Fraud Investigations


 

Civil Fraud

Fraud Investigation assignments dealing with Civil Fraud – actions brought by private citizens – can be wide and varied but often involve alleged thefts carried out by a business’s employees or senior managers. The thefts might range from regular misappropriations of small cash balances through to bribes received by purchasing managers in return for placing major contracts with particular contractors and suppliers.

Providing Evidence

In those instances in which we are appointed to provide the accounting evidence to support a claim being brought for civil fraud, our role might involve documenting the accounting systems and controls which a business uses to secure its assets and income, to show how the alleged miscreant circumvented them, and to calculate the financial rewards that they allegedly gained from doing so.

Defending an action for Civil Fraud

When we are appointed as part of the team to defend an action for civil fraud, we will review the evidence which has been submitted in support of the claim. Our work involves a detailed, line-by-line, review of the evidence because experience shows that assumptions are sometimes made about the operations of a business’s security procedures which are incorrect or ill-founded, or that the calculations of the amounts allegedly taken are flawed. For instance, we found in one instance that a business’s cash-handling procedures as explained to us by the business’s owners bore little resemblance to what actually happened in practice, and that any one of several employees, and not just the accused, could have stolen cash. Based on that finding alone, the court rejected the fraud allegation.

Criminal Fraud Investigations

In assignments involving criminal fraud where we work alongside the prosecution, our role is firstly to assist in identifying the accounting evidence that will be required for the case, and this may involve the more obvious areas of enquiry, such as accounting books and records, but also diaries, timesheets, and witness statements.

We work closely with the investigators in those instances to ensure that they cover specific areas and aspects of a business’s activities which are of significant interest, for example. The results of our work often feature in a formal report for the Court at which we might then be required to give expert testimony at subsequent criminal trial.

Instructed by the Defence to a Criminal Investigation

When instructed by the defence to a criminal investigation, our role is much the same as that in a civil fraud matter, namely, to review all of the evidence in detail, both used and unused, to identify anything which might be relevant to the matter. A detailed review of the evidence is always essential because we often discover that unfounded assumptions have been made, or that errors have been made in the calculations of the proceeds of allegedly criminal activity.

For more information on fraud investigations, or to arrange an initial meeting, please contact us.