Fraud poses a very real risk to businesses. It is estimated to cost the UK economy £190 billion per year.
When control systems are compromised, the consequences can be costly and receiving rapid assistance can be critical and may prove invaluable. Critical to regaining control is identifying the suspected fraud or other financial irregularities and implementing measures to eliminate control weaknesses or safeguard assets in the future. There may also be the need to quantify losses and take recovery action.
We have extensive experience of investigating and reporting on business fraud and related matters, ranging from the theft of a few thousand pounds, profit diversion and false accounting to complex multimillion pound accounting frauds. We work closely with our Moore Global network partners to provide assistance in other jurisdictions where necessary.
Where a fraud has occurred, we work with companies or legal advisers to identify what has happened, who is responsible, what measures should be put in place to prevent further loss and assist in the recovery of any funds that have been misappropriated. The primary areas in which we assist are as follows:
- Fraud prevention – reviewing existing internal accounting controls and policies to advise on the implementation of additional fraud prevention measures.
- Misappropriation – reviewing and analysing large data sets to ascertain whether any funds have been misappropriated and quantify any such misappropriation.
- Asset tracing and recovery – identifying, investigating and pursuing assets worldwide.
Our experts have been involved in a wide range of fraud and other investigations across diverse businesses, sectors and jurisdictions. We have considerable experience in acting for the prosecution and defence in criminal matters, and claimants and respondents in civil actions.
We do not charge for the initial meeting and all conversations and work carried out are done on a strictly private and confidential basis.
Case study: Misappropriation via inflation of invoices
We were instructed to carry out a detailed investigation into the activities of a company director who was accused of misappropriating company funds by inflating invoices with different suppliers over a significant period of time.
The scope of the investigation was to review the company’s accounting records, legal documentation, third-party invoices and bank statements to determine to what extent funds were indirectly diverted to the company director.
Our work involved identifying relationships between the director and suppliers, and calculating the total balance the director was likely to have indirectly received. We prepared a report in the context of legal proceedings, which resulted in substantial damages being awarded in favour of our client.
Case study: Wey Bridging Limited (publicly reported) – Bridging loan Ponzi scheme
We were instructed by claimants in a civil case relating to a suspected Ponzi scheme. The scheme operated via a privately owned company which purported to provide bridging loans in conveyancing transactions.
The instructions were to review the company’s accounting records and the reports made to the investors, to determine the extent of genuine trading and any disparity between the underlying trade and the results reported to the investors.
The matter went to trial where our expert gave evidence under cross-examination by three of the defendants who were litigants in person. One defendant had instructed a barrister. The judge found in favour of the claimants, and the defendants subsequently faced criminal and disciplinary proceedings.
Case study: petty cash fraud at a charity
We were instructed by the trustees of a charity, following the detection of accounting irregularities.
We conducted an investigation into the irregularities and concluded that amounts had been misappropriated by means of cash withdrawals, and that accounting entries to bank and petty cash had been processed, by one or more staff members, in an attempt to hide these withdrawals.
We quantified the amounts involved and set out in our report the evidence identified and our analysis of the accounting records. The charity made a report to the police who have now instructed us, on an expert witness basis, in its criminal investigation.