Blog Archives: 2015

Tone at the Top Drives Fraud Prevention

This is a great article from Entrepreneur.com that, in a roundabout way, focuses on tone at the top as a fraud prevention technique. I am a big believer that a strong and positive tone at the top can be a business’s most effective fraud prevention tool. Strong leaders who not only have but also profess a business philosophy and demand that their teams share that philosophy, will see positive operational results as well as have a leg up on fraud prevention.

This article discusses four ways to protect your business against employee fraud and theft. These will not be the first four things you would think of in protecting your business from fraud – reconcile bank accounts,

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Blast from the fraud past: the Minnie Mangum story

I’ve never been accused of being a fashion expert, but I have always found it interesting that certain fashion fads are huge for a while, eventually fall out of favor to the point of being mocked, and then spin back into popularity as time passes. Just like the fashion industry goes through cycles, it is important to look back at successful fraud schemes from the past and observe how they were accomplished and which prevention techniques were effective. You never know when those old trends will come back around.

In 2011, an investigator named Christopher T. Marquet, in conjunction with his investigative and intelligence firm Marquet International,

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Anonymous Hotlines Are Not Just for Employee Reporting

I recently read an article about a utilities provider in Bristol, Virginia, that is picking up the pieces and investigating the depth of an alleged fraud that officials believe spanned 8 years. This story is a great example of the power of hotlines, but not necessarily from the point of view you might expect (or have read from me in the past).

The scheme involved two former executives of the utility and two former contractors hired by the utility to help them build out their fiber-optic cable network. The executives allegedly conspired with the contractors to defraud the utility of more than $1 million over a period of 8 years.

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March Madness- the Time to Focus on Benchmarking

The NCAA March Madness basketball tournament is an exciting time of year, where athletes compete at the highest level against long-time rivals. It is the time for teams to match their skills against their competition and vie for the opportunity to cut down the net.

It’s not too late for companies to hold their own financial March Madness. As the first quarter of 2015 is wrapping up, now is the time to evaluate your company’s performance against goals, your peer group and/or industry standards. Is your company’s first quarter performance at a level where you can compete in the Final Four?

Benchmarking is an effective tool that management can use to assess the company’s relative position or performance.

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By design, not by chance – fraud detection techniques can help lead to a fraud discovery

This fraud story is simple, but it’s an example of a good point that is often overlooked. For background, in this case someone wrote checks to themselves and recorded them in the accounting ledgers as being paid to other, legitimate vendors or recipients.

When it comes to controls over checks, a good control system will have independent authorization of checks before they are released and a downstream review of bank statement information that will catch anything that bypasses the upstream process. This employee either intentionally bypassed the standard review process for these checks, or the organization had some lapses in their check authorization and bank statement review process that allowed these to be cashed without notice.

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