Not sure why Cecile Ortlieb thought it was ok to go through life scamming people (especially cash strapped startups), but what she did was very wrong. Graduate of the London School of Economics, Cecile Ortlieb posed as a private equity/family office investor whose focus was on allocating capital, from limited partners located in the Middle East and the USA, into privately owned high growth potential startups in order to be wined and dined. After two months of conversation, two trips to London (from New York), fully executed offering documents confirming her (or shall I say World Glance’s) $4Million dollar investment, a seven day stay in my home (I know- so weird…), multiple dinners and lunches, many hours with our lawyers putting together board seat paperwork per her request, and even going as far as to pay her taxi back to the airport because her “card was declined”, I find out she never intended to invest- it was all a scam to get a free ride.
My biggest motivation in sharing my story, albeit very embarrassing, is to help warn future potential Cecile Ortlieb victims and of course, hold her accountable for her actions. Hindsight is 2020, and as I piece together all the data I gathered through my dealings with Cecile, my conclusion is that she is a professional conartist. Let’s just say this couldn’t have been her first rodeo show. I’m guessing I am not the first victim and won’t be the last but hopefully this will slow her down.
Note to Cecile: Hopefully one day you wake up and change your life around. Scamming your way through life is not a way to live.
So here we are, in the middle of raising a round, which was covered by multiple media platforms and Cecile Ortlieb connected with me in June 2015 where she stated that she was representing Limited Partners from the Middle East and from the USA. She was using the emails firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Other emails she has used with other victims are firstname.lastname@example.org@gmail.com or Cecile@carbonfixation.com
We had a couple of phone conversations, exchanged a few emails and also had a meeting in London before she sent me the purchase agreement signed. Her investment was $4Million and I was thrilled. Her signature on the offering documents showing her desire to move forward with becoming an investor can be seen below.
Despite my great excitement, there definitely were red flags that just didn’t seem right. For example, during the second meeting after signing the offering documents for a $4Million investment, I decided to travel to London for a second time. I tried to visit her offices but she kept avoiding it and decided to meet me at The Ritz. Initially she wanted to meet me at the park which I thought was strange for such an important business meeting, but I didn’t make a fuss and followed her guidance. See WhatsApp below.
After my second visit to London, Cecile committed to wire the funds on June 29th, which was 10 days passed the time she executed the documents. June 29th comes and nothing. No email, no text- nothing. I was very bummed. I thought I lost the deal and she went dark on me. Three days go by with no word until I get a text from her. I was so excited and thought, yes, she is still coming through!
On her WhatsApp messages, she mentioned that she had been busy and that she was coming to New York. I thought, this is great, she will come to New York, we will close the deal and will have some time to get to know each other better, but then, she tells me she wants recommendations for places to stay. As I was thinking of hotels close to my house, she write, “trying to avoid hotels”… I suggested to stay at an AirBnB apartment and as a kind gesture I offered her to stay at the house (never thought she would accept- how weird- though still silly of me to have offered in the first place- never again.) This is New York City, places are small and she would basically be sleeping on my couch. I couldn’t believe when she said your house sounds great. I have to admit, my wife and I were creeped out. We felt it was weird, but we thought maybe she wants to do serious due diligence given she is investing such a large amount so we went with it.
She initially told us she would stay for 3 days… on our July 4th weekend, which really sucked, but hey, it’s business. We were so focused on closing the $4Million that we didn’t say anything. Anyways, 3 days turned into 7 which is a lot even if that person is your best friend in the world, let alone a stranger. Plus she was really awkward, very guarded and never fully answered questions. For instance I asked her where she grew up, and her response would be a chuckle, then say “that’s a good question, a little bit everywhere”… and stay silent after. So strange. Couldn’t figure out what was her deal then, but now it all makes sense. She was working us.
Below are the messages that were received via WhatsApp.
Cecile arrived at our house on Thursday evening. On Friday I asked her when the money she committed was going to be wired. She stated it was going to be transferred either by Sunday with an 89% chance or latest by Monday with a 98% chance.
At 7pm on Monday after I had not heard anything concerning the wire I asked her what was the status. She said that she had just given instructions to her team and that the money was going to hit the bank account as soon as I would wake up on Tuesday.
When I woke up on Tuesday, the first thing I did was to look at the company’s bank account. Of course, there was absolutely no transfer done. I asked Cecile and she said that there were some delays due to her lawyers but that it was going to be done on Wednesday with a 100% chance of completion. Ah! Finally, 100% chance. I was felling good about this.
The clip below shows her stating this. Note she was aware of my wife and I having cameras at our house which we use to watch our dogs when we are not there. In the video she states that from her understanding the wire has already been done. I kept asking for a confirmation number or something but she didn’t have anything to show. At this point, I’m getting a little worried that this woman might be full of shit but I can’t imagine why someone would stay at my house for such a long time and not be serious. It was not even in my thought process that she could have been scamming me so she “had to be real.” Nothing else made sense.
