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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Corporations that have seen a decline in their corporate culture are turning to internal investigation and risk assessment firms for help in 2020. The discourse around corporate culture has evolved significantly over the last few years, with employees voicing their desire for work-life balance and how corporate culture directly impacts their decision to stay with a company. Leadership is better-educating themselves on how their actions feed into the cycle of corporate culture, and how they can improve employee retention by making meaningful changes that grease the wheels of success in their business or organization. However, many corporations have their anxieties about conducting internal investigations in a fishbowl—where employees are able to see the methodology in motion—and how this will impact their workforce and their business.
Corporations can find themselves open to scrutiny from both
their employees and their customer-base when they announce an impending
internal investigation. Some corporations, for a myriad of reasons, opt to have
internal investigations under a cloak of classification in order to protect the
integrity of the investigation—however, in the interest of transparency, many
corporations opt for a visible investigation, warning employees, shareholders,
customers, or all of the above, of an impending internal investigation. This
means that the investigating bodies will be under a microscope of scrutiny
within the corporation, as their methodology, decorum, and their practices will
a source of debate around the proverbial watercooler.
Regardless of who is contracted to conduct the internal
investigation, or under what level of declassification, if there is visibility
of an investigation, there is a delicate balance of transparency and
professionalism needed in pursuit of the truth. One of the most difficult tasks
an internal investigator has at the inception of the investigation is
establishing a rapport with relevant parties, such as leadership and the
workforce in order to garner frankness from persons who will be crucial to the
Investigators must establish credibility with the client and
relevant subjects in the case. This means ensuring those individuals are aware
that the investigator shares their values and is only interested in identifying
problems to improve the business—not damage it—indicating a high level of
accountability that will have a ripple effect throughout the corporation or
In tandem with establishing credibility, investigators must
be straightforward about their objectives, outlining what the client hopes to
achieve and their proposed methods of reaching that goal. Investigators must
never make promises they cannot keep by making declarations before they know
the facts. Corporate investigators must always pursue a resolution to a
business’s problem that does not impair their long-term goals—by the same
token, it is imperative that the investigator informs the client that there
might be some negative consequences as the result of their findings, such as
turnover, further inquiries, or bad publicity.
Objectivity is key in any internal investigation. It’s one of the reasons some companies elect to have a private investigator or risk assessment firm conduct their investigation, as opposed to an in-house investigator or member of house counsel. No employee with a stake in the outcome of the investigation, even indirectly, may be 100% objective in identifying pervasive issues in an organization. In addition to that objectivity, an independent investigator—unknown to the corporation or organization—investigators can move through a workplace undetected. This will take the edge off of the “fishbowl” factor that is common with internal corporate investigations. Private investigators can adopt a persona and conduct their investigations without the eyes of concerned coworkers; interviewing employees, collecting evidence, evaluating the location, and reviewing internal communications can all be conducted in plain sight.
Internal corporate investigations with a “fishbowl” factor can be an inherent challenge for corporations. Above all, it’s important to remember that employees are your greatest asset, as they feed into a cycle of corporate culture that can successfully stimulate your business or organization. An appropriate level of trust and care must always be taken when subjecting your workforce to an internal investigation. When employees feel valued, they will become empowered and engaged to give their best to the benefit of your organization.
Regardless of the industry, all businesses should be
vigilant with regards to employee theft. Employee theft can come in all shapes
and sizes, from an administrative assistant pocketing some extra Post-Its to
hardcore embezzlement on behalf of leadership. It can be easy to dismiss
repeated instances of employee theft as isolated incidents, implementing
disciplinary action or termination, and moving on with the work week. However,
many executives and managers may not realize that repeated instances of employee
theft could be indicative of a much larger problem in their corporation or
From a position of leadership, it’s easy to dismiss a single instance of employee theft; the employee is the one who made a choice to steal from their company or organization, and that employee was wrong for doing so. Discipline or termination typically follows, and leadership walks away feeling confident that they’ve removed a bad apple from their barrel. However, pervasive issues with employee theft are symptomatic of a systematic problem within the business or organization that go beyond a single employee’s bad judgement.
Why do employees steal?
