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CASE STUDIES

FALSIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS

We were asked to assist an employer who had serious concerns about a recent appointment of an employee in a senior role in finance. The employee was found to be struggling with the requirements of the role which was at odds with their resume, academic qualifications and information from his referees. The employer was also concerned about unusual afterhour’s access by the employee to the building and suspected the employee had an underlying motive for gaining access to confidential financial (pricing) information so it could be used in competition against them.

The National Criminal History search established a person by the same name and date of birth as the employee had prior convictions for fraud, theft and burglary. The outcome of the search was put to the employee by the employer who then presented them with a letter which claimed to be from the Federal Police detailing a mistaken identity.

An investigation was commenced. The Federal Police confirmed the letter provided by the employee about mistaken identity was false.

An examination of the photocopy of the Bachelor of Commerce Degree produced by the employee at interview was also found to be false. The employee had no Degree.

The hard drive of the notebook computer used by the employee was observed to have been tampered with and was suspected of being removed and copied.

Our forensic IT expert commenced an initial analysis of the employee’s work notebook computer. It identified a number of external hard drives/USB devices as having been connected to it and data being downloaded from the employer's computer network to these devices.

The employee consented to a search of their home and provided us with their home computer, a number of hard drives and USB devices.

Analysis of the electronic data located the false University Degree, the false Federal Police letter and a large amount of sensitive confidential employer data.

As a consequence, the employee resigned, the employer's data was securely deleted, and a report was made to police in respect of the obtaining of employment by false documents.

EMPLOYEE FRAUD

We were asked to assist an employer who had received concerns from staff about a fellow employee in the accounts department. The employee had been employed for about nine (9) months. No National Criminal History check had been undertaken.

The employee had been observed to be on internet gambling sites and was very protective of their workspace.

The employee had just gone on leave and a fellow employee could not balance one of the customer accounts managed by the employee.

An investigation was commenced. The employee was suspended.

The customer of the account which could not be balanced made a request of their bank for a copy of the cheque they said they used for payment.

An examination of the cheque found the payee had been changed from the employer's company name to the suspected employee.

A further seven(7) altered cheques were located. The eight (8) customer cheques totalled approximately $80,000.

The employee deception was to “hide” these transactions by allocating money from a second customer, to the first customer. At a later date, the next step was to use a third customer’s cheque to allocate to the second customer. This “round robin” was possible as the employee had access to the cheques, could perform allocation, and could prepare supporting documents for banking.

The forgery was clumsily executed by the employee and no attempt had been made to wash the cheques.

The employee deposited the cheques which had the payee altered into their name through ATMs, some of which were close to gambling establishments.

The employee was interviewed by us, admitted prior convictions and made a full confession. The offences commenced within two (2) months of employment. Their employment was terminated. The employee agreed to sign an Irrevocable Authority which enabled us to place a caveat on their property.

We also successfully assisted the employer's company obtain full payment of the cheques from the banks who processed the cheques as they had failed to physically examine the cheques prior to payment.

The banks were subsequently reimbursed after the employee's home was sold with some of the proceeds used to repay the full amount stolen and the cost of the investigation.

We prepared a brief of evidence and delivered it to police. The former employee was charged and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment owing to their prior convictions.