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Our forensic accounting services have been employed in many different cases including: oil and gas project investigations, corporate investigations, civil litigation matters (partner disputes, breach of contracts, investor disputes), marital asset disputes, and due diligence engagements. Forensic accounting is the specialty practice area of accounting that describes engagements which result from real or anticipated litigation, and encompasses both litigation support and investigative accounting. Our engagement and Independent review acts as a deterrent which strengthens the organization's internal control environment.
We can provide pro-active forensic accounting services typically to closely-held companies and organizations to evaluate their accounting records and results, with the goal of identifying potential problems or issues within the transactions.
This is NOT absolute assurance that no fraud exists, no such absolute assurance can be given, but on balance these engagements help companies and organizations before a problem materializes by providing an objective outside review by accountants specializing in the field of fraud. Forensic accounting has many contexts. It could involve: reconstructing records accidently or intentionally destroyed, investigating accounting records including tracing transactions to supporting source documents, requesting known financial documents, coordinating requests for replacement documentation, and analyzing financial results and balances for completeness and reasonableness. Of itself "forensic" means "relating to, or used in courts of law or public debate or argument."It is the Fraud associated with Forensic accounting which is the core of the specialty practice in engagements which anticipate litigation, and require and encompasses both litigation support and investigative accounting.
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We are pleased to discuss your issues in Initial Consultations
From record requests through expert testimony, forensic accountants can prove invaluable in assisting counsel by obtaining adequate financial records, reviewing provided records for completeness and reasonableness, reconstructing records and accounts as needed, preparing support for interrogatories and depositions, performing calculations and providing expert witness services. The use of forensic accountants within litigation matters has been growing. More and more attorneys have come to realize the value forensic accountants can add to a case, delivering specialized accounting expertise in a number of areas. Specific areas of expertise include bankruptcies, business valuations, and various types of claims calculations. In addition, we have experience working with attorneys providing litigation support within several contexts and venues, including civil litigation, matrimonial matters and probate matters. In many cases our skills were used to assist counsel in drafting document requests, and no further involvement was needed. We also conduct business valuation or bankruptcy asset verifications and have associate colleagues who do specialize in these areas.
Matrimonial Matters Call 405 608 2700
Money Matter$™ when asset ownership issues and motions for all parties within a marriage in dissolution. Forensic accountants can add value to these matters by providing unbiased objectivity with regard to both party's financial disclosures. The goal of these engagements is to ensure as complete and accurate financial disclosure as possible by both parties. The expected requirement of each party to completely and accurately disclose his or her assets and earnings is often hand in hand with allegations of inaccuracy or non-disclosure. Further allegations are raised if a business is involved, creating the need to support or refute any of the raised allegations. Our experience working with attorneys specializing in family law includes: reconstructing bank and investment accounts to identify non-disclosed, diverted, or otherwise squandered amounts and balances; reviewing business records for non-business related expenses (personal use of business funds); reviewing financial records to identify non-disclosed sources of income; identifying undisclosed real or personal property; and reviewing filed tax returns.
Probate Matters Call 405 608 2700
Our services include experience working with attorneys on Probate Court matters reviewing filed inventories and accountings, requesting supporting records, reconstructing accounts and transactions, and investigating the activity of the fiduciary. Our results have supported or refuted claims of misuse, theft, and embezzlement, some of which have resulted in criminal and/or civil matters for recovery. Matters within the Probate Court system generally involve four types of relationships: estates, trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships. A fifth and similar relationship, although not always reported within Probate Court, is the Attorney-In-Fact (Power of Attorney). Within each of the relationships a fiduciary duty exists, and the responsible person or persons exercise significant control over the assets involved in the matter. Although initial, periodic, and final reportings may be made to the Probate Court, such as inventories and accountings, that is not always the case, and limited information may be provided for the ones that do file. As with every investigation, whether alleged or known to be actual, our goal is to remain "objective."
Moneyvation Call 405 608 2700
Be proactive against fraud. Spend your money on "moneyvation", we advocate positively looking at the longevity of the employees, and the training costs of having lower turnover and more integrity in shared values. Examination of old flow of paperwork processes is informative but often not as beneficial as a program that gets the rewards to those who are earning the money for you.
