Internet LaptopYou might be surprised how many small business owners’ attorneys contact . It’s not just the multi-million dollar enterprises who have to be on guard against corporate espionage and theft by employees. Take this case, for example:

When Mitch and his business partners moved from the West Coast to open a second decorative concrete business in the Midwest, they obviously hoped the new venture would be as successful as the first. But none of them were prepared with just how quickly the business grew. Mitch’s finishing techniques were unlike any others. The “wow” factor was immediate. Suddenly the new business was the hot topic among many well-known developers and architects.

But that instant popularity prompted jealously among competitors. Unidentified concrete businesses seemed to be trying to run the new concrete guys right out of the city and odd things were happening:

  • Tools were suddenly missing.
  • Machinery was broken.
  • Truck tires were slashed.

Countless times, Mitch filed vandalism reports. He added an alarm system and exterior cameras. He went to the expense of securing the building and a portion of the parking lot by installing a sturdy fence with gates. But the sabotage continued. Mitch found no relief by trying to work with the police department. All they could do was react once more damage was done.

Frustrated, Mitch decided that he had to be dealing with an inside job and felt he needed professional help. Just like staff that are all highly creative and quick to adjust their various skill sets to uniquely fit client needs, investigators put into place an unusual plan.

One female investigator, whose expertise was digital forensics, came into the business, posing as an administrative and IT assistant. This gave her access to all computers without raising suspicion among workers. Forensic computer analysis was conducted on computers throughout the sales and customer service areas. Using data mining software and digital forensics protocol, she was able to identify an employee who was providing information about schedules and clients to a competitor where she had worked prior to joining Mitch’s company. While not truly considered employee embezzlement, her actions were considered theft in the workplace. Client data protection is often the reason for an employee theft investigation.

A male investigator also posed as an employee, to have access to unsuspecting employees. If there was an employee stealing from the company, he was on the lookout. GPS trackers were installed on service trucks and hidden surveillance cameras were installed in additional locations throughout the facility.

It did not take long for the investigators to positively identify the culprits. With evidence including video recordings, documents and files from the computer forensic examination, Mitch was able to return to the authorities to file charges. Now Mitch and his partners continue to confidently grow their new location, knowing that investigators were there and would continue to be there if needed. has the skills, tools and resources to find the truth you need.

-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations