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Finding The Fiddle – 15 March 2013

Member: Nifa

As two former Crown Prosecution Service employees are convicted of making more than £1m worth of bogus claims for taxi fares, suspicious employers could put their minds at rest – or find out if their concerns are valid – by getting a forensic accountant to go over their accounts.  There are usually tell-tale signs that all is not as it should be and if an employer has any doubts, they should call in forensic accountants, who will look at a number of factors.

For example, they will check whether the member of staff is living beyond their means, having financial difficulties or having unusually close relationships with vendors.  There will be other avenues to explore, such as the employee who refuses to take a holiday, as they are afraid that their theft will be detected by a replacement. The forensic accountant also won’t be fooled by an employee who continually works overtime or one who wants to take work home.

Excessive personal spending, such as new cars, fancy holidays by an employee whose income cannot support such extravagances are also giveaways and will be spotted by an eagle-eyed accountant.  Meanwhile, in the case of the pair convicted this week, prosecuting counsel told the court that financial investigators were still attempting to trace the proceeds of the fraud.

The barrister said that on-going inquiries into international bank accounts were being made, as there is not currently any explanation for where the money has gone.  He added that a forensic accountant is considering all the information so that a sentencing judge can be given a very clear idea of precisely what has happened to the money.  No doubt by the time the two are sentenced in July, the money trail will have been thoroughly researched and their means of disposal of their ill-gotten gains revealed.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 15 March 2013

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