Private Investigators In Virginia

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Posts Tagged ‘investigation’

Competative Intelligence Update September 2013

Posted by Bill on October 8, 2013

One of the most popular sites for many investigators, attorneys and researchers is Sabrina I. Pacifici’s fantastic Competitive Intelligence site. See Competitive Intelligence Guide – Updated as of September 2013.

Sabrina I. Pacifici is Founder, Editor, Publisher of LLRX.Com; (established in 1996), the free web journal consistently recognized as a publisher of comprehensive, meticulously documented, non-partisan guides and content-rich resources, commentary and actionable information on Internet research and web-related current awareness issues invaluable to legal, academic, corporate, government and public interest researchers. LLRX  is a great site to keep up with all the latest in legal and technology resources.

Good reading and keep investigating and pay no attention to the forced WordPress Ads that pop up.

Bill Lowrance
Lowrance Law LLC
Attorney, Investigator and Legal Consultant

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, surveillance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Competitive Intelligence Update July 2012

Posted by Bill on August 26, 2012

One of the most popular sites for many investigators, attorneys and researchers is Sabrina I. Pacifici’s fantastic Competitive Intelligence site. See Competitive Intelligence Update July 2012

Sabrina I. Pacifici is Founder, Editor, Publisher of LLRX.Com; (established in 1996), the free web journal consistently recognized as a publisher of comprehensive, meticulously documented, non-partisan guides and content-rich resources, commentary and actionable information on Internet research and web-related current awareness issues invaluable to legal, academic, corporate, government and public interest researchers. LLRX  is a great site to keep up with all the latest in legal and technology resources.

Good reading and keep investigating.

Bill Lowrance
Lowrance Law LLC
Attorney, Investigator and Legal Consultant

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, private investigations, private investigator, Research | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Adultery in Virginia–Proving It

Posted by Bill on October 11, 2009

A popular topic in Virginia law is adultery. (NOTE: NO LEGAL OPINION HERE)  Usually, adultery is considered in light of grounds for divorce.  In Virginia there are two kinds of divorces: 1. bed and board divorce and 2. absolute divorce.  I am not going to bother using the latin terms that the Commonwealth favors, but suffice to say that the bed and board divorce amounts to a perpetual separation protecting persons and property. If you get a b&b divorce, you cannot remarry during the life of your ex spouse.  An absolute divorce, permanent and you can remarry, may be granted on one of three fault grounds or on a no-fault separation ground.

Adultery is one of the three grounds for an absolute divorce.  So, what is adultery? A person who, being married, voluntarily has sexual intercourse with another person who is not his/her spouse commits adultery.  If a spouse finds out about the adulterous act, he/she could file for an immediate divorce, but to get the divorce based on adultery, you must prove adultery by clear and convincing evidence based upon proven facts and reasonable inferences drawn from the facts. The Virginia courts have said that “strongly suspicious circumstances are insufficient.”

So, adultery can be proven based on circumstantial as well as direct evidence. It all depends on the facts in a case. A lot depends whether the trier of fact finds the witnesses credible. In addition, adultery grounds must be corroborated by a third party other than the husband/wife. Many people use private investigators to gather evidence of adultery, and the investigators may testify about their investigation.  The Virginis courts have noted in the past that a private investigator’s testimony will be subjected to the strictest scrutiny by the courts and acted upon with caution. 

In next post I will give examples from various Virginia cases dealing with adultery.

Bill Lowrance

NOTE: I am not giving legal opinion and I am not your lawyer if you read this page.

If you want my legal opinion contact me at 703 506 1600, www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, PIAVA, private investigator, surveillance, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New DOJ Manual Computer Crimes

Posted by Bill on October 11, 2009

Excellent DOJ manual on searching and seizing computers and obtaining electronic evidence in criminal cases.

Department of Justice, CCIPS (Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section) has just published an updated version of its computers and electronic evidence surveillance manual.  See it on the www.cybercrime.gov website here:  Here

Bill Lowrance

Posted in attorneys, computer forensics, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, private investigations, Research | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Finding An Investigator

Posted by Bill on September 21, 2009

Well, it has been a while since any good investigative resources were posted, but I will be back in the future.  No longer associated with PIAVA–Private Investigators Association of Virginia.  Good content will continue, however, for all those interested in investigations and investigative resources.  In fact, in you have a question about investigations or need investigative resources, call me for a consultation. 

