Fraud may broadly be described as a wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or other personal gain for the perpetrators of the fraud. Fraud may arise as a result of false representation, a failure to disclose information or an abuse of power or position by one or more parties.
When is a NIFA member needed?
A forensic accountant is commonly instructed to provide assistance to the victims of a fraud once a fraud has been detected or is, at least, suspected. Forensic accountants are also appointed to assist in preparing the defence for the perpetrator of the alleged fraud. NIFA members are experienced and may assist in the context of the following types of fraud:
- Bank scam emails (false representation leading to financial theft)
- Benefits fraud (failure by the claimant to disclosure information about their income and/or assets)
- Employee fraud including false accounting (often arising from an abuse of power or position)
In the context of suspected corporate or company fraud (i.e. fraud committed against a business rather than an individual), NIFA members have been engaged to carry out fraud investigations to help detect and/or identify the extent of the suspected fraud. NIFA members are also experienced in helping companies to assess fraud risk and implement preventative procedures in order to help reduce the risk of falling victim to a fraud.
Who appoints a NIFA member?
NIFA members are experienced in acting for both defendants and the Crown Prosecution Service in criminal proceedings relating to fraud.
NIFA members are engaged by a defendant’s legal team to assist with the review and analysis of financial evidence in order to build the defence and/or assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case against the defendant. NIFA members are experienced in assisting the defence with the following:
- review of evidence;
- review and validation of the prosecution’s assessment of the potential financial loss; and
- undertake further investigations as required to assist the defence.
When engaged by the Crown Prosecution Service, NIFA members undertake similar review and analysis of financial evidence albeit with a difference purpose and perspective. NIFA members may also provide expert accounting evidence in order to help prove a case against the defendant.
Where a criminal prosecution of the suspected perpetrator of a fraud is underway or anticipated, the Police are responsible for investigating the alleged fraud. NIFA members may be engaged to undertake review and analysis of financial evidence in support of the Police investigation.
NIFA members are also experienced in acting for both defendants and claimants in relation to civil proceedings relating to corporate fraud. NIFA members may also be instructed by companies in order to identify possible perpetrators of a corporate fraud.
Why appoint a NIFA member?
NIFA members have extensive experience of litigation work and both the civil and criminal procedure rules relevant to expert evidence. Many NIFA members have dual disciplines as registered auditors, insolvency practitioners, tax specialists or general practitioners. As such, NIFA members are able to apply our “real world” experience to the work we undertake.
NIFA members work with clients and their legal advisors as required to ensure that the review and analysis work and/or expert accounting evidence delivered is fit for purpose and provides the end client with value for money assistance in building a robust prosecution or a suitable defence. Using practical experience, NIFA members are able to give a balanced view of the matter at hand, providing clear, comprehensive and unambiguous reports that are easy for the Court to understand.