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Investigations

Guidepost Solutions understands that a command of the facts is the foundation of any successful business or legal strategy in any forum, including litigation, employment, contract negotiation and corporate investment.

Guidepost Solutions helps our clients to master the facts with our integrated team of investigative, forensic and research professionals. Whether such facts are hidden in plain sight, scattered on a hard drive or innocently or maliciously obscured, our team is expert at discovering, analyzing and presenting this data.

With our global team of multi-disciplinary professionals, Guidepost Solutions can reach the most remote locations to investigate any matter of importance to our clients. We use our unique capabilities, relationships, tools and programs to unearth and analyze crucial information, allowing our clients to confidently confront any issues that arise in their business. Our investigators, intelligence analysts and forensic professionals have achieved an unparalleled track record of positive outcomes, significant cost avoidance, asset recovery and reputational enhancement for our clients.

Our team of experts can provide a diverse array of investigative services, including performing due diligence on financial investments, determining the validity of fraud allegations and checking backgrounds to ensure our clients are hiring only the most competent employees.

The services we offer include, but are not limited to, those shown below:

Investigation Services

Asset Searches   |  back to list ^

Monetary trails invariably remain when an unsuspecting employer or trusting investor is defrauded. Identifying and following these trails is the foundation of most financial investigations. Guidepost Solutions excels in finding and recovering assets on behalf of trustees, creditors’ committees, corporations and individuals. Our investigators and forensic accountants search domestically and globally to uncover hidden assets, wherever they may be secreted. Once found, we work with our clients through the legal system to restore the assets to their rightful owner.

Guidepost’s asset searches begin with background investigations on any related parties in order to identify evidence of assets held by these individuals. Our expert investigators search public and proprietary databases and conduct discreet interviews of relevant witnesses where necessary. Our team then researches any corporate entities involved in the matter to develop general profiles of these companies and identify assets held by them. This research is performed using a variety of public record resources, including corporate filings; real property records; motor vehicle, watercraft and aircraft ownership; federal and state criminal proceedings; federal and state civil litigation; bankruptcy proceedings; lien and judgment filings; Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings; and reviews of Media sources and Internet web sites. 

Background Investigations   |  back to list ^

A business is only as productive, ethical, and capable as its employees. Guidepost Solutions conducts thorough background investigations into potential hires, searching all available databases and if required, discreetly interviewing those who may be able to provide insight into the character and fitness of a prospective employee. Our investigative results are distilled into a comprehensive dossier, allowing our clients to make hiring decisions confidently.

Business Intelligence   |  back to list ^

In business, insight into competitors, potential partners, industry dynamics, political tides and impending events can give a company an edge in making important decisions. Guidepost Solutions’ global network of investigative professionals—drawn from the business, financial, legal, diplomatic and law enforcement communities—is uniquely positioned to legally discover unusual and hard-to-find information that can provide our clients with that extra advantage.

Computer Security, Investigations, and Forensics   |  back to list ^

Guidepost Solutions’ dedication to security and integrity extends to digital networks, electronic information and communications technology. We bring the same expertise and experience to computer-based investigations and assessments that we do to more conventional physical security, integrity monitoring, compliance and investigation projects.

Guidepost has assisted clients across the globe working in a multitude of network environments. Our cases have included theft of trade secrets, employee disputes, workplace harassment and fraud and financial regulatory investigations. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness and cost-sensitivity, coupled with our ability to convert “tech-speak” into valuable ammunition for attorneys and in-house counsel.

Our team understands that computer forensics may be used for a variety of tasks, such as finding the “smoking gun” e-mail, proving deliberate spoliation by an opposing party, or trying to make sense of suspicious computer activity on the day a key employee departed. We specialize in focused, aggressive computer investigations into intrusions, internal misconduct, phishing scams, malicious software and other digital attacks. Our cyber investigators routinely synchronize their work with our firm’s more traditional investigative resources, such as surveillance, research and interviews. This provides our clients with a formidable synergy of investigative skills that sets Guidepost apart from other agencies that operate only without or within the digital arena.

Guidepost regularly advises attorneys and corporate clients on preserving, analyzing and utilizing computer evidence in litigation, regulatory proceedings, presentations to law enforcement and governmental investigations. We perform all forensic investigations under the assumption that court testimony will be required and adhere to law enforcement standards of chain of custody and evidence storage. Our investigators have experience as court-appointed experts and in giving testimony under cross-examination.

