Expert Fraud Analysis and Litigation Support Services
Unravel Complex Fraud Schemes - Find the Truth
Fraud can happen to anyone. From individuals to large corporations, fraud costs billions of dollars each year. If you suspect fraudulent activity, a thorough fraud investigation can uncover the truth and help you take action. This guide will walk you through our fraud investigation services to detect various types of fraud like embezzlement, insurance fraud, or identity theft.
Fraud takes many forms, but the common denominator is using deception for unlawful gain. Some examples include:
Embezzlement – When an employee or trusted individual steals money or resources from a company. This can involve complex schemes over many years involving altered records, fraudulent accounting, shell companies, and redirected payments.
Insurance fraud – Filing false insurance claims, staging accidents, exaggerating injuries or losses, or intentionally causing damage to collect higher payouts.
Identity theft – Using someone else’s personal information to open fraudulent accounts, make unauthorized purchases, launder money, file false tax returns, or commit other frauds.
Vendor fraud – Tricking companies into paying inflated invoices to sham vendors or shell companies controlled by internal perpetrators.
Payroll fraud – Adding fake employees and pocketing their paychecks or continuing to pay former employees by not removing them from the system.
Credit card fraud – Stealing and using credit card information for fraudulent purchases or even creating entirely fake credit cards for high value thefts.
Investment fraud – Misrepresenting investment risks, fabricating statements, or outright stealing deposits in pyramid schemes or ponzi schemes.
Detecting these and other types of fraud requires carefully tracing paper and digital trails. Fraudsters often go to great lengths to hide their activities through complex schemes spanning many months or years.
Conducting a fraud investigation with our team provides several benefits for companies, organizations, and individuals:
Uncover the Full Truth of What Happened
Experienced fraud examiners know how to dig deeper through documents, communications, financial systems, and other evidence to determine exactly what happened. Investigations reveal:
Who was involved in perpetrating or assisting with the fraud.
How long the fraudulent activities occurred.
What schemes, techniques, and internal controls were circumvented.
Where and how money or resources were siphoned away.
A detailed understanding of the fraud paints a complete picture so that appropriate actions can be taken.
Send a Strong Message that Fraud Carries Consequences
Proving there are meaningful consequences to fraud through terminations and prosecutions promotes an ethical workplace culture. It shows employees and leaders that fraud will be detected and punished rather than tolerated. This helps deter future misconduct and unethical behavior.
Strengthen Internal Controls and Oversight
The findings from an investigation can highlight gaps and flaws in financial controls, processes, oversight, security, and personnel that enabled the fraud to occur and go undetected. Companies can implement improved controls and technology solutions to fix those deficiencies. This prevents similar frauds in the future.
Potentially Recover Stolen Funds and Assets
Identifying where stolen money or resources were routed allows companies to potentially recover those assets through legal proceedings and insurance claims. Although difficult, recovering even a portion of losses represents significant savings. Our findings support pursuing the maximum recoveries possible.
Improve Operational Processes
Pinpointing exactly how fraudulent activities were concealed highlights areas for improving financial, accounting, and operational processes through stronger controls and increased transparency. New technology solutions like artificial intelligence fraud detection can also be implemented.
Support Insurance Claims
Detailed investigation reports prove fraud occurred and quantify losses. This supports claims made to insurance providers and maximizes the potential claim value. Our documentation helps ensure insurance claims are processed fully and efficiently.
By revealing the truth and consequences of fraudulent behavior, our investigations provide the knowledge needed to correct control deficiencies and take action. This serves as a strong deterrent for the future.
Our team of experienced forensic accountants, fraud examiners, private investigators, and technology specialists have extensive training in investigating all manner of financial crimes. We know where to look and how to analyze the evidence to uncover the truth behind even the most sophisticated frauds.
Our fraud investigation services follow a systematic approach to unravel deceptive activities. This includes:
Reviewing accounting records, bank statements, invoices, contracts, and financial documents to identify abnormalities.
Analyzing accounting systems and exports to identify suspicious transactions.
Tracing funds transfers between accounts to map payment flows.
Identifying gaps in documentation, altered records, or other red flags.
Conducting investigative interviews of potential witnesses and subjects.
Reconstructing detailed timelines of activities to highlight discrepancies.
Identifying potential motives and opportunities that allowed the fraud to occur.
Tracing the flow of money to quantify losses and identify where funds were routed.
Writing detailed reports summarizing the scheme, findings, recommendations, and next steps for recovery.
No matter how simple or complex the case, we have the persistence, experience, and methodology to conduct a thorough investigation from start to finish.
We take a meticulous approach to fraud examinations, including these key steps:
1. Planning and Scoping the Investigation
We begin by carefully planning and scoping the objectives, allegations, requirements, timelines, and other parameters of the investigation. This planning phase involves:
Meeting with clients to understand suspicions and desired outcomes.
Identifying high priority bank accounts, computer systems, applications, physical locations, and records to target.
Researching entities, individuals, time periods, and other case details to focus on.
Creating a detailed work plan and investigation strategy based on the specifics of the case.
Taking steps to preserve relevant evidence and avoid tipping off potential suspects.
Thorough planning and scoping sets the trajectory for an efficient, targeted examination of the evidence.
2. Gathering Records, Documents, and Electronic Evidence
Our fraud examiners use appropriate methods to securely gather a wide universe of relevant documents and electronic records, including:
Bank and credit card statements
Accounting system exports
Invoices and payment records
Contracts and agreements
File downloads from computers and mobile devices
IP address and access logs
Security camera footage
Having access to as many related sources as possible provides the raw data needed for a comprehensive investigation. Our certified forensic experts know how to preserve the integrity of sensitive electronic evidence.
3. Organizing Evidence in an Investigation Database
We securely process, catalogue, and organize evidence in customized databases for efficient analysis. Data is indexed, sorted, validated, and input into our advanced fraud analytics platform. This enables seamless querying to identify linkages, patterns, anomalies, and suspicious activities for further investigation.
4. In-Depth Examination and Analysis
Our fraud experts thoroughly analyze the organized evidence from start to finish to uncover signs of fraud and deception. This involves:
Reviewing accounting and financial records for abnormalities like duplicate payments.
Tracing funds between accounts and flagging unusual money movements.
Identifying timeline gaps, uploading spikes, or suspicious access pointing to data tampering.
Spotting inconsistencies in vendor names, addresses, or bank details.
Isolating deviations from established payment processes and controls.
No detail is too small when it comes to spotting indicators of fraud in volumes of data. Our team will leverage data analytics, forensic accounting, and criminal psychology techniques to detect red flags.
5. Conducting Investigative Interviews
In many cases, we will conduct formal interviews of persons potentially involved in the fraud scheme to obtain additional details, explanations, and information. Interviews may lead to early confessions for minor participants or build a stronger case against primary culprits. Our experts are trained in interrogation techniques, verbal cues, and criminal psychology to derive facts from interviews. We consult with legal counsel to ensure interviews meet local regulations.
6. Developing Theories and Testing Hypotheses
As patterns emerge, we develop preliminary hypotheses and theories of what transpired based on the evidence. Our fraud examiners then gather additional documentation to prove or refute those scenarios. By testing different theories, we uncover the full details of how the fraud progressed and hid undetected.
7. Detailed Reporting on Findings
We distill investigation findings into a comprehensive report that summarizes:
Background of the suspected fraud
Scope and parameters of the investigation
Overview of documents and evidence examined
Detailed description of suspicious activities and anomalies observed
Methods used by suspects to commit and conceal the fraud
Investigative analysis and conclusions
Estimated total losses and monetary impact
Full timelines of events constructed during the investigation
Suggested next steps for confronting suspects, strengthening controls, initiating terminations or legal proceedings, and recovering stolen funds
The report provides clients a complete picture of what transpired to support
8. Case Resolution and Recovery Efforts
With evidence in hand, we work closely with clients on:
Confronting and interviewing suspects with legal counsel present.
Negotiating admissions, restitution agreements, and voluntary separations where appropriate.
Terminating guilty employees and vendors.
Reporting findings to insurers and recovering available policy limits.
