A Silicon Valley tech exec invests $1.2 million in a Napa wine company but pays with his life
What was racing through the mind of Emad Tawfilis on March 16, 2015 as he ran for his life through the Napa Valley vineyard in which he had invested more than $1.2 million? Shot and bleeding, Tawfilis frantically dialed 911 to report his estranged business partner was pursuing him in a Toyota SUV, gunning the engine as he moved in for the kill.
Retail investors hoping to cash in on the legal marijuana industry have not fared well
The legal marijuana business is booming. With medical marijuana laws and pot decriminalization sweeping across the country – voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia approved ballot measures in November’s mid-term elections – observers project that over the next five years annual cannabis industry revenues in the U.S. could mushroom to more than $10 billion.
But despite the apparent evolution of marijuana from pariah to legal golden goose, investing in the marijuana business can still be the equivalent of a bad trip.
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter duped Wall Street and East Coast social circles for years with his charm and lies. But he couldn’t talk his way out of a California murder.
The epic saga of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, the imposter who posed as an heir to the Rockerfeller fortune and ingratiated himself into East Coast high finance and blue blood social circles finally came to an end on April 10, when a Los Angeles jury found him guilty of first degree murder for the 1985 killing of Jonathan Sohus in the upscale bedroom community of San Marino.
Specialty lenders adopt forensic background checks to avoid doing business with bad actors
In early 2012, Rajesh Veejay Ansari approached a direct money lender in California for a multi-million dollar loan. He had purchased a hotel out of foreclosure and needed to close the deal in less than a week. Aaron Goldberg also went in search of a specialty lender when he was under pressure to refinance a number of commercial properties. At the time, both men appeared have the necessary bona fides to qualify for large loans; they were successful entrepreneurs who had property to put up as collateral.
Thoroughly investigating high-value insurance claims helps defend against fraud
It was dusk on a Saturday in the spring in 2010 and the courtyard of the Heavenly Acres Apartments in South Whittier, California, was alive with the hum of children playing, mothers chatting and men home from work enjoying a beer in the cool of the evening air.