A couple of months into the greatest mistake I ever made in business, I started learning more about this person. I wasn’t the first he’d tricked, conned, and stolen money from.
Oh no, there’s a whole lineup of people who joined his former businesses, invested, and never saw their funds again.
The same applies to multiple employees he shafted, didn’t pay the agreed salaries, and even to landlords — he still owns vast sums for unpaid rent.
Miraculously, he got away with his appalling behavior and lies because he turned vicious and nasty — everyone affected got scared, deciding to drop their claims and leave the island.
Not me. While I did leave Bali some time ago, it was not because of him or the situation. Instead, I departed because I got bored and found a better and healthier place for me to live.
I wanted to set the record straight on that — the ex-con likes to say I escaped Bali in fear of him. He would, wouldn’t he?
The truth is — It’s not so at all, even though I did receive threats of bodily harm and, indeed, to my life.
Finally, I filed court proceedings and am going full force after him
It was hard and took time, but I found excellent, reliable lawyers (outside of Bali) who this man couldn’t corrupt.
My new lawyers are top brass and see through the “smoke and mirrors” how I was systematically lied to, ripped off, and abused.
We’ve filed multiple civil cases against this scam artist. Criminal charges will soon follow.
Despite recent, repeated threats and blackmail from this very sick man to expose me publicly for “so-called crimes” (I have never committed), there will be no backing off on my end.
Schizophrenia, delusion, and narcissism are extremely nasty mental health diseases the bearer cannot control, let alone understand.
This guy makes up fake stories about me, my life, and what I apparently did, and then believes them to be true. Then he threatens to expose me with his crazy claims, which he can never prove because they didn’t ever happen!
If I had done anything wrong, then surely by now, the people affected would have long since reported me.
But nobody has, as I NEVER do anything that goes against the law — EVER!
Had I committed the alleged wrongdoings, I would have been scared and backed off. But I didn’t — thus, his baseless and gratuitously offensive threats don’t frighten me in the slightest.
On the contrary — they motivate me to go in harder.
How it happened — the mistakes I made — what you need to avoid if you invest with an ex-pat partner in Bali
I will keep it as short and precise as possible by listing things point by point.
1 — I met the man by accident — literally — I had a motorbike accident with a young kid who didn’t have a driver’s license.
It turned out this boy worked for the man, so he contacted me asking me to settle the kid’s bike repair.
2 — Even though the accident was the kid’s fault, plus he didn’t possess a license, I cooperated for peace and agreed to pay half.
3 — After that, we stayed in touch and met more often for drinks and chats.
One could say we became “friends” — or so I thought.
4 — It was in the middle of Covid, August 2020. He had operated a nice restaurant in a trendy part of Bali, which he had closed down the previous March.
5 — I heard from one of his workers that he was looking for a partner and investor to re-open the place by December.
6 — Despite being in unchartered waters with Covid and the island closed for tourism, I saw this as a long-term opportunity and agreed to invest.
My only condition was that I would be the Managing Partner and Director in control of Operations and Finances. We agreed and started the process.
7 — First things first — Due Diligence!
I asked for the balance sheets, P&Ls, and bank statements since the restaurant’s inception in 2018. However, I only received 2 P&Ls — one from 2018 and the other from 2019, nothing else.
8 — He did not give me the bank statements to cross-reference the sales and substantial profit made in 2019.
9 — My stumble and big mistake: I trusted my new partner and proceeded with the deal.
I transferred the funds in 2 tranches for 25% of the shares in October and December 2020.
In November, we began the extensive renovation project — the restaurant’s re-opening took place on December 16th, 2020.
10 — 2021 was around the corner. The company had to prepare and send the 2020 tax report to the tax office by January 31, 2021.
Out of the blue, another 3-month P&L statement from January to March 2020 showing a substantial loss appeared.
11 — When I examined the latest P&L and cash flow analysis, no profit was carried over from 2019 to 2020 — strange.
12 — I asked my partner where the profit had gone. He quickly shut me down, saying it was invested in previous renovations plus fixtures and fittings.
Strange — the place was a dump when I joined. We had to complete a full-scale upgrade. None of it made sense!
“You better trust what I tell you and never question me again!”
13 — I’m not stupid — this wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew something was fishy.
So, I called the former controller who’d created these P&Ls and the relevant tax reports.
I asked if he could tell me where the 2019 profits went because I didn’t see any investments in renovations in the financials I had been given.
He told me loud and clear there were no renovations, and he didn’t know where the profit went or if there had been any!
He also informed me that all business owners fake their tax-office sales reports in Bali to minimize taxation!
Oh wow, that I didn’t know or expect.
14 — The bank statements and balance: By then, I had “viewing access” to the company bank account, but only when sitting next to his trusted Personal Assistant.
She refused to give me the login credentials, as did he.
I quickly checked the account in 2019 and January 2020 to December 2021.
There was no sign of the proclaimed fat profit — the profit and reason I invested didn’t exist!
He and his cohorts faked the P&Ls and intentionally misled me to invest in a loss-making, bankrupt business.
That’s 100% fraud — a serious criminal offense.
Our relationship soon crumbled, as did his scam and the house of cards with the final straw
I knew I’d been screwed by now, but I could not do anything about it. My invested funds were in his control.
I could only try to keep the peace and boost the restaurant’s sales, hoping to make enough profit to eventually get my money back.
Thanks to my massive efforts, and marketing skills, we made decent sales and small monthly profits.
Despite me doing so well and dramatically boosting sales, my dear majority shareholding partner become increasingly hostile towards me.
The branch snapped!
One April morning in 2021, he told me he had helped himself to the remaining money I’d invested, which was designated to support operations — he needed the money to take a 1 month’s trip to California to buy a dog!
At first, I was speechless and almost fell on the floor. But I was also powerless — I had to think.
I went home, tried to process and digest this shock, and made a plan.
I decided to look past it for now, get on with my work and make the restaurant even more successful without his presence.
That, despite him leaving us with no reserves and being forced to pay operations and staff from the daily cash flow.
It was both disgraceful and illegal of him to put the staff and me in that awful position while he went on his California holiday.
Taking my remaining invested funds for his personal use was self-enrichment and embezzlement.
I’ll leave the story here for now — more to come soon.
Final Thoughts and Warning
Please don’t be as stupid as I was. Never, ever trust anyone’s words alone. That’s especially the case if you’ve just recently met them.
Numbers don’t lie — people do!
If you’re not given full access to all the requested and commonly required financials to carry out proper due diligence, they are covering up and lying about numbers — it’s that simple!
Investing large sums as a foreigner in places like Bali is a massive risk in the first place. You don’t understand the law, language, or what goes on behind the scenes.
If you do invest, do it independently, not with a local or ex-pat.
That way, you’re halfway safe, if you can make the business survive.