Blogs: Fraud Examination

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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 […]

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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There’s no way around it—according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, an estimated five percent of annual revenues are lost to financial crime. What do these numbers mean for you? Big or small, public or private – with statistics like these, there’s a good chance your business is more likely than not to fall victim to internal fraud.

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As a frequent speaker on the subject of fraud, people often ask me, “How do you investigate fraud?” My answer is always the same: You look for the anomaly. To me, it sounds so simple until I step back and realize that most people cannot see the anomaly, although it is usually right in front of them.

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Identifying fraud symptoms in financial statements requires observation and recognition. If you don’t look, you’re unlikely to find it. Worse yet, if you do look, are you sure you will recognize the symptoms of fraud?

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Fraud, unlike acts of terror, murder, or bank robbery, is rarely observed. Instead, only symptoms or indicators, most often exhibited through changes in the financial statements, are present.

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With all of the publicity that surrounded the Bernard Madoff, Scott Rothstein, ZeekRewards and Allen Stanford Ponzi schemes, among many others, you would think that people would have by now received the message about Ponzi Schemes; how they work and how those investors lose their money.

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Crowdfunding is the relatively new process of using social media to receive small contributions from many different individual investors.

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