Mark J. McLaughlin

Mark J. McLaughlin specializes in the use of cutting edge analytical and forensic analysis
techniques for collecting, accessing and reconstructing electronically stored information from computers, servers, networks, storage media, mobile devices (cellphones and tablets), video surveillance and in-car video systems, local and internet email repositories and other media sources. Mr. McLaughlin has handled over 500 cases and examined over 2,000 items of evidence; involving state and federal criminal matters, civil litigation and internal affairs investigations. He has performed work as a neutral digital forensic examiner. His career spans over 29 experience in corporate security investigations, litigation support, information systems management and law enforcement. Mr. McLaughlin has been qualified as a digital forensic expert witness in court, and prides himself on being able to simplify complex technology for a judge and jury to easily understand. He currently serves on the Los Angeles Superior Court Panel of Expert Witnesses where he receives Court Appointments.

He amassed 19 years experience as a digital forensic examiner working highly sensitive cases for Investigative Group International, Kroll Associates, Online Security, and then founded Computer Forensics International in 2001. This experience has given him the expertise to conduct thorough forensic examinations of various systems and devices for specific evidence including; recovering deleted and password protected data and email files, while preserving the integrity of digital evidence for discovery and trial.

Based in Los Angeles, he’s traveled extensively in support of litigation, corporate investigations and criminal matters. Mr. McLaughlin has received over 600 hours of digital evidence training from Guidance Software, the makers of EnCase the leading forensic analysis suite and other specialty forensic programs. He regularly attended monthly Tech Forum training meetings to stay abreast of the latest digital evidence subjects. He recently spoke at the Federal Bar Association National Litigation Conference in Washington DC on electronic evidence and social networking. He’s also been an approved California State Bar MCLE Provider and frequently presents a course entitled, Digital Forensics – In Search of the Smoking Gun to attorneys, HR managers and investigators nationwide.

Mr. McLaughlin has extensive experience designing, managing client/server information and telecommunication systems, in addition to conducting security audits and threat analysis. He is fluent in; networking, data communications, Windows and Mac operating systems, office automation applications, and Internet threats. Some of his clients have included: Kaiser Permanente, Kenwood, Bank of America, Certified Grocers, SmithKline and Memorial Health Services.

After graduating from the Long Beach Police Reserve Academy, with top academic and marksmanship honors, he worked assignments in uniformed patrol, juvenile, vice and felony car. While working corporate security he conducted auto theft, fraudulent credit card and undercover employee fraud investigations, in addition to retail store security.

Mr. McLaughlin earned an Associate of Arts in Administration of Justice, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is currently a law student focused on earning his Juris Doctorate. He’s held a teaching Credential in Computer Science at the California Community College level. He is a former member of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA). Mr. McLaughlin has made many presentations to professional organizations, trade groups and corporations on computer forensics and authored an article for IT professionals on how to conduct an intrusion investigation. Mr. McLaughlin has been a resource to news organizations on matters of digital forensics and cyber security.

Mr. McLaughlin is a retired Volunteer Firefighter where he devoted countless hours to; training, staffing emergency resources and responding to 911 calls for service, and training new recruits at the academy. He is an ASA certified sailor and PADI Open Water Diver.

Previous qualifications as an expert witness:
– by the Honorable Warren L. Ettinger on Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC 196592, Haber v. Small; Haber v. Mantra Films

– by the Honorable Ray Hart on Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC 213129, Krauz Puente LLC v. Slam.Site, Strategic Alliance Partners, Frank Westall, Chip Hilts, Cases Ladder, Inc and Gordon Landes.

