Steve: “No, sir.” Joe: “Suppose someone who worked here decided to steal or commit fraud. How could they do it and get away with it?” Steve: “They couldn’t get away with it. They’d be caught if they stole.” (Crosses legs, folds arms and stays locked in this position for some time) Verbal cues: Steve continues to respond negatively in an effort to end the interview. Also, he answers too absolutely concerning whether someone could steal and get away with it. Since Steve is stealing from the company he is not inclined to verbally communicate schemes--like the fictitious vendor scheme he is currently perpetrating--whereby employees could steal and get away with it. Someone not involved in fraudulent activity generally has no problem verbalizing ways employees could steal from the company and not be detected. Very few companies, if any, have in place a system of internal controls which completely eliminates the opportunity to commit fraud. The fact that Steve cannot think of--or is unwilling to articulate--ways to commit fraud without being caught indicates he either: (1) is extremely unimaginative, or (2) is not responding truthfully to the question. Nonverbal cues: Steve is feeling personally attacked by this line of questioning and is dealing with the mounting anxiety by adopting a defensive, rigid and immobile position. It is very difficult to solicit a confession from a subject while “locked” in this position.
Joe: “In your opinion, who is beyond suspicion when it comes to committing fraud at this company?” Steve: “There is no fraud going on but if there was it could be anybody.” (Looks at floor) Joe: “Did you ever think about stealing from the business, even though you didn’t go through with it?” Steve: “In all honesty, no.” Verbal cues: Steve is unwilling to narrow the list of prospective fraudsters; he wants the circle of suspicion to be as wide as possible. Also, notice that he issued an indirect denial (“There is no fraud going on”)--another indicator that Steve has something to hide. Steve claims to have never even thought about stealing from the business when, in reality, the thought has crossed the minds of most employees. Someone being untruthful tends to use phrases like “in all honesty,” “to tell you the truth,” or “I swear to God” in an effort to increase the credibility of their responses. A