Hacked Off

Hacked Off Hacking and being hacked once was an embarrassment, a red-faced moment.  Now it is part of life.  For example your humble editors have been part of an ongoing denial of service attack on his cell phone … Read More

Define Due Diligence

Define Due Diligence Over the years I have collected a few different definitions of what is due diligence. From Editor’s collection… • One who chooses not to invest based on the unremitting suspicion of … Read More

Top Ten Reasons You MUST Take Risks!

Top Ten Reasons You MUST Take Risks! by Gail Kasper, Author and Motivational Speaker When I talk about taking risks, I’m not referring to reckless, hazardous actions that imperil you or those around you. I’m … Read More

Zombies Debtors

Zombies Debtors According to ID Analytics study released on 23 April, 2012 nearly 800,000 deceased Americans each year have their identity stolen by thieves looking for financial or other gain. The identities of … Read More

Food Riots in the EU?

Food Riots in the EU? aka The Pingo Doce riots.  Pingo Doce is a chain of stores in Portugal with some 300 to 350 locations. It was May 1st and while May Day is not a big holiday in the US, for many around the … Read More

Foresquare

Foresquare Foursquare and all of its imitators use a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smart phones. Users “check in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or by a … Read More

Dark side of Creativity

The dark side of creativity: Original thinkers can be more dishonest, by Gino, Francesca; Ariely, Dan Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 102(3), Mar 2012, 445-459. In a recent paper published in the … Read More

Medical Marijuana Shops – Can you Bank Them ?

Medical Marijuana Shops – Can you Bank Them ? Federal marijuana laws are the laws the federal government enacted to criminalize marijuana possession, sale, and cultivation.  While each U.S. state has passed their … Read More

Plastic Garbage Bags

Plastic Garbage Bags So who are you?  Plastic bag from the grocery, paper bag or reusable bag?  Lets first look at the difference between plastic and paper bags. This is an excellent comparison for those who feel … Read More

A Great Obituary

A Great Obituary An obituary is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person’s life and information about the upcoming funeral or memorial. So many … Read More

Myanmar

Myanmar In the April edition of the Aegis Journal we discussed a client who we felt was more or less “uncoachable”.  But yet, in his defense, we can see many more things going on than meet the eye.  The … Read More

Build On The Spiritual Side Of Life

Build On The Spiritual Side Of Life by Gail Kasper, Author and Motivational Speaker Are we a bunch of robots? No, of course not. We are living, breathing beings who think, feel, love, offer help and support, … Read More

E-Commerce Killed The Strip Mall

E-Commerce Killed The Strip Mall I heard a new term “book desert”.  It is an area that has no books stores.  It used to be there was always a place for a few neighborhood books stores along with a big box … Read More

Grayman Pinned By Taxman

Grayman Pinned By Taxman At the moment, the grayman is a resident of a high-tax European country.  The grayman has no U.S. tax exposure, since he pays more in taxes at home than he would pay in the United … Read More

Laws are 20 years behind the IPCI it is Supposed to Protect

Laws are 20 years behind the IPCI it is Supposed to Protect Sergey Aleynikov was charged with and convicted of downloading and stealing source code from his employer Goldman Sachs.  He was convicted under the … Read More

The Cloud is DOA.

The Cloud is DOA. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as system as a service (SaaS) rather than a product, with shared resources,  such as software, and information available over a common network. Cloud … Read More

Can Fraud and Corruption be Stopped?

Can Fraud and Corruption be Stopped? We must now consider if fraud can ever be eliminated: and under this head there are three points of inquiry. (1) Whether fraud can ever be clearly defined. (2) Whether fraud can … Read More

Due Diligence and Bad Assumptions

Due Diligence and Bad Assumptions There are no disasters, only flaws in your assumptions. Brutal, but accurate. We go though life with many assumptions about life, and many of them are flat wrong. We are lulled … Read More

The Business Meal

The Business Meal In the tech world we now live in we have forgotten a great deal about how we used to conduct our due diligence on people. Today we Google them, check both public and restricted databases, we try … Read More

More Bogus Venezuelan Bonds

More Bogus Venezuelan Bonds This may actually be the final story on Venezuelan Bonds – but I doubt it.  This time the story has morphed with some truly amazing schizophrenic tones. Our group was asked to assist a … Read More

