Cases Studies

College professor/author

We were hired by a distinguished author/college professor who had an issue with private information leaking from her computer. She was being harassed by anonymous individuals that had very specific and detailed knowledge of what she was doing inside her home, including clothes that she was trying on in her bedroom.

We conducted a full sweep of the premises and determined that there were no cameras or devices of any kind. We investigated the client’s computer and phone and found no evidence of a breach. However, our client was able to provide detailed harassing messages that could only have come from either accessing her computer or having visibility inside her home. We were on her property until it was pitch-black outside. One of our investigators, who was outside, called the rest of our team on the phone. He asked if the professor always did her writing in the chair that she was sitting in at the time. She said yes. He then proceeded to tell us exactly what was on the computer screen and what the client was doing. He went further to describe exactly what the interior of the bedroom looked like from his current position. Obviously, this piqued our team’s curiosity. He was standing in our client’s backyard in a pitch-black blind spot on the opposite side of the pool. Using a cheap handy cam, he was able to zoom in close enough to see the computer screen and everything that was taking place inside the bedroom.

Due to the way the lights were set up, the opposite side of the pool was pitch black and you could not see if someone was standing there. Our client had high end privacy blinds that were supposed to allow you to see the outside when they were closed but not the inside. Unfortunately, the installers put them on backwards. We later traced the harassing messages to one of her neighbors who was walking through the open gate and physically spying on our client from the backyard. In some of these cases, it took longer to get to the bottom of the issue. In this case we were able to determine that it was an old-fashioned peeping Tom taking advantage of the layout and the setup of our client’s home in order to gain harassing information.

Contentious divorce on the waterfront

Our client was going through a contentious divorce, with significant child support and alimony associated with the outcome. Due to some information that her ex-husband and his attorney were able to obtain, it could only be suspected that her home was bugged with audio and/or video devices hidden within it. There was also a possibility that her computers may have been remotely accessed.

While doing the TSCM inspection of the property, one of our techs noticed a man standing on a boat waving at us from the canal behind the house. We told the client one of her friends was trying to get her attention. She had a shocked look on her face and said that the waving man was her ex-husband. Although he did not have a boat, our client recognized it and said that he would’ve borrowed it from a friend. He wasn’t wearing boating clothes; he was dressed in work attire. It was extremely suspicious that he happened to be behind the house waving at us, trying to get our attention at the same time as we were conducting the sweep. We did not find any devices within the house during that inspection, but we did find two spots where drywall had recently been plastered and replaced. At one of the spots the repair putty was still moist and pliable. Our client’s ex-husband owned a construction company, among other businesses, and had fully renovated the house prior to them moving it. That day our client was gone from the house for several hours.  We also found several places where there were cut or loose wires, which in addition to fresh patches in the drywall indicated that there were devices that had been quickly removed prior to our arrival.

Upon further investigation, we discovered that the next-door neighbor had been directly reporting information to the ex-husband, as they were close friends. So even without the devices present, the ex-husband had a lot of inside knowledge as to when we were assisting the client. We also did a hacking forensic evaluation on the client’s computer and discovered that the ex-husband had been remotely accessing her device from the network next-door.

Miami high-rise

Our client was a well off, single woman in her 60s living alone in a luxury high-rise in Miami. Due to some recent harassment, she suspected that there were hidden video cameras in her condo.

Within a few minutes of being on the scene, an extremely well-hidden camera that was installed into an electrical cord, was discovered in her TV entertainment system. It had a full view of her couch, living room and front door.

Further investigation discovered a second camera hidden in the hallway in front of the master bedroom. The base of her phone charger was swapped with an identical replica that had a built-in camera within it. In spite of the building having a security guard to monitor who entered the property, a secure access to each building and a high security front door, someone was still able to obtain entry to our client’s condo to plant the two hidden video cameras.

Hidden camera turned to revenge porn

Our client had a brief sexual encounter with a coworker one night after work. Embarrassed and ashamed of the indiscretion, she immediately wanted to make sure that no mixed messages were sent.  She wanted to make it clear that she did not want to continue the relationship in that manner.

At that point, her coworker revealed that he had secretly recorded their encounter and threatened to expose it if she did not continue to have a sexual relationship with him. When she refused, he shared the recording on their work’s Facebook page and on numerous websites.

