So you’ve realized that you are the victim of workplace fraud. What now? For many business owners, it can be frustrating trying to figure out what to do after uncovering fraud in the workplace. Here are five options of who to contact when you suspect that you’ve been duped.
1. Many begin by calling an attorney
You certainly might need one at some point during this stressful process, but not all attorneys are capable of assisting in the same way. Different attorneys have different specialties, and their advice on the proper way to proceed will likely vary widely. Calling your attorney could be helpful, and again, may be necessary. Still, it might not be the best first-option due to the high professional fees that attorneys tend to charge.
2. Luckily there is crime insurance, right?
It’s certainly true—crime insurance can help recover funds lost in workplace fraud cases. However, just like most other types of insurance policies, there are countless factors that play into the decision to approve or deny a particular claim. Far too often, a small error or failure by the policy-holder results in the claim being denied. Not to mention, when approved, crime insurance policies usually only cover a tiny fraction of the overall loss. Crime insurance is great, but it is no substitute for a proper investigation.
3. Contacting the police is also always an option.
The police can certainly investigate; however criminal justice is a slow process, and often times workplace fraud cases can be tough to prosecute—especially if the district attorney feels there is an apparent civil agreement that has already been made. But what if the employee agrees to pay the money back, and defaults on their agreement? For several reasons, the police are only limitedly helpful in workplace fraud cases.
4. Often times a small business owner will contact their CPA.
Again CPAs and other trusted advisors could be needed at some point, but the advice you receive may vary a great deal. Sometimes the actions taken can actually complicate the issue—costing even more in professional fees. Take the wrong step, and you may hurt your chances of criminally prosecuting the employee and having a successful recovery of losses. Although involving a CPA could be necessary, it also may not be the best first step.
5. The correct first step very well may be to contact a private investigator.
Many private investigators have experience dealing with workplace fraud cases; they also have experience working with attorneys, crime insurance companies, police, CPAs, and other professional advisors. Working with a private investigator on a workplace fraud case can yield important results while keeping costs low.
A private investigator can examine the case and determine which, if any, of these avenues would be the most fruitful. Getting a private investigator involved in the case, before hiring other professionals, can help simplify the issue while keeping costs for professional services, like attorney fees and CPA costs, to a minimum.
Explore the blog for more about when to call a professional for a corporate investigation and a few ground rules for a successful workplace investigation.
Aaron Snyder, Writer, Lauth Investigations Blog