Friday, March 16, 2012


A sentence in an article appearing today in mass media noted that wholesalers of counterfeit medicines had been in trouble with the law years earlier. When performing Due Diligence investigations of prospective high net worth clients, always remember to check their background in the criminal justice system. Career criminals often transition into industries with less risk of arrest than the one they are engaged in.

For example, some online gambling operators have been found to be former pornographers, and of course narcotics traffickers have been moving into cigarette counterfeit distribution for many years. You must always ferret out these former unsavoury occupations, before you onboard the client. The client's fraudulent activity may not have risen to the level of a felony, but did result in a civil judgment; find it.

Where to look, you say ? In the US, look here:

(1)  Public Access to Court Electronic Records, more commonly known by its acronym, PACER  It is a subscription service, but allows access to Federal civil, criminal, appellate and bankruptcy files, past or present.

(2) You local county court online service. It may only give you the court docket, civil & criminal, but often that will lead you to the actual court file at the courthouse.

(3) The Public Records Library: recorded final judgments, and other instruments that reflect your client's background.

(4) State Secretary of State online databases: they will identify the client's past and present companies, which you should search (1) through (3)  above, for information.

Commercial off-the-shelf databases of high-risk individuals often do not cover small fish. Therefore, check out these local KYC tools before accepting the client.

Note; should any reader have questions about Due Diligence, or Enhanced Due Diligence techniques, you queries are welcome at any time. Email me at:

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