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Case Studies Business Attorney

Counterfeit Ring Caught and $5 Million Judgment Awarded

A firm representing a major software manufacturer retained us to assist in determining if there was any validity to rumors that a suspended licensee of the firm was continuing to manufacture and market counterfeit copies of a popular operating system. Following extensive surveillance efforts, an entire ring of participants was exposed. The elicit operations included disc production and packaging, instruction manual printing, boxing and shrink-wrapping, and even the hologram signifying authenticity – all done at a level of quality that was virtually impossible to detect. The case culminated in strike teams making coordinated raids on the illegal facilities, and the seizure of materials that filled two full sized eighteen-wheeler trailers. Our agents then secured the materials for the ensuing lawsuit, and afterwards oversaw their destruction.

Result: The U.S. District Court awarded the software manufacturer a judgment against the ringleaders and their company, jointly and severally, in the amount of $5 million, and restrained and enjoined them from further infringements.

Sports League Rejected Sale Due to Criminal Backing

A Texas attorney announced an intention to buy a professional sports franchise and move it from its longtime hometown to another locale. We were hired by the attorneys representing the sports league to conduct due diligence regarding the transaction. Through confidential sources, we were able to determine that the purchase was being backed by organized criminal elements in the destination city, and that the attorney was actually serving as their front.

Result: The deal was consequently rejected by the league.

Manufacturer Avoided a Potential $600 Million Liability When Truth Uncovered

Lawyers representing a welding rod manufacturer hired us to investigate claims made by certain South Texas welders who were among a class of plaintiffs suing for personal injuries attributed to inhalation of smoke and fumes emitted during the arc welding process. The three plaintiffs targeted for scrutiny all claimed a complete incapacity to exert any significant physical effort and had sworn that they were nonsmokers. The first subject investigated, who claimed to suffer from Parkinson-like symptoms, was followed to a rental house he owned in a distant county. He was filmed as he performed renovations to the property, but the “money shot” was acquired after he visited a doughnut store and exited his vehicle with two cups of coffee steadily balanced, one atop the other, in one hand and used the other hand to hold a sack and use the key to lock his pickup. The second subject, who claimed poor balance and dizziness, was filmed as he stood precariously on a narrow platform and worked on the engine of his welding truck for more than one hour. The third subject was repeatedly filmed as he chain-smoked cigarettes.

Results: The proof we obtained led to settlement of the suit, which had contained claims totaling about $600 million, at terms highly favorable to the attorney’s client.

Embezzlement of $9 Million Gives Man 40 Years

Attorneys representing an international manufacturer of heavy equipment with its North American headquarters in Houston retained our firm to aid in the investigation of the company’s former general counsel, who fled after irregularities in legal billings were discovered. It was revealed in the course of the preliminary investigation that the subject had paid cash for a luxury SUV, a custom pickup truck, and a mansion formerly owned by a former professional football player. The mansion, which was undergoing a $1 million renovation, was found to be filled with expensive antiques. A second home where the subject lived was a veritable warehouse of rare sports memorabilia and comic books. Further investigation determined that the subject had defrauded the employer of about $9 million, most of which had been used to buy the abovementioned items. As the attorneys successfully sought a court order to seize the vehicles, mansion, and home contents, our agents provided security and monitored the removal and storage of the ill gotten property. One of our investigators was appointed by the special prosecutor as the lead detective in the case against the subject.

Result: Following seizure of ill gotten property and ensuing criminal proceeding to date the client has been able to recoup a significant portion of the amount stolen. The subject was sentenced to 40 years in prison.