Our client went to the police, and they offered her no help as they had no ability to tie any of the publications back to him. When she hired our firm, we immediately gathered all of the technical data that was available in order to connect it back to her suspect. Using cyber forensic procedures, and some of our proprietary penetration tools, we were able to identify the suspect and confirm he was responsible for the postings. We also built the case in a manner that law-enforcement would be able to use the evidence that we gathered to prosecute him. We thought the case was closed, but when the suspect got out on bail, he began to threaten and attack our client again. He was identified and connected to the threats, and this time held without bail until trial. When released from jail, he went after our client again. This time, the police were able to issue a warrant and confiscate his devices. They determined that he was the person responsible for yet another attack against our client. Upon his release from jail, the police discovered that he and an accomplice had devised an extremely detailed plan and had not only planned but attempted to murder our client as revenge for putting him in jail. As of now, he’s finally in jail for attempted murder, among other crimes. Had our firm not gotten involved, he would’ve never been taken off the street in the first place.


Phone, email, and social media hacking in a divorce case

Our client suspected that his ex-wife had accessed his phone, email, and social media accounts. Our initial forensic evaluation identified a specific IP address that had been accessing the clients’ accounts without his consent. Using our firm’s proprietary stealth IP tracing technology, we were able to obtain the IP address and device information from the client’s ex-wife. When we compared the ex-wife‘s IP address and device to the one used to access the client’s accounts, they were a perfect match.

Our firm was not only able to demonstrate that the accounts were hacked, but we were able to identify and prove the person responsible for the breach in a manner that could be used in court.

Hacked email / Spoofed calls and multi-six figures stolen

Our client was notified that a series of wire transfers had been sent out from his account totaling more than half a million dollars. He had very high cyber security and always followed the best practices for wire transfers and payments. There was a security alert for his account and he was contacted by his bank immediately pursuant to their security protocol. Our client Googled the name of the person on the phone and viewed their LinkedIn profile to prove he was in fact the appropriate representative of the bank. However, the thief did his homework. He spoofed the bank’s phone number, gave the name of a person that actually worked at the bank, and was able to get the secure authentication needed to steal the client’s funds. Because of the client’s proactive nature, he was notified immediately of the wire transfers and was able to initiate a kill chain and reverse approximately 90% of the stolen funds. However, a significant amount was still missing and the suspect behind the attack was still not identified.

Within a few days, our team was able to trace the hacker/thief and identify the person responsible. The suspect we identified had already pending charges for several million dollars’ worth of complex financial scams.

GPS found on truck… After the sweep!

Our client contacted us due to suspicions of being tracked by his wife (they were going through divorce proceedings). When we inspected his vehicle, it wasn’t 100% clear, but based on our interview with the client, and a review of his phone (to ensure it wasn’t being tracked) there was no question that there was a tracker on the vehicle before… it just wasn’t there at the time of the inspection.

After further interviewing our client, he had a strong suspicion of the exact type of device that was used. Since the Client was involved in a contentious divorce and the finances were the focus point, there were months and months of financial disclosures from each side. We advised our client on what to look for in the disclosures as the name may not have appeared to be from a GPS tracking company. The client responded that he found the exact charge we advised he looked for in his wife’s financial statements. He was able to prove that she was paying for the tracker. We further assisted in helping his attorney subpoena the GPS provider and get the proof he needed to show exactly when and for how long the ex-wife was illegally tracking the vehicle without our client’s consent.

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Employee/Insider Theft: Manufacturer – Unexplained Financial Losses

Our agency was retained by a manufacturing corporation that had been falling behind on sales. They were unable to determine the reason for their losses after months of audits and evaluating all of their staff and processes. After exhausting all efforts, they believed that it was potentially a cyber-attack that was diverting their sales from incoming leads.

Our team conducted a full analysis of their website, company server, computers, emails, and their entire sales funnel.

Our firm identified numerous holes in the marketing and sales processes, including several major issues that were causing significant losses in sales on the client’s website. There was also a dangerously insecure server that was not up to date in modern cyber security software.

But those issues were not significant enough to explain the dull drop in sales. At this point, our firm switched focus away from the website, IT department and tech, and directed attention towards the sales staff. After interviews, forensic analyses, and a detailed review of the company’s prior sales trends in processes, we were also able to determine that the missing sales volume was all due to actions taken by the VP of internal sales. We then discovered that the VP of internal sales was operating with a computer, phone, and email outside of the ones the company provided.

