In the course of business there are often times in which someone may act unethically in order to cash in, or utilize their position to receive benefits to the detriment of the company. So what happens when you think you’ve caught someone committing fraud?
First of all, as mentioned in previous blog posts regarding fraud, you must always assume someone is innocent in order to maintain objectivity. If you’re the owner of the company this can be extremely difficult to do because if someone is committing fraud it’s with your money. Objectivity can help stress the need for facts versus hunches, or inuendo, and in order to prove fraud you’ll need objectivity.
Secondly, is to immediately begin treating everything like evidence, preserve as much as you can of transaction logs, check registers, physical checks or anything else you think might be involved in the act of fraud. Evidence is key to proving fraud, especially if you have evidence of concealment, because at the heart of all fraud is concealment, the act of trying to hide the fraudulent behavior.
Third, hire a qualified professional, not only are they objective and independent, but they know what to look for, what looks like fraud versus incompentence, and if fraud exists they may be able to establish the full pervasiveness and depths
Lastly, and this point is hard to stress, is press charges of theft is discovered. Unfortunately, for understandable reasons, many business owners decide not to press charges for fear it will look bad on the company. The problem is that not only do many fraudsters repeat if not punished thoroughly enough, your company appears to be soft on those committing fraud.
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