The Most Dangerous Meeting

The Most Dangerous Meeting At times we are tasked by our charges, or by circumstances, to arrange a most dangerous meeting. These are meetings held with the wanted, the notorious, the sociopath and the damned. Men … Read More

Prepare for Success and Manage Failure

Prepare for Success and Manage Failure by Gail Kasper, Author and Motivational Speaker There are two things many people don’t seem quite prepared for: success and failure. When failure happens, it throws a big … Read More

Texting

Texting Over a great pizza and a nice glass (or more) of red wine we, the illustrious editors chewing and drinking our monthly stipend from the Aegis Journal came around to the anti texting laws being proffered or … Read More

Where Policies Fail

Where Policies Fail Last week, Citibank was cited for failures of its BSA Compliance Program under a cease and desist order issues by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The Office of the … Read More

A Client Review

A Client Review We were approached by a man who wanted to sell automobiles and heavy equipment to Burma (Myanmar) for cash that some relative would collect.  He said – Burma (Myanmar) is now OK, Hillary Clinton … Read More

Due Diligence: Robust v Fragile

Due Diligence: Robust v Fragile If you mail a package to your office in Cayman and it has a computer in it, you write on the outside of the package ‘Fragile’. The fragile computer package can arrive on a … Read More

Can Fraud and Corruption be Stopped?

Can Fraud and Corruption be Stopped? We must now consider if fraud can ever be eliminated: and under this head there are three points of inquiry. (1) Whether fraud can ever be clearly defined. (2) Whether fraud can … Read More

Overcome The “Not Invented Here” Syndrome

Overcome The “Not Invented Here” Syndrome By Gail Kasper, Author and Mentor of the Top 1% Club  (http://www.gailkasper.com) Are you familiar with NIH, the “not invented here” syndrome? Perhaps it’s … Read More

Hostile Environments, how dangerous can they be?

Hostile Environments, how dangerous can they be? In corners of the world, society unravels at unpredictable times in some predictable ways.  As the first portion the times are unpredictable times – I shall avoid … Read More

The Perceived Value of a Franchise

The Perceived Value of a Franchise Operating in the world of franchised business as I do you learn that many principals that are true in business are magnified by the relationships in franchising.  It is fairly … Read More

Technology v. Thinking, aka Photo Radar v. Savvy driver.

Technology v. Thinking, aka Photo Radar v. Savvy driver. Technology seems very important to both organizations and their leaders. Piles amassed in to mountains amassed into continents of data for the purpose of … Read More

Sanctions and Compliance, A Cautionary Tale…

Sanctions and Compliance, A Cautionary Tale… On February 24, 2012, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) announced the following Civil Money Penalty Information: “Online Micro, LLC Settles … Read More

FATF 2012 AML Recommendations

FATF 2012 AML Recommendations On 16 February 2012, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) , published … Read More

Mining The Meaning From Data

Mining The Meaning From Data Our modern corporations are huge consumers and warehouses of data, actually so are our small business, and our households.  Never, in the history of mankind, has there been so much … Read More

Mind The Snail Mail

Mind The Snail Mail We seem to be very conscious of e-mail security, but are often oblivious to the security of the “snail mail” we receive at our homes and offices. Recently, in our role as consultants in the due … Read More

Very Private Meeting

Very Private Meeting One of our charges has come up with a very unique way of conducting private meetings.  It is not often we learn something new from a client. Please do not take this as a sign of arrogance or … Read More

iPhone, Blackberry, Android – Security

iPhone, Blackberry, Android – Security I asked a few different experts in electronic surveillance and cell phone security which of the three most popular smart phones is the safest and which is the worst.  The … Read More

The Office Move

The Office Move The time has come to pass and we are leaving our current office for an owned location.  As you read this – HOPEFULLY – we are comfortable ensconced in our new office – wherever it may be.  Yep – … Read More

How to Write a Policy Manual

How to Write a Policy Manual In the last several seminars we have conducted, as well as clients we have visited, a consistent constant question has arisen, How to write an effective policy manual? Well the first … Read More

Help Your Employees Get Through Failure

Help Your Employees Get Through Failure By Gail Kasper, Author and Mentor of the Top 1% Club   http://www.gailkasper.com I am sure many of you, like me, have had to lend a supportive ear to an employee or … Read More

Due Diligence and Technology

Due Diligence and Technology I love technology when applied to due diligence. It allows the uninitiated to formulate answers to questions that are well documented, timely and utterly and completely wrong. Further … Read More

