Anatomy of a Scam Investigation: Chapter Nine

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32 Responses

  1. Rick H. says:

    Ken, as an atheist, allow me to offer the sentiment: May the Lord bless you and your good works.

  2. TJIC says:

    Thanks for the update! I look forward to the day, even if its years out, when you post his a picture of him in orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.

    …even if I would prefer some less-statist solution, like a private enforcement firm selling him off into slavery… ;-)

  3. Matt says:

    Can't Civilians swear out Criminal Complaints themselves. Or did the feds abolish that procedure. I know some Western states still have it on the books from back in the day. The Old West seems like an apt metaphor for todays high tech con world

  4. David says:

    … off planet…

  5. Ken says:

    The problem, Matt, is that the presumption that "citizens" would do a better job is suspect. Citizens without power are just as likely to abuse power, if they suddenly get it, as people who already have power.

    Plus, the citizens who try "citizens warrants" these days tend to be nuts.

  6. aka says:

    Sometimes it seems that if we could dig up evidence that the Bells were growing a spindly-ass ganja plant under an Easy-Bake oven light, they’d be arrested already, and yet David Bell can con any number of people without being arrested.

    If they grew marijuana, the cops could seize their assets. They can't for fraud. Is it any surprise the cops care a lot more about pot than people who do real damage to business and society?

  7. TJIC says:

    @ken:
    > Citizens without power are just as likely to abuse power, if they suddenly get it, as people who already have power.

    I'm not 100% sure of that.

    I don't think that citizens are angels (because people aren't angels), but all in all, those in power are – on average – the kind of people who WANT power.

    Thus, I trust the average citizen SLIGHTLY more than the average government employee.

    …and a HELL of a lot more than the average politician.

  8. marco73 says:

    My God, can't someone just report this guy for having overdue library books? We know that draws the cops:
    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/01/02/charlton-library-sends-police-to-collect-overdue-books-from-5-year-old/

  9. marco73 says:

    Ken, I think you are doing a great service by publicizing Bell and his sacms. Hopefully your postings will warn people to sat away from Bell while the legal system grinds towards locking him up.
    My previous post just shows points out how priorities are so screwed up that this con man can harm people's lives for years before he will have to pay for his deeds, yet a 5 year old gets a visit from the cops for overdue library books.

  10. The part about him leaving people with HUGE medical and child-support debt is just infuriating. This man is ruining peoples' lives while he drives around in his Lexus. I hope the fucker gets what's coming to him.

  11. Also, Quipp's picture rocks!

  12. Dan Weber says:

    What are the ethics of letting the country club know about this?

    (Note that is an honest question. I'm not doing the sly "hey everyone, go annoy that innocent third party." Ken's already warned us against that in a prior chapter, and that warning should stop you even if basic decency didn't.)

    Maybe a reader here is a member of that club?

  13. Dan Weber says:

    (Sorry for the double, but Ken, you misspelled "country club" in your post. I think this post should turn up when people search for that country club so they know a financial predator is in their midst; otherwise I wouldn't be so picayune. Feel free to delete this comment after that's fixed.)

  14. Ken says:

    Thanks, Dan, fixed.

    I'm not commenting on the country club issue.

  15. Ken says:

    Note major update to first section of heading 4.

  16. Ken says:

    Hey, if anyone has the ability to put this series on Reddit, it would be appreciated.

  17. Andrew says:

    I cannot get over how awesome the "Snark Knight" graphic is.

  18. Raoul says:

    We have been burned by David Bell for a large sum of money and we really want to see him and his brother behind bars. We want to demonstrate to the San Bernardino County DA's office that he a criminal enterprise, but it's going to take people to come forward. So if you were burned by David or Branden Bell or know of an individual or company that was I would like to get that info and bring it all to the District Attorney. So far we have found a few people he has scammed money out off and it ranges from small amounts to very large.

    Thank you,

    Raoul

  19. Robert says:

    I've been reading your blog for several months and following this story… Ironically, the company I work for just received the UST invoice via US Mail yesterday! I pasted the story around the office and our IT guy brought it to my attention.

