Forensic accountants are able to recover money gained by criminals from fraudulent activity, thus helping to undermine these criminal organizations and prevent assets being used to fund further criminal activity.
This can be an in depth, complex activity which meticulously follows the trail of laundered money, allowing the criminals assets to be seized to ensure that crime does not pay.
“When do the forensic scientists get called in to work?” This is a good question. Forensic scientists start to work once criminals have been caught. It is their job to trawl through all the paperwork proving whether the criminals assets are the result of illegal activities.
If the criminal owns real estate or expensive motorbikes or cars it is up to the forensic scientist to prove that these items were bought from ill gotten gains. If there is a discrepancy between the criminals lifestyle and observable means of wealth the forensic accountant will unravel all the threads to prove that assets could not have been gained by legitimate means.
They can uncover offshore bank accounts and have the power to freeze the account so that the criminal is unable to access the account. This can fundamentally hurt a multifaceted criminal organization, in effect helping to cut off the heads of the Hydra.
Individual cases can go on for years due to the intricate nature of the work such as scrutinizing financial documents, obtaining production orders on bank accounts and providing a multitude of search warrants. http://www.torontosun.com/2013/04/05/cops-follow-the-money-after-the-raids-forensic-accountants-go-to-work
“Forensic accounting can be traced back to 1819” whereby a court case decision regarding a bankrupt estate ‘Meyer versus Sefton’ was based on examined reports from the financial accounts of a bankrupt person.
In fact forensic accountants helped to imprison Al Capone on tax evasion charges in 1931. Forensic accounting plays a pivotal role in exposing organised crime.
By following the paper trail experts are able to uncover undisclosed assets criminals may have, this can also help to implicate a wider group of people who may be involved in money laundering and various other criminal activities.
By following where the money comes from and goes to can fatally undermine and help shut down criminal organizations.