What is Major Case Management?

Posted by Douglas Wood, Editor.

Major Case Management (MCM) is an innovative approach to solving major case crimes and dealing with complex incidents. A major case is a real or suspected crime of such severity that it creates an intense public demand for identification, apprehension, and prosecution of the offender. Major cases also include those crimes which necessitate a substantial commitment of resources for a prolonged period of time or which require the application of complex investigative techniques.

Law Enforcement uses MCM methodologies and technology to investigate certain types of serious crimes – homicides, sexual assaults and abductions, for example. MCM combines specialized police training and investigation techniques with major case management computer software systems. The software manages the vast amounts of information involved in investigations of serious crimes.
It is especially useful in helping police identify common links in crimes committed in different locations – crimes that might have been committed by the same person.

All investigations need some kind of structure. The more serious and complex the investigation, the more rigorous that structure needs to be. The MCM model for conducting serious, complex investigations has been developed to provide a structure for major investigations. It was originally created by for use by law enforcement in homicide and sexual assault investigations. However, MCM is used by many other investigative agencies, including in anti-terrorism and air crash investigations. MCM techniques have also been used as part of non-criminal investigations, such as investigating an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Origins of Major Case Management

Many concepts of MCM have been in existence since the mid 1980’s when UK police introduced HOLMES (Home Office Large Major Enquiry System), and then subsequently HOLMES 2. Other large police services, including The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), have also adopted methodologies that fit into the category.

In Ontario, Canada, however, MCM owes its existence to the case of Paul Bernardo.

Paul Kenneth Bernardo was suspected of more than a dozen brutal sexual assaults in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. As his attacks grew in frequency they also grew in brutality, to the point of several murders. Then, just as police were closing in the attacks suddenly stopped.

That’s when Ontario law enforcement knew they had a problem. Because their suspect was not in jail, they knew he had either died, or fled to a location outside their jurisdiction to commit his crimes.

The events following Bernardo’s disappearance in Toronto and his eventual capture would ultimately lead to an intense 1995 enquiry into police practices throughout the Province of Ontario.  The enquiry, headed by the late Justice Archie Campbell, showed glaring weaknesses in investigation management and information sharing between police districts.

Campbell studied the court and police documents for four months and then produced a scathing report that documented systemic jurisdictional turf wars among the police services in Toronto and the surrounding regions investigating a string of nearly 20 brutal rapes in the Scarborough area of Toronto and the murders of two teenaged girls in the St. Catharines, Ontario area. He concluded that the investigation “was a mess from beginning to end.”

Campbell went on to conclude that there was an “astounding and dangerous lack of co-operation between police services” and a litany of errors, miscalculations and disputes. Among the Justice’s findings was a key recommendation that a major case management system was needed to:

  1. Record, organize, manage, analyze and follow up all investigative data
  2. Ensure all relevant information sources are applied to the investigation
  3. Recognize at an early stage any linked or associated incidents
  4. “Trigger” alerts to users of commonalities between incidents
  5. Embody an investigative methodology incorporating standardized procedures

MCM is born

As a result of the Campbell report, MCM was born as a methodology for conducting major investigations. Ontario’s PowerCase software maximizes investigative efficiency, minimizes the chance of important evidence being missed and has an external person or group evaluate how the investigation is going.

MCM Components

Ontario’s MCM methodology is based on the following components, commonly referred to as The Command Triangle.

Within the triangle, three executive functions are responsible for conducting the investigation. In a non-complex investigation, a single officer may perform these functions. As the complexity of the investigation increases, one or more law enforcement officials will perform these functions.


  1. Senior Investigating Officer: He or she is responsible for the broad strategic direction of the investigation.
  2. Primary Investigator: He or she runs the investigation at the tactical level, providing day-to-day coordination, guidance and control for everyone else involved in the fact-finding process.
  3. File Coordinator: He or she coordinates the vast amounts of documentation gathered and generated during a major investigation.

Major case management is a complex investigative activity because it involves the command of team members in a pressure-filled environment. Within the uncertain investigative environment, case managers must ensure that their responsibilities are carried out efficiently and effectively. For instance, they must ensure that all necessary investigative information is collected; the roles and responsibilities of the investigative team are clearly defined; the resources required for completing tasks are available; ethical investigative standards are upheld; and, that the investigative team can quickly adapt to changing situations.


Law Enforcement agencies may sometimes collaborate with other agencies to conduct investigations. That requires coordination and cooperation. MCM is helping in these situations. It is targeted at working collaboratively with outside agencies to progress the investigation. One important aspect of the MCM model is that linked investigations involving one or more jurisdictions or agencies must be under a unified command and control. That avoids duplication of effort and helps to coordinate information gathered in one case that might be vital to another linked investigation.

Major Case Management Software

At the technology core of MCM is the advanced, purpose-built software which processes the vast amounts of information arising in a major case. It is invaluable in organizing, retrieving and analyzing large volumes of investigative data. MCM software assists the Senior Investigating Officer to manage a major investigation including resource deployment, and assists police services in ensuring that major case investigations are focused, methodically controlled and audited throughout the investigative life cycle. Arguably, the best-known MCM software system is “PowerCase” which is used by all police services in the Province of Ontario, along with other jurisdictions in Canada and other countries.

Xanalys – The Investigation Software Company – continues growth in Canada; Adds Quebec-based Vidocq Group to partner portfolio

(April 10, 2015 – Montreal, Quebec)  Xanalys Limited, The Investigation Software Company, today announced a software distribution and support services partnership with Montreal-based Vidocq Group. The Vidocq Group is an innovative investigation firm specialized in intelligence gathering and management of important and sensitive investigations.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vidocq Group will market and distribute Xanalys’ link analysis and investigation software solutions to Canadian law enforcement and commercial customers. Link analysis software helps analysts and investigators understand hidden connections between people, places, and things within the course of an investigation. Investigative and major case management software helps drive case investigations through a logical process and facilitates collaboration across jurisdictions.

Xanalys customers around the world utilize the company’s software for threat triage, crime analysis, and investigative or major case management.

We feel very fortunate to have found a partner as reputable as Vidocq Group”, said Douglas Wood from Xanalys Corporate Development. “Their background in law enforcement and fraud investigation stems back to their decades-long careers at the RCMP. As we grow our customer footprint in Canada, their market knowledge and bilingual support capabilities are tremendously important to us.”

According to the Vidocq Group, the distribution agreement was driven by a growing requirement for cost-effective, commercial off-the-shelf investigation and case management software in Canada.

Xanalys is synonymous with investigation software and major case management, and we were impressed with their commitment to the Canadian market”, said Jonathan Légaré, managing partner at Vidocq Group. “We strongly believe in the capabilities of their offerings, and we fully expect to capitalize on the growing demand for crime analytics software for police and commercial customers across the country.”

About the Vidocq Group

The Vidocq Group (www.vidocqgroup.com) is an innovative investigation company specialized in intelligence gathering and management of important and sensitive investigations. The company’s philosophy is based upon the unparalleled effectiveness of integrated investigative teams, composed of a diversity of highly competent investigators, analysts and subject matter experts. The members of the Vidocq team possess impressive academic credentials and vast professional experience in relation to domestic and international law enforcement and intelligence gathering and analysis. These characteristics, combined with Vidocq’s philosophy, propel its unique and highly effective investigation and intelligence services.

The Vidocq Group provides an array of exclusive intelligence and investigative services to law firms, medium and large corporations, major investors, public relations firms, government departments and agencies, crown corporations, municipalities, regulators and self-regulatory organizations.

About Xanalys Limited

Xanalys (pronounced ‘Zan-a-liss’) builds major case management (MCM) and investigation software, and was born out of Cambridge, England in the late 1980s. The software provides powerful querying facilities to support the effective analysis of disparate data and can actually identify links between entities and reveal associations among activities that are not immediately apparent to an investigator or analyst.