Match targets to returns, meet or beat your goals, and share the rewards:
1.Provide disability insurance, secure long term loyalty 2.Provide medical, secure healthy relations 3.Provide Pensions, secure your employees long term future. For further details go to www.moneyvation.com
All of the above covered by increased care and efficiency.
Business Valuation Call 405 608 2700
Our business valuation Associates are professionally qualified for Valuations and are experienced in providing Electric Generation Business and company stock valuations whether for Sale, Merger or Acquisition, Estate/Gift Valuation, or other reason.
For Real Property Appraisals - a local appraiser is likely a better value.
Our specialty is Intangible Assets
In our experience you'll possess "goodwill = specialized knowledge", have established contacts for supplies and known prices and discounts, and have important relationships with vendors and customers including potentially chains of repeats all of which translates into some value in assessing the worth of an enterprise.
The question is how much value? That is where we believe we earn our fees.
Valuation Methodology & Scope of Engagements
Valuations are completed by CPA Tax Counselors PLLC, an Oklahoma Licensed CPA firm providing specialist Business Valuations, Oil and Gas, Construction, Restaurant and General Businesses. Valuations in other States are by referral and are completed by a local CPA.
Bruce Scambler, CPA is a licensed CPA in Oklahoma in good standing with the Oklahoma accountancy Board.Bruce Scambler, Managing Partner and CPA Tax Counselors PLLC. are paid up members of the Oklhoma Society of CPA’s and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Inc. New York, NY 10036-8775, the “AICPA”.Bruce Scambler, Managing Partner holds the following professional accreditations: CPACertified Public Accountant (Oklahoma State). Current Personal and Company Licences CFFCertified Financial Forensics AICPA.Accredited designation FCMAFellow of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants MHCIMA Member Hotel Catering & Institutional Management Association
MBAStrathclyde Graduate Business School Managing Partner
AICPA CFF Designation
Fraud Investigations Call 405 608 2700
Our services focus on seeking to identify every explanation possible so as to be as certain as possible (cognizant that reaching the wrong conclusion has consequences which are almost always irreversible). Our experience covers many cases involving allegations of fraud.The word "fraud" relates to many types of allegations and investigations. Fraud is one of the most expensive and prevalent causes of loss.It covers thefts and embezzlements, financial statement fraud, and companies misrepresenting their position and results within their published financial statements.Fiduciary fraud relates to theft or embezzlement by someone in a position of trust over someone else's assets, to name a few. Our experience includes the following contexts for fraud investigations:
Medical and dental practices - billing issues
Oil and Gas Promoter Frauds – investor loss issues
Owner, Partner, and Employee thefts and embezzlements
Civil misappropriations - partner's use of funds
Marital and divorce - spouse's use and/or disclosure of funds
Probate - fiduciary's use of funds
We have helped in evaluating suspect "promoted" projects, recovery of embezzlements, turnarounds of cash flows after fraud, monitoring of movement of funds passing through nominee or bogus companies in distant parts of the world.
There is little doubt that fraud has been the boom crime, with a hundred fold increase over the last 20 years in the sums at risk from frauds investigated by the FBI. One result of the above is that there is little confidence held by company management in any of the official bodies subsequently obtaining a satisfactory or speedy recovery of fraudulently obtained funds or prosecution of the perpetrators. Our services include review of internal controls, completion of Internal Control Evaluation Questionaires (ICEQ’s) and Reviews.With over twenty five (25) years of experience in selecting, implementing, documenting, and evaluating internal control systems, we can pro-actively assist organizations within most industries by objectively reviewing their current systems of internal controls, financial policies, and accounting procedures.Our firm specializes in fraud, employee embezzlement, and financial crimes. We also have significant experience with evaluating internal controls within organizations, as well as fraud prevention. The ICEQ’s seek to highlight effectiveness of defenses against the risk of theft or embezzlement including:
Establish sound internal controls with checks & balances
Document your financial policies & accounting procedures
Periodically review internal controls & revise as needed
Document and distribute policies regarding fraud
Know your employees & perform background checks
Rotate financial responsibilities periodically, enforce leave and vacation
Segregate duties and double cover
Periodically sample policies & transactions for compliance
Establish a means for employees to report potential problems
Fraud can be for the benefit and gain of an individual, or for the benefit and gain of an organizational entity or program. We seek out and cross reference untrue representations about important facts or events; to identify individuals in an organization intentionally causing loss of money and/or property as a result of perpetrating fraud.
