If you have been a reader of this blog for a number of years, you may recall our articles about Atlantic Rim Funding, and its principal fraudster, who used the alias Steven Dean Kennedy. While operating a classic advance fee scheme, Kennedy stole millions from desperate businesses. The victims all deposited a hard-earned 10% advance fee, in order to obtain loans, which were guaranteed by Kennedy, who claimed to have access to unlimited funding, due to purported family wealth, in the billions of dollars. he kept the money, and never delivered the loans to his clients.
We became aware of the fraud, when a client requested a due diligence investigation of the company from us, which exposed the scheme, and we subsequently wrote several articles about it, as well as blowing the whistle on the relevant electronic bulletin board. Several of the sales staff tried to diffuse my concerns, on the web, but my articles are still being consulted, years after they were written.
All the victims shared one thing in common: they utterly failed to conduct even the most rudimentary due diligence inquiry, where they would have certainly discovered that they were dealing with career criminals, that the promised loans would never be funded, and that any advance fee they paid was gone forever. Atlantic Rim Funding never had an office, or any employees, and still the victims sent in their money, believing in the fantasy constructed by Kennedy. Clients who do not consult their attorney, at the appropriate time, may save money initially, but can end up losing everything, by not being protected.
Sometimes, just when you least expect it, justice is served. Mr. "Kennedy" was identified, anonymously, in a filing made in US District Court in New York, involving his attorneys, who are being sued by the Securities & Exchange Commission. He is presently serving a twenty year prison sentence, in the State of California, for securities fraud. We can only assume that his true identity is being hidden, either because he is assisting law enforcement, in the investigation of other financial criminals, or his life is in danger, due to death threats from his victims. In any event, we trust that he will not be plying his dark advance fee trade for the next few years. Let's hope he does not benefit from early release.