I founded Diligentia Group in July 2009 after nearly nine years working with a New York investigative firm. The company was almost called Diligencia Group, but thanks to my Spanish speaking father-in-law, Diligencia not only translates to the English word for diligence, but it also translates to a court proceeding, which is not exactly what I had in mind.
Diligentia (pronounced dil·i·jen·tia) is an ancient Latin legal term meaning the care, cautious conduct and diligence with regard to ones interest. Whether you are entering a significant business or financial agreement and need someone to protect your interests, are currently in a dispute and need some investigative background information for leverage or if you have been the victim of a fraud, Diligentia is a term that I think articulates this business and the identifies with the core message of the company.
As for my story, like most kids, I was fascinated by Sherlock Holmes, Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mysteries and Magnum PI at an early age. By the time I was in ninth grade, I had taken a career aptitude test which told me that the career that fit me best was a private investigator, but like most teenagers, I was more concerned about what I was doing after school or that weekend and not thinking much about a career. My other passion, however, was sports and my dream of becoming the general manager of the New York Mets (only after realizing that I was not going to be a professional baseball player) never seemed to leave my mind. After school, I spent several years pursuing a career in the sports business working for a sports photography firm in New York, doing an internship with the New York Giants and working with Major League Baseball before fate finally brought me to the world of private investigations.
Growing up I have always been resourceful – I could just as easily recite Dwight Gooden’s stats from 1985 (24-4 with a 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts for those of you keeping track) as I could make you a lemon meringue pie, network your computers or beat you in a game of wiffle ball. My interest in a wide range of topics, appetite for learning new things and curiosity about the world around me prepared me to be a professional private investigator.
Any professional private investigator will tell you that the most important tool is not the amount of connections with law enforcement or the number of years of experience that they had with a government intelligence agency, but the best investigators are resourceful, willing to think outside of the box, think creatively about solving clients problems and have a tenacious appetite to get answers. As much as there is a certain amount of “science” and technical skills needed, private investigators are typically called upon to complete tasks that could not be completed by someone else. Whether you are trying to identify hidden assets, interview corporate informants, locate difficult to find witnesses or investigate and articulate a complex fraud, investigators need a wide range of skills and talents.
Over the last nine years I have worked on cases ranging from corporate fraud civil lawsuits, with allegations ranging from accounting fraud to channel stuffing, identifying missing heirs, internal corporate investigations relating to employee theft, undercover surveillance and a significant working on a case related to grey market cigarettes. Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), no two cases are the same – there is no cookie cutter approach. You are continuously learning about new businesses, technologies and skills and when you come across issues that you have never encountered, you have to either figure it out for yourself, or use your network of contacts to help you out. In today’s private investigative world, you need the technology and know-how to accomplish modern-day objectives.
Private investigators are judged by their results, which inspires me to learn, continue to think outside of the box and develop additional skills to satisfy my clients.