THE SPORTS TALENTS SCAM

Posted on Posted in Investigations
July 18, 2016
By Private Detective Fernando Alvarez
DIARIO LAS AMERICAS
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When you think you have seen it all, it is precisely when an even rarer case makes it way to you. It is true that swindlers are artists of the lie and are capable of everything because they do not feel remorse for the damages caused to their victims or to society. However, what strikes me most is that most victims do not care to verify before acting, believe only in words and do not take seriously the need to verify, they simply believe until it is too late.
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One morning, a desperate woman came to my office with an interesting case. She explained, “I am a single mother and I have had a prosperous business for several years and I try to do everything in my power to help my son succeed in life. My son has been interested in soccer for several years and I have made sure he has the best coaches and I have to admit that he is very good as an athlete. In one of the matches between my son’s team and the team from another city we were introduced to Gaspar [named has been changed], a talent agent who told us, “For two years, I had observed the performance of your son and considered that his athletic level should be in a sports contract with a professional team.” My son’s face lit up. His dream had come true. Gaspar invited us to lunch in a restaurant to discuss in detail about this contract. He told us that he could get a contract quickly with a recognized team located in a distant city but that because of my son’s age it was better to secure a contract with a local professional team so that he could continue to live with me. To get that contract, I had to make the payment of $15,000 and it would be achieved in less than 2 months. Gaspar indicated that normally he is the one who put the money because he would act as the manager of my son as he does with other young talents, but unfortunately he was going through a complicated divorce and did not have those funds. We agreed then that I would put $10,000 and Gaspar will pay the remaining $5,000. The next day I gave him $10,000 in cash and two days later he gave me a letter signed by the sport team manager confirming receipt of the $15,000 and the beginning of the process of recruiting my son. While we waited for the day to sign the contract, Gaspar was training my son on how the system worked in the professional level and the chances of achieving greater success. I did not know how to thank Gaspar for his help and dedication to my son even though the divorce had left him with anything. God has given me the luck to succeed in business and I thought it was my responsibility to help the person who was helping my son, so I bought a new truck and gave it to Gaspar along with a $25,000 extension of my credit card so he could support his travel expenses as a talent agent. Subsequently, I made some more cash loans to pay his divorce lawyer. Almost two months after I paid the $15,000 to get my son signed, we received the news that everything was ready to sign the contract; we confirmed a date and decided to do it in a restaurant where I could invite my family and friends to celebrate the achievement of my son together. Our joy was immense and we prepared the celebration with all the details. Gaspar promised to bring the press to cover the news. On that day we were more than 50 between family and friends, but neither Gaspar nor the manager of the team nor the press came or answered the phone. Do you think I was scammed?”
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“Yes, ma’am, everything indicates that you were scammed, but you have to investigate the magnitude of the scam so that your lawyer can determine the legal steps to take so that you can recover your money and potential compensation for the damages caused to you and your family.” I replied. Later, I asked her a series of questions to understand the case because I really did not understand how it is required to pay in advance for a “talent” to be hired, or how it is possible for a “talent agent” with several talents already hired to be in such a bad economic situation. Something was fishy.
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We performed a detailed investigation of Gaspar and it did not take long to confirm that he was a con man and a convicted felon. Gaspar was not registered as a “sports talent agent”, he was not representing any “talent”, he was not divorcing and his economic situation was always very bad due to his multiple debts, drug addiction, unpaid traffic tickets and lawsuits for scams to other families with the same story of the alleged sports contract. We made the relevant inquiry with the management of the sports team with which the contract would be made, the letter was false, the signature was false and Gaspar was not known by them, besides that they were not in search of talent at that time and that the recruitment procedure did not require any payments from the talents. The sport team management was interested in interviewing the victim in order to file a formal complaint with the prosecution against Gaspar. By this time, Gaspar had already spent the $25,000 of the credit card and his whereabouts were unknown. A few days later, we managed to locate him and recover the vehicle of my client; the damages that he had caused to the vehicle were numerous. If my client had hired my services before giving Gaspar money and vehicle, she would have saved $58,000 and that unpleasant experience for her and her son.
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For your own safety always check, inquire, investigate, and verify. Trusting people blindly is never a good idea. Do not become another victim of fraud, scam, and lies that can destroy your family, your business and your children’s dreams.
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Beware of fraud, but if you need help, call us at 866-224-1245.