When an individual commits fraud, the benefits and gains may be direct (receipt of money or property), or indirect (reward of promotions, bonuses, power and influence). When an organization (actually an employee acting on behalf of the organization) commits fraud, the benefits and gains to the organization are usually direct, in the form of financial gain. Prevention is the best cure for fraud, prevention combined with deterrence. The best of “internal controls” are circumvented by conspiracy, complacency, and opportunists. Theft and embezzlement compete with the organization's internal controls, financial policies, and accounting procedures; organizations can fall victim to the deliberate planned anti-control acts resulting in substantial loss to the organization.
Fraud Investigation:consists of the multitude of steps necessary to resolve allegations of fraud — interviewing witnesses, assembling evidence, writing reports, and dealing with prosecutors and the courts. As specialists and internal auditors, we are obligated to be familiar with the characteristics and warning signs of fraud.
Scambuster - embezzlement investigations
Suspect Fraud - You know who to call
At Bruce Scambler & Associates p.c. we have specialized in Fraud investigations.If consulted at an early stage we would be able to assist in the investigation of your suspicions.We call our service team members “Scambusters”
The best of “internal controls” are circumvented by conspiracy, complacency, opportunists. Theft and embezzlement compete with the organization's internal controls, financial policies and accounting procedures, and organizations can fall victim to the deliberate planned anti-control acts resulting in substantial loss to the organization.
Review Guide: some of the characteristics of those who commit fraud.
Intelligent (challenged by “secure” systems, bored with the job routine)
Egotistical (scornful of "obvious" control flaws, "dumb" managers, etc.)
Inquisitive (tempted by the discovery of a computer vulnerability, for example)
A risk taker (willing to bend the rules, take chances)
A rule breaker (takes short cuts, self-justifies infractions of law, rules, etc.)
A hard worker (first to arrive in the morning, last to leave at night, takes few vacations)
Under stress (suffering from a personal crisis, such as bad marriage, etc.)
Greedy or has a genuine financial need (illness, drugs, gambling, etc.)
Disgruntled at work or a complainer (may make noises to colleagues as to try to "get even")
or a complainer (may make noises to take what he/she "really deserves")
A big spender (expensive hobbies, living beyond means)
"Who is most likely to commit fraud?"
The fraudster can be the CEO, the mail room clerk, or anyone in between - all it takes is opportunity, need and rationalization. And the higher up in the organization, and the older the individual is, the greater the loss is likely to be.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) has published "A Report to the Nation - Occupational Fraud and Abuse." Most frauds are committed by lower level white collar employees and average about $60,000; but the largest, most damaging frauds ($1,000,000 or more) are committed by senior executives and owners of businesses. The larger frauds ($100,000 or greater) are committed by people over 35 years of age. People that commit fraud can start by accident - an inattentive supervisor; or an internal control that doesn't work as it should - and something that shouldn't get through the system does, and goes undetected.Tests indicate that as many as 8 out of 10 of us given the right combination of opportunity, motive, and forced ability to rationalize the act could fall to temptation. A "law-abiding" citizen can get drawn into committing fraud; just look at the typical motorist who speeds above the legal limit: there's opportunity - relatively few patrols are out; motive or need - late for work, a fast car; and rationalization - everyone else is doing it, it doesn't really harm anyone, I'm not going to get caught.
The potential fraudster tests the system to see what happens, repeat a few times, and if it works again and again another fraud is born.
The Dirty Dozen (twelve crimes that fall under the umbrella of Fraud)
1. Bribery 2.Commercial Bribery 3.Illegal Gratuity 4.Conflict of Interest 5.False Statements and False Claims 6.Extortion 7.Mail Fraud 8Wire Fraud 9.Conspiracy 10.Breach of Fiduciary Duty 11.Embezzlement 12.Failure to Report a Federal Felony to Appropriate U.S. Law Enforcement Authorities
Bribery is the giving, receiving, offering, or soliciting of any "thing of value" in order to influence an official in the performance of, or failure to perform, the lawful duties of that official. This includes influencing or soliciting the commission, or collusion to commit, any other type of fraud; or influencing an official, or soliciting by an official, to do, or omit to do, any act that violates the lawful duty of that official. Bribery defrauds the victim (usually an organization or political entity) of the right to honest and loyal services from those employed by the victim.