Just as our experience has proven that periodic reviews of financial system controls can prevent embezzlements, we strongly recommend cyber security assessments for clients’ computer systems. Guidepost’s assessments, customizable to the needs of each client, provide clients with an understanding of their security postures, strengths and weaknesses. We identify vulnerabilities on the targeted systems and devices, attempt to exploit identified vulnerabilities and assess the reaction of the client’s defenses. Guidepost also recognizes that the human element is a crucial factor in comprehensive penetration testing. We employ social engineering approaches and spear phishing emails directed to employees, and review the vulnerabilities caused by trusted vendors and customer access. Guidepost strongly believes in a comprehensive approach by placing people, processes and technology under the microscope.

Guidepost recognizes that a penetration test of a computer system is only part of a larger review of an organization’s security assessment. Vulnerabilities that exist in a computer system often mirror those appearing elsewhere in the business enterprise. With our unmatched expertise in physical security systems, our team can determine the sufficiency of existing systems and propose improvements at a level of detail that would exceed any other vendor.

Finally, Guidepost’s position as a widely-recognized independent monitor and compliance consultant provides a unique perspective to its work in computer systems security assessments. Quite simply, our work can be readily trusted by parties who may otherwise have what appear to be opposing interests. This positions Guidepost to offer cyber security assessments to both cyber risk insurers and those seeking insurance. Before a contract of insurance is signed, both parties can benefit from an independent and trusted security profile of the computer system to be insured. This independent assessment can help establish a premium structure that is attractive to both parties and a security profile threshold that provides mutual protection.

DNA Programs and Analysis   |  back to list ^

Our partner, The Bode Technology Group, offers a full range of industry-leading collection, data banking, and forensic DNA services to law enforcement agencies, federal and state governments, crime laboratories and disaster management organizations throughout the United States and around the world. Their DNA experts are at the forefront of research and development involving collection, discovery and analysis techniques and technology.

Due Diligence   |  back to list ^

If a company is contemplating a merger, acquisition, joint venture or other investment, its leaders must be confident that they have a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the business and people on the other side of the transaction. Failing to identify problematic issues, attitudes or business practices could lead to financial and reputational ruin.

Guidepost Solutions provides the transparency that every company needs before committing itself to a new business relationship, through investigative research, analysis and forensic accounting to validate and expedite the transaction. Our services can be performed either with or without the knowledge of the subject party or parties and can be engaged for both friendly and contested investment transactions (such as proxy battles, or disputes with activist investors).

We take a multi-disciplinary approach to due diligence. Our researchers, investigators, and attorneys collect and analyze information on management teams, individual and company relationships, contracts, operations and market position, while our forensic accountants examine financials to find any red flags, gross misstatements or concerning trends. Our professionals cross-reference their findings with each other, to ensure that no stone goes unturned and to provide an objective, 360-degree view of any proposed transaction.

Guidepost believes that sound due diligence is especially critical in today's investment environment. The rapid increase in regulatory requirements and liabilities, balance sheet complexity, employee turnover, economic malaise and the internationalization of business have led to increased levels of opacity, minimal disclosures and outright fraud among companies and financial advisors, as witnessed in the spate of prominent scandals that have cost investors billions (such as the frauds perpetrated by Bernard Madoff, R. Allen Stanford, and Bayou Management, among others).

Executive and Board Member Credentials   |  back to list ^

With their fiduciary duties and leadership responsibilities, an organization’s executives and board members must be beyond reproach in terms of character, credentials and skills. Choosing the wrong person, whether the candidate is a prospective hire or involved in a corporate acquisition, joint venture or other business relationship, can cause irreparable damage to a business’ reputation or bottom line.

Guidepost Solutions can verify the bona fides of any potential executive or board member, giving our clients confidence that they have chosen the right person for the job. Our investigative professionals will unearth and analyze the credentials, character and background of executive or board candidates to detect any risks in entering into an employment or business association, including:

  • Potential conflicts of interest;
  • Litigation with a previous employer;
  • Allegations of civil, regulatory, or criminal wrongdoing, in a personal or business capacity;
  • Fabrications, omissions, or exaggerations in resume, credentials, or other background materials; or
  • Problematic associations with government officials.

We employ investigative methods that are appropriate to the level of scrutiny dictated by our clients and that comply with all applicable laws in relevant jurisdictions. Our investigation typically begins with an exhaustive search and analysis of information in the public record and can extend to interviewing relevant individuals (with the discretion that is the hallmark of all of our confidential inquiries).

Financial Investigations  |  back to list ^

In today’s increasingly sophisticated and regulated business world, a business’ approach to preparing and disclosing its financials can be just as telling as the numbers themselves. The pressures of the economic downturn, a misguided drive to live up to market expectations or just plain greed can often lead to fraud, expropriation or other financial malfeasance that may not be readily apparent to those outside an organization. These financial threats can devastate a business or potential venture if left undiscovered or unchecked.

