When a client in the food services industry suspected that a newly acquired subsidiary was engaging in misleading and dishonest business practices, it sought to conduct an extensive internal investigation and lookback into the subsidiary’s activities. Using its Find Facts Fast analytic research methodology, FTI Technology was able to validate the client’s suspicions and provide the insight needed to take remedial action.
The client’s recently acquired subsidiary sold and distributed numerous food products that were labeled as natural or organic. The client was concerned that these products were being adulterated by the addition of synthetic ingredients without the knowledge of their customers, a practice known in the industry as “blending.”
Worried about the risk of reputational damage and potential compliance violations or litigation, the client needed to quickly determine whether blending was occurring, and if so, the reasons why.
There were multiple challenges surrounding this internal investigation. To fully understand the issue, the legal team needed to analyze a large volume of communications and data spanning many years that predated the acquisition. Moreover, the client was unfamiliar with the subsidiary’s pre-acquisition history in terms of internal practices, culture and common communication methods.
FTI Technology was engaged to help the client answer its questions about the subsidiary’s practices.
FTI Technology’s team leveraged Find Facts Fast to quickly review a wide range of data, including product testing, employee emails, Microsoft Teams chats and other records relating to product supply and production.
After collecting, processing and loading more than 800,000 documents from the client’s subsidiary into an e-discovery platform, the team used a series of workflows to narrow the data to a targeted population of 162,000 in-scope documents.
From there, the Find Facts Fast review team implemented various analytic methodologies to focus on the needles in the haystack. FTI Technology then implemented regular calls with the client to further narrow the focus of the review to documents and employee communications relating to discussions that evidenced blending of synthetic and natural products.
Given the power of the Find Facts Fast methodology and FTI Technology’s analytics expertise and custom workflows, phase one of the review was completed in 14 days.
The initial review confirmed that blending was taking place, and helped the client understand the roles and involvement of various employees.
The Find Facts Fast review also found that the nature of the communications among the subsidiary’s employees indicated that improper production practices were a legacy problem and had become routine at the company.
With a clear picture of the subsidiary’s internal communications and ongoing activities, the client was equipped to take remedial action and implement controls to prevent these practices from continuing and posing ongoing risk to the organization.