CHARLES PIPER'S PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Q: Have all private investigators previously served in law enforcement?
A: Many PIs never served in law enforcement or in the field of criminal justice.
Charles Piper is a licensed private investigator who served for 20 years as a Federal Agent-Criminal Investigator. In addition, he also previously served as a U.S. Army Military Police Officer, Military Police Investigator, City Police Officer, and Supervisory Detective.
Q: Some Private Investigators say they previously served in law enforcement. Do all law enforcement officers have the same types of experience?
A: No, clients should NEVER assume that just because a P.I. previously served in law enforcement that they know how to conduct thorough, well documented and complete investigations. Some P.I.s previously worked as cops in small towns! Some were only patrol officers! Do you want an experienced patrolman helping you, or an experienced professionally trained investigator?
Q: Do all private investigators have investigative experience before becoming licensed?
A: No, in fact, some private investigators never completed a single investigation before obtaining their PI license. You should be aware some reputable private investigation companies are owned by seasoned private investigators who employ less experienced investigators and then pay them a portion of what YOU paid the P.I. company. Are you paying for AND receiving the best, or is your case being delegated and the PI owner reaping the profits? Charles Piper has over 30 years of successful nationwide investigative experience.
Q: Do some P.I. companies in other states advertise as being local?
A: It's amazing what you will find when you search the internet for a P.I. Some companies in distant states use key search words for your home state, city and town and have a 1-800 telephone number so it appears they are located nearby. Hopefully those companies are actually licensed to do P.I. work in your state. Some companies advertise or say they are, "national" but they just have a roster of independently owner on-call P.I.'s and they pay (subcontract) those other P.I's a reduced dollar amount of what their client payed them! Do NOT assume you are getting the best! Do not assume that the person you talked to on the phone will actually do the work!
Q: Have all private investigators completed investigative academies?
A: No, several states do not even have PI licensing requirements. Some states have very demanding PI requirements. Some states conduct background checks on the PI applicants and may also require the applicants to read 2 or 3 books before taking a PI examination. Many states also require Private Investigators to complete additional annual training.
Charles Piper is a graduate of 3 law enforcement/investigative academies (military, state and federal). He graduated with honors (Cum Laude) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and finished second in academics in his state’s police academy. He has completed additional training courses in numerous fields of investigative study including over 200 hours of reputable Interview and Interrogation training. Mr. Piper has conducted thousands of interviews nationwide of people from all backgrounds and has even served as an Interview and Interrogation Subject Matter Expert. Piper possesses 3 current professional certifications and regularly exceeds annual license and certification training requirements.
Q: Does the State of Tennessee require each private investigator applicant to pass a written examination before the state issues them a private investigator license?
A: Currently, Tennessee PI applicants must take an examination and are required to make a passing grade of at least 70 percent before being issued their PI License. Mr. Piper passed Tennessee’s PI Licensing Exam with a score of 96 percent. He also passed Tennessee’s additional PI Company examination with a score of 94 percent. Many of the private investigators in Tennessee who opened their companies several years ago never had to take a written PI or PI Company examination – they were “grandfathered” into the system. However, all Tennessee Licensed Private Investigators are required to complete additional annual training.
Q: Do all investigators always conduct thorough investigations?
A: There are many superb investigators in the U.S.A. However, some investigators - even some in law enforcement - cut corners, improperly prioritize, are over tasked, or simply do not have the experience/expertise to do the job they are trying to do. Some investigations are initiated with improper objectives and/or preconceived notions. Factually, there are too many “cold cases” and “unfounded” cases sitting in file drawers. Also, some innocent people have been convicted of crimes they never committed. Charles Piper conducts detailed, thorough and well documented investigations which have held up in court. When reviewing others’ investigations, Mr. Piper knows that information may be lacking, misleading or incorrect. In fact, Charles Piper is a published author and has written a book on conducting thorough and complete investigations. It's titled: "Investigator and Fraud Fighter Guidebook: Operation War Stories." (See the publications tab on this website for this book and other professional writings by Piper.)
