Private Investigator Methodology & Other Industries

Private Investigator Methodology & Other Industries

Private Detective Taking Photos Of Man And Woman

In recent years, the number of working private investigators in the United States has grown exponentially. As of 2020, in excess of 30,000 private investigators are believed to be working in the U.S. alone. Private investigators operate on the edge of society, observing from a distance, blending in with the fabric of society to surreptitiously document the unseen factors in any situation. Private investigators can also come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders, as more and more individuals are realizing, the capacity for applying private investigator methodology really depends on a professional’s style  and how their prior experience informs on that style.

Persons who might have a natural inclination towards intelligence gathering and other types of private investigation work might not begin their careers in the private sector. Many of these professionals start with public service, working in law enforcement. Members of law enforcement are typically natural-doers, individuals who like to keep their time and minds occupied with productive and fulfilling projects. When members of law enforcement retire, it is not uncommon for them to seek a new career in private investigations. This tracks with private investigator Tyler Maroney’s assertion that private investigators are “refugees from other industries.” In his new book, The Modern Detective: How Corporate Intelligence is Reshaping the World, Maroney examines how the growing private investigation profession has the potential to cause ripple effects around the globe.

The migration of professionals from other industries to private investigations is not unique to the United States. One of the most famous former law enforcement officers to apply their trade to private investigations was Christopher Steele, a former agency with London’s M.I.6. After leaving M.I.6, Steele founded Orbis, a business intelligence firm based in London, England, most famous for “preparing a dossier on connections between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.” Despite the cartoonishly vast heroics that can sometimes be associated with private investigations, Maroney claims that this power should not be blown out of proportion, “The tool kit available to private investigators is considerably less potent than the one available to spies and cops and prosecutors. We cannot flip witnesses, blackmail agents, develop confidential informants, bug phones, offer protection, send subpoenas or bribe sources.”

The highly-fictionalized profession comes with so many stereotypes, we might underestimate the variety of professionals who might translate their industry skills into private intelligence. Another profession that commonly applies private investigator methodology to their work is journalists. After all, a journalist’s job is to search out the story and find the truth. The principal difference between a journalist and a private investigator is the intent of a journalist is to publish the truth to as many people who find interest while a private investigator discretely hands the findings, or truth, over to their clients for their purposes. Journalist, Ronan Farrow, son of Hollywood actress, Mia Farrow, recently came to fame for using private investigator methodology to expose the criminal activities of Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein. Farrow had to fight fire with fire as Weinstein was simultaneously using private investigators on retainer to dig up dirt on the women who made allegations of sexual assault against him and to intimidate the journalists who were his detractors. Ronan used private investigator methodology to track down survivors, document their allegations against Weinstein, and create a record that would become the basis for Weinstein’s criminal conviction last year.

Maroney claims in his book that a private investigator’s role in society is to “keep the fish tank clean,” or in other words, serve as a watchdog against pervasive issues within our society that can easily get our of control with devastating consequences. When you have a complex corporate or personal issue, turn to the assistance of a private investigator to get crucial context. Call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our private investigator services at 317-951-1100.

How to Save Money When Hiring a Private Investigator

How to Save Money When Hiring a Private Investigator

Under ideal circumstances, no one will ever have to hire a private investigator for their personal or professional crisis. In the event that the need for a private investigator should arise, prospective clients should know that there is a way to save money when vetting professional private investigators for their needs.

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Private investigators provide a valuable service to both businesses and private citizens by providing them with the intelligence they need to make complex decisions in their lives. That being said, individuals who are looking for a bargain bin deal when hiring a private investigator find themselves highly dissatisfied with the end result. These are sophisticated investigations that require the best tools and the best expertise available in pursuit of the truth. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save money when hiring a private investigator. The answer lies in the pre-investigation phase before you’ve officially contracted the private investigator.

Quality fact finding is the basis of any quality investigation. Private investigators spend hours at the beginning of an investigation combing verified databases comparable to the ones used by law enforcement every day. Private investigators run names of all relevant subjects through these databases in order to build comprehensive background checks on the subjects in the case. These background reports have to be cross-referenced with multiple sources in order to perform due-diligence. Private investigators must take extra care to ensure that they have found the correct person in the database before This can become expensive, both in billable hours and in the cost of these verified reports.

Clients who are looking to hire a private investigator can save money in these investigations by having a much information available as possible about all subjects involved at the onset of a case. When you hire a private investigator, private investigators will sit down with clients and begin taking an intake narrative. Here is the type of information you can have available to save the investigator some time and money.

