Case Study: 0260

Social Media Information, LLCCase Study

Case Study 0260 - Professional cyclist ride along a section of road.

Investigator Seeks Social Media Link in Steroids Case

Market: Intelligence
Client: Licensed Investigator
Service: Social Media Investigation, Preservation

Challenge

After exhausting their budget on traditional methods of surveillance, a Florida-based private investigation firm realized that information shared on social media might be the key to unlocking their high-profile case. The investigation was centered around allegations that a famous sports figure had been involved in the trafficking of performance enhancing drugs.

The investigators had theorized that the steroids were being moved between the doctor and the athlete via a courier. The investigators had been able to identify the courier as a known associate of the athlete, but had been unable to prove any connection to the doctor. As the subjects were aware of the investigators’ presence, surveillance had proved ineffective and they took measures to remove incriminating content from their social media accounts.

The private investigation firm asked SMI to locate all of the subjects’ social media profiles and discover any content which established a connection between the individuals in support of their theory.

Solution

Our analysts were able to locate multiple social media profiles for each of the subjects. In spite of obvious attempts to remove evidence from the accounts, our proprietary search technology was able to identify individuals connected to the subjects of the investigation and locate evidence which confirmed the investigation firm’s suspicions:

  • The doctor’s son was connected to the individual who had been identified by the investigators as the courier.
  • Because the subjects had attempted to scrub their social media accounts, our analysts expanded their focus to include individuals closely associated with the subjects. Upon doing this, they located a photograph posted to the doctor’s son’s girlfriend’s Facebook account which showed the courier posing with the doctor at a family event in the doctor’s home. (Evidence demonstrated that the courier and doctor were connected and proved the investigation firm’s theory.)

As the subjects had already deleted content, SMI’s analysts promptly preserved the photograph and all publicly-available content on the Facebook profile.

Outcome

The photograph discovered by our social media experts proved what two-months of surveillance could not; the subjects not only knew one another, but were very friendly. This allowed the investigators to confront the subjects with conclusive evidence and reallocated their resources accordingly.

Instead of returning to their client with little more than conjecture and mounting expenses, the investigators had evidence which proved the subjects were connected.

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Featured image taken by Boris Stefanik via Unsplash