Fraud Investigation: “Attorney” Turned Fugitive Arrested For Fraud – E-Newsletter Article
In 2018, A Texas-based law firm engaged TIN to assist a Jordanian doctor attempting to locate, establish the assets for, and facilitate the arrest of a purported attorney (our Subject) in reference to an eight (8) figure debt. The doctor had previously extended a business loan to our Subject, who was also a Jordanian citizen. Over a period of a year, the Subject had issued twenty-two (22) checks – totaling $ 15 million – to our client as payment toward the loan amount; however, all of the checks issued were fraudulent. In attempts to contact the Subject, the doctor discovered he had unexpectedly fled Jordan and his whereabouts were unknown.
Information initially provided by our Texas law firm indicated that while in possession of a Jordanian passport – and a suspicious-looking passport from the Dominican Republic – the Subject had traveled from Jordan to Dubai, then to the U.K., and was believed to be now living somewhere in Central Texas.
Through in-house research of TIN proprietary databases, we were able to determine that the Subject had just established several credit accounts using an AKA and a fictitious U.S. Social Security number. We were also able to establish that the Subject was reporting two (2) residential addresses in Austin, Texas – one (1) was a hotel and the other was a unit in a mid-tier apartment complex. Through site visits to both addresses, there was no sign of our Subject or either of the two (2) vehicles believed to be associated with him and his wife.
About a week later, our Investigators ran these same addresses again and discovered that one (1) of the vehicles in question was now parked in a remote area within this same apartment complex. Through private record searches, we discovered that our Subject had just established a new utility account at an apartment different from the unit number he had originally reported, yet within this same complex. Covert, mobile surveillance of this apartment unit and the wife’s vehicle was immediately established.
On our second morning of surveillance, a TIN Investigator unexpectedly walked right up to our Subject, who was standing on the back porch of this 1st level apartment unit drinking a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette. Using a suitable pretext, our Investigator discreetly obtained a perfectly identifiable surveillance video of our Subject and walked away without arousing suspicion. A photo was captured from this surveillance video and then promptly sent to our law firm and to the client for ID verification. BINGO – our Subject had now been located without drawing attention to the fact that he was now under investigation in the U.S. While the process of initiating an international lawsuit against our Subject could now begin, TIN continued this investigation with a concentration on several additional objectives that were critical for our client.
TIN was subsequently directed to identify our Subject’s current place of employment and/or any active businesses he may be associated with in Texas. We quickly discovered that our Subject was not actively employed for a U.S. company under his legal name, or under his AKA. Under his AKA; however, our Subject had just established several Limited Liability Companies through a series of Texas business filings. The entities which the Subject now owned or was determined to be associated with consisted of two (2) Restaurants, two (2) Food Services trucks, a Brazilian Grill, and a Food Distribution company. Further investigation revealed that our Subject personally owned and was actually operating a Mediterranean Food Truck. No significant value; however, was established for any of the other newly formed entities. Consequently, an investigation into our Subject’s personal assets was promptly initiated.
Through an extensive and exhaustive search of Non-Financial and Financial Assets, no viable, personal assets were identified for our Subject in the U.S. or in the Dominican Republic, other than one (1) depository account with approximately $ 20,000.00 in it and two (2) accounts which reflected overdrawn balances. While continuing covert, mobile surveillance, the Subject was followed to a local, Texas bank where our Investigators actually witnessed our Subject make at least one (1) wire transfer – involving a large sum of money – to a bank in Jordan.
Within a few weeks, we discovered that new criminal charges for felony Aggravated Theft had just been filed in Travis County, TX against our Subject and an Open Warrant was issued for his arrest. No longer living at his original apartment complex in Austin, TX, we were unable to establish any new residential leads for our Subject.
About a month later, a fresh lead was developed to another residential complex in North Austin. Through personal inquiry to this new apartment complex, a TIN Investigator was informed that our Subject did in fact live in the apartment number in question for a short period of time, yet had just moved out of the complex – literally days before our inquiry. Through further in-house investigation, no new residential and/or employment leads were developed for this Subject.
Fraud Investigation Conclusion
A request was promptly made to obtain the Travis County court docs for the Aggravated Theft case – and the active warrant – and an associated civil case that had been recently filed against our Subject. A few days later and while waiting for the court docs to be received, Investigator Pellerin received the following message from our Jordanian client:
Thank you for all of the efforts you made for our case. It was very nice dealing with your firm for your honesty and clear information. I would like to report to you that our Defendant was arrested by the international police in Egypt while traveling from Turkey. At the time, he was using his Dominican Republic Passport and traveling under his AKA. He has now been jailed and is currently incarcerated under his legal name in Jordan.
Case closed – TIN is always grateful to play a part in bringing a client matter to resolution and our Subject one (1) step closer to justice.
About the Author:
Bill Pellerin is the founder and President of Texas Investigative Network, Inc., a Texas Corporation founded in 1994. The company employs licensed investigators in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, and San Antonio, Texas, and conducts investigations for several major Texas corporations, law firms, insurance companies, and financial institutions. Learn more