Tag Archives: Professional Investigations

How hard is it to get a warrant?

cell phone recordConnecticut claims it is too hard to get a warrant to obtain the cell phone records. In Connecticut-the police can obtain the cell phone records of “anybody” with an “ex parte  application. Here is the article from “a public defender”.

Click here to read the story

 

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Don’t use cellular phone to track without a warrant

cell phone track“Police violated a burglary suspect’s state constitutional right to privacy when they located him using cellphone tracking information without first obtaining a warrant, a New Jersey appeals court ruled on Friday.

Read more: http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202642187228/Tracking-Suspect%27s-Cellphone-Without-Warrant-Flouted-Constitutional-Rights#ixzz2tJTc9thZ

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Alleged NC Ponzi Schemes

Charles Ponzi (March 3, 1882–January 18, 1949)...
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According to the Smithsonian,  “Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is a scheme made famous by Charles Ponzi.”

Many of these computer-savvy crooks have taken their cue from an Italian immigrant named Charles Ponzi, a dapper, five-foot-two-inch rogue who in 1920 raked in an estimated $15 million in eight months by persuading tens of thousands of Bostonians that he had unlocked the secret to easy wealth. Ponzi’s meteoric success at swindling was so remarkable that his name became attached to the method he employed, which was nothing more than the age-old game of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. The rules are simple: money taken from today’s investors is used to pay off debts to yesterday’s investors. Typically, these investors are lured by promises of exorbitant profits—50, even 100 percent. Often, they are coached to recruit more investors to enrich themselves further. The problem is that there is no actual investment going on; the only activity is the shuffling of money from new investors to old ones. Everything is fine until the scheme runs out of new investors and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.”

The Charlotte Observer provides a breakdown of 5 Ponzi Schemes. Click here

For more about NC Ponzi Schemes,  read the following story from the Charlotte Observer

Authorities: Ponzi scams unraveling with economy

By Kirsten Valle
kvalle@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Friday, May. 29, 2009

Investigations surge as times spur questions from investors about where money is going.

Following the headline-grabbing Madoff case and stock market meltdown, authorities say they’re investigating a growing number of investment-fraud cases and finding common threads. The scammers usually live large, spending millions on sports cars, sprawling homes and lavish lifestyles. They target members of the same community, church or ethnic group.

The schemes thrive on investors’ greed, promising rates of return of 18-20 percent or higher. More recently, they’ve capitalized on fear, too, luring investors who wanted out of the volatile stock market. Many investors are retired or nearing retirement.

There have been at least four high-dollar investment-fraud cases in the Charlotte area in the past year – and authorities warn there might be more to come.

To read more about the unraveling of the Ponzi Schemes , click here.

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West Virginia Man found not guilty of burning down his house

Map of West Virginia highlighting Morgan County
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Here is an interesting story from The Morgan Messenger, the jury determined the greedy insurance company had a “paid investigator”

Jury finds man not guilty of arson

– by Kate Shunney – 6/3/2009

After four hours of deliberation, a Morgan County jury found a Hedgesville man not guilty on Monday afternoon, June 1, of arson and trying to defraud an insurance company by setting a fire at his home in April 2006.

The jury of seven women and five men found Robert E. Booth, 52, not guilty of the charges following a five-day trial in the Morgan County Circuit Court, with Judge Gina Groh presiding.

Defense attorney Ken Ford called only three witnesses on Booth’s behalf — Booth, his wife and a neighbor.

Statements by Booth’s wife, Pamela Armstrong Booth, following the fire triggered an investigation both by the Erie Insurance Company and the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s office. Both investigations deemed the fire to be purposefully set.

On April 10, 2006, Pamela Booth gave a sworn statement to representatives of Erie Insurance that her husband had made comments about burning down the couple’s house, which was under contract to be sold.

Testimony from three real estate agents and the Booths also described various ways that Robert Booth tried to obstruct the sale of the couple’s home, including interfering with the scheduling of a home inspection and making angry calls to agents and brokers.

Two of the witnesses for the prosecution testified that Booth said he would burn the house down before he let Pamela Booth sell it.

Ford ended his closing argument by returning to a theme of insurance company greed.

“Mr. Booth is a victim of circumstance. He’s innocent of these charges,” Ford insisted.

“All of the spinning, the dog he loved in the house, the fact that the only investigator that found anything wrong was bought and paid for by the insurance company — when you add that all together, there’s doubt all over the place,” said Ford.

To read the full story click here.

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Spyware on your cell phone?

Several mobile phones
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From Tom Slovenski, of Cellular Forensics

How do you protect a client and their information from thieving eyes and stalking ex-lovers?  How do you protect your own phone as well.  Here are a few simple tips.

  1. Never let anyone you do not know use your cell phone.  Don’t loan it out.
  2. If the phone is lost or stolen and  then recovered, do not use it to transmit sensitive date until it has been thoroughly checked by a cellular professional as it could have become infected.
  3. Turn off the “Bluetooth” when not is use. There is no need for an “open door” when you are not using a secure headset. For added security, use a wired headset.
  4. Do not accept any connection with which you are not familiar.  If you are sitting in a Starbucks and your phone is asking permission to hook on to a device with which you are not familiar…refuse the connection.
  5. Do not open attachments from a party you do not know
  6. Password protect your phone. This will eliminate 95% of problems. If the phone is locked down, the bad guy can’t get into it.

What if the person thinks the phone is already “bugged”? What are some of the signs?

  1. Are there too many “coincidences” in the client’s life? Is the information being transmitted from their phone seemingly winding up in someone else’s  hands. In a conversation, does the other party relate confidential information you did not disclose to them?
  2. Was the phone recently lost and then recovered?
  3. Has the person recently been through a traumatic experience with an ex-lover, spouse or business partner?
  4. Is the person in the midst of a highly charged court battle?
  5. Is the battery area hot to the touch? (The extra transmissions of the spyware to the other party pulls on the battery power)
  6. Does the battery drain quicker than it used to? (Again, more transmissions, less power)
  7. Does the phone light up for no reason?

For the complete article, see PI Magazine, June 2009 edition, or Tom’s website, www.cellularforensics.com, then click on Articles.

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Fraudulent Claims Rise in Poor Economy

Go Right, Slip and Fall
Image by kleinmatt66 via Flickr

The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that fraudulent claims increase in poor economy.

Citing data that demonstrates notable increases in suspicious car fires, slip-and-falls, and hail-damage claims, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is supporting the notion that a poor economy is causing an increase in fraudulent insurance claims.

According to the NICB, the report “clearly shows an increase in the number of questionable claims related to possible cases of insurance fraud during the past year as the economy continued its downward spiral.” The assertion was derived when the NICB analyzed questionable claims submitted by the more than 1,000 of its member companies. When the results of the first quarter of 2009 were compared to the first quarter of 2008, an increase in opportunistic fraud appeared.

Click here to read the full article.

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Ace Attorney Investigations

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney boxart for the No...
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New game from Nintendo, Ace Attorney Investigations, will arrive this fall

Ace Attorney Investigations – fact sheet

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth takes the Ace Attorney series from the courtroom to the crime scene, leaving the legal battle behind while bringing the action to various crime scenes.

This time around, the player takes on the role of famed prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, a memorable rival of charismatic legal eagle Phoenix Wright. Edgeworth actively investigates crime scenes in order to pursue the truth behind each case. By solving the challenging puzzles presented him, Edgeworth will work with the police to bring criminals to justice.

Features:
• Starring Miles Edgeworth, the popular rival of attorney Phoenix Wright
• Gameplay moves out of the courtroom and onto the crime scene
• New investigative style using the Nintendo DS stylus to uncover evidence
• Several unique cases to solve with over 15 hours of gameplay
• New technique, such as “logic” mode assists you in uncovering the crime
• Unique dialog trees and interrogation techniques let you question witnesses to discover the truth


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