Finding out that your company has been defrauded by individuals you thought you could trust is a tough blow. However, finding out that your company has been defrauded by someone you thought would help you recover your missing money is a harder pill to swallow. Read the cautionary tale below regarding what happened to MX Properties and their very unfortunate dealings with Lisbon Portugal lawyer Carmen De Souza.
MX Properties is a solid company that specializes in finding lucrative partnerships that they can enter into in order to create mutually beneficial relationships. It was why they had located and engaged the service of consultant John Diak. The executives of MX Properties were looking for an opportunity to engage in and Mr. Diak was ready to deliver what appeared to be the perfect fit.
As MX Properties would soon find out, the so-called business partners that the consultant introduced them to weren’t on the up and up, but rather known criminals that the consultant had previous knowledge of, knowledge that he in fact admitted after MX Properties was on the hook for $1 million in funds that they had invested into the project.
Once MX Properties realized things weren’t as good as they had once hoped they would be, they began looking for legal remedies for their immediate situation. The consultant once again came to the rescue and brought them a letter that he had received from a Lisbon Portugal attorney who was apparently apprised of their current situation and offered her help. This attorney’s name is Carmen de Souza.
Ms. De Souza offered her legal experience and clout to help push through the project funding that had been promised to MX Properties by their previous business partners, for a small fee, of course. This fee, while not well outlined in the inducement, amounted to $11,000 and was requested to be wire transferred to her Lisbon Portugal law firm. MX Properties, already skittish of sending money overseas to unvetted entities demanded that she send them written confirmation that she would provide payment instructions to the banks listed immediately after receiving the fees she was requested. She complied, which made MX Properties feel more confident about the situation. Unfortunately, they were duped once again and had lost an additional $11,000 in fees to the unethical lawyer Carmen de Souza.
MX Properties has since learned a valuable lesson about entering into agreements and projects with entities that have not been properly vetted and hope that their tale serves to warn other companies against the same practices. They are still seeking legal remedies in an attempt to recover their funds. However, by doing some due diligence up front, you can avoid this type of interaction and focus on operating and growing your business as you should.