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One of the toughest challenges a business must face, is when a trusted person from its own members of staff is suspected of breaching that trust by committing fraud. It often leads to the worst possible actions taken due to understandable emotional responses that could lead to a legal nightmare for the employer. It is far better to have a proper plan in place on how to deal with the suspicion of fraud.


It is important to bear in mind that fraud is rarely a sudden occurrence. It is far more likely that a plan to commit fraud has taken place over some time. There are usually four factors present to create the perfect opportunity:

  • Personal financial problems

The fraudster or someone close to the fraudster is usually in dire need of money, perhaps for health reasons, addictions, or something similar.

  • Intricate knowledge of the financial controls

The fraudster is usually a bright, much-loved person who knows the controls in place very well. These conditions create confidence by the perpetrator that he/she will not get caught.

  • Opportunity presenting itself

An event happens creating the opportunity, e.g. change in operating systems, sudden loss in electrical supply, shortage of staff, etc., coupled to access to funds.

  • Rationalising

The fraudster convinces himself/herself that he/she is entitled to it.


Once the suspicion of fraud exists, it needs to be handled without delay to mitigate damage caused by the possible fraud. This could be done by removing the access of the staff member/members suspected of being involved, to business funds or resources, ceasing their company computers & laptops for investigative purposes and implementing an independent investigative team to investigate the matter (identify if fraud was committed and report to management on weaknesses in controls, extent, and perpetrators if any). Multical can assist you with the investigation and reporting.


Identify those involved, gather evidence and witnesses, and present the case in a disciplinary hearing or a court of law.


There are several possible actions to take to prevent fraud from happening undetected, thereby minimising the damage. Usually, lessons learned from fraud taking place show where the weaknesses are and devising a plan to fix it is easy, but other measures could also be put in place, e.g., whistle blower protection, anonymous channels of reporting suspected fraud and creating an environment where the importance of controls enjoy high priority.


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