It’s every company’s worst nightmare. The very individual trusted to balance the books and safeguard assets has decided to try their hand at embezzlement. If your accountant or another trusted individual with financial oversight has done your enterprise dirty, what can you do? Rather than panic, it’s time to roll out a four-part plan to seek justice and get back on your feet.
Embezzlement is one of the nastiest kinds of white collar crime because its very nature implies a vicious abuse of trust. When someone intentionally misappropriates the assets that were entrusted to them, the sense of betrayal can be just as brutal as the hole in your balance sheets—which may be modest or may run into millions of dollars.
Shockingly, white collar crime costs American businesses billions if not trillions of dollars each year. Starkly, this means that, yes, it really can happen to you. More optimistically, it means that victims are not alone, and corporate experts such as those here at Lauth Investigations International are seasoned in providing the critical support you need to weather the storm ahead.
Detecting Embezzlement Doesn’t Have to Be the Start of a Nightmare
When an accountant or bookkeeper engages in white collar crime, detecting their actions can be difficult—after all, they are the experts in making the numbers add up. However, this fact alone demonstrates why additional oversight, background checks, and security protocols are so vital in white collar crime prevention.
Once you discover that gaping hole in your company’s finances, there isn’t a moment to lose. Any delay at this juncture can provide opportunity for the thief in your coop to take their final spoils and deftly cover their tracks—so don’t provide them with the satisfaction. Instead, contact an expert corporate investigations company so that they can immediately jump on evidence gathering and guide you through self-protective next steps.
Step 1: Rapid Corporate Investigations
Before you begin the process of recovering the health of your business, it is critical not only to understand the scale and nature of the crime but also to gather the concrete proof that will be required to out-maneuverer its perpetrator.
Within the realm of workplace investigations, this calls for a specific skillset. The corporate investigator may need to deep-dive into forensic accounting, look at CCTV footage, interview employees, conduct background investigations on suspects, and much more. Urgency is key for ensuring that the trail doesn’t go cold.
Step 2: Pursuing Asset Recovery
Depending on the nature of the crime and of your enterprise, asset recovery may be a timely process that runs through the courts or it may take place behind closed doors. Either way, the caliber of your evidence and the integrity of the investigations that generated it will be your ultimate assets. For example, our seasoned corporate investigations team is ever-ready to build and document an air-tight case, advise on legal obligations, and even provide expert testimony should the need arise.
Step 3: Planning For Financial Shortfalls
It can be brutally unfair, but following white collar crime, asset recovery can take time and is often only partial. This makes planning to plug any financial shortfalls key. This might make cash crisis management, restructuring, or debt restructuring strategically important as you keep your organization’s head above water.
Step 4: Safeguarding Against Future White Collar Crime
No matter the scale of losses following a white collar crime, no business will want to repeat the experience. Now that you know who to turn to for effective corporate investigations support, you have gained more than the capability to react to a rogue accountant. If you partner with Lauth Investigations International, you also have an essential toolkit for criminality prevention.
We can assist with critical violence and threat assessments—examining both on-site and virtual security measures. We can help you ensure that no other snake manages to slide into your team with comprehensive background checks, drawing on many of the same databases used by law enforcement. Finally, we can help you build a strong and united corporate culture that is hostile to those who would do you harm. A corporate culture audit can weed out and prevent risk of white collar crime, employee theft, workplace violence, and more—all while forging a more synergistic and productive environment that nurtures success. Learn about this and more by contacting our team today. From crisis-fueled corporate investigations to effective crime prevention, we’ve got you and your assets covered.
No matter how much money you throw at the latest security hardware, CCTV software, or highly-trained security guards, your company may still experience employee theft. For the vast majority of businesses, sadly, the greatest threats when it comes to losing assets are individuals working under the very same roof. So much so that 90% of thefts from workplaces come at the hands of the employees themselves. This makes preventing corporate theft a priority, so how can a corporate private investigator assist?
To prevent corporate theft effectively, it helps to keep in mind that it comes in many forms. A bad actor or two among your seemingly dedicated team may make off with money or inventory, certainly. But the thing they steal could just as equally be sensitive customer data, intellectual property, or even time itself. Whichever risk looms largest at your place of business, a corporate private investigator can assist with both prevention and damage mitigation. Read on to discover how.
Proactively Preventing Corporate Theft
The price tags that come with various tactics to prevent corporate theft may seem prohibitive but studies suggest that they are well worth the investment. To look at the example of employee fraud, researchers found that companies that invest in fraud prevention tend to spend 42% less on fraud responses such as litigation, fines, and penalties. A private corporate investigator is an ideal ally to minimize the possibility of future thefts.
