Business Investigations

Employee Absenteeism / Worker’s Compensation Matters.

Do you suspect an employee is absent from work under false pretences?

Are you a bit disillusioned with how your workers compensation insurer is handling your concerns?

We are experiencing a sharp increase in the number of businesses both large and small who approach us with suspicions that staff members who are absent due to an alleged illness or injury are in fact not as injured as they allege (or are even working elsewhere) whilst claiming worker’s compensation benefits –the cost of which is ultimately borne by that business.

In addition to this activity being illegal, it also impacts on your business by you being a staff member down, incurring overtime payments, the hiring of temporary replacement staff and the adverse effects on staff morale.

In order to take the appropriate action, you need to prove this activity is occurring.  Covert surveillance carried out by fully trained professionals ensures vital video evidence is obtained that will prove your suspicions.

Integral investigations has over 20 years of experience dealing with exactly this type of situation.

Franchise Investigations

Integral Investigations has conducted a large number of investigations on behalf of national and state Master Franchise Holders, whereby they have had concerns a particular franchisee was possibly not acting in accordance with their contractual obligations or the best interests of the franchiser.

Case Study No. 1

A large national franchiser was concerned one of their franchisees was not accurately reporting their takings. There was some speculation as to whether or not the franchise owner, who only worked in the business on a part-time basis, was personally responsible for the sudden drop in takings, or whether staff theft was the cause. Another consideration was whether there was some other unknown reason for a legitimate drop in customers.

Our investigators were hired to initially conduct surveillance at that franchise business and note the daily customer numbers. This was subsequently compared with the reported takings and a substantial anomaly was revealed.

We were then required to install a smoke detector at the premises – the premises were owned by the franchiser. However, this “smoke detector” had a hidden camera inside and was positioned to see the cash register and the amounts it recorded with each sale. Staff theft is often facilitated by staff ringing up a lesser amount on a register, but providing the customer with the correct change for the full amount. They then later pocket the difference.  A few dollars reduction on hundreds of transactions over a single week becomes quite a significant amount.

Our efforts resulted in two staff members being identified as responsible for the reduction in takings.

Case Study No. 2

We were contacted by a state franchise holder who had concerns one of their franchisees was conducting business under his own business name and not that of the franchise.

Preliminary searches had established the franchisee was advertising in a local paper under his old business name. The franchise involved a particular trade service and we contacted him by telephone to undertake the installation of some equipment. Those telephone conversations were legally recorded and on his attendance to install that equipment, video was taken of his franchise vehicle, which now advertised his other business.  Covert video (with audio) was also taken as he undertook the installation, which also showed the branding of his other business name on a polo short he wore.

During our general discussions with the subject of our inquiry, we were able to obtain information as to his current workload, planned relocation of the business and other information, which was highly relevant to our client’s interests.

At the conclusion of the installation, paperwork was obtained clearly showing the subject’s business name and his signature.

All of the collected evidence, including a detailed Statutory Declaration of our activities, were supplied to our client’s lawyers to support anticipated litigation.

Intellectual Property Investigations

Protecting intellectual property and trade secrets has become increasingly difficult in the age of global networking and international competition. If you have a concern involving proprietary information, Integral Investigations can help you discover where and how the information is being compromised. We can help you locate the principals and contain the problem.

We work with companies to protect their intellectual assets domestically and abroad. We effectively use diverse assets to develop the information you need to control your intellectual property.

Our investigation of counterfeit products, copyright infringement and intellectual property theft includes research of violations, identity, location and the background profiles of perpetrators. We also conduct surveillance at manufacturing or retail locations and can place undercover operatives at all levels of production and sales. Our services also include procurement of evidence, maintaining the chain of evidence and court testimony.

Contact Us for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you.

Are your staff ripping you off?

Are your staff pilfering from the till, lifting goods from your shelves or offering ‘very special’ deals to friends and family? Are warehouse staff helping themselves to your goods?

CCTV systems, store security and tagging are all used to prevent staff theft, but staff theft is very insidious and very hard to pin-point. Let’s face it, employees are in the perfect position to steal from your business; they are aware of the weaknesses in your systems and they know who the supervisors and security personnel are.

To make matters worse, in a retail environment staff typically steal more than customers; much more – around ten times as much.

Some surprising facts

A majority of employee theft goes undetected by management.

  • Nearly one third of all business failures have been linked to employee theft.
  • Most thefts committed by employees go unreported – (Australian Institute of Criminology).
  • Nearly every business experiences some degree of employee theft.
  • In Australia theft by staff is estimated at $500 million per annum – (National Retail Crime Prevention Council)
  • Employees committed almost 80 per cent of fraud – (Results from 2 year study of fraud by KPMG)
  • A majority of honest employees look the other way regarding employee theft and fail to report it.
  • Dishonest employees steal to the degree the system allows and don’t stop until they are caught.

Internal theft in the workplace can include: –

  • Outright theft of goods and/or money.
  • Under-charging accomplices.
  • Changing delivery dockets.
  • Under-ringing or not ringing up purchases at the cash register.
  • Altering the shrinkage records.
  • Using company time and/or facilities for personal matters.
  • Increasing creditors’ invoices and keeping the difference.
  • Falsifying “voids” or “refunds”.
  • Fraudulent refunding.

How Private Investigators Can Help

Covert (hidden) video surveillance is an extremely effective means of detecting unlawful activity and will identify internal theft and other unlawful workplace activities where conventional methods of detection are ineffective. It also provides a visual record of what actually transpired and can pinpoint the exact source of your losses. In the event of an actual theft, the recordings (which are time and date stamped) can provide critical evidence for an investigation or unfair dismissal claim.

We are also able to provide your business with fully licensed in-store undercover staff to monitor not only staff theft issues, but also provide your business with additional information on: –

  • Staff morale.
  • Unsafe work practices.
  • Sexual harassment issues.
  • Improper junior management practices.
  • Inappropriate staff absenteeism.

Business Background Checks

An objective, accurate business background check can provide the critical information needed for making informed business decisions about with whom you do business and at what price.

We can assist in obtaining the following information on businesses in Australia or worldwide: –

  • Full company / business extracts.
  • Credit risk factors.
  • Past defaults and  judgements.
  • Current or pending lawsuits.
  • Business / corporate registrations & licenses.
  • Past bankruptcies of key personnel.
  • Additional background information about key personnel.
  • Other business involvements by key personnel.
  • Customer base and retail activities.
  • Customer satisfaction.
  • Products / services offered.
  • Operational standards / quality control.
  • Domain name registrations.
  • Trademarks.
  • Property ownership.
  • Whether the business is hiring or firing employees.
  • Business rumours and gossip.