Financial investigations cover a broad range of investigative services and intelligence products. Financial investigations are usually undertaken in the course of a larger investigative project, for example as a part of a due diligence exercise. Financial investigations would also feature prominently in the investigation of bribery, corruption, embezzlement, fraud and in preparation for legal proceedings.
Types of Financial Investigation
There are many ways to categorize financial investigations. Internally, we make a number of distinctions based on the nature, scope, depth, breadth and complexity of the assignment. Generally speaking, though, we group financial investigations into two types: those that focus on financial transactions and those that focus on financial position.
Investigating Financial Position
Also known as “asset searches” these investigations focus on establishing the true net worth of an individual, business or organization. This is done by gathering and analyzing as much information as possible regarding a person’s income, expenses, assets and liabilities.
This information is often necessary when contemplating legal action, and in particular, when preparing for divorce, child support, maintenance and alimony hearings or when seeking judgement against a debtor.
Investigating Financial Transactions
These investigations focus on specific transactions of interest and not on the financial health or wealth of the person or business under investigation.
Assignments might include, for example, determining what a particular payment was for, identifying unknown sources of income or establishing relationships between financial transactions, entities and events. This information is often used to support disciplinary or legal action and is normally forensic in nature.