Surveillance, when used properly, can be an extremely effective investigative method. The general objective of conducting surveillance is to collect and document information (i.e., activities and identities of individuals involved in the questionable or illegal activity) that may not be readily ascertainable otherwise. In addition to the different types of surveillance (fixed point/stationary, mobile — vehicular and/or foot), there are varying degrees or levels. Depending on the specific objectives desired, “loose” or “close-in” surveillance may be utilized. In formulating the surveillance plan, PLE ensures the objectives and expectations of our clients are thoroughly understood and addressed. This is instrumental in determining the level of surveillance to be utilized and the acceptable/unacceptable levels of risks.


Workers’ Compensation Fraud

It is an unfortunate reality that workers’ compensation has become a regular occurrence in today’s workplace. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Workers’ Compensation costs industry an estimated $7.2 billion in 2007, approximately 10% of all claims. Even more unfortunate though is the growing number of individuals who fraudulently claim to be injured and seek benefits and compensation for which they are not entitled. 

Every $1 spent on worker’s compensation anti-fraud efforts yields a $6.17 return

–       California Insurance Department study

In most cases, the savings realized by successfully documenting workers compensation fraud surpass the costs associated with conducting them. Simply put, these investigations more than pay for themselves.

Our highly trained team of investigators help our clients (large and small business employers, claims adjusters, third-party administrators, and self-insurers) protect themselves from becoming victims of workers’ compensation fraud. Using lawful covert surveillance techniques, PLE’s experienced investigators will conduct surveillance in a non-intrusive, legally sufficient manner. We document and preserve video evidence of fraudulent activity and then work closely with our clients and/or their legal counsel in preparation for possible judicial or administrative proceedings. We pay special attention to all state and federal statutory restrictions, carefully avoiding invasion of privacy issues. All information and activity documented must be done in such a manner as to be legally sufficient and admissible in any legal or administrative hearing. It also must be easily defensible from the counter-claims (liability) often made by subjects.

In many instances, having an outside investigative agency obtain witness and subject statements in some cases makes better operational and financial sense. Many of our investigators are former law enforcement officers and have extensive experience in conducting interviews and eliciting admissions from individuals involved in illegal activity.

Background of Claimant: Our first objective is to gather as much background information on the claimant as possible. Through discussions with the client, using in-house database searches, and checking public records, investigators build a profile of the claimant. To maximize surveillance efforts, pretext telephone calls are used to help determine when the claimant is most likely to be home.

Surveillance of Claimant: PLE investigators are professionally trained and experienced, with an in-depth understanding of the importance of the associated legalities. Our investigators will not trespass on the surveillance target’s property, enter their residence under false pretenses, or use unethical tactics to obtain evidence.

Surveillance Equipment: PLE investigators are equipped with state-of-the-art video recording equipment. From vehicles containing cover cameras to small, hand-held/portable devices such as portfolios, bags, hats, etc., PLE investigators have the equipment and resources necessary to conduct surveillance whenever and wherever our clients need. At the conclusion, the videotape documentation is edited to a composite, creating an effective presentation for hearings or court proceedings.

Investigative Report: A detailed investigative report is provided to the client, along with the composite and raw, unedited footage videotape. Still, frames from the surveillance footage are inserted into the report, detailing the claimant’s activity. In addition, the entire investigation is provided on DVD or USB “thumb” drive’s, with appropriate segments of video recordings linked to relevant activity.

Surveillance Detection/Counter-Surveillance:  Individuals may be targeted by surveillance for business, legal and/or personal reasons. PLE offers our clients specialized services and aid in the detection and subsequent remediation of physical and electronic surveillance.

Surveillance Objectives

  • Obtain legal and admissible evidence to use in court
  • To obtain evidence of a crime
  • To locate persons by watching known/suspected sites or associates
  • Verify previously reported information
  • Locate hidden property or contraband
  • To prevent the commission of a crime or and occasionally apprehend a suspect in the commission of a crime
  • Obtain information for later use in interviews and interrogations
  • Develop leads and information received from other sources
  • Know at all times the whereabouts of a suspect