“These case histories are based on actual IBIS case files, however, personal identifiers and locations have been changed and certain other details eliminated to protect the privacy of all concerned.”
A businessman who had a brief affair with his admin. assistant received a blackmail threat, money, or his wife would be told. The Victim contacted IBIS, and, (with the victim’s consent), the Local Police were contacted by IBIS. The police offered assistance, provided that IBIS could obtain audio of the blackmail threat, obtain video of the blackmailer, and then lure the blackmailer to a location where the Police could arrest him.
IBIS Corporation set up a sting and arranged for the client, who was wired with a hidden recorder to meet the blackmailer in a very high-end hotel lobby. All investigators were dressed accordingly for a visit to a high-end hotel evening reception. The scene was carefully “stage-managed”, with scripted conversations among the investigators. To obtain clear video, it was necessary for the blackmailer and the victim to sit in particular chairs in the lobby, so IBIS filled all of the 19 chairs with IBIS investigators, who, (seemingly innocently), moved when the victim and the blackmailer arrived, the Police were notified, and an IBIS investigator spoke to the client, wanting a brief word. The investigator asked the blackmailer under the pretext, if that was ok. IBIS obtained the audio and video that the Police required.
The Police then scheduled the arrest. Ensuring the safety of the client, IBIS set up the scene. The blackmailer arrived, the Police were notified, and an IBIS investigator spoke to the client, wanting a brief word, asking the blackmailer. Under the pretext, if that was OK. With the client safe and being whisked away by IBIS investigators, and plain clothes Police discreetly moved in, arrested the blackmailer, and took him away with minimal disturbance in the hotel lobby. The blackmailer was charged with various offenses.
A seemingly friendly witness to the blackmail was interviewed by an IBIS investigator. IBIS judged the witness to be suspicious and did provide any details of the sting to this person. After the blackmailer was arrested, the witness called the IBIS Investigator to say they “had not told the IBIS Investigator everything”.
The witness gave IBIS a voluntary, warned, signed statement which was audio and video recorded. The witness was persuaded to advise the Police of their collusion. The witness was reluctant until the IBIS investigator offered to accompany the witness to the Police Station. This was accomplished with the recorded and transcribed witness statement sent to the Police, who were very pleased.
Theft of an Entire Company Foiled
The manager, of a branch plant factory owned by a Multi-National Fortune 500 company, decided that he would secretly start a rival business and steal the customers. He told the branch plant employees lies, such as that all salary raises were only due to him.
The corrupt manager rented nearby factory premises and he and his employees removed equipment, furniture, material including supplies, and incoming orders for equipment repair, invoicing customers from his new company. They physically moved everything, except some machines that were too big to move, to the rented premises. The workers arrived at the old premises, punched in so that their salaries were paid by IBIS client, the branch plant’s parent, and then walked to the new premises. At the end of the day, the workers walked back and punched out at the old premises.
IBIS client, the Fortune 500 parent company received almost unbelievable information from a “whistleblower” and tasked IBIS Corporation to determine if what the whistleblower said was true and if so, provide evidence of the theft and fraud.
IBIS investigators performed discreet surveillance and, with the Client’s audit team, made a surprise visit to the plant. The employees were told to leave, then IBIS investigators searched the premises, and behind movable partitions, underneath false ceilings, and inside fake cupboards collected many boxes of evidence. Work orders from customers were hidden under the ceiling in the men’s washroom, and when the ceiling tiles were moved, a snowstorm of evidence rained down all over two IBIS investigators. IBIS security personnel kept the premises secure while the company terminated the fraudulent employees.
IBIS investigators performed exit interviews which netted more boxes full of evidence of criminal activity. The Branch plant manager and some of his cohorts were arrested. The fake company was closed, and IBIS client was able to service its customers through other subsidiaries.
Cryptocurrency Mining, Investing, and Transaction Investigations:
When, 10 years ago, IBIS started this new type of investigation, we started from basics.
Several of our IBIS Technical Services team members researched the topic, then we built a cryptocurrency miner farm, started mining and trading cryptocurrency, and learned the procedures. We continue to do this.
IBIS was tasked by a US law firm to track cryptocurrency transactions made by the opposing party litigant from outside the USA. As a result of IBIS’s evidence gathering, in the Gulf, North Africa, and elsewhere, IBIS client was able to get enforceable court orders and recover the stolen cash and assets.
IBIS was tasked with analyzing a client’s concerns that their low rate of return from cryptocurrency mining might be due to the individual who installed the miners, either through fraud or incompetence. IBIS Technical Services Lab determined that 80% of the proceeds of the mining were being transferred daily to the installer’s personal hardware wallet addresses, and only 15% of the funds were being transferred to our client’s digital wallet address. IBIS briefed and presented the evidence to the client’s newly appointed civil litigation lawyer who was able to recoup most of the funds without police involvement. (The local police in the jurisdiction were contacted, but they said they had no one who understood cryptocurrency at all). The client was instructed by IBIS on how to set up his own system with the proper equipment and wallet security.
