David Anderson is principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of forensic accounting services including fraud investigation, fraud deterrence, business valuation, and marital dissolution in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.
This blog is the second in a series of four posts that will examine the so-called “Tricks of the Trade” that forensic accountants use when conducting fraud investigations.
A forensic accountant can use names, addresses and phone numbers when investigating potential minority shareholder suppression cases and when conducting a fraud investigation.
In minority shareholder suppression cases, a forensic accountant will look for employees, subcontractors and vendors having the same last name as that of the majority shareholders, explained David 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.
“We also obtain information regarding the married names of female relatives of the majority shareholders and search for those names” said Anderson, a Philadelphia forensic accountant who also is a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia. “In several of my cases, I have identified significant payments being made to the majority shareholder’s daughter, her husband or her children, who performed little or no work for the company, as part of an effort to divert profits from the minority shareholder.”
When he is conducting fraud investigations, forensic accounting expert Anderson says he performs the same analyses.
“In one instance, the general manager of a division was found to be making referral payments to a seemingly unrelated third party,” said David Anderson, a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia with experience in conducting fraud investigations and establishing comprehensive fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley. “However, during my investigation, I found that this person actually was his wife – using her maiden name to appear to be unrelated to the general manager.
Anderson, a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia, said he made this discovery by Googling the general manager. One of the items he said he came up was the wedding announcement which contained the wife’s maiden name.
One final name analysis which Anderson said can be performed by a forensic accountant undertaking fraud deterrence in a fraud investigation is a search for vendor companies that use abbreviations in their titles (for example, ARH Enterprises or H & B Associates). Because of ego, many fraudsters and others use their own initials or those of their spouse and themselves in the names of companies they set up, said David Anderson, a Philadelphia forensic accountant whose firm provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. He said any companies he finds during such an investigation warrant additional analysis.
Addresses can also help identify potential fraud, forensic accounting expert, Anderson noted. When an employee sets up a phony vendor, Anderson said the employee often uses his or her home address as the address for the vendor. By running matches between the employee files and the vendor files, he said he has found numerous phony vendors.
“I also run the employee’s addresses against the company’s address or that of the corresponding subsidiary, division or group headquarters or facility address, said 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. “In these instances, I am looking for employees who are using one of the company’s addresses as their stated home address.
Certified Fraud Examiner Anderson said follow-up investigations of those employees have revealed that they usually are doing so for one of several reasons, including:
- hiding from the government because they are undocumented aliens or parole violators;
- hiding from ex-spouses or debtors; or
- trying to avoid paying state or local taxes . . . such as a Philadelphia resident working in Montgomery County who is trying to avoid having the Philadelphia wage tax withheld.
A final address analysis that can be completed when a forensic accountant is conducting a fraud investigation or a program of fraud deterrence is running employee addresses and looking for employees who have the same address as another employee. While some such persons may be relatives of the employee and could be living in the same household, forensic accounting expert David Anderson said he also has found ghost employees by performing this analysis.
Just as with addresses, telephone numbers also can be used to identify potential fraud in the same way, said Anderson, a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia with experience in conducting fraud investigations and establishing comprehensive fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley. During his investigations, he said he has identified phony vendors and ghost employees by matching employee phone numbers against those of vendors and other employees.
If you have questions about any finance or fraud issues, you should speak with a Certified Fraud Examiner from an experienced firm that provides forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. The Philadelphia forensic accounting firm of David Anderson & Associates can be reached by calling David Anderson at 267-207-3597 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require the services of a Certified Fraud Examiner or any other forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.
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 who has more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational leadership positions and is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Valuation Analyst.