Q: What type of investigations has Charles Piper conducted?
A: Please see the "Types of Cases" tab.
Q: If a client’s case needs to be presented to an attorney, will the private investigator know how to present the case?
A: Some PIs have never presented a case to an attorney and many have never testified at a hearing! Charles Piper has presented cases to attorneys from coast-to-coast and he has testified at numerous criminal and civil adjudicative hearings.
Q: Does Charles Piper’s Professional Services (CPPS) keep its clients informed of the progress during investigations?
A: Clients deserve to be kept well informed of their investigation’s progress. CPPS provides updates as requested by each client and provides a detailed well documented summary report at the conclusion of each investigation unless the client does not want this. (See the testimonials tab on this website.)
Q: What attributes should a potential client look for when hiring a private investigator?
A: Charles Piper’s Professional Services is proud of the professional relationships it has developed with many professionals across the globe. A potential client should ensure the private investigator and the private investigation company they select has the ability, experience and desire to provide the requested services. Honesty, a solid work ethic and professionalism are also extremely important attributes to consider. The client should ascertain the experience level of investigator who will actually provide the services and not just rely on the "company’s" years of experience. A client can ask the PI to provide a current certificate of insurance. As a 20-year Federal Agent, Charles Piper has held one of the highest level Government security clearances available, has over 30 years of successful investigative experience and he will provide certificates of insurance upon request.
Q: Why should a potential client do business with Charles Piper’s Professional Services rather than another private investigation company?
A: Charles Piper's Professional Services (CPPS) conducts QUALITY AND SKILLFUL INVESTIGATIONS and strives to perform every investigation in a manner which will meet the client’s needs and exceed their expectations by providing thorough & well documented investigations. Each investigation is followed with a professionally written and detailed report (unless not requested). Should testimony later be required, it can be provided with honesty, integrity and confidence. Charles Piper, the owner of CPPS, has led and/or worked jointly with some of the finest law enforcement organizations and agencies in the United States. Piper knows firsthand how to commit to the cause and provide professional results. (See the Testimonials Tab.)
Q: How can Charles Piper assist in fighting fraud?
A: Charles Piper has over 20 years experience investigating fraud, waste and abuse. His investigations have resulted in numerous indictments, convictions, civil recoveries, fines, and restitution. As a result of his investigations, millions of dollars have been recovered. Many investigators only try to “solve the case” which they were assigned. Mr. Piper has proven experience at identifying trends and patterns which often uncover additional fraud and/or other wrongdoing which was not previously detected.
CPPS also offers private entities the opportunity to participate in Fraud Risk Assessments which will assist in identifying potential fraud vulnerabilities. CPPS can also prepare & provide entities with their own Code of Business Ethics and Conduct and provide Ethics and other training to company employees. CPPS offers these services at reasonable rates to assist entities in identifying potential internal weaknesses and in attempt to avoid future losses which can help reduce or eliminate the need for future investigations.
Q: How do Mr. Piper’s financial investigations differ from other investigators?
A: Piper provides honest, high quality investigative services that are thorough and well documented. (See the Testimonials Tab). When appropriate, Mr. Piper initiates investigations attempting to not only solve the cases, but to simultaneously search for and identify potential weaknesses which allowed the fraud or other wrongdoing to occur in the first place. He has over 20 years of proven experience doing this. At the conclusion of those investigations, written reports identifying areas of concern are provided to the clients along with written recommendations for improvement. Most investigators, including many respected state, local and federal agents, were never trained to investigate this thoroughly. Charles Piper’s goal is to solve the case and stop the fraud. Note: Clients who only want limited investigations conducted will be accommodated.
Q: Has Charles Piper received special training in conducting fraud investigations?
A: Charles Piper is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and has maintained that certification for over 20 years. He has completed numerous federal and private fraud investigation training classes/courses and continues his education by regularly completing continuing education classes/courses. Mr. Piper has also provided training to various anti-fraud professionals and and written articles and books about fraud and fraud prevention.
