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

Multiple Citizenships

Multiple Citizenships In the environments of the global executive, secondary citizenship has is value, not just in security, but in seeking opportunity.  The passport of a small nation, reduces your profile for … Read More

VPN’s, use them or expose your IPCI.

VPN’s, use them or expose your IPCI. Back in 1993, a cartoon in the New Yorker Magazine expressed a vision of the Internet as an essentially anonymous medium. The cartoon featured a dog peering at a video display … Read More

Due Diligence is now a Credentialed Profession

Due Diligence is now a Credentialed Profession The International Due Diligence Organization was founded to provide continuing education, establish professional standards, and provide a forum for professionals to … Read More

The Gods of Greenwich, by Norb Vonnegut

The Gods of Greenwich, by Norb Vonnegut What a fun read.  As a reformed investment banker I love the detail and the intrigue.  It is a great read and good fun.  Trouble bankers, femme fetal executioners and a … Read More

88.54% Sales Tax

88.54% Sales Tax I rented a car at the Phoenix Airport from Advantage Rent A Car.  The rental for the car was 2 days – total rental fee $40.86.  When you add, Concession Fee Recover of 11.10% at 5.21, Additional … Read More

Do Global Background Checks Really Exist?

Do Global Background Checks Really Exist? Global background checks offered by companies on the internet (no human involvement) are normally a scam. There are a few firms that actually offer truly satisfactory … Read More

TPLACs go up in flames!!!! – Back on Communication…

TPLACs go up in flames!!!! – Back on Communication… India reiterated to BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion, and other companies providing encryption in their products, that they will have to be open to … Read More

Really Dumb Ideas, so we shall mock them.

Really Dumb Ideas, so we shall mock them. A) Counterfeit Tickets At a recent “celebrity event – ticket were sent in advance.  Now for many younger people this was the great event for their years.  The tickets … Read More

DuPont Dope Slapped

DuPont Dope Slapped In state where judges have no direct authority under court procedure rules to impose sanctions for e-discovery violations, as do federal judges, a state circuit court judge in Miami, inflamed by … Read More

Due Diligence – Or Should We Say ‘Do Diligence’

Due Diligence – Or Should We Say ‘Do Diligence’ The point of due diligence is the process of doing one’s homework to correctly identify and understand the risks of a choice. It is not the process of … Read More

February Snow Brings April Insurance Claims

February Snow Brings April Insurance Claims There are several forecasts predicting severe flooding for the central Midwest and east. The snow has fallen and has not melted, thus no gradual dispersion of water. All … Read More

Fun with Security Codes and Cards

Fun with Security Codes and Cards One of the investigators with our group likes to eat, but he doesn’t like to cook. He’s a delivery or takeout type of guy. He was recounting a story when on a particularly cold day … Read More

Telecoms to Come Under AML Laws

Telecoms to Come Under AML Laws  The World Bank has called for Central Bank regulation of telecommunication companies that offer money transfer and mobile banking services — a move that will raise customer … Read More

Egypt, Executive Protection and Communication

Egypt, Executive Protection and Communication Executive Protection Egypt and the January ÆGIS Journal Issue. We warned you to be prepared last month, and now we have an example. Government regulation and control … Read More

China turns it spies on Business.

China turns it spies on Business. If you have been reading the FT, WSJ, New Straits Times or The Standard, you will have noticed the comments of several business owners who are giving up on China – giving up … Read More

Words vs. Deeds

Words vs. Deeds   “Words have no relation to action otherwise what kind of diplomacy is it? Words are one thing: actions another. Good words are a mask for concealment of bad deeds. Sincere diplomacy is no more … Read More

A peek at what we are reading

A peek at what we are reading Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea, by Richard Henry Dana Jr. Pub 1840 Simple Rules for a Complex World, by Richard A. Epstein, Pub 1985 (timeless) KGB, … Read More

“TALES” from the Pacific – Fraud and Deceit in the Developing World

“TALES” from the Pacific – Fraud and Deceit in the Developing World Developing countries, or emerging economies, are particularly prone to fraud and scams since they often lack the legal infrastructure and the … Read More

