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[ISN] Suburban computer forensics team sifts through scams


By Anna Marie Kukec
Daily Herald

When a young employee of iRobot left the company known for the Roomba self-traveling vacuum, a competing product soon hit the market. After a period of surveillance, the company filed a lawsuit against the former employee for taking trade secrets.

Also making robots for the military, the company requires high security and hired Daniel Bellich, a former FBI agent who protected Pope John Paul II and headed major heroin busts, and Keith Chval, a former head of the High-Tech Crimes Unit at the Illinois Attorney General's office. They co-founded Claredon Hills-based Protek International, which specializes in computer forensics and investigations.

Chval and Bellich do high-tech computer investigations to search for data, and when necessary, combine that with some old-fashioned, low-tech Dumpster diving to retrieve records. In the iRobot case, they later enlisted the U.S. marshals office to escort them to search the homes of the suspect as well as his parents and girlfriend.

"We found the girlfriend's laptop had just finished wiping out some data," Chval said. "And during the course of all this, he got a $250 million Department of Defense contract. But it was later voided."


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