It’s not unusual for a business owner to be so intent on running a business that they are taken by unscrupulous employees. International Investigators received a call from an attorney who had a construction company owner as a client. We’d provided computer forensic consulting for other clients of his in the past.
This client had called with what he said was a weird question. Apparently the construction company had a Vice President who had recently left the company – he resigned saying had had accepted a position in another company. The owner was sorry to lose him because he was grooming him to take over operations.
Well, after he left, three of the jobs that had gone out for bid, which the owner thought were pretty much in the bag were not contracted. All three had gone to a new, unknown company. So the owner did a little research only to discover his former VP was the man behind the new company. He had a bad feeling about it.
The attorney was calling asking that a complete computer forensic analysis be made of the former employee’s work computer. We agreed to conduct a computer forensic examination and asked for documentation as to what information should be extracted if a computer data forensic recovery was needed.
At that point we knew the owner felt there would be evidence uncovered in the computer forensics electronic discovery process. He wasn’t wrong.
In every case the computer forensics experts at International Investigators follows a very strict protocol in the process. We are objective, but meticulous so that any evidence collected can be admitted in a court of law.
The data collected during the computer forensics investigation included:
- Copies of the bids in question that had been lost
- A modified bid template changing the logo and company information to the VP’s new company.
- A bid from the new company for the lost jobs that was slightly below the original bid put out by his employer.
This VP was smart – he knew his job. But he didn’t know what he was leaving behind. He had deleted the files and he thought that was that. But the forensic investigator was able to extract the original documents. Files deleted on a computer are seldom completely gone.
Digital forensics is playing a bigger and bigger part in lawsuits now. The technology is there to get evidence through a computer forensic investigation. When the correct protocol is used, the evidence and the process both can be shared under oath by a computer forensic expert witness – who is the same computer forensic specialist who extracted it.
When you need to be sure, be confident by hiring professional computer forensics firms.
-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators