Home > News Articles > Spotlight update: Digital Forensics Unit

Spotlight update: Digital Forensics Unit

In a Jan. 17 article, we spotlighted the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Special Investigations Department’s (SID) digital forensics unit (DFU). We described how BWC agents rely on the DFU to extract data from the devices criminals use while committing workers’ compensation fraud. We reported that in fiscal year (FY) 2013, DFU shattered its own record of success by processing more than 27 terabytes of data. Thus, in FY 2013, the unit more than doubled the level of performance it achieved during FY 2012.

Chart to accompany 8-22-14 blog post

We’ve done it again! The most recent fiscal year was the DFU’s fifth consecutive record year. The unit previewed, imaged and seized more than 44.3 terabytes of data, 64.1 percent more than in FY 2013, and 527 percent more than in FY 2010, as shown in the figure, at right.

The unit imaged and commenced analyzing more than 90 storage devices consisting of hard disks, optical disks and removable media devices in FY 2014. That’s equivalent to four times the printed content stored in the U.S. Library of Congress.

As we noted in January, many criminals believe their level of technical knowledge will ensure that their actions remain hidden. However, using digital forensics, the DFU may be able to recover critical evidence. The DFU supports BWC agents through forensic imaging as well as analysis and processing of electronic data. Through their combined experience, specialized training and certification as Certified Forensic Computer Examiners, the digital forensic analysts of the DFU have proven themselves to be invaluable to SID’s operations.

A case in point: In June 2014, a BWC agent asked DFU to assist the SID Fugitive Task Force in tracking down a fugitive who was thought to have relocated out of state. The subject had been indicted on felony counts of theft and workers’ compensation fraud in May 2013, but failed to appear at her arraignment. The court had issued a warrant for her arrest. A DFU analyst reviewed social media sites and located the subject in Birmingham, Alabama. The task force agent immediately contacted the Birmingham Police Department and the subject was arrested at her home that day.

BWC agents congratulate their DFU colleagues for the unit’s record FY 2014 results. With the help of DFU SID was able to identify $60.1 million in savings over the past year, according to statistics outlined in the SID FY 2014 annual report.

We thank you for your interest in learning more about a workers’ compensation system that serves hundreds of thousands of deserving, law-abiding citizens in the state of Ohio.

Complete an online form or contact BWC’s toll-free fraud hotline, 1-800-644-6292, to report any suspicion of Ohio worker’s compensation fraud.

For more articles from our blog, please visit ohiobwcfraud.wordpress.com.

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Categories: News Articles

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