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Mr. Blog, P.I.

28 Feb

February 28, 2021

Longtime readers of this blog who have not yet unsubscribed know that Mr. Blog has at various times been employed as a teacher, part-time pickle salesman, agent of a Company I Am not allowed to name, and now as a private investigator.

I handle insurance cases for corporate clients, mostly, but also do work for New York City and State. In my years as a PI I have read autopsy reports, submitted Freedom of Information Requests, and watched surveillance footage of a mechanic getting mooned. (It was even funnier than you think.)

Confidentiality requires that I do not name names or keep personal video, or trust me, that mooned mechanic would have been all over the internet.  

About a year and a half ago I handled a construction claim where the claimant alleged injury while hauling debris down a ramp. Typical construction WC claim (Workers Compensation). As DoF (Director of Field Operations for my company) I had my investigators interview the insured owner, take witness statements, obtain photos and measurements of the ramp and equipment in question, obtain surveillance footage of the accident (in this case, no video cameras were on site) and get all pertinent documents- leases, COI (certificate of insurance), accident reports, etc.

It sounds simple and it should be, but factor in lack of cooperation since no company owner ever seems to think they need to speak to us despite our being there to defend them, and this can drag on for months. This case was completed in about 6 weeks. I filed two reports and it was over, on my end. On the insurance company’s end, cases like this drag on for (on average) two to six years. If the claimant has no identification or documentation, or the insured company has kept no records, both being common in construction, it can go on and on.

So that was 2019. Last week, I was forwarded an anonymous tip in this matter. It alleged (I will use generalities, no specifics) that the injured party in that old accident case was a major drug dealer who flew on a certain airline to certain cities to get drugs and bring them to New York. The email listed specific cities and months of travel and detailed the way this person funneled money though various accounts to buy the drugs. The anonymous tipster said that the claimant was lying about getting hurt and had faked injuries before to get money to buy “huge” amounts of drugs. It suggested that we subpoena his travel records and bank accounts.

OK.

(FYI, I cannot subpoena anything. Common misconceptions are that a PI can subpoena anything- we can serve subpoenas and write them on behalf of others, but not for ourselves- and that we can obtain ambulance records, 911 calls and medical records. We cannot. Those require HIPPA authorizations from the patient.)

I spoke with the insurance carrier who asked me if I could verify the facts of the email. I told her no, not the specifics, but we would delve into his background and see what we can find. (Background searches are fairly common in accident cases, but we had not done one in this case as it wasn’t necessary.)

It took awhile to pinpoint the correct person since it isn’t as easy as searching a name. You need pedigree info and we had very little but once we found the correct individual, here’s what we found:

The subject was the subject of a Federal sting operation and he was caught bringing very, very large amounts of cocaine to New York from other states. He had a long record of violent drug offenses and spent a lot of time in prison. He was also very litigious, suing the NYPD and the Police Commissioner for false arrest. One news article quoted him as complaining about the food in prison. So no, I reported, we can’t verify the specific facts of the email but generally, yes, this was (and I quote from my verbal report) “one bad dude.”

After careful consideration, the lawyer I consulted with from the insurance company asked me if I could set up a fake drug buy.

No, I replied. No

I wrote up my report and billed it out, as any good private investigator would.

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Recent Thoughts, April 2020

3 Apr

April 3, 2020

Updates to this site are few and far between lately. The easy answer is that I have less time and opportunity to post. Far less than I used to have. But the better answer is that I don’t feel the need. Don’t feel the urge to write. Is it because my job, in which on some days I do nothing but write, satisfies whatever craving I have? I don’t know. I really don’t feel the writing bug much, if at all. But I can tell you that what I want to do with and get out of this blog is very different than it was when I began 10 years ago. That’s a different story for a different time. Long story short, updates to this blog are likely to remain few and far between. You know what? I’m ok with that,

And judging from my stats and comments, you are too.

With the current situation, many people would think that this is a good time to write, to read, to catch up on TV, etc, etc, etc. Unfortunately, for many people it is. It’s really sad that so many people I know are out of work and have no money coming in. I am not showing off or humble-bragging when I say that I am working from home, getting as much work done, if not more, than before this virus hit. Yes, I am grateful for the money coming in, but the stress level is high. There is the general level of stress many of us feel these days due to the virus situation. I’m in New York City, so I assume you’ve seen how bad things are on the news. Add to that the stress of my job, which I will not go into here. Plus there is my wife to consider, and my Job One is making sure she’s happy and OK. (I don’t mean to imply she’s unhealthy. She’s perfectly fine.) She is uppermost in my mind these days, right alongside the rest of my family that it kills me not to see.

I’m not the only one going through these things. Things are bad (and badder and baddest) all over. I’m no martyr, but this is my sandbox so forgive me if this comes off as all about me. It is. This is my blog, after all. If thousands of self-obsessed YouTube and Instagram influencers can have channels dedicated to the minutiae of their ridiculous lives, forgive me this one post on this obscure website.

One thing I am doing to cut down my general stress levels is avoiding Facebook. A timewaster at the best of times, it has become nothing short of aggravating. Luckily, my feed is not full of idiots licking fruit or jerks throwing virus parties and crowding 50 people into their apartments. My friends and the people I follow are smarter than that.

But Facebook is full of funny memes about toilet paper shortages and social distancing, and joke after funny picture after silly cartoon about the coronavirus. And that’s fine. But it doesn’t do a thing for me. Some of these jokes are funny, some of them make me laugh. I begrudge no one for posting these things. No problem at all. I’m not some weird moralist who finds no humor in this. Go ahead, post your jokes, post your memes, no problem. I don’t care, and you certainly don’t care what I think anyway. But I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to know from them.

For me, it is a little too close to picnicking in a graveyard.

It isn’t just Facebook. I make a point of checking the news only one or two times a day, and I completely avoid any news conference by New York City’s buffoonish part-time Mayor. The Governor is controlling him like a puppet anyway.

Before you think I am all stress – work – stress nowadays, I have to tell you that I made time to watch Tiger King.

Wow. Just wow. That is exactly the type of thing I’d love to blog about.

If only I felt the urge.

 

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