Once a suspicion has arisen, don’t panic but act quickly. Seize the initiative by developing a course of action. Analyse the evidence and circumstances surrounding the suspicion, retain accurate records, develop a fraud theory and set out your objectives in an investigation plan. Whatever the investigation, each case must begin with the intention that it will end in litigation.
The following is our ten point guide for planning an investigation:
1. Analyse the existing evidence and identify who appears to be involved in the fraud?
2. Prepare and test your hypothesis. Look at the precise methods of the fraud - when, where, why, how?
3. Who benefitted from the fraud? Was it for personal gain or to hide losses?
4. Consider the possibility of a “worst case” scenario. Did it involve other people, competitors, customers or suppliers?
5. Refrain from alerting the suspects of your interest. Nor should you search through their work computers, laptops or emails without first securing an original hard drive image as evidence.
6. What evidence is there to prove or disprove the suspicions?
7. Where is, or who has the relevant evidence and how can it be legally obtained?
8. Consider the preferred outcome in terms of disciplinary action, prosecution or litigation if the suspicions are true (try to resist disciplinary action until the facts have been established).
9. Identify and retain the necessary skilled resources to achieve the objectives and legally collect the best evidence from digital forensics, surveillance, interviews, profiling, communication analysis and expenses records etc.
10. All evidence and records should be preserved and secured. Any movement of evidence must be catalogued showing the continuity of movement.
All cases of fraud and corporate dishonesty are diverse. Individuals will show different motivations, take deceitful opportunities and rationalise their actions. However, if you apply the above points to your investigation, they will ultimately help you find the truth.
If you think Ten Intelligence can help, please give us a call. With an operational presence in Dubai, in addition to our HQ in the United Kingdom, TenIntelligence is able to consistently deliver a professional investigations and due diligence services for our clients across multiple jurisdictions and industries.
Our ethos is based upon trust, integrity and building relationships, whilst offering a commitment to our clients by delivering an effective investigation service with consistent standards of excellence.