Complex Civil Cases

Business or workplace disputes often have the potential of civil litigation. In these cases, the parties involved in the investigation, whether counsel or investigator, need to understand the complexities of the business. Investigators in particular must understand how the company conducts its business and how information is obtained and stored, as well as best practices for forensically retrieving data.

In today’s business world, massive amounts of data is transferred, analyzed, and stored daily. It is this data that holds much of the evidence sought after in a civil dispute. McCann Investigations understands the complexities of stored data and has the skills to retrieve and analyze that data in a sound and defensible manner. Computer and mobile forensics, when combined with in-depth background investigations and research (including surveillance and undercover work), can help clients to gather evidence needed to build a strong defense and a solid case in complex civil litigation matters.

It is important to obtain all of the facts and gather them in a sound and defensible manner. With well over 80% of data being in the form of electronically stored information, the ability of McCann Investigators to analyze computer, mobile, and network data is imperative to help gather all of the necessary facts. The ability to review emails and text messages, conduct extensive background checks, and provide supporting surveillance and undercover work can make or break any given case.

Complex Civil Case Glossary

There are numerous terms that are relevant to digital forensics investigations that people browsing our site might not necessarily be familiar with. Therefore, we have compiled a glossary of important terms that you might encounter as you browse the site. If there are any terms not included in this list or if there are any terms you don’t fully understand, please feel free to contact us at McCann and we will be happy to help. Read our Glossary of Complex Civil Cases Terms for explanations of phrases including bid rigging, blackmail, bribery, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), etc.

Example Fraud Investigations Cases

The cases listed below represent a small sample of the hundreds of cases investigated by McCann over the past 28 years. Material facts have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients. Some of the cases discussed combine various issues and materials found in relevant case studies that have been reviewed by McCann Investigators. No attempt should be made to draw any factual conclusions based on the cases discussed. Please contact McCann Investigations for real world cases in which references can be furnished.

Partnership Fraud: Proving Embezzlement by the Operating Partner

In this case, McCann Investigators worked as a team to gather evidence to determine the extent of the fraud committed against the majority partner. Since the majority of evidence from the client’s site was in the form of electronically stored information (ESI), McCann computer forensic technicians moved in to gather the relevant evidence. Material evidence was discovered that showed that the minority partner was engaged in a pattern of theft that stretched back over three years. An analysis of vendors, credit card statements, etc. also added evidence to these claims. McCann investigators developed the materials for the civil filings and referred the case to local law enforcement.

Sexual Harassment Allegations against a Partner in a Law Firm
In this case, McCann Investigators were retained by a law firm to help with an internal investigation involving a senior partner. The claim, made by a new legal assistant, was that the senior partner had been emailing and texting her suggestive material that allegedly included a picture of his genitals. The senior partner denied the allegation and claimed that he was the victim, and that the claims had been fabricated. In this case, the smarts phones were the property of the firm and McCann mobile forensic investigators were able to obtain both the legal assistant’s and senior partner’s mobile devices. In addition, McCann network forensic investigators were able to review the laptops, emails, and social media accounts of both parties. The senior partner also provided access to his home and personal iPad. McCann Investigators were not able to show any discover-able communication between the senior partner and the legal assistant. However, McCann mobile forensic investigators did discover deleted photographs on her iPhone of nude images that appeared to match those claiming to come from the senior partner. She soon left the firm.

Slip and Fall Accident Video: Actual Video or Tampered Video?
In this case, McCann Investigators were retained by a law firm to review video related to a fatal ladder accident. The fall had been captured on video by a digital recording device. The claim by the landlord was that in using the ladder, the contractor was acting in a dangerous and unsafe manner. The contractor’s claim was that the landlord simply did not clean up water that the landlord allegedly knew about and ignored. The video appeared not to show water on the ground and it also appeared to show the contractor standing on the very top of the ladder. McCann Investigators were able to show that the video had not been tampered with and were able to show, in court, a “zoom in” of the floor that clearly showed no water.

Texting While Driving: Was the Driver Texting At The Time of Crash?
In this case, McCann mobile forensics investigators examined a mobile device, an iPhone, to attempt to determine if a driver was texting at the time of a serious accident. McCann was hired by the accident victim’s insurance company. The iPhone was provided in a discovery request. The phone company records showed a text transmitting from the device on or about the time that the freeway video cameras documented the accident. McCann mobile forensic investigators were able to recover a text message that had been deleted a few hours after the accident. In addition, McCann mobile forensic investigators were able to recover text messages two days after the accident discussing the removal of text messages.

Material Misrepresentation in an Acquisition
After a multi-million dollar acquisition was completed and the new owners took over, it soon became clear that “everything was not okay”. The new owner suspected that the acquired company had presented financial information that was more than twice the actual value. To make matters worse, after only two weeks, the old owner no longer wanted to cooperate with the new owner and had cut off communications completely. He said that he felt that the new owner would cheat him out and hold back anyway so he did not care. McCann Investigators were able to retrieve the old owner’s email account, which was not controlled by the new owner. Deleted emails were recovered indicating that the old owner knew that the business was “a lemon”, and that he hoped to hide the company’s bad financials. The new owner’s lawyers were able to use this recovered material in a civil suit against the former owner.

Partnership Embezzlement – Operating Partner Theft
The majority partner of a manufacturer finally realized that his partner, the daily operator and the minority partner had embezzled more than one million dollars. The operating partner was terminated and quickly filed a wrongful termination suit. A team of McCann Investigators soon began the process of gathering the evidence of his theft. Computer forensics, mobile device forensics, research, forensic accounting reviews, and surveillance of the target indicated that the total theft went beyond one million dollars over five years. In addition, the operating partner has already set up a competing company and was in violation of his non-compete agreement. McCann Investigators worked directly with the manufacturer’s law firm to obtain a TRO against the minority partner, in addition to referral to local law enforcement for criminal theft charges.

External Copper Ring Theft
When an electrical contractor discovered electrical wiring being stolen from job sites, he began to worry that he was being targeted by organized criminals. In further discussions with other contractors, they soon discovered that is was impacting scores of contractors. McCann organized covert recording and live surveillance of a “bait site”. The intelligence gathered was then turned over to law enforcement for further investigation.


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