A client company received intelligence from a key customer that one of their own marketing managers appeared to be selling services for another company. Our client had not given the manager any authorisation to sell any such services. The individual in question was highly trusted, however, and our client did not wish to make accusations without more solid evidence.
To determine the truth or otherwise of the accusations, without the manager becoming aware of the investigation.
• Deloitte agreed to acquire an image of the manager’s computer out of normal working hours. We attended the clients offices at 11:00 PM. We took digital photographs and carefully 'marked-up' the individuals work area to ensure that everything could be returned to its original condition when we finished our work. Only when the desk was fully marked-up and recorded did we remove the individual’s computer to a conference room where we acquired a forensic copy.
• When the copy was complete, we returned the individual’s desk to its original condition, and brought the forensic copy of his computer to our lab.
• We found the manager was in the advanced planning stages of setting up his own company in competition to his current employer.
• We found that he had attempted to entice a number of our client’s customers to defect to his new company.
• We also found that he had recruited a number of his colleagues to the new company as well.
• Our client placed the individual under suspension, and started immediate dismissal proceedings against him.
• Based on other findings, our client is considering injunction proceedings against the individual preventing him from using data he may have copied from our client's systems.
Deloitte is regularly requested to carry out investigations outside normal working hours. This approach allows our clients to establish the truth or otherwise of their suspicions without alerting the subject of the investigation or causing them or their colleagues undue concern. In many cases we have investigated we have found little or no evidence that the subject was guilty of the accusations made against them. In none of these cases did the subject ever find out they were investigated. In many other cases we have been able to prove the case against the subject. In these cases our clients have been able to act quickly to resolve the situation, without the individual involved having a chance to react or destroy evidence.
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