One Sunday afternoon, our headquarter office received a call from one of our client, a prominent international banker who requested we meet with him at an upscale restaurant ASAP. He asked to speak in person with both VIP owners and no one else. An hour later, we met with the client at a restaurant on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. He started talking immediately stating that something was very strange with these clients of his and they were not even responding to emails and that he had heard that the two men were last seen in Switzerland as well as the Dominican republic flying on a private jet. He went on stating’” I got scammed by two of my clients for $35,000,000” ($35 million dollar) At that moment we looked at each other and our jaws fell to the ground.
The only information he provided was their name, last known address in South America, and their date of birth. In fact, very little information. “Do whatever you need to do to find my money” said the client. At that moment, we understood that this was going to be one of those mission impossible. People who scam and steal with these kind of money amount are usually very intelligent. They are masters at deception and know how to hide their monies and assets. They will never show off their fortunes and will run from countries and hide the assets in islands in South America and Europe. Without any time to spare, we departed for the office to try to understand and develop leads and a place to start.
After a few hours of gathering general information about the subjects, we realized the complexity of this case and also realized that we would have to pull all the tricks as these con men were already a head of the game. The subjects were foreign citizens from South America, which makes it that much more complicate in gathering any intelligence about them. We decided to put 3 surveillances team on the last known addresses. After five days of surveillance, we obtained all the reports from the teams and started piecing the puzzle together. From one of the surveillance video, we were able to determine that a female subject who was followed to a luxury business address in downtown Miami was in fact the sister of the subjects.
We later followed her inside the building and it was determined which floor and suite she was visiting. A background check was then initiated on her and we were able to uncover that the man she was visiting was in fact her ex-husband. On every surveillance effort, we were able to determine that after her meetings at this address, she would leave with a large manila envelope then proceeded to an international bank nearby on Brickell Avenue in Miami. We sent two undercover investigators to gather information about the office and it was determined that the said office was for sale.
A phone call was then initiated and a meeting was set up on the following Monday. A background check on the ex-husband revealed that this nice calm Latin man was in fact the liaison of our subjects and ALL their assets. Two other undercover agents were sent to meet with the man under the pretext of looking for an office space for their client from Dubai. Our undercover agents have been tasked to get any/all kind of information possible from within this office.
Our undercover agents met with the man, early 50’s, very nice and polite. He showed our agents the office space that was for sale. Our agents tried to get the most information about the space but later told him that they were looking for a larger space. Much to the surprise of our agents, the man stated the he owned 50 percent of the building and produced a prepared list of all the properties he owned, the addresses and the prices. The amount totaled $17 million dollars. At that moment we still didn’t know what it meant but later on associated one of the properties to the elusive subjects. It was later determined that this man was the front man for the two con artists. Our agents demanded a full tour of the main office. The man was so excited to show our undercover agents his office that he didn’t notice that only one of the agents was walking with him and the second one pretended to be talking on the phone and stayed behind in his office.
This agent observed several corporation books on the shelves and took quick notes of it. The relevance of this was that the subjects had previously owned corporations with similar names yet a bit different. This new information was then related to our forensic research division. Our analyzers began to review all of the information provided from this mission. We then initiated a full corporate background check on the man and all of the uncovered corporations worldwide and then, we were able to begin the painstaking process of putting this complicated puzzle together. After meeting with our undercover agents and our analyzers, our agents conveyed to us that this man was not living the lifestyle of a multi-millionaire, but that of a mid-level executive. At that point, we put all our efforts on this man.
The paper trail of assets took us from South America to Europe to luxury investment properties on Central Park in New York city. We discover more than 300 different companies that were registered under his name all over the world and that he owned more than 250 properties in the U.S under corporate names, a private jet, a 135 feet yacht registered in the Bahamas and much more… Our teams create a report for our client showing that this man was hiding monies for our subjects and the total amount of assets and stolen money that our investigative team uncovered came in excess of $95,000,000.00. The client turned our report to his lawyers who then obtained immediate liens on all the assets and bank accounts that were uncovered. Our client was very happy with the results and our team could rest after five weeks of non-stop hard working…
THIS BLOG IS BASED ON A TRUE INVESTIGATION. THE NAMES, TIME AND LOCATIONS HAVE BEEN ALTERED TO PRESERVE THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THIS MISSION.