The Fraud Facts – 6 June 2013
The National Forensic Authority has recently published its Annual Fraud Indicator, which reveals that the estimated loss to the UK economy on an annual basis through fraud is £52bn, although the report also points out that the fraud reported is “a fraction of the fraud that remains out of sight”. However, while the report discusses the various forms of fraud that are perpetrated and how to protect against them, it does not include how to prove innocence if a person or entity is accused of fraud.
According to the report, fraud can take several forms, from obtaining money through misrepresentation, to failing to disclose information for gain or to obtain benefit through abuse of position. In each of these cases, the alleged fraudster’s conduct must be proved to be dishonest and it must be made clear that their intention was to make a gain through their behaviour or to cause loss or the risk of loss to another person.
The key to all of this is proof, which is where a forensic accountant would be brought in if a person or organisation needed to defend their actions and reputation after an allegation of fraud.
Being accused of fraud is a serious thing, as not only can a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment be imposed if found guilty, but there is also the attached stigma of dishonesty and the knock-on effect of social and corporate exclusion.
Author: Roger Isaacs, 6 June 2013
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