Computer Forensics in Civil Cases – Tax Collections

A computer forensics expert can make a difference in civil or criminal cases.  Sometimes a computer forensics expert may be called upon to testify as to whether there is evidence that a party destroyed digital evidence.  For example, in a case involving computer forensics in Virginia, the court found that there was a substantial
amount of potential evidence had been destroyed.  Therefore, the court directed the United States, who was a party to the case (as the tax collecting entity) to hire an independent computer forensics expert to report on the retrievability of the documents allegedly deleted on the various computers and also ordered that the  testifying experts of the United States and the opposing party be deposed regarding the destruction of documents.  Finally, the court ordered that both parties report to the Court regarding the results of the forensics expert’s work and the depositions.

As expected from a competent computer forensics expert, hundreds of communications and many draft reports were recovered.   As a result, the Court
directed further briefing on the spoliation issues.  More recovery than previously anticipated was made possible.

This case shows why it is so important for a party to contract the services of a computer forensics expert.  In this case, had it not been for the computer forensics investigation, the Court would have been unable to call into question the basis upon which one of the parties had previously asserted that recovery of the deleted evidence was not possible.  The case was Trigon Ins. v. United States.

This computer forensics example has been presented by AVM Technology, LLC, a Computer Forensics, E-Discovery, and Computer Security consulting company located in Richmond, VA and serving clients throughout the United States.

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