BANKRUPT BUSINESS FOR SALE

Posted on Posted in Investigations
May 2, 2016
By Private Detective Fernando Alvarez
DIARIO LAS AMERICAS
“Bankrupt business for sale. Beware of fraud”
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Many immigrant families move to the United States every year looking for, among other reasons, political stability, economic and security that this great country offers. What many of these people do not imagine is that the scam has no flag or shame and that it may be their own compatriots who are waiting to give them an economic “stab” in the back. So one of my clients wrote to me:
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“My husband, my children and I moved to the United States just two months ago because of the difficult economic situation in our country. As we have always had our own business, we decided to buy here an established business to have a source of work and income while revalidating our professional degrees. Through friends and acquaintances we received offers of some businesses for sale, among them the sale of a restaurant of typical food of our country. We were interested in the last one and we called the owner, Joaquin (name changed), who summoned us to go to lunch the next day, to meet at the restaurant and so talk about the business. We asked him if he could see us that day but he said he could only come the next day. We attended, my husband and I, at lunch and Joaquin behaved very kindly with us, and showed us the location, the kitchen and the employees, who had no problem in continuing to work under our administration. We were fascinated, everything looked great, very clean and there were many customers, especially young people. The price was also very attractive $150,000. We asked to see a copy of the fiscal records from last year, but at the time he did not have them with him. He told us that reported numbers were very low, because they did not report everything they entered to avoid paying more taxes. We told him we would think about it, although we were already determined to buy it, and that we would meet the next day to sign the contract of sale and proceed to pay by bank transfer. We left the restaurant and as we walked towards our vehicle, a young man passed by me and said “do not buy it, it’s a fraud” and left quickly, almost running. I told my husband and now we are in doubt. Maybe that young man lied but if he said the truth we want to know. We asked Joaquin to give us a few more days to make the decision; In fact we changed the appointment to sign the contract of purchase for the following week, however he called us every so often to pressure us that there were other people interested in buying it. This has us stressed, because on one hand we want to buy it and on the other hand we do not want to get into a problem. How could you help us? “
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“Investigating, ma’am, investigating, finding the truth, that’s what we can do for you, because that’s what we know how to do.” So simple was my answer. She accepted and we immediately began the investigation.
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The research strategy would be to check the background of the business and its owners, as well as some undercover operations developed in the location itself to obtain more information. The truth soon came to light. To start Joaquin was not the real owner, but his father; nevertheless it was Joaquin who administered it. Interestingly the restaurant had no registered employees, since all the employees that our client had known the day of his visit were relatives of Joaquin and they would leave as soon as the sale and transfer took place. Joaquin and his father bought the restaurant at $200,000 and were now selling it at $150,000.  No one sells a good deal at a lower price than they paid for it originally. While the business itself had no debts, Joaquin and his father had acquired several debts on a personal level since they bought the restaurant. Undercover investigations confirmed that the business did not leave profits from the beginning and that he changed owner almost every year. Because of the bad business decision, Joaquin and his father did not get along. Joaquin was forced to sell the restaurant urgently and try to recover as much money as possible. His selling strategy was easy, when someone was interested in buying the restaurant, Joaquin invited him or her for lunch on an specific day and then called several friends and his sister’s schoolmates to “act” as clients, in order to sell the image of a prosperous business, but as soon as the potential buyers left, everything returned to the harsh reality of a failed business. The restaurant could not be worth more than $70,000, as we could estimate, but that was very little for Joaquin, who went from preparing meals to preparing a fraud, “bait-and-switch”.
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My clients were satisfied, especially since they did not lose $150,000. Then I asked them: What would have happened if that young man had not notified them in the parking lot that day and we had not done the research? Their answer was clear and concise: “Today we would be the owners of a bankrupt business.”
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When it comes to investing, remember the golden rule that says: always be wary. It is here precisely when due diligence, proper investigation is recommended.
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Beware of fraud, but if you need help, call us at 866-224-1245 or visit us at www.drakonx.com
Drakonx Investigations offers Private Investigator and Detective Services in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Fernando, Santa Ana, Long Beach, Van Nuys, Torrance, Pomona, San Gabriel, Whittier, Orange, Costa Mesa, Huntington Park, Huntington Beach, Culver City, North Hollywood, Burbank, Thousand Oaks, Tustin, El Monte, West Covina, San Dimas, Riverside, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Fullerton, Miami, Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Aventura, Miami Beach, Homestead, Kendall, Coral Gables, Doral, Miami Springs, Miami Gardens, North Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Hollywood, Miramar, Cutler Bay, Hialeah Gardens, The Hammocks, Sunny Isle, Bal Harbour, Cuba, Havana, Matanzas, Varadero, Camaguey, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Ciego de Avila, Isla de la Juventud, Guantanamo, Bayamo, Granma.