Guidepost Solutions can ferret out fraud, financial manipulation or misrepresentation, accounting irregularities, or any other financial misconduct, whether in support of investment due diligence, litigation, internal investigation, asset recovery, mandated monitorship, or in other contexts. Working in tandem, our investigators and forensic accountants help our clients to identify, understand and address both simple and complex financial malfeasance. Guidepost Solutions will “follow the money” to allow you to make the accurate, informed decisions that lead to results.

FCPA and UK Bribery Act Investigations   |  back to list ^

In today’s economic and regulatory environment, no company that does business globally can afford to be ignorant of the requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and UK Bribery Act. Broadly speaking, the FCPA and Bribery Act prohibit individuals, incorporated entities and their agents from giving money or anything of value to a foreign official to obtain or retain business. Guidepost Solutions understands the intricacies of both laws and can help companies navigate their provisions, perform proactive due diligence and investigate violations.

Before a client enters into any relationship with a foreign entity, agent or individual, our global investigative team will root out any problematic associations, conduct or qualities of our client’s potential partner, to avoid any FCPA or Bribery Act issues right from the start. Our investigative team of former prosecutors, federal law enforcement agents and researchers know what to look for and how to find it. Utilizing our on-the-ground contacts around the world, we strive to provide comprehensive due diligence and investigative services that will withstand any inquiry.

If an FCPA or Bribery Act does occur, Guidepost can investigate, analyze and marshal the facts into an accurate account to present to corporate leaders, members of the board or the government. Armed with the truth, a company can make informed decisions about its legal and business strategy to avoid or mitigate prosecution and/or fines.

Independent Examiner: Category 2 Swiss Banks  |  back to list ^

Guidepost Solutions’ global team of forensic accountants, investigators, intelligence analysts and former U.S. DOJ federal prosecutors offer an integrated solution as Independent Examiners to address the stringent requirements of the DOJ program for Category 2 banks identifying undeclared American assets held in Switzerland. Our expertise with reviewing foreign bank records and strong presence in European countries, combined with our Big Data platform Guidepost Insight, will effectively navigate the complex challenges associated with the Program.

Guidepost’s multi-disciplinary professionals are also equipped to offer supportive services for Independent Examiners assisting Category 2 banks. Our researchers, investigators, and attorneys collect and analyze account information while cross-referencing data with our forensic accountants who examine financials for red flags, gross misstatements or concerning trends. Following the execution of the Non-Prosecution Agreement, Guidepost can further assist Category 2 banks with recalcitrant account holders to ensure they comply with U.S. reporting obligations or close any and all accounts.

Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Programs   |  back to list ^

Intellectual property is often a company's most valuable asset and too frequently an enticing target for those who counterfeit, divert, exploit or otherwise misappropriate such assets. Whether the issue relates to counterfeit or diverted software, films, music, pharmaceuticals, luxury goods, consumer brands or industrial intellectual property assets, Guidepost Solutions has the knowledge and experience to help our clients harden intellectual property targets and effectively respond to the individuals and organizations that perpetrate intellectual property crime.

Our intellectual property protection programs employ the optimal physical security, cybersecurity, marking technologies, intelligence collection efforts and procedures and protocols to help our clients avoid, detect and respond to attacks on intellectual property. These programs are deployed both at client facilities and at multiple points of the supply and distribution chains to effectively prevent the unlawful creation and dissemination of unauthorized product and to quickly identify and recover unauthorized product in the marketplace.

Our investigators and intelligence operatives are expert at developing information on unauthorized manufacturers and distributors of illegally-produced client product. Our team has experience working with law enforcement officials and other parties throughout the world to shut down, disrupt or deter the misappropriation of our clients’ intellectual property.

Internal Investigations  |  back to list ^

Guidepost Solutions is frequently called upon by businesses to conduct internal investigations into allegations or suspicions of corrupt or fraudulent conduct by employees. We are typically engaged through the business’ office of the general counsel or through its retained outside attorneys.

We rely upon our full-time staff of attorneys, forensic accountants, research analysts, field investigators and computer forensics experts to staff these assignments, and we work collaboratively with our business clients to develop an investigative plan that is appropriate to the suspected misconduct.

We typically employ a phased approach to these investigations, with budgetary parameters for each phase. The scope and focus of successive phases in the investigation are determined in consultation with our clients, and our strategies going forward are dictated by the findings of each phase. Since most of our investigative professionals have had experience in federal, state and local law enforcement—as prosecutors, auditors and agents—our investigative strategies are developed with an understanding of the evidence that may be needed to support an eventual criminal prosecution.

