THE MAGAZINE

Business Background Investigations: Tools and Techniques for Solution Driven Due Diligence

By Cynthia Hetherington; Reviewed by Peter Psarouthakis

***** Business Background Investigations: Tools and Techniques for Solution Driven Due Diligence. By Cynthia Hetherington, published by Facts on Demand Press; available from ASIS, item #1777, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 288 pages; $22 (ASIS members), $24 (nonmembers).

For people who conduct background investigations, it can be difficult to navigate through the many sources of information. Having a quality resource to help is imperative. Fortunately, there are investigators who specialize in these areas. Cynthia Hetherington is just such a person, and her new book is just such a resource.

For years, Hetherington has worked the lecture circuit conducting seminars for the corporate security, private investigation, and law enforcement sectors on how to exploit the Internet and other information sources in background investigations. Her new book encompasses her many years of experience as an investigator and library science researcher in a well-laid-out formula for successful background investigations.

Hetherington first defines what a background investigation is and the philosophies behind it. The reader learns the basic intricacies and tools necessary to move forward in an investigation of either a company or an individual.

The advanced stages of the investigation are where Hetherington’s exhaustive techniques targeting up-to-date information resources prove their worth. In extreme detail, Hetherington walks the reader through the many sources available, including how to find information on regulatory enforcement, real estate and other assets, vendor relationships, investors, political campaign contributions, and media coverage, including blogs.

Today’s investigators know how hard it is to obtain asset information and still stay within the legal limits imposed by such laws as the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act. The authors’ chapter on asset and lien searching is a most valuable tool in this endeavor. Also covered in detail is why, how, and where to look for assets—a highlight of this valuable reference.

Anyone conducting background investigations in today’s world must keep up-to-date on available resources. Business Background Investigations is the definitive guide for professionals tasked with background investigations. A copy of this book is a requirement for any investigator’s resource library.


Reviewer: Peter Psarouthakis is a professional investigator and owner of EWI & Associates, Inc., in Chelsea, Michigan. He has been a member of ASIS since 1996. He is a member of the ASIS Investigations Council and is a vice president of the National Council of Investigation and Security Services.

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