Case Study

Caught in the complexities

Stroz Friedberg is a specialized risk management firm built to help clients solve the complex challenges prevalent in today’s digital, connected, and regulated business world

Caught in the complexities

Stroz Friedberg Investigations (SFI) was engaged to investigate the embezzlement of $3 million by an accountant for a large construction company. SFI located the employee in South America and interviewed him several times upon his return. SFI’s analysis of all of the financial and construction records associated with the $300 million project on which the suspect worked uncovered the complex scheme he used to embezzle the funds. It included: altering checks to legitimate vendors; depositing the checks into accounts that he controlled; inflating monthly expenses the construction company submitted to its clients; and creating a fictitious company and false invoices. The false invoices induced the company to sign checks that were returned to the accountant who would then alter the payees and deposit the funds into his own accounts.

SFI assisted in identifying and recovering $1.1 million by alerting the banks to freeze accounts and in receiving funds from the suspect that he still had in his possession. SFI’s investigation also showed that the employee had previously been arrested for the same scheme at another large construction company. The suspect made admissions to SFI and was subsequently indicted by a Grand Jury, before which an SFI investigator testified. Charged with 21 counts of grand larceny and forgery, he was remanded and subsequently pled guilty to the indictment. The company further benefited from a series of SFI recommendations regarding security and employee background check enhancements.

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