Analysis: Steve is slowly breaking down and admitting to more and more. Steve actually feels some relief from the intense anxiety by “getting this off his chest.” He likes this feeling and can extend it by continuing to admit to things. Accordingly, it is imperative that the interview not be interrupted by anything (e.g., the telephone) or anyone at this point in the interview. The interviewer should take appropriate precautions to eliminate the chance of interruption while the subject is “on a roll.”
Joe: “What happened to the rest of the money?” Steve: “It went into the checking account I had opened for Specialist Supply.” Joe: “What did you do with the ‘profit’?” Steve: “Added a garage to my home, paid off credit cards, paid medical bills, paid tuition for my daughter’s college, things like that.” Analysis: Joe needs to know what Steve did with the money for two reasons. First, Steve will be more likely to sign a “statement of admission” if the statement contains his motivations for “taking” money from his employer. The fact that he had substantial financial pressures on him that caused him to do something “out of character” for him allows Steve to “save face” and facilitates his cooperation during the remainder of the investigation. Second, the employee dishonesty insurance provider will want to know what the target did with the money for purposes of estimating the probability of recovery.
Joe: “Were you involved in any other types of unauthorized activities? Kickbacks from vendors? Selling company materials or scrap?” Steve: “No, and after the Central Sugar invoice I was going to quit and never do it again.” Joe: “Are you aware of other situations where employees of this company are engaged in unauthorized or fraudulent activities?” Steve: “No.” Analysis: Typically, if one employee is defrauding the company, others within the company are also engaged in fraudulent activity. Simply inquiring of an employee who has just admitted to fraud can be very effective in uncovering other fraudulent activity. However, Steve did not implicate others and subsequent investigative work seemed to indicate that Steve’s scheme was an isolated incident.