If you have been lucky enough and attended basic accounting 201 and 202 classes, you will be very familiar with the words “dual control”. Everything related to financial transactions is subject to dual control. This means you should incorporate processes and procedures into your daily accounting function that does not give total control over your accounts receivables and accounts payables into the hands of one person.
Your business may not be large enough to have multiple employees who work in your accounting/book keeping department. Therefore you will most likely have one person “Your Book Keeper” who creates invoices being sent to your customers, receipts the cash, check or credit card transactions from your customers for payment of these transactions, reconciles your checking accounts, your credit card statements, orders supplies, orders inventory parts and then pays for the parts and the supplies. Maybe this person also handles the payroll and pays expense reports. Now, one thing he/she probably doesn’t do is sign the actual checks. Well, good for you since at least you have one control in place.
If this description of your book keepers job description matches one that you currently deploy, trouble is brewing on the horizon. But why do you care since you are still drawing a pay check. Oh but wait, this is your company, you are responsible for everything in the end. But you as the owner of this small company are so busy with networking, generating sales leads, managing your operations, dealing with unhappy clients, exploring new business opportunities you couldn’t possibly spend time supervising your book keeper too. Besides, Mary Beth has been with your company for the last 5 years. She has always done an excellent job.
But today is the day when you will receive that call from a customer who doesn’t understand why you have run his credit card multiple times for a transaction. Or maybe the bank calls and tells you that your account is overdrawn. Or your vendor contacts you about unpaid invoices. Or you apply for a loan and you need to provide financial statements but the numbers don’t add up.
You realize that something is not right and the need for an internal theft investigation has arrived. Although you are good at what you do in your business, you don’t know how to even begin to conduct an internal theft investigation. So what is the first thing you need to do to un-do these events and get to the bottom of this situation? An internal theft investigation will include quietly compiling evidence of any fraudulent transactions, controlling your emotions and obtaining professional help.
For more information about internal theft investigations, contact us or call 1.770.913.2467 – Atlanta Georgia
In order to be a successful corporate fraud investigator, you may need skills you aren’t aware of. It takes more than private investigator criminal catching know-how to be on the team that investigates corporate fraud. There are a variety of crimes investigated by these individuals that range from tax evasion to embezzlement.
Corporate fraud crimes have a different scope, complexity and magnitude than your common everyday theft or fraud case contains. The ramifications can have economic consequences for employees and communities and can often affect the entire investment market.
A corporate fraud investigator needs to have accounting expertise. Corporate accounting can have infinite intricacies in the book keeping methods they use. Not only does the investigator need accounting know how, but a vase computer knowledge is needed to be able to manipulate complicated accounting software.
The corporate fraud investigator will also need to be a bit of a computer “hacker”. Often important documents have been password protected or encrypted to prevent detection.
According to several online sources and our own peoples experience, corporate fraud investigators will have anywhere between five and twenty-five years of experience. Rates are dependent on the experience level of the individual.
Want an expert corporate fraud investigator? Contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.
Insurance scams are a leaving corporate fraud problem in the United States. Insurance Fraud is intentionally obtaining funds from an insurance company for a purposeful act that is fraudulent. These types of frauds not only cost companies billions of dollars annually, but can affect the lives of innocent by standers as well. The Coalition against Insurance Fraud estimates that in 2006 a total of about $80 billion was lost in the United States due to insurance fraud.
Let’s look at an example of corporate fraud that affects the insurance market. People have faked their death to benefit from life insurance. In 2002, a gentleman named John Darwin supposedly died in a canoeing accident. Well, in 2007 he turned up claiming no memory of the last 5 years.
Medical disability is also one of the leading corporate fraud scams for insurance companies and worker’s compensation. Say an employee is able to convince a medical professional they are unable to work due to an injury they sustained while on the job. Not only is the company out worker’s compensation monies, but the government is out disability funds if they employee claims they cannot ever work! My dream job would be follow these folks around that are capable of holding a job but defrauding the government for disability and take photos of them roofing their house or shopping for shoes for 12 hours.
Corporate fraud in the insurance market is one of the hardest to prove. Do you think your corporation, insurance company or otherwise, have been the victim of Fraud? Contact us call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia
Corporate fraud schemes can fall into all types of categories. With hundreds of different fraud schemes out there it’s hard to determine the exact cost to companies across the nation. It is believed that these corporate fraud schemes cost insurance business billions of dollars every year. Believe it or not there are two specific types of corporate fraud involving insurance companies that all these schemes fit into…very simply hard versus Soft fraud.