The employee was then terminated, pending potential legal action, and we assisted the company in directing their focus to the recovery of the missing funds.

Cargo Theft: Missing Semi-Truck

Our agency was hired by another private investigation firm to assist them with a stolen semi-truck filled with extremely valuable materials. The materials belonged to a manufacturer in Florida. There appeared to have been no leads other than the truck being stolen.

We quickly found evidence that suggested it may have been an inside job from someone who worked with the manufacturer. Our firm focused on people within the manufacturing facility that would’ve had knowledge of the contents of the truck or information about the departure or travel route.

The manufacturer did not perform regular background checks on its management or staff. When we began to investigate the staff for potential suspects, we identified a manager that was living significantly beyond his means. Pitch property, vehicles, and real estate assets were impossible to accumulate from his salary alone. He also had a private warehouse on his land; it was large enough to park two semi-trucks inside.

We later caught that manager along with a few of his accomplices in the act of stealing a truck full of materials from the factory on a holiday when the facility was closed. We conducted covert surveillance and identified the entire chain. We discovered where they unloaded, sold and distributed their stolen goods before working with their clients to turn them over to law-enforcement.

Celebrity Scandal Accusations: Singer/Actor Accused of a scandal

Our Team was retained by a law firm representing a celebrity musician and actor who had been accused of a scandal. The accuser then paired up with a non-profit agency which assisted her in avoiding the service of legal process for our client to lawfully defend himself from the allegations that were made against him.

Several other firms were hired and consulted to assist in tracking down the missing accuser. After a full review of the nonprofit that was hiding her, along with advanced tracking methods and technology, our field team was able to track her down, verify her identity and whereabouts, and assist in getting her served with the lawsuit personally.

Secret Life Online: Online Escort

Our agency was hired by a military officer who suspected his wife of infidelity, but in addition to infidelity, he felt that there was something more to it. As a military officer he had advanced intelligence training and was able to recognize several suspicious patterns and behaviors.

Using deep web search tools in conjunction with undercover investigators, we discovered that his wife was running an escort ring out of her licensed medical massage parlor. While her husband was deployed, she used marital funds to start the massage parlor, got it licensed and created an elaborate series of online filters to be able to screen her clientele before meeting them. To the naked eye the massage parlor appeared completely legit; it filed taxes and even offered traditional massages and services.

Our team was able to uncover the Internet history connecting the wifre to the solicitation of new clients for her escort and prostitution service. We were able to trace the IP address that she was communicating through directly back to her iPad, proving that she was not only involved but in charge of this elaborate extortion ring.

Infidelity: NFL Star

We were retained by the wife of a notable NFL star who had recently retired. Our firm represents a lot of professional athletes and/or their spouses, so it seemed like any other case involving a famous or high net worth individual.

A vehicle was seen at the house and our client was extremely concerned and suspicious. Upon engaging with covert surveillance, our team discovered the subject having an affair, and found circumstantial evidence that he was either paying for or contributing significantly toward his mistress’ apartment and bills. Our client’s attorney advised that this is considered marital waste in the state of Florida and though infidelity is not relevant in Florida court cases, wasting marital assets on an affair would be. Our team continued to investigate to find additional evidence to prove the husband was paying for the mistress’ apartment and living expenses.

During the investigation, he was caught having an affair with another woman locally. We also had an investigator follow him on a trip from Orlando to California where he was caught cheating with two women at the same time at a five-star hotel.

Infidelity: Waiting for the opportunity

Our team had been monitoring a subject, suspected of infidelity by his wife and her family for a week. Every day the subject had a very set routine which included set work hours, time to work out, limited time for errands and being in at 9 o’clock every night.

On the last night of the case, it was clear that this man was not interested in cheating on his wife. After the hours had expired, one of our investigators went to the subject’s hallway to remove a hidden camera we had placed. She waited 30 minutes after the subject had habitually gone home before going to retrieve the camera. On the way there, she ran into the subject in the elevator, and he proceeded to hit on her. The subject then sent her nude selfie‘s and extremely graphic text messages of the sexual activities he was hoping she would do with him.

Despite the consistency and routines, we realized that the person who appeared to be honorable and not interested in having an affair, was simply waiting for the right opportunity.

Infidelity: Resort / More than friends at a business conference

Our client reached out to us with suspicion that his wife might be unfaithful at a professional business conference that she would be traveling into town for. She was coming into town early that day and the client was concerned.

