News Archive

Spotlighting holes in online records access in Virginia

From traffic tickets to murder convictions, we mine online court records across the United States for clients. But for routine matters, one shouldn’t have to hire a private investigator just to look up a court case. This information ought to be accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, it’s not. Blame a patchwork ...

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Philip Becnel quoted by CNN regarding Trump “leak”

After a former MI-6 intelligence officer who is now a corporate investigator in the United Kingdom exposed possible blackmail by the Russian government against President-elect Donald Trump, there has been increased focus on these types of firms and how they operate. The report, citing sources who claim the Russians have ...

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Opening for administrative assistant

Our firm has an immediate opening for an administrative assistant. Legal, criminal justice, or journalism background is desirable. You must have a bachelor’s degree and at least two years experience working in an office setting. The duties include: professional handling of clients on phone, coordinating and scheduling client interviews, case setup and ...

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Franklin Frye Died in Custody After Serving 45 Years Over a $20 Necklace

When Jim McElhatton left The Washington Times to join Dinolt Becnel & Wells Investigative Group as an investigator in early 2015, he pledged to keep his hand in journalism by writing an occasional freelance article on important topics that interest him. Last summer he published “Invisible Tape,” about a man convicted ...

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Former police detective Joe Belfiore was quoted in Washington City Paper

Joe Belfiore was quoted in an article in the Washington City Paper article, called “The Other Side of Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s Legacy.” The article was a follow-up article to “The Thinned Blue Line,” which cited the former D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detective as one among many seasoned police officers who have left the ...

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Property management magazine publishes our case studies

Philip Becnel and Joe Belfiore published an article, titled “Turning Around Crime-Plagued Properties,” in The Property Professional, a bimonthly magazine published by the National Property Management Association. “For the multi-family owner or manager, resolving a pest infestation is almost a professional rite of passage,” begins the article’s summary. “But when the pests ...

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Top-notch investigative series mentions our work combatting residency fraud

Our firm was mentioned in an article published by The Daily Caller News Foundation titled “DC Not Interested In Stopping Maryland Fraudsters Stealing Its Schools.” The article, which is the third such article in a six-part series, begins, “District of Columbia public school officials have allowed Maryland residents to face no punishment ...

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Joe Belfiore featured in the Washington City Paper

A recent Washington City Paper article, called “The Thinned Blue Line,” featured a former D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detective named Joe Belfiore, who joined the growing ranks of officers who left the department. The article describes a mass exodus of seasoned officers, disillusioned with the increasingly stats-driven and punitive ...

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National Law Journal named us “Best Private Investigations Provider” of 2016

We’re thrilled to announce that Dinolt Becnel & Wells Investigative Group LLC has been named the “Best Private Investigations Provider” of 2016 by the National Law Journal! There are a lot of private investigators in the United States, and Washington, D.C. in particular—famous for its per capita population of attorneys—is a crowded place for ...

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Remembering an attorney who was an unsung champion of civil rights

As the nation pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s memory today, long-forgotten papers buried in the rich historical archives in the nation’s capital tell the story of a man who kept him free for his most important civil rights work. Today, few know of Chicago civil rights attorney William ...

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Accolades for “When Your Lover is a Liar”

Philip Becnel’s July 2015 article, “When Your Lover is a Liar,” was ranked one of the “Top 10 Pursuit Magazine Stories of 2015.” According to the magazine, a self-described “online community of professional sleuths,” their stories were ranked by using an algorithm based upon reader participation (e.g., clicks, comments, shares). Philip’s ...

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Philip Becnel published an article in the Legal Investigator

Philip Becnel published a modified excerpt of his book, Principles of Investigative Documentation, in the Fall 2015 edition of the Legal Investigator, a publication of the National Association of Legal Investigators. In the article, Philip outlined what he coined the “Five Principles of Investigative Documentation,” which include taking notes, keeping ...

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Pro-investigator tip: consider filing “copycat” FOIA requests

The Freedom of Information Act request process can be frustrating and expensive, and backlogs have been an increasing problem. By the government’s own estimate, there were 159,741 requests in backlog in 2014 compared to 95,524 in 2013. For private investigators, attorneys, journalists and the general public, the short term need ...

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How to research your relatives’ military history

About a year ago, a nonprofit group turned to us for help finding family members of deceased veterans who came into contact with Agent Orange, a highly toxic herbicide used during the Vietnam War. In these sorts of cases, investigative databases only help so much because some veterans died decades ...

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