Teachout Security Solutions


The Basics of Background Investigations

Imagine if you had a wealthy uncle who loved you very much, but after his death, you discovered that he had left his entire estate to his homecare nurse. You see the will and it is witnessed by a local notary. Everything appears to be legal, but your gut tells you something is amiss. What would you do? This doesn’t appear to be something you could just go online and research. This is the type of case that requires a professional investigator.

Teachout Security Solutions is our name. Investigations are our game.

One of our investigators had a case much like that scenario very early in his career. He did a thorough investigation of the documents, cross-referencing county records, and discovered that the person who had “witnessed” the contested will had, in fact, died a few days before they had reportedly signed the document. It may sound like the stuff of suspense novels, but investigative work can be pretty mundane stuff. The satisfaction we get is in knowing that we have had a part in righting a wrong or helping someone put their life back together.

There are many different services we offer under the umbrella of background investigations. For basic background checks typically used for entry level employment, we use an electronic self-serve background checking service. We are basically trying to find out if the person is trustworthy and suitable for the position. This service covers discovering and verifying previous addresses, previous employment, criminal and civil court histories, and sex offender registries. The court histories are limited by the availability of electronic records. In Michigan, for example, only about 15% of courts have their records online.

For management and executive positions, the trust level is higher as is the responsibility and the risk, so a more thorough investigation is often warranted. This involves using a social security number trace to identify jurisdictions the person lived in and physically going to the courts in those areas to check court histories. We also check with previous employers, neighbors, and associates. Occasionally a surreptitious interview of the actual subject may be conducted. We will often look into personal property or business ownership/interests, financial records, memberships, hobbies, and social media profiles.

If we are working for an attorney doing an investigation of persons involved in litigation, we often look for indications that the person(s) may not be credible or have a history of pursuing cases with no merit. In these cases, the goal is to come up with information that can help the attorney prevail in court.

Our higher-level investigations are managed by subject matter experts with extensive experience in conducting these types of investigations. They know that the best way to conduct a thorough investigation is the old fashioned way: boots on the ground, going through records, making endless phone calls, talking to people who know the subject of the investigation, and following up on every bit of information you uncover.

Our work product stays in our confidential files unless the client specifically requests a written report. A lot of people who hire us to conduct an in-depth investigation do not want a written report because they don’t want to have to provide it to opposing counsel during discovery.

It may help us to know WHY we are conducting the investigation, but that is a question that is often left up to courts and therapists to determine. In the end, we are just trying to answer the who, what, when, and where questions. That’s something we do pretty darn well.

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