To begin, why would both internal theft and corporate espionage be in the same article about private investigative services? Corporate espionage is the theft of intangible and intellectual property, and it often involves a company insider or employee. So, we’re talking about theft from a company, whether equipment, products, or intellectual property.
Inventory theft is common, especially in larger warehoused inventory situations. The threat increases if the products sold by your competitors are very similar or identical to your products. Suppose you import items, from electronics to home decor, from overseas. Those suppliers will be soliciting business from every company like yours they can contact. This means you’ll be selling identical items to others.
When you’re in this situation, theft of your inventory means that the competitor, or those wishing to sell to your competitor, can quickly move what they sell. In our investigations, we’ve uncovered employees actually taking orders from competitors and filling then with “midnight requisitions” from their employer’s shelves.
Embezzlement or Theft of Money
Also common is the theft of money from a company. Employees handling money, collecting for sales, paying vendors, and other money-related tasks, are often in positions of trust that can be abused. They’re in positions that make it easy to short the register, falsify invoices or register receipts, or in other ways indicate sales and cash collections that are understated. They can pocket the difference without the employer noticing, often for long periods of time.
Sometimes it’s more sophisticated. Accounting manipulations can understate income and overstate expenses in order to hide cash that can be siphoned away from the company without easy detection.
Intellectual Property Theft
This can be theft that can severely damage a company. When your business has trademarks, patents, proprietary product formulas or components, or confidential plans for expansion or new products or services, you do your best to protect them. Your competition is always watching and waiting for opportunities to beat you to market or provide a better widget or service.
Sometimes they do more than just watch. From bugging your phone systems to covert cameras and recording devices inside your business, they seek to steal your secrets and use them against you. Our job is to discover what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and to stop the theft.
Investigative Tools for Internal Theft and Corporate Espionage
With the wide differences between what is being stolen and how, the investigative techniques and tools we use at Kimmons Investigations vary with the goal of discovery in mind. We employ diverse personnel skills, physical surveillance, and high tech forensics to uncover theft of materials, intellectual property, and corporate espionage:
- physical surveillance, 24/7 if necessary.
- personal and vehicle tracking.
- bug detection and debugging equipment.
- computer forensics.
- records searches.
- interviews and taking of statements.
- covert camera installations.
The goal of Kimmons Investigations is to not only uncover theft but also to determine the culprits. Our tools are state of the art and our personnel well-trained. We want to uncover what happened, quantify your losses, determine who to charge, and we’ll provide the evidence you need to bring them to justice.