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Published by James, 2019-12-31 16:30:48

November_December 2019 R

November_December 2019 R

professional investigator magazine

US $7.95 • CAN $8.95 November/December 2019

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3D Scanners CHAOS:
Segment in When the
Investigations Investigative
World and the
Real World


Demystifying COMING IN
the Investigative JANUARY,
OUR 2020


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2020: A LOOK professional investigator magazine

As we come off the heels of our annual (ISBN# 1553-3727)
surveillance issue and are about at the November/December 2019
half-way point of this year’s associations Volume 2019, Number 6 • Magazine #166
conference schedule, I would like to
take a few moments and give everyone EDITORIAL
an update on some new equipment lines we are featur-
ing and endorsing at PI MAGAZINE and PI GEAR. Nicole Cusanelli & James Nanos
As most of you know, there is nothing I enjoy more
Jillian Kuzma
than talking surveillance—with the possible exception Copy Editor

of sports and in my case, being a Philly teams’ guy, Contributing Writers:
Mark Battersby,Wes Bearden, Dean Beers,
JIM NANOS, BS, LPI there’s not a great deal to talk about lately, so let’s keep Bill Clutter, Anthony Colagreco, Daniel Demers,
John Gaspar, Kitty Hailey, John Hoda, Chuck Klein,
it to surveillance! Anthony Luizzo, Michael Morelli, Jim Nanos,
W. Barry Nixon, Roger Ryan Rider, Tim Santoni,
As we travel around the country and attend the vari- Servenow Staff, Stephanie Savoy, Matthew Spaier,
Kimberly Sparger, Allan Stark, Kevin Toal,
ous conferences, we have met some of the best surveillance techs in the business. Not only
Karhrman Ziegenbein
do I take these opportunities to learn new techniques and take advice, I also listen to what
the men and women “on the street” doing surveillance every day are asking for equipment-
Corporate Imagination
wise. I spend a great
WE ARE OFFERING A FULL ONE-DAY deal of time nearly
every day reviewing GENERAL MAILING ADDRESS
ADVANCED SURVEILLANCE CLASS information on new PI Magazine Inc.

AT MANY OF THE CONFERENCES gear and EQ sent 542 Cross Keys Rd. Unit #3-228
NEXT YEAR AS A “PRE-CONFERENCE to us. As a result, Sicklerville, NJ 08081
we are now carry- Tel: (856) 566-0400
[email protected]
ADD-ON” TO GO OVER AND ing three new lines
of EQ! Editorial Submissions:
DISCUSS ADVANCED SURVEILLANCE PI MAGAZINE Writer’s guidelines, themes and deadlines are at www.pimagazine.
and PI GEAR are com (editor’s page). PI Magazine Inc, will not assume responsibility
TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT. proud to announce for unsolicited or unpublished manuscripts, artwork, photographs
or material it receives.It reserves the right to use or not use any and
a few new strategic all of the materials considered for publication. PI Magazine Inc., shall
not be responsible for lost manuscripts or photos.This publication is
relationships for new high-tech surveillance equipment, becoming authorized dealers for copyrighted and may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any
manner without permission of the publisher. Reasonable efforts are
Sionyx night vision cameras, Covert Scouting Cameras and iSpy Pro surveillance pens! made to provide accurate and useful information, but the reader
must make his or her own investigations and decisions.The publisher
All of these lines will be added to PIGEAR.COM’s website over the next few weeks, and and editorial staff cannot assume any responsibility or liability for the
use of information contained herein. PI Magazine Inc., shall not be
we ask you to stop by and check out what’s new! We’ll also feature each in the PIGEAR responsible for any claims, products or services sold or promoted
by advertisers.
review over the next few issues with our good friend and PI legend Harvey Morse offering
PI Magazine (USPS# 23261) is published bimonthly by
a review of the new iSpy Pro pen in this issue. Check it out! PI Magazine, Inc., 3311 New Jersey Avenue, 2nd floor,
Wildwood, NJ 08260. Periodicals postage paid at Cape
Many of you also know I am offering a full one-day advanced surveillance class at many May County Courthouse, NJ 08210 and at additional
mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: PI
of the conferences next year as a “pre-conference add-on” to go over and discuss advanced Magazine, 542 Cross Keys Road Unit #3-228, Sicklerville,
NJ 08081. Subscription rates payable in U.S. dollars, checks
surveillance techniques and equipment. Many PI’s have asked for training on some of the drawn on U.S. banks, or by credit card. USA,Territories &
Possessions - $39/yr., $65/two yrs., Single/back issues $7.95
new EQ, so this is a natural fit and should make for great training! If your association is each. Canada-$55/yr., Foreign - $75/yr., Digital only $24/yr.

planning a conference, give me a call about adding it to the schedule. © 2019 PI Magazine Inc. All Rights Reserved Printed
in U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at Cape May Court
Thank you for your continued support! House, NJ 08210 and at additional mailing offices.

Jim Nanos

Jim Nanos, BS, LPI
Publisher, PI Magazine

2 magazine | November/December 2019


By Anthony J. Luizzo and John M. Gaspar
Develop your system of consistent investigative

12 10 C HAOS

By Kitty Hailey, CLI and Anthony Colagreco
A must read from our friends Kitty and Anthony


By Chuck Klein
Keep your skills sharp and stay one step ahead


By Michael Morelli
See what those emails are “really saying”


By Roger Ryan Rider
BUSINESS Put away the pen and pencil!
ARE BROKEN PI Bookstore..................................................................................... 32
PI Conference Corner.......................................................... 60-61
By Stephanie Savoy PI Resources............................................................................... 66-67
PI Seminars & Conference Calendar....................................63
24 H SAS:TAX SAVINGS AND Public Records Update.................................................................59
By Mark E. Battersby 48 THE BLIND SIDE OF THE
By Kevin Toal
INVESTIGATIONS By Karhrman Ziegenbein 54 N CISS By Wes Bearden
34 A PROCESS SERVER’S By W. Barry Nixon
By Tim Santoni
By Daniel J. Demers


By John Hoda

November/December 2019 | 5

Demystifying the

6 magazine | November/December 2019

Over the years, investigators have come up with several generic defi-
BY ANTHONY J. LUIZZO nitions for the investigative exercise. Our definition: An investigation
AND JOHN M GASPAR is the medium through which facts are discovered, gathered, pre-
served and prepared as evidence for legal proceedings.

An interview is a leisurely conversation with a person of interest,
which can rise to a fact-finding excursion where warranted. An in-
terrogation is a probing conversation with normally unwilling or
unknowing subjects to extract secretive information. The primary
objective of the interrogation is to obtain incriminating evidence and
ultimately get to the truth of what happened.

One of the tenets of the investigative process is to gather as much
pertinent information as possible during the interview. Oftentimes,
the interview is analogous to a written play, and the interviewer and
interviewee are the lead actors. The interplay between both is like a
well-rehearsed symphony, wherein the interviewer tries to marry the
apparently connected to the unconnected and the interviewee tries to
either answer the questions forthrightly or attempts to dance around
the truth. The investigative process follows the universal academic
learning model: “Assess the facts, criticize assertions and integrate con-
clusions.” From the business perspective, private investigators often call
this exercise “connecting the dots” or “peeling the onion.” As the layers
of the onion are pulled back, the onion begins to reveal its true nature.

Whether performing a law enforcement or business-related inter-
view/interrogation, it’s most important to always come to the interview
or interrogation prepared. Being prepared includes, but is not limited to:
• Using control-type questioning—a control question is an incident-

related query intended to elicit a psychological response
• O bserving kinetics
• E stablishing rapport
• C ontrolling the flow of the interview
• A llowing uninterrupted dialogue
• K eeping an open mind
• F ollowing the facts wherever they may lead

Investigative experts instinctively know that active listening is the
fulcrum upon which effective interviews are constructed. Often the
interviewee is ready and able to tell what he or she knows, and inter-
viewers should always allow him or her to tell their story uninterrupted.

At times, interviewees are not interested in cooperating. In these in-
stances, the interviewer needs to wear two hats and try to conduct both
the interview and interrogation in one session. This takes tremendous
skill and should only be performed by seasoned sleuths. The interroga-
tion, on the other hand, is a formal session designed to elicit a confes-
sion of guilt and involves probing and extracting information from an
unwilling subject by asking trenchant questions. The objective is to seek
evidence and an admission of responsibility or guilt. The interviewer
needs to leave the impression that the incident at hand has already been
solved and that the interviewee is somehow involved.

November/December 2019 | 7

INTERVIEW TYPES: First and foremost, it’s imperative that in- witness or the subject of an investigation, when-
Initial Interview: Identifies the circumstances vestigative professionals entering these markets ever possible, review police and civilian reports
surrounding the incident, lists possible witness- understand that they pose a markedly different, and CSI reports, as well as comprehensive back-
es/suspects, catalogs physical evidence, and and sometimes dangerous, cultural and legal ground, social media searches and computer-as-
classifies the incident as a crime, civil event or landscape. Many issues that are taken for grant- sisted dispatch (CAD) reports on the subject and
as an informational report. ed in domestic investigative interviewing and location. If possible, talk directly to the respond-
interrogating exercises must be addressed in the ing officers and/or interested parties to obtain
Canvass Interview: Usually completed as a context of the host country’s political, legal and detailed accounts of the incident. Finally, it’s most
follow-up to the initial interview and involves cultural climate. One of the most important is- important that the interviewer determine whether
canvassing of neighborhoods, searching out sues that needs to be researched before inter- one-party or two-party consent is required for
witnesses, and following any and all possible viewing and/or interrogating anyone is to seek electronically taping potential proceedings. This
leads. Oftentimes these canvasses are door- legal counsel and check out the host country’s is especially important if electronic taping will be
to-door inquires of residences, business estab- legal system thoroughly. Every country has its part of the investigative envelope.
lishments, bus stops, delivery carriers (Federal
Express, USPS, Parcel Post, etc.) and trans- It’s imperative that
portation companies (Uber, taxi cabs, car ser- investigative professionals
vices, buses). In many instances, the canvasser entering these markets understand
is searching for evidentiary materials, including that they pose a markedly
video camera footage, eye or ear witnesses, or different, and sometimes dangerous,
any related information that can shine further cultural and legal landscape.
light on the incident under scrutiny.
own legal system, which affects all aspects of PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW:
Victim Interview: Often involves searching the criminal and civil justice process, including
for the who, when, why, how and where of the security and investigations. These systems vary • P re-plan interview questions
incident. greatly from country to country. • Put the interviewee at ease—develop a rapport
• S tructure interview questions so that they are
Witness Interview: The objective of these inter- Permissible investigative approaches in
views is to obtain eyewitness information from a Mexico may be prohibited in France, for exam- easily understood
wide variety of locations (stores, apartment com- ple. Protections that are taken for granted in the • S how a personal interest in the interviewee
plexes, shopping malls, etc.) captured during the United States pertaining to search and seizure, • A lways keep interviews conversational
initial interview, leading to sketch characteriza- self-incrimination, Miranda Warnings, interview • L isten carefully to verbal and non-verbal dialog
tions and other evidence-related exhibits. taping, etc., most likely are quite different than • R efrain from interrupting the interviewee
our justice system requirements. The major ex- • Determine information requirements before
Suspect Custodial Interview: The questioning ceptions to this rule are the United Kingdom and
of a person regarding their involvement or sus- India. The U.S. legal system is an outgrowth of beginning the interview
pected involvement in a criminal offense or of- the English common law system, and many of • S chedule interviews at the time of the day
fenses. As a matter of course, suspect interviews the principles of the American justice system ap-
are performed by law enforcement officers as ply there. Beyond the legal system, it is equally when you have the most personal energy
part of their regular criminal justice process. important that the investigative specialist become • Select an interview location that is free from
extremely familiar with the host country’s culture
Non-Custodial Interview: These interviews are and language. It’s also important that the investi- distractions
usually performed by private security personnel gative professional read as much about the host • Always allow ample time to conduct the in-
and are fact-finding exercises. In this type of in- country as possible before endeavoring to jump in
terview, it’s important that the interviewer estab- and perform any due diligence excursions. terview
lishes rapport with the interviewee and ensures • A lways maintain control of the interview flow
that the interviewee is comfortable and relaxed. THE HOMEWORK PHASE: ASPECTS OF • T ry to establish rapport with the interviewee
PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW OR • A lways accept emotive responses without
INVESTIGATIVE CONSIDERATIONS The key to ensuring success is being prepared. A criticism
In a June 1995 article by the undersigned, successful interview and/or interrogation begins • R efrain from taking extensive notes during
“Investigating in a New Environment” in and ends with getting all your ducks in a row be-
Security Management Magazine, discusses the fore beginning the exercise. Before contacting a the interview – shorthand helps
unique differences associated with performing • R efrain from interrupting the interviewee
investigations in foreign lands. It’s important • A lways leave the door open to follow-up in-
to recognize that performing investigations
and conducting interviews and interrogations terviews
abroad can be perilous. Because many corpo- • Obtain a written statement of facts at the
rations have multi-national footprints, the way
interviews and interrogations are performed conclusion of the interview
internationally should be carefully researched. • W hen using interpreters, make sure that all

