FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CROSStrax acquires PI DIRECT LINK
DESTIN, FL – October 24, 2018 – (CROSStrax acquires PI Direct Link) – CROSStrax LLC, an industry-leading investigation case management solution, announced it has acquired PI Direct Link, a full-service investigation case management software platform. The purchase will allow CROSStrax to scale its users and better serve the technology and development needs of both organizations.
The asset purchase of PI Direct Link fits into the overall CROSStrax strategy to develop, maintain, and enhance our user experience in the investigative community. By purchasing the company, CROSStrax will continue to provide case management services to investigation related businesses throughout the world.
Brian DeAntonio, President of CROSStrax, commented:
“Our acquisition of PI Direct Link significantly complements the overall client base of CROSStrax, allowing us to focus on our up-and-coming offering, the CROSStrax Community. This investment represents an important strategic opportunity to grow an already momentous base of investigative customers. Yes, the acquisition significantly adds to our increasing customer base but more importantly, the geographic presence of our customers.”
Brad Dalhover, Vice President of Business Development of CROSStrax, commented:
“During our initial discussions, it was clear, the vision and goals of the two companies were similar. Bringing both companies together will prove to be a great asset to the investigative industry and I am excited to be a part of CROSStrax,” said Brad Dalhover, CEO, and founder of PI Direct Link.
Mr. Dalhover will join the CROSStrax Team of industry experts supporting the CROSStrax platform and will serve as Vice President of Business Development. Mr. Dalhover will continue to strengthen the already strong relationships he has built since 2012, work to form new relationships and bring awareness to the intuitive features of the CROSStrax software platform.
CROSStrax, a worldwide provider of investigation case management cloud-based software, provides enterprise level solutions to the investigative community. The company offers the most comprehensive arsenal of investigation tools that will help business owners and department heads close cases quicker, with a greater level of security than ever before. More information can be found about CROSStrax at the company’s website www.crosstrax.co.
SOURCE: CROSStrax LLC
I don’t have enough cases.
The single most common excuse we hear from private investigators across the country. Here are a few examples:
Do you currently use a case management system or software? The single most common excuse we hear from private investigators across the country.
Here are a few examples:
Do you currently use a case management system or software?
“No, I don’t have enough cases”
Would you be interested in checking out a free trial of our software to see how it is helping PI’s? “No, I don’t have enough cases.”
Are you familiar with CROSStrax? Yes. I like the product but I do not have enough cases to justify the expense.
What do companies like G4S, Litigation Solutions and Covent Bridge have in common? They have teams of programmers, IT specialists and consultants working on a daily basis to help improve the technological capabilities of the company. Do you have that?
PI’s often complain that large companies like the ones above get all of the cases and try to subcontract out to PI’s at a reduced rate. That is completely avoidable. Compete with them on a technological level and get those cases yourself.
In the late 1990’s, Omega Insurance Services, which was bought by First Advantage, which was bought by Global Options, which then became Covent Bridge I believe through a series of huge mergers with similar large investigative companies such as ICS Merrill, became one of the largest investigative companies in a matter of a few years.
How? Technology! There had to be more people working on the technology solutions, then there were people working in the office and in the field. Omega figured out, through the use of technology, how to deliver information to the client quicker, more efficiently, and in a more impressive manner than their competitors. Their marketing strategy leveraged and showed off their capabilities. Are you doing that?
Their competitors were sending bulky VHS tapes in large envelopes which the client would receive in three to five days. Omega was delivering video snippets and case updates on a daily basis via their case management platform. What are you doing to separate yourself from your competition?
One of our favorite quotes from industry people came during a webinar we did with Jimmie Mesis at PI Magazine. When discussing price, one of the attendees said they could not afford $19 per month. Jimmie responded and told the investigator if he was unwilling to invest $19 per month in his business, it was time to find another job.
This is what we at CROSStrax do. Let us be your team of programmers and IT specialists. Let us show you how a case management system can make yesterday the last time you say “I don’t have enough cases.”
Learn more about CROSStrax at www.crosstrax.co or email us at email@example.com
Preparing a State Insurance Fraud Referral
As a private investigator, you may focus your business on insurance and claims related work. If that’s the case, have you ever submitted a state insurance fraud referral? If you said no, your not alone by any means; however, being able to do so will certainly set you apart from your competition.
