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Investigations: Technology & Forensic Accounting
Investigations can range widely—from whistle blower allegations, government inquiries and subpoenas, to corporate due diligence, potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") violations, and financial fraud.
Often, the only consistent themes across investigations are short time frames, the high stakes at risk, and a need to defend the quality of the work. Add in any number of common variables, such as data privacy laws or complex financial data, and corporations face significant challenges executing investigations in a defensible manner.
FTI Consulting has a proven track record of helping organizations quickly conduct large and complex investigations, including in response to government inquiries from agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). We combine investigative expertise with analytics technology and a specially designed discovery and review workflow to find important documents early in the process. Our multidisciplinary approach can include:
In addition, FTI Consulting’s investigations experts can conduct public records searches, assist counsel with interviews, analyze data to establish a pattern of activity, and produce reports to key stakeholders and counsel.
A Global Investigation of Unusual Activities in Different European Offices
A global law firm contacted FTI Consulting to assist in the investigation of unusual activities between employees in two different European offices. Data from key custodians needed to be collected, processed and reviewed so that investigators could determine whether fraud was occurring, and if so, who else was involved or knew about it, how much was involved and what legal action could be taken.
Within a day, FTI Consulting deployed three e-discovery experts and three forensic investigators to the corporate headquarters in Europe. The e-discovery experts collected email and office files from key custodians identified by the law firm, processed the data, and created a review environment on-site via a mobile e-discovery solution. Through processing and devising a series of searches, FTI culled the irrelevant and duplicate data, as well as personal information, out of the data set. This maintained compliance with European data laws, helped reduce the cost of the investigation, and helped the team get to the important information faster. In this iterative process, as reviewers came across “hot” documents, they immediately shared findings with the investigative team to pursue new leads. Many of the keys to unlocking the fraud were hidden in the details of complex financial spreadsheets. FTI’s experienced team of financial investigators examined the data to find supporting information as well as uncover additional fraud details originally missed. After combining the investigator’s findings with the results of the reviewed materials, the team developed a chronology of activities linking individuals in fraudulent activities.
Through FTI’s global scale, quick deployment, mobile review operations and experienced investigative team, the client quickly and cost-effectively uncovered fraudulent activity in its European offices. Using a small team with a strong understanding of the local culture as well as European data privacy requirements, FTI worked discretely under the radar without disrupting the office’s normal course of business or “tipping off” employees that an investigation was being performed. FTI Consulting conducted the complete investigation in three weeks and provided evidence and a chronological timeline of how employees were committing fraud and paying off accessories.