Hillard Heintze would like to announce that we are closing our investigations practice. It has recently come to our attention that the world is no longer in need of corporate investigations services. We can assure you that every potential business partner or executive hire has fully disclosed all relevant information about her past, that the whole multimillion-dollar loss through a shell company was a simple mistake by your procurement officer and that those threats of violence made by a disgruntled former employee were simply wise cracks and you are perfectly safe. If you need me, you can find me at a dive shop on the beach. I believe our SVP Jennifer will be tending to her community garden, and the rest of our team is going back to graduate school.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

Don’t Let the Joke be on You

While I’m not joking about wanting to work at a dive shop on the beach, I am completely joking about us closing down, or that our services are no longer needed. In fact the opposite is true. Every day the Hillard Heintze investigations team delivers valuable information and investigative services to our clients.

Many times we joke with each other and our clients about how foolish some of the subjects of our investigations can be. Some foolish folks we have recently come across in our due diligence investigations include:

  • A divinity school student who was arrested for selling drugs near a school
  • A “financial wizard” who has filed for bankruptcy multiple times
  • A small claims judge who repeatedly writes bad checks
  • An accountant who was arrested for not filing his state taxes for five years in a row

Fool Me Once…

One of our main goals is to help our clients figure out who some of these folks are before they start working with them, so they don’t end up being the fool. Unfortunately we often get the call to help after the deal has already transpired. While this is not the preferred position to be in, it doesn’t mean we can’t help. We routinely provide services—such as asset searches, litigation support and fraud investigations—to help clients recoup their losses. However, as the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…” So to help prevent you from being fooled twice, take advantage of a due diligence investigation before you sign the deal, invest money, start paying a new vendor or make the hire.

Still Open for Business

While it would be nice to live in a world where we can simply trust everyone we come in contact with, we are not there yet. Until we get there, Hillard Heintze is still open for business, and we will continue to provide clients with the insight and assurance they need to make smart and timely business decisions. In the meantime, I will postpone my career change at the dive shop.

Pre-transaction due diligence: is a Google search enough?