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February 2024

Dear J.R.,

The purpose of this publication is to provide you with useful information about investigations and security. 


In this month’s VantagePoints, we discuss inflated charges for information derived from “confidential sources.”   


The information obtained by investigators from their sources can be essential to a given case, and is often hard to come by. However, exaggerating the level of difficulty in acquiring such information, in order to submit an unreasonably high invoice, is common – and it is wrong.     


Your comments about VantagePoints are greatly appreciated, and we invite you to contact us with any investigative topics of interest at [email protected]. We also hope you will suggest our newsletter to those in your professional circle. 



Founder, Owner, and Manager

Consider the Source: Unfounded fees for “confidential” information

It is commonplace for investigative firms to utilize a diverse assortment of resources to obtain information that is not available to the general public. Such information might be derived from human sources or electronic databases, and can be the product of years of development and refinement. The amount charged for such information can vary greatly, and a significant factor is the morality of the investigator.


Information that is hard to come by can be highly valuable. However, an exorbitant billing for something that seems difficult, but was obtained easily and inexpensively, is unjust. A case in point involves a matter in which ResultQuest was called upon to take over an investigation after another company had failed to meet a critical deadline. During the course of the work it was determined by one of our investigators that the previous company had billed an unreasonable amount for a nonpublished telephone number that was supposedly provided by a “confidential source” inside a telephone service provider. In actuality, the number was readily acquired from a voter registration card that the county registrar had failed to redact. The client succeeded in recovering a refund of the overcharge as a result of the discovery.


In another case, a bank account statement that helped establish evidence against an individual suspected of fraud had been provided by an investigations company to its client, along with a steep fee for “bank source information.” ResultQuest investigators later discovered that the actual source was the subject’s garbage can, and pointed out that, by misrepresenting that the bank provided the statement, the greedy investigator essentially admitted to a violation of federal law. Although an honest attribution might have been less lucrative, it would have been the better course of action.


The clients of ResultQuest have come to rely upon us as fair and honest in the way we use and bill for our sources. When you need” Knowledge for Informed Decisions,” call us at 713-781-9040. 

Next Edition Topic:

Measure Twice: The benefit of proactive surveillance planning

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Honesty is a very expensive gift.

Don't expect it from cheap people.

— Warren Buffett

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