Financial fraud is an alarmingly common crime that can cost businesses millions. Unfortunately, fraud can be very challenging to prove. Many organizations find themselves at the losing end of fraudulent activity with very little recourse.
If your business has lost assets, discovered inaccurate bookkeeping or become entangled in illegal activity due to fraud, hiring a private investigator may be the right next step. With a private financial fraud investigator, you can learn more about the fraudulent activity, identify the fraudster and start rectifying the situation.
Common Types of Fraud
Criminals may take advantage of businesses in a diverse variety of transactions. These are a few examples of some of the most common cases:
- A seller misrepresenting or completely inventing assets.
- A team member paying bribes, kickbacks, payoffs or illegal political contributions using company funds.
- A supplier or other outside stakeholder paying bribes or kickbacks to a member of your organization.
- A team member making a fraudulent sale to a buyer.
- A professional service provider or team member engaging in tax fraud.
These examples all directly involve your organization even if the criminal was an outside entity or someone acting alone. Unfortunately, even if you as the CEO or business owner had no involvement in the fraud, you may end up paying the bill or even facing a civil or criminal suit.
Financial Fraud Investigations
In many cases, you can mitigate the repercussions of fraud by showing proof of what happened. A private investigator can be very valuable in this process. Even if you are unable to seek recourse for the direct costs of the fraud, you can likely involve your organization becoming further embroiled in the problem.
The process of a fraud investigation is dependent on the circumstances. However, typically, it will involve an in-depth audit and accounting review to identify which assets were impacted and to what extent.
Additionally, the investigator may perform background checks on employees, vendors and buyers that may be involved in the situation. This can include credit history, personal history, court records and other relevant information to identify any red flags.
Using the above and other investigatory methods, the PI will gradually be able to build a clear understanding of what happened and who was involved. Typically, investigators remain wholly focused on the fraudulent transactions and whoever had direct involvement in them. However, in some cases, private investigators have discovered much more far-reaching problems than were known at the start of the process.
This information can enable you to protect your organization legally and financially. It can also help you to smooth over relationships with investors, vendors, customers and other stakeholders that may be involved in the situation. Furthermore, with the right investigator, this can all be accomplished with minimal impact on your operations.
Clarifying the Situation
In most cases, the investigator is brought in after the incident. He or she will you and your executive team to gather what you already know. You may already be fully aware of the fraud and simply need additional proof and clarity to help you take your next steps. In other cases, you may only know that something has happened. In these circumstances, the fraud investigator can help you fill in the missing details.
Making the right decisions about how to handle fraud is almost impossible without the full picture. Hiring a private investigator to look into the situation for you means that you can be confident that the problem will be uncovered promptly and with minimal disruptions. Let the experts handle the investigation while you continue to run the company.
Handling the Situation With Sensitivity
Beau Dietl & Associates will handle your investigation with the utmost care. We understand that these cases can be very sensitive, and that discretion is a top priority. To that end, we will build as much of our case as possible while keeping employees, especially those suspected of fraud, in the dark. Once we have clear, tangible evidence, we may interview employees as necessary.
This is part of the reason why hiring a private investigator can be so valuable. Your team may struggle to act as subtly as an experienced fraud investigator. Furthermore, PIs can piece together evidence to build a stronger case by leveraging our skills and insight built over years of investigations.
Once the investigation is complete, you will likely want to take steps to prevent the same from happening in the future. Private investigators are also experienced anti-fraud consultants. With help from a PI, you can implement an anti-fraud program at your company.
This can include a thorough review of current policies and procedures. It may also include an evaluation of your digital and physical security to identify where current blind spots are. With state-of-the-art fraud prevention strategies, businesses around the globe are working to effectively detect and prevent such incidents. Take the first steps towards joining their ranks by hiring a financial fraud investigator.