The three most common reasons employees steal are not very
difficult to understand.
employees feel as though their employer has wronged them, or their compensation is inadequate.
employees believe that employers insure such losses—therefore it is a victimless crime.
employees know they will not be held accountable if they are caught
All of these reasons may characterize the employee as “disgruntled,” a term with a cultural context that often absolves the employer of any misconduct. When a corporation or organization has repeated instances of multiple employees committing theft, it’s a sign that the corporate culture of the workplace is less than healthy. A single employee pilfering staplers is not symptomatic of unhealthy corporate culture, but 5 employees pilfering staplers is a sign that employees do not feel valued, and therefore do not respect their employer.
The cycle of healthy corporate culture always begins with happy employees, because when employees are happy, they are more engaged, and contribute positively to the productivity of the organization. This pleases leadership, which incentivizes them to make decisions that raise morale, such as rewarding success with pay-raises, benefits, and thoughtful, constructive collaboration. The cycle begins anew with happy employees. Poor corporate culture means that undervalued employees will contribute negatively to workplace productivity. One of the ways poor corporate culture manifests is through employee theft—and it’s not just about profits or staplers. When employees are disengaged from their duties, they’re more likely to take extraneous breaks, or taking longer breaks than permitted, which is theft of company time. This often comes from a rationalized perspective, in which the employee does not feel their own time is valued within the organization, and therefore will place the same perceived value on company time.
Whatever the type of theft, repeated instances of employee theft cannot be ignored. It may be a sign that your business or organization needs a corporate culture audit. A corporate culture audit is like a check-up—when you go into the doctor for a standard check-up, they evaluate all of your major bodily functions for signs of disease or deterioration, and a corporate culture audit is no different. When investigators conduct a corporate culture audit, they evaluate all of your business’s internal operations, hiring processes, and principle employees for roadblocks that hinder productivity and contribute to poor corporate culture. The identification of these pervasive issues will lead to investigators providing leadership with expert recommendations to dislodge the blockage, allowing the cycle of corporate culture to right itself through cause and effect.
If you think your business or organization needs a corporate culture audit, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our Corporate Culture Audit program. For over 30 years, Lauth has been providing corporations with solutions to stimulate their business. In pursuit of truth, call 317-951-1100, or visit us online at www.lauthinvestigations.com.
The ubiquity of smart technology and information technology has made work-life balance more attainable than ever in the United States workforce. Telecommuting has made it possible for single parents to work while also caring for their children, and for single individuals to pursue personal passions while maintaining a sustainable living. However, this blurring of the lines between work and life have also brought work stress closer to home for millions of Americans, severely impacting their mental health.
The conversation surrounding work-life balance and its
effects on mental health has developed significantly over the last ten years.
Leadership in major corporations have become more aware of how their corporate
culture not only effects their workforce, but also their brand, productivity,
and their stock holders. The Health and Safety Executive published national
statistics declaring that 28.8 million work days were lost in 2018 due to both
physical and mental health reasons. While physical helath of employees has
always been one of the priorities for major corporations, mental health has
only recently come to the forefront of corporate priorities. In an article by
Sarah Chilton published by Forbes at the beginning of January, Chilton said, “In
some sectors there are cultural issues which are likely to exacerbate the
problems, or make it harder to openly discuss mental well-being. In particular,
high pressure environments, or night shift work for example, can contribute to
mental health issues. My own sector, the legal sector, with its highly
pressurized and competitive environment where there is a long hours and heavy
workload culture, can significantly affect mental wellbeing, but also the willingness
of employees and business owners to discuss it openly.”
This connectivity that Chilton mentions comes in the form of platforms like Slack, Monday.com, and other telecommuting tools that can be huge assets to corporate communication and productivity. These platforms can connect employees located around the countries, for a seemingly more holistic approach to corporate success. When your work is well-connected to the devices we use in our personal lives, such as our phones, our laptop computers, and home-based artificial intelligence like Alexa and Google Home devices, a bleeding source of stress is introduced that can further disrupt our desire for a work-life balance.
Regardless of an employee’s physical location within the
organization, many corporations are beginning to adopt work ratios that have
been proven to reduce this bleed, such as the 25:5 rule. That means a 5 minute
break for every 25 minutes of work completed. This can come in many forms, such
as walking meetings, meal breaks—anything that would stimulate an employee
physically in order to refocus their minds on their work once they return from
that break. This also reduces the physical impact of jobs that force employees
to sit for long periods of time, which has devastating effects on posture,
eye-strain, and lack of circulation in lower extremities that contribute to
health problems such as blood clots and diabetes.
