February 6

Stealing From Schmucks

We live in a strange time when it comes to entertainment. With all of the streaming services, we have an unlimited number of options.

But when I sit down for a little mindless entertainment, I spend more time looking for something to watch than actually watching something. I mean all I want to do is turn my brain off for an hour. Is that too much to ask?!?

This weekend, I got lucky and found a show called Inventing Anna. It’s about Russian-born Anna Soroking (also known as Anna Delvey) who ended up in prison for fraud. And not just any fraud – she bilked millionaires out of some of their millions.

Born in Russia, emigrated to Germany, moved to London, and ended up in NYC as an intern for the French fashion magazine Purple.

Although she had basically no experience in just about anything, she used her proximity to elites and fake financial documents, forged wire transfers, and fraudulent checks to defraud people for millions.

And she wasn’t fooling a bunch of schmucks. She defrauded some of the best of the best including banks, high society associates, and realtors into paying out cash and granting large loans with zero collateral. She used this to fund her lavish lifestyle, including residencies in multiple upscale hotels.

In our probate space, I see so many people trying to profit by positioning themselves as experts when in reality they have almost no real life experience. I’ve seen firsthand the mess that real estate investors, brokers, and agents have gotten themselves into by following their mentorship.

Understanding how probate works really isn’t that difficult. Watch enough YouTube videos and you be the same level of “expert” that these people claim to be.

But being successful in probate (and being a real help for people stuck in the probate process) goes way beyond a “YouTube level” of knowledge.

I’m not prideful enough to say I know everything, but I have been working probate real estate for over 23 years. I’ve seen just about everything possible. And over that time I haven’t just been telling other people what to do – I’ve been an active investor and a partner in running a brokerage for all of those years (and still am) so I know what works and what doesn’t from real life, firsthand experience.

Be careful who you listen to. People who (unknowingly) study at the feet of an imposter (unknowingly) become imposters themselves.

Deep down, people know an imposter when they meet one.

But when you become a true probate expert, those imposters won’t matter. You’ll become the go to trusted probate authority. Even better than that, you’ll be able to truly help families who desperately need an expert.

To your success,
Ernie “The Real Deal” Vargas | The Probate Fox

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