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When the Killer Has No Name: The Limits of Negative News Searches

July 28, 2021 | Investigations Investigations + Due Diligence

One of the most spectacular crimes in recent European history occurred in 2009 during the Dutch national holiday Queen’s Day. In an assassination attempt, a 38-year-old Dutchman drove his car through a crowd of spectators toward an open bus carrying Queen Beatrix and other members of the royal family. Although no one from the royal family was harmed, seven spectators were killed and ten were seriously injured.

The story of the Queen’s Day attack is recounted in “Murder in Read More

What Would Sherlock Holmes, The Pinkertons, and Magnum P.I. Do During COVID-19?

June 8, 2020 | Investigations

I read my first Sherlock Holmes novel in Farsi at the age of 11 in the bombed-out suburbs of Tehran. In post-revolution Iran – during a war, food rations, military conscription, and nightly air raids – it was a rare pleasure, and solving complex problems became my passion. I became the self-declared investigator of lost pets, soccer balls, and toys in the neighborhood. I took notes, marked evidence, and exercised my deductive reasoning skills.

When I immigrated with my family … Read More

Prudent Generosity: Due Diligence of CARES Act and Other Covid-19 Emergency Loans

April 28, 2020 | Investigations

This week the White House and Congress agreed on a $484 billion funding deal to help small businesses, hospitals and Covid-19 testing. The spending package’s passage infuses another $310 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), $60 billion of which was set aside for regional banks, community-based lenders and credit unions with an added $10 billion to cover lenders’ administrative costs. There’s also $60 billion allocated in the legislation for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans Program, which covers grants for … Read More

COVID-19 and Your Pending Workplace Investigations

April 27, 2020 | Investigations

COVID-19 and Your Pending Workplace Investigations

While our lives are changing in dramatic ways that tend to make us feel more isolated and insecure, the world of workplace investigations continues to move forward. Workplace investigations are built on a foundation of thorough effort that is conducted fairly and confidentially and is performed in a timely fashion. The novel coronavirus has the capacity to tilt the factors of timeliness and fairness on their axes.

COVID-19 dropped on the scene unannounced, and … Read More

Beware Scams Related to the Coronavirus

April 3, 2020 | Investigations

International fraudsters are already exploiting the Coronavirus and new federal CARES Act aid, relief, and stimulus programs, which include emergency cash payments to individuals and businesses. Expect the fraud attempts to continue throughout and after the pandemic.

Criminals are using various means to contact potential victims, including:

• spoofed (forged sender/header) email and phone calls posing as U.S. Treasury officials requesting potential victims provide personal identifying information (“PII”) to receive aid payments; and

• text messages with links to official-looking … Read More

What Common Thread Links Alfred Redl, Aldrich Ames and Sultan Issa? Betrayal.

January 27, 2020 | Due Diligence Investigations

According to the Department of Justice, Sultan Issa, the former Chief Financial Officer of a group of partnerships, corporations and trusts owned by a Chicago-area family, recently pled guilty to embezzling over $65 million. “Simply, I lied to a lot of people and I stole their money,” Issa told U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood. “And financial institutions as well.” Issa used his position of trust to steal money to fund his lavish lifestyle for nearly a decade. How did his … Read More

The Importance of Conducting Your Own Due Diligence

August 20, 2019 | Investigations

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal discusses the resignation of the Care.com CEO after an earlier investigation reported on the inadequate vetting of the company’s caregivers. “Ms. Marcelo’s resignation as CEO comes after the Journal’s investigation in March found instances in which caregivers hired through the Care.com platform had police records and were accused of committing crimes while caring for clients, including child abuse, sexual assault and murder.”

This is truly alarming, and of great concern to those … Read More

The Saga of “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap

April 1, 2019 | Investigations

Could a Better Background Check Have Prevented a Massive Accounting Fraud?

“Chainsaw Al” is not the sort of nickname that most people would want but Albert J. Dunlap seemed to revel in it. The nickname was featured prominently in obituaries after his death early this year. The New York Times’s obit said that Dunlap earned it because of his “ardor for turning around troubled companies by laying off workers and closing factories.” He had other nicknames, including “
Read More

Apple Insider Trading Case Underscores Basics of Effective Internal Investigations

March 1, 2019 | Investigations

Lesson From Apple

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently filed a lawsuit against a former Apple executive alleging he engaged in insider trading. According to the SEC’s complaint, as the previous global head of corporate law and corporate secretary, he was responsible for ensuring that employees complied with the company’s policy on insider trading. He also received material non-public information about Apple’s finances as a member of the company’s disclosure committee. The SEC alleges he, on at least three occasions, … Read More

Lateral Hiring: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

May 18, 2018 | Investigations

In a highly competitive lateral market, about half of law firm hires don’t make it past the first five years and retention rates continue to disappoint. Retaining key hires can be a complex issue and chief among the considerations is being sure the due diligence is done before making an offer. A quick scan of any legal publication illustrates how, time and time again, the reputation of a firm is damaged by a lack of proper due diligence.

The scenario … Read More