Letters spelling out Real and Fake

The curious case of the counterfeit crypto CEO

A recent report exposing glaring red flags surrounding a collapsed cryptocurrency fund and their CEO earns this investment and its players a top spot in the Due Diligence Hall of Shame. The warning signs were so obvious, it’s hard to believe that anyone checked before getting involved. The Guardian Australia’s investigation revealed that Steven Reece […]


file folders for fraud and investigations

Spotlight on fraud: Catching up on the Elizabeth Holmes trial

For fraud fighters worldwide, the spotlight is currently on the Elizabeth Holmes criminal trial, which started last week in San Jose, California. The case, U.S. v. Elizabeth Holmes, et al., is the culmination of a broad investigation into Holmes’ and her then-boyfriend Sunny Balwani’s…”allegedly deceptive representations about their company and its medical testing technology” and […]


Shamed businessman with sack over his head

Top post: Due Diligence Hall of Shame – The other guy checked them out

This article was originally published in June 2016 and was first in my due diligence hall of shame series. I’m still intrigued by the lack of due diligence and recently heard this case discussed during a webinar on Fraud and Pop Culture with Kelly Paxton and Jo Erven. I’ve been collecting articles that illustrate some […]


Trust, but verify

Due Diligence Hall of Shame: Trusting just one source

You’re looking for a financial planner, a trusted adviser and professional. Where do you go? Maybe you try LetsMakeAPlan.org, a directory operated by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. But, can you trust that your searches there will lead you to the right individual? According to a July 30th Wall Street Journal article, the […]


How well do you know your candidate?

How well do you know your candidate?

The political season is in full swing, and not a year goes by that you don’t read something that makes you wonder – Why didn’t they know about this before? A recent example is my latest entry in the Due Diligence Hall of Shame, because, in politics – as in life – it’s good to […]


cannabis investment due diligence

Beware of special deals: Is it too good to be true?

Like any emerging industry, legal cannabis attracts a lot of risk-takers with dreams of making it big. Unfortunately, it also attracts a lot of fraudsters, luring investors with promises of fast and easy profits. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) sets in, and people tend to rush into the next great deal without taking the time […]


Early-stage due diligence for workplace misbehavior

Digging into workplace misbehavior

“Plays well with others” Remember your report cards from kindergarten? Early on, we were encouraged and graded on our ability to get along with classmates and teachers. Now that we’re all grown up (in some ways), it seem that we’re still learning. Thanks to recent high-profile alleged improprieties, the spotlight is definitely on how well […]


Third-party due diligence

Manage risk with third-party due diligence

On February 6th, The New York Times reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fired contractor Tiffany Brown, sole owner and employee of Tribute Contracting LLC. The agency hired Brown’s firm after Hurricane Maria to supply food for hungry residents in Puerto Rico. It appears that, instead of the agreed-upon 18.5 million meals, Brown […]


fruad prevention

Hedge fund fraud – The real story

If ever there was a candidate for the Due Diligence Hall of Shame, this is it. Thanks to investigator Brian Willingham, who posts really good stuff on Twitter, I came across a recent NY Times article that describes the fraud and the outcome, and they’re both shameful. I’ll start with the outcome, and then I’ll […]


Due diligence hall of shame

Due diligence mishaps – What were they thinking?

Writing about due diligence mishaps is a tricky proposition. It’s easy for me to second guess why someone goes through with a partnership or investment, even with obvious warning signs. Usually, the news sources provide few details, and it doesn’t seem fair to judge after the deal goes bad. And then there are the cases […]

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