What Is White Collar Crime And How Much Is It Costing YOUR Business?

What Is White Collar Crime And How Much Is It Costing YOUR Business?

Did you know that a single shady threat is behind a potential $1.7 trillion in annual losses for American businesses each year? Alarmingly, the number can only be estimated because as many as 90% of instances of this particular flavor of crime go unreported. And who or what is this sly and shadowy danger? It’s none other than white collar crime. So, would you know how to protect yourself against it, and do you have effective measures in place?

Understanding the Enemy: What Is White Collar Crime?

The term “white collar crime” was coined back in 1949 by a sociologist named Edwin Sutherland. He defined it as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in an era that typically saw white-collar workers hold office positions and blue-collar workers hold industry roles. Crucially, white collar crime is usually non-violent in nature, instead targeting financial gain, while being perpetrated by individuals, businesses, organizations, and government officials alike. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Ponzi schemes
  • Embezzlement
  • Accounting fraud
  • Bribery
  • Email fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Money laundering
  • Data theft
  • Insider trading
  • Securities fraud

All too sadly, the Lauth team’s extensive experience in corporate workplace investigations tells us that we are living in an era of rampant white collar criminality escalation. The usual suspects of Ponzi schemes, accounting and securities fraud, money laundering, and insider trading are joined by an ever-expanding realm of internet scams, ranging from cryptocurrency scandals to fraudulent email networks. 

While some of these schemes target individuals, many set the assets of businesses and enterprises in their crosshairs. Without stringent preventative measures, many companies don’t realize the scale of the risk until it’s too late—and are left trying to stay afloat while desperately trying to claw back a portion of their losses and field potential liability if customer or investor assets have been lost.

The Bottom Line on White Collar Crime Today

Because of the scale of the threat, white collar crime is taken very seriously at a federal level, with the FBI, SEC, and NASD working with state authorities to bring perpetrators to justice. Penalties for committing a white collar crime include prison, fines, and paying restitution—although many cornered white collar criminals submit to negotiated repayment programs, avoiding the involvement of law enforcement agencies altogether. As we touched upon earlier, data reveals that this is clearly a path that many organizations prefer.

However, out-maneuvering the perpetrator of white collar crime requires deft workplace investigations, and most organizations call in expert investigatory assistance in this area. Skilled and licensed corporate investigators can carry out forensic accounting, gather evidence, conduct suspect surveillance—even going undercover when necessary to paint a clear picture of the crime and provide proof that will stick. In this vein, a high caliber of documented evidence is your best protection against loss of assets and potential liability for the company itself.

Better yet, prevention is an excellent place for the savvy business owner to begin. Criminal behavior is bred in toxic working environments and when un-vetted employees are allowed to join your workforce. So, alongside rapid, discreet, and diligent investigations of white collar crime, the team here at Lauth Investigations International also assists with preventative corporate culture audits and comprehensive background checks—drawing on many of the same databases used by law enforcement agencies to keep your company’s assets safe.
Do you need support in navigating the choppy waters of white collar crime? From effective prevention to covert workplace investigations, the seasoned corporate team here at Lauth Investigations International can provide just the skillset required to help you reach dry land unscathed. Reach out today to discuss your needs and receive no-obligation guidance on our diversity of investigative and preventative services.

So Your Accountant Ran Off With The Company’s Money? Here’s How Professionals Can Get You Back Up And Running

So Your Accountant Ran Off With The Company’s Money? Here’s How Professionals Can Get You Back Up And Running

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.

Workplace Investigators: How to Get Assistance With Codes of Conduct or Constructive Discharge

Workplace Investigators: How to Get Assistance With Codes of Conduct or Constructive Discharge

Legislation relating to codes of conduct and constructive discharge aims to protect workers and companies alike from those with bad intentions. However, when any individual—on either side of the equation—finds themselves in hot water relating to these nuanced aspects of business operation, the path forwards can be difficult to identify. 

With that in mind, today we’re going to touch on questions such as obligations in relation to codes of conduct and answer the question, what is constructive discharge? We’ll also explore why a corporate investigations form can serve as a white night for those in need of guidance in these areas.

