Private Investigations Detecting Financial Fraud
There has been an increase in misappropriation of funds and fraudulent activities in the recent past. Most people have decided to dip their hands in the coffers betraying the finances entrusted to them by the relevant authority. Some people go even further and defraud their family, close friends and relatives. When a situation arises in which the officially authorized, ethical and legal management of financial resources does not take place, it is considered as financial fraud. It usually occurs when people entrusted with the responsibility of handling money and other assets on behalf of employers or clients make deliberate (and sometimes inadvertent) decisions to mishandle funds. This kind of fraud is usually detected in two ways: commencement of investigations when an actual fraud has been discovered, and possibly one or more offenders are identified or commencement of investigations due to a strong inkling of deception, but no considerable attestation that a fraud has taken place.
Most firms hire a private investigator when they a strong suspicion that someone in the company is conducting questionable transactions or when they catch someone in the act and need the services of the investigator to collect and process evidence before proceeding to taking the individual to court or whatever they see fit legally. To determine financial fraud, a private investigator may look at various documents and financial transactions like receipts, petty cash expenses, financial documents as well as bank accounts and authorization signatures on checks and bank slips. This will help the private investigator whether some documents and transactions were falsified or if someone put a claim for reimbursement of cash that he or she might have used in their private transactions and say it is business related among others. Phone records as well as computer data and other digital media devices may be used to retrieve data for evidentiary purposes.
An investigation into suspicious and questionable financial transactions where there is no discernable suspects proves to be much harder. In this case, a private investigator has to use his or her surveillance knowledge as well as undercover experience to trace potential suspects within and without the business premises. They will collect audio, visual and audio-visual data using cameras, micro cameras, listening devices as well as global positioning system and trackers to keep tabs on what is going on within the business premises as well as what is taking place in all aspects of the lives of the potential suspects. The data collected from surveillance and undercover work is then analyzed for further clues and where possible, some people may be eliminated as suspects, new leads may come up and a suspect may possibly be identified without need for further investigations. Digital forensics may also be used by a private investigator to uncover financial fraud.
Audio, video, audio visual evidence gathered by a private investigator may be used by the prosecution to prove guilt or by the defence to puncture holes into the prosecution case if the defendant is innocent of committing fraudulent transactions. This is because a private investigator is a neutral party and has the ethical responsibility of providing objective and truthful evidence in any court proceedings. A private investigator is well equipped to help any organization to prevent fraud by monitoring all financial transactions and investigation all the red flags that may arise in that transaction. He or she will also guarantee you the utmost privacy of all your company data and transactions. The private investigator will also provide for a great expert witness in case of civil and criminal proceedings concerning financial fraud which may help you present you case in a logical manner, full of admissible evidence. Hiring a private investigator to look into fraud is an economical, cost effective decision that will help you detect fraud before it leads you to bankruptcy.