Solutions

Investigations + Business Intelligence

Corporate Internal Investigations

We are frequently called upon to conduct internal investigations into allegations or suspicions of harassment or corrupt or fraudulent conduct by employees. We rely upon our team of attorneys, forensic accountants, research analysts, field investigators and computer forensics experts to staff these assignments, and we work collaboratively to develop an investigative plan that is appropriate to the suspected misconduct.

We typically employ a phased approach to internal investigations, with budgetary parameters for each phase. The scope and focus of successive phases are determined in consultation with you, and our strategy going forward is dictated by the findings in each phase. Since most of our investigative professionals have had experience in federal, state and local law enforcement — as prosecutors, auditors and agents — our strategies are developed with an understanding of the evidence that may be needed to support an eventual criminal prosecution.

Because we have years of experience in the private sector, we are equally sensitive to matters of confidentiality and public perception. When an investigation becomes public, it is critical that every effort is made to protect your organization from reputational damage. With input from strategic partners with experience in such matters, we often assist in developing an appropriate public response to inquiries regarding the suspected misconduct.

Monetary trails invariably remain when an unsuspecting employer or trusting investor is defrauded. Identifying and following these trails is the foundation of most financial investigations. We excel in finding and recovering assets on behalf of trustees, creditors’ committees, corporations and individuals, both domestically and globally, to uncover hidden assets, wherever they may be secreted.

We have a track record of success with asset searches and recovery in numerous jurisdictions. We have worked extensively in jurisdictions which provide offshore asset secrecy and protection, e.g., the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caymans, Channel Islands, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Cyprus, Panama and other countries in Central America, and various countries in Asia. Our success also includes investigations and recoveries in South America, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the former Soviet states, Scandinavia, and a number of other Middle Eastern and African nations.

Asset searches begin with background investigations on any related parties in order to identify evidence of assets held by these individuals. Expert investigators search public and proprietary databases and conduct discreet interviews of relevant witnesses where necessary. Research on corporate entities involved in the matter is conducted to develop general profiles of such companies and identify assets held by them.

Research is performed using a variety of public record resources, including:

  • Corporate filings
  • Real property records
  • Motor vehicle, watercraft and aircraft ownership
  • Federal and state criminal proceedings
  • Federal and state civil litigation
  • Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Lien and judgment filings
  • Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings
  • Reviews of media sources and Internet websites

Our team has conducted more than 100 financial investigations involving embezzlement, fictitious billing scams, inventory theft, and high-profile bankruptcy fraud matters. The team includes forensic accountants and investigators who have mastered the skill of making the distinction between irrelevant and crucial data, and extracting the evidence necessary for success. The investigator must not only see what is there, but also what should be and is not.

A business is only as productive, ethical, and capable as its employees. Failing to identify problematic issues or a potential employee’s integrity could lead to a company’s financial and reputational ruin.

Our research and investigations provide clients with valuable insight into the individuals who will be directly responsible for the fate of their businesses. We have assisted private companies, financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies with making informed and confident hiring decisions worldwide.

Our Approach

Through investigative research and analysis, our team works closely with clients to develop a customized and cost-effective approach designed to help you make smart, safe hiring decisions for your organization’s peace of mind.

Our multi-disciplinary approach involves three phases of research and investigation customized to gather the type of information deemed most relevant to your business needs.

Comprehensive research of public and proprietary sources is conducted discreetly with an investigative focus on verification of relevant information and credentials relating to potential hires.

Our due diligence team of researchers, attorneys and former federal and state prosecutors and investigators collect and analyze information, cross-reference their findings, and provide an objective, 360-degree view of any proposed candidate.

Tier One: Public Records Research:

This level of screening is typically conducted as a cursory first step in the due diligence. The primary purpose is to ensure potential employees are who they claim to be and are free from criminal records or significant credit problems. This includes a thorough examination and verification of:

  • Personal identifiers
  • Address history
  • Credit history
  • Criminal proceedings
  • Civil litigation

Tier Two: Comprehensive Research, Analysis and Verifications:

This level of due diligence investigation is a thorough database and public record investigations and includes an examination and verification of the Tier One data along with:

  • Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Lien and judgment filings
  • Corporate affiliations
  • Professional licensing
  • Real property transactions
  • Uniform Commercial Code filings
  • Media and internet references
  • Social media
  • Education and employment history
  • Federal and state regulatory/disciplinary actions
  • Sex Offender Registry

Tier Three: Research and Field Investigations:

Based on our findings or other concerns raised by the client, where necessary, we will dig deeper and collect additional intelligence as well as relevant reputational information mined from industry sources and business contacts and through targeted, discreet interviews to provide insight into an individual’s character and financial fitness. Tier Three is the most comprehensive due diligence inquiry and will include data collection identified in Tiers One and Two, as well as data gathered from sources within the following groups:

  • Law enforcement
  • Regulators
  • Vendors
  • Industry insiders
  • Litigation adversaries
  • Former employees
  • Former business partners

We can successfully assemble, standardize and integrate massive amounts of transaction level data from different sources to identify patterns and linkages potentially indicative of suspect activities that would be hidden or difficult to detect with traditional methods.