The company’s products include the powerful Link Explorer (aka Watson Link Explorer™) software and PowerCase™, the leading Major Case Management software solution in the world. Xanalys also develops and markets their Xanalys Investigation Manager (XIM)™ software and Link Explorer Enterprise (LEE)™ visualization software to customers around the world. More information is available at www.xanalys.com.

Swoop ‘n Squat, Army strong, and major case management: This week’s Crime Technology headlines:

Posted by Douglas Wood, Editor.Newspaper

Swoop and Squat…


Army strong analytics…


Investigative Case Management…


WorksafeBC introduces new Major Case Management (MCM) protocols…


The Name Game Fraud

Hello-my-name-is1Posted by Douglas Wood, Editor.

Alright everybody, let’s play a game. The name game!

“Shirley, Shirley bo Birley. Bonana fanna fo Firley.
Fee fy mo Mirley. Shirley!”

No, not THAT name game. (Admit it… you used to love singing the “Chuck” version, though.)

The name game I’m referring to is slightly more sinister, and relates to the criminal intent to deceive others for gain by slightly misrepresenting attributes in order to circumvent fraud detection techniques. Pretty much anywhere money, goods, or services are dispensed, folks play the name game. Utilities, Insurance, Medicaid, retail, FEMA. You name it.

Several years ago, I helped a large online insurance provider determine the extent to which they were offering insurance policies to corporations and individuals with whom they specifically did not want to do business. Here’s what the insurer knew:

They had standard application questions designed to both determine the insurance quote AND to ensure that they were not doing business with undesirables. These questions included things such as full name, address, telephone number, date of birth, etc… but also questions related to the insured property. “Do you live within a mile of a fire station?”, Does your home have smoke detectors?”, and “Is your house made of matchsticks?”

On top of the questions, the insurer had a list of entities with whom the knew they did not want to do business for one reason or another. Perhaps Charlie Cheat had some previously questionable claims… he would have been on their list.

In order to circumvent the fraud prevention techniques, of course, the unscrupulous types figured out how to mislead the insurer just enough so that the policy was approved. Once approved, the car would immediately be stolen. The house would immediately burn down, etc.

The most common way by which the fraudsters misled the insurers was a combination of The Name Game and modifying answers until the screening system was fooled.

Through a combination of investigative case management and link explorer / link analysis software, I went back and looked at several months of historical data and found some amazing techniques used by the criminals. Specifically, I found one customer who made 19 separate online applications – each time changing just one attribute or answer slightly – until the policy was issued. Within a week of the policy issue, a claim was made. You can use your imagination to determine if it was a legitimate claim. :D

This customer, Charlie Cheat (obviously not his real name), first used his real name, address, telephone number, and date of birth… and answered all of the screening questions honestly. Because he did not meet the criteria AND appeared on an internal watch list for having suspicious previous claims, his application was automatically denied.

Then he had his wife, Cheri Cheat, complete the application in hopes that the system would see a different name and approve the policy. Thirdly, he modified his name to Charlie Cheat, Chuck E. Cheat, and so on. Still no go. His address went from 123 Fifth Street to 123-A 5th Street. You get the picture.

Then he began to modify answers to the screening questions. All of a sudden, he DID live within a mile of a fire station… and his house was NOT made of matchsticks… and was NOT located next door to a fireworks factory. After almost two dozen attempts, he was finally issued the policy under a slightly revised name, a tweak in his address, and some less-than-truthful answers on the screening page.

By investing in powerful  investigative case management software with link analysis and fuzzy matching – such as that provided by industry leader Xanalys Limited – this insurer was able to dramatically decrease the number of policies issued to known fraudsters or otherwise ineligible entities. Every time a new policy is applied for, the system analyzes the data against previous responses and internal watch lists in real time.  In other words, Charlie and Cheri just found it a lot more difficult to rip this insurer off.