communication takes place between the in-

8 magazine | November/December 2019

terviewer and interviewee, not between the ior by offering a sympathetic ear, thus keeping Luizzo, A. “Interview Vs. Interrogation”: Financial Fraud
interpreter and the interviewee the door ajar for future interactions Report - Warren Gorham & Lamont / RIA Group Reuters
- Thomson Publications - December 1999.
NOTETAKING TIPS DECEPTIVE BEHAVIOR TRAITS: TYPES Luizzo, A., Calhoun, C., “Fraud Auditing: A Complete
• R efrain from trying to write verbatim re- OF LIARS Guide”: The Foundation for Accounting Education / New
• Panic Liar: Rarely wishes to face the conse- York State Society of Certified Public Accountants – 1992,
sponses—audio- or videotaping should be Rev. 1995.
practiced whenever possible (in many states quences of his or her confession
you need to let all parties consent to the being • Occupational Liar: Has lied for years—it’s a Anthony j. Luizzo, PhD,
recorded) CFE, CST, PI (Ret.
• A void becoming distracted by your notetaking way of passage NYPD) is a member of
• A lways preserve interview notes for future use • T ournament Liar: Loves the challenge lying the Board of Advisors of
Vault Verify, LLC. He is
SUGGESTIONS • E thnological Liar: Taught over the years to BY DRa EforWmer RdetOectiBveBspecialist
• Q &A: question and answer
• R Q: repeat question never squeal on another with the New York City
• R A: repeat answer • Sadistic Liar: Will never give the interviewer Police Department’s Crime
• I E: interviewee Prevention Division and held
• I R: interviewer the satisfaction senior security positions with the NYC Mayor’s Office.
• I W: interview • P sychopathic Liar: No conscience whatsoever He is a past President of the Society of Professional
• M VI: motor vehicle information Investigators (SPI) and president-emeritus and found-
• P I: police information HELPFUL INVESTIGATIVE HINTS ing member of the NYC Chapter: Association of
• A KA: aliases More astute interviewers never fail to take spe- Certified Fraud Examiners. He has written dozens of
• M PH: miles per hour cial notice of clothing, jewelry, tattoos, accents articles for professional journals and magazines and is
• P OB: place of birth and other personal identifiers. To the percep- the co-author of “Fraud Auditing A Complete Guide”
• D OB: date of birth tive sleuth, a college ring identifies schools at- a fraud detection/prevention workbook for CEOs,
• N A: not applicable tended; sports jackets, elbow patches and but- CFOs, and Security Administrators published by the
• I D: identification ton-down shirts signify possible academician Foundation for Accounting Education and the New
• CM: crime method affiliation; bow ties often signify non-conform- York State Society of Certified Public Accountants:
• ICB: internal control break (fraud and audit ist characteristics; lapel pins showcase organiza- 1992 Rev. 1995. He is a former editorial advisory
tion and association affiliation; the list goes on board member: Reuters/WG&L/RIA Group –
term) and on. It really pays to observe! Thomson Publications.
• SSF: security system failure
• A F: audit failure (fraud and audit term) PERFORMING DUE DILIGENCE: TESTING John M Gaspar, B.S,
• S F: security failure INFORMATION ACCURACY M.S, CFE, BAI CSI is
• BSR: background search required Once the interview and/or interrogation is a licensed private investiga-
completed, it’s time for fact-testing. Each asser- tor in the State of Florida.
INTERVIEW METHODS tion offered during the interview and/or inter- Presently the President of
• Good Guy – Bad Guy: One interviewer at- rogation must be truth-tested. Witnesses must All Florida Investigations
be located and interviewed, background checks & Forensic Services, Inc.
tacks the interviewee while the other defends and related due diligence performed, tips and He is a former President of
• Role Reversal: The interviewer reverses roles leads verified, etc. the Society of Professional
Investigators (SPI), current board member of FAPI,
with the interviewee, e.g., “If you were look- CONCLUSION Intel Net Education Board BAI coordinator, former
ing into this matter, what would you do?” In the court of protection wisdom, conduct- Kesier University Academic Dean & Department
ing interviews and interrogations is truly both Program Coordinator for CSI, St John’s University
INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES an art and a science. The art involves setting adjunct professor C.J, Bethune Cookman University
• Pregnant Pause: Asking a question … paus- the proper environment and stage for the in- adjunct professor C.J, retried Daytona State Colleges
terview, whilst the science embodies using your Adjunct Professor and FDLE Instructor for advanced
ing—this often-uncomfortable silence creates observation and intuitive abilities to capture the and specialized courses. John is a retired NYC Detective
the opportunity for the interviewee to con- ever-elusive truth. Interviewers spend countless working in Major Case Squad, Retired Flagler County
tinue conversing hours probing, examining, researching, listen- Florida Detective Supervisor in charge of the Economic
• T rade-Off Technique: Offering a promise ing, observing and pondering before they tear a Crime Division. He has written curriculum for FDLE,
of helping the interviewee by suggesting that page from their “RX” pad and begin preparing NYPD, Keiser University Daytona State College on
their assistance will be taken into consider- their final report. Criminal & Crime Scene Investigations. John’s pub-
ation later, if necessary lished works include: Fraud Magazine November/
• B reaking Down the Story Technique: References: December 2013 Volume 28 the “Shutter Bug case”
The gradual process of obtaining the Lyman: publisher Pearson 6th edition ibsn# 3-978-0-13- ($800,000 Construction Fraud Scheme).
truth by pointing out inconsistencies in 506057-5
the facts, thus hopefully getting the inter-
viewee to make broader remarks and pos- tion/chapter/chapter-9-interviewing- questioning-
sible admissions and-interrogation/
• G raceful Exit Technique: Allowing the in- Luizzo, A. Van Nostrand G.: “Investigating in a New
terviewee to furnish excuses for their behav- Environment” – Security Management Magazine – June

November/December 2019 | 9


When the Investigative
World and the Real
World Clash


A crazed shooter invaded the peace
and quiet of a New Zealand town,
assassinating 50 people while
livestreaming the action to the Internet.
Governments all over the world
demanded that this video footage of
violence porn and carnage be
immediately removed. It was. Yet
millions of astute computer users
obtained that same macabre movie
in mere minutes on the dark web.

10 magazine | November/December 2019

The advancement of science and technology creates new consequenc- The real world and the world of the ethical investigator can collide.
es, unforeseen only a few years ago. As good investigators, we must adjust The consequences to the investigator may be significant. There was a time
to changing technology. When the oversized tape recorder was replaced when our profession was the wild west. Today, conversations gathered
with the mini-cassette, we adapted. When 35mm cameras were replaced using illegal wiretapping or photographs taken by trespassing cannot be
by tiny digital models with SIM cards, we adjusted. Then the cellular tele- used by an attorney/client in defense of a defendant. Technology dictates
phone became so wonderfully sophisticated that everyone started using both the knowledge of how it is used and a moral standard in using it.
their mobile devices for collecting evidence. These are all good, produc-
tive advances in technology. We have advanced opportunities to obtain proprietary information
through databases to which we subscribe. If abused, those privileges will
Accountability is shifting from individuals to social media companies. be taken away. There is a push by our government and internet watch-
These behemoths have gathered and stored amazing volumes of personal dogs to limit the amount of private information gathered and circulated
data without permission. Allegedly that data is used for product place- by the large online corporations. They have gone too far and are being
ment or personalized shopping. The personal financial information that reeled back by responsibly thinking legislators. Unfortunately, censorship
has been amassed is fodder not only for the unscrupulous thief, but for of information greatly depends on which side of the political spectrum
the investigator who also has access. In reality, Facebook, Twitter and an individual falls. Censorship of any kind can be detrimental to the fact-
Android devices in general are nothing more than surveillance engines. finding process. Offensive materials are only offensive to the individual
who does not agree with the message.
It has been said that Facebook does not have users: Facebook has used
people. The problem is so pervasive that it is not necessary to be logged Limiting access to information could backfire if investigators do not
into a social media account to be a victim. Merely using “Like” buttons on act responsibly. We do not want doors shut that we worked so hard
ordinary web pages serves as a beacon to signal companies. Even without to open. Not long ago, motor vehicle information was not available.
interacting with the button, a user transmits a signal, notifying data collec- Concerned members of our profession lobbied and convinced our rep-
tors merely by visiting specific pages. resentatives that we would use this information to find missing children,
locate hidden assets, attach property to satisfy a judgment, and allow the
Unimagined challenges face the professional investigator as our world wrongfully incarcerated to be set free. These doors will again be closed
collides with the ever-pervasive world of social media. We are in a time to us if the methods used to search for data violate laws. It is incumbent
gone wild; berserk. The thirst for information and gossip has created upon us to use the right methods and lawful information so that the
networks of prying eyes that seek, gather and disseminate the most pri- privileges we have amassed to see data from legal information sources is
vate of information. These invasive predators are the thousands of social not taken away from us.
media sites that collect, store and use personal data for their own mon-
etary gain. They know our locations, our bank accounts and our PINs. Ethical codes in each state association, national association and licens-
Then, adding to the mix, individuals feed into the broadcasting of private ing authority demand that our work is performed in a manner that does
information merely by posting on their Facebook, Twitter or SnapChat not violate the rights of others. Rogue investigators who insist on using
accounts. Nothing is sacred or confidential. any means to justify the ends could harken the removal of information
access for all investigators.
An investigator who feels he or she is on a moral quest to do right may
be tempted to use somewhat shady methods. The repository of infor- The investigator has three important questions that must be asked each
mation available by way of hacking, back doors and deep-web snooping and every time that he or she begins gathering evidence: Is it possible? Is
could be the key to unsolved cases. Lax database security has allowed it legal? Is it ethical?
hackers to infiltrate and compromise private information. Equifax, FBI af-
filiates, the Treasury Department, the State Department, the Department Almost anything is possible in this day and age. We have unlimited
of Defense and more have been breached. Obviously, public and private access to information. But is it legal? Can it be used in a court of law as
computers are ripe for hacking if government-secured computers are no evidence? Will we, or our clients, face charges for inappropriately obtain-
longer safe from prying eyes. ing information? These are questions to ask at every stage of an investiga-
tion. Finally, is it ethical? Does it pass the smell test? Is anyone’s privacy or
The conglomerate of data brokers using artificial intelligence (AI) has safety being violated? These three questions just might be the watchwords
drawn together data to personalize information and create dossiers on of our profession.
everyone. When breached, they encompass a cornucopia of possibilities.
According to Experian, the dark web can provide a litany of information The line between right and wrong is thin. Walking that line is dangerous.
for mere dollars. It is currently believed that the price for selling data Our responsibilities are greater than those of the average citizen. We are
on the dark web is as little as a social security number (SSN) for $1.00, licensed to uphold the law and gather data without harming anyone. As we
driver’s license information for $20.00, online payment services log-in in- enter each new phase of technology, facts are easier to gather. The inves-
formation from $20 to $200, credit card numbers for $5.00 to $110 with tigator does not inhabit the real world of everyday people. With advanced
card code verification (CCV) numbers for a mere $5.00 extra. “Full info” availability comes advanced responsibility. Use your license responsibly.
or full information bundled (name, SSN, birth date, account numbers and
other data) can cost as little as $30.00 when buying in bulk. The dark web Kitty Hailey, CLI is the author of Code of Professional Conduct: Standards and
is a repository of unlimited information. Ethics for the Investigative Profession (Third Edition). She is a frequent contributor
to professional journals and the recipient of numerous awards for her writings. She
The question then arises: Do the ends justify the means? Would you, was formerly with the Federal Defender Capital Habeas Unit, Philadelphia, but now
the investigator, compromise your ethics to locate a child predator? works primarily in the fields of Civil Rights and Post-Conviction investigation.

The investigator has a responsibility to obtain information that can be Anthony Colagreco has an Engineering degree and works as a computer technologist
presented legally as evidence in a court of law. The ability to obtain infor- with a specialty in Social Anthropology. His abilities are regularly used as an informa-
mation is not the same as the right to use that information. If evidence is tion resource and his skill at video photography enhancement prove a valuable adjunct
illegally obtained and it does not meet the standards required by law, then to the professional investigator.
the investigator has found the evidence but lost the case. Is it ethical to
use questionable sources to point the investigator in a direction?

November/December 2019 | 11



on the



12 magazine | November/December 2019

n Joseph Wambaugh’s non-fiction book, Lines & Shadows1, faced with the reality of an armed confrontation, your acting intuitively
he describes undercover agents working the California– trumps real fear, allowing you to control the situation. Many criminal
Mexico border deploying the draw-on-the-drop technique. types get off on inducing fear in people. They will begin to relax when
Maybe “technique” is not the correct word since the they believe they control you because of your projected fear.
LEOs who implemented the tactic did so as a last resort.
Their life-saving acts were do-or-die, improvise-as-you-go TIMING: This factor encompasses the interval it takes—maybe as long
maneuvers more than planned procedure. The drop, of as a second or two—for anyone to react to a surprise, especially if they
course, comes from old cowboy/film-noir crime novels are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, timing requires distrac-
and movies where the person pointing the gun would have tion: an attribute that is most helpful in surviving a close-quarter-combat
the “drop” on you. To be more exact: “Drop your wallet, (CQC) firefight. A simple, “I have money (or drugs) in my pocket,” or
or I will shoot,” or “Don’t reach for your gat, or I’ll drop looking over the perp’s shoulder and loudly saying, “Officer,” just be-
fore reaching toward your concealed gun, might be sufficient distraction.
Iyou.” However, you must be committed to making your move as the distraction
The undercover cops cited by Wambaugh, who executed is only for an instant and can usually be deployed only once. Timing,
the maneuver, were investigating smuggling activities along generally, is not something you can take your time with, such as trying to
the border and were dressed like their criminal counterparts, verbally convince the threat to walk away—losers with nothing to lose
and thus not identifiable as police officers. The shootings can’t be bluffed. Again, it’s a judgment call based on your intuition.
took place in remote areas with little more than ambient starlight and maybe
a campfire—conditions that certainly favored the LEOs. The draw on the drop is executed as part of the SIFT compendium:
As your hand reaches for your gun, a side-step move begins. In CQC
Trying to draw and fire before the guy with the drop can pull the trigger conditions, and with a gun pointed in your general direction or even dead
is not something to be considered lightly or at any time other than under on your center mass, the advantage is yours if you move laterally while
exigent circumstance. It’s a personal judgment call. Will he just take my making the draw. Unless the perp is practiced at instinct combat shoot-
money and go away, or take it and shoot? Or, if you’re a woman, take my ing2—which you should be—his chance of missing is greatly enhanced if
money and then shoot—after he rapes me? you are moving. Another option, but only at contact distances, is to grab
the assailant’s weapon while drawing your own piece. Though you might
PIs, like undercover cops, are usually working alone and with no ability get shot in the hand, it’s better than in the kill zone.
to radio for backup. Contacting persons who don’t want to be found to
serve process or interview can create the most dangerous of conditions. When I was instructing at Tactical Defense Institute3, we ran one-
If the target realizes the consequences of your intent, he or she might on-one-scenario training exercises, such as the confrontation robbery.
be more inclined to snuff you out, just because you’re only a civilian. Of Here, a good guy, armed with a concealed Simunition-loaded4 gun,
course, and unlike law enforcement officers, pulling your defensive arm was told to turn around (as if exiting an elevator) to face a man with
out as a precaution is, in most locales, a crime. a Simunition-loaded gun pointed at him. The only instructions, given
secretly, were to the robber. He was to say, “Give me your money,” and
To survive a situation where a perp has a firearm pointed at you, the SIFT then silently count to five before shooting the guy with the concealed
(Surprise, Intuition, Fear and Timing) technique might be your only option. gun. The majority of good guys would try to talk the shooter out of
shooting. Very few attempted to draw on the drop. Then the reality of
SURPRISE: Aside from visibility, surprise is a key element in being able our training began.
to extract your gun, bring it to battery and fire an accurate shot(s) before
the weapon pointed at you can be precisely discharged. Surprise com- You never know when you might be confronted with a lethal force
prises the reality that the perp doesn’t know you are armed and your de- threat, and all contingencies can’t be addressed or trained for, but learning
meanor is non-threatening. Your adversary believes he or she is in control basic mindset and practicing defensive moves is paramount to attacks of
of the situation—though not necessarily complacent—but is not expect- the heart-stopping kind.
ing any response or confrontation from you at the exact moment you
begin your move.

