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Vincent Parco Consulting LLC
Private Investigations

During the summer months, when the tourist season is at its strongest, the sleepy town of Holiday Beach, South Carolina, bustles with activity. The gift shops can’t keep enough stock on the shelves, the hotels and restaurants thrive, and the small town’s economy booms.

In fall and winter, the town is hard pressed for cash and industry suffers. Consequently, Sunburst Garment Manufacturing Co. was a welcome addition to Holiday Beach. No one knew that Sunburst was part of a very sophisticated scam that would cost the town millions of dollars.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Sunburst rented a large warehouse on the outskirts of the town. Joseph Jenkins, the company’s president, had letterhead printed up, contracted renovations for the warehouse, and purchased a number of company vehicles, all locally. He also set up a business account with Holiday Beach Savings and Loans , in which he deposited close to a million dollars. He arranged for employees to have check cashing privileges. Mr. Jenkins appeared at all business and civic functions and made an effort to become friendly with the bank manager, Arthur Barron.


Every week Mr. Jenkins cashed close to $800,000 in payroll checks for his employees. He hired a local guard company to pick up the cash. He requested it be separated into envelopes. Each envelope appeared to be the net pay of a payroll check after taxes.
A week or two after Mr. Jenkins would deposit a million dollars in receipts from various clothing companies in New York. As the business progressed from October to December, each month’s income increased by approximately five hundred thousand dollars.


Mr. Jenkins confided to Mr. Barron that they were expecting a large order from an up and coming manufacturer who would be the next Calvin Klein. He said Sunburst is doing well but experiencing some cash flow problems due to receivables owed by companies that were giving him enormous amount of business and increasing their orders.


  Sunburst terms for manufacturing these new designer clothes would net 30 days, but the company required a considerable amount of capital to the job and hire at least 50 new employees just for this new customer. Mr. Jenkins suggested that the bank could factor the accounts receivables, which was close to seven million dollars, Sunburst would have enough money to manufacture the garments and even hire a few subcontractors for help with any overflow work.

A THRIVING BUSINESS

NOBODY IS HOME

Three weeks later, a bank employee informed Mr. Barron that the bank account for Sunburst was down to a few thousand dollars. Mr. Barron was satisfied with Mr. Jenkins explanation that the money was used to buy new equipment. The men confirmed plans to play golf. A few days later an employee passed the factory and it appeared to be abandoned. Inquiries revealed that the phones were disconnected and all the equipment and delivery trucks were gone. Mr. Jenkins contacted the local police who could not locate anyone from Sunburst. When the dust settled Mr. Barron realized that his bank was scammed for close to 8 million dollars.

THIS WAS A VERY BIG OPERATION

The investigators who handled this case conducted a very basic investigation of every entity involved with Sunburst and found that they were shell companies. They set up temporary offices in the garment center of New York and developed on computer an intricate business that was completely fictitious.


The same money was being recycled for the duration of the scam. All the furniture and equipment was rented, the trucks and cars were later found to have been sold at a considerable discount. The “employees” were itinerant workers from a different town bused in to appear to be working on the garments. Trucks were changed quite often to appear to be shipping from other companies, the goods were in fact imperfect garments purchased inexpensively and brought back and forth to generate the appearance a great deal of activity.


The whole operation cost the perpetrators close to a million dollars and they netted about six and a half million dollars. It took about five months and involved twenty people. Mr. Jenkins and his lieutenants, were part of an organized crime family. Our investigation ended when the two crooks were killed in an unrelated activity.

Vincent Parco, private investigator, was formerly a senior investigator with the Office of Professional Discipline and Senior Supervising Investigator with The Office of Professional Medical Conduct. He is a  Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Forensic Examiner.

CONTACT INFORMATION

917-451-3060
420 Lexington Ave, Suite 300
New York, NY 10170

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