17 Nov 2009

Entrepreneurs, brokers and liars

I have been around for awhile. I have studied corruption, organized crime and black markets. I have worked with frauds and cheats (my evil step-father for one). I have enough economic theory and empirical evidence to understand why and how people lie, strategically maneuver, etc.

But it still amazes me when people steal instead of working, or lie instead of being honest. What kind of delusional world do these people inhabit?

One guy stole my $500. I led the fight to get him caught, tried, convicted and imprisoned -- in Washington DC, no less!

A few months ago, I was contacted by Noah Israel, who claimed to have a biological desalination process that was green, etc. I talked to Noah on the phone. He told stories about his other inventions and work, how hard it was to raise money, and how a guy "with a wall of money" had sued him, costing him thousands.

After our conversations, I posted on "his" technology here. He reviewed and corrected that post, clarifying that he was "New Water LLC's president."

Well, he lied. It turns out that this technology belongs to Randy Behrens of New Water Aquaculture LLC. Noah had signed an investor/broker agreement with Randy, and Noah was trying to find other investors (via me, among other sources) so that he could get commissions.

I have nothing to say about Noah's other work, and I understand the role of brokers (I used to be one), but I do NOT accept lying about one's role. Noah was not the President of New Water, but (I suppose) he wanted to make it seem that he was, so he could collect a commission for raising money, so that an investor would not circumvent him and go directly to Randy.

I've seen this before, and the entire dynamic (the lies, the strategic disclosure, the NDAs, etc.) was the main reason that I left this kind of brokerage.

Anyway, I just wanted to apologize to you readers, the folks to whom I emailed this "investment idea," and Randy (who found me through this blog -- the water world is a SMALL world). So, if you want more information about this idea, email Randy.

Noah, btw, apologized to me, and I am passing that apology along to you, now.

Bottom Line: When I die, I won't care about how much money I have; I will only care about my reputation.


  1. Your reputation? Then you are in deep trouble!


  2. I re-read your blog entry. You don't owe me an apology. You acted in good faith and treated me respectfully when I contacted you. You did all you could and I don't think people should apologize for trusting someone. It makes it seem as if trust is a character flaw.


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