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A reminder to our attorney clients - we have an informative CLE program, approved by the State Bar of Texas, which provides ways to ensure your investigation adds value to your case.  Call us at 713/781-9040 to arrange a convenient, complimentary presentation at your offices.
Next Edition Topics:

Killing the Goose: Inflated invoices for investigative services.

Over the Line: When investigators make unethical inquiries.

This month's publication of VantagePoints, offers two articles concerning deceptive identity information. The first discusses some ways corporate policies on conflicts of interest in contract bidding are circumvented, thereby producing a flawed or rigged bidding process that could damage a company's reputation.  
The second article provides tips on how to avoid being taken in by fraud artists who use false identity information to cover their trail, and highlights the importance of taking a proactive stance to fully identify potential business partners.
The investigative professionals of ResultQuest® have many years of experience in compiling background profiles on prospective contractors and partners. Call us to discuss ways we can help you Achieve a Superior Position® in entering into business deals.
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Too Close for Comfort: When employees' friends and relatives become vendors
Most companies with effective audit controls and policies have some degree of prohibition against the awarding of jobs and contracts to close friends, relatives, and business partners of employees. This helps the company avoid the perception of favoritism, and prevents undue advantages based upon relationships with insiders - advantages that frequently evolve into fraudulent activities. Regrettably, there are those individuals who attempt to circumvent policies by concealing the existence of such an organizational conflict of interest.
Over the years, the investigative professionals of ResultQuest® have repeatedly uncovered instances in which lucrative contracts have been let to those who had close ties to company insiders, and should have been disqualified in accordance with corporate policy. In almost every case, overt attempts were made to improperly shield the relationships. Usually our inquiry was triggered when the contractor failed to measure up to performance standards, or upon discovery of irregularities that arose during the course of the contract.
Attempts to hide contractor conflicts of interest that we have uncovered include:
  • Use of variant or fictitious names
  • Recruitment of straw business registrants
  • Creation of phantom companies
  • Setting up layered ownership structures
  • Failure to disclose the identity of conflicted shareholders
  • Utilization of brokers or subcontractors
The majority of the deceptive efforts to conceal were discovered by ResultQuest® early in the course of investigation, and in most instances... Read More
Hide the Bodies: Attempts by bad actors to shield their true identity
The media is filled with accounts of fraud artists who wreak havoc on unsuspecting victims, only to move on and take up in another place, then engage in a repeat performance. Chronic perpetrators of fraud usually leave a trail of evidence of illicit behavior in their wake, such as lawsuits, liens, judgments, and criminal complaints. In order to prevent potential victims from discovering their lawless behavior they routinely provide false information about their identity.
The misleading identifying information can be as subtle as using a middle name as a first name, or slightly misspelling a surname, such as using "Mac" instead of "Mc." If the fraudster has a common surname such as Smith, the use of a false date of birth can make it harder to connect the person with past schemes. Or the attempt to cover a trail might entail the use of somebody else's identity altogether - usually an innocent person with a good history and reputation.
Regardless to what lengths the misrepresentation goes, a skilled investigator will normally find warning signs that someone is not who they say they are. This makes it essential that anyone with whom you are making a substantial investment provide a detailed résumé, and an authorization and release to conduct a background investigation. The team at ResultQuest has conducted hundreds of such investigations, and in many instances has detected irregularities that helped clients avert a potential disaster.
Among the red flags of identity misrepresentation discovered by ResultQuest over the years are:
  • Unverifiable Social Security number
  • Gaps or inconsistencies in address history
  • Inability to produce a verifiable work history
  • No associated driver license
  • Unsupportable education or degrees
  • Lack of any public record references
When dealing with strangers, it is best to invest in a comprehensive background analysis and avoid a costly lesson at the hands of a fraudster. The professionals at ResultQuest stand ready to provide you with Knowledge for Informed Decisions® about prospective business partners. Call us at 713/781-9040 to discuss ways we can help.