What you must do if you suspect illegal activity in your business
Aziz Rahman, of award-winning business crime solicitors Rahman Ravelli, outlines the importance of the correct approach to investigating suspicions of business crime.
If a business suspects that a crime is being carried out against it – or even on its behalf, in cases of, for example, bribery and corruption – those suspicions must be investigated thoroughly.
If investigations indicate that crime has occurred, a business has three options:
- Report the matter to the police.
- Start civil proceedings against the person believed to have committed the offence, in order to recoup any losses.
- Bring a private prosecution, under the Prosecution Offences Act 1985, against that person.
A private prosecution gives you more control over proceedings than a police investigation, can often cost less than civil proceedings and can deter other would-be offenders.
Civil proceedings, however, can be brought while also reporting the matter to the police or bringing a private prosecution.
Before any option is chosen, the suspicions must be assessed by someone experienced in conducting thorough, informed internal investigations. This requires legal expertise and an ability to unearth evidence to get to the truth.
Whether it be theft, fraud, bribery, false accounting, money laundering or any other white-collar crime that is uncovered upon investigation, you need to know the course of action that will secure the best outcome for you and your business.
This requires a knowledge of business crime law; which is challenging, as it has been subject to much change recently. For example, the past year alone has seen two landmark court decisions affecting what internal investigation documents must be handed over to the authorities if a criminal investigation begins.
At Intersol we support the private sector by designing workplace investigation strategies and have been so employed in global banking, corporate risk management, regulatory, and GRC. Insufficient importance attached to accurate and detailed workplace meetings that will inform decision making. Increasingly clients have said, “You know what, please will you partner with us and guide us through the process”, indeed on occasion “Will you do it for us”. The latter option really does give transparency and independence!
Based in the NW but operating globally, we’re really keen to develop and support local businesses more. If we can help, take a look at us at http://www.intersolglobal.com
Full article courtesy of The Business Desk can be found here: http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/2006034-must-suspect-illegal-activity-business