These same situations occur in other arenas, costing us millions annually in increased taxes and prices.

So, what happened to the Cheats after singing the name game?  Let’s just say that after receiving a letter from the insurer, Charlie and Cheri started singing a different tune altogether.

this week’s financial crimes headlines

Douglas Wood:

This week’s financial crimes headlines…

Originally posted on Byrnes' Tax & Wealth Management Blog:

Banca Privada d’Andorra Money Laundering Billions for Corruption and Human Traffickers?
FinCEN’s action also describes the activity of a second high–level manager at BPA in Andorra who accepted exorbitant commissions to process transactions related to Venezuelan third–party money launderers. This activity involved the development of shell companies and complex financial products to siphon off funds from Venezuela’s public oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). BPA processed approximately $2 billion in transactions related to this money laundering scheme.
Former Managing Director of RBS Securities Admits To Multimillion Dollar Securities Fraud of RBS Customers
Katke was a registered broker-dealer and managing director at RBS Securities Inc. As part of the scheme, Katke and his co-conspirators made misrepresentations to induce buying customers to pay inflated prices and selling customers to accept deflated prices for CLO bonds, all to benefit RBS.Commerzbank Admits to Sanctions and Money Laundering Violations, Will Pay $1.45 Billion Penalties!

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LexisNexis® Acquires BAIR Analytics, Leading Provider of Crime Analytics Solutions for Public Safety

WASHINGTON, DC and ATLANTA (January 6, 2015) – LexisNexis® Risk Solutions today announced its intent to acquire BAIR Analytics, a provider of analytics solutions for public safety.  LexisNexis is acquiring BAIR Analytics to better provide the public safety community with comprehensive investigative solutions that aid them in their law enforcement mission.  BAIR Analytics deploys strong technology, robust analytics, mapping, and visual tools to identify and predict patterns of crime.  The transaction is subject to regulatory review.

“The acquisition of BAIR Analytics builds on LexisNexis’ commitment to public safety, providing us the ability to combine BAIR Analytic’s analytical capabilities with our public records and linking technology to add context to crime patterns and enhance our ability to identify and locate persons of interest,” said Haywood Talcove, chief executive officer, LexisNexis Special Services, Inc.  “The acquisition will be unique in the industry and help public safety officers make better decisions to close cases faster and improve community safety.  In an era of constrained budgets, analytics are essential to optimize limited resources and increase overall efficiencies.”

BAIR Analytic’s analytical tools have been used by large and small public safety organizations worldwide for more than 20 years to help reduce and prevent criminal activity.

“Becoming part of LexisNexis will bring new opportunities to expand and build the best possible solutions to help our public safety customers,” said Sean Bair, President, BAIR Analytics.   “BAIR Analytic’s ability to help agencies identify, analyze and resolve problems created by criminal offenders will be an exceptional complement to LexisNexis, its proven solutions and vast public records database to offer a more complete view of individuals to accelerate the investigation process.”

About LexisNexis Risk Solutions

LexisNexis Risk Solutions (http://www.lexisnexis.com/risk) is a leader in providing essential information that helps customers across all industries and government assess, predict and manage risk.  Combining cutting-edge technology, unique data and advanced analytics, LexisNexis Risk Solutions provides products and services that address evolving client needs in the risk sector while upholding the highest standards of security and privacy.  LexisNexis Risk Solutions is part of Reed Elsevier, a world leading provider of professional information solutions.

BAIR Analytics

Established in 1997, BAIR Analytics (http://www.bairanalytics.com) is an analytical software and services company providing innovative tools and subject-matter expertise for public safety, private security, and national security and defense entities. Nearly half of the largest public-safety agencies in the United States use BAIR Analytic’s products & services to fight crime.  BAIR Analytic’s current software tools are utilized by police departments, government agencies, and throughout the private sector worldwide to increase and promote smarter, community-oriented preventative policing.

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Media Contact

Stephen Loudermilk
LexisNexis Risk Solutions

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