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As an executive, fraud investigations could put you under scrutiny

Running a Texas business is no easy feat, and you undoubtedly work more than your fair share of hours in order to ensure that operations continue as they should. Because of your dedication to the business, you have seen a great deal of success that you hope will continue.

Unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of all your employees, and as a result, some workers may take actions that reflect badly on you and the company as a whole. In particular, if one suspects fraudulent activity to have occurred within the business, you could quickly come under suspicion as a higher-up.

What to do

If your business involves sales, you may want to understand that there is a considerable chance for salespeople to commit fraud. Though you certainly want to trust your employees, those in sales often have the opportunity to accept kickbacks, participate in bribery or carry out other fraudulent activities. While keeping an eye on your salespeople is wise, it is also important to remember that your accounting department is also an area where fraudulent actions could easily take place due to its money-handling aspects.

The best way to handle fraud is to have preventive measures in place. You may want to offer incentives to employees who uphold ethical standards, and you may want to understand how to recognize signs of possible fraud early on. If you do suspect fraud, conducting an internal investigation could help lessen negative impacts.

External investigations

Of course, in some cases, external investigations may take place, and it is common for these outside parties to immediately suspect that the higher-ups were either involved in the activity or at least knew about it and did not take steps to stop it. As a result, you and others could find yourselves facing allegations of fraudulent activity.

You undoubtedly do not want your business to suffer unnecessarily due to accusations of fraud, and you certainly want to protect your personal reputation. As soon as the possibility of a fraud investigation comes about, it is likely in your best interests to reach out for legal support. An attorney can help you understand how to best handle an investigation and explain your legal options in the event that fraud charges come against you. Though you may hope to avoid this type of ordeal altogether, it is a possibility for which you would be wise to prepare.

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If you or your company is under investigation, charged or indicted for federal or state crimes, or you want to ensure future compliance, contact Hilder & Associates, P.C., for more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Houston white collar criminal defense lawyer.

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