Ventura County Private Investigations
From searching backgrounds to investigating assets to searching computers, our focus isn’t on on the needle in haystack . . . it is the needle in a needlestack!
Our company provides comprehensive investigation services in all areas and aspects, with a particular focus on the following:
Background and Asset Searches
Background Investigations & Asset Searches
Detecting fraud, criminal convictions, adverse filings or any other red flags in a person’s past is critical before you invite them into a position of trust. Otherwise, you may be putting yourself or your entire operation at risk.
These searches focus on identifying what a person owns, perhaps personally or through a trust or business, and also potential liabilities:
• $350: Basic Search Report – a search of databases to include some background information in addition to real property holdings and business interests. Turn around time is generally one day.
• $1200: Due Diligence Asset Investigation – this includes information from the above, but is more of an investigation than a data search. Efforts made to identify worth of holdings, equity, and analyze other data to get a fair picture into the subject’s assets and overall financial well being. Turn around time is 2-3 days.
There are numerous reasons to conduct background checks, but they all boil down to one thing- minimizing risk. We can eliminate doubt about the integrity of your subject through our background check and screening services:
• $350: Basic Search Report – search of public records databases to identify court filings, businesses, family, some assets, etc. Turn around time is generally one day.
• $1200: Due Diligence Background Investigation – more of an investigation than a database report, this uses data from the above as leads, as well as possible social media, news filings, reputation data, and whatever else we can identify in our search efforts. This effort can identify additional areas to investigate, beyond the background. Turn around time is 2-3 days.
• $2000: Due Diligence Background Investigation: Board or C-Suite – there is more potential information available on candidates for boards of directors or senior executives as they typically have a history in high profile positions. And the risks are definitely higher, so we spend more time looking for red flags, including issues arising at previous boards or companies that happened “on their watch.” Turn around time is 5 days.
These searches represent a little homework at the front end that can save a ton of headache and money on the back end. Please contact us to have someone promptly call you regarding our asset investigations and background check services.
If you are looking for employment background checks, please go to http://www.verdictbackgroundchecks.com.
Business and Corporate Investigations
Basing business decisions on flawed information can compromise a company’s direction and ultimately its survival. Incomplete intelligence also may fail to identify fraud and other high-risk activities by employees, vendors and even customers. VRI conducts the following business investigations:
Business Due Diligence
These due diligence investigations are all about reducing risk. We know the steps to minimizing a company’s vulnerabilities, as the risks of liability is a major consideration in any transaction. Our clients rely on us to provide the essential business background information and analyses from which they can more fully evaluate new business relationships. Some of the searches include:
• Corporate history through the state of incorporation
• Litigation history- civil and criminal court filings
• Adverse filings such as bankruptcies, liens and judgments
• Assets such as subsidiaries, real property ownership, vehicles, etc.
• Other public filings including UCCs, taxation, SEC, professional licenses, etc.
• Internet sites that mention the business name- may show subject involved with any businesses or other entities, and many other potential reasons
• Any news articles relating to the business, up to 30 years back- wonderful source often overlooked for information not commonly found in public agency filings
• Third party databases such as Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Hoovers
View a sample of our Business Due Diligence report.
Fraud Prevention and Analysis
Due diligence is critical in preventing fraud, to identify any examples of past inappropriate workplace behavior, including past fraud, theft, or other efforts to damage an employer. We also provide means to identify fraud, such as through employee / witness interviews and statement taking, polygraph examinations, fingerprint analysis, surveillance, etc.
Corporate Successor and Parent Liability
Verdict Resources understands how liability can be transferred from one company to another though mergers and acquisitions, as opposed to a simple purchase of assets. Verdict Resources has expertise in researching the succession of historical companies as well as investigating the succession of liability.
VRI enjoys a high rate of success in locating people and conducting effective interviews. Whether they are former maintenance personnel in an industrial firm or officers in a predecessor company, we routinely identify, find and interview knowledgeable witnesses; and we obtain from them statements, signed declarations and affidavits. Contact us for more information.
“I am in the process of documenting a tentative settlement with the City of —. The settlement was facilitated by all of your good investigative efforts.”
-Curt W. Uritz, Esq. Uritz & Associates
FORENSIC COMPUTER INVESTIGATIONS
Nearly all documents and correspondence are created and transmitted electronically, making the computers and cell phones the obvious starting places to look for evidence. Reasons to initiate a cyber investigation include:
• Suspected theft or sharing of proprietary information (client data, proposals, confidential memos, accounting data, etc.)
• Inappropriate e-mail and other electronic communications
• Accessing questionable websites through the Internet (According to Websense, 70% of Internet porn traffic occurs during the 9 to 5 workday.)
• Illegal activities by employees (According to the FBI/Computer Security Institute’s 2001 survey, upwards of 70% of all computer crime is committed by employees.)
• Inappropriate computer use
Computer forensics is more than just geeks digging into data, it is using specific tools and methodologies that are forensically sound and acceptable in court as part of an investigation. Every case is treated as if it were going to be used in litigation. It is critical that the computer forensics investigator understand the legalities surrounding the capture, storage and analysis of electronically stored information (ESI).
Since 2003, our investigations firm has conducted forensic computer investigations for law firms, businesses, governmentmental agencies and individuals throughout California. A large number of our cases are employee or divorce related.
We are AccessData certified and can analyze all types of ESI at our offices here in Camarillo, including hard drives, external storage devices, mobiles, digital cameras, etc. Evidence can often be recovered despite attempts to hide or delete data.
We regularly work on employment law (employee misconduct) and family law matters, and conduct workplace investigations for human resources, risk management, etc.
Verdict Resources Inc. is the one of the only licensed private investigator firms in Los Angeles and Ventura County providing computer forensics services. We perform all forensic computer investigation analyses at our location just outside of Los Angeles in Camarillo, California, using only evidence grade hardware and software; but we frequently travel beyond California to serve our clients nationwide for data acquisition and other consulting needs. We speak geek, but write in plain English!
The Ventura County Star recently featured Verdict Resources, Inc. in an article about Computer Forensics.
For cyber security for attorneys, please see our cybersecurity page: www.vricyber.com. Please contact us to have someone promptly call you regarding our forensic computer investigation services.
Computer Forensics Cases
Ventura Family Court: Appointed §730 Expert to identify presence of child pornography in a custody matter, which the wife identified to show the husband as unfit for share custody. We found that the wife planted illicit images to implicate her husband, and referred the matter to law enforcement.
Los Angeles Law Firm: Multiple computers were analyzed to identify evidence in an internal fraud scheme perpetrated by several employees acting in collusion.
San Fernando Valley Law Firm: One of the owners of a company was being sued by a former employee for sexual harassment. Upon identifying the content of emails and text messages sent from the employee to the owner, the settlement was reduced by 40%.
Orange County Manufacturer: Identification of data destruction by an outgoing officer prior to his starting a competing company, resulting in a multimillion dollar verdict for the client.
Thousand Oaks Law Firm: Discovery of previously unknown $2 million in brokerage accounts on a computer of the client’s spouse in a divorce matter.
Pasadena Law Firm: Successfully identified sender (one of the firm’s paralegals), who created a fake email address before sending an inappropriate email to the entire firm with an attached risqué photograph of fellow paralegal.
Oxnard Law Firm: Forensic analysis of a cell phone, identifying an inappropriate video sent from a male manager to a female employee.
Los Angeles Law Firm: Identified numerous illegal images on the hard drive of a client’s former spouse in a custody case, which was referred to LAPD.
Santa Barbara Law Firm: Conducted searches of multiple computers to identify employees improperly accessing and sharing confidential information.
Large City Newspaper: Identified violations by an employee, who used company resources while moonlighting for a competing newspaper.
Governmental Agency in San Bernardino County: Investigated inappropriate use of public resources by a local government official.
Westlake Village Business: Identified on an employee’s hard drive her violating computer / company policies in a sexual harassment matter, including inappropriate images of her in sexually compromised situations.
Encino Business: Searched of terminated employee’s hard drive for evidence of his improperly obtaining his employer’s data for the purposes of starting a competing business.
Ventura Law Firm: Found digital evidence of improper communications and financial transactions in a divorce matter.
Ventura Law Firm: Identification of evidence of an employee violating firm policy by using firm resources (hardware, software applications) for a separate business concern, while on the clock.
Camarillo Individual: Identified through Internet histories the planned indiscretions of a client’s spouse who was traveling on business around the world, including soliciting escorts in other countries.
San Francisco Manufacturer: Identified improper use of proprietary technology by the client’s customer, who was using the client’s software / hardware in a Los Angeles medical facility. They attempted to circumvent internal controls to continue to use the devices.
School District Board: Computers of Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents were analyzed to identify illegal and inappropriate activities.
Ventura County Law Firm: Identified illegal images from the hard drive of a client’s former spouse in a child custody matter.
Environmental Liability Investigations
Investigating Pollution Liability
We help identify liability on environmentally contaminated sites. Our investigations have involved landfills, sites with underground storage tanks, industrial degreasers, former military bases, saw mills, DOD contractors . . . in short, any site that has been impacted by toxic substances. The industries in which we perform pollution liability investigations include aerospace, chemical, electrical, insurance, mining, nuclear, petroleum, rubber, and many others.
We have been involved with numerous Potentially Responsible Party investigations:
• Identifying contributors to site contamination
• Performing PRP searches
• Identifying sources of historical pollution
• Determining land use histories
• Determining site operations histories
• Predecessor / successor company searches
Based in Camarillo, California, Verdict Resources, Inc. is one of a very small number of firms with expertise in environmental liability investigations, with case experience across the United States and Canada. Our staff have been investigating pollution liability disputes since 1982, both in criminal and civil matters. In fact, VRI’s founder Larry Troxel, a HAZMAT investigations expert, directed the investigation for the first felony conviction of a hazardous waste materials transporter in California.
• Familiarity with environmental laws and pertinent regulatory procedures
• Experienced in venues across the U.S. and Canada
• Knowledge of industrial and commercial processes
• Familiarity with waste stream management practices
• Hazwoper training, for access to hazardous sites
• AHERA certification, for asbestos sampling
• Registered Environmental Assessor
• Instructor of environmental investigation courses for government and private industry personnel
Please contact us for more information.
“You enabled us to achieve a major victory in a complex, forty-six count, six weeks’ environmental crimes trial.” —Richard A. Regnier, Esq.
Environmental Liability Investigations – A Few Cases
Compliance Investigation – California
For a confidential client, as a part of a nationwide investigation, VRI conducted an investigation entailing the search and review of trash dumpsters’ contents of a national retail pharmaceutical concern to determine its compliance with federal court order guidelines. With the cooperation of the chain store personnel to access secured containers, each dumpster item was closely examined with results favoring the company’s compliance.
Chlorinated Solvents Contamination – California
Our client, an airline company, was suspected of contaminating the soil and groundwater at an international airport with trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. VRI identified several other airlines and their dumping activities to assist the client in funding the cleanup.
Petroleum Contamination – California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
A large multinational oil company was seeking clean up costs from its insurers for numerous refineries and service stations. Our client, a joint defense group of composed of the insurance companies, engaged us to identify historical on-site activities at these sites, sometimes going back over 100 years, as part of the process to negotiate the clean up costs.
Perchloroethylene Contamination – Arizona
A regional research project was initiated to identify sources of subsoil and groundwater perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination. We investigated the history (1942-1979) of a local dry cleaning establishment through document research and by identifying and interviewing past company operators, which resulted in the discovery of substantial solvent releases and on-site dumping.
Petroleum Contamination – California
A client purchased a property after having a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment conducted, yet later found evidence of petroleum contamination. VRI identified a service station operating on site during the 1940s and 1950s, assisting the site owner in recovering clean up costs.
Mill Pond PRP Search – California
PRPs were identified for the Lagoon Creek Day Use Area near Klamath, CA, on behalf of the Redwood National and State Park. Owners and users of the site, including plywood and box manufacturers, were found in efforts to identify sources of contamination that included dioxin, pentachlorophenol and tetrachlorophenol.
River Contaminated – Michigan
VRI conducted a 150-year history of operations in a city adjacent to a river our client was suspected of contaminating. We identified several significant PRPs, including one of the country’s largest truck manufacturers. Also discovered were pre-1920 sewage maps showing sewer pipes leading to the river from several industrial facilities.
Landfill PRP Search – California
More than fifty-five PRPs were identified to be contributors to hazardous waste contamination of one of California’s largest landfills that operated during the 1960s. Former landfill operators and employees, refuse company owners and drivers, municipal inspectors and waste generators were located and interviewed to assist in identifying the PRPs.
Contamination at World War II Military Bases – California
VRI conducted historical research and investigations of World War II–era military bases throughout the United States. Our research resulted in the discovery of convincing documentary, photographic, and anecdotal evidence that military activities involved the use and disposal of chlorinated solvents, heavy metals, and petroleum waste at the defunct bases. Consequently, our clients negotiated favorable settlements for clean-up liability with government agencies and other potentially responsible parties.
Toxic Tort Defense – Maryland
VRI assisted in absolving a large industrial client of the liability of a former company’s use of asbestos in the construction of naval warships. We conducted a peer review of defense documents and initiated a fifty-year corporate successor and parent liability investigation. Convincing exculpatory evidence was developed from obscure documents found in various government agencies as well as from interviews of former corporate officers.
Oil Company Investigation – Alaska
VRI conducted a discreet investigation of an oil company’s operations across four sites in central through southwest Alaska. VRI quickly located information at municipal, borough, state and federal sources to characterize the sites as well as company reactions to spills and regulatory oversight to assist in a recovery issue.
PRP Investigation – California
VRI was tasked by a Midwest law firm to conduct a PRP investigation on behalf of one of the PRPs at the Baldwin Park Operable Unit of the San Gabriel Valley Superfund Site. Contributors to the groundwater contamination with respect to Emergent Chemicals (Perchlorate, NDMA, 1,4-Dioxane) were obtained through agency file reviews, area water purveyors and witness interviews.
Suspected Smelter Contamination – Colorado
VRI assisted an industrial client in its defense against government allegations that client’s smelting operations deposited elevated amounts of arsenic and lead throughout residential neighborhoods over forty years ago. By proving that the contamination most likely came from other unrelated sources, investigators greatly reduced our client’s liability by presenting the persuasive evidence in agency negotiations.
Marine Oil Slick Investigation – California
A law firm representing an insurance consortium hired VRI to investigate an Algerian freighter suspected of releasing an oil slick off the California coast. Our rapid response and on-scene interviews of marine clean-up personnel and other percipient witnesses provided our client with immediate intelligence that was used to make critical, strategic litigation decisions. Verdict Resources located and conducted inquiries of every foreign and domestic vessel that had traveled through the impacted area within 48 hours of the slick’s discovery.
Oil Company Investigation – British Columbia
VRI investigated an oil company’s refining and retail operations throughout British Columbia to assist a joint defense group. Significant information was identified, lessening the client’s clean-up liability.
Contamination Source Identified – Arizona
On behalf of the Resolution Trust Corporation, Verdict Resources uncovered sources of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contamination at a large construction site. Evidence revealed that “auto fluff” containing PCBs from a nearby auto-dismantling facility was used as fill material for site grading.
Historical Industrial Activities Identified – California
A PRP search was conducted for a large municipal client in California. Sub-soil contamination was recently discovered on property where the city had erected buildings in the early 1940s. Focusing on the 1895-1925 time period, research revealed that a steel manufacturer and an oil refinery had operated on the site. Through our research, we traced the responsible companies to several present-day multinational corporations; they have since been named successors in liability.
Beachfront Landowner Defended – California
VRI assisted with the successful civil and criminal defense of a landowner in the prominent Southern California beach community. Our client, whose property has over 400 residents, had been charged with multiple counts of waste-related discharge violations and was also being sued by a group of the residents.
Defense Contractor Suspected – California
A large aerospace firm was suspected of being a source of trichloroethylene contamination (TCE) in the groundwater. We conducted a site operations and land-use history which confirmed no use of TCE by that firm, but revealed substantial use and releases of the chlorinated solvent by a previous occupant.
Petroleum Contamination Investigation – California
VRI is assisting a joint defense group in a matter that is still pending, involving large volumes of petroleum contamination in several coastal communities. Operations going over 100 years back have been identified through primary source documentation and witness interviews.
Corporate Succession & Parent Liability Investigation – Ohio
VRI assisted an east coast law firm with unraveling a complex company history to determine liability in a toxic tort matter. Through research of business databases, federal agencies, state agencies across four states, and development of witnesses, the client was greatly aided in successfully prosecuting its case.
We serve papers! Many clients come to us because there is a hole in this field- attorneys are simply being under served by their current process server. Our clients receive a higher level of service. We go farther and do more than other process service companies. We are not focused on making three to five attempts at an address, but on getting people served by staking out the residences, determining better addresses, and figuring out creative ways to get the job done.
Contact us for more information.
These subrosa investigations are focused on discreetly obtaining photographic or video evidence. Some of the purposes include:
• Insurance Fraud or Workers Compensation – The best way to fight these cases is to provide visual evidence depicting the claimant performing activities that he claims he is unable to perform at work. Effective use of video refutes injury limitation claims and can clearly show when they are falsifying or exaggerating the extent of an injury. These cases focus on showing the subject’s cognitive and physical abilities. Through surveillance, we obtain photographs and video depicting subjects going to places of employment, working around the house, being involved in recreational activities such as golf or tennis, interacting with other people, and other similar activities.
• Marital or Infidelity – If one suspects that their spouse or significant other is unfaithful, the worse thing they can do is to do nothing. The next worse thing is to confront them, which may cause them to be more secretive and on the lookout for possible surveillance. If all the warning signs are there, then the best option is to call us and initiate a spousal investigation, to provide them with information so they can make critical decisions regarding their relationships. Surveillance may be the only way to get this information. And sometimes the best result is peace of mind that results from us showing the subject involved in harmless activities.
• Employment – These investigations capture employees with a focus on time theft, embezzlement, illegal activities, reducing company shrinkage, off-hours behavior, etc. Companies lose untold millions due to employee behavior. Our sub-rosa specialists are expert at conducting employment related investigations.
There are several reasons to hire VRI for sub-rosa investigations:
• Background – Before we leave our offices, we do our due diligence on the claimant or subject. We confirm addresses, identify vehicles, review photographs, learn habits, and obtain any other information helpful to the case.
• Experience – We employ retired law enforcement, bilingual and/or female investigators to fit the right person for the subrosa surveillance assignment. Our surveillance investigators have thousands of hours of experience.
• Economy – We have a half-day pull off policy. If nothing is happening within 4 hours, then we won’t stay on site burning through our client’s budget; we will terminate and re-assess unless otherwise instructed. We have many trusted investigators with whom we subcontract in distant areas to minimize travel expenses.
• Reporting – There is nothing worse than wondering what is being done. We always maintain regular contact with clients so they always have the most current information.
• Geography – Headquartered in Camarillo, we are very familiar with all areas of Ventura County, including Ventura, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, etc. We routinely conduct operations in numerous other California cities.
Contact us for more information.
Surveillance: Access Device Fraud in San Bernardino & Los Angeles Counties
We recently assisted an east coast client, whose business was providing fuel accounts to companies with fleets of vehicles. Through complex surveillance involving six vehicles covering numerous sites, we provided the key evidence to local law enforcement, which is currently prosecuting the case against the multiple defendants.
Pre-Employment Background Screening
To conduct employment background checks, please visit our other site: www.verdictbackgroundchecks.com. Most of our clients are in Ventura County, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange County, but we search nationwide!
The Kitchen Sink
We regularly perform other types of investigations where evidence is needed quickly and reliably. From investigative due diligence to mitigating risk to conducting surveillance, our staff is singularly focused on getting our clients the evidence they require, very quickly.
“We completely trust John Troxel and his team at Verdict Resources to handle all our background checks in an expedient manner. Their expertise allows me time to focus on my business. It seems that every law firm in the (805) hires Verdict Resources for forensic, e-discovery & background checks. Everybody knows John and smiles when they mention his name.”
Kathi Whalen | Executive Recruiter, Whalen Bryan Inc.
Verdict Resources, Inc.
396 W. Ventura Blvd.
Camarillo, Ca 93010
Phone: (805) 445-1498
50 W. Broadway, Suite 300
Salt Lake City, UT 84010
Phone: (801) 441-6877