Sunday, October 11, 2015

Scam Basics: Do you "Google" your upline, the company leader, and so on?

Do you Google your own name as well as those people you know? Come on, everybody does. People who go on dates google each other's name, or even the photo, just to make sure they're not being catfished.

So why aren't people Googling their MLM uplines, and businesses googling their customers, and so on?

(NOTE: Yes, I'm using "Google" as a verb, meaning "to search online, probably using Google search". You are welcome to substitute Yandex , Baidu, or whatever your favorite search engine may be. )

A few years ago I wrote about "due diligence", and the case of Janamjot Singh Sohdi and his scam, and how he managed play an investment advisor and defrauded about a thousand people out of 2.5 million dollars despite having a long rap sheet such as having investment broker license revoked, disbarred from NYSE, and so on.  All of which can be easily Googled.

In the same article, I also wrote about the suspect scheme of "Phil Ming Xu" called WCM777, and how Xu was linked to the "Vantone scam" in China. WCM777 was eventually closed by SEC.

How did I found out that Xu was linked to Vantone scam in China?

I "googled" it, of course.

And it seems that's way more due diligence than most people bother to exercise, even bankers who's supposed to be following Federal "Know Your Customer" guidelines.

Have you ever heard of Daniel Filho? How about his full name: Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho? Still no? How about his company, DFRF Enterprises (named with his initials)?  Yes, it's a scam, closed by the SEC in June 2015.  But what ELSE did you find out through Googling?

Did you find out that Daniel Rojo Filho is sometimes referred to as the "ambassador" of the Sinaloa Cartel circa 2010? (Link in Spanish, use Google Translate)

How about Daniel Rojo Filho was involved in another scheme called DWB Holdings back around 2006? (PDF of criminal complaint by DOJ)  They were apparently helping the cartels move "merchandise" into the US and money back out.  DEA and IRS ended up seizing hundreds of millions of purported drug money in about 2009-2010... much of which was under Daniel Rojo Filho's name and companies he controlled.  His partner Pedro Benavides got the blame and went to jail. Daniel Rojo Filho got away scot free, except in 2013 he agreed to forfeit another 25 million in assets.

Just Googling these facts, publically available, should tell anyone Daniel Rojo Filho is bad news, but apparently that didn't stop him from opening 17 bank accounts in the US around mid-2014, to the tunes of millions, at least according to Evans Carter, an attorney in the Boston Area, speaking to Wall Street Journal. And through these accounts, Daniel Rojo Filho managed to bilk another 18 million out of investors through his DFRF Enterprises, and most of money (about 6 mil) he spent on himself, including two Lambos and at least one Rolls Royce.

How about USFIA? What were you able to find about USFIA-Gemcoin before they got busted by US Marshalls / SEC ?  Ah, you see, they picked a (intentionally?) confusing name, because USFIA is better known as "US Fashion Industry Association". Unfortunately, you'll have to learn to read Chinese as Google translate is not very accurate when it comes to Chinese, but you should be able to find that it infiltrated China in late 2013, and actually busted in China in 2014 with over 20 arrests, and Chinese cops actually went to Thailand and got Thai police to extradite two more suspects (who had escaped) back to China. And its owner, Steve Chen, has a very checkered history in China with Amkey that dated back to 2003. Furthermore, he left China under mysterious circumstances in 1993 after searching advisory board for formation of China Unicom, and head of Catch Communications Beijing.

And how did you think I found these articles that I referred to, translated, collated, sorted, etc.?

I googled it.  (duh)

You should too.

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