Client’s Challenge: A Business Partner Pockets $250,000

The familiar voice on the other end of the line was a partner at a major law firm with a thriving M&A practice. The request was urgent. “We’re sorry, but we need a quick turnaround on this,” he said. “One of our biggest clients has apparently been defrauded of $250,000 by a business partner who insists that the money he pocketed was part of his cut. We are building our legal case and need to learn whatever we can about his background, especially his assets, to see if a case is worth pursuing.”

Our Solution: Uncovering a Rich Lifestyle – and a Trail of Defaults and Disputes

Members of the Hillard Heintze Investigations team meticulously combed through federal and state criminal and civil court records across more than a dozen jurisdictions as well as public records that would shed light on assets owned by the subject. Had he been having money problems, such as a recent bankruptcy, that might serve as a motive? Had he posted photos to social media that suggested a life of luxury or just the opposite? Were creditors or landlords suing him? Was he the subject of tax liens or judgments?

What the team uncovered was stunning. The subject’s social media suggested a rich lifestyle full of high-end cars and clothes, yet public records showed him owning no property or vehicles. What’s more, the subject had been arrested for drug possession and domestic battery, and he was associated with a convicted felon with ties to the mob. He also had a litany of loan defaults and disputes with creditors, not to mention contract terminations, evictions and fraudulent checks.

Impact on the Client: Extensive Report Bolster’s Client’s Case – and Helps Win Back Stolen Funds

A few weeks later, the law firm received our team’s report. The lead partner was astonished at the breadth and volume of the findings. “We knew that we needed a background check and asset search on this guy,” he said. “And we knew that something would be there. But the actual details? I don’t think anybody expected this many wrongdoings and signs of financial stress.” Armed with our report, the law firm was ready to present its case against the subject. The breadth of the legal history and information about the subject’s lifestyle added much-needed texture and context to the case. The background findings also played a major role in helping the client win back its funds.

Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective

“Not all of our investigative assignments result in such dramatic findings, but some do.

Risk management – and helping clients gain confidence in key decisions – is at the core of the value we provide. Just being able to say ‘we turned over every rock we could and found little’ provides assurance. That’s a level of comfort for our clients that can help drive deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

But in this case we found an entire treasure trove of information for the client’s legal action. That’s always deeply satisfying.”

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