The savvy fraud examiner includes signed statements, visual aids, summaries of witnesses' statements, and the engagement contract in the written case report.
Fraud cases can be won or lost on the strength of the written report. In the September/October issue of The White Paper, we reviewed the basic mechanisms of a strong report, described reporting mistakes, showed how to organize a report, and discussed reader analysis. In this issue, we cover signed statements, visual aids, summaries of witnesses' statements, and elements of the engagement contract.
Reduce the verbal confession to a short and concise written statement. Prepare the statement and present it to the confessor for his signature before he leaves the interview. Do not exceed two or three handwritten pages. Cover the following points in every signed statement:
The general law of confessions requires that they be completely voluntary. This should be set forth specifically.
There is no such thing as an accidental fraud or crime. Both require as part of the elements of proof the fact that the confessor knew the conduct was wrong and intended to commit the act. This can best be accomplished by using precise language in the statement that clearly describes the act (e.g., "I wrongfully took assets from the company that weren't mine" versus "I borrowed money from the company without telling anyone.")