Subject female, age 65, injured her low back several years ago. She is claiming 100% disabled, she can't walk without her walker, or a cane. She never leaves her residence, and if she does,She needs assistance from someone to get into a vehicle. She can't drive any longer due to her injury. Her final hearing is in two weeks, amount to be rewarded $300,000.00. I need to determine if she is disabled as she claims she is.
6:00 am, I arrived at the subjects residence somewhere in California. Residence is located on a quite court in a middle class neighborhood, it is described as a single family dwelling, double car garage is off to the left, front entrance is located on the left side of the residence down a walkway which is not viewable from the street, lawn area is well kept. Blinds and curtains are closed, no lights were on, no activity to report.
Parked in the driveway is a older model 740i BMW, and a new model Subaru SUV. Parked curbside directly in front of the residence is a Honda mini van, with a disabled placker hanging from the rear view mirror.
10:00 am, no movement from inside of the residence. I need to determine if the subject is home. I placed a call into the residence and the subject answered the phone, she is home.
2:00 pm, discontinue surveillance due to inactivity.
7:00 am, I arrived at the subjects residence, there doesn't appear to be any change from yesterday, blinds and curtains closed, no lights on, and the vehicles are parked in the same location as yesterday.
10:12 am, a female matching the subjects description is seen walking toward the street on her walkway, and walks over to the Honda mini van that is parked curbside on the street. A male adult is also seen walking toward the vehicle, he is also in his 60's.
Now at this point I have never seen the subject, so she is considered a possible subject until she is confirmed the subject.
I have the subjects cell phone number, at which time I call the number when the possible subject is in plan view. Call is placed and the possible subject is seen reaching into her purse and pulls out what appears to be a cell phone. She places the phone to her ear and says hello. I am parked directly across the street in my surveillance van that has blacked out windows. I can read her lips as she says hello, I hung up and it is confirmed the subject.
Subject is walking in a normal manner without the aid of any medical devise such as a walker or cane. Subject walks around to the driver side door, opens the door with her right hand, and enters the vehicle, closing the door with her left hand. Male adult enters the passenger front door. Subject drives off away from the residence, in pursuit. Video was rolling the moment she came into view. I have already disproved her claim as to the fact that she never leaves her residence, never drives, and has to have a medical devise to aid her as she walks.
10:34 am, Subject drives to a large shopping plaza and parks her vehicle in a handicap parking space. She exits her door without the aid of any medical devices, then walks toward a Walgreens and enters with the male adult and out of view. Video rolling.
I quickly park my van and enter the Walgreen's with covert cell phone video camera clipped on my belt.
As I enter, I observe the subject standing in the photo department. I get as close as possible without jeopardizing the surveillance. After waiting in line for twenty minutes, I observe the subject interacting with the clerk as she orders a enlargement of a photo.
She exits the store with the male adult and walk into several small shops, I didn't follow. Video was obtained from a distance.
11:35 am, Subject is walking toward a HomeTown Buffet at the plaza and enters, darn I must follow!!! I let several people enter before me for what is called "pad", to give me cover.
I watched carefully where the subject placed her belongings at a bench table. I was lucky that a table directly one table away was empty. I quickly served and seated myself to prepare for the subject to return at her table. I turned my iphone on, put it on it's side and turned on video, resting the screen side up against the salt and pepper and napkins. Observed the subject walking holding a plate of food, walking what appears to be normal without the aid of any medical devices.
For the next hour, the subject went back for 3 plates of food, and two small plates of deserts. Video was being taken the entire time.
When I am in a close area with a subject, NEVER, can I make eye contact.
12:45 pm, subject gets up from her table with the male adult and exits the restaurant. They walk towards her vehicle, the subject opens the vehicle door. At this time I am running back to my vehicle to get ready for pursuit. As I entered my vehicle, I observed the subject exiting her door and walking toward and into a Ross Dress for Less store. The male stayed in the vehicle, good choice!
Now I need cover whenever I enter a store. This store sells dresses, I won't get any cover in this store, so I stayed inside my vehicle, setup and waiting for her to exit the store.
She shopped for two hours, who in their right mind shops for two hours in one store!!! When I shop, I walk to the pants or shirts, find my size, off to the counter to pay for it and out of the store in less ten ten minutes, now that's how your shop, well at least that's how guy's shop.
She exits the store with nothing in her hands!!!!!!!!
Not only did she shop for two hours, she didn't even buy anything!!!!!!!
She gets into her vehicle, the male adult, he's fast asleep, too funny, and they drove out of the parking lot.
2:45 pm, subject drives 4 blocks and into a Kohl s shopping plaza. I am thinking no way, I am exhausted just waiting for her to stop shopping.
She drives to a McDonalds and parks. Subject and male exit the vehicle and walk into McDonalds and out of view.
Now I had two plates of food and I am still full, she had four plates and two plates of desert, where is she putting it.
2:56 pm, subject and male exit McDonalds with a white bag of food, while the male carries two drinks. They enter the vehicle and drive off.
3:25 pm, the subject drives directly home and parks her vehicle curbside, just as she left it earlier.
I regain my position and get video of her exiting her vehicle and walking into her residence and out of view, without the aid of any medical devices, walking what appears to be normal.
5:00pm, discontinue surveillance due to inactivity.
Summary: I disproved her claim of being 100% disabled. She claims she never leaves the residence and walks with the aid of a medical device such as a walker or a cane. She drove which she claimed she couldn't. 1-3/4 hours of video was obtained of the subject as she walked without the aid of any medical devices, drove, bent at the waist to enter a vehicle, stood inline, sat at a booth, walked with plates of food inside of a restaurant.
I was called in to testify at her hearing, and to bring my evidence with me on a SD Card, which will be played on my 17 inch MacBook Pro.
Court Day 1
7:00 am, I arrived at the court house to find an advantage point to obtain video of the subject arriving to court. There is an open parking lot, curbside metered parking, and a covered parking garage. Since the subject has a handicap placker, she will most likely park in the curbside handicap parking.
I placed my laptop inside a very large plain brown cardboard box, 3 ft x 3 ft box. I wanted to play mind games, will explain later.
There is a cafeteria not far away from the courtrooms which I can see most of the parking out a window from the cafeteria. I set up surveillance in the cafeteria and waited for the subject to arrive.
8:09 am, the subject is observed walking up to the courthouse, I didn't see where she parked her vehicle.
I couldn't believe my eyes in what I was witnessing. The subject is using a medical walker, taking baby steps as she approaches the court house, with the aid of the male adult who was with her during my surveillance. He had his arms around hers, assisting her walk with the walker. lol, couldn't believe it, I am in for some courtroom theatrics. Video rolling.
8:11 am, subject finally made it to the same floor I was on, second floor. I was sitting down in the cafeteria at a table in the back left corner.
The subjects hearing is set for 9:00 am, the only one calendared for the morning.
There is only the subject, male friend, and myself in the cafeteria at this time. Subject is clueless to who I am.
The subject is expecting to be awarded $300,000.00 today from the insurance company, this is a settlement hearing.
8:21 am, a male adult dressed in a suit arrives and walks over to the subject and has a conference, must be her attorney. Then the attorney looks over at me with a stare. He talks more with the subject, then looks back at me, I wave at him, then he walks over to me. He asks who I was, since there was only one case scheduled for a hearing this morning. He looks at the huge box placed on the table in front of me with the ends folded in. He says, are you here for a hearing? I said maybe, he looks at the box and says, what's in the box, I say, something!!!! This comment totally pissed this guy off. Remember, the subject woke up this morning thinking she going to be awarded $300,000.00, and the attorney will get his cut of 30%, which is $90,000.00. He has a lot vested in this case, a big paycheck. Still pissed he said, are you a private investigator? I said maybe, WOW, this guy came unglued at the seams, at which time our attorney walked into the cafeteria and walked over to my table. The tension was so thick in the air, you could cut it with a knife. Subjects attorney turned to our attorney and said, is he a private investigator, our attorney said, well if you want to know that, you will have to put your client on the witness stand so I can ask her some questions first. His face turned ten shades of red and walked off very fast, LOL.
My attorney said, whats in the box, I opened the lids and showed him, he laughed and said, nice one, great visual on the box. Did you tell him whats in the box, I said no, but he became very unbalanced with me when he asked and I wouldn't show him. Talk about a trump card, he thinks we must have a pile of evidence against his client.
Subject and attorney talk, every few seconds they both look over at me. I can tell the subject is upset with my presence. I am sure he is asking her, did you do anything recently that would jeopardize our case.
9:00 am, both attorneys are called into court to speak with the judge. This is custom to do to try to get both sides to settle to avoid a court hearing which takes up so much time.
This leaves me with the subject and male adult alone in the cafeteria, talk about tense!!!
9:20 am, both attorneys walk back into the cafeteria. Our attorney said that the judge whats us to try and settle vs a hearing.
I can see the subject and her attorney talking, her head movements tell me she doesn't want to settle, she wants all $300,000.00.
10:00 am, both attorney's are called back into court.
10:35 am, attorney's return back into the cafeteria. Attorney confirmed my feelings, she wants it all.
The attorney's exit and enter a private room to talk settlement. Our attorney offers $130,000.00 settlement.
Subjects attorney returns back into the cafeteria alone and conferences with the subject. I can see her facial expression, she's not excepting this offer. He exits room and returns to tell our attorney the news.
Moments later they both return to the cafeteria. I was told that the subject isn't going to except any reduced offer. $300,000.00 or lets go to a hearing.
11:00 am, both attorney's and only the subject are called into the courtroom. Subject slowly stands up with the aid from her attorney. She grabs tightly onto the walker and slowly walks out of the cafeteria. I can't believe this, just put me on the stand and get this charade over with.
11:25 am, They exit the courtroom and I am told the hearing is set for 1:30 pm this afternoon. I saw the subject walking down the hall walking very slowly, baby steps, putting on a big show for everyone to witness.
I exit the courthouse fast with my huge box, I need to follow the subject until she return back from the break, surveillance is still on.
Observed subject walking over to her vehicle parked in a handicap parking space curbside, just outside the courthouse. She enters her vehicle with male adult, and she drives away. Video rolling.
I book it to my vehicle and pursue the subject as she drives off.
12:00 pm, subject drives back to her residence. She opens her vehicle door and walks out normally without the aid of any medical devise, IT'S A MIRACLE!!!! lol, BUSTED!!!! video rolling.
12:10 pm, subject exits her residence with male adult, she enters her vehicle and drives off. Again without the aid of any medical devices, video rolling.
12:16 pm, subject drives to a small plaza and parks in front of a Chinese restaurant. I needed gas, there was a gas station located in the same plaza. After getting gas, I saw a McDonalds in the same plaza. I park my vehicle, still watching the subjects vehicle and enter McDonalds. As I was about to walk into the lobby, I observed the subject and male adult sitting down inside of McDonalds. I didn't think she saw me and didn't want any confrontation from the subject. I exited quickly and got into my vehicle. I drove though the drive though and ordered.
12:45 pm, subject and male adult exit McDonalds and drive off. Subject once again is seen walking without the aid from a medical device and walking normally. video rolling.
1:10 pm, subject arrives back to the courthouse and parks in a different parking space, but still next to the courthouse.
Subject exits her vehicle very slowly, opens the side door and retrieves her medical device walker. She is seen walking very slowly toward the courthouse with the aid from the male adult. Video rolling.
I park my vehicle quickly and then entered the courthouse. As I reached the cafeteria I was shocked as to what I saw. I saw lots and lots of Chinese people everywhere. The subject was already in the cafeteria when I arrived with my big cardboard box. Once again talk about tension, they were all looking at me. If looks could kill!!!
During the break, the subject must have made calls for her family and friends to show up for support at her hearing.
I walked to a table that wasn't being used, way in the back. I placed my box on the table and sat down. I was trying not to bust up laughing, I was dieing inside with laughter.
After I settled at my table everyone started to stare at me with mean, lets get him kind of looks.
1:30 pm, subject with both attorney's were called into court, leaving me alone with all these Chinese people. lol
They all started talking in Chinese, very funny, then all of a sudden this 4'8, 90 year old little gray haired Chinese lady walked up to me. She's 3 feet from me, everyone was looking at me. She raised her right hand and point at me and said in Chinese English tone, "YOU NUMBER ONE MEAN PERSON", shaking her hand at me as she said it. lol Then returned back to her seat, then everyone went back to speaking Chinese. I need to get out of here.
1:40 pm, I was summoned to the courtroom, I was thinking YES, get me out of here. I picked up my big cardboard box very slowly, looking at all the Chinese people with a look on my face, your gramdma, sister, auntie, friend, IS BUSTED!!! and walked out.
I entered the courtroom and saw the subject sitting at a table with her attorney. I sat down in a chair, court is in session.
Court will now come to session, please all arise, I looked to where the voice was coming from, it was a bailiff.
Judge walks in from a private door behind his large desk.
Please be seated, says the bailiff.
Judge asks if everyone is ready to precede, both attorney's nod.
Judge looks at the subjects attorney and says, call you first witness. He called the claimant, who is the subject.
She is read in, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me god, subject says I do. I am thinking, she's going to choke on those words.
She slowly stands up and all of a sudden I hear groaning sounds as she try's to stands up. Her attorney says, can I help you, she says, no I can make it with my walker. More groans as she takes hold of her walker, taking baby steps. Groans come with each step she takes. It seemed like it took her five minutes to travel twenty feet. She put on a huge show for the judge.
