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Horror stories abound about smooth-talking con men talking people out of their money. To pick up the newspaper is to be practically assured of reading about another account. Often, the swindler can fool smart, accomplished people into going along with some scheme that, in hindsight, seems completely implausible.

In one case worked by ResultQuest investigators, a West Texas rancher with a gift for gab was able to amass a turboprop aircraft, luxury cars, and a country estate by swindling a lender out of millions in loan proceeds supposedly secured by many thousand heads of cattle. As it turned out, the collateral was only a fraction of the inflated count. The crook had merely driven the city-dwelling loan officer in his customized Ford dually pickup to the same featureless Panhandle pasture from several different directions. He distracted the banker with jokes and tall tales in order to conceal the circuitous meanderings and count the same herd on the same land numerous times. When the loans went bad, and the bank went to collect, the inflated count was discovered. It was also found that the rancher had earlier done the same thing to a cattle investment firm that had sued. If the lender had thought to check, it would have discovered this lawsuit.

In another case, a smooth-talking con man bought out a small but strong Texas bank and then proceeded to pillage the assets by forcing through loans to cronies that eventually went unpaid, ultimately forcing the closure of the bank. In the end, it was proven that the money used to buy the bank was funded by a prior fraud that had led to a lawsuit that was active when the shareholders agreed to sell. The con man, though, had begun his negotiations with the bank by flying into the small town aboard a Lear jet, which was actually rented utilizing a bounced check. He deplaned sporting an expensive suit and a diamond Rolex. None of the shareholders thought someone of such an apparent means merited a background check, which would have uncovered the fraud suit.

In these and countless other scenarios, intelligent people allowed the appearance of prosperity and a silver tongue to cloud their judgment. It is always wise to be wary of flashy “good old boys” who flash their wealth and talk a good game that conceals ill intent. Better to be cautious and put them under the magnifying glass. You never know what will come into focus.

If you are considering investing with an individual, you should contact the skilled investigators of ResultQuest at 713-781-9040. Our specialists will help you make an informed decision and possibly save you from making a costly mistake.