Name

Ideally, you would know the full name of the subjects involved in the case. This is not always possible—clients may only have a first name, or a nickname, which will lead to more fact finding on the part of the investigator. Having a person’s full name (with the correct spelling) is one of the most relevant pieces of information you can have for an investigator at the onset of the investigation so it can be accurately cross-referenced during due-diligence.

Birthday

A subject’s birthday is the second biggest piece of information you can have when you hire a private investigator. A subject’s birthday is cross-referenced with their name and other pieces of information to ensure private investigators have identified the correct report in their verified databases.

Address History

It is not necessary to know the exact address of a subject in order for the information to be valuable to the private investigator. Private investigators can use an approximate location to cross-reference other information on the subject and develop additional leads.

Work History

Knowing a subject’s trade, the cities where they’ve worked, or what companies they’ve worked for can provide the same context as an address history. In a skip trace (subject location) investigation, a private investigator can use knowledge of the subject’s trade in order to predict where they might go next to find work. A subject’s occupation and how it affects their daily schedule can help a private investigator develop leads and identify possible surveillance locations.

Make and model of relevant vehicles

A subject’s vehicle, whether it is legally owned by them or otherwise is a useful piece of information for a private investigator to track a subject’s movements. Depending on the location of the investigation, it may be legal for a private investigator to track a vehicle’s movements with a GPS tracker. Using this information, private investigators can document a subject’s movements for the investigation.

Existing evidence

In addition to word of mouth information you might have regarding an investigation, the tangible evidence is also important. Any relevant documentation to the investigation, including financial records, court documents, social media screenshots, or voicemail and text records, can go a long way in saving a private investigator time during the onset of an investigation.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do when hiring a private investigator is gathering as much information as you possibly have for a private investigator at the onset of the case. It saves billable hours, resources, and frustration in any investigation. When you have your information ready, you’ll need a private investigator who always sweats the details. If you have a personal or corporate crisis in your life, call Lauth Investigations International today for a private investigator who will leave no stone unturned. Call 317-951-1100 or visit us on www.lauthinvestigations.com

Collectors Hire Private Investigators to Assist in Asset Recovery

Collectors Hire Private Investigators to Assist in Asset Recovery

When someone owes you money, no one ever said they had to make it easy to collect. Debtors have been developing new ways to dodge their debts for as long as anyone can remember. In turn, collectors across all industries have had to develop methods of collection to prevent people from hiding an asset. One of a collector’s greatest assets in this modern age is an independent private investigator. While collectors deal with the paperwork, private investigators do the legwork, using proven methodology to unearth the hidden assets of debtors in arears.

Private investigators work with some of the same tools and the same methodology as law enforcement when looking for debtor assets. As part of their licensure, private investigators have access to verified databases that allow them to develop comprehensive, cross-referenced background profiles on a Subject in any investigation. Private investigators have diverse experience in analyzing a person’s criminal, financial, address, and litigation history in order to build a contextualized picture of a debtor’s circumstances. Private investigators can unearth unseen assets like property, financial accounts, vehicles, and other valuable assets that have been previously concealed. Human sources are less common in asset searches, but private investigators also have the training to build rapport and garner testimony from relevant human sources in the case.  Private investigators are also highly skilled in obtaining and reviewing litigation records to document a debtor’s history of litigation in a court of law. Pervasive lawsuits, especially involving large judgements, can be a red flag in an asset search investigation.

Social media has become a more valuable resource than ever in many types of investigations. The amount of information people unwittingly give away on social media is staggering. Private investigators can get information about the sale of personal belongings, photos of assets like property and vehicles, and can document the type of lifestyle a debtor is currently enjoying—like lavish vacations or expensive home renovations. Private investigators carefully document their findings to compile into a thorough report for the client as another building block in their case against the debtor in arears.

If you’re a collecting party trying to reap your due, don’t hesitate to reach out to private investigator for a quote on their asset search services. Through open-source intelligence and transparent investigation methods, private investigators can get to the bottom of a debtors hidden assets.

A private investigator can find your stolen art & jewelry

A private investigator can find your stolen art & jewelry

A private investigator is an ideal professional to track down your stolen art & jewelry
A private investigator is an ideal professional to track down your stolen art & jewelry

Even the most equipped and vigilant police department must prioritize casework—a triage in which violent crimes are placed at the forefront daily operations and receive the most resources from jurisdictional law enforcement. Crimes concerning only the theft of personal property like jewelry, art, electronics, and other valuable items are usually moved to the back burner. This leaves many individuals without recourse and without their valuable property, and leaves private investigators with an opportunity to provide clarity and solutions.

