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Whether it’s a small non-profit organization or a multinational corporation, it’s important they have full transparency in their day-to-day operations. As a result, they rely on internal compliance audits to ensure their finances and business practices are following the highest ethical and business standards. However, during the course of these audits, there may be discrepancies that are discovered. Most of the time, they involve financial issues such as embezzlement or fraud. When these discoveries are made, an organization will do everything possible to find out who is responsible for committing these crimes and seeing they are brought to justice. If you are the one being targeted for fraud or embezzlement, hiring an internal compliance audit lawyer will ensure your rights are fully protected.
Why Are Audits Important?
To make sure all rules and regulations are being followed, organizations everywhere conduct regular compliance audits to show they are doing what is expected of them. However, there are times when it becomes clear records have been altered, funds have been embezzled, or theft of inventory has happened within the organization. When these actions are discovered in the course of an audit, authorities are often contacted and certain people become prime suspects. Once the organization narrows down who it believes may be responsible for criminal activity, they will put tremendous pressure on that person to confess and then begin the process of criminal prosecution. In these situations, the person targeted should retain legal representation as quickly as possible. In doing so, they will be able to tell their side of the story to someone who understands these situations and can plan a strong defense strategy.
Internal Compliance Audit Penalties
As with most crimes, the penalties associated with internal compliance audit criminal activity can be severe. For those convicted of theft, embezzlement, or related crimes, prison time is a strong possibility. Along with this, fines may also be imposed to compensate the organization for its losses, and the defendant may also be ordered to repay whatever amount of funds were taken. But along with these penalties, those who are charged with these acts also endure plenty of public humiliation. With their names and faces spread across television newscasts and newspapers, they often find themselves experiencing tremendous stress and embarrassment. If you have been charged with any of these crimes and know you are innocent, using the services of a lawyer skilled in compliance audits can be the key to proving your innocence. Since many people often have access to funds and equipment within an organization or business, an experienced lawyer will investigate others to determine who may have had motive and opportunity to commit a crime. Instead of simply letting their client become a scapegoat, a knowledgeable lawyer will determine the true facts of the case and begin the process of helping their client rebuild their life and reputation.
In numerous businesses and organizations, self-policing is a common approach to take when it comes to internal compliance audits. However, as is the case far too often, the people in charge of doing so fail to do what is necessary to ensure policies and procedures are followed. Because of this, others in the organization may find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of suspicion, and may in fact be accused of wrongdoing. Instead of letting others put you in a position that could lead to a criminal conviction, hire the services of a lawyer who not only understands internal compliance audits, but also is committed to protecting your constitutional rights and seeing those who are truly responsible be held accountable for their actions.
Don’t Accept the Blame
When some people are charged with these crimes, they may feel as if they have no other choice but to accept blame in order to see their ordeal come to an end. However, that is the worst mistake they can make. If you are facing this situation, don’t become a scapegoat. Instead, hire an attorney who understands all aspects of internal compliance audits and how to plan defense strategies for clients accused of theft or embezzlement. By having a lawyer who will fight for your rights, you can be assured a favorable outcome is much more likely.