At RSI we pride ourselves on creative problem solving while maintaining a tight focus on client value. We are a private investigations boutique and provide our clients with a variety of information gathering services.  We have several areas of specialization:

Private Investigations

Private Investigations includes a broad range of information gathering, analysis, and other strategic activities to assist corporate and legal clients faced with the assessment of problems and opportunities, litigation and business transactions. 

Asset Searches : Due Diligence : Opposition Research : FCPA Due Diligence

Risk Management

RSI assists clients to prevent and mitigate risks within the enterprise and with its partners. Our Risk Management services are used in a variety of industries, particularly by our entertainment clients in the course of reality television production.

Risk Mitigation for Reality-Based Programming : Insurance Risk Mitigation

Financial Investigations

The RSI team can assist with complex financial litigation; we can investigate, assess the facts and quantify economic damages to support fair and timely settlement or trial proceedings. We bring a mix of “Big Four” perspective and experience with hands-on boutique service and delivery. We are practical investigators who understand not just accounting, but how to quickly and efficiently gather facts and assess evidence with a minimum level of disruption.

Brand Protection

RSI provides clients with investigative and security solutions to protect branded products and intellectual property and to investigate its theft, loss and abuse. We have hands-on experience with high margin/ high visibility branded products including high tech, hardware and software, footwear and apparel, pharmaceutical, tobacco and financial products.

Trade Data & Trade Intelligence

Gaming Services

RSI’s professionals provide a variety of consulting services in the gaming arena. We conduct private licensing background checks under the oversight of government regulatory agencies including the California Bureau of Gambling Control. For our gaming clients we conduct fraud reviews and internal investigations and assist in developing enhanced security and gaming controls.

International Services

RSI’s professionals provide a variety of consulting services in the gaming arena. We conduct private licensing background checks under the oversight of government regulatory agencies including the California Bureau of Gambling Control. For our gaming clients we conduct fraud reviews and internal investigations and assist in developing enhanced security and gaming controls.

International Public Records

Asset Searches

 

RSI professionals have sought and identified assets in the domestic US and a variety international locations.  Asset searching is one of the most challenging investigative endeavors.  Clients are invariably faced with the prospect of “throwing good money after bad” and the regulatory and legal environment precludes “magic bullet” sources to identify a subject’s financial relationships.  Fortunately, even nominally well hidden assets are typically utilized somewhere in the stream of commerce and, with hard work and thoughtful creativity, can be located and potentially seized.
 
There are two main methodologies employed in searching for hidden assets.
 
The first is a minesweeper approach — methodical research in many different records and systematic interviews of many live sources in the hope of eventually hitting a piece of information that might lead to an asset.  Though more certain to develop material information the minesweeper approach tends to be labor-intensive and more expensive. 
 
The second approach is the  “pick a tree and climb it.”  In this methodology, we select the most promising lead(s)available and follow these as far as possible. The approach concentrates on quality rather than quantity, focusing on cultivating a small number of high-quality sources of information. Utilizing this focused approach it is easier to control costs, avoid inefficiencies, to close out the project if it appears that a line of inquiry is unlikely to be productive or add resources when a fruitful line of inquiry is identified.
 
After we have an opportunity to debrief client and client’s counsel we can provide a staged and practical strategy to lidentify and locate hidden assets..
 

Due Diligence

The RSI team has been active in invesigative due diligence for over twenty years.  We have broad industry experience and an unparelled network of resources and local contacts.
 
RSI’s Due Diligence Process:

  • Client Debrief: Understand client concerns  and existing knowledge base.   Best to avoid reinventing the wheel
  • Review Available Public Data:  Gather online and field documents for the target company and key principals. 
  • Develop a Punch List:  We can then compare public data with the client’s initial concerns and information. This analysis provides a baseline/and/or issues “punch list” with which to proceed.  It is possible that we can conclude the project at this stage, depending on issues identified and the client’s appetite for risk.  The challenge is to properly address all the asynchronous issues that are the real or potential underlying risks
  • Follow-up Investigation: Now we proceed with an exploration of the “punch list”  The goal now is to develop enough objective data points to understand/close out this list.  Tasks now are much more source/interview based as compared to researching public data.
 
Budget: Budget is driven by the size and location of the target company and the number and history of key individual principals. Smaller lower risk transactions may only require basic database reviews.  For higher risk projects with troubled/interesting corporate and/or personal history going in it is imperative to build a complete, independent and objective picture.  The marginal utility curve for this type of information is exponential and material data is typically located higher up on the curve. In order to provide a specific budget we will require the identity of the target company and a list of individual subjects.
 
Timing:  As always it is much more efficient if there is enough time to for us to proceed on a linear, rather than a “shotgun”, basis.    If the client is  in a “do we commit” situation we can stage our work to coincide with the deal timetable.
 