Commercial bribery is the giving, receiving, offering or soliciting of any "thing of value" in order to influence a business decision without the victim's (usually a business organization's) knowledge or consent.
An illegal gratuity is the giving, receiving, offering or soliciting, after the fact, of any "thing of value" for or because of an official act that has been taken.
examples of bribery and illegal gratuities:
3.1A government inspector solicits payment from the owner of a business regulated by a government agency. In return, the inspector fails to report important safety and financial violations discovered during the last inspection. In this situation, the victims are those who rely upon the honest reporting of deficiencies, and the loss is salary paid to the inspector for work not performed, plus any damages that result from failure to perform.
3.2The owner of a company doing business under contract for an organization knows that the manager responsible for overseeing the contractor's activities plays an influential role in deciding whether or not the contractor is satisfactorily meeting the performance terms and conditions of the contract. The manager uses personal influence and position to assure that the contractor receives satisfactory performance evaluations and is paid, even though the contractor's work is substandard, and lower level staff in the organization have legitimate concerns about the cost of the contract and the contractor's ability to perform. The contractor secretly gives financial and other incentives to the manager in return. In this situation, the victims are those who expect satisfactory performance of contract terms. The loss is dollars paid for unsatisfactory work.
3.3A senior organization official accepts financial and other incentives from a contractor to assure that a request for proposals is written in such a way that only that one contractor will be able to submit a satisfactory bid proposal. In addition, the senior official uses personal influence and position to persuade other senior officials that a good faith effort to obtain competitive bids has been made. As a result, the favored contractor wins the bid award at a noncompetitive price. In addition, once the contract is in effect, the same senior official approves and justifies several high cost contract amendments, for which additional illegal gratuities are received. In this situation, the victims are those who expect a fair and impartial competitive procurement process. The loss is dollars needlessly spent as a result of noncompetitive pricing and price gouging.
4.Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest occurs when a person or organization acts on behalf of another individual or organization; and has, or appears to have, a hidden bias or self-interest in the activity undertaken; and the hidden bias or self-interest is actually or potentially adverse to the interests of the individual or organization being represented; and the hidden bias or self-interest is not made known to the individual or organization being represented.
When a person's conflict of interest results in economic or financial loss to the individual or organization on whose behalf the person is acting, then fraud has occurred. Conflict of interest can exist on its own, or can be an intricate part of other frauds such as bribery and illegal gratuities. Conflict of interest laws apply to government employees and those doing business with government. In the non-public sector, conflict of interest may not be a prosecutable offense, although the criminal results of such conflict would be.
Conflict of interest can also occur and result in fraud without the presence of bribery and illegal gratuities. This happens when an individual or organization acting on behalf of another individual or organization has a hidden financial interest in the outcome of an event or transaction.
The typical example is that of a company official or employee, or an immediate relative of an official or employee, who has a hidden financial interest (stock or direct ownership) in a vendor doing business with the company. If the official or employee is in a position to influence the amount of business the vendor does with the company, then a conflict of interest exists. If that conflict of interest results in unnecessary orders being filled, or paying higher than fair market prices for the goods or services, then fraud has occurred. This is because the involved individuals will benefit financially through higher valuation of stock or direct distribution of proceeds from doing business with the company. The victims here are those who expect company officials and employees to act in the best interests of the company, rather than in self-interest. The loss is dollars needlessly spent on overpriced or unnecessary goods and services.
Conflict of interest can also exist and result in fraud when an organization has a hidden interest or benefit from the outcome of an event or transaction. In a government environment, for example, this more subtle type of conflict of interest could occur if government officials, acting on behalf of the government, either alone or in conspiracy with providers of services, obtain state and federal funds and use those funds for other than intended program purposes. In this instance, the government agency, in acting as the conduit of state and federal funds, has a hidden self-interest that is actually or potentially adverse to the interests of the state and federal government. An example of this would be the following situation:
An agency official directs the owner of a company doing business under contract with the agency to provide the agency with equipment and contractor staff that will be used to perform work for the agency that is unrelated to the terms and conditions of the contract, and unrelated to the federal program under which the contract is funded. This favor and benefit creates a conflict of interest because there is no longer an arms-length relationship between the agency, which acts on behalf of the government, and the contractor. When seeking payment, if the contractor intentionally bills the hours for non-contract work as having been expended on contract related activity, then the contractor has committed fraud. If the fraudulent billing occurs with the knowledge of the agency official; and/or the agency official instructs lower level staff to approve the bill for payment from agency accounts; and the agency in turn files a claim for reimbursement with the federal government, which the federal government, in good faith, pays, then the agency official has also committed fraud under federal law.
The example given is a fraudulent act resulting from conflict of interest because the actions of self-interest by the contractor and the official acting on behalf of the agency are hidden from the state and federal governments, and constitutes obtaining state and federal funds under false pretense (see False Statements and False Claims, below). The victims are the state and the federal government, from which the funds were obtained, and the loss is the funds illegally obtained.
5.False Statements and False Claims
A false statement fraud and false claims fraud occur whenever anyone knowingly and willfully falsifies a material fact or makes a false or fictitious representation or files a false or fictitious claim that results in economic or financial loss to the party to whom the false representation has been made.
Example of False Statements and False Claims:
5.1An employee prepares and submits a monthly payroll time report, and intentionally falsifies the document by not reporting unpaid leave taken while the supervisor was away on business. As a result, the employee is paid for the time not worked. The same principle applies to an employee who falsifies a travel voucher by reporting expenses that were not incurred. The victim is the employer, and the loss is the money wrongfully paid to the employee.
5.2A senior company official disagrees with a court decision for which all legal remedies have been exhausted, and which the company must therefore comply with. The decision has a significant financial impact on operations. The senior official knowingly and intentionally continues practices that the court decision has prohibited. The failure to comply with the ruling results in the chief operating officer filing false statements, reports and vouchers with the government. The victims are those who rely on accurate reporting to the government, and the loss is funds illegally obtained or expended; or economic or property losses incurred because of the improper reporting.
5.3A company performs contract work for a government agency. Under the direction of company managers, staff charge time to a government program that reimburses 75% of incurred costs, instead of charging the time to the actual government program that they worked on, which only reimburses 50% of incurred costs. The employees recognize that the wrong program is being charged for their time, but are unaware of the differing reimbursement percentages. When the employees question their instructions, the company managers tell them not to worry since both programs are paid from government funds, and the cross-charging doesn't really matter. The government is subsequently fraudulently mischarged as a result. The company managers have engaged in fraudulent activity that results in false statements, false claims, and probably mail fraud. Under U.S. law, the employees who filed the false time reports are guilty of conspiracy to defraud. Though the employees neither benefited from the mischarging, nor were aware that the mischarging was illegal, they are also parties to false statements, false claims, mail fraud and conspiracy statutes. The employees knew they were improperly charging their time, and by falsely preparing the time documents, the employees concealed the fraud. Whether they knew that the mischarging was illegal is not a consideration. As a result of the employees' actions, when the government was billed for reimbursement, the company managers were able to defraud the government of costs that should have been borne by the company.
Extortion occurs when a person or organization obtains something from another individual or organization under color of official office and/or through the use of actual or threatened force or fear, including fear of economic or fiscal loss.
Examples of Extortion:
6.1A government inspector solicits payment from the owner of a business regulated by a government agency, and in order to secure the payment, the inspector threatens the business owner with charges of severe code violations and heavy fines. Faced with a threat of economic and fiscal loss, the business owner makes the payment. In this situation, the victims are those who rely upon the honest reporting of safety issues and deficiencies. The loss is salary paid to the inspector for work not performed and the money extorted from the business.
6.2An official responsible for contract procurements also has a great deal of influence among contract procurement officers in other companies and government agencies. The official informs a contractor that in order to continue receiving contracts, the contractor must provide special gratuities, favors or services without compensation to the contractor. If the contractor fails to cooperate, the official threatens to blacklist the contractor and cut the contractor off from any further work. Faced with a threat of economic and fiscal loss, the contractor complies. In this case, the victims are those who rely upon the official to carry out duties and responsibilities with honesty and integrity. The loss is the cost to the contractor of providing non-reimbursed services.
