Certified Fraud Examiner | Atlanta Licensed Private Investigator
Henry Blake & the Fraudster
In the television series MASH, Radar would place documents in front Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake who would sign and approve what only Radar understood. Once, Blake is asked to initial his initials so that Radar can order a stamp with Blakes initials on it…so he won’t have to initial so much.
While reckless, the brazen fraudster will be so bold as to present company checks, vouchers or payroll increases, to an authorized party who unwittingly signs them, for the benefit of the fraudster. We know from experience the Henry Blake condition occurs, as managers confirm they approved expenditures but later admit they didn’t scrutinize the information.
Yet another fraud tactic is to obtain a legitimate signature and then alter the documents information (changing the payee information, etc.), while leaving the authorized signature in place. In terms of types of schemes, there is no rest for the wicked.
As a business owner or person in authority, the ill intended studies your behavior, understands how you think and operate. Like Radar, they know what you’re going to say before you say it. In an ongoing workplace fraud, those involved become hyper alert to the subtlest of changes. The fraudster doesn’t realize how ultra-sensitive they really are. This is brought on in part, by the fear of detection. Fear makes the fraudster very clever and if questioned about their actions, they may respond instantly with a very convincing answer.
Many of our Fraud Examiner colleagues are gifted CPA’s, but as CPA’s and Fraud Examiners realize, the CPA’s typical engagement does not include fraud detection. CPA’s can and do detect fraud; however, that is not their primary role. If fraud does occur, the victim organization may become upset and ask, “why didn’t our CPA find it?” Enter the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), who specifically targets vulnerabilities and signs of fraud and embezzlement. A CFE can provide an entirely new light on the protection of your assets and ultimately lay the foundation for a culture of fraud prevention.
I believe if a fraud examination were conducted on the MASH 4077, Henry Blake would have reached for the liquor cabinet and Radar would shoot over to Rosie’s bar for a grape NEHI. May this be the year you schedule a fraud risk assessment for your organization. Because you don’t have to be a victim.