In 1998 Gower published the highly successful third edition of Corporate Fraud by Michael Comer. Sadly, the need for such books has not disappeared - if anything it has increased - with cases such as Enron, WorldCom and the Allied Irish Bank and so this volume concentrates on the practicalities of investigating and recovering from fraud. Fraud can be prevented by secure processes and by ensuring that people allowed access to them are honest. This is easier said than done; failures will occur and every company needs contingency plans as a safety net. Contrary to popular belief, corporate fraud happens to good companies and effective managers. What is crucial is your reaction when suspicions are first aroused - fraud changes from a problem to a disaster mainly because people's initial response is ineffective. This book is a comprehensive action plan for organizations that are victims of corporate fraud. The aim is to help make sure that you can react swiftly and effectively, recover your money, your costs with interest and punish the offenders so that a deterrent is established for others. Most importantly the book will help you return to normal working as quickly as possible.
It is highly practical, featuring checklists and case examples throughout. Applying his extraordinary experience, keen insight and vast practical knowledge, Mike Comer is able to take a unique position in showing organizations what they can do and what their rights are. His writing style is entertaining and enlightening - this is no dry, laborious and incomprehensible legal reference. You will find Investigating Corporate Fraud a fascinating and invaluable source of practical expert guidance on a subject strewn with potential dangers.
Michael Comer has been a fraud investigator for more than 40 years and has handled thousands of cases throughout the world, mostly successfully and without publicity. He has been commended at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey and at other courts in Europe and the USA for his skills, and told off for an extremely odd sense of humour.
Contents: General Background: Introduction: Shit happens, and so does fraud; Condemning the innocent; Types of fraud; Who are the fraudsters?; Basic measures: now!; Conclusion. Deadly Sins: Blind Pugh's law; If this were to happen to you...; Sin 1: looking after their own nuts; Sin 2: driving an investigation on costs; Sin 3: personal financial interests; Sin 4: giving in to blackmail; Sin 5: unrealistic expectations; Sin 6: falling for bad advice; Sin 7: relying on old friends; Sin 8: wilful blindness; Sin 9: blind Pugh's law II; Sin 10: going for fool's gold; Sin 11: failing to recover; Sin 12: ultimate gullibility; Benefits of a fraud policy. The Criminal and Civil Law in England: Introduction; Structure of the English courts; The criminal law; The civil law; Discovery and disclosure; Information privileged against disclosure; Important developments in the law; The dangers of partners in crime; Intelligence and evidence; Conclusion. Essential Aspects of Investigations: The problems and principles; Essential requirements of investigations; Methods of investigation; Conclusion. Essential Planning and Policy Areas: Background; Resources; Policy areas; Processes; Conclusion. Annotated Checklist: Introduction. Stage A: Initial Suspicions and Information: Background; Principles; Maintain total confidentiality; Do not rush to report externally; Do not rush to advise external auditors; Assume the suspicions are true; Establish the facts before deciding on their resolution. Stage B: Setting Objectives: Principles; Align management's expectations; Agree the objectives. Stage C: Planning: Principles; Develop a fraud theory; Extend the theory to the worst case; Planning the first step if the fraud is continuing; Planning when the fraud is not continuing; Consider setting traps; Consider the adverse consequences; Consider the evidence potentially available; Identify potential witnesses; List the ways in which recoveries might be made; Consider recovering under fidelity insurance; Prepare a search plan; Consider stopping outgoing cheques; Prepare a dossier on the suspects' backgrounds; Prepare a dossier on suspect companies; Decide on an interview timetable; Plan each important interview; Decide who will advise the police, and when; Decide on the resources needed; Decide who will manage the investigation; Retaining external investigators; Consider retaining lawyers; Consider forming a special task force; Consider improving controls; Consider setting up a control room; Finalize the investigations plan; Set up a budget for costs; Brief members of the investigations team; Final briefing of senior managers and PR; The night before. Stage D: The First Step: Principle; Take the first step; Take appropriate civil and criminal actions; Maintain the control room; Report progress; Analyse the results; Report to insurers; Advise others who could be involved; Throw resources at the case. Stage E: Interviews: Principles; Important background; Specific actions in all cases; Determine the objectives of each interview; Interviews with witnesses; Planning interviews with suspects; Plans for Stage A; Plans for Stage B; Plans for Stage C; Plans for Stage D; Rehearsing the interview; A final check with legal advisers; Actually conducting the interview; Actions after the interview. Stage F: Follow-up: Principles; Continue with parallel actions; Freeze assets; Keep in contact with the police; Conduct final interviews; Consider disciplinary action; Terminate contracts and negotiate. Stage G: Investigation Reports: Principle; Prepare a final report; Review the evidence. Stage H: Recoveries: Principle; Background; Insurance recoveries. Stage I: Asset Tracing: Background; The essentials; Trends in asset stealth; About asset protection trusts and IBCs; Bank accounts; Stealth objectives and assets; Tracing options; The big question; Assessing the possibilities; Assessment; Recommended actions; Planning now. Stage J: Giving Evidence: Background; Principles; Prepare
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