Case Study – Finding Evidence

Jun 22, 2020

A case study in best practice approach to finding critical information during a public examination

case study about finding evidence

Finding the Evidence

ELMS were engaged to establish the document database for this insolvency investigation. Over 500,000 documents were originally ingested and which was reduced down to 169,916 records using deduplication and junk removal.

During the public examination of one of the directors a chain of enquiry emerged about the authenticity of a particular document which was used to attract investors. The issue was whether the document was prepared by the company or if it had been copied from another source and just had the names changed. The oral evidence of the director was that the document was legitimate.

Could evidence be found and put to the witness that showed the document had in fact been copied from another source?

ELMS used its database and searching skills, combined with its general understanding of documents and how they are edited, to show that it was in fact copied from another source. This was achieved using search functions which revealed that the person editing the document had missed one of the name changes they had needed to make. The mistake was in very small font and unlikely to be found by a human eye search, and especially not quickly.

This led to the team presenting to the director on the stand, direct evidence that the document had been copied and manually edited.

This all occurred within the space of a day with live support by ELMS to the insolvency team during the public examination. 

Benefits of Applying this Technology

The volume of data and time constraints make it almost impossible to find such evidence using a manual approach.

The search functionality in this case enabled ELMS to find very small differences between documents, the kind which are unlikely to be picked up by a human review.

On an ongoing basis, the database is now enabling the insolvency team to track cash in and out of the company more effectively by finding the related emails, potentially saving thousands in bank tracing enquiries and providing superior evidentiary records of what the business’s money was being spent on.

Over time the insolvency team is becoming very efficient at using the document database themselves to further their investigation.

The database had enabled this insolvency team to find corroborating evidence fast and strengthen their methodology and opinions.