7. Mail Fraud
Under U.S. federal law, anyone who engages in fraudulent activity and uses telephones, telegraph and/or the U.S. Postal Service to discuss or either send or receive correspondence or documents in furtherance of the fraud, can be prosecuted for felony mail fraud and/or wire fraud.
Examples of Mail fraud:
7.1If any of the perpetrators of the previously described crimes used the postal system to mail reimbursement claims, mail bid announcements, exchange correspondence with co-conspirators or victims, submit/return contract amendments, or in any way used the postal system to carry out the fraud, then they can be prosecuted for mail fraud.
8 Wire Fraud Similarly, if a modem was used to electronically exchange data or file claims related to the fraud; or if co-conspirators discussed related activities over the telephones, or in any way used telephones or telegraph to carry out the fraud, then they can be prosecuted for wire fraud.
Conspiracy occurs when there is the specific intent that a crime be performed; and there is an agreement with another person to engage in or cause that crime to be performed, and one of the conspirators commits an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. At state and local levels, there are various degrees of conspiracy, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, depending upon the crime that is committed. Under U.S. federal law, conspiracy is a felony.
10.Breach of Fiduciary Duty
A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a person, who is employed by and owes a duty to an organization or another individual, does something that is not in the best financial interest of that organization or individual. Breach of fiduciary duty is a civil matter, not a criminal offense. However, as a civil offense, the elements of proof required for conviction are considerably simpler than for criminal fraud, and it is not necessary to prove wrongful intent.
Embezzlement is the fraudulent conversion of personal property by a person in possession of that property where the possession was obtained pursuant to a trust relationship.
Examples of Embezzlement:
Typical examples are the use of a kiting or lapping scheme to steal money.
Kiting can occur when a bank allows withdrawals to be made on checks deposited by a customer but for which the actual funds have not yet been collected from the bank on which the check is drawn. In reality, the cash could either be in transit or non-existent. Goods and services are then purchased, or cash is obtained from legitimate sources, by writing checks against non-existent account balances. The fraud is perpetuated by continuous "kiting" from bank to bank checks that are drawn on non-existent funds . In a kiting scheme, the victim is usually the bank that has paid out on uncollected deposits, and the loss is the money paid out by the bank.
Lapping is the use of funds received from payment of accounts receivable to cover a theft of cash. The perpetrator initially steals cash tendered in payment of an outstanding receivable. To cover the initial theft, a payment made by a second customer is charged against the account from which the initial theft was made, thus "lapping" the two accounts. Payment from a third customer is used to cover the second account, and so on. The victim in a lapping scheme is usually the company from whom the money was stolen, and the loss is the amount of money stolen.
12.Failure to Report a Federal Felony to Appropriate U.S. Law Enforcement Authorities
If an individual: knows that a fraudulent act has been committed under federal law; and fails to report the fraudulent act to appropriate U.S. law enforcement authorities; and then actively engages in concealing the fraudulent act or evidence of the fraudulent act; then that individual is guilty of a felony crime punishable by up to three years in U.S. federal prison. Examples of acts to conceal fraud include: changing, hiding or destroying official records in order to conceal the fraudulent act; suppression of evidence regarding the fraudulent act; directly or indirectly causing others to withhold or suppress information pertaining to the fraudulent act; making false statements to investigators regarding the fraudulent act; or any other affirmative action designed to conceal the fraudulent act from authorities.
In addition, under U.S. federal Law, anyone who engages in fraudulent activity and uses telephones, telegraph and/or the Postal Service to discuss or either send or receive correspondence or documents in furtherance of the fraud, can be prosecuted for felony mail fraud and/or wire fraud; and if two or more persons act in collusion to defraud, U.S. federal conspiracy statutes also apply. Also, under U.S. federal law, anyone who has knowledge that a felony fraud has actually been committed against the U.S. government; fails to report the fraud to appropriate authorities; and helps to conceal the fraud by giving false information, concealing facts, obstructing justice, or taking some other positive action, is also guilty of a felony crime punishable by up to three years in federal prison.
In addition to the general laws governing fraud, there are U.S. laws that deal with and/or regulate specific industries and business transactions. These laws also usually contain specific statutes for prosecuting fraud. Some examples would be statutes pertaining to bank fraud, forgery or insurance fraud.