Every state has their own way of doing things but the general idea remains consistent, identify the state statutes that were violated, determine the elements of the statute and match them to your case, and pull out all of the evidence from your investigation and the claims file to support your belief that fraud was committed. It’s no different from what a detective in a police department does with crimes he/she may be investigating.
This need for private-public cooperation in the battle against insurance fraud has led to the enactment of state fraud reporting laws that facilitate insurance fraud referrals while affording insurers a measure of insulation from civil liability for defamation or bad faith. However, these laws sometimes referred to as “immunity acts”, do not create an impenetrable shield to insurers who provide evidence of suspected fraud to law enforcement. A finding that an insurer or investigator acted with malice or bad faith during the referral process can completely undercut any immunity and lead to costly litigation. Simply be professional and act in good faith at all times and the state immunity laws will provide adequate protection against frivolous lawsuits.
Got MILK? Got FRAUD!
Who would have thought the word milk would have so much relevance to the world of insurance fraud? I’ve always told people, if you have MILK, you have fraud. No, no, not the liquid milk, the acronym M.I.L.K.
- Materiality – was the activity in some way material to the case?
- Intent – was the activity done intentionally?
- Lie – did the subject lie about something for the purposes of concealment?
- Knowledge – did the subject know what he was doing was wrong?
If you can prove these four elements, you most likely have a solid case of fraud and can prove it.
Who do I submit my state insurance fraud referral to?
Although the governing authorities vary by state, most states have an organized insurance fraud bureau; the investigators there will be your first point of contact. This doesn’t mean that you won’t speak with other people during the process, it’s just where you’ll start. You will most likely discuss the case with a state attorney who will use you to get up to speed on what happened and what you’re alleging.
There have been times when I feel I have a solid case but the investigator assigned from the fraud bureau just doesn’t see it my way. Because I’ve reported so many of these, I know what state attorneys are looking for and in some narrowly tailored situations, I’ll take my case right to the Assistant State Attorney (ASA) to review the salient facts and generate some interest in the case. I recommend not doing this too often you want to develop a good working relationship with the state investigators. Going to the ASA on every case they say no to will certainly anger even the most patient of investigators.
Keys to a Successful Fraud Prosecution
- Know and follow the requirements and limitations of applicable fraud statutes.
- Limit company representatives involved in referrals. Insurance fraud referrals and responses to requests for information from law enforcement should only be handled by designated special investigations units or claims personnel.
- Document, document, document. The importance of documenting everything sent to or received from law enforcement or prosecutors and maintaining that documentation cannot be overstated.
- Provide the good, the bad and the ugly. If it’s material, report it.
How do I prepare the actual referral?
Now that you know fraud exists, you have to express it to someone else in a written referral. It’s like the longest school project you’ve ever been assigned! You’ll have to answer the who, what, where, when, and how of the case.
In this post, I’ll break down the most important topics and the sequence you should submit them in the final referral.
The general information section basically covers the “who” is involved in the referral. Here you will provide information on the subject or suspect, the insurance company, and any involved agencies, such as the police, the fraud bureau, or even the state attorney.
This is important because whoever is working on the file may be duplicating efforts, or worse, stepping on another agencies toes.
Statement of Facts
This section will most certainly be the most voluminous. In this section, you will document every fact that has led you to the conclusion fraud was committed.
Facts can come from many different places. For instance:
- Investigation Reports
- Claims Notes
- Depositions and Statements
- Medical Records and Medical Professionals
- ISO Reports (Claims History Report)
- Database Searches
Seeing all of these possibilities, you can see why it’s so important to outline the fraud in a documented referral. Giving the ASA a solid case that they don’t have to do too much with will go a long way in whether or not they accept the file. The days of slamming a huge box of paperwork in an ASA’s office and saying, “…there is fraud in that box” are over.
Within the Statement of Facts, you’ll be including a section called Material Misrepresentation. In this section, you’ll outline where, when, and how the suspect committed fraud. Address how the suspect misrepresented himself, his injury, or anything else he may have intentionally misrepresented during the claim process.
Current Status of the Claim
The people reading your report will want to know where the claim stands currently. Is the claim denied, still active? Is the suspect still getting paid, or not getting paid?
In most cases, the claim will have been denied but there still may be medical expenses that need to continue being paid.