    We are located in Seattle and have to question how UST would fulfill this "preventative maintenance" service.

    I can’t believe he is still sending out these invoices

  20. Ken says:

    Robert: would you mind emailing me a copy of the invoice? Feel free to black out your name and address.

  21. X says:

    The part about him leaving people with HUGE medical and child-support debt is just infuriating. This man is ruining peoples' lives while he drives around in his Lexus. I hope the fucker gets what's coming to him.

    The medical insurance issue came from me. I am barely able to feed my kid and am living with family because of the medical debt he has put me in (my wages are being garnished). It's absolutely sickening and completely overwhelming. I have no idea how to get help to make it all stop, and I've even emailed news channels, radio stations, etc. to try and get help. It's caused so much grief in my life, I can't even explain!!!

  22. Another FAN says:

    Next time you hear from Cindy, ask her which "general contractor" did all the construction work for her Rancho Cucamonga Spin Studio and if she knows any of the subcontractors or suppliers. She can find a list on the UST Dry Utilities/Development list of debtors. Phone systems, all through US Telecom, suppliers listed on the list of debtors. I be suprised if they pay rent at any of their locations.

  23. Chris says:

    Thank you very much Ken for your hard work investigating the Bell brothers. These guys will con anybody they can. Unfortunately I, too, fell victim to their tricks. I ran a small web development consulting company that built their website as UST Dry Utilities, Inc. which turned into UST Development, Inc. before the site was completed.

    I was referred to them by an ex co-worker who was friends with Michelle Bell (wife of Brandon Bell) who was just starting Pedal Spin Studios at the time. I spoke with Michelle for quite some time about building a website for her when she referred me to her husband Brandon Bell who needed a website for UST Dry Utilities. I worked with them for a few months towards the end of 2009. When it came time for payments, I began working with David Bell who provided the standard line of excuses and lies.

    I would suggest digging into Pedal Spin Studios as well. I wouldn't be surprised if this is an extension of the fraud perpetrated by the husbands of the two "owners." It is quite suspicious that Cindy Bell (aka. Cynthia Bell, wife of David Bell) and Michelle Bell (wife of Brandon Bell) are the two "partners" in the operation. Pedaling housewives certainly provides an excellent cover for fraudulent activities.

  24. Scott Jacobs says:

    I think I have a DVD on that topic…

  25. Denise Scherer says:

    I think that all persons who have had misdealings with David Bell and UST should show up at his next court appearance. I plan on sitting in the front row with a BIG smile on my face!

    Where: San Bernardino County Court, 351 N. Arrowhead Ave.
    San Bernardino, CA 92415
    When: 1/20/12 8:30 AM Dept. R5

  26. rick says:

    Ken please email me a contact number, you will like the info I can give you.
    Thanks

  27. Christina says:

    I'm sure the Bell bro's will not be at the hearing. They never go, do they? It's always another attorney "working" for them.

    I'm afraid if I went I would end up arrested. I'm a pretty pissed off woman right now!

  28. Denise Scherer says:

    Well, today David Bell went to the pre-trial hearing. His attorney Paul S. Geller was relieved as his attorney and a public defender was appointed. The new pre-trial date is set for Thursday, March 1st.
    Can't wait.

  29. Arclight says:

    And today I just an a note from AP asking me to confirm payment for a US Telecom invoice sent late last year. I am so glad I happened across this article and was able to tell them not to pay it.

  30. Ken says:

    Arclight, do you mind redacting your personal identifying information and sending me the invoice at ken at popehat dot com?

  31. Sean says:

    David Bell is taking flying lessons? So when everything starts to crumble and he's about to go to prison for life, he can fly away to some remote island and hide out? This guy has all his bases covered…

  32. Greg says:

    Thanks for the interesting series. We just received a bill for $425 on 2/15/2012. I guess the scum wont quit until in jail or dead.

    Great work thanks again.