IBIS was tasked by a private Mining farm to perform a Security Survey. The farm had several buildings on the grounds. One of the issues was, that in spite of a single guard on duty at night, miscreants were periodically entering one of the buildings, disconnecting and removing various miners from the facility.
When IBIS Survey showed potential dramatic security flaws, IBIS recommended numerous hardening procedures to both the facility and its key holders. This included a method where an IBIS drone could wake up if alerted, take off, fly a pre-set GPS pattern over the facility, obtain vital video information regarding the perpetrators, and immediately provide the video to IBIS client’s new private security firm and to the the police.
BRANCH PLANT FRAUD
In a belt-tightening measure, a US head office for an international manufacturing company compared the gross payroll figures for each of their foreign branch plants over the previous 2 years. Even after considering the fall in the value of the $US against foreign currency, one branch plant’s payroll had increased by 25%. There was no increase in productivity to explain this. In fact, sales were down. Queries to the branch resulted in the usual answers: “You don’t understand how things work here in Slobovistan”.
IBIS was tasked with determining the cause. Initial surveillance counted the number of employees physically entering and exiting the plant each shift for a week.
The employees actually entering the plant numbered only 75% of the employees on the payroll. Our client then tasked IBIS with a more detailed evaluation.
The results of the IBIS Operations Audit™ horrified our client. There was massive, plant-wide fraud. The client replaced the Plant Manager, the Assistant Plant Manager, the HR Manager, three Shift Supervisors, and the entire plant Security force and cleaned up the fraud.
Our client reduced costs by 40% at this branch and tasked IBIS with examining three other 3 branch plants that had “issues”. Only one plant was operating satisfactorily. Our client was able to save an additional 20% at each of the other two plants. One had fraud, but less severe; both had a lack of controls, resulting in external theft and waste of supplies and finished products.
Blank Cheque Scam
Blank checks were stolen from a stationery cabinet in the office of our multi-national client, printed for over $500,000.00 ($US), and with a stolen “dead” check and a graphics program, forged endorsements were deposited in a 3rd party off-shore account. This was only accidentally discovered when the bank reconciliation was done earlier than usual.
IBIS operatives identified and discreetly located the beneficial owner of the off-shore account and obtained a full confession. The funds were frozen and recovered. Using overt interviews and covert techniques, IBIS investigators identified the rest of the perpetrators, including the temp at the office who actually stole the blank checks, and passed them to her boyfriend, who sold them to a street gang member he met in a bar. He then passed them to a member of an organized crime group.
IBIS then recommended controls and assisted our client in implementing specific controls to prevent a reoccurrence.
Our client was lucky they discovered the fraud in time for IBIS to stop it. Are your blank cheques secured? Do you know who your temporary help is?
Two large international financial institutions became involved in intense litigation concerning breach of confidentiality undertakings and the alleged misuse of proprietary information.
IBIS was appointed by the Court to act as the custodian of the data to forensically acquire and examine hundreds of hard drives, portable media, PDAS, and other data storage devices, including San servers in multiple locations from coast to coast. IBIS then reported our findings to the Court.
The Court also directed IBIS to produce numerous libraries of documents, hundreds of thousands of pages at a time in printed format as well as searchable electronic format with dozens of different filters including keyword date, content, author, location and numerous other filters to be managed for the parties, the experts and the Court. The case, widely reported in the media in various countries, continues ….
Every day thousands of trucks carrying innumerable products enter the USA from Canada and Mexico. IBIS has performed its assessments on both Canadian and US and foreign companies.
The IBIS C-TPAT assessment assists our clients in obtaining their C-TPAT certification but also highlights weaknesses in plant operations and supply chain security which make the client vulnerable to internal and external theft and fraud. This makes the IBIS assessment, even more, cost-effective for the client.
Among the issues that IBIS has revealed:
- The hijacking of the operations of an entire container terminal by organized
- Members of organized crime controlling a major cross-border trucking
- The entire staff of a Branch plant from the Plant Manager to the sweeper
conspiring to smuggle pallet loads of goods across the border in the company
- Security guards whose names appear on the “no-fly” list allow unknown
persons access to high-security shipments;
- High-value items disappearing from an unlocked, un-secured warehouse;
- Spare parts for military aircraft being counterfeited and substituted for the
“The reason that each one of our services is listed on our website is that, since 1976, somebody has hired us to do that. In some cases many times, in some cases a few times, but in every case we have done it successfully. 99% of the websites for Private Investigation firms have a long list of things they think they might like to do, but actually haven’t got a clue about.
Almost all private investigators websites say ”International“ when in reality, like the 6th century serf, they never travel more than 5 miles from their home village. (With about the same ability to professionally do a 21st century fraud investigation, I might add). It’s frustrating. When we say we work in 45 countries, I know which ones they are, what we did, when we did it and for who. This is how we differentiate ourselves.
Right now, quite a lot of our revenue comes from (a) repeat business and (b) referrals from existing or previous clients. That’s great, it means we are doing something right, and we do everything we can to make our clients keep loving us.”
Derek S T Baldwin