RobertoLofaro.com - Knowledge Portal
Change, with and without technology

You are here: Home > Suggested readings > Pedneault - Anatomy of a Fraud Investigation: From Detection to Prosecution - ISBN 0470560479 - 3.5/5

Viewed 28 times | Published on 2020-07-02 22:30:52


Pedneault, Stephen
Anatomy of a Fraud Investigation: From Detection to Prosecution
BookID 185813264
(see LibraryThing.com card)
Description (from Amazon)A one-of-a-kind resource walking you through one complete fraud investigation, from the original tip to conviction in court
Anatomy of a Fraud Investigation is an engrossing read and a valuable resource for fraud investigators, auditors, or anyone who suspects fraud may be occuring in their organizations and is unsure as to how to act. It details all phases of a fraud investigation from the first suspicion of fraud to the final judgment in court, through the eyes of a forensic accountant.
In each phase, the author provides insights based on his twenty-two years as a forensic accountant from where to sit at the table when you bring the suspected fraudster in for questioning, to how you protect the key sources of information that the suspect will try to destroy once he or she realizes they are under investigation.

In-depth analysis of a fraud investigation Based on an actual investigation conducted by the author Each chapter contains valuable tips and key considerations, providing subtext for why decisions were made and bringing to light potential risks A fascinating, insider look at a fraud investigation, Anatomy of a Fraud Investigation helps you better understand fraud detection, investigation, and prevention-from the inside out.
My review: 3.5/5In my line of business, since the 1980s read various books describing cases of "creative accounting" and the ensuing cases

From "Accounting for Growth" (https://www.librarything.com/work/1059471/book/79481997), to "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Mantle, not Hemingway https://www.librarything.com/review/79479622), to more recent books such as "Too Big To Fail"- there is no lack of books discussing the genesysis and results of a crisis or a fraud, but usually focus too much on the "cast of characters" and cameos worth to attract the attention of Hollywood for a potential script.

This short book (200 pages) is unusual because it takes a relatively small (few hundred thousand dollars) yet convoluted case, and follows it A-to-Z as a diary.

The most interesting part is the outlining of the steps and key activities (e.g. ensuring the "chain of custody" of evidence) that are often lacking (e.g. sometimes I was asked to check on information after its context had already been modified, removing some key elements to trace A-to-Z, or even tampering with "audit trails"- on systems larger and more complex than those described, but the concept is the same).

If you worked for few decades in checking what suppliers did, or helping set up systems to monitor how an organization, its parts, or its supply chain are behaving, and you are not working for a single organization but for many, you end up seeing that, whenever there is a crisis, you wish that wherever you are there could be time to explain what are the steps needed.

Or, at least, that a small "guideline" existed.

My first experience in checking anomalies in bureaucracies started really while I was serving in the Italian Army (compulsory service) and was asked from the Divisional level about a procurement issue that the had been noticed in our ammunition requisitions for training.

Then, while working, I had to check and reconcile invoicing, contracts, etc- from 1987 until, well, now- across multiple industries.

There are steps here and there that in my past activities did in different ways (but I am based in Europe), anyway the storytelling and information boxes could be useful as a general introduction on the usually weakest point- planning.

So, for its literary weaknesses (neither a Grisham nor a Le Carré), it is worth reading and sharing with your junior staff assigned to roles from PMO, to QA, to checking on suppliers and processes.

[Review released on 2020-07-02]
Outline material: None