Confidential Investigators, or CIs, are the backbone of the Department of Investigation (DOI). They perform investigations into the allegations of fraud, waste and corruption that DOI is charged with addressing throughout the City of New York. CI efforts lead to arrest and prosecution, civil litigation and administrative proceedings that can result in termination of contracts, employment or city benefits. They investigate all aspects of city government, including every agency from Parks to Police and every employee from a summer life guard to the mayor. Confidential investigators also examine every entity that does business with the city, from paving contractors to food vendors. In addition, CIs look at every person who receives city benefits such as housing vouchers or EBT cards. Lastly, CIs have the ability to look at every entity that receives city grant money in an effort to make sure that money is spent properly. In order to perform these tasks, CIs employ many of the tactics of other law enforcement investigators. For example, they may review agency documents or financial and business records. CIs may interview witnesses and subjects. Many times CIs who are also sworn peace officers conduct operations in the field, such as foot or vehicle surveillance, undercover operations, search warrants and making arrests. Lastly, Investigators are often called upon to testify in court regarding their investigations and findings.
Looking at Many Answers to Find the Right Question Data analysts uncover evidence of criminal behavior, waste and abuse by examining and finding patterns in large amounts of often publicly available data. Modern technology has allowed the amassing of vast amounts of computerized records, from telephone charges to credit card receipts, and from bank records to toll plaza usage. A data analyst can use this information to locate missing subjects, lost funds, or identify wrongdoers. As patterns of behavior are identified, a data analyst can advise the investigator on the case what locations she should be looking at or which subjects he should be interviewing. Data analytics increases the efficiency of an investigation by focusing efforts on the right subjects and avoiding costly inquiries into false leads. Furthermore, by identifying weaknesses in a system or individuals who are engaging in unusual patterns of behavior, data analysts allow an investigator to be more proactive in starting an investigation by avoiding the need to rely on potentially unreliable informants.
Digital Forensics Investigators
Cracking the Villain’s Codes A digital forensics investigator examines and searches computers and other storage media for evidence of criminal and other wrongdoing. Most people in today’s society are taking advantage of the tech revolution by making daily use of computers, smart phones and other devices to assist them in their personal and professional lives. The modern criminal is no different. As more and more criminals make use of these devices, the need to examine them for incriminating evidence grows ever greater. Digital forensic investigators search these devices for any information that can be used against the defendant, whether it is contact information, records of calls and text messages, or even incriminating photos of criminal acts. Often, these devices are encrypted and password protected. A digital forensics investigator may even be required to crack the access codes or decrypt material stored in the digital device. This work is challenging, but it has become increasingly vital in the struggle against fraud, waste and corruption.
Following the Money The Department of Investigation, like many other law enforcement agencies, employs a growing number of investigative auditors. In cases involving ever more complex and elaborate schemes to steal money from the people of the City of New York, investigative auditors play a crucial role in the investigation. Auditors can determine how funds were stolen, where the stolen funds went, what was done with them and how the crime was hidden. A good auditor will tell the investigator where to look, who to interview and what questions to ask. Finally, investigative auditors play a vital role in the prosecution of criminals. A successful audit is often the difference between a guilty plea and an acquittal after trial. Investigative auditors are often called upon to explain their findings not just to supervisors, but to juries. Because they are experts in their field, investigative auditors frequently provide testimony that leads to a conviction.