Executive Due Diligence & Business Scams
Shaun Morgan hasn’t stopped trying to scam others despite spending a lengthy time in prison for fraud. And if Morgan teaches executives anything, it’s never let your guard down when it comes to due diligence.
Morgan is the kind of model repeat offender, recidivist brat that should put the fear into any company who takes due diligence lightly.
The New Zealand native has spent time in prisons in the United States for running a fake bank that floated counterfeit checks to buy scores of properties. He was also jailed in Switzerland for defrauding people out of $30 million. With each scam, he pulled out all the stops; including issuing fake press releases touting fake deals to legitimize the shell companies he created to advance the schemes.
The New Zealand Herald recently reported that Morgan is out of prison and back to his old tricks. Of late, he attempted to con an Australian real estate company while using an alias, Shaun J. Monroe, and claiming to head a fictitious company called Australian Capital Investments Group, the paper reported. An executive decided to do a little snooping of his own because he was leery of Morgan/Monroe’s proposal to get funding to them at bargain basement rates in return for $375,000.
The scheme unraveled when the executive decided to do a little Internet searching. He found a picture of the man he was dealing with, but not with the name he gave. The executive also discovered the person pictured on the Internet and the one he was dealing with also shared the same cell phone number.
After news broke, it became apparent that Australian regulators are investigating a number of complaints from others, The Herald reported.
This is just the latest in shenanigans since Morgan’s 2013 release from prison. Since he was freed, he was listed as a Chief Executive of a firm attempting to take over a publicly traded energy firm. He also registered various domains leading to dubious companies shortly after his release from prison.
If at first you don’t succeed, scam, scam again might as well be Morgan’s motto. And it should serve as a lesson to anyone venturing to gain – don’t let your guard down, especially because some people just don’t stop trying to scam.
Due diligence investigative analysis is key before embarking on any substantial business or personal investment. Indications of past criminal activity, civil code violations, newspaper articles, business activity reports, and numerous other red flags are often ignored or simply not checked. Savvy con artists rely on the fact that most of their intended victims will trust them and not check their background.
There are plenty of con artists out there that are exceptionally good at sweet-talking their way into victims’ wallets, and even smart people often do not conduct a due diligence check. Due diligence is an inexpensive strategy to avoid significant financial losses, public relations nightmares, and even prison terms.
In Infortal’s experience 20% of executives do not check out.
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