Q: Does Charles Piper’s Professional Services (CPPS) only investigate for wrongdoing and/or financial losses?
A: CPPS conducts investigations that need to be conducted - period! That includes surveillance, civil rights violations, whistle-blower assistance, criminal defense, worker's comp and more!
If you want HONEST, TOP-QUALITY investigative work done - call Charles Piper's Professional Service. Keep in mind that the purpose of any investigation is to learn the truth and often to identify facts/information not previously reported or documented. If you want PROFESSIONAL investigation conducted - Call Charles Piper's Professional Services.
Q: What other investigative agencies has Charles Piper worked jointly with?
A: When previously serving as a Special Agent for 20 years, Charles Piper was a member of various federal task force investigations and working groups. During his professional career, Piper has led and/or conducted investigations jointly with many investigative agencies including many Offices of Inspector General, the FBI, CIA, ICE, ATF, Secret Service, Postal Inspectors, NASA, Health & Human Services, Office of Personnel Management, Social Security Administration, Department of Education, NCIS, AFOSI, Army-CID, DoD-OIG (DCIS) as well as state and local police agencies. He has conducted investigations nationwide.
INVESTIGATION EXPENSE or COST TO HIRE A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
Q: Is it expensive to hire a private investigator? How much does it cost to hire a private investigator?
A: A potential client should keep in mind that like any other service ordered,
"you get what they pay for. "
The cost of hiring a private investigator (PI) has several variables. Obviously, some services take longer to provide then others. For example, surveillance can sometimes be completed quickly while others last several days or longer. Well planned and conducted interviews take longer to complete by a professional then perhaps someone who is just going through the motions (with no real experience). Services like verifying an address or social security number are typically billed at flat fees. But the biggest variable is the price PIs charge for their time.
Research performed by CPPS found that PI rates vary greatly around the U.S.A. - even within the same geographical areas!
Hourly Private Investigator or Investigative Consultant rates can very from approximately $50 to $400 per hour. However, typical rates around the USA might range from approximately $75 to $150 per hour.
Daily "Flat Fee" PI Rates are sometimes offered in lieu of hourly rates.
Clients should also expect to pay for millage (approx .55 cents per mile - some charge even more!) and additional expenses incurred (i.e., research & administrative fees, access to subscribed databases fees, photography/video processing-copying fees, postage, - Per Diem if the PI travels outside their geographical area - etc.)
Q: Are all private investigators insured?
A: Not all PIs are insured. Not having insurance could allow some PIs to charge less.
Charles Piper and his company are both licensed and insured.
Q: Do those who hire a private investigator have to pay any money up-front?
A: Many Private investigators require payment of a retainer before any investigative work is initiated. The PI will then perform billable work which is charged to the retainer. When the retainer is exhausted, the PI will normally cease work until additional funds are provided. This procedure is considered the norm in the PI industry and ensures the client is never billed an amount which is more than what they bargained for. Charles Piper’s Professional Services normally requires payment of a retainer before investigative services are initiated. Clients are kept informed of the investigative progress as agreed upon. At the conclusion of each investigation, a detailed investigative summary report is provided to the client unless not requested.
Q: What if the client changes their mind and wants the investigation to stop?
A: Each PI and/or PI Company has their own procedures on how to deal with cancellations. Some PIs will not refund any portion of retainers. Typically, Charles Piper’s Professional Services (CPPS) allows clients to stop the investigation at anytime. Unless otherwise agreed to, clients requesting cancellation, would then be billed for work already performed, expenses already incurred and completion of a summary report. (If cancelled, the remaining unused portion of the retainer would be returned to the client. Note: Typically a minimum amount (to be determined) will be retained by CPPS even if the Client opts to cancel the agreed upon service. Occasionally, CPPS initiates cases based only on an "Initial Minimum Nonrefundable Fee" bases. This can be be the case when a great deal of preparation is warranted before or during the investigation and/or when CPPS must commit significant resources to the effort.
CONSULTINGQ: What type of consulting services does Charles Piper’s Professional Services provide?