INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURES

Options the company has for handling the situation

The company should have a fraud response plan which is important in ensuring that effective and timely action is taken in the event of a fraud. The importance of the plan is to help in minimizing losses and increasing the chances of a successful investigation. The plan defines responsibility of action for every authority level in the case of a fraud or any kind of irregularity. The company has the option of preventing further loss from the fraud (Pujas, 2003).  The company should also secure and establish evidence necessary for criminal disciplinary action. It should also determine whether it is important to contact the police and when they should be contacted. The company should also decide on the best party to assign the investigation of the incident. It is also has the duty of reviewing the reasons for the incident, measures to prevent reoccurrence and any action needed to strengthen future response to fraud. 

Investigation steps

The investigation should begin by using techniques that are not likely to arouse suspicion and also a method that will not wrongly incriminate innocent people. The investigation process should also use as few people as possible. Words such as investigation should be avoided while audit and inquiry should be used instead. As the inquiry proceeds, the investigation techniques will work inward towards the prime suspect until he/she is confronted in an interview (Caplan, 1999). Sufficient evidence should be collected in preparation for the interview with the prime suspect so as a conduct a powerful directed interview. 

The investigation steps should be as follows, Check the employee’s personal records for evidence of liens, previous problems or other financial difficulties. Perform a special audit of the sales and purchasing function so as to examine trends and changes in prices and purchasing volumes of all vendors. Search the suspect’s email and other electronic records for communication with outside vendors, spreadsheets or other records related with the missing goods. Search public records and other sources to get evidence about the suspect’s lifestyle. This will help determine the kind of a life they lead. Interview former buyers and even the unsuccessful vendors for unrecorded transactions or hidden purchases (Albrecht, Albrecht, Albrecht, & Zimbelman, 2011). The junior employees should be interviewed and requested to only give true information without fear. The last step will be interviewing the suspect and use all the evidence against them so as to make them give true information 

Admission-seeking interview of the plant-controller

Admission-seeking interviews are created to help get a legal admission of a wrong doing by a suspect. It involves being able to influence the behavior of others to be able obtain a legal admission. It is also important to be aware of facts and know as much as possible about the subject. I would choose a venue that the interviewee feels comfortable and secure. I would also ensure the location has maximum privacy. I would also try not to make the admission-seeking interview personal and not to take everything that happens there personally. To obtain an admission I would make the suspect understand that they have only two options. They can either cooperate or fail to cooperate. Any choice they make has negative consequences but admission is the better choice to make. To make the suspect admit, I will make a direct accusation and observe the reaction of the suspect. I will then repeat the accusation and interrupt any effort the interviewee makes to deny the accusation. I would then obtain rationalization and create a benchmark for admission. I would then obtain a verbal confession after which I will create a statement and ask the interviewee to sign (Wells, 2003). The signed statement is important as it will be used in further investigation where the suspect cannot go against their word due to the signed evidence. 

Reference

Albrecht, W. S., Albrecht, C. O., Albrecht, C. C., & Zimbelman, M. F. (2011). Fraud examination. Cengage Learning. 

Caplan, D. (1999). Internal controls and the detection of management fraud. Journal of Accounting Research37(1), 101-117.

Pujas, V. (2003). The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF): a European policy to fight against economic and financial fraud?. Journal of European Public Policy10(5), 778-797.

Wells, J. T. (2003). Sherlock Holmes, CPA, Part 2. Journal of Accountancy196(3), 70. 

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