Preventing those bad actors from entering your place of employment in the first place is inevitably rewarding when it comes to reducing employee theft risk. A private corporate investigator is uniquely poised to perform comprehensive background checks because their licensure grants them access to many of the same databases used by law enforcement.
Another excellent strategy for preventing corporate theft is ensuring that corporate culture is strong and thriving. Unhappy employees soon become disgruntled ones who may justify to themselves decisions such as bolstering their pay through embezzlement or simply turning a blind eye to a colleague engaged in inventory theft. To get a clear sense of your current corporate culture standing, speak to a Lauth private corporate investigator about the investigatory and remedial elements within a Corporate Culture Audit.
Damage Control From a Corporate Private Investigator
When a theft has already occurred—or even a pattern of employee theft emerged—a corporate private investigator will make quick work of illuminating the facts and nipping ongoing thievery in the bud. They alone can conduct an expert investigation that is entirely free from the legal risk of bias that comes with colleagues investigating each other.
Not only can showcasing zero-tolerance by enacting a swift assisted corporate theft investigation address the issue at hand, but it can also help to shift culture and safety in the workplace for the better. Nearly 60% of companies that conduct a diligent investigation end up in a better place in the long run, and those that combine all of the tactics above will be able to enjoy not only reduced threat risk and a more secure working environment but also an associated boost to productivity, team cohesion, and bottom line. Are you ready to learn more about how a corporate private investigator can assist in preventing corporate theft? Reach out to the specialist team here at Lauth Investigations International for a no-obligation consultation on the tailored solutions that we can place at your disposal.
When it comes to workplace theft, few forms of criminality represent such a hefty potential drain on company resources than a steady flow of inventory disappearing from your warehouse. It might start out with a few small losses here and there, raising mild alarm but getting swept aside as running the business is prioritized. However, this kind of industrial theft can escalate quickly—especially when the perpetrators think getting away with the loot is an easy mark. Employees steal $50 billion from U.S. businesses every year, and if your numbers aren’t adding up, then you’ve just become part of that statistic.
For the HR team or CFO of any enterprise blighted by warehouse losses, it can soon seem as if the problem is out of hand with no solution in sight. Catching thieves red handed can be challenging for those whose role is already demanding enough. In these instances, an industrial theft investigator offers a port in the storm. But how exactly does this specialist private investigator tackle occurrences of industrial theft? Today, let’s look at red flags associated with this problem and how a PI can help restore honesty to your back end team.
Raising the Alarm on Warehouse Theft
Long before you decide to put that industrial theft investigator on speed dial, you likely went through the experience of beginning to smell a rat, before becoming confident that something untoward was afoot. Perhaps you’re still in the middle of that transition—and if so, what are the red flags that you might look out for?
Of course, the most textbook issue arising is an awareness that your stock level inventories don’t match your sales records. But, there are more nuanced signals, too.
You might spot that sales seem to drop off on days when certain members of your team are on duty or that invoices are missing. Maybe you keep finding stock sitting near loading bays or outside exits, while rumors begin to swirl or morale takes a tumble. You might notice that certain team members are reluctant to take their accrued leave, while showcasing increasing purchasing power or nipping off for clandestine meetings during working hours. All of these indicators should raise the hairs on the back of your neck, but without proof, what can you do?
How an Industrial Theft Investigator Closes the Door On Warehouse Theft
So, the warning signs are there and you know you have to act quickly. It’s time to bring in a professional to nip this issue in the bud, and it’s a specialist industrial theft investigator that you need. There are a number of ways that this type of PI can help you—and sometimes, the mere presence of an industrial theft investigator may lead perpetrators to stop dead in their tracks. But, the goal here is to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
An industrial theft investigator will combine a number of strategies. They will begin a careful investigation of the thefts that have already occurred to illuminate the facts. This may include tactics such as surveillance, interviews, investigating individuals, and conducting digital forensics. Simultaneously, they will be able to introduce background checks and employee screening to ensure you don’t have any more nefarious actors entering your workforce. Finally, they will be able to conduct a thorough physical and procedural risk assessment of your warehouse, providing you with the opportunity to make key updates to your infrastructure, company policy, security protocols, and more. Are disappearances from your warehouse taking chunks out of your bottom line? An industrial theft investigator can put a stop to stock hemorrhaging today—so why not reach out for a no-obligation consultation and discuss the support you need. The industrial theft investigations team at Lauth Investigations International is always only a phone call or a message away.
If you think that white collar crime is something only committed by manicured suit-wearing types in office buildings, it’s time to think again. If you work in construction and you’re shaking your head in disbelief, then consider this your wakeup call. Construction embezzlement happens every day in America, and safeguarding your business against the sly intentions of fraudsters and scam artists could save it from a derailing crisis.