In addition, because our professionals have years of experience in the private sector, they are equally sensitive to matters of confidentiality and public perception. With input from strategic partners with experience in these matters, we frequently assist our business clients in developing an appropriate public response to inquiries regarding the suspected misconduct.

International Investigations  |  back to list ^

International investigations present a host of challenges that do not often arise during investigations conducted in the United States. Many times, an investigation abroad succeeds or fails because of the quality of human intelligence obtained in-country on the ground. Led by our London office, Guidepost Solutions utilizes its vast network of trusted, well-placed consultants to apply a methodical, discreet approach to the collection and analysis of intelligence in locations throughout the world. Our professional consultants are recognized globally for their unique skill sets and ability to be practical and “get the job done” even in the most taxing of jurisdictions. Mindful of local laws, customs, languages and other circumstances, we work closely with our clients and our international resources to develop thoughtful investigative plans to most efficiently and effectively achieve the client’s goals. Our human intelligence gathering activities are augmented by the utilization of various public and proprietary databases and other open sources which provide crucial information that often guides the direction of an investigation.

Our professionals have extensive experience operating on the ground in the international realm conducting investigations in the public and private sector relating to mediation or arbitration of business disputes, due diligence and know your customer assignments, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, money laundering, fraud, corporate internal investigations and compliance, among others areas. Guidepost and its network of contacts are also adept at navigating the various privacy laws and other legal and regulatory restrictions which can hinder the effectiveness of an investigation and which can vary greatly from country to country.

International Arbitration   |  back to list ^

Success in International Arbitration requires specialized experience dealing with issues specific to a particular country or dispute resolution forum, as well as the expertise to gather evidence and information to support one’s position. Guidepost Solutions is expert in providing investigative and intelligence consulting services crucial to obtaining the facts needed to achieve success in international dispute resolution. Our staff of experienced professionals and global network of well-placed contacts and investigators have backgrounds in international law enforcement, forensic accounting, fraud examination, law, digital forensics, electronic discovery, compliance and a variety of other areas of business and industry.

From uncovering a single critical piece of evidence to establishing a complex fact pattern, our integrated team of researchers, investigators, former prosecutors, forensic accountants and computer forensic experts discover and develop vital information to help your organization or client strengthen its case and make key strategic decisions. Our capabilities extend across the globe and we utilize the optimal investigative techniques, forensic tools and intelligence gathering programs necessary to drive superior results and value. In all instances, we are highly sensitive to confidentiality, evidentiary rules and the substantive processes necessary to reach a favorable disposition, settlement or verdict.

Litigation Support   |  back to list ^

Litigation costs can be measured in time, money and frustration. Guidepost Solutions minimizes these costs and contributes to successful litigation outcomes with timely, accurate and effective analysis and expert witness services.

On the investigation front, from the uncovering of a single critical fact to the establishment of a complex fact pattern, our integrated team of researchers, investigators, former prosecutors, forensic accountants and computer forensic experts discover and develop vital information to help your organization or client strengthen its case and make key strategic decisions. Our capabilities extend across the globe and we utilize the optimal investigative techniques, forensic tools and intelligence gathering programs necessary to drive superior results and value. In all instances, we are highly sensitive to confidentiality, evidentiary rules and the substantive processes necessary to reach a favorable disposition, settlement or verdict.

In the courtroom, our tools can help counsel present a case that is more persuasive, concise and integrated than that of the opposing side. We are skilled in employing databases such as Summation and I2, which allow counsel to weave together compelling documents, testimony and audio/visual evidence into a winning narrative.

Private Investigations   |  back to list ^

Our private investigators help our individual clients protect their assets and reputation by evaluating the character and fitness of potential personal relationships, business partners, employees, and others. In addition, we help our clients and their counsel to uncover and analyze information in the context of criminal defense cases. Our team provides results-oriented investigative operations using the most advanced research databases available and, if necessary, utilizing discreet, on-the-ground investigation and surveillance techniques.

Surveillance   |  back to list ^

In hotly-contested disputes in any arena, a person with relevant information may be reluctant to talk, uncooperative or even hostile. Obtaining information or admissible evidence from such a witness requires specialized skills and intuition.

Guidepost Solutions has the experience, discretion and intelligence to conduct legal, thorough and cost-effective covert operations to provide our clients with the information they need. Our seasoned team includes former federal law enforcement agents and state and local police officers who possess a wealth of experience and know-how. From traditional stake-outs to high-tech surveillance to undercover sting operations, we will tailor a covert investigative strategy that effectively, reliably and discreetly uncovers the information or evidence sought.