Codes of Conduct Obligations

Certain kinds of businesses and certainly all public companies are legally mandated to have codes of conduct in place. However, even those that are not obliged should consider this a powerful tool of self-protection with many associated rewards. The job of codes of conduct is to lay out the values, mission, and principles that the organization aspires to and relates them to the contractual commitments that each employee makes when entering the company. 

Well-written codes of conduct not only define desired behavior, but also serve as a powerful marketing tool—a public statement of intent. Finally, their mere presence is a form of risk mitigation, demonstrating a “good faith effort” to prevent illegal activity on the company’s watch and setting clear boundaries that those with nefarious intentions must actively decide to cross.

What Is Constructive Discharge?

Constructive discharge is the term used to describe when an employee resigns because their employee created a hostile work environment. Because the decision was forced rather than voluntary, it is seen in the eyes of the law as a termination, and as such, a wrongful termination claim can be brought after the fact.

Thanks to decisions made by the U.S. Supreme court in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), workplace discrimination can be the forbearer of constructive discharge, although the burden of proof for what constitutes “intolerable working conditions” must meet a high standard and be backed up by evidence. In this endeavor, a corporate-specialized private investigator can offer expert assistance in building a case or indeed disproving one.

The Employer’s Duty Vs the Employee’s Duty

Whether navigating action following an alleged breach of codes of conduct or a constructive dismissal, it can be important for each party to demonstrate their prior intentions. For example, an employer countering a claim of constructive dismissal may be able to demonstrate that the employee didn’t raise the alarm or provide the opportunity for the company to rectify the problem. Equally, an employee may be able to demonstrate that they asked for support but weren’t given any. Only in demonstrating that their employer acted on an illegal impulse or with discriminatory motives will their claim be successful.

Do you need assistance in navigating a matter relating to codes of conduct or constructive dismissal? If so, the corporate investigations team here at Lauth Investigations International is ready to provide critical support. If you require expert guidance and access to a seasoned investigator who can help you build a clear-cut case, we are only a phone call away. Get in touch today for a no-obligation consultation.

How Death Investigations Provide Evidence To Convict The Guilty And Protect The Innocent

How Death Investigations Provide Evidence To Convict The Guilty And Protect The Innocent

When someone dies under unexplained or unexpected circumstances, families can feel fraught with anger and frustration. How could such a thing have happened? When will those responsible be brought to account? While patience may feel like a resource that is impossible to muster at this difficult time, the work of the death investigator is critical to the conviction of the guilty and the protection of the innocent. For true justice to be served, the truth must be brought to light. 

With that in mind, today we are going to look at what the death investigation process involves—because understanding what is happening and why can take some of that distinctly painful bite out of the process. If you are facing such a challenging reality as you read this, hopefully our guide will provide at least a little vital peace of mind.

How a Death Investigator Serves the Bereaved

All too often, when someone dies, the circumstances surrounding the tragedy remain unpleasantly murky. Was it an unfortunate workplace accident or a dreadful case of negligence? What it a wrongful death or a homicide? An accidental overdose or a suicide? These harrowing questions can have dramatic implications for survivors, ranging from whether criminal proceedings might follow to whether a much-needed life insurance policy will pay out.

It is the role of the death investigator to reveal critical facts so that every question mark can be eliminated. At various stages of the the death investigation process, this mantle may be carried by a coroner or medical examiner, a law enforcement officer or agent, or a private investigator tasked with following clues that would otherwise be left to go cold. 

It is important to know that, no matter the conclusions drawn as the investigatory process unfolds, there are always options available to continue pursuit of the truth. The first step, however, is to allow the coroner or medical examiner to do their work—so what exactly does that entail.

The First Stages of the Death Investigation Process

When somebody dies in a way that is unexplained, unexpected, violent, or due to an potentially infectious disease or pathogen, the very first action taken is to investigate the death scene, and this responsibility falls primarily upon the local coroner’s or medical examiner’s office. 

