What makes a good Private Investigator?
The best answer starts with another question; What are your goals?
Not all Private Investigators have the same background because there are multiple paths to the investigator’s license. For instance, working as a police officer counts towards the hours necessary to take the exam, as does working as an insurance adjuster.
The oldest route to an investigator’s license is working for an established detective agency. California requires 6000 hours of work under a licensed investigator to qualify to take the exam. This path produces investigators who were mentored in investigative techniques by experienced investigators.
Those with military service and a college degree get credit towards the exam, but still must work for an investigative agency to finish getting their required hours.
Each of these paths have their own unique skill sets. The consumer’s task is to match the investigator’s skills to the consumer’s own goals. Matching your goals to investigator’s skills means you are looking for the investigator who has the right experience.
Former police officers make excellent criminal defense investigators just as former adjusters make excellent workers’ compensation defense investigators.
Investigators who mentored with an established agency have a broad understanding of investigative methodologies and their application.
After speaking with business owners of all types of companies engaged in virtually every industry, it has become clear that everyone at some point has worked with another company that turned out to be a fraud.
Everyone has their own story; They ordered a product that never arrived, or was not as advertised. Some hired a firm to provide a service only to learn they are not licensed, did not do the work or did it wrong or of poor quality.
The exact shape of the fraud is always changing, but sham organizations whose purpose is to cheat and run are present in every industry and in every profession.
Background research by an experienced private investigator will expose these frauds before you or your company invest resources. A careful search of the corporate officers or the managing members of a limited liability company will expose a sham company.
Checking the company with the Secretary of State and looking to see if there are any civil suits against the company is not sufficient. A deeper investigation is necessary to expose the professional fake.
A private investigator’s business background research identifies the individuals who run the company, then checks their personal histories.
Individual corporate officers are scrutinized to see if there are issues in their personal histories that merit concern. Do they have multiple business filings, civil and/or criminal suits, tax liens and judgments?
Reviewing how real property is vested reveals whether their assets are under their own name, or in trust to someone else.
Once the individual members of the company pass this investigation, a deeper review of the company itself is performed. Even a company that is not a sham organization may still operate by routinely breaching its contracts then offering a small sum in settlement. A practice referred to as getting a “litigation discount.”
These companies are exposed by a thorough review of the right sources. In addition to checking the civil index, employee wage claims and adjudicated Workers’ Compensation appeal cases are reviewed.
From these records, names surface of people who have first-hand knowledge of the business and its officers. Some of these witnesses can be located and interviewed to discover the company’s business practices and whether the company operates legitimately, or not.
A business background investigation is the proverbial ounce of prevention that will save your company tons of frustration and lost income by uncovering the corporate frauds before they can cheat you.
Your author is available in Los Angeles and serves the greater Southern California area helping business owners to recover losses from fraudulent business practices, and encouraging everyone to “use an ounce of prevention to avoid a pound of cure.”
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