, California, at room N3. 

Till the upcoming chapters in the court

10 comments:

  1. June 17 Hearing Bail Review is cancelled. Next court date is July 22 for Arraignment. Defence attorneys are still the court appointed (OCPD Ryan, Jennifer and Nakada, Sara). This case might take 3-4 years with first disclosure of police reports, investigation etc in Preliminary Hearing.

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    1. Thanks for the correction. Yup , a case like that it will take a year at least before the trial starts

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  2. Most likely this was a gay love triangle murder. I take Ramy Fahim's tweet "I need a girl who understands I am an introvert. Lol" to mean that he wanted a girl to act as a beard (i.e., a fake girlfriend so as not to appear gay, because he was closeted). His "introversion", under this theory, was to be his excuse for not having sex with her. It's lucky R. Fahim wasn't an airline pilot, because he might have flown a planeload of passengers straight into the ocean just like Gameel Al-Batouti!

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    1. ُEgypt Air flight 990 has been targeted by US groud-to-air missiles due to its "intentional" misguidance into an incorrect route crossing a forbidden flight zone. Due to the US ignorance of Egyptian slang, a claim that Gamil el Battouty has psychological issues is just a pretext for cover-up.

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  3. Thank you for your coverage of this interesting case, Zienobia. But off-topic, may I bring your attention to this story Egyptian writers cited need for Islam to leave the 'Dark Ages' which is making its way around right wing American circles. It cites Egyptian intellectual Ahmed Sa'ad Al-Zayed in Al-Dustour and Egyptian journalist Khaled Montasser in the daily Al-Ahram, who think Islam is hateful and badly in need of reform. Perhaps you or your readers would comment about that.

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    1. Ramy is an Orthodox Christian (Non-Muslim) so no need to bring religion into this.

      Islam don't order the followers to kill other for no reason. Regardless of what tiny minority of Muslims do.

      As Christianity don't order other to kill other for no reason, regardless of what christians do in Jerusalem & Africa and Asia in the past.

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  4. Without disclosing too much information, I am a close relative of one of the victims. The love triangle is a complete hoax. I have met the girlfriends of both victims.

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    1. Thank you so much , my deepest condolence to you and to the families of the victims.

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  5. Check a little more into the backstories of the company’s founders. It’s very interesting, if you like conspiracy theories.

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    1. Assuming absence of romantic relationship, the next logical motive is work-related. This will be a nightmare for investment firm, where secrecy and confidentiality of information is top priority. Fahim’s defense attorneys will have an uphill battle to shelter the investment firm from friendly fire.

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