Fraud is the unlawful, intentional making of a misrepresentation which cause actual prejudice (loss) or which is potential prejudice (loss) to another.
Internal fraud and theft in companies have become endemic. Various factors contribute to this scenario like financial pressure, greed, a culture of crime, etc.
Several opportunities to commit fraud often exist without the knowledge of management. Many companies feel powerless to fight the scourge of white-collar crime.
White-collar crime goes much further than fraud and is often referred to as commercial or economic crimes and include crimes such as:
d) complicated statutory offences
How Do We Prove Fraud?
The investigator (SAPS or private) needs to understand the elements of the crime:
The prosecutor must show the victim suffered a loss or a potential loss.
A misrepresentation occurs when X makes a representation to Y implying that a condition or a set of conditions exist that in reality, does not exist. The misrepresentation can be made as follows:
i) by way of behaviour
ii) by way of omission
iii) misrepresentation regarding the facts
An accused can be prosecuted for an act or an omission only if the act or omission is unlawful in terms of South African law.
The courts sometimes require that there should be a causal connection between the act and the prejudice suffered by the victim.
e) Criminal Intent
Many South African judgements have stipulated that X should not only have the intention to deceive but also the intention to defraud. To show that X had the intention to defraud, the state will have to prove that X at least knew that his or her misrepresentation was not the truth.
It is apparent from the brief description of the various elements of fraud that it is a complicated crime to prove in court.
The solution is to get expert investigative assistance to convict the offender in order to have reasonable prospects in recovering the financial loss.
Fraud Investigation Process Explained
A crime or an offence is committed.
The SAPS (local police station) attend to the complaint and obtain a basic affidavit referred to as the A1 - complainants statement.
A case is registered and the complainant is notified about his "CAS" number and the details of the investigator or detective assigned to investigate the case.
The detective must within 24 hours present his case and progress to his commander for inspection.
The commander will familiarize himself with the case and provide written guidelines for the detective to follow. A return date is noted in the investigation diary and instructions are to be complied with.
The detective should obtain evidence (statements, documents, emails, social media, etc) and present his findings to the public prosecutor.
The public prosecutor could ask for more evidence or make a decision that the suspect must be charged with the offence.
The detective will apply for a J50- warrant of arrest.
The detective will trace the suspect and execute his warrant.
The suspect will have the option to make a statement or remain silent, his fingerprints will be taken to compare with outstanding cases and to establish previous convictions, he is photographed and he must appear within 48 hours before a magistrate.
The accused can apply for "Bail" and if opposed by the state the accused is remanded in custody for the detective to verify facts.
A trial date is set.
The officer that attends to the initial complaint has no understanding of the offence and the original statement obtained is incomplete and vague.
The detective assigned to the case is investigating between 40 and 60 other matters and share a vehicle with 3 other detectives.
The investigation takes weeks before it starts and the detective receives more new cases.
The detective is transferred to another unit and a new detective is assigned to the case.
The case is eventually filed as undetected.
The Solution: Fraud Investigations
Contact our Fraud Private Investigators at PI Services who will prepare the case from start to finish.
PI Services investigators involves the detective from the SAPS to obtain search warrants and subpoenas as the Investigation requires.
PI Services investigators keep the original documents and provide the SAPS with a copy in order to prevent the case docket being sold to the criminal element.
PI Services investigators liaise with the public prosecutor from the outset and ensure that all the evidence required to ensure a successful conviction is obtained.
PI Services investigators assist the public prosecutor with drafting the indictment, preparing witnesses for court, ensuring the presence of witnesses at the trial when required to testify.
PI Services will ensure that your case gets the attention to detail it deserves from start to conviction.
HAVE YOU BEEN DEFRAUDED OR DO YOU SUSPECT FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY IN YOUR BUSINESS, CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION: