Losses from fraud, corporate espionage, identity theft and other financial crimes are estimated to be in excess of $100 billion per year, and are rising for U.S. businesses and investors.
Schemes to defraud, embezzle and illegally divert funds have been developed and perfected over many years and, with the addition of the Internet, have become a nightmare. Fraud schemes typically fall into several general categories:
- Corruption involving governmental authorities, such as bribery, kickbacks, illegal gratuities, bid rigging, conflicts of interest and breach of fiduciary duty
- Asset misappropriations (embezzlement of cash or inventory)
- Unlawful disclosure of business, trade and research secrets
- Fraudulent statements (financial and non-financial) including fictitious revenue statements, concealed expenditures, false asset valuations or failure to disclose material facts
- Ponzi schemes, reinvented time and again, most recently with the aid of the Internet and offshore financial centers, have become the biggest single threat confronting global investors
These activities are seldom detected or solved by traditional internal or independent audits. Even if detected, auditors rarely have the investigative experience to unravel the fraud – particularly the ability to pursue leads outside of the victim’s company. That is simply not what auditors do, but it is what we do with efficiency and success.