Helping You Uncover the Truth

Bender Enterprises Inc.

Specialized Solutions

High Tech Auto Theft

Today’s “smart” vehicles can be stolen using high-tech methods. Contact us for training materials and information that can assist in your investigations.

Investigations and Consultations

Mike Bender Is a Subject Matter Expert In:

- SIU Investigations, Management, and Operations
-Fraud: Auto Theft, Workers Compensation and Insurance Fraud
- High-Tech Vehicle Theft Methods
- Vertical crimes associated with Illegal Street Racing: Detection, Investigation, and Prevention

Wrongful Convictions

While working as a detective for the Simi Valley Police Department, Mike Bender learned that his agency was responsible for arresting an innocent man for a double murder. He spent the next 30 years trying to right this wrong.

On November 22, 2017, Craig Coley was found Factually Innocent and Exonerated. He was released from his “Life Without the Possibility of Parole” sentence, ending a nearly 39-year nightmare.

Craig has the unfortunate distinction of being the longest serving wrongful conviction in California’s history. Since Craig’s release, nearly 600 more innocent souls have been exonerated. Wrongful convictions still occur too frequently.

Mike and Craig train law enforcement on steps they can take to avoid convicting the innocent.

Mike Bender continues to work on solving the Wicht murders and expects a successful conclusion within the year.


Mike Bender started his law enforcement career in patrol with the Los Angeles Police Department, graduating number one with honors. He retired from Simi Valley Police Department as a detective and is a licensed California private investigator (12649). He was a senior special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau and built a nationally recognized, award-winning Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for ICW Group Insurance Companies.

Mike has specialized in high-tech auto theft detection, fraud, and SIU organizational efficiencies.

Bender Enterprises Inc. offers stolen vehicle detection software and hardware solutions and consultation (VINtrack).

In 2018, he received the Relentless Pursuit of Justice Award from the Criminal Courts Bar Association for his work in freeing California’s longest wrongfully convicted innocent person, Craig Coley.

In 2016, he received the ‘Investigation of the Year’ award from the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) for his contribution to Operation Back Lash (an FBI operation involving medical insurance fraud).

He was also awarded ‘Investigator of the Year’ by the Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association and has received numerous honorary resolutions and a commendation from the State of California.

Mike has worked closely with law enforcement agencies throughout California, including the California Highway Patrol, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and numerous task forces and law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, to resolve complex car and auto theft cases, insurance crimes, and murder cases. He has also consulted for most major insurance carriers and the NICB. Mike has qualified as an expert in numerous California county courts.

Mike has been written about in most major newspapers, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Honolulu Adviser, Time magazine, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and appeared on such news outlets as ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, CBS, CNN, and Fox News. He has consulted for ABC 20/20 and contracted to instruct the military in special operations.

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