Case Studies

SunBlock Systems Helps Large Multi-National Client Respond to a Government Investigation

The Client:

A publicly traded multinational company

The Scenario:

A U.S. subsidiary of the client issued a press release regarding accounting irregularities that required the company to restate prior earnings reports and delay future reports indefinitely. Later that day, the company received a subpoena to appear before a grand jury to answer allegations of improper accounting practices. Included in that subpoena was an discovery request requiring production of all electronic documents potentially relevant to the press release and grand jury investigation. In response to the press release, stock market reaction, and potential criminal investigations by various federal agencies, the client’s Board of Directors decides to conduct an independent investigation.

The Investigation:

SunBlock was brought in to craft a technical strategy that complied with the discovery request and addressed the needs of the independent investigation while allowing the company to continue its operations. SunBlock determined that such a strategy required the preservation of electronic evidence on hard drives, large data centers, and years worth of back up tapes. Once the strategy was developed and approved, SunBlock experts spent the next four months traversing seven countries on three continents preserving all relevant electronic data. SunBlock processed hundreds of workstation hard drives, multiple servers, and eight operational data centers. In all, SunBlock handled an estimated one petabyte of data (or roughly 100 times the printed data in the Library of Congress) during this investigation. Ultimately, the independent investigation determined that no criminal activity occurred. The government accepted the findings of the independent investigation and terminated their investigation without recommending any enforcement action.

The Benefits:

Using SunBlock’s technical strategy, the client was able to respond to the grand jury subpoena and independent investigation in a manner that satisfied the authorities and the company’s Board of Directors, but still allowed the company to remain productive. During the course of the continually expanding investigation, SunBlock experts preserved and produced pertinent electronic documents that satisfied all investigative needs, streamlining the investigation for all entities involved.