Blackhawk was tasked by a major international real estate client to conduct due diligence on the owners and senior managers of a potential partner in support of possible business dealings with them.
Blackhawk conducted enquiries both in France and the USA, which revealed no obvious indications of business success or wealth and the target company appeared to be an untested business partner.
There were no other obvious red flags and Blackhawk had a neutral view on the suitability of these subjects.
Scope of Investigation
During the assignment Blackhawk conducted investigations in the following areas:
The individuals key to the affiliate’s operations were thoroughly investigated. Education history and university records were checked to validate authenticity of the individual’s claims.
It was discovered that one individual had made attempts to emigrate to the US, but had returned to France, where the subject of interest had set up their own real estate business. Some discrepancies were discovered in addresses relating to searches on shares transfers.
Further background checks revealed a clean criminal record, where records were available.
Commercial Interests & History
Searches uncovered commercial information that was not disclosed. In this case, a failed real estate business one individual ran with his wife, which incurred substantial losses prior to liquidation.
Investigations further discovered a significant trail of French companies the individuals were still actively involved in, along with a US registered company. Blackhawk uncovered share dealings between the individuals and entities and also verify that individuals associated with each company, were indeed the same people, through handwriting signature analysis.
Blackhawk conducted investigations into potential links to groups with particular political persuasions, or that the individuals concerned were involved or associated with companies or people related to bribery, corruption or other misuses of political connections.
Major French national and news media and that local to the individual’s operations in Nice, as well as social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, were checked to identify both positive and negative reports. This yielded interesting information on a Facebook profile belonging to one individual with a Jewish background associated with the membership of a particular Israeli group and the position held, a claim which appeared not to be valid.
Human Source Enquiries
Blackhawk followed up references provided by the individuals and also through others discovered during the course of our investigations. The references were interviewed and comments recorded for the client’s review. During this process, it was discovered that people who should have had a reason to know or recall the individuals in question, in reality, new very little about them. Overall though a relatively neutral opinion emerged.
Overall, our enquiries indicate that the individuals appear to be considered honest and trustworthy although their business credentials and financial stability are somewhat unclear. They appear to have been involved in several very modest businesses which do not appear to have been successful and their long term suitability as a Client partner is perhaps somewhat questionable. Blackhawk has therefore, a neutral view on the suitability of the individuals and as such, we concluded that they were an untested business partner.
This process is typical of our in-depth investigations. Our investigations natural follow the information uncovered and therefore can become quite detailed if business dealings of those under scrutiny are complex or have been deliberately cloaked.
Each report is compiled with the full details and commentary arising from the investigation.
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