Anatomy Of A Scam Investigation: Chapter Eight

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12 Responses

  1. Doug says:

    thanks, again.

  2. Dan Weber says:

    Shit just got real.

  3. katie says:

    Such a good series of articles. Thanks Ken

  4. Bruce says:

    When this story started I thought maybe they were just opportunists hoping to catch a few AP clerks off guard and making the money with volume.

    As more details have been revealed, these guys are just relentless. Almost as much work as a real job. It's also clear just how toothless our various enforcement agencies are. Why bother to register business names? No one seems to be checking the applications. What does the BBB do other than issue largely unread warnings to try and avoid getting scammed by these guys.

    They seem to have been caught out a few times and yet are still able to operate essentially the same scam from the same locations under the same names.

  5. louise says:

    Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

  6. tpp says:

    I have one request.

    Please get the law enforcement agencies involved sooner rather than later, so that these career scammers can stay the rest of their lives behind bars. This scum has made a career out of scamming, and has left a trail of victims for decades. I can't believe he's still at large. It's ridiculous.

  7. Davey says:

    You said,
    Mr. Bell – Don't pick up the soap?

  8. I am trying my local builders union contact to see if he can reach across the country to find someone in the LA area who can help you. If anything comes back from that I'll let you know.

  9. Ken says:

    Dear Alhambra-based SBC Global/Mac/Firefox user:

    I know you searched for me by name once. I know you're camping this series.

    Why won't you introduce yourself?

  10. Rich Rostrom says:

    I have reason to reincorporate a company in Illinois. When I entered the name into the Secretary of State's application web page, I was informed that the name had already been used (which is correct, I'm reincorporating with the same name) and might be rejected.

    ISTM that an application for a fictitious business name ought to be checked against existing business names. Allowing the registration of an FBN that duplicates a real business's name is an open invitation to fraud.

    Incidentally, you write "In my experience, nobody is as chilling as a career con man.The level of sociopathy — the extent to which everyone is merely an object to be manipulated — is difficult to grasp."

    But Hollywood loves to romanticize con men. The protagonist of Burn Notice is basically a con man. So are the "heroes" of Leverage. Many years ago there was a series about a crew of "benevolent con men" called The Rogues. And of course there was The Sting.

    How do you feel about this practice?

  11. Octopede says:

    I've been following this series for awhile, and am hooked. What interests me especially is that I had, right after high school, a handful of friends who viewed scam activity like this as their life plan. They listened to flimflam motivational cassettes about how to power-handshake people, got in on numerous pyramid schemes, and shady scam business after shady scam business.

    I think they did this out of some misunderstood parable about being ruthless in business, and whatever other self-affirmation-through-wealth babble they were constantly ingesting. Eventually, they resorted to flat-out robbery and were tried and convicted. Makes me wonder about the character of the parties mentioned, and what sets and maintains one on this sort of path. There seems to be a personality type, this over-assertiveness mixed with a thinly-veiled helplessness.

    Anyway. Nice work, Ken.

  12. A says:

    Hope all is well…