Our Firm



Tom Willingham founded Gryphon in 1989, having worked in investigations his entire career.  Tom’s specialty was conducting high-liability life insurance and high-indemnity disability fraud investigations.  Gryphon, then known as Data Source International, quickly became a leader in conducting insurance fraud investigations, particularly in complex international claims, which required an extra level of expertise.  Tom solved cases around the world and successfully saved insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims.


Seeking to diversify the firm’s offerings and continue to grow the business, Tom hired Jay Dawdy in 2000. Jay had expertise in conducting corporate investigations, due diligence inquiries, and litigation support investigations. Jay also had previous finance and accounting experience in the investment banking world. Since that time, Tom, Jay and Gryphon’s senior managers have built an outstanding team, and have successfully expanded the business to include a more robust set of investigative services.


Our diverse team of managers and investigators have a similar mindset to the partners – conducting high quality investigations and providing the best client service in the industry.  By design, Gryphon’s investigative personnel have varied backgrounds, which has fostered a creative approach to planning and strategy on cases contributing to the delivery of a superior product to our clients.  Our cumulative experience has been key in the firm’s ability to adapt to changing market needs and paramount in Gryphon’s steady success for more than 25 years and counting.


Gryphon continues to evolve, both in terms of the services offered and the personnel we bring into the firm.  We are constantly searching for top quality individuals who will continue to help us grow and diversify the business, which in turn creates greater value for our clients and opportunities for our employees.  Gryphon looks different than it did 10 years ago and we expect it will look different 10 years from now as we continue to adapt to changing market conditions, continue to serve our client’s needs and grow the business into the future.


“If it weren’t for Willingham, I’m not sure we would have had the level of success we had on this $160,000,000 case. We use him for all of our cases where we need to dig deeper because of his keen sense of knowing when something’s not right with a case.”

– Insurance Industry Executive commenting on Gryphon’s successful investigation of a major foreign death claim