Asset Searches: Defined By Matter Type and Scope

(Contact Beacon Network Investigations)

Generally, an asset search investigation is requested to determine a subject’s tangible assets-  quite often, ordered by a guardian ad litem to satisfy the court that there are no other recoverable assets when injuries exceed insurance policy limits, and just as often to determine financial stability of a prospective partner or employee, (the latter in a position of fiduciary trust).

 

A basic checklist for the legal professional is to:

1. Relay the need-to-know reason to your investigative specialist. A business partnership dissolution v. a medmal case requires a very different focus.

2. Obtain as much lead information from your client as possible. The more information the investigative specialist is given, quite often, the more she can return and, in a more cost-effective manner.

3. Local hard records are often more reliable than those compiled into generalized databases. The first step in recording any asset begins at a local level. Many information companies provide “nationwide” database information. The drawbacks to commencing an asset search on a “dumping ground” database basis first, however, are

a) records update lag (delays up to 18 months),

b) incorrect data collection errors (many nationwide databases can return results only with exact names – misspellings will often register “no hit” status) and

c) incomplete information.

Another aspect of an asset search is a true analysis of the date factors. For e.g., a real estate asset search may return with a negative hit for current property ownership but check the sale dates of the subject’s latest residences.  All too often we’ve come across a recent home sale, leaving the subject with a large sum of money.  Always pay attention to timelines.

So now you, the attorney,  have the subject’s tangible assets information. The subject owns a CPW pied-a-terre, a home in the Kensington section of Great Neck and a boat docked at the Huguenot Marina. The next step, from an investigative standpoint should be to determine if the subject has any liens, judgments, bankruptcies and other pending litigation, and from there, conduct a full criminal background check.

So how far is far enough with an asset search? Assess the potential settlement/judgment. For a large settlement/judgment, request a full background and asset search (certain convictions can prohibit a person from holding officer position in a business); medium settlement/judgment: basic background and asset search and for a small judgment: a basic asset search.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.

Anatomy of a Background Check; Information In An Initial Sweep.

background-check-2

With a fairly healthy dose of humor and an equal measure of alarm, I’ve listened, read, heard,  have been Tweeted, Facebooked and Tumblred to by representatives on all sides of the “gun control” (the gun has control – it is immobile and its product possesses kinetic energy only when put in motion) issue.  Almost all parties agree that an enhanced background check should be required for persons wishing to purchase firearms. That’s a throwaway sentiment.   How many people, besides those that have already been through a gun purchase background check, actually understand the process and the information contained in such a search?

We conduct background searches daily; the majority are on domestic subjects, and we also provide international services.  Our clients request background searches for a multitude of reasons ranging from pre-employment prerequisites, (I’ll get into the government-mandated employment eligibility program, EVerify, in another article. Althoug,h if you search the archives, I’ve already posted several on the matter.), to hiring a nanny to personal  financial stability of potential business partners. (We do not conduct background checks for purposes of investigating a potential personal partner, locating mistresses or suitability of a date.)

To follow is the bare bones information contained within a comprehensive check (the minimum required to possess a firearm, aside from the NCIC fingerprint and DNA checks):

COMPREHENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECK

DOE, ARMANDO J.

Subject Information:

Name: ARMANDO J. DOE

DOB: 5/20/1979

Age: 33

SSN: 123-45-6789 issued in New York between 5/20/1979 and 12/31/1979

Names Associated With Subject:

ARMAN DOE

ARMAND J. DOE

J. ARMANDO DOE

ARMAND JOHN DOE

A.J. DOE

Others Associated With Subjects SSN:

(DOES NOT indicate any type of fraud or deception)

THOMAS ROBERTSON DOB: 4/9/1967

================================================================

Address History:

135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420-2742                      (Jan 2011 – Dec 2012)

14-01 121st , COLLEGE POINT, NY 11356-3765                                          (Aug 2010 – Jan 2011)

P.O. BOX 5106, COLLEGE POINT, NY 11356-5106                                      (June 2007 – Dec 2012)

149-21 71ST ST, COLLEGE POINT, NY 11563-9823                                    (Feb 2003 – Nov 2008)

7 SUMMIT STREET, MALBA, NY , 11357-3476                                            (June 1990 – Mar 2006)

Information on Affiliated Addresses:

135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420-2742                      (Jan 2011 – Dec 2012)

Name Associated with Address:

ARMANDO J. DOE

Current Residents at Address:

ARMANDO J. DOE

DINA C. DOE

SARA DOE

718-555-1234   ARMANDO DOE

Property Ownership Information for this Address

Property:

Parcel Number – 50-40-21-09-1001

Book – 4761

Page – 1243

Owner Name:  SMITH, HERMAN

Owner Name 2: SMITH, ANNA LIA

Property Address: – 135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420-2742

Owner Address: 13247 SW 43RD ST,  PLANTATION,  FL 33309-2742

Sale Date – 02/03/2011

Sale Price – $320,000

Land Usage – MUTLI RES

Total Market Value – $438,850

Assessed Value – $438,850

Land Value – $100,950

Improvement Value – $118,010

Land Size – 16,789 Square Feet

Year Built – 2000

Seller Name: RIVINGTON, IAN & JANICE

Legal Description –  182-2400 B LOT 270

135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420-2742                      (Jan 2011 – Dec 2012)

Possible Properties Owned by Subject: 

Property: None found.

