Corporate crime is said to be on the rise. For the average CEO, this can have far reaching consequences on the business. For many, they are unsure as how to tackle this problem. In the main, prevention is better than cure. Having stringent policies in your venture can help prevent this problem. Background checks can form part of the recruitment process. But, sometimes, the odd rogue can slip through the net. Despite having robust systems and checks in place, corporate crime can occur within any venture.
The term ‘corporate’ can be somewhat misleading. But, corporate crime refers to white collar crime. This can affect any business of any size. Irrespective of your turnover and profit margins if someone has been breaking the law in your venture you can seek justice.
Corporate crime can have a detrimental effect on the overall operations of the company. With this in mind, knowledge is power. Being aware of corporate crime and how it can affect you and your business is the first step in tackling this problem.
Let’s take a look at the facts. This can help you eradicate or prevent this problem from occurring in your venture.
The Skinny on Corporate Crime
Corporate crime is often referred to a white collar crime. This is because the crime that takes place is often in a business setting. Broadly, this refers to big corporations. But, smaller businesses are affected by this kind of crime too. For many, this can be a confusing subject. But, it doesn’t have to be. Let’s delve a little deeper.
Corporate offences and crimes usually relate to issues regarding money. Financial issues within a company can often lead to fraud and embezzlement. Typically, corporate crime refers to issues surrounding the theft of money. But, it can also relate to the issues surrounding fraudulent transactions.
Often, business decisions regarding financial matters can be something of a grey area. But, distinctions can be drawn to ensure that business owners have a place to decide what is illegal within their venture.
After all, management practices and money matters can be positive attributes within any organisation. There is something of a fine line between moving money around and committing a criminal offence.
Who is Involved in This Kind of Crime?
There have been some negative stereotypes on who will commit this kind of crime. Previously, people have been lead to believe that this kind of crime is only committed by directors and CEOs. Mostly, people with a higher position are often accused. But, this is not true by any means. In fact, corporate crime can be committed by anyone in an organisation. This is especially true when you consider who has access to financial matters in an organisation. This means that any employee with an organisation can commit these acts. From CEOs to financial assistants to secretaries. Anyone, who holds account information within an organisation, can commit offences. These are primarily issues regarding embezzlement and fraud.
Preventing Corporate Crime
Within any organisation, a policy should be put in place to prevent this kind of crime from happening. Performing background checks on individuals prior to employment is vital. While performing a CRB check can be costly for a company, the ramifications of not doing so can be more expensive in the long term.
Plans should include fair internet usage policies. What’s more, you should have something in place that tracks employee’s internet usage while they are in work. Email checks and so forth can be used to prevent this kind of crime from happening in your organisation. Providing employees with training on security matters is vital. Have a hard line and proactive approach to this type of problem. This means that your employees may be deterred from engaging in illegal activities.
Restricted access can be given within a company. This means that you will have data and consumer information protected in the long term. Only giving certain employees access to files that contain lots of financial data can ensure that your company is safe.
What is more, dividing monetary tasks between more of the workforce can prevent fraud from happening. Having a stringent sign off process in place can help your business thrive. While it may seem Big Brother-sequel, protecting your organisation is vital.
What to Do if an Employee Commits Corporate Fraud
Smaller nuances can be forgiven within an organisation. But, committing corporate crime is a punishable offence by law. You need to ensure that you are dealing with this type of violation within a legal parameter.
Firstly, collect evidence. Without evidence, you don’t have a case. Complete an audit trail. Ensure that you have stringent proof. After all, you cannot accuse someone about this kind of problem if you don’t have the evidence to support your claims. This can result in you, as an employer, being taken to court.
Once you have your evidence, you need to speak to the employee concerned in a private meeting. Include HR personnel. Explain that they have been caught committing a fraudulent act and ensure that you have proof to back up your claims. One of the most important things to do in this circumstance is not to inform the employee of any actions that will be taken against them. As this is a criminal matter, you need to involve the police and authorities. What is more, you need to seek legal advice. Search online for an appropriate lawyer. For example, for criminal lawyers in Sydney visit Prime Lawyers. You can search using location and offence. However, once you have spoken to your employee, explain that they will be suspended until further notice.
Once you have involved all of the relevant authorities, you need to find out how this act was committed. This can ensure that you put in place policies that can prevent this kind of thing from happening again.
While it may be tempting to rant and shout at an employee, this cannot be done. Follow due process. Ensure that HR is involved. Police and legal action will be your biggest ally. You need to ensure that you follow processes so that you are not involved in counter legal action yourself.