Henry Jones calls himself a doctor. And why shouldn’t he? The Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex inmate claims to have been issued a PhD from Kensington University, which could very well be true. It’d be pretty hard to verify, though, considering the diploma mill was dissolved in 2003... for handing out bogus degrees.
When I first met Dr. Henry Jones in 2004, he was introduced as the owner of MIG Records, an independent label that was responsible for producing a whole mess of unlistenable dance and hip hop music. As Chris Hansen reported in his 2010 Dateline segment about him, “...Jones had to pay clubs to let his artists perform, not the other way around.”
My good buddy Marcus Flye had just returned from an MIG funded trip to New York, where he shot footage of RU – a dance music duo comprised of a couple of attractive (if vocally unfit) Russian models – taking meetings and eating expensive dinners with industry bigshots. Marcus brought me into the MIG fold to edit the raw footage into an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) that would be distributed to all interested media outlets. The Doctor had a couple of good reasons to break the act in the US: 1.) Half of the duo, Katia Jones, was his wife, and 2.) MIG Records was funded by fraud victims who believed they were investing in a company called Tri Energy.
After watching and re-watching the footage he shot, I told Marcus I wasn’t going to be able to make much of what little there was. I asked him to set up a shoot so I could interview the girls and get them to reflect and elaborate on the trip and its purpose. The interview took place at the Doctor’s home in Marina del Rey, a tract house that would have been completely unimpressive were it not for Katia’s shiny Ferrari in the driveway.
Marcus and I were joined by our friend Rodney Allen Rippy, who came along to operate camera. Because it was a single camera shoot, I had to conduct the interview twice – so Katia and her partner Ksenia Linkova could each have a close-up; I asked them the same questions, then they each repeated the same stories and only appear to be speaking together.
Their impenetrably thick accents aside, the interview gave me plenty of material I could use as narration and I managed to get them to display a charming side to their personalities. In addition to the interview footage, I created some motion graphics in Adobe After Effects for the title sequence, then set about cutting it all together.
Dr. Jones went bananas over the EPK and wanted to issue a press release immediately. I handed over the final product in good faith and invoiced him later. Surely a wealthy philanthopist, music video director and diplomat who had allegedly co-chaired several conferences with Nelson Mandela, would cut me a check in short order. Or would he?
Countless phone calls went unreturned and several spontaneous visits to his office were intercepted by flunkies who insisted he was gone for the day. Ultimately, it was my certified letter that appealed to his better senses, or at least his desire to maintain a low profile. As the world would eventually discover, Jones had very good reason to stay off the radar.
Of the $50 million dollars invested in Tri Energy, $21 million went directly to the Doctor and his music and film projects. In 2007, Dr. Henry Jones was arrested in Hong Kong and is serving 20 years in federal prison on charges of securities, mail and wire fraud. Katia and Ksenia appear to have abandoned music altogether and, aside from some racy photos on the internet, seem not to exist beyond 2005.
As for me, I’m in the market for better medical insurance.