INTUITION: Though not something one can actively practice, per se, References:
it is the subconscious knowledge that comes from the study of reading (1) Accountings of the San Diego Department’s Border Crime Task Force https://www.
people and that gut feeling that now is the time. Playing mind games by
yourself hones this mental power such as imagining circumstances where
you might have to draw-on-the-drop—an excellent method of creating a (2) The tactic of learning to shoot by focusing on the target rather than the sights. During CQC
mindset that crafts survival instincts. In other words, your mindset, plus conditions, there is often not enough time to seek a sight picture or even look at your sights.
abilities gained from practice and reality of the situation, will intuitively
signal when to take defensive action.
(3) A civilian, police and military training facility in SW Ohio.
FEAR: Fear is a normal reaction to having a firearm pointed at you.
However, training to have a mindset to override this natural tendency is
necessary to maintain a positive reaction. Thus, it is not fear that is impor- (4) Non-lethal training ammunition. When struck by one of the
tant, but your ability to project fear while intuition generates your move. rounds, it stings, thus adding reality to the simulation of a fire-
You must become an actor, which is something you can practice. When fight.

Chuck Klein is a former LEO, NRA Certified Police
Firearms Instructor and author of many police and fire-
arm-related books and articles.

November/December 2019 | 13




AUTHORS NOTE Personal identifiers such An email address is the best place to begin Many of the resources I am sharing have
as email addresses, names, addresses and any investigation because almost everyone is other OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) ap-
phone numbers used in this report have been linked to an email address. In this case we will plications. For example, a site like UserSearch.
obfuscated to protect personal identity. use the fictional movie character Tony Stark. org not only enables you to reverse search an
With just the name as an identifier it may be email address, but also provides options to
According to The Radicati Group, there are challenging to locate that person’s social me- search user name, phone number, etc.
almost 6 billion unique email addresses in the dia footprint (particularly if the target’s name
world. A target’s email can provide a GOLD is a common name). However, if I can locate EMAIL INVESTIGATION STEPS
MINE of information to the investigator. In my target’s email, I can have confidence who- 1. Google It – The best place to start any email
this article you will discover tools, resources ever is behind that email is the person I am search is to use Google search operators. Go to
and techniques to locate email addresses and searching for. and type the subject’s name,
the people behind them.

14 magazine | November/December 2019

BY MICHAEL MORELLI • “ Tony Stark” + contact (or) contact informa- tonystark and [email protected]
tion (or) contact me Search for “tonystark” on Google
be sure to type their name in quotes; this in- Then search tonystark
structs Google to look for this exact name. Try 2. Deconstruct the Email Address
these basic queries: Treat the email address as two individual pieces:
• [“name”] + email (or) email address Email address
• [“name”] + contact (or) contact information Username Finally search your target email using quotes in
Bing, Yahoo,, etc.
(or) contact me For Example:
Here is what this looks like: [email protected] should be separated into People are creatures of habit and usually use
• “Tony Stark” + email the same username across multiple platforms.
• “Tony Stark” + email address This fact makes our job easier when attempt-
ing identifying our targets online accounts.

3. Check the Email Reputation https://email- – Is the email risky, it a throwaway ac-
count; does this email have any online pres-
ence? Is the sender trustworthy?

The results will reveal a treasure of impor-
tant information about your subject, including
information about their social media foot-
print on Spotify, Gravatar, Instagram, Twitter,
Pinterest, Myspace and more. Having this in-
formation you can search these sites and locate
your subject’s social media pages.

4. Next check validity and deliverable. I like to
use at least two different sites when checking
the validity of an email. Also, these sites will
disclose whether the email is disposable; this is
important to know because disposable emails
can be uses to hide identity. The results
show this email is valid and deliverable. http://

5. Search I located one
Tumblr profile and 14 FLICKR profiles.

6. Search the email address on LinkedIn by
using the following link: http://www.linke-
(enter your targets email after the words “view
by email”). In this example I used my own email
address. Here is what this search looks like:

file/viewByEmail/[email protected]
Next, click on the NAME and the LinkedIn
profile will open. (You must be signed into
LinkedIn to view the profile.)

7. Try running your email through the Google
Social Search engine at

8. At you find
multiple reverse searches including email, peo-
ple, address and phone.

November/December 2019 | 15

• R unning this search can reveal names and ad- 13. Go to Caution, never click on the CONTINUE
dresses. and enter the target’s phone number. I found button as this will alert your subject that
four email addresses, his address, and two someone is snooping around their account
9. Go to: phone numbers: and cause them to reset their password.
search • j [email protected]
• R unning this search revealed our targets full • [email protected] Be aware that Facebook will only return
• j [email protected] truncated information. However, this informa-
name, (John Target). • j [email protected] tion, combined with other sources of informa-
• 1 1234 Obfusticate Rd, Lex, IL 12345 tion can reveal important personal identifiers,
10. Another great tool is publicemailrecords. • ( 555)111-1111 - Wireless like the subject’s full email and/or phone num-
com. In the search bar type in your target’s • ( 555)333-2222 - Wireless ber. Next I searched Facebook and found a
email. Using our example [email protected] unique image along with a possible match for
com, we found our subject’s full name again This site also lists possible relatives, former our target:
(John Target); this is our second verification of addresses, and an age of 23, which we have target.52/.
his name. now seen for a second time.
15. I searched Instagram and found the exact
11. Run your target’s email through www. 14. Use the Facebook Recovery Tool. image and user name. NOTE: you must be LOGGED OUT of
By entering your targets email [email protected] Facebook for this tool to work properly. Go 16. At this point you can plug in all the new
com this site revealed our targets real name, to: emails and phone numbers into the websites
John Target (this is our third verification of his tended. Enter in the targets email or phone listed in steps 1 thought 15 and begin your
name), a possible address of 1234 Obfusticate number. search again to discover additional informa-
Rd, Lex, IL 12345, and a possible age of 23. tion. For now I simply Googled [email protected]
I entered all four of our target’s emails and and I located a possible Twitter ac-
12. Now Google the address using search all three phone numbers. There is one result. count:
operators like this: “John Target” + 11234 Since we have a hit this tells me that our target
Obfusticate Rd, Lex, IL 12345. I found our has or had at one time a Facebook page associ- 17.
targets phone number. ated with his phone number. lookup – This site offers multiple reverse
searches. After running this search we verified
for the FORTH time the owner of the email,
his address for the third time and now we have
an IP address.

Digital Forensics 18. Try Using this site we
Can Make YOU Money! were able to verify our subject’s name and city
and state again.
On-Demand Processing
19. Use the following API: https://api.trumail.
Smartphones COMPUTERS io/v2/lookups/[email protected]
CLOUD STORAGE (Enter your target’s email address in
Flat Rate Fees place of [email protected]) This API
will identify legitimate email addresses and
Free Consultations 1.801.796.0944 burner accounts. It also identifies disposable
and free email services. Here are the results:
[email protected] address: [email protected]
username: tonystark
validFormat: true
deliverable: true
fullInbox: false
hostExists: true
catchAll: false
disposable: false
free: true

Using our target’s email we now know this
is a valid and deliverable email. The email ac-
count is free and is not a temporary dispos-
able email account, nor is it a catchall email.
(A catch-all is a mail server configured to ac-

16 magazine | September/October 2019

cept all emails sent to the domain, regardless FINDING A PERSON’S BUSINESS EMAIL nystark using quotation marks. Here is what
of whether or not the specified mailbox ex- ADDRESS this looks like: “tonystark”
ists.) This information is important because it Here is a handy list of tools that will help you
helps you to know if you actually have a real locate your subject’s business email address. 2. Chrome Extension (Free) This
email address for your subject. extension lets you see contacts’ work info, and
1. Google – If you know the name of the compa- mutual connections.
20. Next check your target’s email address ny where your subject is employed run a Google
using this API. https://haveibeenpwned. search of their company website, like this: 3. Lead411 Chrome Extension (Free) This ex-
com/api/v2/breachedaccount/[email protected] tension helps to find anyone’s email in Gmail, This site informs you if personal + “name” + email and find contact information while browsing
data has been compromised by data breach- the web.
es. In the case of our subject, his email was
exposed in multiple data breaches and he has + “name” + contact Michael Morelli of is a
or possibly had accounts on Dailymontion. Board Certified Expert in
com, Minecraft, Myspace, and r2games. Here is what this looks like: Cyber Investigations and
Now you can search these social media ac- assists PI’s across the na-
count to locate your subject’s pages. This m + “subjects name” + email tion with their social media
information gives the investigator additional investigations uncovering
leads to search. 2. Anymail Finder & Email Format https:// evidence in worker’s comp, and https://any- and injury cases, criminal
21. – this is a great and civil cases. He can be
multipurpose search site which yielded the reached at [email protected]
following results for our subject: MySpace, EMAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA DISCOVERY
LinkedIn, 1. The very first thing you want to do is Google
the identifying portion (the username) of your
22. Alternately try This target’s email. Using our example [email protected]
site offers a ton of detail about an email ad-, remove the domain and search to-
dress, including validation and more. There
is also a paid version connected to infotracer. WE CAN FIND WHAT YOUR DATABASE CANNOT
The results we found tell us that our target’s
email is connected to the following online ac- No set-up or monthly fees • Same day service for many items!
counts: Blogger, Disqus, Evenful, Github,
LastFM, Twitter, and EBay. Now you can All info is accurate and verified
search these social media account to locate
your subject’s pages. • Cell # reverses* • Nationwide M.V.
• Landline # reverses* info & criminal
23. – This site is • Non-published #’s histories*
very powerful and offers multiple searches
to discover personal identifiers and more. at any address* • Asset locates*
Searches are free and unlimited but you must • Cell # locates by • Name of insurance
register for your free account. You will NOT
receive any emails or solicitations. This is an- name* co. for any vehicle
other gold mine site for investigators. • Utility searches* or home
• Locate cell position* • Any hard to
24. – Enter your targets • P.O. box breaks get info
email and this site will search that email across • Person locates
31 social media platforms. *US & Canada
(No data base-
25. Search Facebook, Instagram and other so- verified) We are NOT a database
cial media platforms for your subject’s name. company.
Sometimes they list their email on the site.
email/ – Here is a final site to reverse search Established in 1995
your email. But always be aware of false posi-
tives. The result from this site shows a Joseph Member of FALI, FAPI, NJLPIA,
Ret. LEO, Military Veteran,

November/December 2019 | 17

3D Scanners
Segment in


18 magazine | November/December 2019

The investigation of crime These points are organized in an X, Y, and Z
scenes is a highly so- coordinate system to create the three-dimensional
phisticated and dynamic representation of the scanned area. These scans
event. Investigators have can then be stitched, sometimes referred to as
addressed this challeng- registering, together to create a representation of
ing process by improv- a large scene. Most scanners are also integrating
ing its documentation a 360-degree picture view of the same scanned
methods. The evolution area. This view can be observed in the 360-de-
of mapping these scenes has changed from using a gree format and/or added to the scanned scene
tape measure to deploying total station theodolites to enhance true colors to each scan point. This
collection of points is referred to as a point cloud.
The newest technology has advanced to three-
dimensional laser measuring or scanning equip- The application to law enforcement ranges
ment. Advancement in this technology is also from crash to crime scenes. Deploying scan-
becoming accepted and financially attainable for ners to crime scenes provides benefits such
law enforcement. Therefore, it is apparent that as one-person operation, capturing millions
these scans will be seen in other investigations of measured points of reference, collecting a
that pertain to crime scenes and varied industry 360-degree view of the scene, and providing
injury/accident scenes regarding liability. strong evidence to assist in incident reconstruc-
tion. On any scene, these scans can be utilized
Recent studies have examined digital tech- to create an animation which can assist an in-
nology available to crash reconstruction and its vestigator in their pursuit to assist court juries
impact on evidence documentation and scene in understanding the complete event.
clearance. Some of these findings:
In crime scenes such as shooting incidents,
Specialty trained law enforcement investiga- 3D scans can better document scenes, projec-
tors showed to be statistically significant and tile trajectory paths, and assist in reconstruc-
perceived 3D laser measuring equipment with tion of the incident. The point cloud collected
the capability to reduce initial time on scene up can also be utilized to examine and identify
to one hour. the place of origin of the blood spatter.

Medium to large law enforcement agencies This technology is not only impacting
and specialty trained investigators indicated law enforcement, but private investigations
that 3D laser measuring equipment was more also. Private investigators should see more
effective than total station theodolite. 3D scanning completed by law enforcement
as part of their crime scenes. Private inves-
Field testing showed that 3D laser measur- tigators should also utilize this technology
ing equipment can considerably reduce the man to advance their own cases. 3D scans can be
hours needed to complete the mapping docu- used to enhance visual reference of crash and
mentation to represent a major crash incident crime scene incidents, injury liability scenes,
(Rider, 2018). and others after an event has occurred.

Vehicle crash scenes are an example of a A 3D scanner can be deployed to recreate an
crime scene. These same conclusions can be incident after the fact, even though evidence,
assumed for crime scenes. and property has moved. As an example, a
crash incident can be scanned after the fact,
Laser scanning devices utilize a laser to even though the vehicles have been towed
bounce off an object and return to the instru- away. The location can be scanned, road evi-
ment. The distance from the scanner to the ob- dence may still visible, and the vehicles can be
ject is accurately determined by measuring the scanned at another location. Through software
phase shifts in the waves of the infrared light. systems, these items can be pieced together to
Additionally, a scanner determines the reflectiv- represent the incident in its original state.
ity (assigning to a grey scale) of the captured
surfaces by measuring the intensity of the re-
ceived laser beam.

