In today’s highly competitive business environment, watching out for professional misconduct is more important than ever. From Enron to Bernie Madoff, fraud comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes. In the aftermath of a scandal, observers are often shocked that employees did not discover and report the fraud sooner.
While on the inside of a company, it can be difficult to spot the warning signs of dishonest business practices. Behaviors that may seem shady to an outside observer appear to be business as usual when you are on the inside. To avoid risk, both legally and financially, consult a business attorney about any suspicions you have about illegal activity within your company. The professional Houston business fraud lawyers at Williams Hart have decades of combined experience spotting and pursuing business fraud cases on behalf of our clients. Here are some common red flags to be aware of at work.
If you work at a financial institution that deals with investments, you understand the inherent risk associated with the industry. Oftentimes, firms with dramatic rises are guilty of some form of business fraud. Whether that fraud involves insider trading or false reporting, watching out for these extraordinary returns is an important step in keeping you and your firm out of legal trouble.
Just like in government, checks and balances are a crucial part of any honest and successful firm. When decisions consistently happen behind closed doors, there is a lack of accountability. This environment is a breeding ground for fraud. To avoid the opportunity for dishonest decision-making, encourage audits and speak with your fellow employees about their understanding of the company’s decisions.
The recent financial crisis has brought the issue of executive bonuses to the forefront. Large bonuses are not necessarily illegal; they may simply be the product of company culture or a successful quarter. However, if you see excessive spending on the part of your executives, it may be worth paying extra attention to your firm’s finances.
If you or a loved one suspects financial fraud, immediate action is necessary. The longer you wait, the greater the consequences. At Williams Hart, we understand how fragile these issues are and we will work to protect you. Contact us today at (713) 230-2200 for a free consultation.