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Monday, December 14, 2015

A Violation of Trust

It was mid afternoon....It was just beginning to get dark...My wife Sepia and I and our baby girl, Stephanie Siselia Morris sat in a Pizzeria just a few blocks from my office...

Sepia and I were enjoying the pizza, while our daughter was drinking from a sippy cup...

''Ummmm Kevin, this pizza is good."said Sepia...

''Yeah...Wait til I tell Chris, that his joint has a little competition..."I said.

''Lover...did you read the outside of this place? This is Chris's joint..He opened up a second Pizza place......This one...Now he has two...One in the shopping center and this one."said Sepia..

I laughed...

''Wow...Chris and Chess own everything except the neon lights around here.."I laughed ,thinking about my two friends who were the area's biggest entreprenuers and businessmen.

I tickled our baby girl's feet...She giggled and looked at me with that beautiful smile that just melted my heart....

It was nice...enjoying a quiet afternoon with my wife and my baby....

It was quiet until he walked over to our table..

"I'll be damned....A lot has changed in your life since the last time we saw each other Kevin." came the voice of Richard Cornfield...A white man and actually one of my ex-clients....We had even more of a history than that...

Richard Cornfield had been the chief financial officer for my magazine's former owners, The Harris Group. He had never liked me and the feeling had been mutual. He had always been trying to find a discrepancy in our books...As if he had believed that I just had to be hiding something...

Near the end of my tenure with The Harris Group, he had discovered that I had Kool Kat, Clerow,Owen Todd, Peeping Tom and Lockpick Johnson on the payroll listed as "Investigative Consultants", which they were.. These guys helped me out in my other line of work as a private investigator...Some of my cases became exposes for my magazine...I felt it was only fair that I pay them since I called on them from time to time...and paying them out of my pocket had become rather costly...to me..I probably would have been fired for that eventually, but I was no longer a part of The Harris Group now and could do what I wanted.

With an investment group that included my wife Sepia and her business partner,Bonita, Chris Thompson and his partner Chess and my boy,Clerow and his partner Owen Todd...all successful business owners...We bought my Magazine from the Harris Group several years ago...I created several more magazines...bought a radio station, a television station, several websites and a music streaming service and began publishing all of my magazines on line as well and expanded the entire operation into Morris Communications...I was the Chief Operating Officer and owner...Sepia,Bonita,Clerow,Owen,Chris and Chess were on the board of directors...


"Hello Rich, how are things?" I said smiling...


"Is this your wife?  My My My...Such a lovely woman....and this is your baby?   Kevin, you amaze me.."he said...

 Sepia smiled...


 "Hello Rich, how are things?" I said, this time not smiling...I knew that if this guy was talking to me and making nice...he wanted something..

 "Things aren't good...Uh Are you still in the private investigator business?" he asked.

"Yes...You need my services Rich?" I said ,enjoying the fact that the guy who tried to have me fired on many occassions now had to come to me for a favor..I was loving this and he knew I was loving it...

"You Know Kevin...I always said..you were a smart guy...Smarter than any of us ever gave you credit for..You see what's happening way before the rest of the world...You saw that we were thinking about either dumping your magazine or moving you out and you put together a group of your own people and bought us out....I have to admit...I admired that...You've done wonders with the new business and you seem to have vision..As an investigator, well there are non better that I can see....Plus..I'm willing to pay you six figures or more for your services." he said.

"Now THAT...I like." I said, suddenly interested.

"I knew you would...Like I said..I know you're smart." he said.

"Okay..what do you need?"I asked.


"We have a major problem...Six of our clients...Our biggest clients..have had their accounts hacked..Had some very sensitive information about them stolen..."he said.


''How do you know this?" I asked..


"Our IT person discovered it first and he told me...These clients are some heavy hitters..very,very well heeled financially...The loss of their business could mean financial ruin for us..The hacker has sent me and the IT person an email threatening to blackmail them for millions....unless we pay them millions...It's a loss either way...I need you to find out who is doing this and stop them."he said.


"Did you think of calling the FBI?  They have a cyber crime unit..."I said.


"I don't want this to get out...I'm hiring you because I know you'll be discreet.."he said.


"Okay...I'll stop by tomorrow.."I said.


''Tomorrow night..This must be handled discreetly and fast...You're the only person I know that can handle a situation like this.." he said.


