Set out below is a summary of the core investigatory and intelligence services we provide. In many ways they are all about finding evidence and then trying to prove it is true or false or identify what is missing and try and find that. Finding concealed or undisclosed information and validating representations or disclosures are the most requested services Faire Sans Dire provides, particularly to the legal business community.
Our background checks usually start with what we call a Web Data Review which is exactly what it says on the can. The breadth and depth of such reviews can vary enormously depending upon the target. If we are focusing on a multi-millionaire in his sixties whose been divorced twice and has global interests our review will be more time consuming than if we are investigating a suspected teenage terrorist. Once the findings from our review are passed to our client and discussed we can then determine whether to proceed to a full blown investigation of the intelligence we’ve obtained and if need be obtain hard evidence to support it.
Please do not be fooled by investigative or research web-sites offering fabulously cheap packages to provide you with all the data you need about anyone including, where lawful, all criminal records. Unless these web-sites explain that they cannot provide comprehensive data (eg on USA criminal records) or that they can include totally false data within their databases then they are misleading because their databases are flawed.
It is no secret to the criminal fraternity and others inclined to mischievous activities that the fastidious use of web-sites that generate fake names can completely baffle not only many law enforcement authorities but also passport issuers let alone recruiters and databases used by investigative companies that promise comprehensive reports on criminal records etc. If you actually believe that you can get a comprehensive reliable report on any one anywhere for £49.99 or US$49.99 or even 20 times that amount or via a a more expensive unlimited use monthly subscription (eg to carry out supposed mass money laundering “checks”) then it’s time you went on a sabbatical, retired or went for a medical check up!
Several highly respected and respectable businesses, such as LexisNexis, involved in the provision of data generally speaking acknowledge that their databases may be incomplete and will contain inaccurate information on occasion but they don’t disclose estimates of by how much. Even though many buy extensive court records they only cover certain jurisdictions (and even in the USA not all states permit the disclosure of arrest and other court records), they rarely go back more than 20 years and often miss huge chunks of cases (eg in the USA, cases relating to evictions or traffic misdemeanours are typically rarely purchased).
We have seen estimates from experts that such databases can omit anywhere between at least 10% and more likely in excess of 50% of what they claim to cover subject to the caveats they use to describe the comprehensive nature of their databases. So, there may be a 50% or higher chance that your Chairman, CEO or any other director or senior manager has a criminal record in the jurisdictions that permit criminal record checks; as for his/her criminal past in those jurisdictions that don’t permit disclosure he/she may even be a serial killer!
You might well ask why do people pay to use these databases or services? Ignorance of the truth is one answer. Another is that sadly nowadays substance is more important than form so for a business to have proof that it undertook a check (even though the check may be over 50% incomplete) may thwart allegations of negligence and no doubt satisfies most of our shoddy or slapdash financial regulators around the world; please see our News page if you believe we are being over critical of the world’s leading financial regulators.
We have provided the legal fraternity and many others with a wide variety of bespoke services over the years. Obviously we carry out a wide variety of thorough investigations for law firms. We have also provided recurring support services such as properly checking the backgrounds of new clients or routinely checking representations made relating to cases the firms were involved with. In addition we have provided more mundane services where it was economic for the law firms to outsource the work.
When providing any services we are fully aware that they have to be delivered to exacting standards in order to meet the requirements of any courts or tribunals our findings may have to be used in. We always adhere to “best practice”. Even if you are not contemplating legal action you never can tell if someone “disturbed” by any actions you take pursuant to an investigation or the like will take legal action against you.
When considering whether or not these services are relevant to you or your organisation you should bear in mind that often personal difficulties or private financial problems of senior management can have a significant impact on your business or organisation both directly and indirectly. The services we provide can be tailored for individuals as well as companies and other organisations.
If you are seeking help and require services that don’t quite align with those summarised below please look at the cyber services and ancillary services we provide and do not hesitate to contact us if the services you are seeking do not appear on our menus. We can always tailor our services to your bespoke requirements and if we can’t assist you ourselves we are almost certainly likely to be able to recommend someone or some organisation that could.
Our Non-Executive Chairman and many of our associates are very experienced in business and have run, established, developed and expanded many businesses in both the UK and overseas in a wide variety of industries and sizes ranging from multi-national conglomerates to businesses with less than a dozen staff. We also help businesses and individuals in trouble.
Remember that in some jurisdictions such as the UK if you are in trouble and seek advice from your lawyers or accountants they may be forced to report the matters you raise with the authorities. Faire Sans Dire is not in that invidious position unless you are involved in terrorism or the supply of narcotics; if you were we wouldn’t help you anyway!
If you ever need business development input or finance or someone to act as a Non-Executive Director or you simply need Non-Executive Director style advisory input or mentoring on any private matters or just want to develop and expand your business then contact us for exploratory talks to see if we can help you. Using a combination of our in house experience and our extensive and formidable contacts, we may be able to deliver just the sort of support, finance and resources you need anywhere anytime anyhow that suits you.
Our Non-Executive Chairman has been a Non-Executive Director of several businesses and if he doesn’t fit your requirements he will be the first to say so but should be able to find someone who will. Whether you are in a start-up or a mature business we can probably help and some of our clients and contacts have a habit of lending money whether in the hundreds of thousands or tens of millions of dollars to those introduced and vetted by us.
Our core competency is investigating or, put less colourfully, research. We investigate all types of internal, occupational and external fraud and embezzlement whether perpetrated or suspected. Examples of such frauds include accounting irregularities, black holes, false accounting, fraudulent trading, interest rate manipulation and swap frauds, employee or corporate identity fraud, procurement and supply chain frauds, outsourcing frauds, payroll and expenses frauds, complex collusive frauds, scams, credit frauds and false personal injury claims against businesses.
Where required by the law or regulations in the relevant jurisdictions we shall make sure that any work undertaken is carried out by an appropriately authorised person (eg by a specialist such as a practising forensic accountant or an expert witness in a particular field such as handwriting) even if this means we have to turn down any involvement with the assignment to comply with the relevant local law or regulations.
During the course of our investigations we can undertake discreet enquiries of suspects’ backgrounds and lifestyles using various techniques and where necessary physical or remote surveillance. We can also profile your staff if the perpetrator of an in-house fraud has not been identified and often this process can short circuit much investigatory work, reduce costs and minimise disruption.
We can also assist with the aftermath of fraud investigations including quantifying losses, dealing with insurance claims, interviewing staff (using the appropriate legally acceptable equipment) and advising on whether or not to pursue civil and/or criminal proceedings.
We provide all the normal background checking services you would expect but we don’t provide a “one box fits all” service to check an individual’s background. Of course, if all you want to do is tick a regulatory box then by all means use a cheaper “one box fits all” solution but be aware that the results you will get from that check may very often miss the very stuff you should have been made aware of as already explained above.
In the past we sometimes used some of our competitors’ “one box fits all” services to see if we had missed anything. We were staggered but not by what we had missed but by just how much the well known branded suppliers of data checking services had missed. If you don’t believe us try a check using a “one box fits all” service on someone you know really well who has a questionable past and see what is omitted in their report … and by the way if you are trying to prevent criminals or similar from joining your organisation don’t forget that the clever ones know how to circumvent these sorts of bog standard checks and emerge with a whiter than white report.
As mentioned above, fastidiously using web-sites that generate fake names and/or other means (which are less well known and therefore we won’t mention them) anyone can baffle a database including those used by law enforcement authorities and passport issuers. Of course, this means many official databases including UK NHI and USA NSS number records are stuffed with false data. Once you extend into commercial data the falsity expands exponentially; by way of example just imagine how many “false” gmail accounts based on pseudonyms exist.
One of the best ways to ensure you can check up on your employees is to include clauses in their employment or service contracts such that they have already agreed to comply with any future checks of any kind (eg whether the checks relate to blogs on private social web-sites or in certain limited circumstances (see below) the individual’s criminal records). For prospective hires they can simply be asked to comply with all checks. You may not want to hire them if they object after you’ve explained that standard terms to that effect are built into all employment contracts anyway.
However, it should be noted that, very broadly speaking, in the UK (since December 2014) it is a criminal offence to try and make someone disclose certain protected data which includes that person’s criminal records. Legal advice should be taken on what you can and can’t demand be disclosed as the laws in question are minefields of apparent contradictions.
Where you have your existing or prospective employees’ consents to undertake comprehensive background checks we can undertake the checks for you; to do so is a lot less expensive than if you do not have the requisite lawful consents.
On another tack, frequently directors and senior management hold interests in other businesses directly or via more complex arrangements. We can check and investigate undisclosed business associations and interests as well as other potential conflicts of interest and whether or not suspicious transactions are truly on an arm’s length basis.
We can investigate suspected or actual breaches of corporate policies and procedures and carry out in depth checks on selected employees of concern including conducting covert or overt medical checks for drug or alcohol abuse.
In addition we can provide staff vetting, background check, CV authentication and other employment screening services where necessary using snowstorm strategies, Hobson choice consent tactics and, as a last resort, various surveillance techniques. As for CV checks we are aware of some firms that even specialise in creating fake résumés such as http://www.fakeresume.com.
If you do not have the same internal control procedures for vetting all staff, whether or not full time employees, you should put them in place and if required we can take on the initial administrative workload arising from such a change in policy.
Please be aware that it is illegal to check the criminal records of any individual in the UK without first having obtained that person’s permission and even then it may be a criminal offence to do so. Where it is permissible under the law and with a person’s permission in place we can arrange for very swift checks of his/her UK criminal records to be undertaken at peppercorn cost.
Where it is not possible to obtain a person’s permission we have experience of investigating past criminality in the UK in a manner that is completely within the law albeit it can be time consuming and can sometimes yield more information about the person’s past than an inspection of his or her criminal records would have. In any event, courtesy of rehabilitation orders and other legal nuances, the physical inspection of a person’s criminal records in the UK is not necessarily as conclusive as it may at first appear to be.
Different laws concerning access to individuals’ criminal records apply in different countries and, in the USA, the laws vary from state to state. In addition, in the USA, for example, carrying out such inspections is not necessarily illegal provided that you comply with all relevant laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. However, subject to the specific circumstances, failure to obtain consent from and give proper notice to an individual in the USA you were conducting a criminal record check on as part of that person’s employment record check could leave you facing unlimited discriminatory claims.
So far as the USA goes, despite many research companies claims to the contrary, database searches for criminal records are far from comprehensive as different states have varying laws regarding what is available in the public domain and some only release updates over a year in arrears . For example, summarised arrest records and individuals’ “booking photos” taken on arrest are available in Colorado but not Ohio.
We have experience in reviewing and investigating complex databases and networks for breaches of corporate or organisational policies such as accessing on line casinos or pornographic web-sites or sending profane emails.
If necessary we can discreetly and remotely monitor IT and telecommunications systems for breaches of corporate and organisational policies and criminal activities in real time.
For businesses or entities that are subject to specific regulatory requirements we can investigate known or suspected breaches of regulations by the regulated businesses themselves or their employees. Where appropriate we can do this in conjunction with the regulatory bodies concerned.
Faire Sans Dire can provide many forensic IT services and forensic computer services in respect of criminal and civil proceedings including the examination and recovery of data. The breadth and depth of our skill sets in these technical areas where experience and expertise are essential are exceptional.
Over the years we have worked alongside many law enforcement agencies to forensically secure data which has led to the successful prosecution of criminals in a wide variety of cases. We have also helped law firms win civil cases whether in support of the plaintiffs or defendants. However, our charge out rates in these areas are but a fraction of those of the household name cavalry in the forensic IT service industry (like the big accounting firms). Why pay triple for the same quality of service which is just as reliable and persuasive in court?
We can analyse data from all types of networks, servers, computers, memory sticks, cell phones (including cell mast analysis), sat nav systems, digital cameras, vehicle computers, CCTV systems and “cloud” based or similar websites (not under your control). All the services we provide in this arena satisfy as a bare minimum the provisions of Section 9 Witness Statements under the Regulation of Investigative Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 guidelines.
We can also provide expert witnesses for both civil and criminal court proceedings. If required we can either help you in the recovery of data or do it for you. We also provide in depth training in these skills.
In the entire history of Faire Sans Dire we have never had a bad debt; we like to think this is because we really do get to know our clients. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t collect bad debts in certain circumstances.
On occasion we do help collect debts anywhere in the world for people who have been victims of crime; we include in our definition of crime for these purposes “deceit” and obviously fraud whether or not proven by a court. We normally only help recover debts of more than £100,000 Sterling.
Again, given the circumstances, Faire Sans Dire has yet to fail to recover a good slice of what is available or left over by those who have absconded with our clients’ monies. As alluded to below, we can understand why those who have deceitfully taken money from our clients usually pay up what they can on the spot rather than go through the traumas and consequences of trying not to.
As regards debt recovery, in the last resort we have been known to assign some of the debt to those we would least like to come knocking on our doors at 3.00am in the morning whether they be in Government or not. Depending where those who have obtained our clients’ money deceitfully are living (or staying when away on business or on a family holiday) having Government “officials” turn up at 3.00am can be more disturbing than being burgled in some countries. What’s more in many countries they often confiscate the passports of all those involved including whole families until the “relevant matters” are sorted out.
We have intentionally not divulged much here so that those who have swindled you or deceitfully failed to repay monies borrowed from you cannot work out precisely what we might do to recover the monies due to you. Suffice it to say that were we in their shoes we wouldn’t want Faire Sans Dire chasing us for anything. For a start, in some cases they wouldn’t necessarily know it was Faire Sans Dire chasing them … until too late.
As is always the case from a debtor’s perspective, it is far wiser to pay up than have one’s families and business associates needlessly put through the traumas of our painstakingly thorough albeit legitimate debt recovery processes whether or not Government backed. No matter who owes you money, we will chase them through every available family and business connection they have including those they least want to even know they are the subject of embarrassing debt collection proceedings.
Since the seventies we have successfully acted against corrupt governments, organised crime gangs and bent law firms so no one is immune even in obscure tax havens or countries with trade sanctions against them. After all, they are only human beings at the end of the day … If you are concerned the funds being used to repay you may be laundered money and potentially involve you in criminality we can normally make sure you don’t have to worry about that or obtain legal advice as to what is your best course of action.
We can assist you with many elements of the pre-acquisition investigations you are undertaking in respect of a targeted business such as background checks on key employees (eg for potential conflicts of interest).
Most companies selling a business fail to consider what due diligence by the buyer might unearth once it’s underway. Not only can the discovery of some problem be embarrassing but also it might prove expensive. Just as with pre-acquisition investigations we can assist you with pre-divestment investigations including identifying those areas within the business you are planning on selling which are most likely to be vulnerable.
Before you enter into any major alliance or joint venture we can investigate the background of those you are in talks with not only to give you a competitive edge in any negotiations but also so that you are assured as to their integrity and financial standing. As far as negotiations go the outcome of such investigations or due diligence can have a major impact on the nature and extent of any indemnities and warranties included in your commercial agreements.
If you don’t understand why your competitors are doing better than you or want to understand what they are doing in more depth we can assist you. Similarly if you are considering entering a new market we can help you gather intelligence about it or simply check the veracity, accuracy and completeness of a report proposing entry into a new market by an overly enthusiastic (self interested) business development director.
Many of the techniques and operational skills used during the course of providing covert services may also be applied to some of our investigative services relating to more run of the mill activities.