Our team was able to obtain her room number upon check-in and discovered a potential paramour. We installed covert cameras in front of both of their rooms so that we could see anyone coming in or going out of the rooms.

The subject proceeded to text our client, her husband, false information about who she was with and what she was doing. While that was taking place, our team recorded the wife with hidden cameras in the hotel bar and restaurant. When she told our client she was going to bed, our investigators got footage of her going to her room, changing into some very revealing clothing and then proceeding to go into the suspected paramour’s room late at night and shutting the door.

Child Custody: 14 Month Undercover

Our clients had concerns about the mother of their child: her habits and activities.

A comprehensive online investigation found evidence that she had previously been an escort. Upon attempting to present that evidence it was ruled that her previous activities as an escort and stripper were no longer relevant since she no longer partook in those activities and was focusing on being a “good mom.”

Since the subject was aware that we were investigating her, she was extremely cautious and aware, so unconventional tactics had to be incorporated. We started to insert female agents to connect with the subject. After one of our agents made a solid connection, she continued to build a relationship with the subject for 14 months. And at the end of the case, we obtained footage of various reckless and unsafe activities such as taking multiple children in a two-seater car with no seatbelts or driving at excessive speeds. The case capped off with the subject doing cocaine in the bathroom of a nightclub.

Child Custody: Inside footage of a subject’s condo.

My clients were extremely concerned about the relationship that their child’s mother was in. The mother had become involved with another woman who had three children, the oldest of whom was a young boy who was caught molesting our client’s son. A court order followed that our client’s son was not allowed to be in contact with the mother’s girlfriend’s children.

We determined that the mother was not living in the residence that she claimed on her official documents and found her living with the girlfriend nearly 3 hours away.

Our team came up with a social engineering plan to send an undercover investigator. Under guidance of our attorney, and in compliance with state laws, we were able to enter the home with the permission of the tenants and the owner, and get a full video tour of the inside of the property. Inside we found that not only were the subjects in violation of the court order of not having any children in contact, but they had the boys sharing a bed together!

Without the footage of the inside of this property, not only would our client’s child continue to have been in significant danger and suffering further potential sexual abuse, but there also would’ve been no way to prove that in the court of law.

Child Custody: Drug Use

It’s a common suspicion of parents that the other parent/guardian either uses drugs or participates in illegal activities. Many of these activities happen behind closed doors and even when they are exposed, there’s no way to prove via video footage or photos what the actual substance was.

In this case, we obtained regular footage of the subject smoking what appeared to be marijuana in the presence of a child. There were also regular interactions and exchanges with convicted drug dealers in front of the subject’s house.

After providing the footage and a full report of all of the interactions with the criminals associated with the subject and the child, the client was advised to take a drug test and drug test the child. Our client tested negative but their one year old baby tested positive for marijuana with alarmingly high levels of THC.

With the assistance of experts, we were able to corroborate and prove that the subject, the child’s mother, was using illegal drugs in the presence of the child to a degree that caused her to have extremely high levels of controlled substances in her body. In addition, the regular traffic of convicted felons, including convicted drug dealers, was enough to help prove that the environment was not suitable for the child to be in.


Mark A., Tampa, FL | Attorney, 16 years

I have worked with Southern Recon on several investigations. He is an excellent investigator who always gets the job done no matter how complex or dangerous the situation. His fees are very reasonable and he usually puts in more hours than he gets paid for in order to make sure he does a professional job. I highly recommend Southern Recon Agency.

Tina G., Ontario, Canada

Matt provided me with superior service. He handled my investigation in a very professional manner and was always available for me 24/7. He helped solve my case and provided me with accurate evidence proving the suspicion of my husband’s infidelity. I highly recommend his services. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for his services!

Chris G., Tampa, Fl

I requested a background investigation on person that I was looking to conduct business with. I corresponded with the professionals at the Agency over email and the telephone. At no time, was I confused or concern about the process of this investigation. The process was thoroughly explained. Matt Aubin potentially saved me thousands of dollars by giving me an accurate understanding of who I was looking to do business with. Needless to say, I will not be conducting any business with this individual. I am extremely grateful for the work performed by Matt and the agency. It was worth every penny. The level of service provided exceeded my expectations.

Donnie C., Orlando, Fl

These folks are professional and will get results for you quickly. They are not the run of the mill grinding hours for billing people that often fill this profession. Thanks!