This demo begins with the local version of the investigation followed by the pieces re-edited for national broadcast on CBS News.
It began with a local complaint about a fraudulent gold buyer and expanded into a five-state undercover investigation that exposed a pattern of fraud and deceit within one of the nation’s largest gold buying operations.
THR & Associates was based in Illinois with employees and victims scattered across the country. When travel wasn’t an option, we recruited affiliate station in several states to assist undercover. This required detailed coordination to ensure consistency throughout the investigation—meticulously cataloging, appraising, insuring and shipping $8000 worth of gold around the country.
When our focus turned from the gold shows to the company’s Illinois-based CEO, we were forced to abandon traditional methods of information and video gathering. Without the opportunity for an out-of-state stakeout, we relied heavily on public records and transcripts from ongoing divorce proceedings to gather the necessary evidence.
Whistle blowers and internal documents also played a significant role in this investigation. We utilized various industry chat rooms and online forums to cultivate relationships that eventually led us to the evidence we needed.
As a result, THR & Associates was forced to shut down, putting an end to the company’s predatory practices in as many as 160 different cities each week. The company’s CEO is now the subject of multiple state and federal investigations.