Joy Wilde was the trusted bookkeeper of a Californian construction company. Her boss, Greg Weimann, had no idea that Wilde had been fraudulently siphoning funds out of his business for years. By the time he realized what was going on, she’s embezzled the staggering sum of $877,000 from the company. Last year, Wilde was sentenced to 10 years in jail for her crimes. A satisfying justice, perhaps, but you can bet that recovering from such a devastating loss and the upheaval of a law suit, media coverage, may take the victim just as long.
The tough truth of this tale is that Joy Wilde serves as only one example of endemic corporate fraud—criminality that carries a global annual price tag expected to rise to $1.5 trillion by 2025. So, if white collar crime has nothing to do with the kind of collar on a neck that sits behind a desk, what exactly does the term mean? Simply put, white collar crime describes the actions of anyone in business who illegally takes money from their employer or anyone else they do business with. That means customers, clients, suppliers, or subcontractors can be the target, and crucially, so can you.
Safeguard Your Company Against Construction Embezzlement
Denoting an equally unfriendly term, embezzlement is when someone steals or misappropriates of funds placed in their trust or belonging to their employer. If you run a construction company, then you won’t have any difficulty envisioning the ample opportunity for embezzlement that this industry affords. Payment applications and invoices can be falsified, labor and material costs inflated, change orders manipulated, and the Schedule of Values used to conceal substituted savings and divert funds. When the dangers of bid fixing and collusion are added to this equation, construction companies find themselves in murky waters indeed.
This raises the obvious question: how can such companies protect themselves against the possible impacts of construction embezzlement and other forms of white collar crime? Well, safeguarding can be conducted in a number of different ways. Enlisting a corporate investigations firm to carry out comprehensive background checks and periodic corporate culture audits can help you identify foxes in the hen house before they strike, so to speak. It is our experience that there are usually red flags to be found long before an employee makes off with the spoils. For companies who find themselves having already fallen foul of an embezzler, gathering evidence and acting quickly is the best way to kick-start damage control. Our seasoned and specialist corporate investigators here at Lauth Investigations International help a diversity of companies navigate these kinds of crises every day. We can advise on how to immediately launch an impactive investigation, what other self-protective steps you can take moving forwards, and the moves that you can make in order to reclaim lost assets, bring justice to the criminal in question, and reduce your risk of liability for the fallout of their actions. Whenever the warning bell chimes for white collar crime in construction, don’t hesitate to act. Contact Lauth Investigations International today for preventative and curative assistance.
When evidence points to the unpleasant reality that someone has targeted your organization, it’s not the time to bury your head in the sand. From a cybersecurity threat to white collar crime; from fraud or extortion to a physical break-in: it’s safe to assume that the violation in question isn’t an isolated incident. You’re going to need to take immediate steps to plug leaks, remove vulnerabilities, beef up securities, and assess the damage that has been done. Crucially, it’s time to call a corporate theft investigator, and there isn’t a minute to lose. Corporate theft investigations are the first step in getting to the bottom of the problem.
The Many Faces Of Corporate Theft
Corporate theft comes in many guises, and business leaders should be mindful of all of them. The assets that bad actors might target include physical inventory, financial assets, intellectual property, and more. The actors themselves could be members of your team on any level—making the issue one of internal corporate theft—or supposedly trustworthy business partners, suppliers, or clients who have been granted just enough access to do harm. Finally, it might be an outsider with the wherewithal to bypass your security entirely—denoting external corporate theft.
Complicating matters, those doing the stealing will likely bend over backwards to cover their tracks—so when a workplace investigation is called for, you’ll want to be prepared that it might uncover a rot that has festered. The good news is that a seasoned corporate investigator will not only be able to reveal the extent of nefarious actions, but advise on the steps to take next in the name of damage control and recovery. Whether they collaborate with your HR investigator or take full control of theft-related HR investigations, you can be confident that any threat will be effectively neutralised, allowing you to pursue justice and ultimately get back to what you do best.
Hiring a Corporate Investigator
Discovering that your business has fallen prey to corporate theft can leave many executives in a tailspin. Thoughts of reputational damage, rifts with shareholders, or potential legal ramifications are certainly daunting. However, this is where the tactic of hiring a corporate investigation firm for expert assistance comes into its own.
The dedicated workplace investigator is an expert at discreetly navigating exceptionally sensitive issues of this nature, and will act swiftly to resolve the challenge at hand while maintaining utmost confidence. The corporate investigation process can take place with minimal disruption to your team and daily operations, with information shared on a strictly need-to-know basis and conclusions kept under wraps until you have a concrete plan of action in place. Of course, the corporate investigator is also well versed at collaborating with law enforcement and will ensure that your company’s actions are compliant, ethical, and legally air-tight as workplace investigations progress.
