iStock_000010136759XSmall“Sophisticated Minnesota fraud ring has global tentacles.”

Last month, when the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reported on the investigation of a 200-member ‘social networking’ fraud ring, the headline hit like a fire-hose aimed at the belly of innocent victims.

Alleged in the report to have “stolen identities, taken over bank and credit card accounts, distributed counterfeit checks and currency and defrauded businesses and banks nationwide,” the scam artists recruited double-dealing agents through sites like Facebook to “buy stolen information from employees of check-cashing services and Internet data brokers.”

Most clandestine among the scammers’ actions, these identity hijackers orchestrated their data-hunt by enticing unsuspecting marks to interview for jobs in financial institutions and other targeted businesses, gaining direct access to reams of confidential information.

Was the firm you work for targeted? Have any of your clients been victimized? How can the corporate or criminal attorney defend against and defeat such nefarious greed-mongers?

All fraud schemes have certain ingredients in common. Revealed by the analysis of an experienced legal investigator, trained to recognize devious plots and tricks-of-the-trade, the professional analysis of subtle patterns and nearly imperceptible clues gives attorneys a definitive advantage over unscrupulous adversaries.

Fraud schemes are more alike than one would imagine. By dissecting the fraud scheme to identify specific deceptions, a professional legal investigator develops a comprehensive understanding of your case and works to leverage your advantage from discovery to closing argument. Such analysis provides answers to many pertinent questions:

  • What type of fraud scheme is it?
  • Who does this scheme target?
  • How is this scheme delivered?
  • What is the inducement?
  • What are the misrepresentations?
  • What did the scheme operator promise?
  • What actually happened?
  • Where and how was money or property transferred?
  • Were ‘lulling tactics’ used?
  • What was the specific intent of the fraud?

As we all know, it is critical to establish ‘specific intent’ in fraud cases in order to prove that the scheme was purposefully devised to deceive. This legal safeguard protects the ordinary business owner who may have unwittingly made poor decisions that might at first glance seem to be fraudulent. Thus proving specific intent must be a closely examined priority in each case.

In adversarial proceedings, having an accurate and full understanding about the details of the scheme empowers attorneys with a clear comprehension of specific intent. This enhanced awareness enables the attorney to build a higher level of confidence in the presentation of their case and, in turn, improve their track-record for prevailing in court.

On the other hand, what if you inadvertently misidentify a particular fraud as a Ponzi scheme, but halfway into the proceedings, as the evidence unfolds, you suddenly realize that an entirely different sort of gambit was in play? Will you be flustered? Is your confidence shaken? Does your opposition gain leverage for their mitigating theories to get the criminal off the hook?

By utilizing the services of a professional legal investigator, attorneys eliminate blind spots and gain the depth perception that empowers them to represent each client effectively while also improving the overall effectiveness of their practice. The entire process of working with a competent investigative team propels your law firm along the path of extraordinary excellence, consistently becoming better at what you do than you were yesterday or the day before.

Gathering more than just the ‘low hanging fruit’, a professional legal investigator goes after the harder-to-reach-yet-decisively-critical nuggets of information necessary to assist you in unraveling complex circumstances. This is a huge advantage over those who fail to look this deep.

In future articles, we will look at other ways that working with a professional legal investigator improves your effectiveness, enhances sound decision-making, and strengthens your bottom line. Until then, we welcome the opportunity to answer your questions. Contact us today for a free initial fraud analysis consultation. At Cadfael, we specialize in the prevention, detection and deterrence of fraud.

Should you need assistance on finding an investigator, Cadfael Investigative Group will be happy to assist you free of charge.  At Cadfael Investigative Group, Inc. we offer a free consultation with one of our experienced private investigators.  If we cannot help you we will direct you to a quality investigator who can. Call us at (763) 694-6086