(WMC-TV) - Scam artists are targeting small businesses looking to sell.
"The businesses most susceptible to this scheme were businesses with high cash flow in and out," said George Clark, U.S. Postal Inspector.
An empty warehouse is all that is left of Benny's Cheese in Philadelphia. It was originally started by Benny Carabella in 1983.
"When Mr. Carabella died the business was passed on to his daughter, who spent 80 hours a week trying to run the business," said Clark.
She decided to sell her father's successful business. That is when a seasoned con artist entered the picture.
Under an alias, he acquired controlling interest to handle day-to-day financial matters, while Ms. Carabella remained on staff until after closing.
He then drained the assets of the company.
"Creditors quickly started to question what was going on. They then quickly stopped supplying goods to Benny's Cheese," said Clark.
Benny's Cheese was forced to close for good because the scammer sucked its assets dry.
The scammer was caught, convicted, and it was revealed he had ripped off 40 businesses the exact same way.
Small business-owners should always research buyers and please, lawyer up for those types of transactions.