A California District Attorney’s Office was assigned to a large embezzlement case that included a sophisticated web of money transfers and wire fraud, including 100,000+ checks.
A California District Attorney’s Office was assigned to a large embezzlement case that included a sophisticated web of money transfers and wire fraud. The evidence was sent to the Economic Crimes Division to be processed and analyzed.
The judge subpoenaed large amounts of financial records, including the collection of 100,000 check images that required the examination of how much the alleged defendant stole. The agency used different forensic techniques to create actionable information to help build the prosecuting allegations.
Limited by time and resources, in addition to numerous amounts of backlogged cases, the investigator was overwhelmed due to the challenges of gathering sufficient information, organizing the documents for court, and analyzing the data to help convict the alleged criminal.
After spending weeks hand-keying the checks into Excel – date, check number, payee, amount, and more – the investigator came to the realization that manually entering the checks would take over 10 months if he dedicated his entire time on this case only.
This unrealistic expectation lead to a late night internet search for a better solution.
The investigator found ScanWriter for Excel and learned that this solution would automate the data captured from his PDF check images to Excel. Instantly, he was able to efficiently streamline his case workflow and create a structured spreadsheet within a week.
Each data type was classified into its own column. The dates, payee names, amounts, check numbers, account numbers, and memos were aligned in Excel allowing him to immediately sort and search the transactions in question.
The investigator adds, “This case would have taken over 1500 hours for me to manually enter into Excel… that doesn’t include the time spent in double-checking my own work…”
To support the data integrity, the investigator made sure that the attorney had the ScanWriter Excel Add-in when he delivered his findings to be reviewed in court. If the judge and opposing counsel questioned the validity of the data, the attorney was able to retrieve and show the original PDF check image by clicking on the Excel spreadsheet.
The investigator touts, “I was confident in my work…. I knew if they had questions, the attorney wouldn’t have to search for the check image. He can click on the cell and the check image would display in seconds.
In the past, the investigator would work with an analyst from his team to create data visualizations to illustrate their findings. Instead of manually creating pivot tables, ScanWriter offers a direct integration with Microsoft’s Power BI.
The investigator was able to get the data analytic visualizations within minutes. He can easily see the connections, identify patterns, and get meaning insights of how the facts became evidence to support the prosecutors case.
With ScanWriter, the law enforcement team at the District Attorney’s office is able to get the financial data in the most efficient manner and reveal the evidence needed to solve the case.
The user friendly interface helped the investigator process 100,000 checks with 100% accuracy. He did not have to worry about spending more time double-checking his own data entry or stress about trying to complete this case in a timely manner.
Without ScanWriter, the investigator mentioned that he would still be entering the data for this case. The burden of having incomplete assignments draws a big burden for the agency and the public who are waiting to resolve their case.
ScanWriter has helped the investigator save 9-months of work for this single project. With this large assignment solved and concluded, the investigator plans on assisting the backlogged cases within the agency.
The investigator is confident in taking on any size project that the agency assigns to him. He knows he can collect, organize, and analyze accurate data. With the additional benefits of the audit trail in Excel and Power BI visualization, ScanWriter helps the agency better serve the public.
“I caught up all my backlogged cases [within a month]. “