I continue to operate a private investigation business at Information Insights Inc.com and I also opened a solo law practice–see Lowrance Law LLC.  I have many years of investigative and legal experience.  My legal practice includes family law matter–divorce, custody and support and most important enforcement of post divorce custody, support, visitation and other matters.  Contact me if I can assist you in legal or investigative matters.  Contact information is in upper left corner.

When hiring a private investigator always check the Department of Criminal Justice’s website to determine if the individual or business is properly licensed.  See VA DCJS

Also, check on the experience and dedication of anyone you employ as an investigator.  Fees for private investigators may range from $55 per hour to $150 per hour–sometimes even more depending on the type and complexity of the matter.  Remember the lowest charge does not always mean the best service–experience, education and professionalism count.

Bill Lowrance

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, private investigator, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pretexting Couple Plead Guilty

Posted by Bill on May 26, 2008

    In December 2007 we wrote about the indictment and arrest of several private investigators and personal information researchers pretexting the IRS, medical offices, Social Security Administration and others for personal information.  Click Here to Read 

This month, May 2008, the two main pretexting individuals, Emilio Torrella, 36, and Brandy Torrella, 27, whose company BNT Investigations in Belfair, WA, sold the data for $30 to $300 a record to private investigators who used their services.  The Torrellas obtained the information through false representations.  This month the couple pled guilty.

The Torellas, who owned BNT Investigations in Belfair, sold the data for $30 to $300 a record to private investigators who used their services.

The couple face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for aggravated identity theft, plus additional time for wire fraud and conspiracy.

The year-long investigation, dubbed “Operation Dialing for Dollars,” led to the couple’s indictment in December 2007, along with the indictment of seven private investigators and another Belfair man, BNT Investigations employee Steven Berwick. Cases against those eight are set for trial in September.  Read full news article Click Here Seattle PI. See Torrella Plea Agreement

BIll Lowrance

President PIAVA

 

Posted in Investigations, law enforcement, private detective, private investigations, private investigators | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

False Confessions

Posted by Bill on January 19, 2008

 interrogation.jpg Have you ever been interrogated?  Ever told the police what you think they want to hear?  Did you get convicted based on the confession?  Oh, you say, never happened to me.  It can happen.  Criminal defense investigators should be vigilant about the “false confession.”  Learn more Click Here and Here

These articles survey selected web-based resources and publications that shed light on the psychology and interrogation practices behind false confessions, as well as highlighting notable educational and bibliographic materials.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president at piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Research | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Private Investigator For the Defense

Posted by Bill on December 21, 2007

justice   A Sterling, VA, man, Edward Brown, is charged with aggravated malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of aggravated malicious wounding in the Jan. 26 shooting of Kevin Stottlemyer, 22.  Brown’s attorney, William Bassler, filed several motions, one such motion was to hire a private investigator.  Because Bassler is a court appointed attorney, the court must approve funding to hire a private investigator.  The court granted the request for the defense private investigator, but not until after the Commonwealth Attorney’s office objected to the defense hiring a private investigator.  See Winchester Star Article;

Frederick County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Glenn R. Williams objected to the request for the defense to hire a private investigator saying that Bassler, Brown’s defense attorney, had not shown a need for a private investigator.

I don’t know the situation in this case, but I do know that the American Bar Association and Virginia’s Rules of Professional Conduct apply special rules of ethics to public prosecutors.  The Rules provide that the prosecutor’s primary goal is to seek justice, not convict.  The prosecutor must assure that the defendant is tried by fair procedures and that guilt is decided on proper and sufficient evidence.  It seems that the hiring of a private investigator for the defense would assist the defense and the prosecutor in getting a fair trial.  The Commonwealth Attorney’s office should not object to the defense asking the court to hire a private investigator without sufficient and specific reasons

I hope there was sufficient protection in this matter for the defendant to get a fair trial. 

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FTC Realtime, part 2

Posted by Bill on December 10, 2007

The panel started at 1:45 p.m. with an introduction by Valerie Abend, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy, U.S. Department of Treasury.  She explained the many needs and uses of the SSN by the Treasury Department, including the I.R.S.

The following is a summary:

Robert Ryan, VP, TransUnion, talked about TransUnion’s use of the SSN as an identifier in processing of millions of daily information reports received by credit bureaus.   SSN is important to ensure correct application of information.  The SSN is used for unique credit reports for millions of individuals.  The SSN is necessary to identify the credit report.  SSN is important when a person disputes some information in the credit report especially when the information is not accurate.  Use SSN to maintain accuracy of identifying the right person.  TransUnion has to comply with many State and Federal laws that require use of SSN to identify people.