Successful and prolific private investigators typically have a background in law enforcement, working in law enforcement agencies, or in tandem with law enforcement. They develop a similar resume, and experience in forensic methodology, subject profiling, and making recommendations to clients regarding their case and how to move forward. They have a similar tool chest of instinct, rapport, and due-diligence that carries them from the intake call to the closing report. When law enforcement cannot pursue a non-violent crime for whatever reason, private investigators are ideal candidates to pick up the slack, and that includes the theft of art, jewelry, or other valuable property.

Typically, private investigators are completely independent, and do not rely on a chain of command. Their autonomy makes them an ideal professional to chase leads on stolen property. This means there is no valuable time lost to bureaucracy and private investigators spend billable hours serving their clients.

Witness location is one of a private investigator’s greatest skills when it comes to the theft of art, jewelry, or other valuable property. One of the most difficult parts of any investigation is identifying the unseen human sources in any case. Private investigators can canvass the surrounding areas—neighbors and businesses—asking relevant questions about suspicious activity or the regular faces in the neighborhood. Private investigators can also canvass the pawn shops in the area in search of art and jewelry that was pawned for a quick buck by the thief. Private investigators collect the witness statements, contact information, and include it as part of a comprehensive closing report.

Private investigators are also proficient in identifying the non-human sources associated with art & jewelry theft investigations. Due to the ubiquity of both internal and external CCTV footage, it’s more possible than ever for investigators to map a suspect’s movements following a crime. Private investigators identify these surveillance systems and pull the footage for review to identifying human sources and potential suspects.

Social media is also a valuable asset in any investigation, but particularly with regards to theft of valuable property. If the thief does not pawn the item, they might try to sell it online, possibly through Facebook Marketplace, or on an auction website. Private investigators also know how to gather geo-social data as further evidence of the theft, and can use the information found to recover the stolen item.

Private investigators are the ideal professionals to conduct an investigation into the theft of art, jewelry, or other valuable property . Their independence and their objectivity allow them to follow any lead and turn over every rock. Their access to verified databases and use of proven methodology means they can find the thief in your midst, and help you recover your treasure.

Sexual Harassment & Corporate Culture Audits

Sexual Harassment & Corporate Culture Audits

Sexual harassment in the workplace can create a hostile environment for employees and decrease workfroce morale.

The #MeToo movement has fundamentally changed the conversation around reporting and documenting allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. Victims of this harassment have previously been restricted by a pervasive culture of silence and shame within the workplace—a culture where reporters are vilified and characterized as dishonest people with an axe to grind. Now, with many victims of sexual harassment publicizing their experiences in the workplace, more and more people are feeling empowered to seek justice for their treatment.

The Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported in their annual fiscal report that sexual harassment filings had an overall increase of 13.6% from 2018. The EEOC also denoted that they secured nearly $70 million for the victims of sexual harassment through enforcement on behalf of administration. These are just a few ways that the EEOC is attempting to make themselves the new champions of workplace harassment reporting in effort to improve the culture around reporting and enforcement. The EEOC seeks to empower employers to create a corporate culture within their organization that does not demonize reporting and encourages thorough investigations of all claims. By fostering this open and transparent workplace culture, employers create spaces for their employees that are safe, respectful, and thriving environment.

For a myriad of reasons, employers may have difficulty in performing due-diligence on sexual harassment claims. Whether the employer does not find the complaint credible, or as a result of oversight, when no investigation is conducted into the complaint, the organization opens itself up to subsequent litigation and a public relations nightmare. However, there are affirmative defenses for employers who can document their attempts to create a safe environment for their employees. One of the ways employers can document this is by submitting their organization to a corporate culture audit.

A corporate culture audit is one of the best investments that an employer can make in 2019. These audits are typically conducted by independent risk assessment firms and in some cases, even private investigators. In essence, a corporate culture audit is basically a check-up for a business or organization—not unlike taking your car in for scheduled maintenance. An auditor will enter the work environment and conduct a series of assessments based on a previously-set agenda. The goal of the auditor is to review internal processes and the physical location (if applicable) and identify issues that could have negative consequences for the corporation or organization, such as faulty investigation procedures for internal complaints.