Filing civil lawsuits and supporting law enforcement in building criminal cases against offenders.
Presenting findings and suggested improvements to executive leadership and audit committees.
Implementing new financial controls, IT security solutions, and fraud prevention measures.
Revoking unauthorized access to systems and accounts from guilty parties.
Identifying where stolen funds were routed and pursuing asset seizures and recovery through legal filings.
We provide litigation support, expert witness testimony, and work hand-in-hand with clients through to the final resolution of each unique fraud case.
What types of fraud can you investigate?
Our team has deep experience investigating many different types of fraud schemes, including:
- Embezzlement – Expense report fraud, payroll fraud, cash skimming, shell company vendors, fraudulent money transfers
- Financial statement fraud – Improper revenue recognition, overstated assets, understated expenses
- Money laundering – Complex wire transfers, fake invoicing, commingling legal and illegal funds
- Bribery and corruption – Illicit gifts, kickbacks, conflicts of interest, quid pro quo deals
- Insurance fraud – Staged accidents, exaggerated or falsified claims, intentionally caused damage
- Identity theft – New account fraud, account takeovers, false tax returns, employment fraud
- Investment fraud – Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, front running, false representations
No matter how simple or complex the fraud scheme, we can conduct a detailed forensic examination of the evidence to determine exactly what happened.
What records and data do you need for an investigation?
The specific records required depend on the nature of the case. But some examples of information we will request include:
- Bank and credit card account statements
- Accounting system exports (QuickBooks, NetSuite, SAP, etc.)
- Expense reports and reimbursement forms
- Invoices and payment records
- Payroll databases and salary records
- Contracts and payment terms
- Budget variance analyses
- Email and instant message archives
- Computer and mobile device backups
- Physical and network security camera footage
- IP address access logs
- Public records
Essentially, we need access to as many documents, communications, systems, and data sources related to the fraud scheme as possible. Having this information early allows for efficient analysis. We work closely with clients to obtain what is needed while maintaining confidentiality.
What makes your fraud investigation methodology so effective?
Several key differentiators make our methodology extremely effective at uncovering the truth:
- Experienced Certified Fraud Examiners – Our teams include CFE, CPA, CISA, EnCE, and other highly credentialed forensic accounting experts.
- Specialization – We focus specifically on financial crime investigations, not just general investigations. This specialized expertise is invaluable.
- Rigorous Processes – Our methodology is proven through thousands of cases to produce consistent, court-defensible results.
- Sophisticated Data Analytics – We leverage AI-enhanced analytics software to identify deeply hidden patterns and anomalies faster.
- Technical Forensics – Our certified digital forensics experts extract incontrovertible evidence from computers, mobiles, and other devices.
- Reputation – Our long history of quietly solving high-stakes cases makes clients comfortable sharing sensitive information.
This expertise, experience, and technology allows us to conduct more efficient, insightful investigations.
What makes your reports stand out?
Our fraud examination reports stand out because they:
- Are customized to be understandable and relevant for each client.
- Thoroughly explain our methodology, analysis, findings, and conclusions in an accessible way.
- Contain compelling charts, graphs, timelines, and visuals tailored to each case.
- Provide all the details needed to make informed decisions on next steps.
- Would withstand scrutiny as court evidence, if required.
- Are designed for maximum clarity and ease of use by clients.
Thorough, customized reporting is vital because the report details are what clients rely on long after the investigation concludes. Our reports deliver on that need.
How can I estimate costs?
Pricing is influenced by the scale of the fraud, number of records to analyze, requirement for interviews, number of bank accounts to investigate, and other case variables. We provide a free consultation and estimate after learning more details about the matter. Certain simple frauds can be investigated for only a few thousand dollars. Larger, more complex cases are typically $75,000 to $150,000+ in professional fees given the meticulous level of analysis required. We offer flexible payment terms and work within your budget parameters.
Don’t let compliance issues, misconduct and blind-spots in your business go unchecked. With experienced investigation experts, you can uncover problems early before they become crises. Let us conduct targeted, discreet inquiries to obtain the intelligence you need for informed decisions.
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