A key part of any fraud investigation involves interviewing employees, customers, vendors and others. These interviews, explain a leading Philadelphia forensic accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner, can help provide an understanding of the business, uncover potential fraud, frame the size and scope of the fraud and identify potential fraudsters.
However – according to David Anderson, principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of fraud investigation and fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley – the suspected fraudster(s) typically are the last to be interviewed because the certified fraud examiner wants to be able to confront the suspected fraudster(s) with all or most of the facts and other information order to elicit an admission.
Based upon his experience with such interviews, Philadelphia forensic accountant Anderson said he has observed some significant differences between fraudsters and non-fraudsters. Some of these observations are:
- Non-fraudsters, said Anderson, a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia with experience in conducting fraud investigations and establishing comprehensive fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley, are typically eager to provide information as part of the interview process. For example, Anderson said that when he has asked about areas of weakness that could permit someone to commit fraud, non-fraudsters will usually provide such information (of which they are aware), and even try to speculate about areas of potential weakness of which they have little or no knowledge. Fraudsters will typically claim that they are not aware of any such weaknesses, and that it is impossible for someone to commit fraud at the company.
- Non-fraudsters are typically emphatic about how a potential fraudster should be punished. For example, they will state that the person should be fired immediately. Fraudsters will be significantly less emphatic. Certified Fraud Examiner Anderson said they will often suggest that there might have been an acceptable reason as to why the potential fraudster would have committed the fraud. They will also typically suggest that the company should be lenient with such a person, including giving that person a second chance.
- Non-fraudsters do not typically hesitate in their answers to questions. As Anderson – a Philadelphia forensic accountant and principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of fraud investigation and fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley – explained, fraudsters will be hesitant and may even repeat the interviewer’s question (in order to buy time to think about their answer), especially when the question starts to touch on areas related to their fraud.
- Non-fraudsters, Anderson said, are also typically emphatic when asked if they have ever done anything improper. For example, the typically non-fraudster will immediately and forcefully say “No!” Fraudsters are typically less emphatic and may even deflect. In one case, the fraudster responded (earlier in the interview): “Well, to be honest, I have taken home paper clips, pens and paper a few times. And, I remember that once, there was a fifty-cent error on my expense reimbursement which I never told anyone about”. (It was only much later in the interview that the fraudster admitted to having taken tens of thousands of dollars in a billing scheme).
If you require the services of a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia or any other forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, please contact the Philadelphia forensic accounting firm of David Anderson & Associates by calling David Anderson at 267-207-3597 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About David Anderson & Associates
David Anderson & Associates is a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. The experienced professionals at David Anderson & Associates provide forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud investigation, fraud deterrence, litigation support, economic damage analysis, business consulting and outsourced CFO services. Company principal David Anderson is a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia who has more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational leadership positions and is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Valuation Analyst and a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia.