OUR ASSET RECOVERY SERVICES TEAM ACHIEVE 100% RATE IN 2018

As anyone in business knows, recovering organizational property issued to remote workers when they leave can be difficult and frustrating. Our clients report that the problem is growing and losses due to unreturned organizational property is mounting since the economy began to recover two years ago. Increasingly, former employees are not returning organizational property when then leave says the Wall Street Journal. “It growing problem of which no one seems to have a solution” says, Ron DeMember, the HR manager of the mid-size Midwest trucking outfit and client. As such, with great pleasure, I congratulate our Asset Recovery team and Investigations Manager, Don Johnson for their 100 percent recovery rate for 2018! “For the first time, since our inception three years ago, we have recovered every item we sought for our clients for twelve straight months”, says Johnson.

Well Don, congratulation to you and your team. Thank you! For more information about our asset recovery services call away or email Gene.Ferraro@ForensicPathways.com today.

HOW TO INVESTIGATE #METOO ALLEGATIONS

A proper investigation requires a mixture of skill, experience, and patience. The fundamental rules: Be fair, thorough, and professional.

One after another, reports involving allegations of sexual misconduct continue to be made public. Many of these reports follow a similar scenario—a middle-aged, executive-level man allegedly uses his power and influence to target, and sometimes sexually assault, a person over whom he has power. When true, the events behind these stories can leave the victims and their families scarred and damaged for life. Given what’s at stake, many victims and their advocates have turned to Twitter to express solidarity and expose their alleged abusers, using the #MeToo hashtag. By now, the #MeToo movement has become a worldwide phenomenon, and its impact has put employers of every stripe on notice. In the United States, the federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been vocal on the topic. Recently, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum publicly offered three overarching recommendations to employers attending an Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies conference: Change workplace culture; hold people accountable…

Go to https://sm.asisonline.org/ASIS%20Issue%20PDFs/SM0119_LR.pdf [see page 46 for full article]

THE BIRTH OF THE #METOO MOVEMENT

The following is an excerpt from a forthcoming book by E.F. Ferraro entitled:

How to respond and recover when falsely accused of sexual assault or other serious misconduct in the new #MeToo world where men are guilty until proven innocent

The #MeToo movement (or sometimes simply referred to as the MeToo movement), with its many local and international alternatives, is widely acknowledged to be ground zero of the grassroots response against sexual harassment and sexual assault that shook the globe. #MeToo spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, (especially in the workplace) and the solidarity of those who opposed it and supported its victims. The movement bloomed soon after sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, a successful American film producer became public.

Ms. Tarana Burke, an American social activist and community organizer, is credited for having first used the phrase “Me Too” as early as 2006 on the then trendy, social media platform, Myspace. The phrase was later popularized by Ms. Alyssa Milano, an actress using Twitter in 2017. Ms. Milano encouraged victims of sexual harassment to Tweet about it in order to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”. Her campaign enjoyed quick publicity and success after supportive posts by high-profile Hollywood celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman which were then retweeted and retweeted.

Milano had Tweeted her first “Me Too” around noon on October 15, 2017, and by the end of the day it had been used more than 200,000 times. By the next day it had been retweeted more than 500,000 times. On Facebook, the hashtag was used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts during the first 24 hours. Facebook later reported that 45 percent of users in the United States had a friend who had posted using the term.

Everyone mobilized. Less than a month later, Congress Woman, Jackie Speier proposed the Member and Employee Training and Oversight on Congress Act (shortened to read, the ME TOO Congress Act). The full language of the bipartisan bill was revealed by the House on January 18, 2018 as an amendment to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995. The purpose of the bill is to change how the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government treats sexual harassment complaints. Under the old system, complaints regarding the legislative branch were channeled through the Office of Compliance, which required complete confidentially through the process and took months of counseling and mediation before a complaint could actually be filed. Any settlement payments were paid using federal taxes, and it was reported that within a decade, $15 million of tax money had been spent settling harassment and discrimination complaints. The bill would ensure future complaints could only take up to 180 days to be filed. The bill would also allow the staffers to transfer to a different department or otherwise work away from the presence of the alleged harasser without losing their jobs if they requested it. The bill would require Representatives and Senators to pay for their own harassment settlements. The Office of Compliance would no longer be allowed to keep settlements secret, and would be required to publicly publish the settlement amounts and the associated employing offices. For the first time, the same protections would also apply to unpaid workers, including pages, fellows and interns.  To the dismay of many, the bill has yet to become law.

As for Weinstein, following the sexual abuse allegations against him he was dismissed from his company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences within weeks of Milano’s first Tweet. By October 31, over 80 women had made allegations against him. His “dirty little secret” had been exposed. The allegations against Weinstein sparked hundreds of sexual abuse allegations and the termination of powerful men around the globe. In memoriam, the phenomena has been called the Weinstein effect.

On May 25, 2018, Weinstein was arrested in New York, charged with rape and other criminal offenses, and released on bail. As of the date of this writing, he is awaiting trial. For someone who apparently thought a job interview includes stuffing his penis in the mouth of a female applicant, a stiff stint (no pun intended) in a creepy prison surrounded by angry and sexually frustrated men seems rather lenient…

ASSET RECOVERY IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK

Recovering organizational property issued to remote workers when they leave can be difficult and frustrating. Our clients report that the problem is growing and losses due to unreturned organizational property is mounting. For more than three years ForensicPathways, Inc. has successfully offered a powerful and effective solution. Not only can ForensicPathways, Inc. locate and recover computers, cell phones, tools, vehicles and other valuable items which were issued but not returned, we can recover files, records, client lists, and any trade secrets or intellectual property that may be in the possession of a former employee. Our approach begins with identifying the former employee’s new email address, current residential address, any currently registered vehicles, and his or her new place of employment and job title. Without using threats or intimidating calls and emails we politely communicate with the former worker and request the property we seek be immediately returned at our expense. When necessary, we contact the individual’s current employer and request assistance. Generally, the first outreach is the individual’s current supervisor or manager. If he or she is not immediately responsive we escalate and contact the Director of HR and/or executive management via telephone and/or registered mail (or both) and demand immediate cooperation.

If that cooperation is still not provided, we will contact the new employer’s Security Director, Ethics and Compliance Officer, Chief Legal Officer, and/or CEO. In the most extreme cases we contact law enforcement and facilitate the filing of a crime report and Form 1099 MISC with the IRS. In addition to potential criminal prosecution for theft of physical property and trade secrets by the local authorities, the IRS may seek taxes and penalties for unreported income relative to the value of the property which was not returned and compounded interest on the taxes which the former employee surely did not pay.

Civil ligation is also an option. Potential defendants of course include the former employee, but may also include his new manager and employer. In such cases we not only assist in the recovery of the property sought, we assist our client recover economic damages from both the former employee and his or her new employer.

Don’t waste your organization’s time and resources chasing former employees to recover the value property which they have not returned. Contact us and we’ll eliminate that burden and get your stuff just as fast and economically as if it were our stuff. Our highly effective asset recovery services are just a call away or email Gene.Ferraro@ForensicPathways.com to learn more.

BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION ISSUES UPDATED FCRA MODEL DISCLOSURES

On September 8, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“Bureau”) issued an interim final rule updating two model disclosures to reflect changes made to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by recent legislation.

In May 2018, Congress passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which requires nationwide consumer reporting agencies to provide “national security freezes” free of charge to consumers. The “national security freeze” restricts prospective lenders from obtaining access to a consumer’s credit report, which makes it harder for identity thieves to open accounts in the consumer’s name.

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act mandates that whenever the FCRA requires a consumer to receive either the Summary of Consumer Rights or the Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights, a notice regarding the new security freeze right also must be included (confused yet?). The Summary of Consumer Rights is a summary of rights to obtain and dispute information in consumer reports and to obtain credit scores. The Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights is a summary of rights of identity theft victims. The FCRA requires the Bureau to write model forms of these documents. Consumer reporting agencies and other entities can use the Bureau’s model forms or their own substantially similar forms.

The May 2018 legislation also extends from 90 days to one year the minimum time that nationwide consumer reporting agencies must include an initial fraud alert in a consumer’s file. A fraud alert informs a prospective lender that a consumer may have been a victim of identity theft and requires that the lender take steps to verify the identity of anyone seeking credit in the consumer’s name. Congress set an effective date of Sept. 21, 2018 for the security freeze right, the notice requirement, and the change in duration for initial fraud alerts.

To assist businesses in coming into compliance with the new law, the interim final rule issued today updates the Bureau’s model forms, incorporating the new required notice and the change to the minimum duration of initial fraud alerts. The interim final rule also takes steps to mitigate the impact of these changes on users of the model forms published by the Bureau in November 2012 by permitting various compliance alternatives.

The interim final rule invites comment on these and any other aspects of the Bureau’s model forms to inform any possible further rulemaking.

 

The interim final rule is available at: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/rulemaking/final-rules/summaries-rights-under-fair-credit-reporting-act-regulation-v/

 

The revised Summary of Consumer Rights is at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_consumer-rights-summary_2018-09.docx

 

The revised Summary of Consumer Rights in Spanish is at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_consumer-rights-summary_2018-09_es.docx

 

The revised Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights is at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_consumer-identity-theft-rights-summary_2018-09.docx

 

The revised Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights in Spanish is at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_consumer-identity-theft-rights-summary_2018-09_es.docx  

 

The Bureau’s educational material for consumers on credit reports and credit scores is available at: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/credit-reports-and-scores/.

SO WHAT THE HECK IS “FOLDERING” AND WHO CARES?

President Donald Trump has received no shortage of publicity or scrutiny. But the news of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort being ordered to jail last month made headlines. A judge jailed Manafort after prosecutors claimed he attempted to tamper with the testimony of two potential witnesses in a criminal case he faces involving a Ukraine-related lobbying campaign. Manafort denies all charges and reports initially claimed that the witness tampering charges arose after he allegedly had a one minute and 26 second telephone conversation with a potential witness. But it has subsequently been revealed by a prosecutor in the case that Manafort had also used “foldering” to secretly communicate with potential witnesses.

During the resultant court hearing, as reported by Politico and Mother Jones, Greg Andres, an attorney from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, alleged that Mr. Manafort had engaged in sharing an email account and its password with one or more or more witnesses involved in his case. CNN’s Marshall Cohen summarized on Twitter: “He made an email account and shared the password. He wrote messages but saved them as drafts, never sending actual emails. Other guys open the draft, read it, delete.” Attorneys representing Manafort vehemently deny any wrongdoing by their client.

The technique of using a draft email folder to share messages without transmitting them is apparently an old one. Long known to cyber-intelligence experts, foldering has been used by criminals, spies and cheating spouses for some time.

In the early 1980s, storing electronic files in “folders” went digital. According to research found on the web, a 1982 article in Byte Magazine, geeks “decided to create electronic counterparts to the physical objects in an office: paper, folders, file cabinets, mail boxes, and so on.” A decade later, a 1991 advertisement for Microsoft Mail 3.0 read, “There’s even click and drag foldering. Which gives you a better, more intuitive way to store and retrieve messages.”

According to Wall Street Journal contributor, Ken Zimmer, Kurt Opsahl, deputy executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told him, “While I’ve been following use of the technique for a long time, the Manafort case was the first time I noticed the specific term ‘foldering’ being used to describe it.” According to Opsahl, “the draft folder technique” or “dead-drop email,” method of secretly communicating is not new. For years, spies have used, “dead drops” (or “dead letter box”) to pass information to one another by covertly placing material at a secret location known only to their counterpart. Few spy movies don’t include at least one scene involving a spy making a “drop”.

So, it appears, foldering is just a cyber adaptation using nothing more than an electronic drop. Too bad for Manafort, the dead drop he used was on a computer that fell into the hands of his prosecutor. If true, all that can be said is, “better luck next time, chap”.

ASIS TO DEVELOP ACTIVE ASSAILANT SUPPLEMENT TO ITS WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION ANSI STANDARD

ASIS International (formerly the American Society of Industrial Security), the world’s largest association for security management professionals, today announced it will develop an Active Assailant Supplement to its existing ANSI/ASIS/SHRM Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention Standard (WPVI). With the addition of this supplement, security professionals will have an enhanced standard for practical methods to develop an effective approach to prevention, intervention, and response to an active assailant—either acting alone or in a group.

“Workplace violence is one of the most significant security and personnel safety challenges facing organizations today,” said Gene Ferraro, CPP, PCI, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, chair of the standard technical committee and chief executive, Forensic Pathways, Inc. “Of the many facets of workplace violence, active assailant is the most concerning, because it is the deadliest. Globally, in both the public and private sector, security professionals are searching for solutions. This standard will provide much needed direction and guidance.”

The supplement will include security design considerations, protocols, and response strategies, as well as procedures for detection, assessing vulnerabilities, and managing and neutralizing immediately life-threatening behavior perpetrated by an active assailant. While the original WPVI standard focused on prevention and intervention, the supplement addresses onsite response specific to an active assailant or shooter event.

“As the leading association for security management professionals globally, ASIS International has the expertise and practical experience within its membership ranks to lead this effort,” said Michael Crane, CPP, co-chair of the technical committee. “By tapping into this expertise from across the public and private sector—as well as reaching out to key stakeholders across the security spectrum—we will deliver a standard that provides actionable information and guidance to effectively address these low probability, but high consequence, situations. Ultimately, proper preparation and planning will diminish casualties and save lives.”

Technical committee formation will take place in the coming weeks. Those interested in participating should contact standards@asisonline.org or reach out to me via email at: Gene.Ferraro@ForensicPathways.com.

NETLINGO FOR THE NON-SOCIAL MEDIA CROWD

Mike LaCorte, First Vice President, World Association of Detectives

Edited and Reprinted with Permission

The new generation of social media and instant messaging users are creative innovators. Today, the young adaptors use an expansive set of abbreviations and text shorthand to communicate quickly and privately with one another. The ability to use instant messaging platforms and communicate efficiently with other individuals and/or groups of people has enabled the use of text shorthand to develop and flourish. Many of us know and maybe even occasionally use some of the common abbreviations, such as these:

LOL                 Laugh Out Loud

LYSM              Love You So Much

LMAO             Laughing My Ass Off

TBH                 To Be Honest

OMG               Oh My God

BTW                By The Way

BFF                 Best Friends Forever

IMHO             In My Honest Opinion

WTF                What The F**k

There are lesser known coded abbreviations that teens are commonly using to quickly communicate a message that may be monitored or intercepted. Understanding what these abbreviations mean and how they are used provide investigators (and parents) an insight into the mindset of their prey and children. Historical forms of instant messaging like ‘AOL Messenger’ were introduced many years ago. Among these, there was a common abbreviation used by those looking to meet others:

ASL                 Age, Sex, Location

This Acronym was predominantly used within chat rooms to enable users to reveal personal information within a group and enable other individuals to DM (Direct Message) the most suitable ASL user for a private chat. DM remains extremely popular. Common aps in use include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Snapchat, Sling, WeChat, Twitter, and Instagram. Here are few of the more common abbreviations currently in use (those in bold are the most common):

2DAY              Today

4EAE               For ever and ever

ADN                Any day now

ADR                Address

AEAP              As early as possible

AFAIK             As far as I know

AFK                Away from keyboard

AF                   As F*** (Used as an addition to other words such as Sexy AF)

ALAP               As late as possible

ATM                At the moment

BFN                Bye for now

BOL                 Be on later

BRB                Be right back

BTW               By the way

CTN                Can’t talk now

CD9                 Code 9 – it means parents are around

DM                  Direct Message

DWBH             Don’t worry, be happy

F2F or FTF     Face to face

FWB                Friends with benefits

FYEO              For your eyes only

GAL                Get a life

GB                  Goodbye

GLHF              Good luck, have fun

GNOC             Get Naked on Cam

GTG                Got to go

GYPO             Get your pants off

HAK                Hugs and kisses

HAND             Have a nice day

HTH                Hope this helps / Happy to help

HW                  Homework

IDK                  I don’t know

IIRC                 If I remember correctly

IKR                  I know, right?

ILY / ILU          I love you

IM                    Instant message

IMHO              In my honest opinion / In my humble opinion

IMO                 In my opinion

IRL                  In real life

IWSN              I want sex now

IU2U                It’s up to you

IYKWIM          If you know what I mean

J4F                  Just for fun

J/K                   Just kidding

J/O                  Jerking off

JIC                  Just in case

JSYK              Just so you know

KFY                 Kiss for you

KOTL              Kiss On The Lips

KPC                Keeping parents clueless

L8                    Late

LMBO             Laughing my butt off

LMIRL            Let’s meet in real life

LMK                Let me know

LSR                 Loser

MOOS            Member Of The Opposite Sex

MOSS             Member(s) Of The Same Sex

MorF              Male or Female

MIRL           Meet in real life

MOS               Mom over shoulder

MPFB             My Personal F*** Buddy

NAGI              Not a good idea

NALOPKT      Not A Lot Of People Know That

NIFOC            Nude in front of computer

NM                  Never mind

NMU               Not much, you?

NP                   No problem

NTS                 Note to self

OIC                 Oh I see

OMG               Oh my God

ORLY              Oh, really?

OT                   Off topic

OTP                On the phone

P911                Parent alert

PAW                Parents are watching

PAL               Parents are listening

PCM                Please call me

PIR                  Parent in room

PLS or PLZ    Please

POS                Parent Over the Shoulder or Piece of Sh**

PPL                 People

PRON             porn

PTB                Please text back

QTC                Quick to cum

RAK                Random act of kindness

RL                   Real life

ROFL              Rolling on the floor laughing

RT                   Retweet

RUOK             Are you okay?

RU/18              Are You Over 18?

MorF               Are You Male OR Female?

RUH                Are You Horny?

S2R                 Send to Receive

SMH                Shaking my head

SorG               Straight or Gay

SOS                Someone over shoulder

SRSLY            Seriously

SSDD              Same stuff, different day

SWAK             Sealed with a kiss

SWYP             So, what’s your problem?

SYS                 See you soon

TBC                To be continued

TDTM             Talk dirty to me

TIME               Tears in my eyes

TMI                  Too much information

TMRW            Tomorrow

TTYL              Talk to you later       

TY or TU         Thank you

VSF                 Very sad face

WB                  Welcome back

WTF                What The F**k

WTH                What the heck/hell?

WTPA             Where the party at?

WUF                Where You From?

WYCM            Will You Call Me?

WYRN             What’s Your Real Name?

YGM               You’ve got mail

YOLO             You only live once

YW                  You’re welcome

zerg                 To gang up on someone

 

For an exhaustive list of chat acronyms and text shorthand go to http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php. BFN & TTYL IYKWIM…

The World Association of Detectives is a global alliance of investigators and security professionals. A Global Alliance of Investigators & Security Professionals. With origins dating back to 1921, W.A.D. is the longest established and largest association of its kind in the world. The World Association of Detectives was formed as a joint venture by the combined membership of the World Association of Detectives and the International Secret Service Association for the following purposes:

  • To promote and maintain the highest ethical practices in the profession of private investigator or security service;
  • To select for membership only those individuals whose personal and professional backgrounds and business affiliations have strictly observed the precepts of truth, accuracy and prudence;
  • To eliminate unreliable, incompetent and irresponsible members of the profession;
  • To foster and perpetuate a spirit of cooperation among its members and with all those engaged in law enforcement; and
  • To further and establish a mutual feeling of trust, goodwill and friendship among agencies throughout the world.

www.wad.net

 

 

 

THE 18 MOST COMMON MISTAKES MADE BY INVESTIGATORS AND FACT-FINDERS

As a litigation consultant and expert witness, I frequently have the opportunity to examine and evaluate the investigative work performed by other professionals. These engagements are both fascinating and edifying. Disappointingly, I found that much of the (investigative and legal) work I’ve reviewed involve the commission of serious, albeit preventable mistakes. Of them, the following are the most common I see:

 

Mistake # 1

Not conducting an investigation when one is necessary.

The failure to conduct an investigation when needed or required can be embarrassing and expensive (and in some instances, unlawful). A lawyer once told me that his company had not conducted an obviously necessary investigation because “the alleged discrimination and retaliation had not occurred”. Fortunately, he is no longer practicing law. But if such logic was rational, investigations would never be necessary and discrimination and retaliation could only be proven if the offender graciously admitted it.

 

Mistake # 2

Using law enforcement vernacular instead of the language of business.

Replace police and law enforcement terminology with that which is softer, less harsh. Use the language common to the private sector and be more thoughtful of your customer and how your investigative results will be used.

 

Mistake # 3

Imposing unrealistic time restraints on a complex investigation.

Complex problems which have evolved over time cannot be solved in an afternoon. Employers and their decision-makers must allow the fact-finder the time he or she needs to properly conduct their investigation and bring it to a meaningful conclusion.

 

Mistake # 4

Seeking employee prosecution as an investigative objective.

An organization’s decision to prosecute offending employees should be made for business reasons and no other. In spite of what many think, prosecution is expensive and its outcome is often disappointing.

 

Mistake # 5

Inflexible investigative objectives and excessively rigid processes.

The process of investigation is fluid and dynamic. Because no two investigations are perfectly identical, the approach must be reasonable and the investigator as well as his process, flexible.

 

Mistake # 6

Bending the rules.

Rules, policies, laws and codes provide society and organizations within structure and order. A fact-finder’s failure to obey them is a disservice to all those that his investigation touches, including himself.

 

Mistake # 7

Threatening to involve law enforcement or bring criminal charges against a subject during a workplace investigation.

Some act-finders are taught this technique. It is crude, unprofessional and very possibly unlawful. In some jurisdictions, such behavior is considered extortion and is a crime. Do not threaten those you interview and do not attempt to obtain cooperation by means of extortion.

 

Mistake # 8

Thinking experience trumps skill.

When it comes to investigations in the private sector, experience rarely trumps skill. Instead, experience is integral component of skill. Generally, having done something many times does not equate to the ability of doing it well.

 

Mistake # 10

Allowing, asking or insisting the fact-finder to make recommendations.

The fact-finder should resist the temptation of making recommendations. The tradition of providing the decision-maker recommendations is unnecessary and tends to diminish the credibility of the fact-finder and increases the employer’s liability.

 

Mistake # 11

Failure to identify one’s objectives before initiating an investigation.

This is an unnecessary and often costly mistake. Properly crafted objectives steer the investigation and those who conduct it.

 

Mistake # 12

Failing to interview (anyone).

Remarkably, some fact-finders choose not to interview anyone. Based on the results developed using one or more of the other methods of investigation, they conclude that interviewing is unnecessary. Regardless of the quality of information at hand, at least interview the subject. As reasoned by the Court in Cotran, the term “good cause” when for the purpose of deciding discipline is a “reasoned conclusion … supported by substantial evidence gathered through an adequate investigation that includes notice of the claimed misconduct and a chance for the employee to respond.”[1]

 

Mistake # 13

Hiring former law enforcement officers believing that they can lawfully do things the professional private sector investigator cannot.

Those with prior law enforcement experience have no special privileges or immunity and they must obey the law just as anyone else. Only properly authorized law enforcement officials can immunize someone or their investigative activities and such immunization is not automatic for anyone.

 

Mistake # 14

Attempting to conduct a complex workplace investigation without a complete understanding of the legal risks associated with it.

Workplace investigations are complex affairs. By their very nature, they expose even the most experienced and careful fact-finder to legal risks.

 

Mistake # 15

Using inexperienced contract investigators.

Not all professional investigators are created equal. When using contract investigators ensure they are properly licensed and have insurance. Also ensure they have the experience necessary to perform the services promised.

 

Mistake # 16

Becoming so engrossed in one’s investigation (or story) that the fact-finder fails to scrutinize the information he or she is given.

In the course of your investigation, don’t take anything for granted, especially that which you are told. Some people will mislead you intentional. Others will do it by mistake. Verify all that you are told and do not consider anything a fact until you have fact-checked it.

 

Mistake # 17

Believing employee prosecution is an effective deterrent.

If prosecution was an effective deterrent we’d have very little crime. Instead our jails and prisons are overflowing. The decision to prosecute should be strictly a business decision, not an emotional one.

 

Mistake # 18

Failing to enjoy one’s work and have fun.

If you don’t like your job and can find another, do so. Life is too short not to enjoy one’s work and have a little fun while doing it.

 

[1] http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-supreme-court/1065243.html

INVESTIGATING WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINTS

Though the famous consumer advocate, Ralph Nader is often credited with the first use of the term whistleblower, its origin dates back to the late 19th Century. The first whistleblowers were the famous British unarmed police officers affectionately called, “bobbies”. Whistleblowing bobbies would “blow the whistle” so that good citizens could be alerted to help chase and apprehend pickpockets and shoplifters that frequented London’s shopping districts. The practice of whistleblowing became so effective that the idea was copied by local merchants who themselves began to carry whistles around their necks, thus giving birth to one of the first public–private law enforcement partnerships.

The benefits of whistleblowing was not lost on the Americans. Most notably were American lawmakers during the Lincoln Administration seeking to stem rampant fraud foisted on an unsophisticated and over-extended federal government and its military. In response to “decrepit horses and mules in ill health, faulty rifles and ammunition, and rancid rations and provisions” on March 2, 1863, Congress passed the False Claims Act, or what would become known as the Lincoln Law. For the first time in American history, a reward was offered in what was and still is called the “qui tam” provision. The provision permits citizens to sue on behalf of the government and allows them to keep 50 percent of the total recovery should they win. The Lincoln Law quickly taught the public that fraud pays…at least for those on the right side of the law.

Among the more famous modern whistleblowers, are Daniel Ellsberg, an analyst for the RAND corporation who in 1971 leaked a top-secret Pentagon study of the U.S….

Read more →  http://www.pimagazine.com/whistle-blower/