This is a case of corporate espionage, of files copied in the dark of night, of search warrants issued and executed, of justice being served.

The case begins with two companies in a highly competitive and rapidly changing marketplace-similar to the telecommunications industry. These two companies are of similar size and stature and routinely compete over the same customer base. It’s not uncommon for employees to work for one company and then take a job with the other.

In this case, company A’s sales manager–let’s call him Roger–left for a job at Company B. Within weeks, Company A started losing customers to the competition. And while customer churn is common, Company A determined that this situation was different. Customers were leaving in patterned shifts.

The Directors of IT, HR and Marketing began to suspect that Roger had copied customer files and contract information. They weren’t sure how to proceed. Their legal counsel recommended TCDI for their expertise in computer forensics.

TCDI performed a computer forensic analysis of Roger’s office computer and found evidence that he had copied some files, which is not unusual, but also that he had exchanged files with an off-site computer. Based on this evidence, a judge issued a search warrant for Roger’s home computer. TCDI’s computer forensic analysis of the home computer revealed that in the weeks prior to Roger’s departure, he logged into Company A’s network from his home computer and copied numerous files.

With this new evidence, Company A’s legal team was able to get a second search warrant for Company B’s computers. (During discovery, high-ranking officials from Company B testified under oath that their company had no electronic files originating from Company A on their computers).

TCDI’s computer forensic team found Company A’s files on several computers at Company B, including the CEO’s. The judge was not pleased. He issued a permanent restraining order, barring Company B from contacting any of Company A’s customers. Company B quickly settled and paid Company A close to a million dollars in damages.