Hard corporate fraud schemes are meticulously planned out. As an example of a “hard” fraud scheme, setting an arson fire to collect insurance money on a building. Most organized crime rings have some sort of hard fraud scheme game they are into. It can be setting up auto accidents or even as intricate as an auto theft ring.
Soft corporate fraud is much more common in the scheme of the general world population. Soft fraud is committed when an individual has an “opportunity” to exploit what might actually be a legitimate insurance claim.
Let’s look at an example of soft fraud. An employee falls at work, shatters their knee and has lots of medical claims to deal with. Some of these medical claims revolve around physical therapy. Well, if the employee thinks about it, they can drag out physical therapy for months, collecting monies for treatments they didn’t really need. The original knee injury claim is legitimate; however the additional costs are not.
Do you think that corporate fraud is occurring in your business? Contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.
The skill set of a private sector Loss Prevention Investigator can be deployed in the retail sector or for that matter in any type of business. The skills acquired are unique but seamlessly and effortlessly cross over industries.
A Loss Prevention Investigator may handle employee theft or embezzlement cases as well as business fraud and vendor fraud issues – to name just a few.
Why pay for an investigator? Why wouldn’t you just call the police? Police Departments are notoriously understaffed in this area since violent crime always takes priority over other criminal matters. And with the budgetary constraints policy departments are also affected by having to cut staff.
A typical law enforcement investigator may be assigned upward of 25 cases a month. How many of those are going to get the attention they deserve. Yours case may just be added to the pile. If you do not submit a finished case that is wrapped up in a bow that is exactly what will happen. We are typically told that it will take three months up to one year before law enforcement may file any charges.
A private sector loss prevention investigator will typically do the work with higher quality and can be dedicated to that one investigation at a time. Again it is the difference between the public and private sector.
Should you possibly hire an off duty police officer? Again, the difference between the public and private sector is that not only will the lpi generally have a higher skill level but someone who is a lpi will also be a business person and not only a law enforcement officer. We understand business needs and are not only concerned with putting someone in jail.
Atlanta is a very dynamic city with a vast and diverse business community. Law enforcement in the metro are is stretched to the limit. Don’t let your case be put in “the pile”
Contact us or in the Atlanta area call 770.426.7593
Corporate fraud investigation and I have had a relationship for over thirty years. I have come to a sad but simple conclusion. When management uses the wrong kind of trust in a business environment all kinds of things go wrong. If you deal with employees, assets, cash and the rest you need to take a serious look at yourself. It usually starts this way. I have concluded an investigation, the employee has confessed and I am in the process of filing criminal charges. At this point the owner or manager says to me something like “I thought I could trust that person”.
The manager or owner feels guilty, is angry and then begins to question their skills. Believe me it is not their skills that they should be questioning. There are two kinds of trust in this world: personal trust and business trust.
Personal trust is the kind of trust that you have with your best friend. You are always there for each other. You can trust them with your car, house, spouse and dog (well maybe the dog). You know that no mater what happens they have your best interests in mind.
Business trust is defined with three words: Trust But Verify. That’s it! We do not have the luxury of anything else.
Most reasons that we end up in a corporate fraud investigation involve management using personal trust in a business environment. This is a business environment not a personal one and if your management style is to be “friends” with your employee then you should need to change careers.
We are responsible for an incredible amount of liability and assets. In many cases you’re not the owner of the business. We as a professionals realize that we must protect those assets to keep the company profitable, which in turn insures that; your employees have a job (and so do we).
Trust but verify! I am not saying that you should always be watching over employees shoulder. A healthy work environment gives employees the ability to grow and do express their own style. But that doesn’t mean that we just walk away and let them run loose either. People want a structured work environment. They want to know what they should and should not do and how to do it.
So what do you do? Here is an example; a cashier is checking their drawer in for the end of their shift. They count down the cash, checks, and charges. You need to verify it by recounting all or at least some of it, like the cash. When they say to you “I just did that” you reply, “ It looks like you did a great job to, it is accurate, thank you and good work”.
As a professional you cannot use personal trust in a business environment unless a frequent corporate fraud investigation is your favorite thing.
For more information contact us.