During the conversations at my house where I was pressing to receive the bank confirmation, I asked Cecile what was the name of the partner and the law firm that she was working with. She stated that she was working with two partners from Cleary Gottlieb. One of them called Lawrence Friedman and the other one Ethan Klingsberg.
Once Cecile left my apartment on Wednesday after 7 days (remember she initially mentioned she was only staying 3 days), I decided to look and see who I knew at Cleary Gottlieb. I made some calls, sent some emails and was very surprised with what got back to me. The two partners she was mentioning had never heard of Cecile Ortlieb or World Glance- ever. I was shocked…
Cecile clearly stated that she was working on the deal with these partners at Cleary Gottlieb and in fact forwarded me the below email as evidence where she was supposedly instructing the partner at Cleary Gottlieb to move forward with the transaction.
Below is the video where she says that she was working with Cleary Gottlieb and names the partners Ethan and Lawrence.
When she left to JFK Airport from our office on Wednesday, I was disappointed that we had not had the chance to close the transaction. One hour after I had said goodbye I received a call from the taxi driver. A nice Turkish man that was worried as the lady that he took to Terminal 7 of JFK did not paid him.
The taxi driver mentioned that the woman had given him my number and my name, and said that I was going to pay him as her credit cards were not working. I was shocked!! Cecile never called me or texted me to inform me this was the case so receiving such a call came out of left field for me.
I called Cecile and asked if she was ok. She did not have my telephone number saved on her phone so obviously she picked up. She said that her credit cards were not working but that now all of a sudden she was able to use them without any problems… how convenient.
Feeling really bad for the taxi driver I paid his fair which amounted to USD $80. It was clearly not his fault.
During the next days, even though I knew she was scamming me, I continued to play along because I wanted to see her next move. I couldn’t understand why she would go through all that trouble for a 7 day stay in my house and a few nice meals. Jeez, I wondered, maybe she stole something in the house? Did the camera’s deter her from taking anything else, or maybe she did take something and I didn’t notice. So many questions, and very little answers, so I kept the conversation going and sent her the below…
As seen on the message, she was acting very bizarre. She could not even remember her lies. She left New York to San Francisco and all of a sudden she says that she wanted to get out of China and India. How could one person be in two cities at the same time? The longer this dialogue went on, the nuttier it got.
Per her request, I called her briefly and could not believed what I was hearing… Cecile was saying that she had a flight reserved from San Francisco to London but that her credit cards were declined. She asked me to pay for her ticket…. Since I already was aware of the scam I had an easy way out and just mentioned that I could not do so as I had forgot my wallet somewhere and I did not have the credit cards with me.
What nerve she has?! Her strategy was uncovered. She basically tries to stick people she claims to be investing in, with the bills until her preys clue into the strategy. WOW. No words.
So after a few days of knowing that Cecile‘s potential investment was really a scam, I decided to confront her. Especially because I already had stimulated her next move, which was to ask me to pay her flight ticket. I also had heard from other entrepreneurs falling on her trap so this was the time to do it. I sent her the email below.
To my surprise she had the nerve to reply something very surprising as seen on the attachment below. She was calling my business a scam after having spent 7 days at my house, visited our office, met with all of our employees, and after been copied on some of the communication with our lawyers. I was in shock!
I also received the message below from one of the entrepreneurs that she was speaking with for a potential investment of $5M. I was introduced to him via Cecile while she was staying at my house. He had already paid for hotels, flight tickets, etc. I invited him for dinner to go over everything but he could not make it due to travels. However, he could not wait to share his findings with me…
I was not surprise to hear other people getting scammed by Cecile. She owed one of her associates over $90,000 in unpaid salary. This employee apparently paid a hotel stay for her and also an airline flight that she never paid him back for. See the email I received from him below.
On another note, I also heard from another person that was scammed by Cecile. This was another entrepreneur who was seeking from Cecile Ortlieb a $5M investment for his business. They were going back and forth on the process since February and had agreed on a term sheet but lawyers never showed up to close the deal… Not a surprise. The worst part was that he also paid for Cecile a hotel and a flight to leave the US! The same old story of cards being declined…
I was introduced to the entrepreneur mentioned above via Cecile while she was staying at my house. The reaction of the entrepreneur when I shared with him this blog was not a surprise to me. See the exchange of messages below.
During my conversations with Cecile while she was staying at my house, she stated that she was using Rothschild as a bank and that the wire transfer of the $4M would be executed by them. She mentioned Doron Gurevitz and Tracy Campbell as the people that were helping her. I was lucky to also have a contact at Rothschild that I reached out to. Apparently Cecile Ortlieb or World Glance don’t appear as a client on the database of the bank!! Unreal..
In the last month there has been a lot of people commenting on social media about Cecile Ortlieb. The most surprising is that I have received emails from people all over the world that have also been affected by the actions of Cecile.
With that been said, I did receive the email below with all types of details about someone in London that was also impacted by the questionable actions of Cecile. It is shocking to see the magnitude of this.