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.