Personnel verification
The company Vlasta-Consulting on an ongoing basis conducts information checks of personnel for the Russian offices for a number of foreign companies. The work is carried out both at the level of "screening" of ordinary employees, and in the format of in-depth screening of candidates for key positions. A company was considering several people for one of the key positions directly reporting to the CEO. One of the candidates was chosen for the final round. In this interaction, Vlasta-Consulting was set to thoroughly check the selected candidate, with a focus on identifying possible involvement in financial or other fraud.
Theft investigation
The Russian division of a company (a manufacturer of medical products, the absolute leader in its market segment) has introduced a new inventory scheme in the warehouse. As a result, theft of finished products was revealed in the amount of about 10,000,000 rubles (130,000 USD). The company suspected one of the company's employees of stealing. In addition, it was clear that there was collusion between employees at several levels within the company. Initially the idea of ​​introducing a new inventory format was met with negative response on the part of the security management, despite the fact that the old scheme had obvious vulnerabilities. Thus, the company could not connect internal resources for the investigation due to the risk of information leakage and the potential unreliability of those employees who will be assigned the task. However, direct monthly damage to the company from theft from the warehouse was estimated at 500-600 thousand rubles, so the situation required an immediate solution.
Investigation Customs + Police
The company's products (food) are widely counterfeited. Several illicit industries are located in Russia. Part of combating this situation, Vlasta-Consulting is conducting a large-scale program against counterfeiting, by collaborating with police and customs. One of the customs posts, with which previous cooperation had been established in the framework of exchanging contact data and training for signs of counterfeit products, notified of the detention of a truck with empty containers for the target products. The products did not contain the applied specification and, therefore, could not be recognized as counterfeit and subject to seizure. The documents for the supply of the specified products were assigned to a shell company, and could not be used for investigation. At the same time, there was no doubt that the good were intended for delivery to an illegal production facility.
Investigation, online + offline
For one of the clients (automotive products), in addition to fulfilling offline goals (i.e. visiting sales outlets, markets, warehouses and initiating raids for the seizure of counterfeit products), Vlasta-Consulting also worked online (finding ads and sites with technical specifications violations, their subsequent closure). As part of the online program, an ad was found selling questionable products at extremely low prices. Instead of automatically sending a link for take-down, it was decided to conduct an informational investigation, since there were grounds for a potential investigation (the phone number indicated in the ad was also found on a number of other online resources).
Raid on illegal production
The company is engaged in the production and sale of spare parts for heavy vehicles. The customer’s business model is B2B. The specialization is narrow, the market is quite closed. At the end of the fiscal year, the company recorded a drop in turnover and a corresponding decrease in profits. At the same time, signals began to come from the market that counterfeit products were on sale. Vlasta-Consulting specialists procured questionable samples and provided them for examination to the client. The analysis confirmed the counterfeiting of the products, while the manufacturing quality was recognized as high (a number of elements were applied to the part using a more advanced method relative to the original). The task was to stop the production and distribution of counterfeit products.
Background screening
Our team was tasked to identify business of a Client’s potential contractor in a country, investigative capacities whereof are very limited. We made a number of operative enquiries through our network of well-placed human sources to find out quickly that the Client was approached by a fraudster who had caused substantial damage to his our clients previously. Seeking new business opportunities in one of countries of Central Asia, the client encountered a businessman who offered distributorship. As the country where he wanted to expand was considered risky to do business, he proceeded with background screening to assess risks of cooperation.
Litigation support
Our Client participated in a court case dealing with a multimillion international embezzlement scheme. When he faced a seemingly dead-end situation with authorities at one of the countries displaying reluctance to cooperate, he addressed us to find any investigative opportunities within that country to follow. As a result, we managed to collect evidence suggesting the involvement of suspected citizens in the scheme, as well as their strong connections within the state administration. A whistleblower informed the law enforcement in one of the European countries about massive embezzlement taking place in an international alliance whose members provide certain services across the globe. The prosecution managed to localize one of the major sources and approached the national government for further measures only to find out that issue had been already resolved in a judicial procedure. Client addressed Vlasta-Consulting to make sure that the scheme was actually discontinued.
Structured analysis
Vlasta Consulting took an assignment to assess the situation with the Client’s trusted high-profile contractor in one of the CIS countries. The situation was still unresolved, so our team had to deal with a notable degree of uncertainty. We collected data from public domain and operative sources, and then undertook a wide range of analytical techniques to assess the target’s business and his position within the state administration. As a result, we developed and tested several hypotheses that made it possible to elaborate further mutually beneficial cooperation between the Client and his contractor.
Corporate disputes
The Client suspected that employees of its Russian representation colluded with organizations that the Client supplied. Our team proved these suspicions correct, exposed the scheme and drafted a strategy that helped the Client to resolve the situation. Although the authorities became aware of the scheme taking place, the Client didn’t encounter any negative legal ramifications and continued doing business in Russia. A major manufacturer of high-tech engineering equipment received troubling reports from its local office. Apparently, the representation filed inaccurate financial data, which made the client suspect a double game having taken place in its local sales department consisting of several managers.