Fraud Case Preparation

Know Your Goal, Know Your Role


Non-sworn fraud examiners can optimize their chances for prosecution of white-collar crimes by avoiding things that law enforcement officers just hate.

Sharon was a soccer mom who had a soft spot for “Precious Moments” figurines and The Carpenters and an even greater appetite for Harley-Davidsons and luxury vacations. She used her gentle disposition – and her primary authority over her department’s employees, finances and computer processes – to embezzle nearly a quarter of a million dollars. By cajoling her subordinates into letting her borrow their passwords and by temporarily suspending their computer access, Sharon directed to herself in two years more than 30 “bonus” payments in both paper check and electronic transfer format. At the sentencing, she looked very much as she did when I first interviewed her. Only now, she’s a convicted felon.

As an internal auditor whose job is devoted to fraud examinations, my primary purpose is to facilitate justice for my employer. Designing the right methodology, conducting meaningful interviews, gathering and reviewing evidence, and writing the final report, all require thoughtful, meticulous, and often, time-consuming effort. While some of my examinations are conceptually simple, those that take the most time and, typically, involve the greatest dollar losses, are often the most complicated.

My employer’s policies make it easier for me than might be true of other organizations. Once I have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and I can produce evidence obtained through our internal resources and/or the public domain, I am obliged to refer the matter to law enforcement whose prerogative it is to pursue a criminal examination beyond my own civilian/administrative work.

Whether the allegations involve federal or state-level action, I am convinced that cultivating and maintaining positive relationships with law enforcement personnel and prosecutors have had significant bearing on the successful prosecution of our major cases. When presenting your case to law enforcement, remember these five words:

Give them what they want. 

Consider the following techniques that have worked for me.

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