Unique Approaches to Civil Recovery [W/Free Webinar Recording]

In this free webinar, Stuart Levine and Lauren Bridgeo of the Zellman Group outline civil recovery and the strategies retailers can adopt for a successful loss prevention strategy.

July 30, 2021     4 minute read

There are actions companies can take to protect against organized retail crime (ORC) and recoup losses. Civil recovery is a collection of solutions (through legal methods) available to businesses who seek to reclaim monetary damages resulting from fraud and theft. 

In a recent webinar in partnership with Loss Prevention Foundation and Loss Prevention Magazine, Zellman CEO Stuart Levine and Zellman Vice President of Operations Lauren Bridgeo outline several ways civil recovery can benefit retailers.

It all begins with civil demand.

Civil demand is statute driven. In other words, each state has its own rules, guidelines, and laws regarding the amount of money that can be demanded of an individual who has stolen from a retailer. 

Furthermore, internal civil demand complicates things a bit, in that the rules around cash and merchandise theft also vary depending on the state. Nonetheless, civil demand is often where recovery efforts begin. But what do you do about internal theft?

Make things right with restitution.

Restitution pertains to theft recovery from within an organization, committed specifically by employees and staff. In this case, a promissory note is often obtained from the now-former employee, which is vital to this process. Civil tort and criminal statutes also apply in these restitution situations. 

Notably, Zellman’s approach to subject communication varies between civil demand and restitution. With civil demand, Zellman lets the letter campaign do the work for a while before trying to contact a subject through the telephone. 

With restitution, on the other hand, the loss prevention department will already have had contact with the subject, usually done in an interview. This is also where key documentation occurs. Zellman has found that the way to get the quickest results, when dealing with restitution, is to continue pressing the subject via the original communication avenue. You’ve met face to face, which should help you hold them accountable for the restitution promises they’ve already made.

It helps to have good relationships within the court system.

Court-ordered restitution covers civil demand (externally) and restitution. The central benefit to having a third-party service provider do this resides in Zellman’s ability to follow up. 

Courts are inundated and have limited ability to move cases forward. Over the past three decades, Zellman has developed strong relationships with hundreds of contacts within the court system: court clerks, probation officers, and corrections officers all across the country. This enables Zellman to have an incredibly free flow of information back and forth, which is fundamental for successful investigation and prosecution.

In addition to this, keeping a proper legal record of things is key. 

Documentation is pivotal.

Victim impact statements hold unique value for retailers. These ensure victims are properly represented through documentation throughout the court phase of the process. Without a victim impact statement, there’s a good chance retailers and food providers may not be represented or receive restitution. 

Zellman’s well-established relationship with many government officers helps assure that vital documentation ends up in the right hands and doesn’t get lost amid the heavy amount of paper shuffling that occurs between cases. (Something that happens more often than you might think.)

Try out Zellman’s newest civil recovery offering.

ORC recovery is Zellman’s newest loss prevention service. With this offering, cases are reviewed by, and letters are sent from, Zellman’s attorney’s office. Seeking full restitution on the client’s behalf, these attorneys then negotiate with prosecutors and courts to ensure the highest recovery is obtained. Zellman’s recovery team offices are located in Florida, North Carolina, and New York, so no matter what the event, including natural disasters or other emergency-related instances, there is zero downtime in the recovery process. 

Many open-source intelligence tools are utilized to locate undisclosed assets belonging to the defendants (you). These findings are presented to the courts while maintaining 100 percent transparency. In fact, just last year Zellman provided preliminary intelligence to assist in the arrest of bad actors in the United States’ largest ORC case. 

Zellman’s team of experienced intelligence analysts is able to identify additional addresses, vehicles, bank accounts, and even employment information. For example, Zellman maintains numerous covert accounts to make buys on potentially stolen merchandise and provide seller identification and monitoring. 

Point of sale analytics and exception-based reporting are deployed to supplement these investigations as well. 

Lastly, Zellman scours the Deep Web and Dark Web, which are well beyond standard search engines. In the Deep Web, information is non-indexed, meaning it doesn’t show up in regular search engines, while the Dark Web is replete with all sorts of illicit activities and actors. This provides Zellman with a treasure trove of information beneficial throughout investigations. 

Check out the full discussion below by filling out the form below. You can also contact Zellman to learn more about solutions for loss prevention and civil recovery. 

Civil Demand, ORC Solutions

What You Need to Know About Civil Recovery

Civil Recovery is the legal method under state statutes for a company to recoup losses from retail theft. This article breaks down its mechanisms, benefits, applications, associated rules and penalties, and more.

Zellman Civil Recovery Ebook Cover

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