We offer the following effective tools in matters involving into Big Data:

Guidepost Insight™

This data-as-a-service platform that enables vast amounts of data to be gathered, indexed, displayed and correlated. Its ability to collect and aggregate vast amounts of data significantly impacts the speed, efficiency and cost-effective manner in which investigations can be carried out. Guidepost Insight connects data across multiple sources, automatically creates relationships and visualizes findings in real time. It does this by capturing every bit of data or text relating to a topic or case, supplemented by data available from external data sources. Results can be output in any way you like to quickly highlight relationships, patterns, trends and anomalies.

Siron® Anti-Financial Crime Products

The building-block design allows variable combination of the products to fulfill custom requirements for governance, risk and compliance in the best possible way. The products consistently follow the risk-based approach and support all phases of the compliance process with integrated solution modules: from specific risk analysis and continual risk classification to monitoring of transactions and behavioral patterns, and central case management with risk and compliance dashboards. Siron® products are highly standardized and parametrizable. They can be combined at will to create custom solutions. Numerous best-practice scenarios from a large number of customer installations have made their way into these standard research products. They guarantee fast roll-out of professional solutions based on the latest compliance knowledge. The technology is robust, interoperable, platform-independent and highly scalable. This facilitates integration of Siron® products into existing system environments and provides seamless interaction with third-party applications and databases. The field of application extends from the lean departmental to a cross-organizational and multinational group solution.

Siron® anti-financial crime products consist of flexible software modules for:

  • Anti-money laundering
  • Counter-terrorism financing
  • Know your customer
  • Tax compliance & reporting (e.g. FATCA, CRS)
  • Risk assessment & risk controlling
  • Business partner due diligence
  • Giant Oak Search Technology (GOST™)

Guidepost Solutions LLC offers Giant Oak Search Technology (GOST™), a fast, reliable negative media search tool.  As an analyst or investigator working for a financial institution, you need to perform negative media searches on a tremendous amount of customers. By leveraging domain specific indexes of the internet, GOST™ uses a sophisticated risk-scoring method that targets the right kind of information on countless customers, so you can focus on where to begin. It then provides a dossier on each individual with everything you need to know, such as web page images, and keywords already highlighted to help you identify who you want to work with and who you don’t. Should any negative information surface later, GOST™ provides an audit trail that can be used to defend the decisions you made. With GOST™, you can efficiently focus your searches in a matter of minutes.

Our computer forensics and cyber response solutions help clients strengthen cases, avoid pitfalls, identify opportunities and make key decisions. The team includes investigators with backgrounds as federal and local prosecutors and law enforcement agents; digital forensic experts and reverse malware engineers; forensic accountants; data and intelligence analysts; and former federal agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Marshal Service who have extensive experience testifying as experts in federal and state courts.

Our unique capabilities, relationships and tools, coupled with professionals who convert “tech-speak” into valuable information for attorneys and in-house counsel, enhance both responsiveness and investigative efficiency to respond to the increasingly complex cyber challenges clients face – nationwide and on a moment’s notice.

Services

Our professionals are expert in the forensic analysis of data from all Windows, Mac and Linux computers and servers; mobile devices; and Cloud-based platforms and applications. Specialists regularly testify as experts in state and federal courts, liaise with law enforcement and regulators, and work with investigative professionals to provide a seamless investigation.

Specific expertise includes:

  • Theft of trade secrets
  • Employment disputes
  • Regulatory investigations
  • Threat, vulnerability, management & identification
  • Real-time support and administration
  • Computer / network forensics
  • Data breach analysis
  • Incident response
  • Cyber security assessments
  • Client-specific “Watch Lists”
  • Overt penetration testing
  • Data privacy analysis
  • Third-party security analysis
  • Technical surveillance counter measures

Our team understands that computer forensics may be used for a variety of tasks, such as finding the “smoking gun” email, proving deliberate spoliation by an opposing party, or trying to make sense of suspicious computer activity on the day a key employee departed. We specialize in focused, aggressive computer investigations into intrusions, internal misconduct, phishing scams, malicious software and other digital attacks.

