Joe: “Why don’t we take a break and stretch for a minute. I’m going to get myself a Coke, would you like one?” Steve: “No thanks, I’m fine.” (Steve stands up to stretch while Joe exits. Two minutes later Joe reenters with Coke in hand. Before Steve has a chance to get seated, Joe begins questioning again.) Verbal cues: Steve apparently is unaware of how odd it must seem that he knows nothing about these fictitious vendors he has created, but how else can he respond? Nonverbal cues: Joe is convinced that Steve is lying and is ready to directly launch an accusation, but first he must “blast” Steve out of the rigid and immobile position he has assumed. The twofold purpose of this break in the interview is: (1) to get Steve out of the “rigid and immobile” position, and (2) to leave Steve in the room alone and allow his anxiety level to continue to mount. At this point, the only way for Steve to relieve this mounting anxiety is to admit what he has done. Upon reentering the room, Joe will issue a direct accusation before Steve has a chance to rebuild his defenses.
Joe: “I have reliable information that you are the sole owner of both Specialist Supply and Construction Supply Company, both of which are vendors you have approved payments to in the past. Is this true?” Steve: (Silence for one long minute.)... “That’s correct.” Joe: “What are your reasons for creating and operating these two businesses?” Steve: “My brother and I started the companies to earn some extra money to pay off some debts. I knew it was a conflict of interest to authorize purchase orders and approve payments, but there was nothing fraudulent going on.” Analysis: Catching Steve “off-guard” Joe issues a direct accusation which Steve ponders momentarily before answering. Joe knows that Steve has perpetrated either: (1) a “pass- through” scheme, or (2) a fictitious vendor scheme. A pass-through scheme occurs when the perpetrator inserts himself as an unnecessary intermediary--usually via a shell company--between a legitimate vendor and the employer and makes an unauthorized “profit” on the transaction. Consequently, the employer actually receives something in return for payments made to the shell company. The fraud loss is the amount of the unauthorized “profit” realized in the transaction. Alternatively, a fictitious vendor scheme occurs when the employer receives nothing in return for Interviewing as a ‘Forensic-Type’ Procedure