£176,000 fraud discovered by eagle-eyed team
Our audit team has exposed fraudulent invoices worth £176,000 on a recruitment company’s £750,000 invoice facility.
Concerned about ageing invoices from one particular debtor on the ledger, the lender instructed Hilton-Baird Audit & Survey to audit the client and get to the bottom of the delays in payment.
But just one day on site allowed our Business Analyst to identify fraudulent invoicing worth £176,000 – of which £141,000 had already been funded – as well as re-ageing of debt and potential VAT fraud.
How was it discovered?
The client was using their invoice finance facility to support cash flow, and claimed they had provided staff to the debtor the lender was concerned about.
Upon closer inspection, however, the email domain the PODs were being sent to for an electronic signature didn’t match the company’s domain, and when searching for the named contact on LinkedIn there was a subtle difference in the surname provided. By inspecting the IP address for further proof, it also transpired that the paperwork was being signed hundreds of miles from the project the debtor was working on.
Suspicions were raised early on when our Business Analyst was left waiting in reception for an hour upon arriving on site, with the client attempting to divert their attention by showing various pictures and videos on his phone during the audit.
When information was requested from the client during the audit, however, it was readily given and, where evidence could not be provided, a thorough and potentially convincing story was given.
But by piecing all the elements together, the significant fraud was exposed – along with potential VAT fraud worth £143,000, with the ledger being manipulated by the re-ageing of debt for good measure.