"Okay...I'll stop by tomorrow night  with my operatives and see what is what." I said.


"Thank you....Here is a down payment."he said and passed me an envelope filled with cash....''And give me your check...Your family's meal is on me." he said.


"Oh thank you."said Sepia ,smiling...


"My pleasure." he said.


"So...How is Mr. Whittendale? I asked..


"He's still there..Still Chairman of the Board and still a royal pain in my ass..A breach like this would give him the ammo he needs to fire me...Which is why I need this handled quickly and with speed."he said.


"I understand." I said.


"It was nice meeting you Mrs. Morris , and you too cutie pie..."he said smiling at our daughter..


''Wow...you got another case and right before Christmas huh?"said Sepia...


I passed her the envelope..


"More money for little lamb chop's college fund." I laughed...


"And my shoe collection..."joked Sepia...


We both laughed and finished our pizza.


II-
The next night...I arrived with Peeping Tom, Lockpick Johnson, Sean Jackson and five other guys...They were old friends of Peeping Tom...One was ex-KGB, the other four were ex-CIA..


''Kevin,who are all these people?"He asked..


"My operatives...Some of them....You want to find out how you were hacked and who is hacking you..These are the guys who can do it." I said...


He shrugged his shoulders...but he let us in through the back,which was better than sneaking in..Which we could have done...


We took the computers that had been compromised and left with them...


"Don't worry Rich,we'll be back by midnight...Just sit tight." I said.

We went to the basement of my office, the somewhat secret headquarters of Morris Investigations..

Peeping Tom and his guys went through the computers and traced the ip address of the threatening emails and the sources of the hacker...

It was tedious work that took a few hours , but finally Peeping Tom came to me...

"Whoever this guy is..He's good..The original breaches came from a Cyber-Cafe downtown...We even managed to pull a video of the culprit...."he said.


I studied the video...

It was a thin Black guy, no more than twenty one or twenty two...and an Asian Guy ,who appeared to be his partner....


''They were smart to use the Cyber Cafe...That way it won't lead us to where they live..."I said.


"Well this is a start, thanks guys." I said.


III-

We returned the computers and I gave my findings and the photos of the two hackers to Richard Cornfield the next day.


"Damn Kevin,you are good, now where are these two mopes?" he asked..


"That I don't know...I don't even know their names...I'm bettin that neither of them has a criminal record....but I'm going to send their photos to my friend in the FBI and find out...."I said.

"Noooo. No...you can't go to the feds..."he said.

"Relax...I'm just going to ask this friend to run their photos through facial recognition for me...I've done it a thousand times...I won't talk about my case." I said.

"Okay..I trust you Kevin." he said.

IV-
 That "friend" was the sexy FBI Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Sharon Ferrell-Hopkins,who I had worked with before...She looked at the photos I gave her and took no time to tell me who they were...She didn't have to run their faces through facial recognition-

"Oh yes..Kevin...I know these guys...The Chinese guy is Richard Woo and the Black Guy is Steve Rusin...Both are suspected Hackers...We were never able to prove it or get anything on them...We've been watching them and monitoring them for about a year now...One of them works for the Philadelphia Stock Exchange...The other one works at a securities firm in town...They met when they both were at Columbia several years ago...Both are Math whizzes with exceptional IT skills..We've picked them up a couple of times..but like I said..We never could prove anything...Both have clean records..No jail time.You investigating them?" she asked..

"You might say that...Maybe I'll tell you more later.."I said.

"Oh...Okay Kevin...I'll trust you."said Sharon...

I wished so many people didn't say that.


(TO BE CONTINUED)

8 comments:

Swaggie said...

Nice! Kevin is back!

Toni said...

Kevin is back and just in time for Christmas!

Angie B. said...

Escapades Original Hero is back..Love it!

Sunflower said...

Kevin is back! I notice he's be investigating different types of things lately...More modern crimes like this one..Love it..and Love seeing Cornfield again..

James Perkins said...

The last time Kevin saw Rich Cornfield..We were meeting the lovely Detective Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace...Wow...how long has it been?

Lisa said...

An interesting case...Hackers...I suspect this thing is much deeper than it looks ,since Kevin already knows who he's looking for..

Halo said...

This looks like a good one...

Vanessa said...

I like this...Hackers....Identity Theft,Wire fraud and extortion by wire are the new crimes and Kevin is more relevant investigating them than just drug kingpins and the like. Loving this.