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Andrés Guzman came to France in 1778 from Spain. An aristocrat, his lavish lifestyle brought him to the verge of bankruptcy. At the height of the Revolution, he joined Jacques-René Hébert's camp along with the Enragés and became a fierce and relentless opponent of the Girondins. He eventually fell in with members of the bande noire, or black band, a group of speculators who specialized in issuing false bank notes or purchasing (well below their price) various châteaux and abbeys.