Bankruptcy & Insolvency

Open-ended questions effective in fraud investigations

Open-ended questions and pausing during questioning are effective ways of eliciting information in a fraud investigation interview, says Toronto lawyer Kevin Fisher.

In an article in Forensic Accounting & Fraud, a special supplement published by The Bottom Line and Lawyers Weekly, Fisher discusses interview techniques for use in fraud cases.

“One of the things to do is maybe ask someone a question or start to ask a question after they’ve answered something and then just stop and look at your notes for a minute or make them think you’re looking for something. People feel like they have to explain or fill in that gap,” Fisher, litigation partner with Basman Smith LLP, says in the report.

In the article, Fisher says when conducting an interview, he maintains a healthy level of skepticism, questioning whether they are telling the truth.

The line of questioning will change based on the individual’s background, he says.

“Some of these guys have big egos and almost want to brag about what they got away with. You sometimes play into that and may even compliment them on how (well) they did something,” Fisher says in the article. “You get fishing and confirming the information that you’re getting out of them.”

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