Stan Szwalbnest, JP Morgan Chase said they use SSNs for identifying accounts, identifying individuals, reporting earnings to I.R.S., reporting to law enforcement, help identify business records in disasters and many other ways. 

Roberta Meyer, American Council of Life insurances:  Insurance companies use SSN for identifying life insurance applicants, making reports in compliance with laws.  SSNs are universal, unique and do not change over time.  This helps identify persons for life insurance policies going for many many years.  SSN necessary to accurately identify persons for reports.  There are many, many ways that companies use the SSN to identify people for all kinds of internal/external reports.  Many State and Federal laws require use of SSN for reporting purposes.  Tax departments require earnings report by SSN.  The Bank Secrecy Act and the Patriot Act require specific “know your customer” rules and procedures.  The SSN is vital to this procedure.  Insurance companies have to use SSNs to comply with federal law requirng that companies do not hire employees convicted of fraudulent activities.  Many state laws require use of SSN regarding property transactions, long term care partner programs, which was expanded by recent legislation.  All these situations require use of SSN to identify the person.  SSNs are needed to identify persons for medical records to get correct records.  SSNs are used to administer retirement/benefit plans.  There are many other reasons for using the SSNs legitimate business and consumer purposes.

Robert Townsend, licensed professional investigator over 40 years.  His comments are from his work as a day to day investigator.  SSN should be used under particular circumstances for legitimate reasons.  Why PI get the SSN?  Paid to get and link all information associated with the SSN.  Obtaining and linking SSNs is all done for money. Client paid for background information.  If you prosecute the violators, prosecute the original client paying for the investigation in addition to person illegal obtaining SSN.

Use SSN locate missing children.  SSN is unique personal identifier to distinguished one person from another.  Limit SSN information to licensed PIs with insurance.  PI need to identify the person being investigated.  Special Master System?  If there is a legal case being investigated by attorney or an investigator, he suggests a system where the investigator gets a the equivalent of a civil search warrant.  Judges would review applications for such a civil search warrant to determine if legitimate action.  If litigation goes further and more information is needed to determine assets, relatives, trace funds.  Should have judicial approve of this further investigation.

Michael Lamb, LexisNexis.  Unique identifiers, such as SSNs, are necessary to combat ID theft.  Data thieves have always existed and they steal other peoples identity.  Need to give tools, such as SSN,to combat ID theft.  LN has information needed to assist and help consumers to fight ID theft and get there ID back or keep safe.  Lexis helps firms meet legal obligations under the KYC and other laws.  Assist LE and other police help in crime.

SSN is the unique ID and will never change as person’s address, telephone etc will change.  Use partial SSNs?  Have over 15K variation of Will Johnson in the Lexis database.  Using the SSN last four digits, there are over 4k Will Johnson sharing the same last 4 digits.  If applying for credit or a job, you want data system and information to be accurate.  SSN identifier assists this.  Using partial number make information less accurate possibly.  Taking away full SSN, anti fraud programs will not work as well.  If take away use of full SSN, consumer may be negatively affected in financial and business matters.  SSN used to trace benefits for retirement, recover missing children, assist in crime fighting.  Do you want to have less chance of helping consumers in crime fighting and finding information.

Annie Anton, ThePrivacyPlace.org.  Right now personal information about you is being exchanged by many businesses and government agencies including law enforcement.  SSN is defacto National ID number.  Privacy concerns because use SSN as personal identifier and authenticator.  The SSN should not be used as authenticator.  

That’s it for today.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, fraud, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hey! Facebook Wants You!

Posted by Bill on November 30, 2007

The Washington Post carried an article today about Facebook’s use of an advertising Beacon to spread the buying habits of Facebook members around to their friends and contacts.  Quote from article: “Sean Lane’s purchase was supposed to be a surprise for his wife. Then it appeared as a news headline — “Sean Lane bought 14k White Gold 1/5 ct Diamond Eternity Flower Ring from overstock.com” — last week on the social networking Web site Facebook.

See Washington Post Article.

Social sites like Facebook, MySpace and others are an entertaining feature of the Internet, but watch out!  Many people put a lot of personal information on these sites.  Above is an example of what can happen to your private, personal information if you are not very careful.  One of many investigative techniques is searching the social sites for personal information required for a legitimate investigation. 

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in Investigations, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »