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Should I out someone who showed poor integrity?

A few years ago, an "entrepreneur" defrauded me out of $120,000 worth of services, by lying about having "$6 million in funding in the bank" repeatedly. We later found out that she had nothing, and now the new product that she is touting for her new startup is a "fraud prevention" system probably designed by consultants I found for her in the earlier startup. Is it wrong to make it known that her product and reputation is based on fraud? She seemed quite conscienceless, unfortunately. I doubt I can ever recoup compensation, but I feel an obligation to warn others about her. Seriously, I had her interviewed repeatedly by a very smart Silicon Valley attorney, but she was able to "pull the wool" over the attorney's eyes, too.

13 Replies

Brian McConnell
4
0
Brian McConnell Entrepreneur
Head of Localization at Medium.com
Integrity is _everything_ in business. I am sorry to hear that you got swindled by this POS. You have a civic duty to warn others who are in harm's way. The main problem is that this type of person can be quick to retaliate (as they rely on concealment of past business dealings to swindle the next round of victims). I was once swindled out of about a million dollars in an acquisition. The individual involved was exceptionally dishonest, unpleasant and loved to bully people with legal threats. I wrote about the experience in a widely read site, and as expected, he had his lawyers threaten me. I refused to take the article offline for months. Since everything I said was true (and some of what this person did was blatantly illegal), this was an empty threat. (He has since run his company into the ground, and it was with great pleasure that I sent him a video of his competitor ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange with the caption "This could have been you, but it isn't.") I still hear from people about this person from time to time. Without saying anything that can be interpreted as slander, I just warn them as follows: "You really need to do your due diligence here." Anyone who is remotely sophisticated will get the memo. It's hard for the bully to respond to this because you are simply emphasizing sound, common sense business advice (always do your due diligence when working with new people or firms). Don't assume potential victims are aware of what's going on. Professional swindlers are very adept at misdirecting people so they do not notice the warning signs that are right in front of their faces. My $0.02.
Christine Danning
1
0
Christine Danning Entrepreneur • Advisor
Corporate Solution Specialist & Troubleshooter
If not you.... who????
Sounds like you may be a little too trusting; taking one's own advice is usually a good idea when it's warranted.
Nicholas Meyler
0
0
Nicholas Meyler Entrepreneur
Recruiter/Broker for "Disruptive"​ Talent. Questing for the Next $Trillion Unicorn.
Well, this is interesting. I did some more research, and it turns out that she has also defrauded someone else out of exactly $120,000 as well. It appears that this is a modus operandi, possibly. http://cookcountyrecord.com/stories/510653842-investor-demands-stake-he-thinks-he-s-owed-should-selfies-replace-signatures-in-credit-card-transactions
Nicholas Meyler
1
0
Nicholas Meyler Entrepreneur
Recruiter/Broker for "Disruptive"​ Talent. Questing for the Next $Trillion Unicorn.
By the way, the wording of this post "Should I Out Somebody... etc.?" is offensive to me, and it is NOT what I posted. My title was changed by a Moderator without any consent on my part. My title was completely different.
Aiborlang Andrew Chyne
0
1
Aiborlang Andrew Chyne Entrepreneur
Bass Guitarist at Klevoans
Nicholas, you can do so only if you are being misguided by her startup. There are certain guidelines where a person is considered to be a fraud if his or her startup is being registered as an LLP or a public entity. You can read know more from the link below:-

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1014

You can know more about US code on fraud and false statements from the link given below:-

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-47

Good luck.
Nicholas Meyler
0
0
Nicholas Meyler Entrepreneur
Recruiter/Broker for "Disruptive"​ Talent. Questing for the Next $Trillion Unicorn.
Thanks for trying to help, Aiborlang. Obviously, you have some interesting 'insight' into the situation, but I believe that the conclusion of fraud was long ago determined by Law Enforcement officials, such as the DHS. Thanks for identifying yourself.
Brian Piercy
1
0
Brian Piercy Entrepreneur
Full-stack product manager. Polymath.
Nick,

I found this morbidly fascinating. To me the crux(es) of the issue are 1) what due diligence did you use regarding the $6M in funding, and 2) what contingencies did you use (should have used?) to safeguard your $120K in services?

Seeing a customer being unable to pay a supplier due to unforeseen business conditions seems very likely given the startup scenario you mention.

"Outing" her seems vindictive. I would instead try to introduce myself to her new investors assuming they can be IDd.

Sorry, man. $120K is a lot of breakfast tacos.
Jhilmil Kochar
0
0
Jhilmil Kochar Entrepreneur
Seasoned Technology and Organization Leader/ Entrepreneur
Integrity is everything. If you can't trust the people you work with, how can you give your 100%? This should be a unilateral decision and yes, you should definitely warn others as well, for the sake of your integrity.
Garry Schafer
0
0
Garry Schafer Entrepreneur
Programmer, Developer and Geek
Honestly, I would but you'd have to have proof otherwise you yourself might get tagged with being a liar. Perhaps contact others she's worked with before?
Suresh Kumar Neti
0
0
Software Outsourcing Advisor | Custom Software & Product Development
If I were you, I would definitely let the concerned people know about the facts along with proof if any. I think it is your responsibility to let the others know about your experiences so that they do not face similar issues and the person understands that the same cannot go on forever.
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