Auto body shop owner conned out of life savings. Man surrendered $60,000 in bogus car-shipping business deal, police say.

A recent article published by the Toronto Star highlights the need for doing due diligence prior to entering into new business deals or transactions!!!  View Article.

Is your due diligence investigation program up-to-date?

As a leading provider of due diligence investigations, we have been conducting due diligence investigations of all sorts for nearly two decades now.   Many of our first clients are still with us and together we have pushed boundaries as the evolution of what constitutes due diligence has taken place.

Due diligence is no longer a term that can be used to describe a cursory investigation process that focuses solely on surface or superficial information.

Today’s standard of due diligence now requires a much deeper investigation that is broadly focused on obtaining ALL relevant information and / or verifying ALL material facts that may assist the client in determining the potential risk of a transaction.

For example, it may not enough to simply know a company is legally registered. You may need to independently verify all of the information obtained from the corporate registration.   Does the company operate at the address provided? Who are the named principals and what is their relationship to the company? Does the company use other operating or trade names? Have there been recent changes that may affect the transaction in question or the quality of the investigation? If you really want to identify red flags or areas of concern … you have to dig deeper.

As with all business decisions, investigation budgets and time constraints may limited a client’s desire or ability to meet today’s standard of due diligence.   Many operate under the misapprehension that some due diligence is better than no due diligence and in some cases that may prove to be true. But from my experience, I find that this often leads to an mistaken sense of confidence leading clients to take more risk than they may otherwise would have.

If you have been conducting the same due diligence investigation for years, it may be time to re-evaluate and improve upon it. Ensure that the due diligence investigation you have is designed to meet your specific needs and objectives.

2014 M&A AWARD WINNER – DUE DILIGENCE FIRM OF THE YEAR: CANADA

M&A 2014 AwardsI am pleased to announce that ENVIRO-LYNX INVESTIGATIONS has just been named a 2014 M&A Award Winner for DUE DILIGENCE FIRM OF THE YEAR: CANADA by Acquisition International.

Enviro-Lynx Investigation also won the M&A Award for Fraud Investigator of the Year: Canada in 2012 AND 2013.

For more information on this award, you can visit the Acquisition International’s M&A Awards site. You can also view more information and regular updates on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/EnviroLynxInvestigations.

Failure to screen candidates properly leads to expensive mistakes!

Savvy consumers don’t buy a car or a house without first taking a good look at what we are buying.  Likewise, employers shouldn’t be hiring employees or employing third parties (individuals or companies) without first understanding who they are and what their background is.

We offer a number of screening services as well as background and due diligence programs that will help you reduce your risk and improve your decision making process by providing you with the most accurate, up-to-date information possible.

2013 FRAUD INVESTIGATOR OF THE YEAR – CANADA

Enviro-Lynx Investigation has just won the 2013 FRAUD INVESTIGATOR OF THE YEAR – CANADA award by Acquisition International –  the sponsors of the M&A Awards!  Enviro-Lynx Investigation has previously won this award in 2012.

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For more information, you can visit Acquisition International website for the list of the 2013 Award Winners at: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/a87cf23c#/a87cf23c/1

When to call an investigative specialist for your next due diligence investigation?

There is certainly no shortage of service providers that claim to provide professional due diligence services.  It’s a fairly new trend that has been picking up steam and public record companies, investigative database companies, online information brokers and investigation companies are jumping on the band wagon, head first.

But before you select a service provider, there are a few things you should consider.

Public record companies are not licensed investigation agencies nor do they employ investigators or researchers.  They can conduct a group of searches that they will call a ‘due diligence investigation’ quickly and cheaply however they will require that you provide all of the party information (legal names, dates of birth, addresses etc) needed for the searches to be conducted.   Then they conduct the searches and provide the results.  Which is great if you know exactly what you want and you have all of the correct information to start with.

Since public record companies are not licensed agencies, they can’t use any investigative skills, tools or resources while conducting a due diligence investigation.  They just conduct the searches that were requested using the information provided.  So if you requested several ‘due diligence’ searches to be conducted on a company called ABC Management Inc and the actual legal name of the company was  ABC Management Group Inc, most if not all of your searches would come back with inaccurate results.  Likewise, if you thought ABC Management Group Inc was located in Toronto but it was actually located in York Region, your searches would come back with inaccurate results.  The worst thing is, you may not even know that you have inaccurate results and using this information to make key decisions might lead to significant risk. 

Companies that sell information through investigative databases as well as online information brokers also claim to meet all of your due diligence needs.  And they do a great job of providing large amounts of data for one great price.  The only problem is that they are first and foremost data aggregators.  Not only is their data notorious for being flawed, no one company has complete coverage of all information resources.  So knowing which database to use, when to use it and how to use it becomes key.  These resources are generally used by skilled investigators that can search the appropriate resources, compile the data, analyse the data and then verify the data through other sources.  So although these investigative databases and online information brokers market directly to the end consumer, the data they provide is only a small part of what is required to conduct an actual due diligence investigation.  Don’t be fooled into thinking you have all the information because you obtained an investigative report on a subject.  Relying on such a report to make key decisions might lead to significant risk.    

When our company first opened for business, we choose to specialize in due diligence and business background investigations.  Over the past 15 years, our skills have improved, our resources have grown and our products and services are much more comprehensive. In fact, most of our clients were other investigators who needed our specialized services.

Over the past few years however, private investigators have become more computer savvy and have started offering their own due diligence services.  Granted, there are some investigation companies that have done a great job at creating specialized due diligence departments in-house while other companies have gone on to specialize in pre-employment screening and background checks.  But there are many more investigation companies that consider due diligence nothing more than doing a few public record searches.  And few companies are actually able to go beyond the basics.

It takes a keen understanding of what due diligence is required to achieve the client’s goals, specialized knowledge, an analytical approach, an investigators eye and most of all, access to the right resources to conduct a well designed, comprehensive due diligence investigation.  

That’s why we employ only individuals with a business or research background who are ALSO Certified Professional Investigators, Certified Fraud Examiners and open source intelligence specialists.

It’s also why we constantly upgrade our skills, maintain subscriptions to several hundred professional databases worldwide, have access to hundreds of thousands online and on-the-ground resources, incorporate cutting edge technology into our investigations and reporting formats and maintain a large network of investigative professionals worldwide.

Our personal, hands on approach to due diligence and business background investigations means that each investigation is conducted by a team of investigative professionals and coordinated by company’s owner and operations manager.

Our goal is to provide our clients with the due diligence they need to make informed decisions.  We also consider it our responsibility to help educate people on the benefits of effective due diligence.  So if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

2013 Starts with a Bang

As fraud investigators, we are somewhat accustomed to hearing fraud story after fraud story but it did surprise us that within the first week of 2013, we came across no less than 25 articles in local newspapers about fraud victims, schemes and individuals arrested in fraud related cases. Not a great way to start the year …