From the Investigator: Sherlock’s Most Unique Cases – Lenny

Sherlock Investigation’s Most Unique Cases

One of the newest members of our team at Sherlock Investigations, Lenny Attar, has come to us from a lengthy career in law enforcement. Lenny has an interest in tattoos and a passion for protecting the vulnerable! If it is within his power to help someone out, he will do it. This series aims to address the unique circumstances that Private Investigators run into, as well as the impressionable outcomes that many of our cases hold. Let’s get to know our fourth investigator, Lenny, a little more!

How did you get into surveillance?

I got into surveillance over 18 years ago. I started as a Loss Prevention Manager with Target Corporation back in the year 2000. I used the CCTV to conduct video surveillance to apprehend shoplifters and internal dishonesty (i.e. cash theft, merchandise giveaways, unauthorized discounts, etc.) for 5 years.  From there I worked for Comerica Bank Headquarters where I was employed as a Bank Officer to create, implement, and establish an Anti-Money Laundering Department. This was expressly due to the Patriot Act of 9/11. The USA Patriot Act is a law that was passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. What this did was give law enforcement agencies broad powers to investigate, indict and bring terrorists to justice.  It also led to increased penalties for committing and supporting terroristic crimes. The Patriot Act expanded surveillance activity and had a huge impact on the U.S in regards to financial professionals and financial institutions engaging in cross-border transactions. My job was to research, write and submit corporate policy that would impact the corporation nationwide to bring Comerica Bank into compliance with federal laws as a financial institution.

After four years of doing that, I decided to work in law enforcement. I have held several positions in my career catching the bad guys, including a Parole Officer for the State of Michigan, the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, South Eastern Michigan Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Absconder Recovery Unit. I really enjoyed it for a long time, but then I found myself working with two of my closest former colleagues and close personal friends here at Sherlock Investigations, where I continue to add to my life experience.

What is your opinion of the career now versus what you used to think the job entailed? How does your view differ from the public view of the job?

The job is pretty much what I thought it was with one exception. I used to think investigators were still using cameras with telescopic lenses and shooting pictures instead of video. I think people still do not really understand what PI’s do. This is because people think television character’s like, “Ray Donavan” are what PI’s do. We are not gangsters, but Hollywood sells that story to the public and some people buy into that notion. Like my Dad (Who is 76 y/o) for instance, calls me “Colombo” or” Magnum PI”, all he knows is what he has seen on television shows.

Are there any cases you worked on, that come to mind as very “unique “? Why is that?

Although I am new at Sherlock Investigations, one experience that sticks out in my mind is a case where we were doubled up on this guy who was a care provider for his wife. The wife allegedly suffered from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) due to a car accident. The client had been paying the claimant for over 15 years to the tune of just over two million dollars. My partner and I followed them around to a few spots before they finally headed back home. A few moments later, the husband and “sole care provider” for his wife, comes out of the residence all decked out in a nice suit and hat and gets back into the vehicle. We followed him to a liquor store, and then all the way to a talent agency (he was an aspiring 50 something-year-old rapper and wannabe producer). My partner and I decided to go into the business to investigate more about what services they offered and to try to get covert video of the claimant’s care provider, as he left his injured wife home alone while he was partying with his talent agency. While I was talking to one of the employees at the agency, my partner wondered off looking for the rest room and happened to get covert footage of our care provider without his wife present. I got a text message while I was pretending to be interested in the talent agency, saying, “I got it, let’s go I am outside”. I took the business card of the person I was talking to and left the building. It was a long day, but a nice pay off in the end!

What is one of your most successful “wins” as an investigator? A case where you made a positive difference in outcome.

I had the opportunity to work a case with one of my peers where we were conducting surveillance on a claimant that was working at a pizzeria – she was claiming all kinds of medical issues. We posed as a couple out to eat, and had the claimant serve us. My partner was getting great covert surveillance footage of the claimant bending at the waist, lifting trays of dirty dishes, and working her fingers to the bone. We enjoyed the free dinner and got great evidence for our client! A win for everyone involved.

What is your advice for other or aspiring investigators?

If this is the type of work is what you want to do, then do it! Life is too short to not enjoy what you do for a living. Most of us spend more time at work than we do at home, so you might as well spend your time doing something you enjoy. In this line of work it pays to be patient, wait for the right moment, get your ID footage then zoom out immediately and get the rest of the body on video so that it tells a story to the client about what, where, when and how their claimant is facilitating their daily activities.

What is your advice for our clients or potential clients on expectations for each case?

Be patient. Nothing in life happens overnight. Have reasonable expectations. Lastly, be prepared for the evidence that is presented to you. If you are not sure you really want to know the truth, then ignorance is bliss. On the flip side, just because you suspect someone is up to no good, does not necessarily mean they are. The goal should be to “locate” the truth regardless of the outcome.