A fraud investigation plan for a false accounting and theft case
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to formulate and propose a fraud investigation plan that forensic accountants can use to investigate financial frauds. In particular, the paper sets out the structure and rationale of the fraud investigation plan that both forensic accountants and fraud examiners can employ in their investigation of false accounting and theft charges. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses the material facts from the Polly Peck International (PPI) fraud as a prototype case upon which to build an investigation plan and detail potential areas of investigation to establish evidence for a criminal trial. Findings The findings revealed that the case can be used to provide insights on evidence gathering techniques and test particular models of fraud detection. The Concealment and Conversion evidence gathering techniques provide fodder on how to gather and triangulate both direct and circumstantial evidence that can be used to avoid mistrials in courts. Practical implications The case is of interest to practitioners and forensic and fraud examination students who would like to build on their existing knowledge and obtain insights into the steps to follow to conduct an investigation and gather evidence to build a case. The paper makes specific recommendations to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of investigations. Originality/value The paper is among one of the few to propose a fraud investigation plan designed to investigate cases involving false accounting and theft charges. More importantly, the paper uses a real case to illustrate how to examine documentation/data and how such documentation will be analysed in a trial.
DescriptionThe definitive version of record is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/JFC-09-2017-0086.
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