Date of Discovery of Suspected Fraud
Pretty basic. What date did you determine fraud existed?
You’ll write something like, “Potential fraud has been established as of April 10, 2014.”
Some people make the mistake of using the date of loss as the date the fraud was discovered. The date at which point restitution can be ordered is the date the fraud was discovered and that could be years into a claim.
A statute is a written law enacted by a legislature. The statutes you will deal with most frequently regarding insurance fraud, are state-level statutes. Keeping in mind, there may be other statutes, other than just insurance fraud, that is applicable to your referral.
For instance, if the suspect lied during a deposition, he may have committed purgery. Insurance fraud is theft, so if you have a situation where the restitution you’re requesting is greater than a certain amount of money (usually $500 or so), your suspect may have committed grand theft, or conspiracy to commit grand theft.
You must research the laws and determine what statutes are applicable to your case. Once you determine the statutes you’ll be using, it’s important to determine what degree of the crime is applicable. For instance, in Florida, an offense will be charged as Grand Theft in the First Degree if the property that was stolen is valued at $100,000 or more. An offense will be charged as Grand Theft in the Second Degree if the property that was stolen is valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000.
For instance, in Florida, an offense will be charged as Grand Theft in the First Degree if the property that was stolen is valued at $100,000 or more. An offense will be charged as Grand Theft in the Second Degree if the property that was stolen is valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000.
Based on what you’re asking for in restitution, that could change the statute you want to use significantly, and in turn, will also change the prevailing penalty. FindLaw has an excellent website that goes over all of the insurance fraud statutes by state.
Loss and Restitution
In this section, you’ll be defining how much money was allegedly bilked from the insurance company and what you would like to see in restitution be returned back to your client.
These amounts may vary greatly, some over $100,000, some just a few hundred dollars. No matter the amount, it’s important that you don’t lose sight of the fact the reason you’re submitting the referral isn’t just punitive in nature. You want your client to be made whole again and get the money back they lost.
Why not just sue them and get a judgment? Good question. Because insurance fraud is stealing and against the law. Also, if you are able to tie the restitution to their possible conviction and sentencing, even if the sentence is just probation, you will have a much greater chance of getting the money back than if a civil court issues a judgment. If they default on payments during the probationary period, they violated the terms of their probation and may have to serve the original sentence in its entirety.
Are you aware, on a national level, if insurance fraud was a business, it would be a Fortune 500 company, according to national reports? It is, by all accounts, the second largest economic crime in America; only tax evasion exceeds it.
You will be required to submit a list of prospective witnesses. A witness list is comprised of the players involved in the case. It’s proper to provide their names, addresses, and contact information, along with what role they played in the claim.
If either party desires the testimony of a given witness, that party must take the appropriate steps to obtain the witness’s presence at an appropriate time and in an appropriate fashion. Failure to include a witness on the required witness lists may result in that witness’ testimony being prohibited at trial or other sanctions. Court rules vary, so requirements in your jurisdiction should be consulted.
An exhibit is a document, record or another tangible object formally introduced as evidence in the court. Your exhibit list is a list of such Exhibits a party wants to produce before the court to prove a case.
It’s best to label each Exhibit first, then produce a reference sheet (Exhibit list) to add to your referral. Trying to label and record the Exhibits as you go can get confusing and will take much longer.
Remember, as you collect the evidence you may require a chain of custody form.
Here’s my typical conclusion, “Based upon the foregoing, it is respectfully requested the findings are made as set forth above.” No reason to be wordy here as you’ve already outlined your entire case in detail throughout the referral.
I’ve submitted close to 100 insurance fraud referrals in my time and I still learn new things simply because there are so many laws, so many variables, and things are ever-changing in this environment. Once you get the first one under your belt, the rest became easier and easier and it’s rewarding to follow these assignments through to the end.
If you have any questions, or I can be of assistance, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evernote is Not the Best Investigation Case Management Software, it’s Not Even Good
If anyone tells you Evernote is the best investigation case management software to start off with, they have no idea what they’re talking about.
At one time, I used Evernote almost exclusively as it related to ideas, sharing information, to-do lists, tasks, etc. Evernote, a complex but easy to use note-taking application is used by millions of people to organize their lives and thoughts. I used Evernote for years and had a version installed on my phone, tablet, computer, and iMac.
Evernote flawlessly synced to all my devices and I could add text from anywhere just by typing, or I could clip web pages and emails using related clipping apps. As you wrote, Evernote would reliably save whatever it was you were typing so you could stop at any time and close the computer, knowing Evernote saved every letter.
The Swiss Army Knife of All things Written
Evernote was the Swiss Army knife of all things written and I can see why some would tout it as the best investigation case management software. The app and its integrations had so much promise, especially for the investigative community. Unfortunately, I’ve canceled my subscription and deleted my account in its entirety, and I suggest you do the same.
In 2016, Evernote made a “what’s new” announcement where they laid out some changes that would negatively impact many of its users. Most notably, Evernote added a section to its Terms of Service called, “Will Evernote Employees Look at My Content?”
What? Why in the world would Evernote employees need to read your content?
So, all is good, right? I don’t think so.
What’s crazy is Evernote employees can still read your content. This was a lame attempt at damage control because they got caught with their hand in your content. Any content you store in Evernote is still not secure because it isn’t encrypted internally, and their employees can still access your data.
I know investigation industry professionals who still store sensitive data inside Evernote. Not a good idea by any means now that we know Evernote isn’t even close to the best investigation case management software on the market.
In today’s environment of data breaches, you should not store anything cloud-based without encryption.
From Evernote’s Terms of Service:
Do Evernote Employees Access or Review My Notes?
As a rule, Evernote employees do not monitor or view your personal information or Content stored in the Service, but we list below the limited circumstances in which our employees may need to access or review your personal information or account Content
- We believe our Terms of Service has been violated and confirmation is required or we otherwise have an obligation to review your account Content as described in our Terms of Service;
- We need to do so for troubleshooting purposes;
- Where necessary to protect the rights, property or personal safety of Evernote and its users (including to protect against potential spam, malware or other security concerns); or
- In order to comply with our legal obligations, such as responding to warrants, court orders or other legal process. We vigilantly protect the privacy of your account Content and, whenever we determine it possible, we provide you with notice if we believe we are compelled to comply with a third party’s request for information about your account. Please visit our Information for Authorities page for more information.
What does Evernote do with my Content?
Evernote also uses a number of technologies to help you get the most out of the Service. Our systems automatically analyze your data, including your account Content, in order to power Evernote features and to continually improve the Service for you. This may include, for example:
- Making search work the way you want it to;
- Showing you information most relevant to how you are using the Service at a specific time or location
- Detecting when it looks like you’re making a list and suggest features or tips that might be useful
- Showing you information relevant to a note you are creating or reviewing. The information we show you may include Notes from your own account, Notes from accounts you are connected to through Evernote Business or Collaboration Features, and third party content that you have elected to receive.
In addition, as part of our efforts to protect your account and the functionality of the Service, our automated systems may analyze the emails you send to and from your Evernote service account to detect spam, malware or other potential security concerns and may block delivery of such emails.
So essentially, Evernote is warning you up front, if Evernote employees feel they need to access your content, they can and they will.
Additionally, they scan your emails using automated technology. Emails you send and receive using Evernote.
What should I do now?
- Before you do anything, collect your data from Evernote and populate it into another system like the Mac Notes or OneNote for Windows. This will certainly take some time depending the extent of your content. Then, use Evernote’s export feature to have all your notes saved in one file. If you need to, you can recover this file in Evernote later.
- Next, manually delete all of your content from Evernote. Deleted each note from within the application, allow it to sync, and confirmed the data is gone from all of your devices.
- Empty the trash!
- Click on the accounts options and at the bottom of the page click “Deactivate Account”.
- Hold your horses, Evernote still has your account on file. It is still associated with (and searchable by) your email address or username. There is no online option to completely remove your account.
To do this, you must submit a support ticket from the main support page. Chose the drop-down option “Account”, and then “Deactivated Account”.
Submitted the following message:
“Hello, I have already deactivated my account and I would like to my account to be permanently deleted. I have already taken the liberty of deleting the content. Please respond to me when this has been completed.”
As an investigator, you have a responsibility to keep your clients’ information confidential and secure. You can no longer rely on Evernote to do that for you.
In your search for the best investigation case management software for your business, the security of the information it holds should be a top priority.