In Business This Week
WHEN PRINCE CHARMING HAS A RAP SHEET
Perhaps all those made-for-TV movies are to blame. You know the plot: Young widow meets dreamboat. He seems like perfect husband material until she discovers what the viewers have known all along: He's a creep, with a long record of criminal fraud -- or something worse -- in his past.
It seems that such deception isn't just a staple of prime-time drama -- it's real life. Or at least that's what former New York City Police Dept. detectives Tim Bartlett and Jerry Palace are betting. They're starting Check-a-Mate, a nationwide network of private eyes. Their primary job: making sure that prospective spouses are "not bankrupts, not ex-convicts, not child molesters, not rapists, not anything -- in fact -- that would be an obstacle to a happy relationship." What if those "obstacles" are real, and your Mr. Right turns out to be Mr. Dead Wrong? Well, you can always sell your story to Hollywood.EDITED BY HARRIS COLLINGWOOD