A coroner or medical examiner will make an assessment as to whether police should be involved—if they aren’t already—and will document the scene, taking photographs and gathering evidence. They may also be the ones who track down next of kin to inform them of what has happened. Once this stage of the investigation reaches the appropriate point, they will arrange the removal of the body. 

If it is considered pertinent, the coroner or medical examiner will conduct an examination of the body and potentially also order a post-mortem. A certified forensic pathologist will conduct the post-mortem exam, and may send samples to a lab for analysis in order to reveal more about the cause of death.

Once the coroner or medical examiner is ready to draw a conclusion on the manner of death, they will issue a death certificate. From there, if foul play is suspected, police or federal investigators will continue to investigate circumstances surrounding the death in order to build a case for prosecution and bring potential perpetrators to justice.

As the Death Investigation Process Progresses

If no crime is detected and nothing about the death warrants further investigative intervention by the state, the case of your loved one will be officially closed. If the police investigation evolves into a homicide, negligence, or wrongful death investigation, resources will be applied based on the scope and nature of the crime—hopefully moving towards resolution and the desperately needed answers that survivors are bound to be waiting for.

Unfortunately, at times, those left behind after a death are left feeling underserved by the authorities, dissatisfied with a coroner’s conclusion, or infuriated when the police seem to move onto other cases. If this is your reality, an independent death investigator from a private investigations firm can be the best candidate to pick up pursuit of the facts and right any wrongs that may have occurred along the way.

When investigating a death of any kind, a private investigator from Lauth Investigations International will comb through every piece of information available and roll out every resource in their toolkit to bring to light what others have missed. National licensure means that we can hunt through information databases on a par with those used by law enforcement—gaining insights that would never be available to survivors seeking answers alone. 

By reexamining witnesses, analyzing evidence afresh, and pursuing new physical and digital leads, we can continue to fight for justice on your behalf, whether other avenues are exhausted or ongoing. If your loved one’s case remains open with the police, a private investigator can enter into collaboration with the authorities, bringing fresh eyes and enthusiasm to the search. So, if you require assistance with a death investigation, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our dedicated team are waiting for your call and can give no-commitment guidance on your options. Get in contact today to learn more about how we can help.

How A Coroner’s Office Can Assist In Determining Homicides

How A Coroner’s Office Can Assist In Determining Homicides

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: a knock on the door and news that someone close to you has died. You discover that the coroner’s office has been called into action—what does that mean? Across the United States, when a death is sudden, violent, accidental, medically unattended, or simply unexplained, a medical examiner or coroner’s office will be tasked with investigating the death to uncover its true cause. If a personal homicide is suspected, law enforcement will also launch their criminal investigation. 

As this early evolution unfolds, survivors of a homicide can feel lost at sea—but there are anchors to be found. Today, we are going to look at the role of the coroner’s office in determining personal homicides and what options remain for family and friends after the coroner’s ruling has been given. Hopefully, this information will help you find calm waters in a moment of need.

Death Investigations and Determining Homicides

Roughly 20% of the 2.4 million deaths in the US each year are investigated by coroners and medical examiners. This means that their presence doesn’t necessarily indicate that a homicide has occurred, but when a homicide is suspected or confirmed, their presence is guaranteed. Alongside determining the manner of death and medical reason or cause, the coroner’s office will often also take on other duties such as notifying the next of kin of the deceased.

To determine the facts of the case, the coroner’s office will investigate the scene, gathering and documenting evidence and taking photographs, before arranging the removal of the body. An external examination will take place, and if deemed necessary, an autopsy will be performed by a forensic pathologist. Bodily tissues or liquids may be sent to a laboratory for toxicology or histology analysis. 

Once all factors have been assessed, a coroner’s ruling will be made on the basis of their findings. In all but open-and-closed cases of homicide, the investigative process will only just be beginning. However, the coroner’s office will certify the manner of death in a death certificate that will then be made available to the family. Their role in the case will usually be closed within 14-21 days, although when toxicology results are required or microscopic examination undertaken, the process may take longer.

What Survivors Can Do Following the Coroner’s Ruling

If the coroner concludes a personal homicide, law enforcement agencies will take the case from there. However, what happens if those left behind feel unsatisfied with the coroner’s ruling, or even with the way that the police are pursuing the case? At these times, a private investigator seasoned in personal homicide investigations can be enlisted to dig deeper into the facts, find answers faster, or rediscover leads that have been allowed to grow cold. 

For anyone bereaved under the circumstance of homicide—whether suspected or known—unanswered questions can become a heavy weight to carry. Unlike the coroner’s office, a medical examiner, or a police investigator, whose loyalty is to the state and the letter of the law, a private investigator’s role is to serve their client in uncovering all and any relevant truths so that loved ones can finally lay their concerns to rest.

Private investigators from Lauth International Investigations work closely with the families of victims in order to deliver the facts that they often so desperately seek. We draw on more than 30 years experience in solving missing person cases, collaborating with law enforcement, and bringing criminals to justice. Each of our unsolved homicide investigators is armed with a skillset that facilitates evidence gathering, geosocial surveillance, licence-permitted database access, crime scene analysis, witness reexamination, digital forensics, and much more. 
We will draw upon every resource in our toolkit to reveal the realities of your loved one’s death so that you can pursue necessary justice and claim personal closure. To learn more about how a private investigator can assist in a potential or confirmed personal homicide case—whether long-after or even before the coroner’s ruling is issued—connect with our dedicated team today. No commitment is required on your part, and we are ready to advise on how we can assist.

How to Conduct Personal Investigations With the Assistance of a Recommended Private Investigator

How to Conduct Personal Investigations With the Assistance of a Recommended Private Investigator

There are a broad range of personal investigations that might warrant the assistance of a skilled private investigator. From missing persons through to private thefts or even cheating spouses, suspicions lead trusted PIs to head out into the field every day to discreetly and diligently gather the facts. 

Whatever the nature of the private investigations called for, two things are certain. The first is that the chosen investigator should be selected on the basis of their credentials. The second is that there isn’t a moment to lose. Time is of the essence, so let’s explore exactly what you need to know in order to kick-start a process that will lead to results.

Don’t Wait to take Action 

Whether there’s a threat made to your person or property, or you suspect wrongdoing has already taken place, the sooner you set personal investigations in motion, the less likely it will be that vital clues or witnesses vanish and physical or digital trails go cold. 

Happily, a reputable and recommended private investigations firm will be happy to provide commitment-free insight into things like whether action should be taken immediately and if you should contact law enforcement. As experts in navigating the full-spectrum of issues that private persons may be faced with, they will be able to highlight the best possible course, before guiding you on things like evidence preservation and contingency steps.

Choosing the Right Private Investigator

A solid recommendation from someone you know you can trust is a great place to start when selecting your collaborator, but don’t hesitate to confirm the credentials of any private investigations firm that you aim to contract. They should be able to demonstrate their track records and confirm their licencing without hesitation.

Opting for a large, long established firm is also a safer strategy than hiring a solo PI or a firm that seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Beyond anything else, the critical licensure of your investigatory team will be what grants them access to the same databases used by law enforcement, so this is not an area in which to cut corners.

A Reputable Private Investigator Will Guide You Every Step of the Way

During your initial personal investigations consultation, the contracting PI will walk you through gathering all of the background information they need to get started and developing a working plan of attack. From there, they will be able to begin conducting any necessary surveillance or covert operations, gathering documented evidence and things like CCTV footage, conducting interviews, and building a body of data that will allow you to take action accordingly.

Once a conclusion has been drawn in your private investigations, you will be able to decide what remedial actions are necessary. At this juncture, a seasoned private investigator will be able to liaise with your legal council, respective authorities, and law enforcement on your behalf. They can also advise on how you can mitigate similar threats in the future.

Ultimately, the expertise of a reputable private investigator is a high-caliber resource that can be harnessed to protect your best interests in a diversity of different ways. If you’d like to learn more about how the Personal and Private Client Services provided by Lauth Investigations International, we are always happy to advise. With more than 30 years experience and more than 10,000 cases solved and solutions found, we have just the expertise you need for total peace of mind. Get in touch today.