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Corporate fraud liability

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There is an increased desire to see large corporations brought to account particularly following the banking crisis.

Individuals are far more likely to be investigated and senior management brought in for questioning particularly when a fraud is committed by an employee. Email evidence and telephone records are increasingly the main stay of evidence in large fraud cases. This means that your business can be caused to suffer huge inconvenience even if you or the senior management team are not part of the investigation. Computers, phones and all electronic devices can be seized and scrutinised.

There are increased numbers of investigations into land banking fraud and general investment frauds. This type of fraud covers many types of businesses. Mortgage frauds are also being investigated both on residential and commercial transactions also into mortgage frauds. It appears the banks and building societies are going back through their records and checking applications even where there is no financial loss, particularly self certified mortgages.

There are a number of proposed changes that will continue to target all businesses whether SMEs or large corporate bodies. The answer for all businesses is to be ready for the changes and to ensure that your practices and procedures are watertight so that in the event of any investigation you can show due diligence which is likely to be the cornerstone of your defence.

By Rachel Adamson, Partner and head of the serious fraud team