Electronic Pick Pocketing This video shows very clearly the problem of the RF and RFID cards. We are not endorsing this fellow’s cure – as there are many similar … Read More

Jammed Networks

Jammed Networks   Business travel for Executive Protection teams requires building relationships and having excellent communications. We come to depend upon things like cell service and WiFi networks being open … Read More

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning “Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is … Read More

Outlook for 2011

Outlook for 2011 Following are a few issues that are starting to move, and we in the financial and business communities should expect to see some guidelines in the near future. Cloud Computing. Look for rules and … Read More

The Poisoner’s Handbook, by Deborah Blum

The Poisoner’s Handbook By Deborah Blum – published by Penguin Press ISBN 978-59420-243-8 at $25.95 This is a book about intentional poisonings at the dawn of forensic science, and how detectives begin to catch … Read More

Real Apple Technology?

Real Apple Technology? What did they do to these apples to get them to look like this? … Read More

A Hand Shake

A Hand Shake You can’t shake hands over the Internet. This picture is of a small ring from 100- 200 AD at the Kunsthistorishes Museum in Vienna, and its story illustrates the point I wish to make. It was made of … Read More


Austerity  I am writing this from Vienna in mid December. It is a week or so after the student riots in England, brought on by tuition hikes at the Universities. The Greeks are in full civil union strike mode, … Read More

Sounds Familiar…

Sounds Familiar…  Part of a story from the ACFE Newsletter in December … “China is expected to overtake the U.S. in GDP sometime around mid-century, according to the latest economic research. And for that … Read More

The Right Question.

The Right Question. The most valuable part of any education is learning to ask the right questions at the right time. I recently sat in on over 40 employee interviews. The questions asked were, for the most part, … Read More


Secretariat The movie Secretariat chronicles the successes and failures of owner Penny Tweedy and “Big Red” (aka Secretariat). In the beginning of the movie Penny is happily ensconced as a suburban Denver housewife … Read More

Jury Instructions/ The Digital Age

Jury Instructions/ The Digital Age Judges routinely admonish jurors only to consider the evidence presented to them at trial, and not to consider outside information. Do not look at the TV or read the papers. So … Read More

The Edges of Technology

The Edges of Technology A few stories from the headlines have attracted my attention these last few weeks. “New Trojan viruses that reside on computers and send the computers information of to an unknown server … Read More

TSA Body Scanner

TSA Body Scanner “TSA Naked Body Scanner Images found on the internet”; “Backscatter radiation is harmful especially in cumulative doses”; “Backscatter poses no health risks”. The new TSA screening … Read More

Get out of Jail Free

Get out of Jail Free One of your editors was speaking at the Offshore Investment Conference in San Juan Puerto Rico in November, and enjoyed a presentation by Howard Fisher. Part of his comments revolved around … Read More

The Cold Case

The Cold Case The fraud was many years ago. Fraudsters, victims and witnesses have moved on and have become difficult to locate. Clues are sparse. The statute of limitations is about to toll. Yet, a client wants … Read More

AntiCorruption Professionals

AntiCorruption Professionals Corruption sucks the vitality out of an economy by placing formidable obstacles to business formation and operation. Procedural obstacles are small when compared to the overwhelming … Read More

Touring Bicycles

Touring Bicycles If racing bikes were sports cars, touring bicycles would be pickup trucks. Touring bikes are designed to carry gear. Touring bikes have fittings that allow racks to be mounted, and to the racks you … Read More

You can Scam but You Cannot Hide.

