Monthly Archives: March 2014

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    Experienced Forensic Investigators Have Seen it All and Know Where to Look

Experienced Forensic Investigators Have Seen it All and Know Where to Look

Some people in the world put lots of time into being sneaky. Sometimes their goal is to elude the IRS by hiding money in offshore accounts or in hidden bank accounts under the names of friends or family. Sometimes the goal is insurance fraud or hiding property ownership. But whatever type of illegal activity you suspect, in your company or business, in your marriage or family, it’s very likely that you need help.

When you can’t track down the answers on your own; call on the skills and abilities of a private investigator. In fact, even your attorney may suggest services of a firm like International Investigators. No longer simply identified as a professional sleuth, a few private investigation firms have certified computer examiners on [...]

Objective Asset Search Alleviates Some Pressure in Divorce

Quite often in a divorce proceeding, one spouse may suspect the other of hiding assets. Also common, one spouse is self-employed and the wife (in the majority of cases) has limited knowledge of income and investments. Hiring a private investigator is very often the key to insuring yourself a fair settlement. A private investigator will utilize a variety of investigative techniques to locate hidden accounts and find hidden assets. There are many scenarios that can play out, including:

One spouse may be in collusion with an employer or business partner to delay or hide bonuses, raises or stock options until divorce proceedings are complete.
Financial statements and tax returns seem to need more study.
Investigating the possibility of divorce assets being hidden by dumping money in a [...]

Digital Forensics is Now Available to Public

You have probably heard the story about how ex-Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich spends his time these days. Right? He’s behind bars, serving a 14-year sentence for public corruption. A computer forensics expert found enough evidence for more than 18 charges to be filed against Blagojevich. He was caught trying to sell or trade a vacant U.S. Senate seat after President Obama left the Senate for the White House.

Because the world continues to demand more and more expertise with technology, digital forensics is in high demand. Defined as the application of science and engineering for the purpose of retrieving digital evidence in a legally acceptable manner, computer forensic analysis is not only used by police detectives. International Investigators are also well-versed in this area, with [...]

Private Investigators Step Up For Investigation

As the use of the Internet evolves, more great ways to educate, entertain and inform the world are constantly being developed and implemented. Unfortunately, there is a downside to all the great ways that computers connect the globe, and that means that more and more criminals seek ways to participate in illegal, untraceable crime through computers.

One great example of a greedy opportunist would be Chase Lindsey, a Texas chiropractor convicted last year of $3 million auto insurance fraud. For two years, Lindsey participated in a fairly elaborate rip-off scheme, involving fake auto dealerships and fake patients. He allowed fraudulent chiropractic bills to be created under his name, for treatment that was never provided, on patients that never existed. In addition, Lindsey sent fraudulent settlement [...]

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    Do You Need a Handwriting Analyst or a Computer Forensics Analyst?

Do You Need a Handwriting Analyst or a Computer Forensics Analyst?

Forgery isn’t always a signature. Generally speaking, forgery is creating a false copy in an effort to defraud someone or something. Through the years, International Investigators has seen that something to be valuable; money, land, custody or control.

A New York man was charged with felonies in two states for allegedly forging checks. But it wasn’t the signature that was forged – it was the amounts of the checks. The signatures were valid, but he was able to cash 13 checks for more than $8,000 over the original check amount.

With handwritten checks, it is possible to complete a thorough handwriting analysis to determine if the maker of the check actually wrote the amounts on the check. Sometimes, in medium-sized businesses, the bookkeeper might make out [...]

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    Do You Have a Trail of Paperwork That Reveals Employee Embezzlement?

Do You Have a Trail of Paperwork That Reveals Employee Embezzlement?

Employee embezzlement is a major problem, especially for small businesses. I recently read an article by Todd Frankel of the St. Louis Dispatch, “Wave of embezzlement cases hits St. Louis region.” Case after case spoke of employees:

Getting reimbursements in “office expenses”
Improperly documenting vehicle impound fees and pocketing the money
Creating fraudulent invoices and making payments to dummy vendors (themselves)
Skimming money by adding a fee to an invoice, then taking the money once the invoice is paid

Theft by employees is increasing, according to a poll of the members of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Looking at the cases, embezzlement by employee after employee shows that the theft occurs over a long period of time and is taken in small amounts. Unlike a bank robbery, the [...]

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    Make Smart Choices: Due Diligence or Hidden Assets in Divorce

Make Smart Choices: Due Diligence or Hidden Assets in Divorce

Private investigators are not relationship counselors – we are fact finders. The main mission of International Investigators is to provide clients with solid facts and information they need to make informed and smart decisions.

We get calls from clients and attorneys during divorce proceedings, especially when a hidden bit of information surfaces like accounts that were not known to both parties or debts that had been hidden. Hiding money in a divorce often begins with hiding money in a marriage.

A hidden account investigator begins an asset investigation with a statewide asset search and then a nationwide asset search. We look for:

Hidden bank accounts
Hidden retirement funds
Hidden off shore accounts

We try to locate stocks and bonds and other missing assets. But that is all after the fact [...]

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    Think Computer Forensic Services if you are Concerned about Employee Theft

Think Computer Forensic Services if you are Concerned about Employee Theft

Employee theft can take many forms, not just stealing cash from the register or lifting product out the backdoor to an associate. In fact, in a recent article on American Express Open Forum, Barry Moltz lists several you might not have even considered, although he says they are common.

Set up fake vendor accounts.
Steal checks
Falsify expense accounts.
Buddy punching (timecards)
Steal data

Most of these can be precluded through strict protocol and a system of checks and balances. If you suspect employee theft, International Investigators can step in and bring the truth to light.

First, computer forensic examination reveals not just documentation to confirm wrongdoing, but also can identify groups of employees conspiring through email and other communications. Even if the employee deletes emails, a certified computer examiner has [...]