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A quick, skillful risk assessment

Learn how internal investigations put a ex-employee’s complaint in perspective.

We were retained by a law firm working for the owner of a women’s health clinic to investigate allegations that the owner had rendered unlicensed medical care. These allegations stemmed from a former clinic employee who claimed that the owner provided hands-on medical care to a patient despite not possessing a medical license in the correct jurisdiction. This former employee complained to their local Board of Health, which had already launched its own investigation by the time we were hired.

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Substantiating a wife’s intuition

Learn how surveillance and meticulous research uncovered a case of love fraud.

A client on the West Coast engaged our firm because she learned her husband, who claimed to be working and living on a ship, might in fact be stationed at a military base in Maryland. Married to the man for several years—with two young children by him—our client suspected her husband, routinely gone for months at a time, was hiding part of his life from her. After he was discharged from the Navy, the man worked briefly as a police officer and then went back to working for the Navy as a civilian. He claimed to his wife that this job required him to be at sea for long stretches, but she never questioned this story until shortly before hiring our firm.

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Targeted, truth-telling surveillance

Learn how we helped collect a judgment using pinhole cameras.

A law firm was working for a business client who was trying to enforce a judgment it had against a foreign nation. The country owned several properties in the Washington, D.C. area which were ostensibly being used for diplomatic purposes. Assets that are being used for diplomatic reasons are generally considered off limits for purposes of collecting judgments, while it is sometimes possible to seize non-diplomatic assets and properties. The law firm wondered if the properties were in fact being used for diplomatic purposes, and they hired us to conduct surveillance to find out.

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Detecting bad apples before you bite

Learn how a forensic interview saved a law firm from taking a losing case.

In one case an employee was fired after an outside investigator determined that the employee fabricated emails to several customers to make it appear like he was forwarding derogatory emails from senior leaders at his company. He adamantly denied this accusation and claimed that he was actually fired because of age discrimination. As the emails—if it could be proven he actually sent them—would certainly be justified grounds for his termination, his attorneys engaged our firm to find out what really happened.

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Honest, case-breaking testimony

Learn how our investigator's testimony righted a wrongful termination.

A man filed a breach of contract claim against a company after his contract with the company was terminated because of an internal complaint from one of the company’s employees. The internal complaint alleged, among other things, that the plaintiff had prematurely recorded sales, the implication being that he had claimed revenue on sales before they were final. The plaintiff’s attorney hired us to provide an expert opinion concerning whether the company’s actions during their investigation were consistent with what a reasonable employer would do under similar circumstances.

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Intuitive, technically adept research methods

Learn how social media and public records helped us uncover graft.

Asset searches typically involve a lot more than plugging the name of a subject into an investigative database, especially when a subject may be hiding valuable property to avoid detection. In one case, we were hired to identify the assets of the general counsel of a large company who was suspected of breaching his fiduciary duty by accepting bribes. Our database searches readily uncovered property and luxury vehicles for the subject—assets totaling several million dollars—which our client already knew about. However, the client suspected that there was much more evidence of graft to be found.

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Instrumental, case-breaking documentation

Learn how meticulous reports brought some sobriety to a college party.

We were hired by an attorney representing a college student who was charged with sexual assault at a house located off campus. The details were initially murky. However, it was clear that the alleged assault occurred at a party the previous weekend attended by close to a hundred students. The defendant acknowledged having sex with the alleged victim after they walked upstairs to his room, but he said the sex was consensual.

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Fighting systemic theft through expert interviewing

Learn how an investigation helped condo residents sleep easier.

Following a theft from inside a resident’s apartment in a high-rise condominium building, the manager of the building searched a computer shared by the maintenance staff and discovered that someone had accessed an eBay account from the computer. The eBay account appeared to primarily sell industrial equipment, such as garbage disposal units, regularly used to maintain the building. It quickly became clear that someone had been stealing supplies owned by the building and selling them online. The condo’s Board of Directors hired our firm to investigate.
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Persistent, far-reaching investigation

Learn how we reconstructed the past to help victims of Agent Orange.

When a nonprofit group representing families and veterans needed to locate thousands of beneficiaries of veterans who were injured by Agent Orange, a highly toxic herbicide used during the Vietnam War, so as to pay them funds from a government settlement, they hired us to help them. With sometimes only the name of the veteran to go on—and in many cases when the veteran died before investigative databases were even invented—we began by scouring decades old newspapers, phonebooks, city directories, and even 1930’s census records to reconstruct the past and identity the beneficiaries who are alive today.

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World-class surveillance operatives

Learn how we combated residency fraud through top-notch surveillance.

When a school board wanted to develop a program to combat residency fraud they came to Dinolt Becnel & Wells Investigative Group to do the investigations. Residency fraud is when parents enroll their children in schools where they do not reside. It is a serious problem, as it bleeds resources from cash-strapped municipalities, who are forced to shoulder the substantial cost of educating students from families who do not pay taxes in their jurisdictions.