Not only can these audits protect businesses and organizations in the aftermath of a sexual harassment claim, but corporate culture audits can also improve your business from within. What we know about the cycle of corporate culture indicates that when employees feel valued, they are more engaged and more productive as a result. The audit also evaluates the organization’s internal operations for efficacy and efficiency. By identifying flaws within internal operations, corporations can modify those procedures to increase productivity. Corporate culture audits are an invaluable opportunity for organizations to bolster their business and improve the overall health of the workplace.

If you want to give your business a tune-up, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our corporate culture program. We are an independent private investigation firm specializing in corporate investigations and crimes against persons. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and scores of 5-star ratings on Google. Call today and learn how we can improve your business from within.

Louisville, Kentucky Private Investigations

Louisville, Kentucky Private Investigations

When you think of private investigators, you don’t usually imagine the state of Kentucky as their stomping ground, but the flexibility of a private investigator’s skills can be applied in any city, any state, as long as the investigator meets the state requirements for independent licensure—and Louisville private investigators are never hard-up for casework. The city of Louisville, Kentucky is synonymous with so many well-known aspects of American Culture. It’s the home of legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, the annual Kentucky Derby, Louisville Slugger bats, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s a vibrant cultural hub smack in the middle of America that combines metropolis energy with southern charm. Despite the fact that it’s one of the safest cities in America, Louisville also experiences a higher rate of violent crime than the U.S. as a whole. With The speed, anonymity, and geo-social aspects of the city make it an ideal place for a private investigator to set up shop.

Relative to its size and population, Louisville is comparable to Baltimore or Glasgow (U.K.). It has a crime rate of 647 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In 2017 the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department fielded 4,428 violent crimes, 44% of the entire state total. That’s an average of 12 violent crimes reported every day. Even police departments that are well-funded and well-manned have difficulty juggling the caseload per investigator, and that is where private investigators come in.

Private investigators as a profession have a reputation for seedy surveillance and cloak-and-dagger tactics, but the same services that expose cheating spouses and hidden assets can assist in casework for violent crime. In a 2018 investigative piece, Louisville’s radio station WFPL 89.3 reported that LMPD closed 51% of its open rape cases over the course of three years. However, the Louisville station also determined that in a majority of those cases, they closed them with the classification of “cleared by exception,” a status meant for cases considered “exceptional situations,” often resulting in no arrests. This has been characterized as Louisville’s PD attempt to improve their closure rate. Jessie Halladay, a spokesperson for Louisville Metropolitan Police Department said, “What it means is that we have done all that we can. We don’t use that as a marker of success when we use ‘cleared by exception.”

Case closure does not mean there’s closure for the survivors of these brutal crimes. In the best-case scenario of “cleared by exception,” it could simply mean that the Louisville police hit a roadblock in investigative methods such as witness location, evidence-gathering, or jurisdictional boundaries that prevent them from investigating further. Private investigators have a similar tool chest to that of law enforcement officers. Survivors of violent crime without closure in their case can hire private investigators to pick the case up where law enforcement left off—locating vital witnesses, performing surveillance, and documenting casework that can be helpful if the case is resurrected within the justice system, or if the survivor wishes to face their attacker in civil court.

One of the nation’s foremost experts in missing persons, private investigator Thomas Lauth (Lauth Investigations) recently expanded his independent investigation firm to serve the Louisville population. “When cities like Louisville have difficulty closing cases within their respective police departments, that’s where private investigators can ‘pick up the slack,’ for lack of a better phrase. We can follow leads that law enforcement cannot and we can bring justice to survivors of violent crime who previously had no recourse.” With their autonomy, private investigators can pick up leads that law enforcement might have dropped, or locate witnesses that might have left the jurisdiction. Lauth went on to say that Louisville provides some unique opportunities for a variety of investigations. “Cities the size of Louisville have a level of CCTV surveillance that is beneficial in investigations for locating witnesses, getting accurate accounts of how an incident transpired, or capturing license plates for investigations involving vehicles.”

When police departments are overwhelmed, private investigators can pick up the slack, and bring closure to victims of violent crime or otherwise. They possess a similar skill set, juxtaposed with a level of autonomy not afforded to law enforcement. This means jurisdictional issues will never be a hurdle to stall case progression. Because private investigators only have 3-4 cases on average at any given time, that means caseload will never interfere with their ability to follow a lead in a timely matter. This can lead to the recovery of new evidence, witness statements, and ultimately, closure in your case. If you’re the victim of an unsolved crime, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free consultation, and learn how we can help you find justice today. Call 317-951-1100 today or visit our contact page.