Computer forensics is not only used for criminal cases, but for civil cases as well. One illustrative case involved a worker who was placed on unpaid leave and then terminated. He filed a lawsuit against his employer alleging violations of the anti-retaliation provision of the False Claims Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the laws of the state of the occurrence. He told his attorney that several supervisors had conspired against him and that there were emails he had seen to prove it.
The attorney obtained subpoenas for the computers of the supervisors and the terminated employee for computer forensics analysis. When the certified computer examiner began the process, he created a digital copy and found something unusual. The unallocated file space on two of the supervisor’s computers had been wiped clean – as well as more than 2,200 files deleted all at one time. That is a red flag to a forensic investigator. And it meant that the case would require a broader investigation to piece the puzzle together.
A computer forensic investigation not only requires computer data forensics recovery, but also the skills of an investigator to identify and follow the threads and leads in a case. That’s why firms like International Investigators have such strong reputations. They can provide all the services needed to make an investigation flow quickly and smoothly with experienced professionals in computer forensics investigations and traditional investigative and surveillance techniques.
In this case, surveillance revealed that the users of the two wiped computers took lunch together almost every day. During those lunches, they discussed the case, their fears about what had been on their computers and what they had done to prevent damaging emails from being discovered. Their efforts to destroy evidence were really for naught because the computer forensic specialist was able to recover emails on another computer that were able to name names and confirm the plaintiff’s claim that he had been targeted.
But there was another surprise revealed by the computer forensics investigation. Child pornography was discovered on one of the computers and that is a situation that must be reported to authorities. The final report provided by the computer forensics expert at first made the attorney and his client happy – they thought they had everything they needed to win the lawsuit. But when the digital forensics also revealed the user of the computer with stored child pornography was the terminated employee, a whole new problem surfaced for the attorney and his client.
-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators