We have all thought “What would have happened….if”, and never gave it a second thought. But in our business, we never wonder “what would have happened” we think “what did happen”.
We had a Client whose best friend recommended an unusual investment opportunity to her. She had dabbled in gold dust outside of the US, specifically in Africa with a small Investment Company out of California and had some pretty good returns. She had been bragging about getting a 35% return on her initial investment of $20,000 and then a 20% return on her second investment as well. When she received her second check, she was asked if she knew anybody who would be interested in turning their dollars into gold, and of course she had recommended our Client. Maggie had just lost her husband and she was in control of the trust. She was a bright woman and had made many investments with her husband during their marriage. When she heard about her friends return it piqued her interest. Maggie’s trust was worth over $3 Million Dollars and she wanted to make more money to leave to her children.
After much thought, Maggie invested over $1.5 million dollars in gold dust and that was the last she ever saw of it and the last she ever heard from the Investment Company. When she reached out to her friend, she learned that John, the investor had been quizzing her friend about Maggie, about her situation and about how much money she had to invest, but her friend had failed to mention that John had financial information on Maggie long before Maggie contacted him. Maggie also learned there was never going to be any return on her investment and that she had lost the $1.5 money as well.
Maggie filed suit against the company and won a judgment, but her attorney could never find any funds linked to John or his Company that had a positive balance from the discovery he had turned into court. That’s when she reached decided to hire a private investigator with International Investigators, Inc.
Maggie told us she did not conduct any due diligence upon John or his Company since their introduction was from a close family friend. She never thought to conduct any type of background check or Background investigation upon him because her friend had invested and received her original investment and a 35% return. We conducted an asset investigation to look for hidden money, overseas accounts and hidden bank accounts upon him and learned he was linked to a bank account he had not reported to the court. This happens a lot, where someone reports their known accounts but never report accounts they believe they have hidden from their spouse, partners and even attorneys. John had opened an account under his girlfriend’s name and in that account there was almost $525,000.00.
Maggie explained that she also felt her phone and computer were compromised and that John had been or was currently able to hack into her computer and obtain information about her finances. We conducted a computer forensic investigation and after the computer forensic examination and cell phone forensics, International Investigators was able to determine that her computer was compromised and all her logins and passwords were no longer secure.
We were able to recoup almost $750,000.00 of her $1.5 Million investment.
-T. Wilcox, CEO International Investigators
-B. McGinley, Director of Operations, International Investigators