Opposition Research
 
RSI’s professionals provide a variety of Opposition Research Services. Even in these political research projects we begin with our standard investigative due diligence approach which is designed to obtain a full range of information on the candidate; opposition candidate or proactive self due diligence.  However, to be truly efffective opposition research requires a different level of analysis as identifying material politial issues requires hands-on expereince and a knowledgeable, project driven, customized approach. After analyzing a complete collection of initially accessible information, and consulting with our client we then conduct additional targeted investigative steps to develop issues of value to the campaign.  Our goal is always to provide objective, useful information that can be freely used in the appropriate forums. We are agrressive and creative, but always scrupulously aware of the legal and ethical framework required in a political setting.
 
PHASE I APPROACH:
Phase I consists of reviewing information already in the client’s possession.  To avoid duplicating effort, we conduct a scoping to understand the existing knowledge base.  We understand the campaign’s priorities, ensure all relevant information is gathered, and formulate a targeted investigative plan.  Phase I consists of gathering public records related to the candidate and key family members. 
PHASE II APPROACH
In Phase II, after consultation with all involved parties, we develop in-depth knowledge regarding specific issues through additional detailed field work and, where appropriate, targeted interviews.    Where Phase I can be conducted discreetly Phase II is often more overt.  However, Phase II investigations typically target specific high value issues which require, and warrant, a more open process.
 
PRACTICAL EXAMPLES:
We have real-time hands-on experience:
  • On behalf of a committee working on a national election, we found integrity issues and discrepancies in background stories related to individuals used by the opposition in campaign ads.  In addition, we vetted all persons used by our client in media spots. 
 
  • On behalf of the campaign in a Senate race, we conducted an in-depth inquiry into the business practices of the opposition candidate.  Based on scores of interviews, we identified individuals who presented first hand accounts describing hardships created by this person’s company. 
 
  • On behalf of a gubernatorial campaign, we identified business interests in controversial companies not disclosed in election disclosure forms.  In addition, we found discrepancies in the person’s educational credentials.
 
  • On behalf of the campaign in a Senate race, we analyzed a complex series of land transactions and determined the purchasing company was controlled by the opposition candidate’s spouse.  Parties related to the transactions were subject to oversight by a committee that included the candidate as a member.  

Top

FCPA Due Diligence

RSI EXPERIENCE
 
We have more than 70 years of experience conducting background investigations of individuals around the world.  This includes pre-transaction due diligence focusing on the reputations of individuals central to business transactions.  Information is gathered online and through conducting searches in relevant countries.  We also access a network of sources with experience in business, government, law enforcement, journalism and specialty areas, to obtain intelligence.  Experience has shown that the class of information our clients seek in an FCPA setting is rarely lying in the open, on Google, or in a regulatory database.  It can be found only by making thoughtful inquiries of targeted sources with real-world experience and relevant knowledge of the subjects.  RSI has completed due diligence cases throughout the world including but not limited to Brazil, China, Dubai, most European countries, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Panama, Saudi Arabia and Russia.  In addition, a senior member of our staff spent nine years as an investigator with the Division of Enforcement a the SEC.      
 
RISK MANAGEMENT UNDER THE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT
 
On July 25, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder stated, “I have made combating corruption, generally and in the United States, a top priority.”  To this end, the DOJ FCPA unit is scheduled to grow by 50 % in 2010 and 2011 and is currently pursing more than 120 FCPA investigations.  In 2010 the Securities and Exchange Commission established its own FCPA unit with offices across the country.  Trends include:
 
  • Aggressive enforcement in the United States;
  • Increased cooperation with international regulators;
  • Larger corporate penalties;
  • Prosecution of individuals;
  • Expansive jurisdictional reach. 
 
An example is the investigation of liquefied natural gas facilities on Bonny Island in Nigeria. To date, Kellogg Brown & Root LLC and Halliburton (U.S.), Technip S.A.(France) and Snamprogetti Netherland B.V. a Dutch subsidiary of ENI S.pA (Italy) paid fines and disgorgements of $1.28 billion to settle charges brought by DOJ and the SEC for violating the FCPA.  Substantial payments were made by indigenous joint venture partners who operated in Nigeria for years. In addition, Albert Jack Stanley, the former head of Kellogg Brown & Root pleaded guilty to charges of violating the FCPA involving Bonny Island.  He agreed to 7 years in prison and $10.8 million in restitution.  
 
 
THE VALUE OF DUE DILLIGENCE
 
The FCPA prohibits corrupt payments through intermediaries defined as agents, joint venture partners and vendors.  According to an official publication issued by the DOJ, U.S. companies should, “exercise due diligence and take all necessary precautions to ensure that they have formed a business relationship with reputable and qualified partners and representatives.  Such due diligence may include investigating potential foreign representatives and joint venture partners…”  Reputational due diligence is an integral part of corporate risk management under the FCPA.
 