You can Scam but You Cannot Hide. One of our longtime clients and friends was recently the victim of a “purchase” on Craigslist. While we initially meet most of our clients as victims, this victim was a very … Read More

Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds Virtual worlds have many opportunities that simply are not available to us in the physical world. Notice I avoid saying the “real” world. The virtual worlds are every bit as real as the physical … Read More

What you can’t see can hurt or kill you

What you can’t see can hurt or kill you No place is safe, so I always visit the CDC site before a trip ‐‐ even a short trip in the US or Europe. For example, look at the CDC map for mosquito born disease in … Read More

False Knowledge

False Knowledge “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” ‐‐ George Bernard Shaw False knowledge is at the root of many ill‐conceived adventures and investments. It is also … Read More

P.J. O’Rourke on The Wealth of Nations

P.J. O’Rourke on The Wealth of Nations This book is part of a Series of books published by Atlantic Monthly Press called “ Books That Changed The World”. While P.J. O’Rourke is better known for his dry wit … Read More

Some things are just a bad idea.

 Some things are just a bad idea. These two pictures are from a series of Metro Posters in Madrid promoting the use of the Metro Rail system. The picture has been defiled at almost every station I traveled from 18 … Read More

Technical Due Diligence / CPAs

Technical Due Diligence / CPAs This is just a short admonition to those who think they can do it. You can’t. You cannot do financial due diligence as a CPA, you can deal with the matters that are relevant to your … Read More

You’re Under Attack!

You’re Under Attack! Stuff happens. You have fired an employee who holds a grudge, a competitor is libeling or slandering you, or you’ve offended a fringe advocacy group. You are under attack. We have worked … Read More


Forecasting A junior high school student can project the exact temperature at which water will freeze given the variables of atmospheric pressure and salinity. Conversely, a municipal budget department run by an … Read More

Policy-Manual Time Bombs

Policy-Manual Time Bombs If you are working in a financial instruction, you will have at least one policy manual on Due Diligence (DD) and Know Your Client (KYC). These manuals have probably been assembled in a … Read More

Men’s Shorts

Men’s Shorts We are all slaves to fashion, whether we admit it or not. My question is, why is the master so ‐‐ well – brutal? Your editor went shopping for shorts. It was a 110‐degree day in Phoenix and my … Read More

Across the US by Bus

Across the US by Bus Traveling by bus is not my preferred method of travel, but when health conditions prevent travel by air; that leaves driving, buses, trains, and boats. I don’t drive, and it’s a long cab fare. … Read More

MSBs and Banks

MSBs and Banks Money Service Businesses (MSBs) include currency exchanges, casa de cambios, and other similar businesses that offer a host of personal banking and business services, including check‐cashing, … Read More

Leaky Data

Leaky Data There are small things we do as professionals that can get us into trouble, both at home and away from home. Here are a few things to think about. 1. Auto responding email. In an auto responding email we … Read More

Algorithmic Trojans empty banks account

Algorithmic Trojans empty banks account Criminal gangs are using sophisticated algorithms in a creative but sinister fashion to optimize the placement of their fraudulent web sites, thereby crowding out legitimate … Read More

Bonds of Internal Sovereignty

Bonds of Internal Sovereignty Federally recognized Native American tribes operate as sovereign nations which have their own governments within the physical domain of the US. That means in theory, because it has not … Read More

A Horse story…

  [caption id="attachment_6520" align="alignleft" width="440"] Richard and Burke in Samarquand[/caption] A 

 … Read More

Cyber War, by Richard A. Clarke

Cyber War, by Richard A. Clarke  $25.99 ISBN 9780061962233 It is a great read about how vulnerable our computer networks are and how dependent we are upon those networks. He takes particular aim at shoddy … Read More

Cash Based Businesses Still Exist

Cash Based Businesses Still Exist I was recently monitoring an online conversation on an AML Compliance blog between bankers with the following stated dilemma: “Client is a tobacco broker and continually deposits … Read More

Smart Phones

Smart Phones There are 46,000 droid apps with a reported 20% of those applications allowing third parties access to your phone. iPhones are being attacked via SMS messages and the info hacked. Blackberries to be a … Read More

Sales versus Privacy

Sales versus Privacy An interesting issue arose over discussion about Executive Protection when your editor was visiting Nassau, The Bahamas. Our man in Nassau was showing us some of the different luxury water … Read More

That’s not nice.

That’s not nice. A technical training firm that had educated over 20,000 students without any complaints received ‐ in one week ‐ 16 requests for refunds, followed by over 30 more refund requests the next week … Read More

Vigny Walking Stick

Vigny Walking Stick $100.00 As readers know, we have a particular fondness for walking sticks, canes, and umbrellas for defensive use. We were, therefore, excited to discover that Dirk Folmer of Combat Canes was … Read More

But I can get it cheaper…

But I can get it cheaper… One of the fascinating pieces of business is the cost of goods and services, with there often being several options at several prices. We face this issue frequently, because the work we … Read More

You need how many knives?

You need how many knives? People are often astonished by the amount of stuff we carry about us: Guns, knives, clubs, flashlights, et cetera. The other day someone asked us how many knives we habitually carried. The … Read More

Steal me now

Steal me now One might imagine that, in these difficult times, economic espionage would be on the rise. And, in fact, that is true. The cost of investing in theft is much lower that the cost of investing in … Read More

OFAC compliance issues

OFAC compliance issues Contributed by Eric A Sohn, CAMS, Senior Engagement Manager, Accuity ( Contributed articles do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of ÆGIS. Did Credit Suisse’s $536 … Read More

Financial Regulatory Reform

Financial Regulatory Reform Department of the Treasury 89 pages The Treasury Department has released its document on what it would like to do in the … Read More

Vegan Chinese food

Vegan Chinese food We recently got a call from a friend who said that his favorite Chinese restaurant in New York’s Chinatown was Buddha Bodai (, a Buddhist/Kosher Chinese … Read More

Cambio de California

Cambio de California Q and A  on California and the IOUs, or Much ado about what to do with an IOU The State of California intends to issue IOUs. This really is an interesting event. In theory only the US Treasury … Read More

Are ASRs obsolete?

Are ASRs obsolete? Recently someone asked us whether the pepper-bases personal defense spray– generally referred to as the ASR, was dead, effectively replaced by the Taser™ and other emergency safety tools. It … Read More

Spying in the British milk industry

Spying in the British milk industry According to the Leicester Mercury, a dairy paid a competitor’s employee £40,000 to steal sales records from its rival so it could steal its customers. The issue here is not … Read More

What the meaning of “is” is

What the meaning of “is” is We have, sadly reached the point where you must conduct some level of due diligence on everything. This is because people tell you things, and you make assumptions about what they … Read More

The Looting of America

The Looting of America Les Leopold Chelsea Green Publishing ISBN: 9781603582056 There are many theories about why we went into the current economic nosedive. One commonly heard explanation is that the Community … Read More

Pass the salt…

Pass the salt… Some time ago one of our clients bought investment property in the southwest United States, on which they intended to build apartments. As often happens, this planned development did not bring … Read More


H1N1 Every year in the U.S. some 65,000 people die from what is lumped together as flu and pneumonia. This is a lot of people, and there is constant fear that should another influenza pandemic strike, it could be … Read More

Security guards arming themselves

Security guards arming themselves Recently we were strolling through the streets of Gotham and noticed a security guard carrying an ASP tactical baton. The ASP is an excellent and well recognized tool (we are ASP … Read More

Landing the Boeing 747…

Landing the Boeing 747… We pilots live by checklists. Sometimes the checklists are lengthy, and sometimes they are short. For the little airplanes I fly, the landing checklist – a fairly critical checklist – … Read More

Organized crime

Organized crime Recently, there was a particularly interesting article in the Taipan Daily ( on the economic opportunity provided to organized crime as … Read More


iYogi Home Plan:$149.99/year ( The difference between the computer amateur and the computer professional is that when something goes wrong the amateur tries to fix it and the professional calls … Read More

An interesting check fraud

An interesting check fraud A woman had her purse stolen, and notified all the appropriate people. Sometime thereafter another woman went into a branch of the bank and made a bad-check deposit of $5,000 into the … Read More

