A masterclass in fraud

Philip Grindell
Written by Philip Grindell
a masterclass in fraud

A fantasist who has taken the Private Family Office world for a ride has been exposed by Vanity Fair.

Vanity Fair recently featured the extraordinary story of a conman who recreated himself as millionaire with a 15th century heritage, welcoming guests to his Private Family Office Investment Summit—referring to “a confab of royals, sheiks, and ultra-high-net-worth individuals that he bills as the most highly acclaimed gathering of global wealth of all time.”

A failure in Due Diligence

Despite his claims to have a “distinguished Wall Street career” and more than 3 decades of international financial markets and investment experience and claimed to be an heir to an olive oil fortune dating back to the 15th century, he is in fact “a Wall Street washout, a world-class con man and an inveterate fabulist with a bogus CV and persona”— and 58,654 followers on LinkedIn.

Vanity Fair described him as a “self-styled knight and purported Nobel Prize nominee is actually a Wall Street washout, a deadbeat dad, and a con artist, repeatedly jailed by European authorities”

One respected individual in the Private family Office world said ‘there was almost no negative information about him online” when they conducted their due diligence.

Many people have been duped by this individual, with some spending fortunes to participate in his charade.

Background Check or Intelligence Investigation?

The importance of a proper detailed background investigation cannot be emphasised enough. Too often the cheaper option is requested, and the short-term saving end up causing financial and reputational harm. In the current climate, guilt by association is often the cause of being cancelled, and in some cases will shatter your credibility.

A detailed background intelligence investigation is not a google search. It requires expert investigation and analysis and the knowledge of where to look on the Open, Dark and Deep web, have access to breach data, forums, blogs, data brokers and many more. In some cases, you will need expertise in the use of foreign open source and access to local ‘social media’.

An additional benefit is to ability to conduct forensic profiles on the person researched. This isn’t something that all psychologists can or should be trusted to do. You should only use a forensic or possibly clinical psychologist trained and experienced in profiling.

When employing someone on a 6-figure salary or in a position of significant trust a properly conducted intelligence investigation is vital.

Would you trust your wealth or the safety of your family to someone who you didn’t really know?

For further details of our Intelligence Investigations or Forensic Profiling please contact us at [email protected]


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