– by the Honorable James Dunn on Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC297772, Donovan Lee Black v. Cushman Wakefield

– by the Honorable Mel Red Recana on Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC 317046, Ken Marefat v. Pall Corporation

– by the Honorable Coleman Swart on Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC402101, Sample v. Flint

– by the Honorable Curtis Rappe on Los Angeles Superior Court case number BA355865-01, People v. Henschel

– by the Honorable Thomas McKnew on Los Angeles Superior Court case number VA130513, People v. Bomani

– by the Honorable Cathryn Brougham on Los Angeles Superior Court case number GA076747, People v. Cardenas, et al

– by the Honorable Michael Abzug on Los Angeles Superior Court case number BA422205, People v. Allen

– by the Honorable Carlos Chung on Los Angeles Superior Court case number MA066239, People v. Hernandez

– by the Honorable Lisa Hart Cole on Los Angeles Superior Court case number SC117161, Moctezuma v. PNS Stores

– by the Honorable Norm Shapiro on Los Angeles Superior Court case number BA432462, People v. Dominguez

– by the Honorable Lawrence W. Crispo, ADR Services case number 13-1118-LWC, Instant Financing Inc. v. Wilshire Commercial Capital, LLC

Recent Cases
. subsequent to the Court’s digital evidence discovery order, a forensic examination determined that a Defendant intentionally deleted relevant data using a “shredder” program. Evidence of the search for, download of and use of this shredder program was presented in court along with expert testimony. Defendant received monetary sanctions and precluded from testifying at trial.

. an HR department suspected a key employee was stealing company documents and preparing to delivery them to his new employer. The employee’s company laptop was seized and zip files containing sensitive files were recovered.

. a company defending a sexual harassment suit requested the examination of their accuser’s and manager’s PCs. An examination revealed the specific allegations of images on the manager’s PC were in fact there and nothing was found on the accuser’s PC. An immediate settlement was negotiated.

. an accounting manager for a pharmaceutical manufacturer used his employer’s funds to pay off a personal loan. Mr. McLaughlin recovered evidence of the fraud and cover-up through his forensic computer search, and then interviewed the subject who confessed to the fraud. A referral was made to local law enforcement and our client received partial restitution.

. planned and managed a tactical operation for a major electronics company to seize digital evidence pertaining to an international computer peripherals piracy scheme. Mr. McLaughlin conducted an exhaustive bit-by-bit analysis of the computer hard drives, running the Chinese version of Windows, then reconstructed the conspiracy, including the recovery of “deleted” emails and financial records.

. a marketing manager conspired to submit fraudulent invoices totaling $300,000 to his employer. Mr. McLaughlin recovered evidence of the complex fraud scheme from erased document and fax data files and email messages, then referred this matter to local law enforcement for prosecution.

. working under a court order for the review of computer evidence in a major entertainment industry civil case, Mr. McLaughlin conducted an analysis of the company’s server network, recovered key information critical to the plaintiff in the case. Additionally, Mr. McLaughlin uncovered digitally “embedded” information confirming the defendant used a “sanitizing utility” on many of the files less than four hours prior to his court ordered review, potentially destroying evidence. He testified as an expert witness and the defendant was sanctioned $120,000 for spoilage of evidence and the plaintiff ultimately won a $4 million judgment.

. an insurance company potentially liable for a $300,000 entertainment claim, needed to determine if internal negligence or an internal conspiracy contributed to the claim. Mr. McLaughlin imaged several PCs, restored backed-up network email, then searched for evidence. It was determined that only employee negligence contributed to the claim.

. a major software game publisher had several key employees suddenly leave to work for another company creating a potential $500,000 employment contract exposure. After searching eight PCs, Mr. McLaughlin was able to show how the employees communicated in violation of their agreement.

. a healthcare provider purportedly experienced system problems hampering a court ordered examination. Mr. McLaughlin interviewed the systems administrator who eventually confessed to deleting key server files causing the problem.

. a company’s inside counsel was accused of malpractice while handling private cases on company time. Mr. McLaughlin was able to reconstruct deleted files to prove the self dealing allegation and thwart a wrongful termination action.

. a major software publisher was victimized for $660,000 over six weeks by a sophisticated international call cell fraud ring. Mr. McLaughlin conducted a technical surveillance to identify the origins of calls, then liaisoned with local and federal law enforcement. He also assisted at identifying and closing vulnerabilities in the clients network.

. a retailer suspected that her partner was selling inventory for cash and pocketing the proceeds totaling $200,000. Mr. McLaughlin reconstructed the accounting database, identified emails and proved the allegation.

Mr. McLaughlin can be emailed at mjm@ediscovery-intl.com.