Case Study 1: The Cat Came Back
In a private matter which came about through a long running neighbour dispute, our client’s cat was stolen by their neighbours on the day they moved house. With no public footprints linking them to a new address (which was located over 50 miles away) and no forwarding address left with any other neighbours, this seemed like a lost cause. However, Facebook searches were carried out on the family which found that the teenage daughter posted the public message “our new home” with photos of their new house including one stock Estate Agent image of the property. Reverse Google Image searches found the agent’s listing of the property and we were able to identify their new address. The client was then able to seek further legal advice around the recovery of said cat.
Case Study 2: Home Tweet Home
By monitoring her highly active Twitter account, we were able to keep almost constant tabs on the location of a well-known “socialite”. Her jet set lifestyle was self-documented online as she travelled between her homes in Beverley Hills, Surrey and Ireland. Not only did this allow us to plan the service on several occasions of court documents, but also provided us with the jurisdictional knowledge in order to be able to focus our asset searches and provide our client with potential recovery options.
Case Study 3: Wish You Were Here?
A debtor claimed to have no money despite living in a £1m property in Cheshire. However, the Facebook and Twitter accounts of his teenage sons suggested otherwise, with photographs documenting numerous family holidays over the past 18 months; skiing in February, Caribbean sun in summer and several city breaks to boot being the general order of things.
Case Study 4: An Away Fixture
Our client was pursuing a former professional footballer for costs relating to a failed insurance claim for future lost income following injury. The subject could not be pinned down to any one UK address having moved several times in recent years due to having been transferred between clubs in the North East and following his injury, it was apparent from social media that he spent much of his time abroad. However, by monitoring Facebook, we were ready when he posted a photo of himself posing by his vehicle outside what appeared to be a UK residential address. By analysing clues in the photograph and cross referencing this image with Google Street View it was confirmed as being his parents’ residential address. Our local agent in the North East was despatched to serve documents on the subject that very day.
Case Study 5: Out of The Shadows
In this Letter of Credit fraud, our subject, a Director of a major garments wholesaler, was supposed to be dealing with their logistics provider at arm’s length. However, our desktop searches indicated that he was most likely a Shadow Director with an interest in the logistics firm. In order to attempt to hide his control, the sole Director was registered as his son-in-law.
It was clear from LinkedIn searches that the “Office Administrator” son-in-law who was employed by an E-commerce company probably lacked the experience required to be heading up a business providing logistics to a major wholesaler!
Case Study 6: The Football Chairman
A controversial figure and Chairman of a lower division Football League side was being pursued by our client for debts relating to a failed business with recovery sought through the strength of a personal guarantee.
Despite being a relatively high profile figure, he had recently moved out of his long-term residential address was proving difficult to locate. He also claimed to have no money and no assets.
Notwithstanding this “lack” of funds, his wife celebrated her recent birthday by showing off her new birthday present from her “hubby” to her Facebook followers; a white Mercedes convertible complete with personalised numberplate. HPI searches indicated that the £40k car was free from finance!