November/December 2019 | 19

HOW In crime scenes such as
“shooting incidents, 3D scans can
are your better document scenes, projectile
”trajectory paths, and assist in
reconstruction of the incident.
What we offer goes far A landscape study recently stated that 3D Reconstructions in Texas. Law Enforcement Executive
beyond a google search laser technology is an excellent tool to in- Forum, 18(3), 55–68

or a single plug in crease a crime scene unit speed and efficiency Ropero-Miller, J., Bailey, M., Bushman, M. H., & Melton,
software platform. (Ropero-Miller, Bailey, Bushman, & Melton, P. (2016). Landscape study on 3D crime scene scanning devices
It takes precise strategy 2016). Laser scanning technology is showing
and tactics to uncover
an individual’s digital to be efficient and accurate. This, coupled with

footprint. the reduction of equipment costs to the public
The right person the
and legal sectors, will assist in the purchase and
first time.
deployment of the equipment more often.
. Affordable Pricing
. Quick Turnaround Private investigators should understand this
. 12 Years Experience
. No Monthly Fees technology, and its potential uses. This new

Work Smarter technology can be found in several arenas and
Not Harder
should be considered for crash and crime scene
with eChatter!
investigations and reconstructions, especially if

it will be presented in a court system. Roger Ryan Rider is the Owner and Operator of

REFERENCES Triple “R” Investigations located at 777 Cannon
Drive Suite 55334, Hurst, Texas 76054, www.
Rider, Roger Ryan Copeland, C. L., & Dobbs, R. R. PI License reference No.
(2018). Officer Perception of New Technology on Crash

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20 magazine | November/December 2019

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Why I think
Checks are



I’ve conducted hundreds of background you are convicted, there are 3007 counties, 64 THAT’S ONE PROBLEM. NOW LET’S
checks in my career as a private investi- parishes, 19 organized boroughs and 41 inde- TALK ABOUT PLEA BARGAINS.
gator. It didn’t take long for me to real- pendent cities in the United States, and it is up
ize that background checks have inherent to them to accurately enter your information Only criminal convictions are reported to the
flaws, especially when it comes to con- into their system. It is up to them to make it national agencies—this is good; this is how our
ducting criminal background checks. available to third-party companies to aggregate. system should work. If you are found innocent,
It is up to them to ensure the information stays there is no reason to have a criminal charge on
The main issue is accurate criminal convic- current. And then, it is up to the third-party your record. But we live in a world where 97%
tions. If you commit a crime and aren’t con- tools available to private investigators to accu- of federal cases and 94% of state and local
victed, your criminal “record” may not make rately connect the dots and guarantee the John cases end in plea bargains. This means that a
it to the national reporting agencies. Even if Smith you’re looking for is the right John Smith criminal record may not accurately reflect what
in their database. the subject did. This goes both ways. A person
who committed a serious crime may take a plea

22 magazine | November/December 2019

bargain for a lower, more lenient sentence. Some charges may be dropped Something like, “Your candidate has a criminal record for marijuana
entirely. Likewise, a person who may have won their court case can end usage from 20 years ago when he was in high school,”
up taking a plea bargain for a minor offense. This saves them money, time
and stress. In return, they end up with a criminal record for something is not as important as, “Your candidate was terminated by his last em-
they were technically innocent of. ployer for stealing from the company. He was questioned by police, but
the owner decided not to press charges.”
“I don’t know if you’re guilty or not. We have a witness. If you plead If our job is to give our clients actionable information, we need to
guilty, we’ll give you a month of community service and a fine. If you go deeper than criminal records. We need to dig through social media
want to go to court, and you lose, you’re facing up to 10 years in prison.” accounts, dive into a person’s network of close associates, contact prior
employers, call their references or co-workers, and use OSINT techniques
Or, to track down digital patterns.
“I know you’re guilty, but this is going to be a long trial. If you plead
guilty, we’ll give you one year of probation, and we’ll drop the charges When a client calls to request a background check, we should instead
from Class A to Class C. Or, we could go to court, and you’ll end up in offer them a background investigation. A background check “checks”
jail for a minimum of 10 years.” to see if a person was convicted of a crime—not if a person is of good
Both of those statements have severe complications for future back- moral character.
ground checks. One of them is an innocent person who is not willing to
take a risk. The other is a criminal who’s given a better option. Stephanie Savoy is the owner and managing part-
ner at Savoy & Associates Private Investigations in
“ If our job is to give our Naugatuck, Connecticut. She holds a Certificate in
Legal Investigations from Texas A & M University.
clients actionable information, Her writing has been featured in other investiga-
we need to go deeper than tion publications and she’s been interviewed on PI’s
criminal records. We need Declassified. When not working tirelessly for her clients
to dig through social media you will find her serving as a Police Commissioner with the
accounts, dive into a person’s Naugatuck Police Department, or coaching youth sports.
network of close associates, Contact: Facebook @savoyinvestigations or on Twitter: @savoyassoc
contact prior employers, call
their references or co-workers,
and use OSINT techniques to

”track down digital patterns.

Our job as private investigators is to track down a person’s history. Plea
bargains or not, our job is to give our clients the information we find
to help them make educated decisions. If all we provide our clients is a
criminal rap sheet, we’re not doing anyone any good. You can’t make out
a person’s character from a 10-year criminal conviction for something mi-
nor—maybe it was a plea bargain for something bigger, maybe the record
belongs to another person, maybe the person was innocent but took a
plea bargain to get things over with.


Regardless of the reason for a background check, the approach should be
to follow every possible lead. If we’re doing a pre-employment check, we
need to make sure the background check includes the things our clients
may need.

November/December 2019 | 23


HSAs: Tax Savings and
Inexpensive Worker Benefit


To remain competitive in today’s Although the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) HSAS FOR FUN AND PROFIT
job market, almost half of U.S. individual mandate has been eliminated, the
employer mandate remains in place requiring The concept of HSAs is both simple and el-
employers provide health insur- Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) to pro- egant. Give individuals generous tax breaks to
vide a certain percentage of their full-time- put aside money to help pay for their health care.
ance. Still others worry about equivalent (FTE) employees with minimum In theory, the combination of HSAs and high-
essential coverage. ALEs are defined as any deductible insurance would encourage reduced
shouldering the expense of of- business employing a combination of 50 or medical spending. That, in turn, would make it
more FTE employees. easier for employers to offer those employees
fering health insurance. Today, there is one in- lower-cost, high-deductible health plans.
Small investigative businesses that don’t fall
creasingly popular and affordable health care within this definition aren’t subject to the em- The high-deductible plan puts more of the
ployer mandate and, thus, are not required to burden on consumers, rather than insurance
option for small businesses -– and owners: offer health insurance coverage to their work- companies, to pay those first-dollar costs, even-
ers—but should they? After all, with HSAs, tually lowering the nation’s overall health care
Health Savings Accounts or HSAs. 25 million American families and individuals costs. Thanks to recent changes, employees
save and spend their own money, tax-free, on with high deductible plans no longer have to
Since their creation in 2004, tax-advantaged a variety of health care expenses—more than pay off their deductible before insurance cov-
HSAs have grown into a successful, multi- double the number of individuals using the ers chronic disease medications.
faceted tool for employers as well as for small Obamacare exchanges.
business owners seeking self-only health care Much like an IRA, HSAs provide three
plans. Used in combination with high-deduct- tax breaks. Both contributions and invest-
ible health plans (HDHP), HSAs have proven
to be a free-market option that does not rely on
mandates or cash subsidies.

24 magazine | November/December 2019



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ment income earned on the accounts are YES, THERE ARE LIMITS that is available to employers with fewer than
tax-free. Withdrawals are also tax-free as Participants in HSA plans can’t contribute more 25 employees, paying annual wages of less than
long as they are used for qualified health- than they earned for the year from the em- $50,000 and contributing a uniform percent-
related expenses. ployer sponsoring the HDHP. Self-employed age of at least 50% of the premium cost for
PIs and other individuals can’t contribute more employee health insurance coverage obtained
After age 65, participants can choose to than their net self-employment income. through a Small Business Health Options
treat an HSA as a retirement account. If Program (SHOP) Exchange. The maximum
HSA funds are withdrawn for something HSA participants or “owners” must have a tax credit has been extended through 2019 and
other than qualified medical expenses before health insurance policy with a deductible of at is generally 50% of employer-paid premiums.
the participant turns 65, income tax plus a least $1,350 for single coverage or $2,700 for fam- It can be taken for only two years, which must
20% penalty must be paid. However, after ily coverage. Contributions of up to $3,500 are be consecutive.
the participant turns 65, that 20% penalty no permitted during 2019. Those with family cover-
longer applies and withdrawals are treated as age can contribute up to $7,000. Planning ahead, Smaller investigative agencies and businesses
ordinary income. in 2020, participants can contribute $3,550 for with lower average salaries can qualify for a
individual coverage, up from $3,500 in 2019, or higher health care tax credit. For example, an
Funds in an HSA can be used to pay deduct- $7,100 for family coverage, an increase of $100. agency employing fewer than 10 people and
ibles and other qualified health care expenses paying average salaries of less than $25,000
(including dental, vision or other health ser- For those PIs 55 years and older, the HSA qualifies for the most in credits. These credits
vices not covered by insurance). Money re- “catch-up” contribution remains level at $1,000 can make the purchase of small business health
maining in the savings account can be invested because it wasn’t indexed for inflation. With a insurance much more affordable, because they
just as with an IRA or 401(k) plan. The tax- catch-up contribution, those with self-only can be used to defray the cost of premiums in
advantaged money in the HSA plan can grow, coverage can contribute up to $4,500, while the year they are earned, or saved, to be applied
year-after-year. those with family coverage can contribute a against a tax bill.
maximum of $8,000.
HSAs provide a good deal for participants— OWNER HSA BENEFITS
both workers and employers. And, best of all, SMALL BUSINESS HEALTHCARE TAX Any eligible individual can contribute to an
HSAs provide a health insurance option for the CREDIT HSA. For an employee’s HSA, the employee,
self-employed PI or small business owner re- An option that should not be ignored is the the employee’s employer or both may con-
luctant—or unable to afford—health care cov- small business health care tax credit (SBHCTC) tribute to the HSA in the same year. For an
erage other than for themselves. HSA established by a self-employed PI (or
unemployed individual), the individual con-
LEARNING SHOP USA tributes. Family members or any other per-
son may also make contributions on behalf
Continuing Education Online of an eligible individual.

706 268 2221/512 756 0101 Owners of investigative businesses operating as S corporations have long been unable to par-
ticipate in their operation’s cafeteria plan. The
We provide online courses for persons seeking or eligibility rules for participation in a cafeteria
renewing licensure/registration/certification as a plan differ from the HSA eligibility rules.
private investigator, security officer or process server.
These are not webinars or correspondence courses. The Only “employees” can participate in a caf-
student interacts with instructor-authored content eteria plan, and self-employed individuals can-
delivered through a state-of-the-art Learning not participate. More-than-2% Subchapter S
Management System. Study where you want, when you shareholders are treated as self-employed and,
want and at your own pace; no hidden costs; full refund thus, cannot participate in a cafeteria plan. In
if not satisfied; win-win exams. Prices start at $30. fact, because of certain ownership attribution
Course descriptions can be seen at rules, a more-than-2% shareholder’s spouse, children, parents and grandparents who are
employees of the S corporation are also ineli-
gible to participate in a cafeteria plan.

S corporation owners can, however, have
HSAs, but they cannot make HSA contribu-
tions through the cafeteria plan if they are
more-than-2% shareholders.

In order for S corporation owners to be eli-
gible to contribute to an HSA, individuals must:
• Have qualifying HSHP coverage
• Not have impermissible non-HDHP coverage

26 magazine | November/December 2019

• Not be entitled to Medicare better or worse. For those who can put aside er an employer, a business owner or self-em-
• Not be a dependent on another’s tax return. enough to generate high balances, HSAs are a ployed PI, the time to think about HSAs, the
nice tax-free savings vehicle. contribution limits and the many benefits they
And, remember, any individual who offer, is now.
meets these criteria is eligible to make HSA While they may have fallen short on their
contributions—or to have them made on his promise to reduce medical costs, HSAs are an Employees must decide how much to con-
or her behalf. If the contributions are not excellent tax-free investment account because tribute through payroll deductions. Throughout
made on a pre-tax basis and do not exceed the money going into the account is shielded the year, employees can then use these funds
the applicable limit, the individual can take from taxes, as it grows and when the amounts to pay qualified medical expenses, including
a so-called “above-the-line” federal income are withdrawn—so long as it is used to pay for co-pays, deductibles and a variety of medi-
tax deduction. This is possible because there medical expenses. cal products and services ranging from dental
is no requirement that an individual be an and eye care, eyeglasses and hearing aids. It is
employee in order to contribute to an HSA. A savvy HSA participant could accumu- a similar story for small business owners and
The rule applies to any HSA-eligible per- late up to $360,000 after contributing for the self-employed—the “owners” of their own
son—including a more-than-2% S corpora- 40 years to an account with a rate of return HSA plans.
tion shareholder. of only 2.5%, according to the Employee
Benefit Research Institute. Naturally, As always, advice from a tax professional
SIGN ME UP growth at this or any other rate is only pos- and/or plan administrator, usually a bank, fi-
HSA plan tax breaks have proven popular. sible if the HSA account is not being used nancial institution or insurance company, is ob-
Enrollment in HSAs has increased year-after- for health care expenses prior to retirement. viously a necessity.
year, and account balances have grown from an It’s little wonder that HSAs are considered a
estimated $6 billion to $55 billion. As a result, good tax shelter. Mark E. Battersby is a freelance writer who has special-
those with high-deductible plans and low HSA ized in taxes and finances for the past 25 years. He has
balances may use fewer health care services, for For those who may have already “maxed written articles for PI Magazine for the past 16 years.
out” their 401(k) and IRA contributions, a As with all other articles appearing in PI Magazine
health savings account is yet another place to this one is not to be considered legal advice.
save cash in a tax-advantaged way. But, wheth-

....and it’s not because he saved money on his car insurance. It’s because,


....and he increased his income by 30% last month.


We automate your social media investigations.

November/December 2019 | 27




Over the years, as a private investiga-
tor, amateur radio operator, and well-
known “techie,” I have been asked to
review various products a working PI
would find helpful and useful in the
course of their normal business activities.

Today, I am reviewing a new spy pen, capable of both au-
dio and video recording, while inconspicuously being worn
in a pocket or being used as an actual hand-held working
ballpoint pen. This device is simply known as the iSpyPen
Pro, available at PIGEAR.COM

When I unpacked the very well-made protective packag-
ing and box, I saw the standard-size black pen.

