Conducting of Internal Investigations

Carrying out internal investigations in the event of suspicion or knowledge of economic deviance

Internal investigations are one of equia’s core competencies. equia staff have carried out dozens, mostly cross-border, complex investigations. Generally, equia is mandated by supervisory bodies, management, specialist departments such as Compliance, Legal or Internal Audit for an internal investigation when sufficient internal suspicions of tortious acts (e.g. breach, fraud, corruption, financial loss) exist, or if the client is authorized to do so (in case of a supervisory order or in the context of criminal proceedings). equia also regularly supports law firms in their own investigations for clients in the area of ​​forensic book and process auditing, as this is not generally a standard competence for law firms.

Murat Üranüz
CEO

+41 44 585 35 55
mail@equia-ag.com

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Our Services

  • Conducting internal investigations

  • Assessment of your own internal investigations and the respective guidelines for such investigations

  • Trainings on how to conduct internal investigations

Conducting internal investigations

For any internal investigations within your company, you can rely on equia to guide you through the process simply and efficiently. We use a standardized procedure for our investigations, which corresponds to the relevant requirements set forth by the ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners). Based on a suspicion or a possible indication, we adopt a hypothesis together with you and this becomes the basis of all future forensic investigations.

Based on this, we develop the investigation plan which gives you, the client, a fully transparent view of all subsequent investigation steps. Computer and data forensics (e.g. forensic data backup, recovery of intentionally deleted data, data analysis) is a significant part of practically all internal investigations. Sometimes, to safeguard evidence, it becomes necessary to initiate forensic data backup at very short notice, because it ensures legally compliant archiving of documents and date relevant to the case. equia takes immense care to maintain impeccable documentation of the “chain of custody”, to ensure integrity of the data and tracking of the chronological sequence up to its introduction as evidence, were this to happen.

Complex relevant facts can rapidly lead to extensive investigative measures entailing preparation of large volumes of data for reviewing (so-called structured and unstructured data). Our expertise ensures that maximum focussed and hypothetical reviewing using keywords is done to keep your costs as low as possible.

Our clients tell us that their contracted service providers have mainly reviewed emails or other written documents for internal investigations, using these to reach their test results. equia though, includes detailed analyses of underlying fraudulent transactions at process and accounting levels, to more stringently substantiate possible results, particularly on a documentary basis. This automatically provides a better basis for possible remedial measures.

Carrying out different kinds of interviews of witnesses and possibly implicated persons to obtain or validate information or elicit a confession is also part of equia’s repertoire, including providing seamless documentation of the interview results and accompanying documents such as interview reports, accounting receipts etc. We provide a consolidated and detailed final report for third parties, summarizing the individual steps and results and citing existing evidence. This also helps in follow-up of claims or possible legal action.

equia offers its forensic expertise to authorities, organizations and companies regardless of industry. In addition to investigating fraudulent transactions in the purchasing sector and investigating accounting irregularities, equia specializes in conducting internal investigations, also in connection with embezzlement and the obtaining of mandates through unfair contributions or benefits to decision-makers. The reconstruction of so-called “schemes” for corrupt benefits or other established process deficits represents the starting point for remedial measures (“remediation”), such as the optimization of control systems.

Assessment of your own internal investigations and the respective guidelines for such investigations

More and more companies are increasing their manpower to handle internal investigations in-house. Because court enforced internal investigations place exceedingly high demands on a company, they often turn to equia to professionally assess the processes in place.

We analyze the formal requirements of your company to carry out an internal investigation (e.g. in the form of a guideline) and make constructive suggestions for improvement and optimization if wished. We can also review the internal investigations that have been conducted, including the document basis, identifying any potential risks that could jeopardize the legal usefulness of your investigation results because of the process being used. It goes without saying that in such cases, we would also suggest potential improvements, wherever possible.

Trainings on how to conduct internal investigations

equia also trains companies in conducting internal investigations. In addition to the theoretical part outlining how the ideal typical internal investigation would be constructed, we use case studies to demonstrate possible investigation scenarios, the challenges and pitfalls they present, and provide helpful solutions.

Our trainings are interdisciplinary, using the services of both an experienced criminal and procedural law specialist and an economist. This allows us to present a very realistic picture of the internal investigation process from a dual perspective. Your company participants such as lawyers, economists, IT experts benefit from subject specific knowledge transfer.

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