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Letter 05   23-Aug-2002   Should Edmund Pankau be off the list too?
Edmund J. Pankau
Edmund J. Pankau
"When NAIS Director Ralph D. Thomas drew up his list, he was less than meticulous about excluding the ethically challenged." Lubomyr Prytulak

  23 Aug 2002
Steven Rambam
Pallorium, Inc
PO Box 155 Midwood Station
Brooklyn, New York
USA      11230


Steven Rambam:

It might be prudent of you to stop bolstering your credentials in court with the claim that you have been named "one of the 25 best investigators of the century" not only for the many reasons that I outlined in my letter to you of 06-Aug-2002, but also because you open yourself up to being questioned about the good repute of the other investigators on that list.

If you were asked about Edmund J. Pankau, for example, you would have to disclose that despite his having led the move to create the Houston Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in 1989, and despite his having been elected as the first President of that Houston Chapter, the Association's Board of Regents terminated his membership in February of 1994 for violating the CFE Code of Ethics.

You can verify Mr. Pankau's leading role in creating the Houston Chapter of the ACFE at www.cfehouston.org/chapter/aboutus.htm, and you can verify his loss of membership by contacting either of the ACFE representatives below:

Perhaps illustrating that character is destiny, I find in Edmund Pankau's book, Hide Your Assets and Disappear, a suggestion that his ethics may be those of a scofflaw:

This book is dedicated to the man who taught me all about the real ways of life my dad.  As a young boy, I watched him beat the system every day of his life; he got around city officials, entertained the local police, conned the FBI, and beat the IRS like a drum (although they did nab him once for running booze from Canada).

He taught me that everything has a price.  With some it was money, others it was sex, and once in a while, it was for love.

Working at my dad's bars, I learned more about life than any college or police agency could ever teach.  That's what really made me a good investigator.

Thank you, Pop.  If there is a devil, I suspect that you have conned him, too.  I miss you more than I could ever say.
Dedication in Edmund J. Pankau, Hide Your Assets and Disappear: A Step-by Step Guide to Vanishing Without a Trace, Regan Books (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), New York, 2000.

Edmund Pankau's inclusion on the NAIS Inc list of Top 25 Investigators of the Century, then, is capable of leaving the impression that when NAIS Director Ralph D. Thomas drew up the list, he was less than meticulous about excluding the ethically challenged, and is capable of leading to the question of whether probing beneath the similarly-impressive credentials of other members of the list might reveal similarly-impressive ethical shortfalls.

Also of note is that although Edmund Pankau does take credit for being among the "Top 25 Investigators of the Century" on his web site at www.pankau.com/cur.cfm, when he touts his credentials both on the back cover of his book, and in About the Author on p. 205, he makes no mention of this great honor.  One interpretation of this incongruity is that HarperCollins advised against making such an outlandish claim on the ground that it would lower the author's credibility.




Lubomyr Prytulak


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