Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Fais-moi confiance", he said

Hello again Dear Reader. In today's post, I thought I would recount a small job I completed last week for a legal Client, on behalf of lawyers for an investment firm abroad.

What started out as a relatively banal case has turned into something quite interesting - with overtures of international fraud and money laundering.

But it all started with a routine tracing enquiry.

Several years ago, an enterprising gentleman Charles Wolfe (not his real name) convinced an investment firm to part with the nominal, but not inconsiderable, sum of around US$600,000. Mr Wolfe promised fair returns for this sum which he would put to use in futures trading (or similar).

Over the course of the following year, emails from the investors requesting updates as to their monies were answered with glowing testimonials from Wolfe. However, as time wore on and there were no actual funds being returned to said investors, emails became terser and responses less frequent. Wolfe always had something just about to happen, or was excited to tell his investors about, but clearly they were losing patience with his stories of imminent return on investment and wanted their money back.

At this point, Wolfe just stopped responding to their emails altogether.

Now, the investors started to become very worried indeed.

So, given that Wolfe had incorporated several companies here, the investors wanted to determine whether he was residing somewhere in the country and, if so, get an address for him. For, you see, the only details he had provided here were those of his lawyers.

Anyway, we conducted all the usual checks and there is nothing to suggest that Wolfe actually resides here - quite the opposite really. However, I did locate a number of individuals who are associated with Wolfe in other enterprises, including one Daniel James Abercrombie Cornell (not his real name either).

What is interesting about Cornell is that he and Wolfe have just incorporated two companies in the United Kingdom in early January. And Cornell has a criminal conviction in Macau (not actually Macau)  for having "false instruments", where he had forged bank statements to show that his company at the time, another Capital Investment business, had $500million in cash reserves. Which it most definitely didn't.

Cornell served some jail time after his appeal was unsuccessful. 

Does that inspire trust in this pair of 'investors'?

Through my diligent research I have a good couple of leads to suggest that Wolfe is currently residing in Paris. Now if only they'll fly me there to bring the elusive Wolfe to justice.

N'est-ce pas?


  1. I am half convinced that you work for ***** and are not a PI.

    1. Just had to redact your comment there, Anonymous, to preserve *my* anonymity.

      And not because I am, or am not, a member of (un)said organisation.

      But I'm not. Of course, if I were, I'd also say that...