Fraud, in its many forms, impacts businesses every day. Terms commonly linked to fraud investigations include embezzlement, conversion, skimming, and misappropriation, but however one defines it, it is business theft.
Theft from a business can descend from above, as is the case in white collar crime, from simple product diversion from a warehouse, or from general larceny. Regardless of if the source is internal, such as from an executive or warehouse worker, or from an external source, such as an unscrupulous vendor or organized criminal syndicate, McCann Fraud Examiners can help.
McCann Investigators has worked with hundreds of clients to discover and document the details of fraud to gather the evidence needed in civil litigation and criminal prosecution. With the pervasive nature of modern technology, the evidence of fraud can be traced through a digital footprint left on devices such as computers, laptops, and servers. With the evolution of technology, more and more of this evidence is also now located on smartphones and tablets. Digital investigations encompass the multiple aspects of extracting and analyzing data to gather evidence to present in a legal case.
When a company or individual suspects the presence of fraud, the electronically stored information (ESI) located on the digital devices must be extracted and analyzed by a licensed computer forensics examiner. Only evidence that is extracted in this manner is admissible for use in court.
McCann Investigators understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of data to support a fraud case. Our computer forensics experts are licensed, trained, and certified on cutting-edge computer forensics tools.
Computer forensics teams extract and analyze the electronically stored information from devices such as desktop computers, laptops, servers, flash drives, and smartphones. Evidence is collected in a forensically sound manner which allows that evidence to be used in criminal and civil litigation. The gathering of this data must be performed by a certified and licensed computer forensics examiner who can provide expert witness reporting and testimony.
There are numerous terms that are relevant to digital forensics investigations that people browsing our site might not necessarily be familiar with. Therefore, we have compiled a glossary of important terms that you might encounter as you browse the site. If there are any terms not included in this list or if there are any terms you don’t fully understand, please feel free to contact us at McCann and we will be happy to help. Read our Glossary of Terms for explanations of phrases including bid rigging, blackmail, bribery, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), etc.
The cases listed below represent a small sample of the hundreds of cases investigated by McCann over the past 28 years. Material facts have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients. Some of the cases discussed combine various issues and materials found in relevant case studies that have been reviewed by McCann Investigators. No attempt should be made to draw any factual conclusions based on the cases discussed. Please contact McCann Investigations for real world cases in which references can be furnished.
This case involved the controller of a private real estate practice who stole more than $300,000 over a period of three years. The creation of false vendors, false expense reimbursements, and fake employees made up the heart of the fraud. McCann Investigators used a combination of computer forensics, financial analysis, and an extensive records search to build a case for outside counsel in a civil case against the controller. McCann’s Embezzlement Investigators also worked closely with local law enforcement in the development of the criminal case against the controller.
Jewelry Manufacturer Theft
When custom manufactured merchandise began showing up at locations that were not resale clients, it became apparent to the owner that they had an internal theft issue. After cover recording of jewelry displays at various locations, McCann Investigators gathered details required for local law enforcement to seize the stolen merchandise. The merchants in possession of the stolen merchandise were able to verify the broker involved in the jewelry transactions which lead to the arrest of the broker.
Cyber Banking Fraud
In this case, a local bank discovered that a high-profile client had been hacked and their banking information was compromised. The cyber criminal had installed spyware on the client’s computer and was able to remotely connect to the client’s computer allowing them access to online bank accounts. Before the client noticed unauthorized transfers, over $45,000 had been transferred from the account by the cyber criminal. While the money was never returned, the client and the bank needed proof of fraud. Through computer forensics, McCann Investigators were able to prove the installation and use of spyware and keyloggers. The bank and the client upgraded security and were able to successfully file insurance claims for the theft.
Bankruptcy Fraud – Hidden Estate Assets
When a mid-sized private company filed for bankruptcy and a receiver was appointed, it became clear very quickly that something was not right. Reorganization was not possible and liquidation appeared to be the only reasonable option for recovery. The issue for the receiver was that the electronic records and many of the paper files were said to be lost or “accidentally destroyed”. A McCann investigative team comprising computer forensics experts and certified fraud examiners was able to find the “destroyed” financial files. The ability to recover the lost data allowed for a more comprehensive clawback and a better return for the estate.
Material Misrepresentation in an Acquisition
After a multi-million dollar acquisition was completed and the new owners took over, it soon became clear that “everything was not okay”. The new owner suspected that the acquired company had presented financial information that was more than twice the actual value. To make matters worse, after only two weeks, the old owner no longer wanted to cooperate with the new owner and had cut off communications completely. He said that he felt that the new owner would cheat him out and hold back anyway so he did not care. McCann Investigators were able to retrieve the old owner’s email account, which was not controlled by the new owner. Deleted emails were recovered indicating that the old owner knew that the business was “a lemon”, and that he hoped to hide the company’s bad financials. The new owner’s lawyers were able to use this recovered material in a civil suit against the former owner.
Partnership Embezzlement – Operating Partner Theft
The majority partner of a manufacturer finally realized that his partner, the daily operator and the minority partner had embezzled more than one million dollars. The operating partner was terminated and quickly filed a wrongful termination suit. A team of McCann Investigators soon began the process of gathering the evidence of his theft. Computer forensics, mobile device forensics, research, forensic accounting reviews, and surveillance of the target indicated that the total theft went beyond one million dollars over five years. In addition, the operating partner has already set up a competing company and was in violation of his non-compete agreement. McCann Investigators worked directly with the manufacturer’s law firm to obtain a TRO against the minority partner, in addition to referral to local law enforcement for criminal theft charges.
External Copper Ring Theft
When an electrical contractor discovered electrical wiring being stolen from job sites, he began to worry that he was being targeted by organized criminals. In further discussions with other contractors, they soon discovered that is was impacting scores of contractors. McCann organized covert recording and live surveillance of a “bait site”. The intelligence gathered was then turned over to law enforcement for further investigation.