I removed it and was impressed that this wasn’t a cheap
plastic pen with some electronics inside. Instead, it was a
heavy well-constructed aluminum pen that, in my opinion,
would easily double as a protective device if held in-hand
during an altercation! Recognizing that wasn’t the primary
intent of the pen (maybe it was a secondary feature), I un-
screwed the top section from the bottom section and a USB
connector was visible. Upon examination, I saw the camera
lens the size of a pinhole located directly above the pocket
clip. The on/off button sits on top, and is readily accessible
without any difficulties.

Putting the two sections aside, I picked up the instruc-
tion sheet and was pleasantly surprised to see, not only was

28 magazine | November/December 2019

it in English, it was clearly written with only Harvey E. Morse, BAI, CMI, CII change. Harvey has appeared on numerous ra-
five steps to follow, and the type was actually Private Investigator dio and TV shows, appears in the written me-
large enough to read. (Yay for them—and me!) dia, has authored books, and has appeared on
The tri-fold booklet also had clear, demonstra- Harvey is the President of LOCATERS national TV. He serves as an Expert Witness
tive photos showing each step to charge and INTERNATIONAL, INC. and a long-time regarding missing heirs to estates, and investi-
use the pen. The manufacturer claims it is the Florida PI. He is Founder of the Florida gative techniques.
easiest-to-use camera pen, and I admit that it Association of Private Investigators and has
was, having played with other similar products been active during his career mentoring new
that I have purchased that I found to be greatly investigators and as an advocate for legislative
Dyoonu’rtiGnest muirsalendcbey !
Of particular note, when compared to some
other pens I have used over the years, was the WHEN THE UNEXPECTED STRIKES EXPECT THE
lack of “special” cables, wires, plugs and other BEST FROM PI PROTECT ®
accessories. When the pen is unscrewed, there
is a USB port, allowing the user to plug the pen There are no surprises with the Brownyard Group. For more
directly into a standard USB plug on your com- than 65 years we have been solving the insurance needs of
puter to both charge the pen and download the Private Investigators and Security Consultants.
files. No special wires and no special software
needed. Let us tip you off to a valuable and
competitive insurance quote.
For those techies who want the tech info:
The iSpy Pen comes in three different colors Insurance when you expect the BEST
or finishes, making it customizable to the user’s
taste or to match situational use, with black, sil- 800-645-5820 [email protected]
ver and, my preference, a very nice gold finish.
The memory is an internal HD—no cards to
change or lose—with memory configurations
from 32 GB all the way up to an unbelievable
128 GBs! The video is an outstanding 1080p
HD resolution stored in standard AVI format.
The battery is a state-of-the-art 200mAh Li-
ion polymer, high-capacity battery with a life
of about 60 to 75 minutes of continuous re-
cording time per session before recharge. The
iSpy pen has a time and date stamping feature,
which can be hidden if need be. The audio
recording quality is very good, but, as with all
covert audio-recording devices, placement on
one’s person is important, and tests should be
done to see where the pen is best-placed in rela-
tion to clothing and personal accessories.

The only caveat, of course, as with any simi-
lar voice/video products, is to check with your
attorney, law enforcement, and local and state
laws in regard to surreptitiously recording voice
and video prior to using this device.

Without question, each of my tests were
very easy to do, the quality was excellent, and
I feel this pen should be a part of every PI’s
arsenal of tools, providing the law permits its
use. I found the pen was all it claimed to be.
Well-constructed, with a very good profes-
sional appearance and minimal “buttons,” mak-
ing it, above all, easy to use! The cost of less
than $80.00 for the 32 GB pen makes this a
no-brainer for every PI and is available now at

November/December 2019 | 29


Blackhorse Investigations

Emilio Maldonado, Rene Maldonado and Sam Gissler

In late 2016, Blackhorse Investigations
LLC became more than a mere thought.
Emilio Maldonado, a retired police officer
from Southern California, decided to turn
a long-time dream into reality.The dream
of putting his knowledge and experiences to
work, but for himself, as the owner of a private
investigation agency became his new reality. In
just three years, Blackhorse Investigations has
become one of the top-rated agencies in Ari-
zona and has reached international levels. To-
day, Emilio runs Blackhorse Investigations with
his wife, Rianne Maldonado, and their son, Sam
Gissler; both licensed investigators.

After Emilio was honorably discharged from Blackhorse Investigations watching accused cheaters. Three years later, in-
the Navy, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of be- owners, Rianne (left) and fidelity cases are now some of her favorite cases,
coming a police officer. He joined the El Cajon, Emilio (right) with U.S. Sena- and she’s often excited to work on them.
CA Police Department in 1997. Emilio worked tor Martha McSally (center)
in the Patrol Division and was part of the Gang during the Purple Heart Rianne comes from a background in the
Suppression Team. In 2001 Emilio received the reunion ceremony for the mortgage industry and is also a paralegal. What
California Highway Patrol “10851” award for family of World War II Sailor makes her unique to the investigation field is
superior efforts in auto theft arrests and recov- Nick D’Amelio Jr., a hero that that she combines her knowledge and experi-
eries. He received additional police training in died in 1942 at Guadalcanal. ences with her strong intuition. Rianne values
Advanced Criminal Investigations, Auto Theft the accuracy of intuition and uses it consistent-
Investigations, Accident Investigations, Active Organized Retail Crime. These cases are com- ly in her investigative work. She has a fascina-
Shooter and other advanced officer training. plex and usually involve organized groups who tion with cold cases, such as unsolved deaths
steal specific products from retailers in order to and missing persons. She approaches these
After retiring in 2004 from injuries sustained sell it to a fence, who then sells them online or mysteries as if she is looking for the missing
during an on-duty incident, Emilio was left with at store fronts for a profit. These types of in- pieces of a puzzle and is guided by her intuition
a decision that many that leave law enforce- vestigations are conducted similar to narcotics on how best to proceed.
ment are faced with- “What do I do now?” The cases and involve dealing with informants and
list of jobs that a law enforcement officer can lots of mobile surveillance. Although, Emilio Today, Rianne is a very involved member of
directly transfer the same skill set are few and did not know it at the time, he was sharpening Blackhorse Investigations and hopes that more
far between. After trying a few things out, in- his skills for what lie ahead. of their children (in addition to Sam) will join
cluding a brief stint as a field investigator for a the family business.
private investigation agency, Emilio settled in Throughout the years prior to launching
for a career in corporate loss prevention and as- Blackhorse Investigations, Emilio expressed his Sam has been w(oPrhkoitnogCwouitrhteBsylaScekanhoL.rHsealls)ince
set protection. This type of work was similar in desire to start his own investigation firm to his
that internal investigations were conducted and wife. When he first started mentioning his dream
often turned into criminal investigations where to her, she would smile and nod. On the day he
they would later be referred for prosecution. told Rianne that he was ready to go for it she
Emilio received Interview and Interrogation laughed! Rianne’s only experience with private
Certification from Wicklander-Zulawski and investigation work had only been what she saw
John E. Reid and Associates. By 2017, he had on TV or in the movies. She imagined trench
interviewed more than one thousand employ- coats, hats, cigars and hanging out in seedy bars
ees regarding internal theft and employee mis-
conduct investigations.

Emilio also conducted external investiga-
tions, sometimes referred to in the industry as

30 magazine | November/December 2019

BLACK HORSE INVESTIGATIONS sider ourselves generalists. We can handle any
type of investigation. We do have particular ex-
Owners: Emilio Maldonado, Rianne Maldonado, pertise in interviewing and ORC, but we work
and Sam Gissler a variety of cases.
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Phone: 800-741-9239 PI: Who were/are your mentors?
Email: [email protected] ER: We have a colleague that has been a
Years in business: 3 great resource in helping our agency move for-
Number of employees: 3 ward, Steven Mason of Mason Investigative
Licensed In: AZ Solutions in Gilbert, AZ. We collaborate quite
Investigation Specialties: Workplace often with Steven’s agency.
Investigations, Investigative research, Organized Retail
Crime Investigations, Litigation support, Surveillance PI: What changes have you seen in our
Company Motto: Ethical investigations, the right way, at the right time. profession since you started?
Association memberships: Arizona Association of Licensed Private Investigators
Website: ER: The biggest change we have seen is
Facebook: OSINT related. The biggest is Facebook’s re-
Twitter: striction of graph searches. It was such a valu-
Instagram: able tool for so many different types of investi-
gations and now it is all but gone.
the beginning. As a young person, it can be a belonged to them. The medal was then present-
struggle to be taken seriously when looking ed back to the family by U.S. Senator Martha PI: What has been your most successful
for a reasonable job. Not once, but twice, Sam McSally, with the investigators of Blackhorse marketing tool?
was passed over for a job in loss prevention be- Investigations as part of the ceremony.
cause his clean-cut look was “too Clark Kent,” ER: As basic as it might sound, reviews on
so when he was able to join Blackhorse as a Today, Blackhorse Investigations is blessed Google have been the driving force in acquiring
Licensed Private Investigator it was a great con- to be working regularly with one of the na- new business. We treat every client as if they
fidence booster. Now, a few years in, he enjoys tion’s largest personal injury law firms while are our only one, and they reward us with great
the ability to recount quite the pool of thrilling also serving private clients, corporate clients, reviews. In today’s world, online reviews are a
PI tales when asked what he does for work. and donating time and resources to our na- major factor for obtaining new business. Even
tion’s veterans. As a way of giving back to if someone refers you by word of mouth, the
Having studied digital media, Sam handles military veterans and their families, Blackhorse potential client will almost always look at your
not only the audio/visual information pre- Investigations continues to donate its time and reviews online
sented to clients, but also much of the content resources reuniting lost medals and dog tags to
concerning the business itself. Whether it be family members. PI: What advice do you give to new pri-
informational videos or web design, he strives vate investigators?
to integrate a variety of skills into his work. PI Magazine: Give a short background
In addition, he has recently become a licensed on the company’s principals. ER: Once you open a new agency, remem-
Bondsman in the state of Arizona. Never one ber that being a businessperson is most im-
to limit his interest, Sam sees this new arm of Emillio Riane: Emilio, Rianne and Sam are portant. We already know how to investigate
the business as an exciting opportunity. all licensed private investigators. Emilio brings so that is the easy part. Learn as much as you
the law enforcement and interviewing experi- can about marketing, sales, and driving traffic
Making National and International news in ence. Rianne has financial and research inves- to your agency. Another important piece of
June of 2019, Blackhorse Investigations was, in tigative experience. Sam is an incredible asset advice is listening to what a potential client is
part, responsible for reuniting a Purple Heart with open source intelligence (OSINT), and telling you, rather than listening to what they
Medal with a hero’s family. The medal had social media investigations. He also handles are telling you they want. Many times, a differ-
been donated to Arizona Goodwill by accident. media, search engine optimization (SEO) and ent type of investigation strategy will have the
The history of the medal was that it had been website design for the agency. greater chance of bringing results for the client.
awarded posthumously to a U.S. Navy Sailor You are the expert, make the recommendation
that died in Guadalcanal during World War II. PI: What is unique about your agency? and run with it!
After seeing local news stories about the medal ER: What makes Blackhorse Investigations
and several social media posts, the Maldonados unique is that we are a family, literally! PI: Is there anything else you want our
scoured genealogy records and proprietary da- readers to know about your agency?
tabases. Within six hours of starting their re- PI: What are your investigative specialties?
search, the couple was knocking on the family’s ER: Because we have varied backgrounds ER: We are always open to helping or col-
door notifying them of the found treasure that and have such a large resource base, we con- laborating. It’s an unfortunate truth in our
industry that there are many PIs and agen-
cies that do not want to collaborate or asso-
ciate for fear of losing business or releasing
some sort of trade “secret.” We should look
to other PIs as a resource rather than com-

November/December 2019 | 31


Getting the Truth:
I am D.B. Cooper


Paperback: 352 pages
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Principia Media LLC
ISBN-10: 1614853266
ISBN-13: 978-1614853268


On the night of November 24, 1971 a man
named D.B. Cooper hijacked NWA 305,
bound for Seattle from Portland. In exchange
for the 36 passengers, he received $200,000 in
used $20 bills and 4 parachutes. He ordered
the plane to take off from Sea-Tac airport,
strapped the $200,000 to his body and para-
chuted out the rear of that plane into the dark,
cold Washington State sky, never to be seen or
heard from - until now.

26-year veteran investigator of the Michigan
State Police, CFE, Forensic Linguist, B.S. and
MPA, Award-winning author of Getting the
Truth and Getting the Truth: I am D.B. Cooper.

More details can be found at: WWW.PIGEAR.COM Books Tab

32 magazine | November/December 2019




John A Hoda

FromFrTohme Tohpe WTorpiteWrsriAtenrds And
ProfPerssoifoensaslioInnvaelstIingvaetsotrisg! ators!

go to- Go to

WWWWW.PWIG.PEIAGNoRvEem.bACer/DROece.mMCberO201M9B| oBookos kTsabTab


A Process Server’s Guide to

Video Doorbells

If you haven’t already encountered them as While this technology heralds positive THE ADVANTAGES
a process server, video doorbells allow us- things for home security, it has the poten- As intimidating as these challenges are, vid-
ers to see who is at their door in real time. tial to introduce new challenges for process eo doorbell technology isn’t all doom and
When someone rings the bell or triggers servers. Servers who have experienced video gloom for process servers. Being able to
the motion sensor, the user receives a noti- doorbells firsthand have a variety of opin- communicate with people who aren’t home
fication on their computer or mobile device and ions about the technology and how it affects is sometimes helpful. If no one answers the
can watch live video of whoever is on their front the profession. So that you can make your door with a normal doorbell, you have to
porch. They can even communicate with the own informed decisions, here’s a rundown keep coming back or conduct surveillance
person if they aren’t in the house.These door- of how video doorbells can impact process until you can successfully serve them. With
bells are growing in popularity because they are servers in the field. a video doorbell, a cooperative subject can
gradually becoming more widely available and tell you when they’ll be home or where they
affordable.Whether you want a smart doorbell AIDING EVADING currently are, which can save you significant
from Ring, Nest or Vizant, you can buy one and One of the most notable issues presented time and effort.
install it without breaking the bank. by video doorbells is that subjects are sig-
nificantly more likely to recognize you as a THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
process server before they even open the For some process servers, the presence of vid-
door. If they want to evade service, they sim- eo doorbells doesn’t change anything at all. For
ply won’t open the door, taking away your them, it’s the same as looking through a peep-
chance to explain why this isn’t a good idea. hole or peeking out a front window. If subjects
Since the element of surprise is often nec- want to evade, they will evade regardless of a
essary when serving difficult subjects, these fancy doorbell.
doorbells can eliminate one of the few tools
process servers have while enabling subjects Ultimately, since there are no laws in place
to ignore a server’s efforts. specifically for video doorbells, handle these
serves like you would any other. Thoroughly
In addition, the communication feature document the serve whether they answer
built into the doorbell allows a subject to easily the door or not, accurately detailing how
lie about their whereabouts. They could claim the subject used their video doorbell to aid
not to be home from the comfort of their bed or avoid service. Smile and relax as you walk
or send you on a wild goose chase while they to the door, keeping in mind that a calm de-
claim to be somewhere they’re not. There’s meanor goes a long way with any serve. You
also no way to determine for sure whether can also take measures to make yourself
the person talking to you is actually your sub- not look like a process server. Keep the pa-
ject. When it comes to evading service, video pers in your back pocket or under an empty
doorbell technology certainly doesn’t help an package you could be delivering. If you re-
already tricky situation. ally want to get creative, dress as a pizza
man and put the papers in a pizza box or
THE LAW bring a bouquet of flowers. Whatever clever
methods you usually use to serve evasive
Another problem with video doorbells is subjects can still work with video doorbells.
the confusion surrounding their legality. Just remember that, no matter how technol-
Successful service, according to the law, is ogy changes, process servers are an essen-
typically defined by face-to-face interaction. tial part of due process and will always find
If the subject tells you through the doorbell ways to overcome.
intercom to leave the papers at the door, does
that qualify as successful service? Or what if
they say they’re home but aren’t? The legal
gray area surrounding video doorbells is hard
to navigate, especially without specific laws in
place addressing this technology.

34 magazine | November/December 2019


But No Thanks


“Beware Greeks bearing gifts” is an ancient ad- own hands and sends out the .pdf copy before messages, and whenever he moved around, he
monition warning recipients of largesse to be personal service. Forewarned, the defendant is did so without turning his head in my direction.
wary of what they are about to receive. What now on their guard and may take steps to elude
may seem like a wonderful present may, in fact, the hapless process server. Experience has A few days later, I was back with an Order
contain something unpleasant. In order to up- taught me that this is the case. for Substitute Service. The job was completed,
date this saying, and make it less politically in- but my time, and the Court’s, had been unnec-
correct, I offer the following: “Beware Clients I once spent a long afternoon trying to get essarily wasted.
offering assistance.” Such help often turns out the attention of a man who was hunkered down
to be more of a hindrance than anything else. in his house. As I rang the bell and knocked, Individuals who hire me to do services for
I could see him through the glass pane of the Small Claims Court occasionally try to insert
Clients sometimes hire a process server to front door, but he kept his back to me the entire themselves into the action, even after being
deliver documents to a defendant in conjunc- time. He was sitting in front of a computer and told to leave everything to me. Understandably,
tion with a .pdf version of the same docu- was flicking back forth to his Facebook page, because they have a vested interest in the mat-
ments sent by email. When everything is left in which I recognized from my research. It was ob- ter, they have difficulty letting go. The personal
the hands of the process server, it is usually a vious that he knew why I was there. The law firm factor makes them want to be involved even if
simple operation. Knowing what is coming, the that hired me had sent him an email with a copy their input turns out to be less than helpful.
defendant may try to avoid service. Therefore, of the documents and a message telling him
the best approach is to send the electronic to expect me. Also, after the lack of response One client was so wrapped up in the desire
copy after personal service. However, this can to my knocking, I sent an email message and a to participate that he visited the defendant’s ad-
go wrong if the client takes matters into their Facebook message. He did not respond to the dress every day. He would arrive shortly after
dawn and park at the end of the defendant’s
driveway. After an hour or so, he would leave.

36 magazine | November/December 2019

Unsurprisingly, this behavior did not endear than a little disgruntled, had been feeding me Fortunately, I was able to dissuade him.
him to the family and increased the difficulty information about the comings and goings of “That would be great,” I said.
level for me. Aside from confirming that the defendant. He knew when he was in town
people were up and about, there was no valid and when he was on the road. Unfortunately, “Unfortunately, due to liability issues, I could
reason for his actions. Even if he were allowed I did not have the resources to keep up a con- not involve someone else in a service. If any-
to serve the documents, which he was not, the stant surveillance on the home or business and thing went wrong, I’d be the one being sued.”
only copies were in my possession. As it was, still had to contend with cameras and human
he left the scene before any of the residents interference. He was disappointed, but saw the logic
made their way to their respective jobs and behind my decision. Instead, he was satisfied
schools. His actions only resulted in creeping “I have an idea,” the ex-employee said. “I with a place on the sidelines. If only all my cli-
out the family. can dress up like a woman and go to his house. ents would join him.
I’ll knock on the door while you wait. He won’t
Luckily for the client, the defendant did not expect a woman. Then, when he comes to the Kevin Toal is a freelance
call the police to report what could be con- door, you can get him.” writer, Commissioner of
strued as stalking. Instead, the defendant chose Oaths and Provincial Civil
to teach him a lesson by avoiding the service I had gone from one sitcom to another. Constable. He works with
until the very last minute. Had I somehow ventured into a poorly written Stephen Kennedy’s Bailiff
Three’s Company episode? Yet, he was in earnest. Services in Halifax, Nova
With only a few days left in the service dead- The poor man, desperate for revenge, had made Scotia, Canada.
line, the defendant finally called me. Earlier, I the most ridiculous suggestion I had ever heard.
had left my card at the address and spoken
with the defendant’s wife. She had explained
that her husband worked odd shifts, and there
was no guarantee when he would be home. He
also traveled extensively and was not always
home. Having Googled the defendant, I knew
this to be true. It also meant that my client
could have been watching the address when
the husband was not even in town. Again, the
client was fortunate no one dialed 911.

Because the service involved considerable
mileage expenses, it was not in the client’s best
interest for me to make numerous attempts. I
was content to trust my own instincts. I left the
defendant a voicemail message explaining my
role in the service and that it was in his interest
to contact me.

When I finally spoke with the defendant, he
confirmed my suspicions.

“I’m sorry,’” he said. “I know you’re just
doing your job, but he was really annoying us,
and I didn’t want to make it easy for him. He’s
lucky I didn’t punch him out.”

That was when I realized that process serving
was the type of profession in which there were
times it was not too difficult to root for the op-
posing party. The only thing odder situation was
when I was offered assistance from what I had
considered was a confidential source.

I had been trying to serve a discovery sub-
poena on the president of a transport com-
pany. He had dodged me for a few weeks. At
his place of business, he locked the doors, and
only those with keys could gain entrance. Both
at his home and work were several surveillance
cameras leaving no room to approach unseen.
Family members at both locations intercepted
any visitors and behaved like Sergeant Schultz
from Hogan’s Heroes, claiming to know nothing
about everything.

One of the ex-employees, who was more

November/December 2019 | 37


Cold Storage Justice:
A Bitcoin Private


Imagine you’re sitting at a booth at Ruby Once in the vehicle, the associate was faced the Ethererum cryptocurrency to Bitcoin. Law
Tuesday’s in New York City’s busy Times with a man who pointed a gun at him. The enforcement was, therefore, able to recover the
Square. Across from you sit two people gunman demanded the associate had over his cryptocurrency.
chatting together and enjoying a meal. phone, apartment keys and the passcode to
Nothing seems out of the ordinary. The his hardware cryptocurrency wallet, a Ledger Meza was a perpetrator of modern-day cryp-
scene is just a typical day at a regular eating Nano S. Once relieved of his belongings, the tocurrency ransom crime. Incidents of crypto-
establishment with seemingly ideal customers. associate was able to flee from the van. currency-related abductions are happening more
Nothing looks out of the ordinary, so you go frequently, especially in countries like Costa
back to your own meal and dining companion. He didn’t dare go home. Meza was there. Rica, South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, the
But nothing is typical about what happened Meza stole the wallet and used the passcode to United States, the Netherlands and Australia.
once the pair left the restaurant. transfer the cryptocurrency from the associate’s Crypto-criminals often target victims who live
account into his own crypto-wallet account. in countries with scant jurisdiction over cryp-
Louis Meza insisted his associate, an early in- tocurrencies and cryptocurrency transactions.
vestor in the cryptocurrency Ethereum, get in Fortunately, like many thieves, Meza wasn’t Crypto-crooks feel like they can carry out their
the Uber minivan that Meza hired to take him brilliant. He was seen and recorded by the secu- bad behavior under a cloak of anonymity. Yet,
home. This wasn’t a gracious offer for a ride. It rity camera at the victim’s apartment building. many are caught by experienced, cryptocurren-
was an abduction. Prosecutors later used the surveillance video- cy-trained law enforcement officials.
tape as evidence in their prosecution of Meza.
Kidnappers for crypto-ransom rewards
Another mistake Meza made was to transfer aren’t limited to criminal gang members. For
the stolen cryptocurrency to an account in his example, Abraham Loera Acota was a popular
own name. He used that account to exchange

38 magazine | November/December 2019

motivational speaker. He kidnapped a lawyer in While money may make the “world go nies and agencies. These ultra-secure decom-
Chihuahua, Mexico. Shortly after the lawyer’s ‘round,” Bitcoin is becoming the fuel that helps missioned military vaults are located in the
relatives paid the Bitcoin ransom, the police the criminal stay underground. As a response Swiss Alps spread over five continents.
nabbed Acota and four of his accomplices. to Bitcoin-related crime, people and companies
who have amassed a vast fortune in cryptocur- Bitcoin bunkers are heavily secured with
Individual victims of crypto-crime also blast doors and reinforced concrete. Vo1t,
come in a variety of flavors, from children ran-
domly grabbed near their homes with parents “ Individual victims of crypto-crime also come
who have no idea what Bitcoin is to senior ex-
ecutives in the cryptocurrency industry who are in a variety of flavors, from children randomly
holders of a large cache of cryptocurrency. grabbed near their homes with parents who have
no idea what Bitcoin is to senior executives in
One of the most publicized crypto-ransom ”the cryptocurrency industry who are holders of a
cases involved professional gambler and sports- large cache of cryptocurrency.
book owner William Sean Creighton, aka “5 rency are also going underground. They are another military-grade Bitcoin bunker offer-
Dimes Tony,” an American living in Costa Rica. turning to Bitcoin-bunkers to safeguard their ing, guards their former nuclear bunker vaults
He was reportedly forced off the road while he crypto-treasure. Xapo, a Hong Kong-based using former military personnel, some of
was driving his Porsche Cayman Turbo and kid- company that offers Bitcoin-bunker cold stor- whom have served with the U.K. Ministry of
napped by two gunmen on motorcycles and an- age, created an underground network of en- Defense. Customers of these ultra-secure cold
other two in a BMW. The kidnappers demand- crypted and disconnected-from-the-internet storage companies feel the financial gains they
ed $950,800 in Bitcoin from Creighton’s wife. computer servers to store cryptocurrency un- realize due to the rise in cryptocurrency value
The abductors threatened to kill Creighton der the control of wealthy individuals, compa- far outweigh the costs of keeping their Bitcoin
if the ransom was not paid. Creighton’s wife
paid the ransom, but her husband was never
released back to her. Unconfirmed, and possi-
bly false, claims were reported that Creighton’s
body had been found months later. Three sus-
pects fled to Cuba and then traveled to Spain.
Law enforcement in Spain was successful in ar-
resting the trio.

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November/December 2019 | 39

secure using bulletproof and unhackable un- • H uman Trafficking Governments keep an eye on the fluctuat-
derground vaults. • B uy and Selling goods and services on the ing value of various cryptocurrencies. The
Australian Government waited two years be-
The demand for military-grade Bitcoin Dark Web fore they auctioned cryptocurrency they had
bunker security has increased in the wake of • R unning Dark Web Red Rooms seized in 2013 during a crackdown of illegal
lucrative cryptocurrency-related crimes such • I llegal weapon sales online drug sales. Ernst & Young was hired to
as kidnapping, theft, extortion and hacking. • Fraud handle the auction of Bitcoin, which brought
At the same time, criminal groups are becom- • T ax evasion in nearly $827,000.
ing more sophisticated in their ability to pull • B ypassing international sanctions
off their evil acts. They are now hiring top • E xtortion Law enforcement officials in Israel seized
computer scientists and hackers, and paying • Murder Bitcoin, worth about $8.5 million, during an
them exceedingly well, to conduct crime on • M alware (Crypto-ransom) investigation into a massive money-launder-
their behalf • K idnapping (Crypto-ransom) ing shakedown. The ringleader, Hilmi Git,
is accused of committing more than 20,000
Unfortunately, law enforcement around the Globally, law enforcement is working to illegal transactions involving Bitcoin to laun-
world is not adequately prepared to discover, create new procedures and policies to address der his ill-gotten gains. Charges include mon-
trace and seize funds that derive from crypto- crime involving cryptocurrency. ey laundering, conducting fraudulent trade
currency crimes. Bitcoin and other cryptocur- activity and credit card fraud. Law enforce-
rencies create new challenges for financial regu- In June 2014, the United Nations Office ment is holding Git’s secured Bitcoin wallet
latory and law enforcement agencies. Currently, on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) produced a pending trial.
cryptocurrency bypasses sovereign law and guide with specific guidelines regarding cryp-
international financial regulations. Virtual cur- tocurrency to support law enforcement. The In our experience as cryptocurrency and
rency systems, such as Bitcoin, exist primarily publication provides an overview of how dark web investigation training professionals,
without a centralized intermediary to super- Bitcoin can be discovered, traced and law- we find many law enforcement and investiga-
vise and preserve transaction data and account fully seized. tive agencies are not trained or experienced
ownership. enough to accurately find and seize Bitcoin
Examples of successful cryptocurrency sei- used by bad actors in their criminal opera-
Cryptocurrency-related crime isn’t limited to zures include the case of a Belgian Government tions. We’ve found that even in the law en-
the hacking of Bitcoin exchanges and the theft investigation into Dark Web drug trafficking. forcement agencies that have the UNODC
of customer cryptocurrency assets. Criminals Bitcoin, valued at about $430,000, was seized by guide and have undergone preliminary train-
are using cryptocurrency in conducting other Belgian law enforcement on February 28, 2019. ing, many officials just don’t know what
types of crime, such as: The funds were later sold by an Irish auction to look for, starting with the BIP39, the
• M oney Laundering company, Wilsons Auctions. Belgium was one Mnemonic Seed to cryptocurrency account.
• Drug Trafficking of the first countries to enact laws to govern the A lot of cryptocurrency and evidence is
lawful seizure and liquidation of cryptocurrency. missed, and criminals go free.

Our response to this training gap is a se-
ries of cryptocurrency investigator and Dark
Web investigator training programs for law
enforcement and investigative profession-
als around the world. We teach participants
how to analyze blockchain transactions, find
BIP39, the Mnemonic Seed hiding places, and
how to seize and secure crime-related crypto-
currency lawfully.

Simply, and we go into this process is signifi-
cantly greater detail in our courses, the process
to properly seize cryptocurrency is:
• Select a trained person within the department

or company as the designated authorized person
to conduct cryptocurrency seizures and execute
any necessary cryptocurrency transactions.
• Have that person establish a department-con-
trolled Bitcoin wallet using a secure hardware
wallet or by creating a paper wallet.
• O btain a search warrant.
• During the search, follow the chain of cus-
tody rules and document the search for, and
discovery of, a suspect’s wallet.
• Adhering to the chain of custody rules, have
the trained department designee access the

40 magazine | November/December 2019

wallet. This may be facilitated through the discipline to stay on top of new tools and TM
disclosure of a password or by a legal deliv- techniques that can be used to detect un-
ery of notice. Document wallet access. usual patterns in Bitcoin transactions and
• Document the transfer of cryptocurrency de-anonymize suspects. As new capabilities
from the suspect’s wallet by the designers to are developed, we add them to our training
the department-controlled wallet. curriculum.
• V erify that the transaction was made dur-
ing the execution of the search warrant. It is also essential for investigators and law
Document the verification process. enforcement officials to be regularly briefed
• Preserve the department-owned wallet in a on newly enacted laws and regulations de-
secure place. signed to protect individual rights and equip
When the department-owned cryptocur- law enforcement and the investigative com-
rency wallet is secured, the designee must munity with what they need to fight against
complete an endorsed “Private Key/Recovery money laundering, fraud, white-collar crime,
Seed Declaration” form. This form will pro- sales of illegal goods and services, tax eva-
vide the following information: sion, extortion, kidnapping, and other crimes
• Name of the designee who conducted the involving cryptocurrency.
seizure of the cryptocurrency.
• Signature and badge number of the person We are strong supporters of cryptocur-
who created the department-owned wallet. rency and the benefits that can be derived
• N ames and signatures of at least two wit- from its underlying technology. At the same
nesses. time, we are very active in working with fed-
• A statement that the suspect funds were eral authorities globally to identify suspect
transferred to the department-owned wallet. cryptocurrency transactions and put crypto-
• Statement about the process in which the criminals on notice that law enforcement is
department-owned wallet was created and getting smarter and better able to detect their
secured. bad acts.
• W allet private key/Mnemonic seed phrase.
• A statement confirming the seed phrase was A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who
adequately sealed in an envelope and then has taken time out of their day in 2019 to read
secured. my online investigation series. I hope to see
• Name and signature of the person complet- you in 2020 :O) Have a Merry Christmas and
ing the form. happy holidays! May your Christmas season
When the designee creates a department- be filled with joy and light!
owned wallet, there must be proper docu-
mentation. Once the form is filled out cor- Karhrman Ziegenbein is
rectly, the department owns a sealed copy the Founder of Tomoko
of the department-owned private key that is Discovery, an online
secured with the exhibits record along with evidence authentication
a copy of the public key. If a hardware wal- platform that solves the
let was used, the hardware wallet and PIN collection and complex
number will also be secured with the exhib- authentication of court
its record. The department-owned wallet is admissible evidence from
then ready to be used during the execution websites, social media,
of a search warrant in transferring Bitcoin desktops, and the dark web. It is the only platform
from a suspect’s wallet to the department- worldwide that offers a SHA256 cryptographic evi-
owned wallet. dence authentication of desktop and webcam record-
There are hundreds, soon to be thousands, ings in addition to the legal web captures. As part
of different cryptocurrencies. Investigators of his role, Karhrman shares his expertise, serving
and law enforcement officials need to keep as an instructor at Tomoko Discovery’s Academy
current in their ability to implement the lat- of Technology Investigations, teaching investigators
est tools and techniques required to identify, throughout the world. Karhrman was born and raised
seize and secure crime-related cryptocurrency in the Federal Republic of Germany and later served
successfully. in the military as a combat medic at the Joint Medical
More and more, we see cryptocurrency Service in the Armed Forces of Germany. He speaks
crime taskforce divisions established within German and English fluently and currently resides in
law enforcement agencies. It is a constant Florida with his family. For Comments, Questions
and Suggestions Follow me on Twitter @karhrman
or email me at [email protected]

November/December 2019 | 41


The Train

Has Left the


Is a Salary History
Ban Law Coming
to a State or City
Near You


Those of you that regularly read this column may recall that • Michigan – the new governor, Gretchen Whitmer, signed an executive
almost exactly two years ago I wrote an article for PI Mag- order prohibiting state employers from asking applicants about salary
historyNew Jersey – all employers in the state
azine entitled,“What’s Past Salary Got to do With It? New
• New York – all employers in the state
Wave of Laws Banning Asking About Job Applicant Past • N orth Carolina – all state agencies, as established through executive order
• Oregon – all employers in the state
Salary.” Laws prohibiting employers from asking about past • Puerto Rico – all employers in the territory
• Pennsylvania – all state agencies, as established through executive order
salary history were born in 2016 when Massachusetts passed landmark • V ermont – all employers in the state
• V irginia – all state agencies, as established through executive action
legislation on this issue. • Washington – all employers in the state

At the time I wrote the article, December 2017, there were six states, Note: Wisconsin has statewide legislation prohibiting local governments
one U.S. territory and four cities that had passed “Salary history ban” from passing laws to prohibit employers from soliciting salary history
legislation. As of August 2019, the numbers have expanded to 19 states
and 20 cities with this type of legislation. Local Municipalities That Ban Asking About Salary History:
• San Francisco, California – all employers in the city
States and U.S. Territories That Ban Asking About Salary History: • A tlanta, Georgia – all city agencies
• A labama – all employers in the state • C hicago, Illinois – all city agencies
• C alifornia – all employers in the state • Louisville, Kentucky – all city agencies
• C olorado – all employers in the state • New Orleans, Louisiana – all city agencies
• C onnecticut – all employers in the state • Montgomery County, Maryland – all county agencies
• D elaware – all employers in the state with more than four employees • J ackson, Mississippi – all city agencies
• H awaii – all employers in the state • K ansas City, Missouri – all employers in the city with more than six
• I llinois – all employers in the state
• M aine – all employers in the state employees
• M assachusetts – all employers in the state

42 magazine | November/December 2019

• S t. Louis County, Missouri – all employers in the county this information through an agent or from sources other than the ap-
• Albany County, New York – all employers in the county plicant, such as the applicant’s former employers.
• Suffolk County, New York – all employers and employment agencies “Here’s a more detailed list of questions or statements the salary history
• New York, New York – all employers in the city ban may prohibit.
• Westchester County, New York – all employers in the county • The term generally refers to the communication of any question or
• Cincinnati, Ohio – Cincinnati, Ohio – employers with 15 or more em-
statement to an applicant
ployees; state and local government agencies are excluded • O r an applicant’s current or former employer
• T oledo, Ohio – all employers in the city with more than 15 employees • O r a current or former employee
• Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – all employers (remains on hold while a • O r an agent of the applicant’s current or former employer (in writing

judge considers a legal challenge to the legislation) or otherwise) for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s salary history
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – all city agencies or division, department, • Or search publicly available records or reports for the purpose of ob-

agency or office unless specifically excluded taining an applicant’s current or former compensation data
• C olumbia, South Carolina – all city agencies “Employers in states with salary history bans can still ask applicants
• R ichland County, South Carolina – all county agencies about their salary requirements or expectations for the job. So employ-
• S alt Lake City, Utah – all city agencies ers will still be able to identify and quickly weed out applicants with
unrealistic expectations or whom they can’t afford to hire. Should an ap-
PROPOSED LEGISLATION: plicant offer up salary information voluntarily without being asked, the
Indiana: A joint resolution was introduced that would amend the state’s employer can consider that information in setting pay.”
constitution to include an equal pay provision. A new bill would require WHAT SHOULD PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS DO?
equal pay for employees who perform substantially similar work. A sepa- If your clients are subject to any of these laws, the first thing you should
rate bill would make somewhat different changes to the bona fide factors advise them to do is remove questions on print and online applications
upon which pay differentials may be based, including adding protection that request compensation history.
for time spent on family or medical leave. Like the other bill, it would You should know that the shift to not asking about salary history
protect wage discussions, but would also include a salary history ban, will require a focused and sustained initiative by your clients because
and include a recurring violation provision for each paycheck based on a
violation and establish additional penalties. November/December 2019 | 43

Virginia: A new bill would implement sweeping amendments to exist-
ing law, including making the “catchall” exception dependent on the
employer’s ability to show that the factor is job-related, consistent with
business necessity, and “not based on or derived from a protected class-
based differential in compensation.” Moreover, the employer loses the
defense if the employee can prove the existence of an alternative prac-
tice that would meet the same business purpose. The bill would also pro-
hibit discrimination in opportunities, give employees the right to discuss
wages, and include a salary history ban and retaliation provisions, as well
as wage range disclosures to applicants, recordkeeping requirements, and
extensive remedies and civil penalties.

Texas: A  new bill  would establish that a violation occurs each time
someone is affected by an unequal pay practice, including upon receipt
of each paycheck, and would extend liability back to include similar or
related compensation discrimination that occurred outside the period for
filing a complaint.

As I am sure most of you are aware, salary history bans are designed to
address protected class and gender pay inequality. A significant pay gap
exists between men and women. According to a report from the Bureau
of Labor Statistics, women earned 82% of what men earned in 2016.
For minority women, the pay gap is generally even more pronounced.
The act of basing the salary of a new hire, all or partially, on the per-
son’s past salary history potentially perpetuates past discriminatory pay
actions. These laws are designed to end the cycle.

According to Will Barada of Barada Associates, “A salary history ban
prohibits employers from asking applicants about their current or past
salaries or benefits. They generally also prohibit employers from seeking

Get Your this is an ingrained process for most hiring A quick tutorial on the key components for
Insurance Policy managers. You may want to suggest to your determining pay includes the following:
Anytime, 24/7! clients that they have an organization-wide • Determine the range and amount of experi-
communication about the new direction and
There’s only one place where also introduce training for managers. In ad- ence needed to perform the job
PIs can get immediate coverage dition to a focused training on the issue of • Look at the pay for similar positions in the
and save hundreds of dollars – banning asking about salary history, modules on this subject should be embedded in new company
supervisor training courses, courses for hir- • Research the salaries that other companies
pPoulircjcuyhsnatMosaweoqr!yeuoouthtrea.n ing managers and orientation for supervisors
and managers. These actions will help to re- (not just their competitors) in their industry
Only can duce risk for your client. are paying for similar positions; also consider
provide immediate coverage for Private other industries that may have companies
Investigators any time of day. That’s Also, let your clients know that the bans on you would attract applicants from to help
right, now you can purchase your asking about past salary may also apply to re- determine market value for the positio
policy online 24/7! cruiting agencies the firm uses. • C onsider nonmonetary perks (the quality of
In your business, you have to take life at work, fringe benefits, time off, flex-
chances – don’t risk using an insurance Here’s a quick checklist of items you can ible work schedules, telecommuting options,
company that doesn’t understand the advise client to do regarding salary history educational opportunities, advancement op-
industry. bans to remain in compliance: portunities, etc.)
• Review existing recruiting and onboarding • C heck their budget
The Leading Insurance
Experts Serving The policies, practices and procedures to ensure My best advice to you when a client asks you
Private Investigation compliance with the specific provisions and what they need to do to address a new salary
Industry prohibitions set forth by applicable state laws ban law in their jurisdiction, other than advis-
• R eview all existing job applications to ensure ing them of the items in the checklist identi-
» $5,000,000 General Aggregate those documents do not contain any re- fied earlier in this article, I advise you to tell
» Zero Deductible quests for applicants to disclose their salary them to talk to a human resources or compen-
» Blanket Additional Insured histories during the hiring process sation expert to guide them.
» A Rated Insurance Carrier • P rovide FAQs to recruiters and other per- The focus on pay equity for protected classes
» $1,000,000 Each Occurrence sonnel involved in interviewing and on- (especially gender) is an issue whose time has
» Errors and Omissions boarding to ensure they are not asking (or come, and you can expect increasing focus to
» Blanket Waiver of Subrogation otherwise prompting) candidates to disclose continue on the issue. Help your clients to pre-
» Premiums start at $500.00 salary history pare for this impending issue because in the
• R ecruiters should be trained to focus on an months to come you can expect more states
Buy NOW or learn more at applicant’s salary requirements and expecta- and municipalities to pass laws banning asking tions versus salary history, emphasizing the about past salary history.
Contact us at 800.221.3386 or company sets pay commensurate with expe-
rience and market value. W.BarryNixon,istheCOO,
[email protected] • Refrain from any conduct which could be PreemploymentDirectory.
construed as a refusal to hire an applicant com, which is the lead- based upon his or her failure to provide sal- ing background screening
Click. Quote. Buy. Instantly. ary history information portal on the
worldwide web. It includes
(Source: Salary History Bans: What Employers a directory of professional
background screening firms
Need to Know’ by Will Barada, February 2019) featuring US, International
and Suppliers to the background screening industry.
When you got your PI license, little did Barry co-authored the landmark book, Background
you know you would have to gain expertise in Screening & Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from
compensation and salary management. Don’t the HR and Security Perspective. He also is the publisher
worry. You do not need to be an expert in this of award-winning newsletters, The Background Buzz
area. However, you should be aware of the and the Global Background Screener.
main ingredients involved in determining pay. In addition, Barry is an emeritus member of
Medium to large employers will likely have a the elite “Top 25 Influential People in Security” by
human resources department that has exper- Security Magazine and has served as an International
tise in this area, but smaller companies may Ambassador for the Professional Background
need some guidance. Screeners Association (PBSA; formerly NAPBS).
You can contact Barry at 1-949-770-5264 or on-
line at [email protected]

44 magazine | November/December 2019


Femme Fatale

The Case of Louise Peete


Copyright © 2019 by Daniel J. Demers. All Rights Reserved

Louise Peete was executed April 11, 1947 at San Quentin, the teriUI/AAAAAAAAgSM/1Zwju8MJZPA/
second woman executed by the State of California. At the s1600/peete-jan19-21-oj.bmp

time of her death, Peete was 67 years old. ings together. Then suddenly, Denton went missing. She told those who
inquired of his whereabouts that Denton was now her husband and that
Louise’s criminal career started when she was 15. One com- he had wounded his arm and it had to be amputated. She claimed he
mentator, St. Estephe in his 2011 post entitled: Unknown Gender History, was ashamed of his medical condition and had left town. With Denton
noted the “ravishing Southern beauty” was caught with “jewelry belong- absent, she managed to gain control of his estate.
ing to” several classmates at an exclusive girls finishing school. She was
expelled and sent home to Bienville, Louisiana. Almost simultaneously,
her father’s publishing business failed and her mother died.

Eight years later, Peete married Henry Bosley, a traveling salesman
whom she met at a Bienville drugstore. She went on the road with Bosley,
moving from town-to-town and to one boardinghouse after another as
Bosley peddled his wares. Two years into the marriage, Louise was arrest-
ed in Tulsa for stealing jewelry. With a suspended sentence, the Bosleys
were able to leave town and move to Waco, Texas. There, she was once
again caught stealing jewels from a local jewelry store. Again a suspended
sentence allowed them to leave town.

A year later, Henry caught Louise in bed with another man. Two days
later, Henry committed suicide.

Within a week, the 26-year-old Louise moved to Boston with a “mature
figure” along with “social graces” learned at the finishing school and a
new fictitious name — Anna Lee Gould. She claimed to be a European
heiress. A year into her Boston stay she was caught, once again, stealing
jewels from a wealthy older woman. This time she left town slightly ahead
of her impending arrest.

Louise fled to Dallas. While there, she beguiled a hotel manager, Harry
Faurote, and moved into the hotel becoming romantically involved with
him. It was easy with her charms to obtain the hotel safe combination
and to lift $20,000 worth of jewelry from it. The local sheriff, lacking
evidence, did not prosecute her, but told Louise to leave town. Harry,
ruined professionally, shot himself.

In Denver in 1914 she met and married Richard C. Peete, owner of a
local Hudson auto dealership. The marriage was a social event in Denver.
The happy couple had a daughter within the year. During World War I,
Peete’s auto business prospered and Richard Peete lavished attention and
jewels on his wife. After the war, a business slump occurred and Peete’s
business was threatened with bankruptcy. The marital luster suddenly lost
its allure and Louise moved on to Los Angeles.

In L.A. Louise took a job as a housekeeper for a wealthy widower
Jacob Denton. Her $50 a week job included room and board. Her job
was to run the 14-room mansion for the mining magnate. Denton’s wife
and their baby had died of influenza just a couple of months before. It
wasn’t soon before Denton and Louise were seen at various social gather-

November/December 2019 | 45


How to Survive and Thrive in Business

Fail, Fail Often and Fail Better


What? This column is UNDERSTAND THAT MARKETING IS Your marketing plan becomes your roadmap.
about getting it right ABOUT MAKING MISTAKES UNTIL YOU This is where failure comes in. Contrary to
GET IT RIGHT. conspiracy theorists, America did land a man
and making tons of on the moon in 1969. But before they could do
The story of Thomas Edison failing 10,000 that, they blew up a lot of test rockets.
money while you are times before he found the right filament for his Expensive lessons for sure, but through
lightbulb was really about Edison not seeing the time, they felt confident enough to start putting
on the golf course. first 10,000 attempts as failing, but as ruling out their human cargo onto rockets in the Mercury,
which substances didn’t work until he got the Gemini and Apollo programs.
What is all this talk about failing? right one. I will do a deep dive into websites in future
columns, but ask yourself right now, who does
Let’s be clear, you have to keep trying things Before you start marketing, you must find your website honestly speak to? You or others?
until you get it right, and then, when that stops your company’s True North and head towards If it is others, is it to your target audience? Or
working for you, you try something different. it, one step at a time. are you speaking to everybody (which means
Many PIs build a static website, create a three-fold you are speaking to nobody)?
brochure, print up business cards and wait for the Thanks John, but what do you mean by “True Do you have a CTA?—that’s marketing lingo
phone to ring off the hook. They might copy an- for a Call To Action. Why would a lead want to
other PI or take advice from their Uncle Joe at the North”? take the next step to become a prospect that
furniture store and make a nice advertising splash, you will then turn into a customer?
only to see zero return on the investment. They True North is why you chose to be a private Do your brochures and banners talk about
lick their wounds and don’t try anything else out investigator in the first place. Twenty-two years you or your target audience’s needs?
of fear of getting burned again. ago, mine was to prove that I could train a team, This is where getting the right message to the
with no prior law enforcement experience, to right people becomes your test rockets or trial
Constant improvement doesn’t have to mean become highly skilled investigators using my balloons.
massive marketing lift-offs where you drop lots methods of investigating insurance fraud. I had Finding the right message for the right audi-
of hard-earned cash then crash and burn. You the idea of growing my company into a super- ence has driven marketers crazy for years. Does
should be curious about how to best get your regional—“From Bangor to Baltimore.” anybody remember what GEICO did before
message out to the people who need to hear it the Gecko, Caveman or Camel?
and who will pay you a premium for what you do. Yours might be to provide the smooth stones When Coca-Cola was getting its butt kicked
for David’s slingshot when he does battle with by Pepsi’s New Generation, it freaked and pushed
My message to you is to test and tweak, test the Goliath insurance companies or District out New Coke. Yeah, that went over really well.
and tweak. If you frame the marketing initia- Attorney’s office. These are massive corporations with plenty
tive as tests, you won’t see them as failures and, of Super Bowl ad money to burn, and they
more importantly, you won’t feel like a failure. You may want to provide insurance compa- don’t always get it right. That is why smart
nies or corporations with above-average service companies test and tweak. They fail, and they
Upon retiring, many government investiga- at an average price. By improving processes fail often.
tors, corporate investigators and police officers (and reducing expenses), you positively impact What does that have to do with a PI get-
obtain their PI licenses. Often they had a hard your bottom line. ting ready to launch, or one that is struggling
time admitting mistakes in their old career and to make ends meet? You don’t have to spend
won’t take chances that might lead to making Your True North may be as simple as finding massive amounts of money or time on reaching
mistakes. They took courses in their area of ex- enough customers to augment your pension, your target audience. Here is the good news:
pertise, but none in how to run a business or and to keep you out of your spouse’s hair. you don’t have to get it right from the start. Test
how to market their skill sets. and tweak. Test and tweak. Fail and fail better.
Secondly, match your skill sets up with the Your marketing plan is launching test rockets
customers’ needs or learn the skill sets needed until one doesn’t explode and starts gaining al-
to attract new customers that you want to serve. titude with your customers.
As you begin attracting more customers,
check to see if they are your target audience and
if you are listening to their other needs as well.
Not sure who your target audience is? Visit your

46 magazine | November/December 2019

Local Rotary meetings, Business Network International (BNI), and Chamber Eventually, the processes I created for CLS became the basis of my
of Commerce’s leads groups regularly for six months. Follow up within 24 best-selling flat-rate for a totally different target audience six years later.
hours on all leads, and offer “new assignment introductory pricing.”In those six
months, count how many leads you receive and how many you will convert to Here is to failing, failing often and failing better. By doing so, you will
prospects and how many prospects become customers. You may get custom- come up with the solutions.
ers three years after you put business cards into the leads’ hands, so don’t think
that the test period is the close-out date or that you will get only those cases. Like Apollo 13, you will learn how to fix the problem, stay alive and
You may also have repeat and referral business from this test. The secret of this complete the mission.
testing is that customers will tell you what their needs are, and, after a while, you
can find better-paying ways to meet their real needs with more value. John A. Hoda is a licensed private investigator, blogger,
and podcaster. He coaches other PIs how to be successful at
Don’t be bashful. Ask businesspeople to comment on your website, bro-
chures and business cards. I am constantly tweaking my website and have
thrown out trash cans full of brochures and business cards over the years. He graduated in 1975 with a B.S. in Criminology from
Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Thinking that you must stick with a message that doesn’t work is like
holding up a “will work for free” cardboard sign at the stoplight next to He is a former police officer, insurance fraud investigator,
a liquor store. and has run several PI businesses over three decades.

TRACK THE NUMBERS, TRACK THE NUMBERS AND DON’T He is the creator of the DVD: The Ultimate Guide
FORGET TO TRACK THE NUMBERS. to Taking Statements. His cases have headlined in the
Otherwise, how will you know if your message is falling on deaf ears? Philadelphia Inquirer and the New Haven Register. He sat on the board of the
You should realize pretty soon if what you are selling is resonating with National Association of Legal Investigators and the CT Assoc of Licensed Private
what customers are buying. Investigators. He is a Certified Legal Investigator and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
His podcast audience at My Favorite Detective Stories is growing every day. John
For my business, I am gradually shifting from cold-call telephone interviews past and present investigators about their specialties and teases out what it
scripts to testing carefully worded emails as my first-time contact. takes to make for a successful investigation. The entire podcast catalog can be found
I will send out test email subject lines to 10 leads at a time, by ad- John also writes fiction and has been a lifetime athlete playing club soccer and play-
dressing the email to myself and then BCCing the leads. Each group of ing/coaching semi-professional football.
10 receives a slightly differently worded subject line, and I watch to see John has recently published a series of books on how to market your private inves-
which one works. You could segment these lists with Constant Contact in tigation agency. How To Launch Your Private Investigation Business is
Mailchimp or with MailerLite. geared towards the aspiring private investigator. How To Market Your Private
Investigation Business guides you step by step how to implement a replicable
To all the leads, I follow up with the same short success stories a cou- and scalable marketing plan for each unique business model in the PI industry. How
ple weeks later, and then I update each grouping with a different special To Boost Your Private Investigation Business gives expert guidance how
offer a month from their first contact. to grow your business and restore sanity to your life-work balance. How To Rocket
Your Private Investigation Business is the complete series in one book that
By the time they meet with us or decide to try us with their first assign- covers EVERY aspect of launching, marketing and boosting your PI business to the
ment, they already know us. I then add them to my customer list kept in next level. These books are available for purchase through PIBOOKSTORE.COM
either Google Sheets, Mailchimp or MailerLite.
November/December 2019 | 47
Eventually, I will find out what email subject line works best with
which special offer. Test and tweak. Fail. Fail better.

Also understand that my website is talking directly to my target audi-
ence. Everything has to work together. The message in the emails has to
match what I am saying on my website. I can’t be playing Heavy Metal
Music to Country Music listeners.

You may think of adding a new business line; the same thinking ap-
plies, but what you do is what is called a Proof of Concept. It has a proj-
ect feel to it with a limited duration for the test and is funded just enough
to see if you can align new skill sets with an existing customer base or
your regular skill sets to a different target audience.

Again, you want to mix and match messages to the target audience
with a decent call to action and an introductory offer. Using a landing
page instead of the home page of your website for the test, you can see
if there is a need for your proposed services within the target audience.

I did this in the summer of 2011 and found that Critical Locate
Solutions (CLS), a high-end locate service with a no-hit, no-fee guar-
antee geared towards the corporate counsels of the Fortune 100 was a
bust. I paid a marketing intern to reach out with a five-question survey,
and I learned that they were generally happy with their existing solutions
and were not feeling enough pain from occasional poor results to change.
Am I glad that I didn’t go “all in” on that business launch? The proof
of concept showed that I couldn’t light that audience’s lightbulb, but that
didn’t mean that I was going to give up.


The Blind Side of
the story Hollywood


screen writers left out
of the movie Brian Banks

The star of the movie Brian Banks Greg Kinnear (left)
is a lawyer, Justin Brooks, played with Justin Brooks.
by actor Greg Kinnear. Brooks, 54,
co-founded and directs the Cali-
fornia Innocence Project, based
at Case Western Law School in San Diego.
Since starting the project in 1999, Brooks and
his project have exonerated 26 people who
were wrongfully convicted, making his project
one of the most successful in the country.

But, as in many cases, the unsung hero behind Freddie and Brian were both juniors when The false allegation started with a note
the scenes, often out-of-sight from the media they played varsity football for the Jackrabbits, Gibson handed to a classmate, Sharell
limelight, is the private investigator whose work on the team that won the state championship. Washington.
made the outcome of the case possible. Freddie made a key defensive stop playing nick-
elback, forcing a fumble that helped seal their “Sharell I went to the bathroom in the 700
The story that didn’t make the big screen is victory against Edison High School. building and Brian Banks was in there and he is
how two best friends, Brian Banks and Freddie so big he picked me up and put me in the eleva-
L. Parish IV, high school football teammates “We were like special team heroes,” said tor and he took me downstairs and he pulled
who dreamed of becoming NFL stars, recon- Freddie. Their ability to stop a run was fearless. my pants down and he raped me and he didn’t
nected after Banks returned home after serving have a condom on and I was a virgin and now
six years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. They were looking forward to playing their I’m not. Don’t tell anyone.”
senior year together on a team that was ranked
Freddie Parish, son of a private investiga- one of the best high school football teams in The school principal heard about the allegation
tor, Freddie Parish III, became best friends the country, having five of the top 100 play- and alerted authorities. When Gibson was inter-
with Banks after Freddie transferred to Long ers in the nation on the same team. But it all viewed by a school nurse, she added that he anally
Beach Polytechnic High School at the end of ended the summer between their junior and raped her, after she was vaginally penetrated.
his sophomore year. The same school Snoop senior years.
Dogg and Cameron Diaz attended, known for “He did it in the front, then in the back,” she said.
having one of the best academic and sports On July 8, 2002, Brian Banks was arrested by She described a gooey substance that was “white
programs in the country. the Long Beach Police Department on forcible and sticky” dripping from her “private parts.”
rape charges. He had been accused by Wanetta listed Brian Banks among “Juniors Gibson, a sophomore going into her junior Brian and Freddie were walking past the
to Watch,” an elite class of high school players. year, of forcing her into a school stairwell and practice fields on their way to take their senior
sexually assaulting her. pictures when Brian learned police were at his
“Banks has great size and speed, you don’t house looking for his brother. A short time
find many linebackers with Brian’s 6-4 height
and his 4.5 speed [running the 40-yard dash],”
said the scouting report. He received letters
from college coaches all over the country,
from Illinois, Nebraska, USC, Cal, Oregon,
Oklahoma, Utah and Ohio State, inviting him
to play for their programs.

48 magazine | November/December 2019

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