AGRR Magazine
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What's Next in the Diamond-Triumph Investigation? Experts Say Even They Don't Know

It's been three months since the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began an investigation of Diamond-Triumph Auto Glass headquarters in Kingston, Pa., for alleged insurance fraud. The FBI conducted an onsite investigation on December 13, 2005, that included the seizure of computer equipment and certain records. Since then, both the Bureau and D-T have been quiet about the progress of the investigation.

In an effort to update our readers, AGRR magazine/™ spoke with a number of experts in the glass industry who have been through similar investigations, including one familiar with this case. None of those with whom we spoke would comment on this particular case, but provided a general overview of how such cases usually evolve.

"For the first week or so, you really feel blind," said one of how D-T officials might be feeling. "You don't know what they [the FBI] is looking for, you don't know what information they have and you don't even know what the charges are. Your instinct is to issue a blanket denial, but that's really the worst thing you can do," he added, "because you don't even know what you are accused of."

"The investigators are not terribly forthcoming. They don't want you to see the big picture," adds another. "They talk to people individually and ask questions that sometimes seem like minutiae. It takes awhile to get the picture of what they think is going on."

"It's a very trying time," said another. "Kids at school were asking my kids if their daddy was a crook. It affects your whole family and your whole life. There's a hidden cost to this that people seldom see."

What advice would those with whom we spoke give to D-T officials? Though each had his or her spin, the all offered the same common themes:

1. Do not issue a blanket denial until or unless you know exactly what the charges are and can counter them;
2. Form a group of senior management to work with investigators. Keep the group very small. It should be composed of top management;
3. Do not lie, do not give the FBI false information, do not remove or destroy documents. "Remember Martha Stewart didn't go to jail for insider training, she went to jail for lying about it," said one commenter;
4. Determine if there is any truth to the accusations. If so, then determined how such a breach could occur. Was it the result of a management practice, a rouge employee acting against policy, or what? Take steps to fix the problem;
5. Keep rumors to a minimum. Encourage employees to ask questions as they have them and give them a clear channel of communication. Communicate with customers as well so they have a clear understanding of your perspective; and
6. Keep business as usual as much as possible.

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