Joseph Wells argues that fighting fraud is an arduous and grueling process. Nonetheless, it is recommended to remain calm and courteous while dealing with con artists. Moreover, a smile is a useful instrument in the arsenal of the scam examiner. The great strategy for dealing with fraud cases is to make thorough preparation before questioning the suspect (Wells par. 2). To this end, the investigator should make full use of both public records and available web sources. Another suggestion Wells makes for a reader is to develop a “fraud theory” (Wells par. 4). He tells about an FBI agent who does not have any particular method for investigation and is not sure how to properly conduct it.
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This story provides the reader with a recommendation on proper methodology: unique characteristics of every case should be identified and examined in order to be able to either prove or reject a particular theory about a crime. Wells stresses that the need for overcomplicating a fraud case stems from the investigator’s lack of experience. He argues that even though conspiracies do exist, the majority of crimes are being committed by single individuals who desperately try to conceal them from their immediate social circle and the general public. Another Wells’ suggestion for the crime investigators is to manage their emotions and stay calm under pressure. He urges them against the desire to quickly solve a crime because it might put the investigator in jeopardy. Wells also recommends not to force people into revealing information and says that the “fruit of the poisonous tree” or the evidence obtained with the use of coercion tactics is illegal and therefore cannot be used.
The writer argues that the main focus of the investigator should be on developing as many leads as possible instead of trying to solve a case. If they examine a sufficient number of documents and talk to a large enough number of people, then a crime “will solve itself” (Wells par. 9). Wells also stresses the importance of the CFE Code of Professional Ethics, specifically the restriction on providing opinions about someone being guilty or innocent (Wells par. 9). He argues that judgments about a case should stem only from the gathered evidence. The writer urges against relying on the discrepancies in accounting books and records as the sole indicators of a fraud. Instead, he recommends to treat them as instances of poor accounting and look for other evidence. Wells finishes his article with the recommendation to pay heed to what the founding fathers have intended when writing the Constitution, namely that it is better to let a criminal go free than to incarcerate an innocent person (Wells par. 14).
Wells, Joseph. Ten Pointers for Fighting Fraud. 2014. Web.