One of the most useful and powerful tools in a private investigation agency’s arsenal is a properly trained and equipped surveillance operative. Integra Investigation Services Ltd. works on behalf of a number of clients to provide legal and binding evidence to substantiate the veracity of an employee’s disability claim. In most cases, Integra is called upon because there is some skepticism on behalf of a client or their insurance company regarding an employee’s claim. In this Case Study we’ll illustrate how a quick thinking, properly trained and equipped surveillance investigators saved thousands of dollars for their client and brought a blue-collar criminal to justice.
On this occasion, Integra had set out on an Insurance Fraud Investigation. They were asked to investigate the disability claim of a client’s employee. For privacy purposes, we’ll call him JP. Two years earlier, JP had been involved in a workplace accident and after a prolonged leave returned to work where he was placed on modified duty. After a short time he said that he was unable to perform even modified tasks, a claim that was met with considerable skeptiscm within the company and especially when his co- workers complained that he was renovating his cottage without any noticeable physical difficulty.
Integra immediately assigned a seasoned investigator and once she gathered her pre-surveillance information and necessary equipment traveled to JP’s residence to reconnoiter the immediate area. Upon arrival at the claimant’s home an appropriate static surveillance position was established. From this position JP was videotaped exiting the front door of the house, descending the steps without using the handrail and walking in a steady even pace down the driveway to his pickup truck. The videotape clearly shows JP climbing into his truck in one fluid motion and reversing down the driveway twisting and turning his head to check for oncoming traffic.
There was no evidence that his movements were restricted in any way and no signs of physical discomfort or pain.
Our investigator maintained surveillance by following the claimant to the rear alley of a local plaza. This is where the following series of events catapult this surveillance operation into a full-blown criminal investigation. Videotaping from a dumpster, our investigator captures JP meeting up with an individual who had arrived driving a service vehicle that belonged to our client. She was able to capture on tape the transfer of three brand new power tools from the client’s service vehicle to JP’s pick up. His unencumbered flexibility is clearly evident on the tape as well as his payment of five one hundred dollar bills to his accomplice. Our investigator
One of the most useful and powerful tools in a private investigation agency’s arsenal is a properly trained and equipped surveillance operative.
immediately informed our client of the situation and continued surveillance as JP left the area and drove two and a half hours non-stop to his cottage in the Muskokas. During the trip our investigator remained in contact with the Integra office and was informed that the power tools were valued at more than $3,000 and that there was no authorization for their purchase. Once on scene at the claimant’s cottage our investigator abandoned her vehicle and took up a covert surveillance position in the Crown Land forest that happened to be across from JP’s cottage. She discreetly videotaped him unloading the power tools without assistance and carry them over to the garage. The investigator then uploaded video prints of the tools in question and remotely e-mailed them to our client who confirmed ownership and the fact that they had been stolen. In the mean- time a second Integra investigator contacted the client and with the help of local police detectives confronted and interviewed the driver of the service vehicle and subsequently arrested him. Based on the gathered evidence a search warrant was obtained for the claimant’s property and by the end of the business day JP was arrested and $27,000 of the client’s property was recovered!
After his arrest JP was interviewed and as a result of information that he provided three more employees were apprehended and charged with various offences. More than $100,000 of our client’s property was recovered from the involved parties. This surveillance operation was highly successful as a direct result of the investigator securing and maintaining the continuity of evidence which led to all five employees pleading guilty to avoid going to trial. Needless to say that JP’s disability claim was rejected by the Workman’s Compensation Board based on the surveillance information and videotape that was packaged and presented for review.
In no small part the success of this investigation can be directly attributed to the quick thinking and training of our surveillance investigator and her tenacious pursuit of the claimant and his accomplices.
Photographic and video evidence provide indisputable and compelling evidence in a court of law.