Fraud is a Risk for All Companies
Fraud can occur at any company, having a significant financial impact on even the most well established business. Fraud is misrepresentation with the intent to deceive. For example, if a company makes a specific claim about a product and knows that the product won’t work as promised, they are guilty of fraud. Fraud is a very real and costly problem that causes loss of money as well as serious injury and sometimes even death.
When is a Fraud Investigation warranted?
If you are the victim of a scam, your organization may lose significant amounts of money and, in some cases, its good name or brand. Proving a fraud actually occurred, however, can be complicated and evidence you gather on your own may not be admissible in court. A qualified, experienced investigator helps you receive the compensation you need.
Bawn offers the following services to help you combat the risk of fraud and reduce the stress associated with managing the investigation and remediation process:
- Fraud Investigations: Asset tracing, kickbacks and misappropriation; bankruptcy involving fraudulent conveyance actions and preferential payments; business and shareholder disputes; fidelity and embezzlement; financial condition analysis; occupational fraud investigations; Ponzi schemes; and Whistleblower investigations.
- Vendor/Contract Due Diligence: Contract and royalty agreement assessments for fraud and abuse; and vendor/contractor pre-contract due diligence.
- Anti-Fraud Risk Assessments: Anti-fraud, ethics and compliance training; continuous monitoring, implementation or enhancement of internal controls; comprehensive risk assessments; fraud response plans; and review, development and implementation of anti-fraud programs.
- Corruption: Anti-bribery and corruption training; anticorruption program development and review; internal investigations; corruption risk assessment; regulatory investigations; and Whistleblower investigations.
All concerns or suspicions of wrongdoing should be taken seriously and promptly reviewed to determine if a fraud investigation is warranted. During the investigation, sufficient information should be gathered and necessary procedures (including interviews) should be performed to determine:
- Whether fraud has occurred
- Loss or exposure associated with the fraud
- Who was involved and how it happened
It is important the investigative team prepare, document and preserve evidence sufficient for potential legal proceedings, which is why it is critical to have an expert such as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) involved. Bawn’s investigative experts have the necessary tools and experience to help you take appropriate steps to make your organization whole again.
- Quantification of Damages It is not only important to determine how fraud was perpetrated, but also to find out how much was taken. To recover lost funds, each company must be able to prove how much was taken.
- Insurance Claims Assistance - We provide assistance to the victim company by performing an analysis of the activities and quantification of the fraudster’s illicit acts. Our findings are then documented in a report specialized to meet your insurance and company’s specifications.
- Expert Testimony - Our professionals frequently assist legal counsel in internal investigations and litigation/prosecution involving complex financial transactions. We are hired not only for our analytical knowledge and skill, but our ability to credibly testify and defend our opinions and findings.
- Forensic Accounting Investigation - Our forensic accounting and investigation experts are capable and experienced at working with company management, attorneys and law enforcement to investigate potential fraud. Our techniques include analyzing, reviewing and testing accounting records and controls as well as interviewing employees.
- Fraud Data Analysis - Our trained and certified professionals search for and identify patterns or irregularities indicative of fraud, which are beneficial as part of a larger fraud investigation or as a stand-alone engagement.
- Lessons Learned - Our experts will assist the company’s management in understanding the nature of the scheme, analyze internal controls and accounting processes, quantify the losses sustained, recommend changes to controls and policies that will help to mitigate fraud risk going forward and assist with strategies to recover what was lost. Our professionals can also act as consulting experts or provide independent expert witness testimony.
Corporate Fraud Prevention and Detection
There are several things businesses can do to enhance their business fraud prevention programs and minimize the impact and extent of fraud. Among them are:
- Implement an anonymous fraud reporting system
- Develop and implement hiring controls
- Have a qualified professional perform an internal controls review
- Perform thorough background checks and rehire testing
- Put strong company policies in place that control and cross-reference potential fraud areas
- Segregate duties and give clear lines of responsibility
- Require proper documentation consistently
- Conduct independent surprise audits of systems
- Create physical safeguards and security controls
- Maintain effective personnel policies, including rotation of assignments and mandatory vacations
- Enforce policies (and cases of fraud) with strict repercussions and/or punishment
Even if an organization is taking preventative measures, there is always the possibility that fraud can occur. Many fraudsters take extreme precautions to cover their tracks, and their actions are sometimes more widespread than anticipated.
With Certified Fraud Examiners on our team, we review internal controls, systems and procedures and make suggestions and recommendations for improvements to prevent occupational fraud and financial loss. As a part of our fraud prevention services, our assurance team works to help you move quickly to uncover and analyze any suspected fraud, assess damages, and provide effective support.