Jan Merkle is a fraud investigator who was working alone for the first time on an assignment. In previous cases, she had always worked under one of the senior partners in her forensic accounting firm. But this time, she was alone. The case was a fairly routine one. It involved an inventory clerk suspected of stealing books from the college bookstore that he was working in. According to the initial report, the suspect had bragged to coworkers about stealing large amounts of books, and he had been covering up his ongoing scheme by falsifying inventory count reports.
Unfortunately, someone had tipped off the suspect that Jan was going to perform a fraud examination, and so when she arrived she could not find any evidence of an ongoing fraud. Further, she had no way of proving that any of the inventory reports were false. So she decided to use invigilation. As a result, she announced that her investigation was complete and that she found no evidence of fraud. She also conducted her own count of all the books that she thought might be stolen and waited a few days to see if she could detect any more shortages.
When she did her next count of the books, she concluded that about $ 4,000 in books were unaccounted for, just as a result of activities for the last few days. She reported her findings to the store’s owner. The owner immediately contacted her insurance company and opened a claim under her policy that covered employee theft.
After discussing the matter with the store owner, Jan set up hidden cameras in key places, hoping to catch the suspect in the act. But after 2 weeks she was still unable to prove anything. Further, over that time an additional $ 8,200 in books became unaccounted for. The owner then approached Jan and asked for a letter to her insurance company indicating that she had $ 12,200 in theft losses. Jan balked at the request, indicating that her investigation was not yet complete. But the owner begged her, indicating that the stolen books were all books that she would have returned to the publishers as unsold and for credits to her account. “If I don’t get a quick payment from my insurance company, I’m going to be out of business.”
Jan responded, “You know he’s robbing you, and I know it too. But until I get some real proof, there’s nothing I can do to help you with your insurance company.”

Assess Jan’s response to the owner’s request.

  • CreatedFebruary 26, 2015
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