Friday, December 3, 2010

The Brooklyn Hotel Scam

A hotel investor from Brooklyn has been working a scam not unlike the infamous Nigerian email scam, wherein you have to give the Nigerian prince several thousand dollars so that he can share some of his frozen millions with you. The Brooklyn man, Robert McDonald, didn't have the anonymity of email to hide behind, so here's supposedly what he did: He agreed to spend $108 million to buy some hotels in the Midwest, then went out to find some investors to go in with him. He told another hotel investor that he had $22 million, and needed only another $8 million to make his down payment.

The other investor didn't seem to quite buy McDonald's pitch, and offered up only $1.5 million of his money. McDonald responded by offering him 20 percent of his company in return for that investment. In hindsight, these things always seem slightly ridiculous, and this one is no different: In order to procure that $1.5 million, McDonald supposedly showed him falsified documents that indicated he had $88 million in an account with JP Morgan. A $1.5 million investment should have been a drop in the bucket to him - so why did McDonald give away a fifth of the company for it?

The moral of the story is: If something seems too good to be true, it almost certainly isn't true. Forbes has more on this story.

No comments:

Post a Comment