Spyware for smartphones

Spyware for smartphones This morning a call came in from an associate. The voice quality was bad, so we said “You got a new smartphone! Blackberry or iPhone? As it happened, it was an iPhone. Smartphones are … Read More

Be responsible

Be responsible One of our favorite television shows is Clifford the Big Red Dog. In one episode (THE KIBBLE CROOK, 126a), T-Bone can’t resist sneaking a bite- – well, okay the whole bowl – of Cleo’s new dog … Read More

RAF blackmail? Maybe…

RAF blackmail? Maybe… According to an article in the Guardian, ( blackmail), three hard drives went missing from RAF Innsworth, Gloucestershire, … Read More


Checks Processing and reconciliation is not keeping up with policies, technology, or fraudsters. We are getting some interesting comments on this from the corporate treasury world. Current Situation For bank … Read More

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 Kaspersky Lab $59.00 1-800-406-4966 As anyone with a computer knows, we are drowning in a sea of spam and malware. The problem is exacerbated by the … Read More

Policy based on bad statistics

Policy based on bad statistics We are always fascinated when we see policy being made based on bad statistics, particularly when the bad statistics are being used to push a political, religious, or philosophical … Read More

Over-regulation of American companies

Over-regulation of American companies We vaguely recall having read an article that said the Hudson River was so clean that one could now eat up to four ounces of fish caught from it, per month, assuming one were … Read More

Tritium and laser sights

Tritium and laser sights Based on the feedback from non-professional readers of our review of the XS Sight Systems Big Dot Tritium Express Set in the August 2008 issue of ÆGIS, it is clear that many … Read More

Cyber-security or general protection of IPCI

Cyber-security or general protection of IPCI Some time ago a friend in the U.K. sent us a paper on cyber losses of intellectual property and critical information (IPCI). As best as we could discern, losses because … Read More

Financial Plus

Financial Plus  While the recent Financial Plus Ponzi scheme in Los Angeles has all the elements typical of most similar frauds (e.g. no due diligence, unrealistic returns, religious element), it was unusual in … Read More

A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century

A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command 182 page Acrobat file One of the things the military does well is … Read More

The two-second rule

The two-second rule Recently a gun nut enthusiast of our acquaintance called, and read an excerpt from a book which recommended, in essence, that your gun should be accessible within two seconds at all times. Since … Read More

Certifications in the Security Profession

Certifications in the Security Profession Contributed by Jerry J. Brennan, Managing Director & Founder of Security Management Resources ( ([email protected]). Contributed articles do … Read More

Gun safeties

Gun safeties A friend recently saw a security video on television in Hawaii in which a jewelry store was being robbed (he didn’t know when or where it took place). The owner had been robbed before, and had gotten … Read More


Ghostnet If you haven’t just fallen off the turnip truck, you know that cybercrime is a serious and increasing problem. Many governments consider cyberspace to be a strategic target, and devote serious resources … Read More

AML outside examinations

AML outside examinations As longtime readers know, we have a long history of locating concealed assets in fraud (which largely move from the United States to exotic places overseas), and, somewhat more recently, of … Read More

William Joseph “Doc” McCarthy Communicorp Inc DVD’s

William Joseph “Doc” McCarthy Communicorp Inc DVD’s Exercises in Report Writing William Joseph “Doc” McCarthy Communicorp Inc DVD, plus work material $195 Acquiring Control Using Minimal Perceived Force … Read More

Bad hospital security

Bad hospital security Some time ago we had to take someone to the emergency room of a large and well-respected hospital. For reasons that still escape us, we went from the need to have her heart checked to the … Read More

Air pistols as a training tool

Air pistols as a training tool Recently a radiologist friend took a tactical medical course. He had a lot of fun throwing flashbangs, shooting submachine guns and semiautomatic pistols, and breaking down doors with … Read More

The .22 caliber revolver for home defense

The .22 caliber revolver for home defense Recently someone asked us to recommend a gun for home defense. We felt that this person faced little risk, and that having a gun for home defense was not necessary. Instead … Read More

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