THE organisers of the alleged Melchizedek scam had been seeking to recruit workers five months before they were arrested, according to a document obtained by the Sunday Morning Post. A memo from the founder of the fictitious nation, Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem, to John Gillespie dated July 6 asked him to supply information about 'workers available' for their attempts to develop Taongi, a remote Pacific atoll, 'ultimately styled after Hong Kong'. The document, faxed by Mr Korem to the Post, asked Gillespie for a report of 'the status of workers available for Taongi, including time schedule, payments received, payments due, a copy of the contract entered into with the provider of the workforce'. 'Any other verbal or written agreements made by yourself on behalf of DOM (Dominion of Melchizedek) need to be immediately forwarded as well.' Taongi is claimed by Melchizedek to be part of its 'nation', but the Republic of the Marshall Islands says it owns the atoll and labels Mr Korem's claims 'fraudulent assertions'. Mr Korem said he wrote to Gillespie 'relieving' him of all duties as 'foreign minister' of Melchizedek. Mr Korem said he sacked Gillespie after the bid to rewrite the fictitious country's constitution.