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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

Like many large projects, writing a book takes the support of many great people. Black Market Billions could not have been written without the indefatigable help and support of many people in the public sector, including the Los Angeles Police Department, Albuquerque Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Retail Federation, the Secret Service, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association. Captain Bill Williams and Detective Kent Oda of the Commercial Crimes Division put their trust in me based on a quick in-person conversation and a lengthy e-mail. They gave me unprecedented access to people, places, and divisions for days on end. Thanks to Kevin Tyrrell at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and to Cori Bassett, who took the time and had the patience to set up meetings, explain every little detail about money laundering instruments, and advise me on overseas travel to undisclosed locations. Karen Fischer and Commander Harold Prudencio also allowed me to come behind the doors of the APD, letting me ask questions about cases, incidents, and people who had never been discussed with outside sources.

This book started out as an idea based on an instant-message conversation I had with a former colleague. But the foundation of the research came from Joe LaRocca and Kathy Grannis at the National Retail Federation, as well as Elizabeth Jennings at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. These retail industry stars helped me sort through piles of documents, countless reports, and congressional testimony to get to the right sources. From the private sector, I cannot thank Jerry Biggs and Gary Weisbecker from the loss prevention team at Walgreens enough. The number of hours spent on the phone discussing, strategizing, and helping me understand how an organized retail crime group works, from the psychology of a Level 1 booster and fence to a Level 3 shell warehouse owner, was instrumental in creating the foundation for this book. Likewise, I owe a large amount of gratitude to the public relations and loss prevention teams at LVMH, Deckers, eBay, Target, and Limited Brands for fielding questions and requests for interviews and making sure every fact was correct.

I interviewed hundreds of sources, many on background, who helped me “follow the money,” so to speak. Although the majority of them requested anonymity, I would like to thank Professor Willam Martel at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy for reviewing chapters, adding input, and convincing me “not to bury the lede.” Likewise, Kris Buckner’s input and wealth of information on the counterfeiting industry was insurmountable. And to my anonymous sources, thank you for your help.

Behind every good author is a great editor, and Jeanne Glasser is the best. The book would not have happened if it weren’t for her editorial advice, foresight, and direction. Through Jeanne I not only gained inspiration, but I made a friend for life. Thank you to the editorial and production team at Pearson North America: Tim Moore, Russ Hall, Jess DeGabriele, and Jovana Shirley. Their hard work in the last stages of the book got us to the finish line. I was lucky enough to have Molly Novero agree to be my research assistant even though she was a full-time law student. Words cannot express how grateful I am for her dedication and hours spent going through thousands of court documents, tracking down the names of attorneys, and interpreting Supreme Court decisions for me. Thank you to Adam Kirschner, Nik Deogun, and Nick Dunn for having the faith in me that I could be on television, run a research company, and write a book at the same time. And, I wanted to give an extra special thank you to my colleagues at Bloomberg Television, especially to Mark White, Dan Colarusso, Andrew Morse, and Andy Lack for their support.

Last, but not least, I want to thank my friends and family for their love and support. To my parents, Sonia, Giri and Betsy, Michele P. and Nathan B., Andrew T., Sarah Mary, Stacey S., RKB, Lori, Meena, Shane, Megan A., Alexis R., Ernest, and Fero, thank you for being there at all hours of the night and day to listen to my ideas, offer advice, make me laugh, and, when needed, offer a shoulder to cry on. To my teachers Jon B., Liz M., and Kim N. for imparting your writing wisdom on me throughout the years. And to Seth. This book happened because you are my rock, love, and light. Thank you.

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