Our cyber investigators routinely synchronize their work with our firm’s more traditional investigative resources, such as surveillance, research and interviews. This provides our clients with a formidable synergy of investigative skills that sets us apart from other agencies that operate only without or within the digital arena.

We regularly advise attorneys and corporate clients on preserving, analyzing and utilizing computer evidence in litigation, regulatory proceedings, presentations to law enforcement and governmental investigations. We perform all forensic investigations under the assumption that court testimony will be required and adhere to law enforcement standards of chain of custody and evidence storage. Our investigators have experience as court-appointed experts and in giving testimony under cross-examination.

Intellectual property is often among a company’s most valuable assets and too frequently an enticing target for those who counterfeit, divert, exploit or otherwise misappropriate such assets. This is true whether the target involves counterfeit or diverted software, films, music, pharmaceuticals, luxury goods, consumer brands or industrial intellectual property assets.

We have the knowledge and experience to help harden intellectual property targets and effectively respond to the individuals and organizations that perpetrate intellectual property crime.

Our IP protection programs employ the optimal physical security, cybersecurity, marking technologies, intelligence collection efforts and procedures and protocols to help you avoid, detect and respond to attacks. These programs are deployed both at client facilities and at multiple points of the supply and distribution chains to effectively prevent the unlawful creation and dissemination of unauthorized product and to quickly identify and recover unauthorized product in the marketplace.

Our investigators and intelligence operatives are expert at developing information on unauthorized manufacturers and distributors of illegally produced products. Our team has experience working with law enforcement officials and other parties throughout the world to shut down, disrupt or deter the misappropriation of intellectual property.

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

A major concern in today’s business environment is the ability to conduct effective investigations into the sensitive claims of sexual harassment and discrimination. We can work with internal resources to help prevent and correct unwanted behaviors in the workplace.

Sexual harassment is defined as a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Two general forms of sexual harassment exist: unwanted sexual contact and hostile work environments.

  • Unwanted contact is intentional physical touching by an employee to another employee for sexual arousal or gratification
  • A hostile work environment is one where an employee may comment on another employee’s appearance, make suggestive remarks, display sexually-suggestive photos in the workplace, use sexual language or make off-color jokes

The best approach to prevent and correct such unwanted behaviors include:

  • The establishment and management of specific sexual harassment policies and training. This will help to protect employees and employers if a workplace investigation becomes necessary.
  • Employers must take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring and to promptly correct any such behavior that has occurred.
  • Effectively investigating harassment complaints and promptly intervening in the behavior are critical.

If you need to investigate, we can help:

  • We conduct impartial, deep dive investigations considering both external and internal complexities.
  • Our experienced team will learn and be respectful of the organizational culture, policies and procedures to better understand internal dynamics and the working environment.
  • We work to gain the confidence and trust of those involved in these very sensitive situations.
  • Our investigative experience provides us with the insights required to effectively conduct productive interviews.
  • We provide an unbiased and external component to lend credibility and objectivity in often challenging investigations. We have access to experts in a number of fields which can sometimes be of assistance in certain sensitive areas of internal investigations.

Our approach is focused and effective:

  • We listen
  • We are respectful of both organizations and individuals
  • We ask appropriate and relevant questions
  • We don’t make assumptions or have preconceived ideas
  • We are honest with our results and recommendations

Successful organizations can be impacted by not appropriately investigating, training or addressing specific workplace matters. In today’s environment, and with the ever-increasing expectations of workplace diligence, making sure you have access to impartial and experienced workplace investigators is crucial for any organization. If not addressed effectively, workplace problems can significantly impact organizations and individuals financially and reputationally.

Our team of experienced investigators and consultants is composed of former senior level professionals and prosecutors from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the CIA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Justice. They have unparalleled experience in complex investigative matters including those in the workplace such as allegations of hostile work environments, employee and managerial abusive conduct, bias, discrimination, and whistleblower retaliation.

Each problem requires its own methods of investigation. However, certain common threads may run through each case. Regardless of the specific allegation, we work to ensure:

  • Investigators are mindful of the privacy rights of employees and witnesses
  • The investigation is conducted thoroughly and in a timely manner
  • Investigators and investigations are objective

The goal of the investigation is to discover the underlying reasons for the problem so corrective action can be taken.