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Experts in differentiating truth from lies

Learn how our experts used forensic interviewing to corroborate Medicare fraud.

Laws with qui tam provisions like the False Claims Act provide powerful incentives for whistleblowers (also known as relators) to report waste, fraud, and abuse. These laws provide relators with a percentage of any award, should their cases be successfully prosecuted. However, sometimes people will misrepresent facts to attempt to secure a reward when in reality they just have an axe to grind against their employer. Relators’ counsel do not want to take cases without merit, as doing so wastes their resources and damages their credibility with the government attorneys who must decide which cases to prosecute. Our investigators have interviewed over hundreds of potential relators and have given their opinion about the validity of the claims based on the relators’ body language and on background investigations.

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Speaking truth to power

Learn how our credible testimony made for a Perry Mason moment.

In a criminal case involving a juvenile who was charged with dealing drugs, our investigator discovered that the police officer had lied on both his affidavit for a search warrant and on the arrest warrant. Specifically, the police officer claimed that the juvenile had walked out of a building that had been bricked-up for a decade, that the juvenile’s brake lights did not work when they actually did, and that the juvenile had run three stop lights on a stretch of road that had only one stop light. Upon hearing our investigator’s testimony, the judge threw the case out of court during an evidentiary hearing.

Innovative investigative technology

Learn how we used software to identify witnesses in a wrongful death case.

In a wrongful death case involving an accident at a sporting event we were working for the attorneys representing the decedent’s family. Our firm was hired to investigate the accident, and as part of our investigation we needed to identify and interview witnesses.

Some of the witnesses were easy to locate, as they were the decedent’s friends whom the family knew. To get contact information for these witnesses we used a consultant to gain access to the decedent’s mobile phone (with the family’s expressed permission). However, there were hundreds of people at the sporting event, and identifying these other potential witnesses proved more challenging, as there were no records available regarding who entered the area where the accident occurred.

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Ironclad declarations

Learn how diligent, proactive documentation shed light on financial fraud.

Our superior documentation methods helped in a Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) whistleblower case that alleged statement fraud at a public financial institution. To demonstrate both that our client had a good-faith basis to report the fraud and the pretextual nature of her termination, we interviewed several of her coworkers about the suspicious transactions at issue and our client’s own efficacy. Because of budgetary limitations and a statutory filing deadline, we conducted the interviews over the phone over the course of three days. All the while, our investigator prepared meticulous reports that were sent to the client.

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Smart, targeted interviews

Learn how a very persuasive interview broke an accident case.

In one case we were hired by plaintiff’s counsel in an accident case. The plaintiff was a woman who was severely injured after she was rear-ended on a rural road by a commercial truck. While there was little doubt about who was at fault in this case, the truck driver claimed he had a medical condition that caused him to suddenly lose consciousness behind the wheel and that the condition was unknown to him until the accident. The driver’s employer, who was also named in the lawsuit, was using the driver’s supposedly-theretofore-unknown medical condition as a defense, essentially claiming there was no way they could have prevented the accident and therefore should not be liable.

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Global lead tracking

Learn how an international investigation helped a defendant avoid the death penalty.

In a capital murder case where we were appointed by a federal judge to work for the defense, the crime, an alleged act of terrorism, occurred on another continent. Our investigation involved locating and interviewing several witnesses scattered throughout eight countries on three continents, including in the country where the alleged crime occurred, an underdeveloped and autocratic country where the government was hostile to the defense. Our challenges included navigating the strict privacy laws of various countries in order to find the witnesses; finding translators in order to help facilitate the interviews; and discerning who we could trust in the communities where the alleged crime was so politically charged.

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Industrious & creative tracking

Learn how we served a summons to a sexual predator by following his data trail.

In one case we worked for plaintiff’s counsel in a tort case where the plaintiff was a woman who had been sexually assaulted by the defendant, a wealthy man who thereafter fled the United States, taking up refuge in a foreign country. Because personal service was not a practical option, the attorney requested that the judge grant us an alternative: service via email. Although very rare, some courts have allowed for service by email in extreme cases. There was a hitch in this case, however: the judge told us that, for the service to be considered valid, we had to be able to show definitively that the email account was still in use, that the defendant was actively opening emails on this account.

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Tenacious, creative solutions

Learn how we served a defendant from car window to lap.

In one case we were hired to do an investigation for plaintiffs’ counsel in a class action case against a nursery that was accused of not paying its workers overtime, which is mandated for hourly workers under federal law. The company only had one owner/officer — who was also being sued as an individual — and this defendant also happened to be the company’s registered agent. We therefore had to serve this person with two summonses (and two complaints): one as the registered agent for his business and the second in his individual capacity.

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