Collection agencies don’t make money by being nice people. Here is a story about how one of them wasn’t very honest, either.

I found this interesting story from a press release, courtesy of the FBI website:

Late last month, we helped wrap up a case that took identity theft to a whole new level: one company trying to steal $23 million by pretending to be another company.

It was made possible by a remarkable coincidence: two private security companies with nearly identical names. One of the firms, based in Michigan, was named Executive Outcome Inc. The other, based in South Africa, was called Executive Outcomes Inc.

The criminal maneuvering began in late 2001, when a British debt collector called the Michigan-based Executive Outcome, run by Pasquale John DiPofi. The collection agency asked if DiPofi wanted help collecting $23 million owed by the government of Sierra Leone for military equipment, security, and training.

One slight problem. The millions of dollars weren’t owed to DiPofi’s company. It was owed to the other firm, Executive Outcomes, a half a world away.

At this point, the greed element took over, and they attempted to deceive the government of Sierra Leone into paying the wrong company.

FBI press release, here.

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