When we were initially contacted by a manufacturer in China, we were asked to investigate one of his customers that operate a business within driving distance of one of our offices in the United States.
The manufacturer was understandably irate. Over the last decade, he had been contracted by this entrepreneur to manufacture some products. He had been paid for every other order. And that was why, even though the last order involved a lot more money, the manufacturer followed through, trusting the relationship he had previously established with this particular business owner. He had felt that the questions of due diligence had been sufficiently answered through his previous experience.
When phone calls and emails reached nothing but dead ends, the manufacturer made two trips to America, in an effort to speak directly to the business man about the huge debt, to the tune of nearly a half million dollars. Here in the United States, he was unsuccessful in his efforts to locate the man. And, no surprise, he had yet to be paid for his work.
Our client started to worry that the American business owner was in financial trouble and that he might file bankruptcy and never pay the money. With our access to highly advanced data bases, we conducted a business asset search.
It didn’t take the Business Asset Search Investigator long to uncover several red flags. In the background investigation and the search for assets, we discovered…
- Offshore accounts in two different institutions,
- Our client was not alone. At least three other vendors had filed suit against the business owner.
- He was also being investigated by the FBI because hundreds of customers complained that they had for and never received products.
In the midst of our investigation, a building owned by this person mysteriously burned to the ground. Although the cause of the fire was labeled suspicious, there was not enough evidence of insurance fraud, although the insurance company was still investigating the incident. So there was a good chance the business owner would likely receive insurance money of more than one million dollars.
While are not law enforcement officials, the evidence we are able to provide our clients can be turned over to authorities. And because our protocols adhere to chain of evidence and protection of evidence processes, it can be admissible in pressing charges and in legal processes.
Although our client may never get his money back, he might at least see some peace if the crooked business owner is prosecuted for his criminal activities. The lesson for others that must make business deals is to always insist on time to conduct due diligence and to do it! Firms like that are experienced in due diligence services can perform due diligence that is thorough, efficient and timely – and that saves you time and money in the long run! It’s not worth it to skip a due diligence investigation.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations