Made In China Circular Stamp DecalBefore making vital decisions, many company owners carefully identify and access the risks. They realize how crucial it is to gather all possible information and conduct due diligence. Without a doubt, every bit of information must be updated and, above all, accurate.

That is exactly why frequently receive calls from business and company owners and global investors. Often they provide a due diligence checklist with some of the items crossed off with documentation attached. They ask us to find answers to all the questions they ask so they can make the most informed decisions.

In a due diligence investigation, we follow paper trails, across the country, if need be. As investigators, our job is to find the truth, but also, to provide evidence of those truths. All information is professionally secured and documented in the event that it would later be used as evidence in a court of law.

Unfortunately, when two business partners appeared in our offices, they had already made a business decision that proved disastrous. After launching a small factory, the men decided to introduce a new product. On the Internet, they discovered a manufacturing company in China, where this particular product could be produced at nearly half the cost.

At the time, neither partner felt comfortable leaving the business to make a trip to China. On videos, they saw the manufacturing company in China. They spoke extensively to the person who claimed to own it. To adhere to a contract with the business owner in China and to also meet their own deadline for launching the product, the American business partners wired $20,000 to China.

Excitedly, they waited for products to be manufactured and shipped. As you have probably guessed, the shipment never arrived. The contact person in China insisted that the shipment had been made.

That’s when they came to see . Our first step was to do as much online research as possible to start the investigation. We then reached out to other investigators located on that side of the globe.

was able to gather evidence to show that the American business owners had been swindled. The manufacturing plant featured in the Internet videos did not belong to the person who made the business deal. In fact, that person was nowhere to be found. He had used a fictitious name.

Obviously, the story would have ended a completely different way had the partners requested thorough investigation before entering into that agreement. Due diligence may seem like a time consuming and provocative measure, but as you can see not engaging in due diligence services can be a costly alternative.

These partners lost their money, but they did not lose their business. Some make the mistake of leveraging their business and taking on additional debt; which after being swindled, they cannot repay. Don’t be taken. Protect yourself and perform due diligence when engaging a new business partner or agreement.

-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations