The Observation of Trifles

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    We at [FIND] Investigations are a boutique agency. We spend time with our clients, hand craft a strategy, and assign one professional investigator to oversee each case. We pool our resources, our contacts, our combined expertise to create a scope of work that applies specifically to each client’s case. Each case is hand made, right down to the button holes.

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    There are several companies that provide off-the-shelf options for investigations. These larger “investigative agencies” offer pre-selected criteria, a pre-existing template, on which to base their investigations. These are usually database searches and they are usually based on outdated public records. A few of the larger agencies offer similar made-to-measure options where they offer a pre-priced set of services including limited surveillance, background checks, and minimal actual investigative work.

    The problem is, these larger firms offer simple variations on the theme of off-the-shelf and made-to-measure services. These firms have size and resources, but they lack fundamental skills. Engaging these firms for investigations is like buying a suit from Men’s Warehouse. They may look impressive. But will their work hold up? These “investigations” are inexpensive and, like a cheap suit, they fall apart under stress and scrutiny.

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    The true professional investigative firm operates more along the lines of a bespoke tailor, a boutique style business that demands hard work and long hours. The cost is typically much higher, but the quality is assuredly superior.

    It’s fairly clear to me what we, as investigators, can learn from Savile Row. The process of crafting a bespoke suit is not at all different from fashioning a scope of work for an investigation. Each situation, like each person, is different.

    A bespoke tailor will visit with his client, get a sense of the person’s style and attitude. They will measure and craft. They will select tools and cloth specifically for the client. They will, in a sense, create a scope of work.
    A professional investigator will do much the same. They will meet with the client, interview her and make notes, get to know the situation as much as possible. They will measure the options to craft a complete scope of work. They will select tools and methods specifically for the client. They will, in a sense, hand-craft a pattern for the investigation.

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    Hal Humphreys, CFE

    Lead Investigator


    I am a private investigator with 30 years experience in research and analysis. I am a certified general real estate appraiser, and a licensed private investigator. I am a retired member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, CFE-Retired. My background is in due diligence for the financial industry.


    I’ve been a research specialist for years: Real estate research, appraisals, feasibility studies, internal audit, that kind of thing. I dipped a toe into the cold waters of journalism several years ago, mostly out of a love of words, language, and storytelling. I also happen to be somewhat of a gear hound.


    I got a call several years ago from a lawyer friend. Knowing my ability to find things (identify connections between property, people, assets, transactions, etc.), he asked if I could help him track down some business dealings that a client’s soon-to-be-ex had “hidden” prior to filing for divorce. A couple days pawing through obscure public records in the basement of a rural courthouse (There was a sign on the wall that read, “please do not spit in the ash tray.”), and I had not only found the records, but had identified links between soon-to-be-ex and some other businesses about which the client didn’t even have a clue.


    This led to the question of whether or not I could testify in court to what I found. My lawyer buddy said (in jest), “If only you were a private investigator.”


    There it was. That moment of clarity when you see all these connections that somehow make sense. That afternoon I began the process of becoming a private investigator.



    Just a few things we do well. 


    • Witness identification, location, and interview
    • Trial preparation
    • Fact investigation
    • Mitigation investigation
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    • Controversial media
    • Lawsuit history
    • Regulatory issues
    • Conflicts of interest
    • Resume fraud
    • Indications of financial stress
    • Criminal history
    • Personal history
    • Assets
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