Black death? Influenza? There’s a new, much more dangerous plague affecting a small group of Americans. A fast-spreading disease has affected the private investigation industry called SBI, short for Shitty Background Investigation.
To the best of my knowledge this has not affected our firm, but I know it exists because I have seen it with my own eyes.
And it’s frightening.
On February 10, 2018, at zero eight hundred hours, I came across four reports that suffered from SBI. These were provided by a law firm that had been recently retained by a prominent Florida businessman. The Florida businessman, working with another law firm, had retained an investigative firm to conduct a comprehensive, exhaustive public record and open record background investigation on some opponents in a high-stakes legal battle. These people were unaware that they were the subject of an inquiry against them, and overt investigation — such as surveillance and interviews — was out of the question at this point.
The Florida businessman was not expecting to find a serial killer among the ranks of the opponent, but he wanted to know everything he could about them before figuring out how he wanted to proceed. Money was not really an object; there were hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.
Weeks later, the Florida businessman received copies of the background check reports. The reports, ranging from 47 to 96 pages in length, contained dozens of pages of what they would describe as “useless information,” such as the “target’s” phone numbers, neighbors, and addresses.
The Florida businessman immediately knew that something was wrong, but he could not pinpoint the issue. Although he had paid a few thousand dollars for the reports, he wanted more. For example, the reports pointed out dozens of lawsuits, some of which appeared to include some pretty serious issues, but they did not contain an iota of detail.
The reports also pointed out that one of the “targets” had thousands of tweets and Instagram pictures, but not a single word about the content of those tweets or photos. Was he doing bong hits? Or posting explicit photos? Or was he talking about his kids?
Neither the Florida man nor his attorney knew it, but they had hired a firm that had contracted SBI. What they received was a report that lacked depth and not a single piece of analysis. Not a single source document was included. In addition to pages of useless information, there was duplicative and factually incorrect information, and the report also suffered from a case of DTRS (Difficult-to-Read Syndrome).
“Education and awareness are going to be the keys to stopping this dreaded disease from spreading.”
Until the Florida man’s new attorney had contacted us, they did not know what they were looking at, but I was immediately able to diagnose the problem — there was no doubt that the firm had suffered from SBI.
How did these firms contract SBI? Scientists, doctors, and other investigative firms have been baffled by this. But just the fact that people are now openly talking about it is a step in the right direction.
“Education and awareness are going to be the keys to stopping this dreaded disease from spreading,” said one sufferer of SBI, who wanted to remain anonymous.
If you or someone you know is suffering from SBI, or you have received a report from someone who is suffering from SBI, please give us a call.
We can help.