When corporations invest in the mental health of their employees, the positive ripple effects may surprise even the most seasoned executive. Corporate culture moves in a cycle. When employees feel that their mental health is valued at their place of work, their level of engagement is higher in their capacity. This leads to a better quality of communication between employees and stronger engagement on behalf of individuals, which promotes productivity. This increased productivity not only pleases leadership, but also improves the quality of customer service within the organization, which also has the potential to impress and reassure shareholders.
It’s mind-boggling to think that some of the most controversial scandals in our country’s history have taken place only in the last decade. Corporate scandal is a hot media item, with the misbehavior of employees at all levels facing public scrutiny. Information on corporations and their corporate culture is more visible than ever as experts continue to place more and more importance on work-life balance, and satisfaction in the workplace remaining the driving force behind employee engagement. As technology and the ubiquity of accessible information continues to advance, private United States citizens are becoming more informed about the largest corporations in the nation, how their behavior effects their corporate footprint, and how their own consumerism can affect these corporations.
BP Oil Spil
There’s no better place to start than at the beginning. In April of 2010, the oil and gas conglomerate BP began the new decade with an oil spill so catastrophic that we’re still talking about the environmental impact ten years later. The corporate scandal also involved devastating loss. The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, which broke open the will, dumping between 2.5 and 4.2 million barrels of oil into the gulf before it could be capped once more. For thousands of miles, the oil slicks contributed to the deterioration of marine life and had cost the corporation in excess of $65 billion dollars before 2020. In an article published in June of 2010, Peter Fairly of MIT Technology stated, “A culture of tighter safety and more experienced regulators might have prevented the BP Deepwater Horizon leak.” Under the terms of a settlement, BP agreed to pay the Natural Resource Damage Asessment Trustees up to $8.8 billion for restoration work to rebuild the natural environment that was damaged by the spill.
Later in 2010, there was an alarming string of suicides at a plant run by Foxconn, a Chinese corporation that produces roughly 40% of the world’s consumer electronic components—technology that builds our smartphones, gaming consoles, and other forms of smart technology. These tragedies were covered heavily in American media as questions arose to the quality of labor conditions in these Chinese plants. In subsequent investigations, it was revealed that workers could be working 12-hour shifts, with less than a dollar (U.S.) in their pocket for food. While the suicides received a great deal of coverage, and had public relations repercussions for corporations that utilize Foxconn exports, there have been at least 8 additional suicides at the same factor have been reported since 2010.
Few things are more universally loved across the globe than soccer, or football, as it’s known in the rest of the world. In May of 2015, millions of soccer fans were shaken by the FIFA corruption corporate scandal. The Department of Justice indicted the Federation Internationale de Football Association leadership on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and money-laundering. The indictment outlined various instances of an excess of $15 million dollars in bribes taken by executives for preserving advertisement marketing rights for decades. The scandal lead to the resignation of President Sepp Blatter in June of 2015 after he managed to escape indictment. Millions of dollars in legal costs and loss of corporate sponsorship severely damaged the reputation of the organization, netting losses of $122.4 million.
Theranos & Elizabeth Holmes
The scandal surrounding the health technology company known as Theranos was a cluster 15 years in the making. Once again a corporate scandal that effected public health, both the executive and the corporation were villified in the media. Stemming from a fear of needles when she was a child, founder Elizabeth Holmes was seeking to develop a technology that would lead to higher accessibility of blood-testing throughout the world. Her device supposedly would be able to perform a smattering of biological tests from a single drop of blood. The Wall Street Journal published an expose in October of 2015, exposing more of the company’s deception and further implicating some of Holmes’ colleagues in the scandal. Holmes was charged with massive fraud in March 2018. Formerly thought of as a young genius, she is scheduled to stand trial in 2020, facing up to 20 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.
Big Pharma & the Opioid Crisis
Corporate scandal is at it’s worst when it comes to public health. The ever-growing opioid crisis in the United States is hands down one of the most pervasive scandals of the last decade. In 2017 alone, there were over 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States. Of those overdose deaths, 67% came from an overdose of opioids. From the Midwest to the Northeast, opioid deaths spiked between 2016 and 2017. As of November 2019, six pharmaceutical companies were under federal investigation and were facing federal charges for their responsibility for the opioid crisis. Amongst other big pharma companies, Purdue Pharma reached settled for billions of dollars for communities in 23 states that were affected by their shipment of opioids, forcing the company to ultimately filing for bankruptcy. The settlement set major precedent as the first of it’s kind in our American legal system.