(THE REPORT CONTINUES LISTING ALL OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION – owner, owner address, sale date… – FOR EVERY ADDRESS ON RECORD FOR THE SUBJECT.)

Emails Associated W Subject:

AJDOE520@FLASH.NET

ARMANDOJD520@GMAIL.COM

ARMANDOJD05@HOTMAIL.COM

Phones Associated W Subject:

Name: ARMANDO DOE

Address: SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420

Phone Number:  718-555-1234

Phone Type:  Landline

Carrier:  Verizon

Name: DINA C. DOE

Address: 135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420-2742

Phone Number:  347-555-9518

Phone Type:  Mobile

Carrier:  VERIZON WIRELESS

Criminal Record Profile:

 National Criminal Record Search (Felonies & Major Misdemeanors):

       New York Arrest Report:

              Name: DOE, ARMANDO J.

              SSN: 123-45-6789

              Address: 135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 

              State of Origin: New York

              County of Origin: Queens

              Case Type Description: Queens County(NY)Arrest

              Arrests: 

Arrest #1

Arrest Date: 09/21/2010

Arresting Agency:  109, NYPD

Arrest Disposition Date:06/29/2012

Court Fine:          Offense: INTENT DIST/2Nd

Agency Case #:2011-675835G

Arrest Level/Degree: FELONY

Arrest Disposition: BOOKED


(The arrest will undoubtedly carry several charges.  Possession, attempt to distribute, resisting arrest, etc.  Each arrest charge will be separately defined – from charge to disposition.)

       New York Department of Corrections:

              Name: ARMANDO J. DOE

              SSN: 123-45-6789

              State of Origin: NY

              Inmate Number: 137869

              DOB: 05/20/1979

              Race: WHITE

              Sex: Male

              Eyes: GREEN

              Height: 6′ 00″

              Weight: 205

              Case Number: 0529234

              Case Type Description: Department Of Correction, NY

              Latest Admission Date: 09/21/2010    

State Criminal Record Search (Felonies & Major Misdemeanors):

(Repeats the Nationwide Search and may include ACDs – Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. In an ACD situation, the offender is on a conditional probation period of anywhere from six months to several years, depending on his/her criminal history.  If the person re-offends for any reason during this adjournment period, s/he can be re-arrested.  The follow up information will include every possible detail from co-defendant(s), arresting officers to court transciptionists to defense counsel/prosecutors to the presiding judges and every motion made on the case.  Per the number of arrests, this portion of a background check can run anywhere from several dozen to several hundred pages.)

Driver’s License Information: 

(Current)

Name:           ARMANDO J. DOE

State: New York

License Address: 135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420-2742

DOB: 05/20/1979

SSN : 123-45-6789

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: WHITE

Expiration Date: 05/20/2016

Issue Date: 03/13/2006

License Type: RENEWAL

License Class: Non-Commercial – Class D

Height: 6’00

Data Source: Governmental

(Previous)

Motor Vehicles Registered To Subject:

Vehicle:

Description: Blue 2001 Nissan Sentra – 4dr Sedan

VIN: 5NING01C8ST000001
Engine: 4 Cylinder 152 Cubic Inch — Gas Powered               State Of Origin: Pennsylvania

Anti Lock Brakes: 4 wheel standard

Air Conditioning: Standard

Daytime Running Lights: Standard

Power Steering: Standard

Power Brakes: Standard

Power Windows: Standard

Security System:  Standard Alarm

Roof: Standard

Price: 16750

Radio: AM/FM CD

Front Wheel Drive: No

Four Wheel Drive: No

Tilt Wheel: Standard

Registrant(s)

Record Type: CURRENT

Name: ARMANDO J. DOE

Address: 135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420-2742

DOB: 5/20/1979

Sex: Male

Age: 33

Tag Number: CFD9524

License State: NY

Earliest Registration Date: 6/12/2012

Latest Registration Date: 6/12/2012

Expiration Date: 6/11/2013

License Plate Type: Private

Title Number: 0219856887

Title Issue Date: 6/12/2012

Lien Holder(s)

Company Name: CHASE MANH

Address: 150 PARK PLACE, 23RD FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019

 (Report includes every vehicle ever owned or registered by the subject and all associated tags.)

Concealed Weapons Permit:  (This will include target permits.)

[None Found]

Possible or Previous Work Affiliations:

Name: ARMANDO J. DOE

Title: Manager

SSN: 123-45-6789

Company: ABCDE, LLC.