How To Prevent Corporate Theft
Undoubtedly, any business owner would rather never face the need for corporate theft investigations. So how can corporate investigation services help you lessen the risk in the first place? Well, diligent background checks on recruits and business partners is a great place to start. Gathering corporate intelligence can help you guard against non-compete violations and intellectual property theft. Meanwhile, periodic corporate culture audits can help you forge an environment where employees are far less likely to feel disgruntled enough to act against the company in the first place. Here at Lauth Investigations International, our expert corporate division offers all of the corporate investigation examples that you may require—making hiring a corporate investigator for your company’s unique needs easy and simple to do. With the right ally in your corner, navigating corporate theft doesn’t need to be daunting. As ominous as such an occurrence may be, you can rest easy that the right actions are being taken on your behalf. If you’re ready to show active or potential perpetrators that yours is not the business to mess with, we’re ready to stand by your side. Contact the team to get started today.
Corporate entities and organizations the world over go to great lengths to protect their intellectual property and self-built foundations of knowledge. In this vein, contracts that protect against non-compete violations allow employers to invest in developing the skill set of their employees without fear that they will turn around and take a pay-off from a competitor, or even set up shop offering the exact same service up the street.
The repercussions when a non-compete contract is breached can be costly and complex to navigate. This means that taking every step to mitigate violations is prudent planning. With that in mind, read on to discover Lauth Investigation’s top tips for minimizing the risk of non-compete violations—and what to do if you suspect something underhand is already afoot.
Keeping Non-Compete Contracts up to Date
Laws change, roles change, and the needs of any given business will inevitably change too. Ensuring that non-competes remain practical and legally applicable can help you avoid future vulnerability. Because of the unique nature of each organization’s operation and each employees role, non-competes must be tailor made.
Factors such as locational jurisdictions, business or asset acquisitions, and what is considered an industry-specific reasonable duration of contract must all be taken into account. In contrast, a cookie-cutter approach to non-compete contracts can be risky, as any strategic holes may disincline the courts from upholding the contract in question. Also keep in mind that—when updating non-competes for current employees—it is vital to ensure a consideration is provided in return for their renewed agreement.
Ensuring Security Is Locked Down
Even with the most air-tight non-compete agreements in place, the risk always remains that an employee will decide that breaching their contract is worth the consequences. Temptation to accept a bribe in return for providing access to computer systems, documents, or designs is always a possibility. One of the ways in which companies can reduce this risk is by making security a top priority. Having electronic and on-site security provisions regularly reviewed—and making employees aware of both measures in place and their own responsibility—can be a reminder that they risk getting caught in the act when temptation strikes.
Staying on Top of Corporate Culture
A thriving corporate culture not only means satisfied employees and larger profits, but also enhanced company loyalty. In contrast, when toxic corporate culture is allowed to fester, organizations run the risk of their employees feeling far more inclined to turn on the hand that feeds them. Diligently monitoring the health of workplace culture offers multi-faceted protection. If tackling corporate culture for the first time, a Corporate Culture Audit can be a great place to start.
Being Proactive When Employment Ends
When an employee quits or is terminated, an exit interview provides the perfect opportunity for a non-compete refresher. Reminding of ongoing legal obligations can ensure that former employees are clear on the legal repercussions if they choose to breach their contract. It also provides an opportunity for them to disclose their intention to work for a competitive company—the omission of which may impact their credibility if a non-compete violation occurs in the future.
Reaching Out to a Competitive Employer
When a former employee does go to work for a competitor, the prior employer may request their consent to inform the new employer of the standing non-compete contract. Equally, if suspicion is growing, the prior employer may decide to reach out independently to ensure that the competitive business is aware that legal obligations are in play. In such instances, swift action can minimize damage.
Safeguarding Client Relationships
When valuable clients are involved and concerns exist that a former employee may not have positive intentions, proactive protection of customer relationships can be vital. Informing customers that the former employee in question is no longer working for the company and immediately connecting them with new representatives can reduce the risk of client theft and non-compete violations.
When You Suspect a Non-Compete Violation
When it comes to non-compete violations, time is usually of the essence. Swift action can effectively minimize both financial and reputational losses, while reducing the potential complexity of litigation. When suspicion arises, a skilled private investigator can be an ultimate ally—launching diligent corporate investigations, carrying out surveillance, and information gathering—as they build a case that will allow you to take immediate action. If a possible non-compete violation is on your radar or you require help in assessing your current level of risk, contact Lauth Investigations for immediate assistance.