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Blogs: Fraud Examination

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Accountant malpractice claims have been a growth industry for litigators for more than two decades, thanks to increasingly strict professional standards for auditors and accountants.   And there’s no letup in sight. In fact, even in 2020, with the coronavirus wreaking havoc with the business community, regulators have continued to crack down on auditors who […]

Accountant malpractice claims have been a growth industry for litigators for more than two decades, thanks to increasingly strict professional standards for auditors and accountants.   And there’s no letup in sight. In fact, even in 2020, with the coronavirus wreaking havoc with the business community, regulators have continued to crack down on auditors who […]

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Despite the distractions and upheaval the Covid-19 pandemic has had on your business, be careful not to overlook another threat that could be looming around the corner — fraud in the workplace. Occupational fraud is the misuse of one’s occupation for personal gain and includes anything from stealing office supplies to cooking the books to […]

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It’s an all-too frequent concern for people who are no longer managing their own finances: Are they being taken advantage of by a trustee, executor, or attorney-in-fact—and what can they do to spot and prevent such activity? At Forensic Strategic Solutions, we are often approached by beneficiaries or their loved ones to investigate possible trust […]

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When financial fraud investigators discuss corruption in the workplace, they are usually referring to a single employee who is exploiting their position for personal benefit. Collusion, however, involves multiple people working together to abuse their power. When a collision occurs, the damage to a company’s finances and reputation multiplies. And pinpointing the perpetrators and the […]

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The mass exodus of employees from traditional offices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing ease with which information can be moved and shared has made one thing clear: Businesses are facing a risk-filled new frontier when it comes to their data security. The rapid shift to telework has only expanded the […]

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Economic turmoil can serve as a powerful accelerant for employee fraud, pressuring cash-strapped companies to sacrifice compliance activities to save money and fueling financial insecurity and temptation among workers.

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According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2018 Report to the Nations, fraudulent disbursement schemes remain the costliest form of asset misappropriation fraud to threaten small businesses. Although this risk can seem overwhelming, it may be avoidable through taking proactive steps against fraud within your company. Here are eight tips to help you expose […]

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Originally published by ACFE Insights. Smart people commit fraud every day. A recent case gives us a prime example. A federal judge asked Donald Watkins, Sr. to step away from the jury box as Watkins, Sr. made an impassioned plea in his closing argument. Watkins, Sr. was in the personal space of front-row jurors, who were […]

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This failure of duty matters – it violates public trust and costs innocent people their jobs, their pensions and above all – faith in a system. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 11, 2019 that David Middendorf, the former national managing partner for audit quality and professional practice at KPMG, and co-defendant, Jeffrey Wada, […]

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OPEN is a key word to remember when detecting deception. Open body language – and an open mind – are your best friends when looking for the truth. An open mind is going to help keep you in the “information-gathering” mode, which usually proves to be more effective than the gruff interrogation techniques you’ve seen […]

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Now that we’ve peeked behind the curtain of speech and facial expressions, it’s time to move on to body language. But before we focus on our subject’s nonverbal cues, let’s shine the light on our own body language. Remember: when detecting deception, we aren’t looking for the lie – we are looking for the truth. […]

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THE FACIAL FAUX PAS Now that you have gathered your intel – you have your subject’s baseline squared away and you’ve peeked behind their words – it’s time to focus on the facial faux pas. There are many facial signs that are likely indicators of deceptive hot spots. When your subject’s expressions and gestures don’t […]

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Once we’ve established the baseline, it’s time to drill down to expose the meaning behind the words. While body language has long been the focus of detecting deception, research has shown that the analysis of a person’s speech may be much more accurate than merely observing non-verbal behavior. No matter the lie, there will always […]

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In my previous blog post, I noted that when assessing whether someone is lying, you must first consider the person’s baseline – their typical behavior. A LIAR IS CAUGHT… OR IS HE? Body language helps us identify a person’s stress signals of deception. The key word here is “helps” – body language is far from […]

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THE MASTER OF DECEPTION Bernie Madoff infamously stole $65 billion reflecting 4,900 client accounts in a Ponzi scheme. All told, his investors lost approximately $20 billion of real principal. How was he able to look hundreds of people in the eye without arousing suspicion, all the while knowing he was robbing them blind? This man […]

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Our team recently wrapped up another sizeable fraud examination for a small business whose trusted bookkeeper embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the names and the faces of fraud change, the story remains the same: the employee you least expect, the most trusted of them all, takes advantage of their position – and you […]

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In my last blog, I discussed why corruption in the workplace always requires a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest arise when employees have interests that may make it difficult to maintain one’s duty of loyalty to their company in an objective and effective manner. Quashing all conflicts of interest within businesses would be difficult to conduct; therefore, it is important to know how to reduce the risks inherent in conflicts of interest.

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When it comes to corruption, there is almost always a common denominator: a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists when an individual or corporation has the opportunity – real or perceived – to exploit their position for personal or corporate benefit. Corruption occurs when the individual or corporation takes advantage of that opportunity and indeed abuses their position for private gain.

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Charitable giving, while good with intent, is not always received as expected. Let’s say you and I give to a seemingly worthwhile charity. You may be surprised at who really takes from the charity – frequently, it’s the fundraisers and executives. Oftentimes the fundraisers and executives are one in the same, since many founders will leave the charity to start a consulting and fundraising business to contract with the charity. This is really where it begins to get out of hand.

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When you think of fraud within an organization, a newer employee may be top-of-mind, but according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), seven percent of perpetrators committed fraud during their first year and more than 53 percent had been with their organization for more than five years.

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