Address: 158-09 Northern Boulevard, Little Neck, NY  11363-4857

Dates: Dec 21, 2005

Corporate Affiliations:

[None Found]

Professional License(s): 

[None Found]

 FAA Certifications: 

[None Found]

FAA Aircrafts: 

[None Found]

Watercraft: 

[None Found]

Voter Registration:  

Name: ARMANDO J. DOE

Address: 135-23 122nd  ST, SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY 11420-2742

DOB: 5/20/1979

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: White

Political Party: UNDECLARED

State of Registration: New York

Status: ACTIVE

Hunting/Fishing Permit: 

[None Found]

Bankruptcies:

[None Found]

 Liens and Judgments:

[None Found]

UCC Filings: 

[None Found]

Possible Associates:  (Business)

Possible Relative Summary: 

>Immediate Relatives
>> 2nd Degree Relatives & AKAs on Immediate Relatives
>>> 3rd Degree Relatives & AKAs on 2nd Degree Relatives

(This section begins at the grandparents and continues through prior-divorce or death in-laws. Each item contains the person’s name, DOB, DOD, last known address/phone number and their 1st through 3rd degree relatives.  Then we run the subject through EVerify – subject matter for an upcoming article.)

END OF COMPREHENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECK REPORT. 

The above described background report is compiled from many diverse sources including, but not limited to,  governmental (federal, state and local) agencies (SSA, DMVs, DHS…),  consumer credit reporting companies and other reporting affiliates that may be indirectly or second/third-party affiliated to the subject (e.g., guarantor).  This is a low to average security level background check. There is additional research that occurs but the above sample report is representative of a first sweep on a background investigation.

Now we at least have a jumping off point to begin discussing enhanced background checks.  Debate away.

There is more to the above subject profiled than meets the eye.  All of the identifiers have been changed but this is a real background check – minus multiple pages of repetitive and unrelatable information.  Armando’s grandmother’s ex-and now dead- husband won’t make a difference. My point is that a comprehensive background check follows through very carefully and leaves enough markers for the reviewing investigator to pick up on if s/he decides there is reason to dig deeper.  I have trust that the security background search systems in place actually do work and have and will evolve as we meet new technological challenges for those wishing to circumvent their disqualifying past as it relates to gun purchases and in general.

Our operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay. safe.

Who Am I Dealing With?? Watching Your Back(ground) Checks.

Lately, we are requested quite often to research the backgrounds of prospective employees, personal and business partners and corporate entities.

With our now internet-enabled reach (not just to locate web-based information but to network with other investigative specialists), we are able to access nationwide data as to the personal, work and credit backgrounds of potential new hires.  We have gained the ability to likewise perform these background search services on a global basis for those seeking new business alliances, products and services.   Today, given the mobility and globalization of people and companies, often the backgrounds of the those with whom we might form potential partnerships are, at best based on hazy anecdotes and very basic, publicly available information.  Unfortunately, these types of non-professionally investigated histories can easily be manipulated, i.e., by net savvy perception managers.  For this, and many other reasons (personal security, access and information verification, to name several) we will always steer people away from the alleged “free” searches available online.  If one is serious about researching a potential employee or partner’s background, get it done right — by an experienced, highly rated private investigator.

Below we outline several types of background searches, their information yield and best applicability situations.

Basic Background Check, Individual:

Primary Uses:  Prospective new hires, subject identification, tenant verification.

Should yield:

  • DOB & Alias Names
  • SSN Verification
  • Address History (20 yr)
  • Address Summaries
  • Others Residing w/Subject
  • Possible Phone #s Associated w Subject (landline/mobile)
  • Email Addresses
  • Nationwide Criminal Profile (Includes State & Nationwide Criminal Databases, National Warrant Databases, Department of Correction Records, Nationwide Sex Offender Check)
  • Property Transactions
  • Civil Judgments, Tax Liens, & Evictions
  • Bankruptcies
  • Registered Vehicles *
  • DL Information *
  • Voter Registrations
  • Hunting & Fishing Permits
  • Professional Licenses
  • Possible Work Affiliations
  • Relatives & Associates

*In available states.

Recommendation: If the new hire will have access to accounting and or client information, we also suggest obtaining a release to conduct a standard asset search.

Comprehensive Background Check, Individual:

Primary Uses:  Prospective partners, major settlement/award cases, potential private care (nannies, housekeepers, home nursing aides…) and personal/business financial services providers (attorneys, accountants, brokers…)

Should yield:

  • All of the above plus :
  • Credit check (obtain authorization)
  • Financial background (to include but not limited to assets, banking information,  involvement in fraud investigations)
  • Professional background (to include but not limited to being a named party in any legal action, professional sanctions, industry rating)
  • Verified (in person/voice) and thorough reference checks

These are basic searches to conduct in the above referenced circumstances.  Of course, no two files will ever be the same and each search should be geared towards individualization.  A good professional investigator will know where to look and when to dig deeper.

As always, stay safe.