A transportation company was conducting an internal investigation regarding allegations of improper conduct by specific employees. The allegations included reports that misconduct had occurred in a foreign country and involved corruption and illegal payments through an intermediary for that country’s government. The client engaged FTI Technology to answer key questions quickly.
Internal investigations, especially those involving corruption and activity across multiple international jurisdictions are often time-sensitive and may need to be conducted discreetly. In this matter, the legal team needed to quickly determine the veracity of the allegations and present their findings back to the organization to inform the necessary actions. Large volumes of documents required review to determine whether documents existed to prove or disprove the allegations and answer the following unknowns:
- Whether meetings occurred between senior representatives of the company or an intermediary for the foreign government in question.
- Whether a multi-million-dollar payment was promised or made to the intermediary.
FTI Technology’s team leveraged the Find Facts Fast (FFF) team to conduct research on the documents. Initially, more than 1 million documents were collected, processed and loaded into an e-discovery platform. Then, the data was narrowed to a manageable population of 145,000 documents using analytics tools and FTI Technology’s unique workflows.
During the research, the team met and collaborated with the legal team to discuss the team’s findings and develop additional research workflows. The FFF team also parsed GPS data from company records to determine where certain employees under investigation were located when emails were sent during timeframes correlated with the allegations. The team reviewed the GPS data and corresponding documents to identify any relevant geographical context. Using this method, FTI Technology identified a set of more than 1,500 documents that required in-depth analysis.
A report was prepared to show the location information matching the client’s investigative scope. The team also provided counsel with links to Google Maps to show the locations returned and provide a visual image of where an employee was located at a specific time. Through analysis the team determined that none of the employees named in the allegations were present in the country of interest at the time of the supposed improper conduct, thus refuting the allegations with evidence.
The FFF team also used cell phone tracking to determine the location of certain employees during the relevant period and isolate and extract GPS coordinate data from employee devices. With the use of coordinates and time stamps, the location of various videos and images taken with the mobile devices was determine and plotted on a map to provide a visual image of the locations. This information further corroborated findings that the employees in question were not located in the relevant country during the pertinent timeframe.
Over four weeks, the FFF team only reviewed 4% of the documents collected. At the conclusion of their research, the team drafted a comprehensive report that provided the client with documents showing that no meetings occurred between senior representatives of the company and an intermediary for a foreign government. More, there was no indication of a multi-million-dollar payment to the intermediary.
These documents provided the client with assurance that thorough research had been conducted and allowed the client to determine that the allegations had been swiftly and appropriately addressed.