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We recently came across this news article about the business of selling citizenship and passports in the Caribbean, particularly in St. Kitts and Nevis.  Increasingly, in several island states, people are able to buy passports simply by investing large amounts of money in those islands.  Most of these passports don’t reflect the holder’s place of birth and other names by which he or she has been known.  This is potentially dangerous because criminals and terrorists…
We usually blog here about how to find hidden assets in the context of a divorce, however, we recently came across a story that serves to caution those entering a marriage not to relinquish all control over the family finances. According to media reports, accused fraudster, Steven Wessel, is currently trying to seek a plea deal in a federal case alleging that he used a sham investment company to dupe investors out of money.…
We pretty regularly find ourselves blogging about small business owners that draw people into scams.  We’ve seen the would-be movie executive, the sweet-talking investment solicitor, the landscaper and the produce company owner. Too often, we find that defrauded consumers and investors could have avoided their losses by doing some basic due diligence.  Sometimes the diligence can be as simple as a Google search, while other times it might pay to get an…
According to media reports, Former Apple CEO John Sculley is currently being sued by his ex-wife, of 32 years, Carol “Leezy” Sculley, for allegedly hiding more than $25 million in assets from her at the time of their divorce.  Sculley and Leezy settled their divorce in 2011, but Leezy claims that Sculley hid more than $25 million from her at that time.  According to Leezy’s petition to the Florida Circuit Court, Sculley failed to…
According to several media reports, former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive, David Drumm was recently denied a bankruptcy discharge by a judge in Boston.  Drumm appealed the ruling on Friday.  Not only did the judge keep Drumm on the hook for $10.5 million euros in debt, but he released a 122-page judgment with damning findings about Drumm’s attempts to defraud creditors by hiding assets in his wife’s name. Drumm was the CEO of…
We’ve heard of people stowing money beneath the mattress and under floorboards before, but we recently came across this article about the family of convicted Ponzi-schemer Ron Wilson hiding Wilson’s money for him in ammunition canisters.  That’s a new hiding spot for us. Wilson’s brother, Tim, and estranged wife, Cassie, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to obstruct justice in a South Carolina federal court.  This was no small offense, the charge carries up to…
According to the Sacramento Bee, a would-be movie studio executive, Carissa Carpenter, pleaded not guilty last week to defrauding investors of at least $5 million during her failed 17-year attempt at creating a movie studio in Northern California.  Over the 17-year period, she shifted the location of her planned studio several times.  Her last purported studio location was in Dixon, California where she proposed building a $2.8 billion complex that was supposed to have…
We recently blogged here about surprising facts we’d found when doing diligence on expert witnesses.  We’ve looked into so many people and companies that we’re rarely taken aback when we find that someone left something off of a resume or lied about a degree.  But sometimes we come across a news story that manages to catch us a little by surprise, like this recent news article we read about the founder of the Suzuki violin…
According to Bloomberg, the co-founders of Ezra Holdings, Ltd., a Singapore-based offshore marine company, reached a confidential settlement resolving their lengthy legal battle over $164 million in marital assets.  Much of the dispute centered around ex- wife Goh Gaik Choo’s claim that ex-husband Lee Kian Soo had dissipated marital assets. Goh alleged, that after she filed for divorce in 2008, Lee and the couple’s son Lionel colluded to dispose of Lee’s assets.  Lee transferred…
According to several news reports, Walter Reinhardt of North Carolina, pled guilty to 40 charges of securities fraud, common law forgery and common law uttering in North Carolina yesterday.  From 2005 to 2009, Reinhardt solicited fraudulent investments for businesses he claimed were owned by someone in Richmond, Virginia.  He targeted teachers and sweet talked his way into faculty meetings at schools to make his pitch.  Authorities believe he may have bilked investors out of…