Risk Mitigation for Reality-Based Programming

Balancing Perceived Risks And The Creative Edge:
Reality based television programming brings a wide variety of unpredictable risks and challenges.  RSI provides an integrated suite of risk management services and advice including pro-active identification of “risk” issues and risk consulting.  Every program presents a unique risk profile and requires customized risk mitigation.  By balancing risk assessment, risk profile and risk response we add positive value to the creative process and economic value to the production process.
 
Experience:
RSI has more hands-on experience than any other risk provider having been involved with over 100 realty-based programs. Our risk assessment process begins with the program concept and extends from initial casting through post-production.  We work closely with all parties including senior client management, legal department, business affairs, standards and practices and independent production.  RSI assists with the identification, management and mitigation of risks associated with a program’s creative concept, proposed situation, scenarios, location, and participants.  Program components include:
 
 
 
Final Applicant Risk Profiling: Once participants are selected we develop a complete understanding of the applicants’ character, integrity and risk factors.  This process includes in-person interviews, medical, psychological and physical testing.
 
Pre- Screening “Gap” Review:Ongoing criminal and civil records check to determine participants’ activities during the time period between when filming has been completed and the show airs.
 
Customized Background Questionnaire RSI’s custom designed questionnaire supports both effective casting, risk mitigation and the rapid and efficient assessment of a large pool of applicants.
 
Customized Phased Background Investigation As the casting process proceeds applicants are processed through a phased investigation depending on specific risks by program or by applicant.
 
Location Risk Mitigation: RSI professionals provide hands-on risk management services for reality programming on location.
 

Insurance Risk Mitigation

RSI’s fact gathering and risk management resources are used by our insurance industry clients to mitigate risks from client acquisitions through underwriting, from claims assessment through asset identification and recovery.

Client Acquisitions & Underwriting:
“Know your customer” applies as strongly in the insurance arena as it does in financial services.  We assist in developing independent, objective information and in confirming application materials.  An informed underwriter is an effective underwriter.  Our experienced research professionals and our network of local investigators can rapidly and efficiently answer any questions you may have.
 
Claims Assessment:
Even the largest and most experienced SIU units can benefit from specific local expertise with regard to potential fraud either to complement limited resources or to provide insightful advice and intelligence. We can respond rapidly and thoughtfully whenever and wherever claims challenges arise; objective intelligence reduces costs and improves client service.

Litigation Support:
We assist you by assessing and investigating underlying facts before discovery begins, during the discovery process and even long after discovery is over.  A witness must be found and served before he can be deposed, alternative theories must be established and explored before they can be presented and assets must be identified before they can be attached.
 
Asset Identification & Recovery:
When worst case situations arise we can bring decades of experience not only to identify insured assets, but also to extend your reach to non-disclosed assets in additional jurisdictions.  We can do more than simply identify assets we bring hands-on skills to assist in converting assets into settlements or other forms of recovery.
 

Trade Data & Trade Intelligence

Innovative analysis and use of Trade Data and Trade Intelligence provides RSI’s Brand Protection practice with a unique competitive edge.  We leverage client intelligence and our own investigative leads by using a wide variety of international data sources and our own proprietary, intelligence sources.  Our proactive approach provides our high value branded clients with real world solutions.  We are able to efficiently answer the basic “From Whom, To Whom, For Whom, How Much, How Often” questions that underlay every Brand Protection project.
 
 
TRADE DATA:
The same “global village” issues which threaten high value brands provide the opportunity for aggressive proactive response.  In a post 9/11 environment international trade data is tracked closely and carefully and can be analyzed for both specific data and data-mined for trends and patterns. Even as pirates change front company names they often continue to rely on historic shipping, transportation, brokerage and agency services.  We use this data to identify real-time shipments and structure effective investigative responses.
TRADE INTELLIGENCE
Even perfect Trade Data requires real-time intelligence to support effective execution.  Knowing that a container of counterfeit product is due at the docks on “Tuesday” is helpful, but knowing the day and hour it will be released who the consignee is can be priceless.  RSI’s Trade Intelligence resources give us access to local real-time data. We can then follow bulk product along the distribution channel to develop hard information and allow our high value branded clients to extract maximum value from the situation and from our mutual target.
 

International Public Records

Searching international public records is exceptionally challenging.  Even within individual jurisdiction there are few, if any, centralized indices or file access; Mexico alone has over 2000 separate court units.  However, technological developments allow RSI to provide our clients access to centralized files, in the following jurisdictions:
 
  • MEXICO
  • VENEZUELA
  • BRAZIL
  • COLOMBIA
  • INDIA
  • PAKISTAN

Top