Now remember, the judge doesn't know anything about the subject, except for the fact that she was injured at one time and is claiming 100 % disabled. He doesn't know I have evidence against her. He can only pass judgement on what he hears in court and see's.
Subject takes the stand and is asked simple easy questions, he's done in fifteen minutes.
Time for cross-examination. I am thinking, now were talking, grill her, make her break apart on the stand, thinking Perry Mason here.
Our attorney asks some easy questions at first, like, do you live at **************, CA. Did you receive an injury in 2007 from performing this task at work. Questions like this.
Then the hard questions started to come out. Have you performed anything that you said you couldn't do, due to your injury, I am thinking, answer the question. She said no, I am thinking, your going to jail for insurance fraud.
More intense questioning and all of a sudden the subject starts to break down on the stand by crying, uncontrollably. More intense questioning and she is crying even more. Then she says, "why are you treating a old lady that is handicapped so mean", questions continued along with the crying, until the judge asked the subject if she would like to take a break, she said yes. Judge said, let's all take a ten minute break.
Subject stands up and walks the same way as she did walking to the stand, slow. I stayed seated, didn't want angry Chinese people looking at me.
Subject retook the stand and finished our attorney's questioning. She stood up and slowly walked back to her table next to her attorney, making these groaning sounds like she was dieing.
I was called up to the stand, I stood up, sworn in, picked up my big cardboard box with a small laptop inside and sat down on the witness stand. Our attorney didn't even get his first question out of his mouth when the subjects attorney stood up and said, your honor, may we approach the bench. I was shocked, so was our attorney. Her attorney wasn't stupid, he knew that if I testified against the subject, there's more than a good chance that his client would go to jail for insurance fraud. He didn't know how much evidence I had inside of my big cardboard box, but it scared the pants off him and it worked, my trump card, this almost empty huge box, we had a atom bomb trump card.
Now I am five feet from the attorney's as they talk with the judge. After several minutes, the attorneys return back to there seats, the judge lifts up his gavel, pounds it down on his desk, says case dismissed, a settlement had been reached. The judge stands up, exits the courtroom though a private door just behind his desk.
I am shocked and pissed, I wanted the judge and the subject to see my evidence. I wanted justice to be served and for her to go to jail. Most of all I wanted to see the subject's attorney's face as I open my big cardboard box and pull out a laptop.
Subjects attorney talks to the subject and she's mad as all get out. She picked up her medical walker and walks out of court almost running. She exits the courtroom, and disappears, I follow and by the time I am outside the courtroom, she is down the hall at the elevators. I book it to the stairs and as I am reaching the first floor, she is at the front doors. I exit the courthouse and pull out my camera and start videoing her walking very fast while carrying her walker in her hands. Her male friend had a hard time keeping up with her. She was almost to her vehicle when I looked further down the street and observed the judge who just heard this case in his courtroom, witnessed her walking very slowly, groaning at every step, a very disabled person, walk past him very fast carrying her medical walker in her hands as she walked. He stopped and starred at her as she passed him. She reached her vehicle, opened the back door, threw her medical walker into the back end, slamming the door, gets into the drivers seat, male friend just entered as she peels off. I am thinking, I couldn't write a script as good as what I just witnesses. Video rolling.
Once I stopped videoing, I observed the judge walk back into court.
I am thinking WOW this is great!!!
I walk back to the courtroom and see all her Chinese friends leaving the courtroom. I walked up to our attorney and told him what I just witnessed and filmed. I asked what in the world happen. He told me that at the bench with the subjects attorney, he wanted to take the $130,000.00. I said there is no way I will except that amount. He countered at $100,000.00, then $75,000.00, every time I said know way, $50,000.00, $30,000.00. I said, I will settle $10,000.00 to keep your client out of jail. He excepted, he walked over to his client, told his client and she blew a gasket. That's when she exited the courtroom like a tornado.
As I was getting my laptop out of my box, I observed our attorney talking with the judge who had heard this case, he looked upset. Moments later the judge walks away and our attorney comes up to me. He said, the judge saw what took place outside. He doesn't know what evidence I possessed but wanted to view my video. He hasn't filed any settlement yet and won't until he views all evidence in this case. He was upset that a claimant used his courtroom in an attempt to commit fraud while under oath. I am thinking, YES THERE IS JUSTICE AFTER ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few days later I learned that the judge overturned his original judgement for a settlement. Had viewed all my video. Had handed over to the District Attorney all evidence and is waiting for criminal charges to be officially filed against her. She will have to repay five years of insurance money back to the insurance company plus penalties. She may be facing up to five years in jail.
All she had to do was except $130,000.00 and go home and live out her life. WOW!!!!!!!!!!