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Fraud Investigation and Asset Recovery

Fraud is one of the major risks facing businesses today and reported losses from fraud are on the increase. The effective management of the fraud risk is essential to avoid losses and damaged business reputations, and to ensure that stakeholders’ interests are protected. These risks may become apparent following whistleblower allegations, the discovery of accounting improprieties or other issues discovered during routine audits, or as a result of regulatory inquiries. Organisations need to implement procedures and controls to minimise fraud risk, and need to be able to react quickly and effectively when fraud or other misconduct is suspected.

During investigations, usually enormous amounts of complex information and data must be distilled and assessed, and early action is crucial so that wrongdoing can be addressed, good ethics can be demonstrated, and steps can be taken to protect stakeholder value. Conducting an independent internal investigation that can withstand internal and external scrutiny often requires experience, judgment, an understanding of relevant accounting principles, and the right people and technological tools.

Deloitte’s F&DS professionals bring the financial acumen, investigatory skills and technological know-how to conduct corporate or private investigations spanning many levels of complexity and breadth. We serve multinational entities, large national enterprises, government agencies, and other fast-growing businesses, both public and private, across various industry lines.

Our clients draw on our skills, both to conduct objective investigations and to work with attorneys to minimise fraud impact and to recover misappropriated assets. We work collaboratively with company management, audit or special committees of the board of directors, counsel and others to help companies preserve key evidence and identify which documents to analyze and people to interview.

We work with our clients to develop a phased investigative approach to quickly ascertain foundational facts and identify critical issues, while maximising overall project efficiency and cost-effectiveness. During the course of an investigation we will work with clients to:

  • Assess the issues in the context of the business environment in which the company operates, its financial condition and its previously reported financial results
  • Obtain relevant materials, including helping to preserve electronic information that can later be searched using forensic techniques
  • Conduct informational briefings with company employees with specific knowledge of the transactions and participate in interviews with counsel
  • Analyze and understand the system of internal controls to assess whether they fostered or hindered the production of reliable accounting information Examples

A frequent outcome of forensic investigations is the need to recover stolen or otherwise misappropriated assets. Electronic systems have led to a global increase in misappropriation of funds; sophisticated criminals use more and more complex financial vehicles to conceal stolen assets. We focus on identifying quickly where the funds or assets have gone and devising strategies to maximise rapid recovery.

We have deep experience of asset recovery across the globe, and have successfully recovered assets or value for our clients. Our experience in asset recovery extends to cash, marine vessels, real property, bearer securities, aircraft, corporate entities and complex financial instruments. Our investigatory, forensic and analytic resources combined with our deep knowledge of offshore jurisdictions allow us to deploy powerful and effective strategies to identify and recover assets. We work with legal professionals to locate, identify and freeze stolen assets, tracing the transaction path from origin to destination.

Deloitte brings a team of professionals with specialised knowledge, including Chartered or Certified Public Accountants, Certified Fraud Examiners, former law enforcement officials, statisticians, data analytics professionals and specialists in data gathering, forensic technology, and advanced data extraction and encryption techniques. Our multidisciplinary team has many years of experience in investigation complex and high value fraud and asset misappropriation, and has deep experience of fraud litigation in most major global jurisdictions around the world and in many emerging market jurisdictions. We can also call upon the resources and expertise of other Deloitte global member firms, and we are able to provide rapid deployment of investigation and asset recovery teams around the world.