The application of science to criminal and civil laws professionally termed forensic investigation is beginning to distinguish avenues for additional skills that go beyond the traditional enquiries and report writing. There is a greater call for investigators to understand the legal process and information technology in order to achieve admissible evidence.
The role of forensic investigators has therefore expanded immensely with the current reliance on internet technologies. There is a growing need for the application of science to evidence collection at scenes of white-collar crimes such as fraud, perjury, SPAM investigations, tracking internet browsing habits and wrongful dismissal claims in order to reconstruct events, infer intentions and support litigation.
As the Corporate businesses transform to online operations, along with financial transactions, the prospective wrongdoers as well gain false sense of security as they believe that they can easily cover up their tracks. Nonetheless, sophisticated individuals can use the internet platforms to perpetrate fraudulent transactions. This is then, when the expertise of forensic investigation is called upon.
Forensic investigation involves the application of scientific method to solve suspicions of crimes such as corporate fraud and fraudulent documents. Forensic investigations aim to unravel the following types of crimes:
- Fraud in commercial contracts with banks and financial institutions;
- Theft, fraud or dishonesty in relation to professionals who have abused their position;
- Fraud or false misrepresentation in a business or employment which has resulted in loss to a company or an individual;
- Loan, insurance and mortgage fraud;
- Data theft by ex-employees or current employees; and
- Fraud suspicions within a company.
In order to successfully prosecute these frauds, a forensic fraud investigation is essential to gather evidence, identify the perpetrators and trace misappropriated assets.
Often, examination of financial records reveals additional offences (such as money laundering) which can be included in the private prosecution of a defendant. Through forensic investigation, complex corporate structures can be uncovered to identify additional offences and offenders.
The duties and responsibilities of investigators in the forensic methods are crucial as it involves the careful examination of evidence while ensuring that evidence is not altered, concealed, falsified, or destroyed. A diverse pool of forensic investigators and forensic tools will look at documents, signatures, fingerprints, hard drives, computers, and technologies to establish how a crime or violation took place.
It is therefore best practice that corporate businesses resolve to constant consultation with professional forensic investigators in order to be cognizant of forensic readiness and management. This concept will maximize the ability to achieve credible evidence and minimize the cost of forensics during an incident response.