Investigate This

Following the money isn't a cliché



On June 17, 1972, police were called to the Watergate Complex near Washington, D.C. and subsequently arrested five men for burglary. What was characterized as "a third-rate burglary" by President Nixon's press secretary was far from such. When the dust settled almost 70 government officials were charged in the Watergate investigation, including two former U.S. attorneys general, two former CIA operatives and a former FBI agent.

The movie, "All the President's Men," details the Watergate investigative reporting of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. One of the notable scenes is when Woodward, portrayed by Robert Redford, meets in a dark parking garage with a high-ranking government source — codenamed Deep Throat. Woodward tells the source that the trail has run cold. Deep Throat says in a quiet, raspy voice, "Follow the money." Thus the phrase entered the American lexicon.

As fraud examiners, how do we follow the money? Here I'll address benefits of following the money during the course of a fraud examination.



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