Business Investigations

Protection of Assets and Brand Reputation

Inventory Losses and Disability Fraud:

Unexplained inventory shrinkage and employee fraud can destroy your company.

A survey of fraud examiners in 2016 by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners revealed that U.S. businesses lose approximately five percent of their revenue each year to various forms of occupational fraud. According to the 2016 Report to the Nations, the median loss for all cases reported was $150,000, and over 20% of those cases involved losses of $1 million or more. Occupational fraud covers not only employee theft and fraudulent or exaggerated disability claims, but can include product diverted from its main wholesale or retail supply chain. While most disability and Workers’ Compensation claims are legitimate, studies show that up to two percent or more of all workers’ comp claims are fraudulent. Over an extended period, those losses impact a company’s bottom line in lost sales, inventory replacements, increased insurance premiums and other human resource expenses.

Trace Investigations can assist your business by:

  • Investigating suspicions of inventory losses due to employee theft;
  • Investigating diversion of product from wholesale or retail supply chains;
  • Investigating employees suspected of workers’ comp and disability fraud;
  • Investigating sub-contractor and vendor frauds and deceptions.

The benefits of employee theft, disability and other fraud investigations:

  • Inventory Losses Explained: Employee theft is verified and controlled, either in-house or through civil or criminal prosecutions.
  • Product Diversions Stopped: Product diversion from the normal wholesale or retail chain is eliminated;
  • Business Costs Controlled: Insurance premium increases and other added expenses can be mitigated or eliminated, impacting the bottom line upward;
  • Business Relationships Honored: Standards of care expected by insurers and other providers, business partners and stakeholders are met.

 

Due Diligence Investigations:

Avoid a bad business or investment decision.

Business relationships entered into too quickly can lead to fraud and other losses. Before entering into any new business arrangement, such as a merger or acquisition, a due diligence investigation is required.

“The goal of any due diligence investigation is to avoid a bad business or investment decision.” This quote is from Trace Investigations founder Don C. Johnson, Certified Legal Investigator™ in the reference text Corporate Investigations, published by Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc., 2002 edition. Johnson authored Chapter 11, “The Due Diligence Investigation,” which still serves as a manual for conducting an investigative due diligence. At the time, studies illustrated that the U.S. economy lost billions of dollars annually to various business frauds and economic crimes. Those losses have only continued to climb and, as Johnson noted then, “Economic crime is in itself a growth industry …” Any business owner or corporation board of directors considering a business merger or acquisition is duty bound to conduct a due diligence investigation on that proposed transaction.

Trace Investigations can assist your business by:

  • Investigating the principals of merger and acquisition targets;
  • Researching relevant markets and industry sources;
  • Investigating past performance and history of the targeted company;
  • Conducting field investigations to verify or obtain information.

The benefits of a due diligence investigation:

  • Ability to Eradicate: A client is reassured on a strategy or alerted to its problem;
  • Acquisition Assurance: Standards of care in normal business transactions are met;
  • Compliance Satisfaction: Duties under controlling law and regulatory compliance issues are satisfied;
  • Continued Profits Assured: Future business and economic losses are prevented.

 

Intellectual Property Investigations:

Counterfeiting and trademark infringement can destroy your brand’s value.

The National Crime Prevention Council reports on its web site that counterfeiting and intellectual property piracy cost the U.S. economy more than $250 billion in lost revenue, and, according to one estimate, we lose 750,000 jobs every year due to these crimes. There are two general categories of intellectual property: copyrighted materials, such as books, films and other artistic works; and industrial property, such as trademarks, service marks, patents and designs. International manufacturers of designer goods are obviously concerned about protecting their brands, considering the extent of counterfeit products that travel across international borders to various wholesale and retail outlets. Smaller businesses and manufacturers should be equally concerned about the marks and designs that distinguish their products or services.

Trace Investigations provides intellectual property services by:

  • Investigating reports of counterfeit goods in secondary retail outlets;
  • Effecting the surrender, storing and destroying of counterfeit goods;
  • Investigating trademark infringements and copyright violations;
  • Identifying and investigating litigation targets.

The benefits of an investigation:

  • Brand Protection: A brand is a business’ identity. We investigate attacks on your brand;
  • Counterfeit Elimination: Counterfeit product is destroyed and purveyors are identified and further trademark dilution is prevented;
  • Product Diversions Stopped: Product diversion from the normal wholesale or retail chain is eliminated;
  • Cost Recovered: Litigation costs can be recovered.

 

To eliminate doubt that could jeopardize the outcome of a serious matter please call us at 812-334-8857 or 800-310-8857 for a FREE consultation.