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Global fraud is the same - legal systems aren't

Fraud examiners are increasingly tackling complicated cases that simultaneously involve several nations. We must look for legal guidance for our organizations’ cross-border operations. Here’s a start.

This articles is excerpted and adapted from the "International Fraud Handbook," edited by Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. ©2018 Used with permission.

Consider this scenario. You work as a fraud examiner for a U.S. multinational corporation. You have strong evidence that a longtime company procurement director, Max, has been taking kickbacks from a vendor. But you’re scratching your head. Max works for a new subsidiary of your corporation in Germany. The vendor is based in Belgium, but Max accepted the  kickbacks from the vendor’s rep in the Netherlands. And, on top of all that, Max is a citizen of France. What do you do? Don’t waste any time — quickly consult reputable legal counsel who are familiar with laws in all these countries.

Like it or not, globalism is increasing. Many fraud examiners are finding that the corporations they work for are acquiring businesses in many countries. These conglomerates are inheriting not just firms’ assets but also their monetary and legal liabilities. CFEs need to know how to translate nations’ laws and regulations to help keep their employers above water.

Here we visit basic and more advanced concepts of the law related to fraud from around the world, including types of legal systems, forms of evidence, investigations in private actions and more.

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