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Case Studies Employment / Labor Law

Company Recovers Money When Fraudulent Disability Uncovered

A labor law firm retained us to check up on the former employee of a major hardware retailer who had been receiving disability payments for a number of years following a back injury that occurred in one of the corporation’s warehouse facilities in Houston, supposedly rendering her permanently disabled. Surveillance of the female subject, combined with undercover operations, revealed that she was actually working full time as a maid and nanny for the very doctor who was signing off on her disability claims. When the former employee was confronted with the evidence, she voluntarily signed a full confession in which she detailed having been recruited by the doctor to fraudulently misrepresent what was actually a minor injury as a permanent disability. She further divulged a side agreement with the doctor stipulating that she would become his personal domestic employee – at a very low pay rate due to her receiving the monthly disability checks.

Result: The subject ultimately executed a promissory note for repayment of the monies paid for the fictitious disability, whereas the doctor additionally agreed to make reimbursement for the improper disability payments.

Intellectual Property Thieves Forced to Close Their Doors

A national labor law firm retained us to investigate three foreign nationals who were once employed by a leader in the stock trading industry. Two of the individuals separated from the company. The third resigned weeks later, but only after illegally copying crucial elements of the company’s proprietary code for trading strategies, as discovered by a forensic analysis. Ensuing surveillance and covert operations revealed that the three had joined forces with an out-of-state attorney to create a competing business that first operated in Houston. Evidence acquired in the course of the initial investigation enabled the FBI to obtain a warrant to seize the computers of the business and the three individuals, ultimately leading to verification of the scope and magnitude of the theft and improper use of data. In the meantime, though, the offenders shut down the Houston operation and relocated to another state, where their trail was reacquired by the investigators and comprehensive surveillance was once again implemented.

Result: A full profile of the company management and workers was constructed, providing attorneys with a list of witnesses and deponents for the ensuing lawsuit that forced the closure of the illicit firm.

Checkered Past Catches Up With Claimant

A labor law firm retained us to conduct a background investigation regarding a former employee of a major manufacturing firm, a female welder who claimed that she was terminated in retaliation to her having spurned the advances of her male supervisor. The married supervisor strongly denied the behavior, accusing the employee of making the advances, and the company insisted the employee was let go due to documented chronic tardiness. In depositions, the employee claimed to have never had any criminal issues aside from minor juvenile offenses and a traffic citation. However, a comprehensive background study revealed more than a dozen criminal convictions, including multiple felonies, in three states under a variety of surnames and dates of birth utilized by the employee over the years. She also had a history of alcoholism and mental illness treatment that she had denied in sworn testimony.

Result: The claim was settled at nuisance value, saving the manufacturing firm and its insurer a significant financial penalty.

Former Employee Was Incorrectly Accused of Violating Non-Compete Clause

We were hired by a labor law firm in Texas to investigate a former employee of a technology firm who was rumored to be working for a competitor in New York, in violation of a non-compete clause in his contract. Working with our New Jersey and New York associates, we established that the employee was residing in Newark and taking a train daily into Manhattan, where he would walk from Penn Station to a particular, highly secured, office building on Park Avenue. We were ultimately able to identify the specific business to which the subject was reporting, and determined that it, in fact, was not a competitor. We continued to monitor the former employee throughout the term of the non-compete period and verified that he was not in breach of the contract.

Result: The client was relieved to know that the subject was fulfilling the terms of the employment contract. Other employees also took special note of the company’s efforts to ensure compliance.