Heartland Investigative Group began in Minneapolis in 1991, when founder Paul Jaeb saw that the Twin Cities’ top lawyers, corporations and financial institutions needed a new breed of professional partners

He’s since assembled some of the nation’s premiere investigators, forensic experts and agents. We’re client focused and relentlessly committed to offering our clients the clear-eyed, timely and cost-effective facts and services they need to make smart decisions and reach successful outcomes.

Leadership: Team:


Photo of James Ristvedt
James Ristvedt
Vice President, Investigative Services Heartland Investigative Group

James has conducted, managed, or assisted with over 5,000 investigations, spanning a wide array of case types and client types, with each posing its own unique challenges. As Vice President of Investigative Services, James is responsible for the daily operations of Heartland’s investigative division, and manages a staff of several highly-specialized investigators and analysts.

Prior to his current role, James was Heartland’s lead research investigator, and managed the legal and financial investigations division of the company. He developed his skills as an investigator while attending William Mitchell College of Law (now known as Hamline Mitchell School of Law), where he spent countless hours examining case law, statutes, and searching through legal databases.

James received a Juris Doctor cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law. He also received a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Saint John’s University with a concentration in political science and philosophy.

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Matt Rice
Heartland Corporate Security

The more challenging the situation, the more Matt Rice likes it. Matt’s ability to excel in a demanding and changing environment serves him well as the Operations Manager for Heartland Corporate Security, a position he has held since March, 2012. Matt’s duties include training and managing over 100 loss prevention specialists and security officers who provide services to Heartland’s corporate security clients. He also works with clients to assess their needs and designs customized programs for asset protection and security. Matt enjoys the variety of working with several different clients with diverse needs.

Matt has an extensive background in loss prevention, which includes managing and training loss prevention personnel for several national retailers. While working as the Loss Prevention Manager for a major retail store, Matt joined the Heartland team in 2008 to assist with special projects on a part time basis. His experience, excellent record and motivation made him an exceptional choice for his current position when it became available in 2012.

Matt holds certifications in Advanced Investigative Methods, including Interview and Interrogation, Firearms, Use of Force and Defensive Tactics.

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Bradley Wittrock
Heartland Investigative Group

Top-notch surveillance takes supreme patience, street smarts, experience and solid training. At Heartland, Brad is our surveillance specialist, as well as the respected manager of our staff involved in surveillance cases. We value his 11 years of success in field investigation that guarantees Heartland can give you the kind of client service you demand: meticulously documented, discrete and effective. 

Bradley holds a bachelor of elective studies degree from St. Cloud University and attended the Law Enforcement Academy in Alexandria, MN. He has extensive specialized training, including advanced firearms; defensive tactics and use of force; observational psychology and verbal control; GenderSmart communication; and threat assessment. Brad’s specialties include witness interviews, locating individuals and protection details. 


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Tom Herder
Heartland Investigative Group

Tom Herder has been a private investigator for more than 20 years and is a former “International Investigator of the Year”. He is a “surveillance specialist” for insurance fraud and divorce/child custody matters, and is known as a dedicated investigator.

Tom’s specialties include workers comp surveillance, AOE, insurance fraud, personal injury, interviews, criminal history investigations, witness statements, marital investigations, & child custody matters.

Tom is well trained in specialized training techniques, as well as policies and procedures training by the United States Office of Personnel Management (O.P.M.) to conduct national security clearance and positions of public trust background investigations. Accordingly, he has recently held Secret, Top Secret and L level government clearances as a contractor to the federal government.

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Jon Hamann
Heartland Investigative Group

With over 15 years of experience, over 10 years of owning and operating his own agency, Jon has the proven track record and stellar reputation in the area of surveillance. Specializing in surveillance, Jon has worked on numerous high profile cases in the areas of workers compensation, medical malpractice, protection details, and infidelity cases.

Jon holds a bachelor of arts in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He has extensive specialized training in observational psychology and verbal control; verbal/non-verbal communication; communication and conflict resolution; advanced information gathering; incident situation assessment and threat assessment. Jon’s specialties include locating individuals; covert third party observer, documenting and reporting activities and protection details.

Photo of Nick
Heartland Investigative Group

As a Member of the Minnesota Army National Guard, Nick served his country as an Infantry soldier during the Iraq war in support of Operation New Dawn. Nick’s observational skills were used as a gunner in the largest withdraw of US forces since the Vietnam war. Nick’s service earned him an Army Commendation Medal and an Army Achievement Medal, among many others. Nick is now using his military training as a field investigator for Heartland Investigative Group.

In addition to Nick’s battlefield experience, he is well recognized as an investigator in the Twin Cities Metro Area. Nick has been a member of the corporate security industry for more than 11 years, investigating internal and external losses for some of the nation’s top corporations in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies. Not only is he a decorated veteran, but he is also a decorated investigator, having received 11 awards from Sears and two from Target.

Photo of Raquel Hutts
Raquel Hutts
Heartland Investigative Group

Raquel Hutts says her inquisitive nature contributes to her success as an Investigator at Heartland Investigative Group, where she expertly conducts hundreds of background checks, asset searches and other legal investigations each year. Reliable and a quick learner, Raquel loves the variety of her work and the opportunity to learn new things each day.

Before joining the Heartland team in 2011, Raquel worked for a secure residential treatment center, providing programming and supervision for residents. While pursuing her Master’s degree she worked as a legal assistant in a law firm.

Raquel holds an MA in Criminal Justice from State University of New York (SUNY). She earned a BA in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.