Investigation & Public Corruption Response
Allegations of fraudulent activity or corruption wreak havoc on an organization’s reputation and performance and can undermine its business operations and public confidence. The first steps in the response process often play a key role in the overall outcome of the internal investigation, determining the facts and addressing the underlying issues.
With years of experience working with businesses, public and quasi-public entities around the U.S., BKD can bring a unique multidisciplinary approach, quick response time and deep industry expertise to the investigation. Our fraud investigation and internal investigation teams stand ready to help you.
Our fraud investigation and internal investigation unit includes Certified Fraud Examiners, Certified Public Accountants, computer forensic specialists, fraud investigators, attorneys and data mining and data analytics professionals with years of experience investigating a wide variety of allegations of corruption, fraud and malfeasance. Housed in a single practice unit, BKD is ready to bring the appropriate resources to the internal investigation in a timely and cost-efficient manner. The various professional disciplines are well-versed in working together to achieve the investigation’s objectives in a cost-effective and skilled manner.
Having professionals from multiple disciplines allows our team to bring the right resources at the right time.
Ready to Move When You Need Us
Allegations of fraud, malfeasance and corruption often require immediate attention and response. BKD’s fraud investigation team is sensitive to the urgency of these situations and is equipped to provide the resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation when needed. When days and hours count, BKD fraud investigators are quick to respond.
Deep Industry Expertise
We recognize that industry experience may be part of the skill set necessary to perform an effective and credible investigation. As a national CPA and advisory firm, BKD has deep expertise in a wide variety of areas, and our professionals likely have performed an internal investigation in the same industry or service group as your organization.
Chances Are, We’ve Seen it Before
BKD professionals have years of experience investigating alleged corruption, scams and fraud. Our fraud investigators study reports of other fraud investigations and have deep expertise to call upon when presented with a new set of facts or allegations of misconduct. Because we likely have seen it ourselves or studied the mechanism of fraud, we are uniquely qualified to bring the right team with the appropriate skills to the table to assist you.
Stories from the Trenches
We have assisted hundreds of corporations, law enforcement organizations, government agencies and public and quasi-public entities with internal investigations. We have investigated allegations ranging from one of the largest white collar fraud investigations in the U.S. to padding of expense report allegations on behalf of a high school athletic booster club. Here are some examples:
Investigation of Embezzlement Scheme in City Government
A city discovered what it thought could be a complex embezzlement scheme and turned to BKD to help assess the allegations. BKD’s fraud investigators quickly met with the city and began work immediately after the initial discovery. Working closely with law enforcement, prosecutors and city management, BKD’s fraud investigation ultimately uncovered an embezzlement scheme lasting over a decade with losses exceeding $1 million. The investigation included interviews, analysis of bank records and accounting records and data analytics. The city used BKD’s report to help recover funds through its employee dishonesty insurance policy. Our report also helped the prosecutor’s office, and the employee ultimately pleaded guilty.
Pac-12 Conference Member Hires BKD for Internal Investigation
A member of the Pac-12 Conference requested assistance with an internal investigation of allegations of financial impropriety involving one of the university’s athletic programs. The internal investigation included coordination with the state auditor’s office and the preparation of a public report relating to our findings, conclusions and key recommendations for improvements. BKD’s team included forensic accounting, data analytics, fraud investigators, computer forensics and certified fraud examiners. Extensive interviews and forensic testing were key elements of the fraud investigation. BKD’s team completed the investigation and presented its findings and conclusions in a comprehensive written report, with coordination of the state auditor’s office. BKD’s recommendations for oversight of one of the key athletic programs at the university were accepted and implemented.
Special Litigation Committee Hires BKD for Internal Investigation
A special litigation committee requested assistance in an internal investigation involving an allegation of a breach of fraud, fiduciary duties by majority shareholders of a privately held company. The allegations, brought by the minority shareholders, included self-dealing, misuse of company funds and other abuse of company resources by a majority shareholder. BKD’s team included forensic accountants, fraud investigators, data analytics specialists and certified fraud examiners. The fraud investigation included interviews, forensic data mining, analysis of more than five years of financial data and review of numerous investments in business interests. Upon completion of the investigation, BKD’s team prepared a comprehensive report for the special litigation committee to use in assessing the allegations.
Bank Hires BKD for Investigation in Response to FDIC Exam
When a bank with approximately $270 million in assets learned that information had been hidden from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) during an examination, they turned to BKD’s forensic accountants to help determine what was going on. BKD’s investigation determined a key insider had purchased millions of dollars in non-performing loans from other banks to prevent a personal business partner from going bankrupt. The loans then were recorded in the names of various straw borrowers, masking the identity of the true borrower. BKD’s involvement in the fraud investigation assisted the bank in bringing resolution to a complex matter so that proper action was taken against those responsible.
Big 12 University Hires BKD to Assist with Internal Investigation into Ticket Fraud
A Big 12 university requested assistance with an internal investigation of ticket fraud allegations related to men’s basketball and football tickets 2005-2010. The investigation included cooperation with outside counsel hired by the university. BKD performed computer forensics that assisted in identifying specific tickets sold to brokers and the majority of the athletic department personnel involved in the fraudulent activity. BKD’s findings were presented in a public report that detailed our conclusions and key recommendations for improvement. BKD’s services included forensic accounting, fraud investigators, data analytics and computer forensics. The investigation contributed to the conviction of five individuals associated with the ticket fraud.
BKD Conducts Forensic Audit for Bioscience Company
A large Midwest bioscience organization hired BKD to assist with a forensic audit of its operations and spending. The audit concentrated on potential conflicts of interest in the awarding of grant monies and vendor contracts, the appropriateness of expenses paid for the organization’s personnel and directors and the appropriateness of spending for operational purposes. In addition, representatives of the state where the bioscience organization was located asked BKD to investigate myriad allegations related to the organization’s operations and its former CEO. BKD’s findings were presented in a public report detailing our conclusions, findings and key recommendations for improvement. BKD’s team included certified fraud examiners, fraud investigators and computer forensics specialists.
Financial Statement Fraud Case Experts Needed By US Departments
BKD experts provided significant assistance and expertise to two U.S. departments in a complex financial statement fraud involving the manipulation of a public company’s financial statements and stock price. Assistance provided by BKD fraud investigators included assessing GAAP financial reporting, quantifying misstated financial statements, assisting with interviews, assessing materiality, electronic production and serving as an expert during the nine-week criminal trial. BKD’s forensic accountants and fraud investigators worked closely with the departments during the investigation and provided technical support throughout the prosecution phase of the securities fraud case, which involved the indictment of 10 executives.
Investigation of FCPA Allegations Takes BKD Investigation Team to Three Continents
A large publicly traded organization hired BKD for forensic accounting assistance with a multinational FCPA investigation. BKD’s team included experience with forensic accounting, fraud investigators, data mining and computer forensics. Forensic accounting fieldwork took BKD professionals to such far-reaching destinations as Australia and Zambia. BKD also established and maintained real-time, complete and unrestricted access to the company’s general ledger system to support the investigation. Data mining procedures were modified to search for keywords in both English and French. Computer forensics imaged and forensically analyzed chat logs, email and documents found on nearly 50 devices, including mobile phones. BKD’s identification and recovery of Internet chat data was crucial to identifying involved personnel. BKD’s team completed the internal investigation and presented its findings before the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.