The investigation report deals with the complete investigation plan and the application of the investigation tools and the identification, management, and analysis of the involved evidence. The report provides the methodology involved in the investigation process and the summary of the evidence collected during the investigation to prove the credibility of the accusations imposed upon the accused by the complainant. The report also provides for the detailed discussion of the allegations and the evidence collected to prove the accusations imposed upon Mr. Williams.
Table of Contents
Scope & Purpose.
Summary of Evidence.
Mr. Mark Williams was appointed the Chief Executing Officer (CEO) of a Sydney based manufacturing company named Holsworths Pty Ltd (HPL) since April 2016. During his employment as the CEO of the company, he was responsible for managing the annual budget of the company of $3 million. He was also responsible for the authorization of all the major contracts with the external stakeholders and to complete the hiring process of the new employees to be appointed in the company. Being the CEO of the company his job was to design and lead the company’s strategic plans with a primary short term goal of ensuring a 7% increase in the turnover of the company annually.
However, there have been allegations on Mr. Mark Williams regarding involvement in the various fraudulent activities such as mentioning fabricated educational qualifications and work experience in his resume, appointing employees with lack of required skill sets in the company for self-benefit, demanding kickbacks from the vendors as favors to sanction contracts to them, purchased goods and services meant for personal use on behalf of HPL, and stealing resources that belong to the company.
The purpose of this report is to find out whether the allegations imposed upon Mr. Mark Williams are genuine or not. Whether Mr. Williams has been involved in the allegation imposed upon him. The investigation process involved all the documentary data provided for the investigation, the statements of the staff, and the constructive evidence that might be developed during the investigation process. The report includes the verification of the information provided by Mr. Williams under his resume with the intent to find the credibility of the provided information.
The methodology involves background research as the investigation tool for this investigation. The validation of the data provided by Mr. Williams can easily be done by checking over the institutions and getting it verified by the references mentioned by him in the resume.
The investigation methodology also involves the basics of evidence for fraud and corruption investigators to be followed so that the outcomes of this investigation cannot be held biased or lacking grounds of equality by any neither the accused nor the complainant. The investigation duly follows the importance of the two most important principles of evidence collected in an investigation.
The principle of relevance is the most fundamental element of evidence collection in an investigation. In cases relating to fraud and corruption investigation, this rule serves the ground for the approval or disapproval of any evidence on the ground that the evidence might be relevant with the accusations (in a hopeful, compelling and convincing way) including the proof of knowledge and intent. Thus making it important for the investigator to know the elements of the suspected evidence and the type of evidence, whether direct evidence or circumstantial evidence would be relevant to the accusation.
The second fundamental of the evidence collection involves the weight of the collected evidence. The weight of the evidence refers to the credibility and the source of the evidence so that the reliability and the persuasive power of the evidence could be decided.
Also, the corroboration of the evidence with the accusation shall be considered to provide reliability to the evidence. For instance, the corroborative nature of the evidence can create an unbreakable relationship between the direct evidence and the circumstantial evidence.
The types of evidence to be considered also hold an important place during the investigation process. The basic types of evidence considered are witness statements, documents and data, real evidence holding the presence while the accused act was being performed, and the demonstrative or constructive evidence created through charts, graphs, photographs, etc.
At last, comes the presentation of the evidence in such a manner that it serves perfectly the purpose they are collected for. The evidence collected against every accusation shall be presented accordingly to prove the accused guilty or not guilty of the accusations imposed upon him (IACRC 2020).
The evidence collected against the first allegation of fabricating the educational qualification mentioned by Mr. Williams under his resume holds him guilty.
The credibility of considerable qualifications which turned out to be crucial in getting him the post of the CEO of HPL comprises of the two disputed qualifications namely the full-time member at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and his educational qualification of MBA.
The lack of evidence in the allegations of hiring personal associates despite not possessing the relevant skill sets and the awarding of contracts to vendors for kickbacks prove to be void.
In the allegations of creating a financial burden on the company for personal uses and stealing of the company’s equipment, Mr. Williams is found not guilty.
The findings of the investigation are as follows:
Some additional findings during this investigation provide that the expenses made by him in advertising, raised employee wages, entertainment of the employees, providing insurance facilities to the employees, upgrading the software, telecommunication connectivity and motor vehicles have been increased but this turns out to be a strategic step taken by him as it has decreased the depreciation of the business and the employees during the financial years. Although, the total income of the company was the same for 2017 and 2018 but, the increase in the gross profit of the company can be observed to be continuously increasing over the financial years from 2014 to 2018. The employee satisfaction from the provided services has improved in the performance and quality of the products which has resultantly increased sales revenue of the company. During his tenure since 2016, Mr. Williams has focussed on the revenue generation through sales and not through the other revenue sources. The findings of the investigation find Mr. Williams guilty of the first allegation only. However, due to the lack of evidence in the investigation, the second and the third allegations stand to be void, and in the fourth and the fifth allegation Mr. Williams is found not guilty of the allegations imposed upon him.
The report holds Mr. Williams guilty of fabricating qualifications and work experiences to get the job of the CEO of HPL but any other allegation against him holds to be void. The lack of evidence caused the allegation of hiring personal associates for lucrative roles and kickbacks for contracts holds to be null and void. The remaining two allegations against him stand unreliable and quashed.
This report recommends the following:
CA ANZ (2020). How to apply for full CA Membership. Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA ANZ). Retrieved from https://www.charteredaccountantsanz.com/become-a-member/memberships/how-to-apply-for-full-ca-membership
IACRC (2020). The Basics of Evidence for Fraud and Corruption Investigators. Guide to Combatting Corruption & Fraud in Development Projects. Retrieved from https://guide.iacrc.org/the-basics-of-evidence-for-fraud-and-corruption-investigators/
UniSA (2020). Master of Business Administration. University of South Australia (UniSA). Retrieved from https://study.unisa.edu.au/degrees/master-of-business-administration
University of Otago (2020). Step 9: List your Referees. Division of Student and Academic Services, University of Otago, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/careers/jobs/cv/write/OTAGO279001
Williams, M. (2020). Policies for Employee: Personal use of Business Equipment. Retrieved from https://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/research-topics/office-hr/using-policies-to-address-employees-personal-use-of-business-equipment
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