Private Investigators In Virginia

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Talk About Pretexting? DOJ/FTC Investigate This!

Posted by Bill on December 19, 2007

spy   CIA     “They’re leaving “the Company” to snoop on your company.  How CIA agents are pushing corporate espionage to ominous new extremes.”  This is the opening sentence of an article in Conde Nast Portfolio.com. There is a slick story about Wal-Mart’s internal security department headed by a former senior security officer of the CIA and staffed by former agents from the CIA, FBI and other government agencies. 

The article says that several hundred former intelligence agents now work in corporate espionage, including some who left the CIA after 9/11.  They joined private investigation firms.  Further, the article says they engage in “cruder tactics already practiced by private investigators–pretexting.  “While private investigators have long posed as freelance reporters or job recruiters to get people to talk, former agents have elevated pretexting to an art” the article says.  They also use “high tech” GPS.  Some questionable investigative techniques used by these guys, according to the article, is “data haunts,” extreme electronic monitoring such as tracking cell phones and installing keystroke software.  The article said, “An ex-CIA agent described a group of his former colleagues who set up shop offshore so that they could tap into telephone calls–a practice prohibited by federal law–outside U.S. jurisdiction.”  “They call themselves the bad boys in the Bahamas,” he said.  One long time investigator is quoted in the article as saying, “that he recently lost business to some ex-CIA officers who promised a potential client that they could obtain the phone and bank records of a target.” 

You need to read the story to get the full jest of the tactics and techniques employed in this investigative world.  One company, using unusual techniques, is in federal court in Washington, DC, defending itself against KPMG and IPOC International Growth Fund Limited.  Our friend, Michael Thomas, of the Daily Caveat, covered these stories in more detail, see Here and Here

Oh well, it just gets curiouser and curiouser.  

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

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