Compliance Failures Promote Fraud and Blackmail

Compliance Failures Promote Fraud and Blackmail Over the last several years we have noticed an interesting development in the world of fraud.  This is a bit of a follow up to a “Get out of Jail Free” article from … Read More

China’s Legacy Bonds

China’s Legacy Bonds [caption id="attachment_6416" align="alignright" width="300"] China Bond 1911 Hukuang Railways Bond[/caption] I have been fascinated over the past several years by traffic in Post 1911 … Read More

Sue Doyle, Travel Agent Extraordinaire

Sue Doyle, Travel Agent Extraordinaire Your faithful Aegis Editors log a lot of miles each and every year, not a million as some nut did this year, but a lot and to difficult destinations. We are not the road … Read More

Back to The Basics

Back to The Basics Executive Protection is a physical endeavor, even when nothing eventful occurs.  In my many years, as an EP professional, consultant, and trainer — I have seen several mistakes repeated by good … Read More

Interviewing Witnesses in Another Country

Interviewing Witnesses in Another Country Chasing fraudsters and conducting international due diligence often requires travel to personally interview principals, witnesses, and suspects.  The process is costly and … Read More

ROBO Signers

ROBO Signers What is a ROBO signer?  We used to know it as a “rubber stamp” – a signature used by a second party, attesting that the authorized party has knowledge of the documents being “signed.”  In recent … Read More

OFAC and Offshore in the US

OFAC and Offshore in the US This is a new section for the Aegis Journal and will deal with Banking Secrecy Act, Anti- Money Laundering, and Office of Foreign Asset Control matters for all companies, not just … Read More

Corruption and The Economy of Favours

Corruption and The Economy of Favours After having wandered around 40 or more countries in my career, it’s hard not to notice the differences in the way people live and work. While it’s my work that has taken me on … Read More

Rear Window

[caption id="attachment_6422" align="alignleft" width="220"] Rear Window[/caption] Looks like there was one too many groundings — but there is apparently still some love left.  I am not sure if Mom saw it when … Read More

Charitable Organizations and Accountability

Charitable Organizations and Accountability The term business accounting immediately draws us to the field of finances, but it really is nothing more than a structure for accountability.  For a charity, … Read More

New Internet Domain, dot-XXX

New Internet Domain, dot-XXX It will be a small note in history that a new top-level-domain (TLD) has become available, as there are already so many, e.g., .za, .com, .bs, .cz, .org, .gov, .edu.  No, the … Read More

Multinational Liability for Greymen

Multinational Liability for Greymen From Columbia Reports 13 November 2011 The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has visited members of the demobilized AUC jailed in Colombia to offer them benefits in … Read More

Google Latitude and Tracing Friends

Google Latitude and Tracing Friends One drawback of using cutting edge hardware technologies and apps is that frequently, when you analyze the potential synergies, it will cause you to break into a cold sweat. A … Read More

Black Friday and System D

Black Friday and System D Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving in the United States) is a day many retail merchants have huge sales to kick off the holiday season.  The use of the word “black” is in reference … Read More

Complicated Versus Complex

Complicated Versus Complex The terms complicated and complex are increasingly being used interchangeably, and it’s starting to bug me.  While they do have many meanings in common, they are not interchangeable.  … Read More

International Domestication of Judgments

International Domestication of Judgments In a recent case an attorney I was working with was seeking overseas assets to satisfy a judgment.  I asked him if the judgment had the necessary elements to domesticate in … Read More

Another Fraudulent Venezuelan Bond

Another Fraudulent Venezuelan Bond Lets first deal with the face of the bond. Look at the text where language specific character sets are used, such as the á and é in América, devengará, deberá, and elsewhere … Read More

Piracy

Piracy Last months story on Yacht security got me thinking about Piracy. Speaking to several experts I was reminded of an old phrase — “You know what you know, and you know what you don’t know, but you don’t … Read More

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street The Occupy Wall Street gang had their first march in NYC while I was there to teach a class on Anti-Money-Laundering to Wall Street types at the India House.  I had to wade into the protest to … Read More

Another Internet-Investigator

Another Internet-Investigator There are many clever terms of derision in business, “Power Point Rangers” and “Pager People” come to mind.  PC* has added to our lexicon, with a “softer” tone often … Read More

