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Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

Forensic accounting takes on larger role in fraud investigations

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2018 | Criminal Law |

Forensic accounting has begun to play a much more significant role in many criminal cases. When accused of a crime, it is vital to plan for this investigation to develop a more thorough defense.

Many companies employ forensic accountants to find any irregularities or signs of fraud. In many cases, these accountants go through transactions to find any signs that abuse or misuse has occurred. Investigations can often unearth clues that could provide the evidence necessary to convict a person or let someone off the hook.

Where do forensic accountants look?

Forensic accountants will look over a company’s financial transactions for discrepancies. This also involves examining other accounts where money went, such as a travel account where an employee can hide various assets. Additionally, forensic accountants have increasingly begun to utilize social media to discover other pieces of evidence. For example, an employee who stole money from a company may not brag about the theft online, but the employee may brag about purchasing a new car that is well above what he or she could afford on salary alone.

How do forensic accountants help a case?

In a majority of cases, there is rarely a smoking gun. Instead, forensic accountants look for small pieces of evidence. The prosecution can then take all these smaller fragments and create a broader picture of what transpired.

Can forensic accountants help you?

Although forensic accountants can benefit the prosecution, it is also possible for your own legal team to utilize an accountant’s services for your advantage. This can help reveal evidence that exonerates you from the crime if transactions exist that show you were not the one who committed fraud. An attorney and forensic accountant will also provide you with other details to help your case, such as advising you to avoid destroying evidence that could imply guilt.