MJ, a Private investigator for over 20 years, is experienced and able to investigate a financial fraud crime with outstanding success for the client. In an example of a fraud case, after collecting and preserving evidence, I am able to assist the client in filing criminal complaint with the state attorney prosecutors office. Criminal prosecution would result in an order of restitution, which is much better than a civil judgment. A criminal restitution order would force the defendant to make payment, otherwise the defendant will end up in jail for contempt of court. Any civil judgment you must search the defendant’s assets and attempt to enforce a judgment through civil avenues. Collecting a civil judgment can be extremely difficult and expensive.
A financial fraud investigation has revealed a money order scam that was very well developed. Imagine accepting a genuine money order which has been purchased and issued by a bank which is worthless. Envision and visualize a how you would feel after depositing an actual non-counterfeit money order which the bank will declare and confirm the MONEY ORDER is GENUINE but worthless. These type of financial fraud investigations are extremely complicated which explains why a experienced & skilled fraudulent criminal, usually referred to as a “Con Artist” or “Scam Artist”. Financial Fraudulent criminals always utilize their creative artistic abilities in order to trick someone out of money or goods.
This case started when I was hired by a business client in order to conduct Fraud Investigation in regards to a worthless money order that was genuine and not a counterfeit. The money order was returned back to the client by the bank with a red stamp “REFER TO MAKER”. The money order was originally issued by Money Gram and negotiated through Subject one referred to as “Steve”. The business owner was confused because the money order was not a counterfeit; However, when the business owner accepted it from the customer “Steve”, deposited in to his business bank account and afterwards was returned by the bank. The business owner immediately didn’t know what was going on and didn’t think that Steve (the customer) had anything to do with the fraud or worthless money order since the money order was not phony or a counterfeit. Please note that this wasn’t a technical issue where the bank didn’t accept the endorsement of the money order or any other similar issue that you will ever can imagine. This fraud investigation will make history and may change the way we do banking! A fraud investigation that has discovered the a fraudulent scam system that proves the exact difference between humans and technological automation.
In the beginning of any fraud investigations there are always very important steps that must be performed and thoroughly investigated in order to identify the subject (defendant) who committed the fraud. A financial fraud investigator must understand the MO (Modus operandi or know as Method of Operation), find the cause of the fraud, preserve and manage the process of evidence in order for it to be admitted in court. Here are some examples of steps & techniques that an experienced fraud investigator must engineer and execute through a chronological order.
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- Background check on all the subjects involved in the fraud investigation
- Request additional information from all companies and everyone involved
- Interview and contact all companies and everyone involved
- Organize and understand the fraud investigation outcome and sketch a theory
- Gather, accumulate and collect all the evidence correctly and within the rules of evidence and evidence code
A fraud investigator must oversee and understand the rules of evidence & code; In order for the fraud evidence to be admitted in court and to prove the fraud scam. Only the judge can determine if the evidence is reliable, relevant and accurate.
The fraud investigation has revealed that this scam involved two subjects:
Subject ONE, herein referred to as “Steve” and subject TWO herein referred to as “John”. Steve has purchased a money order for $800.00, made a color photocopy of it (front & back) and gave the photocopy to John. On the photocopy of the money order for $800.00; John wrote his name and signed the back. “The original money order is blank and has no writings on it”. Afterwards, John deposited the photocopy of the money order through an online banking application which can be downloaded and activated on most smart phones, Android phones or Iphone. “The online mobile bank applications are available through most banks and work very easily by using your smart phone camera to take a photo of a check or money order, which in turn electronically deposits a check or money order.”
Steve and John knew that the counterfeit photocopy of the money order was negotiated through money gram electronically since it was deposited first through the mobile bank application. Therefore, Steve has negotiated the original money order where he has originally purchased it from our client (the business owner). Obviously our client (the business owner) didn’t doubt the money order since it was originally issued by Money Gram and it wasn’t a counterfeit.
The money order Scam continues and may become an epidemic
Through a conversation within an interview of a lady that reported exactly the following:
After responding to a Craigslist posting seeking car owners willing to place a magnetic company logo on their car in exchange for a few hundred dollars, I learned an uncomfortable lesson about money order fraud. It sounded innocent enough until the money involved multiplied exponentially. Per the post, I expected to receive a maximum of $200 a week for a month but was told I would receive “extra money for paying the service technician” placing the decal on my car. I knew no legitimate company could afford to stay in business if it employed such practices and refused the check. My online research revealed that the company’s official website specifically included a precautionary statement mentioning “car wraps”and directed all victims to the FBI.
The lady further explained to this fraud investigator that she received a UPS envelope which contained what appeared to her as a legitimate money order for $ 2,500.00 combined with brochures and a letter. According to the instructions that she received from the male subject who spoke with her over the phone: The lady was directed to deposit the $2,500.00 money order into her bank account and immediately pay the service technician (who will come to her home) a sum of $ 1,000.00 cash. Obviously this fraud investigation case would of probably ended with the same style.
A Fraud Investigator advice is “ PLEASE DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME. Please don’t copy this method or try it, I HAVE REPORTED IT TO The Federal Bureau of Investigations & Other Governmental Federal Agencies have been notified! “I KNIDA OF RUINED IT FOR THE CON ARTIST; THEY WILL JUST HAVE TO COME UP WITH A BETTER ONE ;). I WILL BE WAITING!!! Private Investigators are licensed by the government in order to combat fraud and stop criminals who find loopholes in the system. Private Investigators are for the PEOPLE.
The fraud investigation determination was based on Steve’s Background Check investigation that disclosed several criminal records associated with financial fraud such as check & other fraudulent transactions.
The lady first thought this was a money laundry operation or scam. However, the MO (Modus operandi or know as Method of Operation) didn’t match a money laundry operation or scam. However, an experienced, skilled and talented fraud investigator would conclude that this is the same style of (MO) money order scam since the investigator that logic would explain the circumstances and how this type of money order fraudulent scam can be conducted through various techniques.
In both cases, the fraud investigations revealed that the FRAUD works by the criminal con artist subject purchase a money order, make a photo copy & deposit it via mobile banking application. Afterwards, the original non-counterfeit money order can negotiate with the victim. In my case, the unknowing victim receives the original money order and believing it to be valid and legitimate until a returned deposit comes back by the bank. It appears there are a group of individuals in the areas targeting the community.
Please advice all your friends, family, the public & citizens in order to avoid any further financial losses! Consequently, please contact me if you have experienced a similar money order fraud, OR would like me to investigate a financial fraudulent transaction.
Fraud investigations is very complex and therefore, it’s best to call a private investigator soon as possible!
Don’t wait or hesitate in fraud investigation cases time is of the essence. Fraud Investigations have proven that the association with a scam artist criminal can cause problems even if you decided not prosecute or act.
If you need a private investigator in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, or anywhere in Southern California to investigate a financial fraud case, contact Blue Systems International today – 714-592-8000.