Greek Debt

Greek Debt Another long series of flights allowed me the time to reflect on a puzzling problem –Greece and the debt crisis.  How could a county, only recently admitted to the EU, be is such sad shape? To be … Read More

Yacht Security

Yacht Security In law an “attractive nuisance” refers to a feature of our environment (natural or man-made) that has the potential to be harmful, such as an uncovered well, an un-gated pool, or a swift moving … Read More

How To Deal With Petty Enemies

How To Deal With Petty Enemies After twenty plus years as an investigator, and over thirty in finance, I should have learned how to deal with petty enemies.  I have learned, but I frequently forget. One should … Read More

Signs of The Times

Signs of The Times Every so often I buy a house in foreclosure, fix it up, and sell it.  It’s a hobby.  There have always been foreclosures — there are just more of them right now.  Today, these transactions … Read More

The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS, Elizabeth Pisani, 2008

The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS Elizabeth Pisani, 2008 This is a book that has been on my stack of reading for two years.  It came highly recommended, and I have no idea why it … Read More

Arrogant and Ignorant.

Arrogant and Ignorant. On several occasions this year alone – in the process of networking — I have offered assistance to attorneys involved in the recovery of funds from international frauds.  No charge.  On … Read More

China Is At It Again

China Is At It Again American Superconductor, a U.S. high-technology company, is suing Sinovel, China’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, for software theft.  American Superconductor is a supplier of parts and … Read More

Say What?

Say What?           “Say that cracker good with the Chelsea tractor?”             “What are you balmy, that’s bang out of order, bevvied up he was.” Or … “No price too high.” –versus- “No, … Read More

Pushing PCs, Finding The Wall

Pushing PCs, Finding The Wall We have had some fun here in the last several weeks. 1. A client asked us to look up 1.8 million IP addresses that are three years old, remove all duplicate, identify those no longer … Read More

Cloud Fog

Cloud Fog From Information Week. Sometime after 7 pm Pacific time, Thursday, September 8th, Hotmail service ceased to be available to many users around the world.  Many users registered complaints with Microsoft … Read More

Is My Cell Phone Bugged?

Is My Cell Phone Bugged? by Kevin D. Murray, 158 pages, ©2011, $11.90  A fun read for those in the field of understanding the vulnerabilities of information technologies (and that’s all I’m going to say about … Read More

The Ordeal of Change, by Eric Hoffer – Pub 1963

The Ordeal of Change by Eric Hoffer – Pub 1963 I first stumbled upon the name Eric Hoffer when reading about Ronald Coase, a Noble Prize laureate in Economics who was known to regularly present the Eric Hoffer “Hat … Read More

Gulf Reserve – a simple fraud for simple money

Gulf Reserve – a simple fraud for simple money Over the course of the year I’ve received several calls about a firm called Gulf Reserve offering returns of 3 to 4% per day – or more.  Contrary to my first … Read More

The Right To Information Act 2005, Transparency and Transitions

The Right To Information Act 2005, Transparency and Transitions In 2005 India passed the Right to Information Act (RTI) — a technical milestone in law that is altering the balance of power in India.  It is today, … Read More

An Interview With James Shortt

An Interview With James Shortt Please take the time to download and listen to this discussion with James Shortt, Executive Director of the International Bodyguard Association (IBA) on best practices in executive … Read More

Wild Geese

Wild Geese As the pressures of a recession (now affecting most of the world) increase, so does theft.  We have read innumerable articles about inventory “shrinkage” in retail establishments — and other property … Read More

Madoff victims Common Law Fraud Recovery from Banks is Barred

Madoff victims Common Law Fraud Recovery from Banks is Barred The bankruptcy trustee recovering funds for victims of Bernard Madoff has been hit with a significantly adverse ruling. (Case 1:11-cv-00763-JSR Document … Read More

Three Recent Cases against banks and the liability for losses suffered by their client from hacking and phishing.

Three Recent Cases against banks and the liability for losses suffered by their client from hacking and phishing. Economics uses the hypothetical “rational man” as a foundation for explaining human action, with the … Read More

Alang, India, Every City has a Reputation

Alang, India, Every City has a Reputation Many cities develop a reputation that, right or wrong, defines them.  Indianapolis has a car race, Milwaukee has beer, New Orleans has jazz, Macau has gambling, Paris has … Read More

Still More on TSA and Body Scanning

Still More on TSA and Body Scanning June 27, 2011 – TSA scanner Newly released internal government documents, obtained via the Freedom Of Information Act, reveal that the TSA, and specifically the head of the … Read More

Field Work in Places of Unrest

Field Work in Places of Unrest On a recent trip to France, Spain and Portugal we did a little “recon” work that produced some interesting results. As you know, there have been varying degrees of unrest in France — … Read More

Bogus Venezuelan Bonds

Bogus Venezuelan Bonds This is an excerpt of a report on some very bogus Venezuelan Bonds circulating around the fringes of the financial community.  I am not joking when I tell you I have had no less than five … Read More

How To Make Fake Gold

How To Make Fake Gold Cheap money drives out dear, if they exchange for the same price.  – Gresham’s Law The problem with making fake gold is that real gold is uniquely dense. Metal or … Read More

Treasure Data

Treasure Data There is an inescapable truth to the popular quote attributed to Willie Sutton ‐‐“I rob banks because that is where the money is” ‐‐ though there is no record that he really ever said it. … Read More

Sextants

Sextants My youngest daughter took an active interest in geometry this past year.  She really seemed to be enjoying it, and even started playing with my old transit.  So, I thought this would be a good time to … Read More

The Ocotillo Fence

The Ocotillo Fence The ocotillo cactus is a native of the Sonoran desert, which covers part of Northern Mexico and part of Southern Arizona.  The cactus is a beautiful plant either in bloom or dormant.  It grows … Read More

Night Vision

Night Vision This used to be the stuff of Science Fiction — then Science Fact in the military — and over a few short years – off-the-shelf technology.  In the 1980’s G1 and G2 night vision were things only … Read More

Credential Migration

Credential Migration As investigators we specialize in a narrow field having to do with finance, due diligence, and intellectual property. There are important related fields of investigation, such as locating … Read More

Arrested While Traveling

Arrested While Traveling We all operate under the assumption that police do not arrest people for no reason.  Yet, somehow, for some reason, law enforcement professionals in another country have chosen to arrest … Read More

Risk and Loss Aversion

Risk and Loss Aversion Under a risk-reward rubric, most people are averse to risk — even to the point where they will forego a coin toss for $1 at even money, playing liars poker for a dinner check, or drawing … Read More

Bull

Bull As your intrepid part-time editor, occasional conference speaker, and full time investigator — I’m sure that the odd things that show up in the Aegis Journal stun you.  Actually, the offbeat topics we cover … Read More

Random Comments on Smart Phones

Random Comments on Smart Phones If they’re so smart, how come they keep getting lost?  After all, they have tracking technology in them — even if it’s just cell tower information … The iPhone is the market … Read More

Vital Records On the Go

Vital Records On the Go Every so often you see a solution that is so simple and easy that you simply slap your head and say, Duhhh.  You have lost you passport or wallet, what do you do? Have you copied all of the … Read More

2003 Local Court & County Record Retrievers/ Doing Business in Emerging Markets

2003 Local Court & County Record Retrievers BRB Publications ISBN 1-879792-71-0 600 pages $39.95 https://www.amazon.com/Directory-Local-County-Record-Retrievers/dp/1879792710 This book contains profiles of … Read More

Media’s Mis-coverage of the Final Encounter with Bin Laden

Media’s Mis-coverage of the Final Encounter with Bin Laden Listening to the media coverage of the final encounter with Bin Laden I am reminded of a quote by Mark Twain, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re … Read More

In Vino Veritas

In Vino Veritas Fake vintage wine – really.  It seems that a ring of gifted and enterprising wine merchants-cum-printers are buying decent Chinese wine and selling it with labels from vintage French Wineries. … Read More

Glad ForceFlex – OdorShield with Febreze

Glad ForceFlex – OdorShield with Febreze An odd review – agreed….   One weekend we went camping and all of the food waste was dropped into a Glad ForceFlex 13 gal bag with OderShield with Febreze freshness.  … Read More

What We Do Matters

What We Do Matters I was supposed to be in Abu Dhabi teaching a class, but I am back in my office the trip to Abu Dhabi having been cancelled.  It was cancelled not because Abu Dhabi is having any problems – they … Read More

TSA and Backscatter radiation, follow up.

TSA and Backscatter radiation, follow up. In the November 2010 edition of the Aegis Journal we discussed the issue of radiation emissions from TSA deployed backscatter Body Scanners at the airports in the United … Read More

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