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Embezzlement Prevention and Investigation Manual.

The Embezzlement Prevention and Investigation manual is intended for use by financial institutions. The authors clearly state the purpose of the text--a strategic plan for preventing and investigating internal crimes. The manual's basis premise is that every institution or organization can prevent embezzlement by a system of internal controls, employee awareness, and formalized procedures. If a crime occurs, the act should be vigorously investigated and action should be taken.

The manual is written as an outline. One chapter or section leads the reader logically to the next. This format allows for easy reading and enhanced comprehension. The text is divided into four sections: prevention, investigation, forms and templates, and a sample report.

The prevention section is the most valuable. It outlines a systematic approach to evaluating and improving an organization's established controls. The authors note that prevention of internal crime must involve the entire organization, from the board of directors through the employees. The writers correctly indicate that the prevention of internal crime is an institutional ethic, not merely a security function.

The investigation section provides a plan for conducting an internal investigation. The discussion also covers interview and interrogation techniques. Though basic, the material is valuable for the beginning or intermediate investigator. The experienced investigator can use this section as a review of investigative procedures to ensure that essential steps of the investigative process have not been discarded over the years.

The forms and template presentation fulfills a two-fold purpose. An organization beginning an investigative department would find this section useful as a guide to investigative forms. The organization that has established forms can use this material to evaluate existing forms and to add others that appear valuable.

The sample report section provides an example of how the forms relate to the investigative process. It also shows how the forms may be completed during the course of an investigation.

The text does not, nor is it intended to, provide an overabundance of detail about investigating financial crimes. It would have been helpful, however, if the authors had included a suggested readings section for those who want to research specific financial crimes or other investigative techniques. Also, the glossary lacks definitions for some of the financial terms used in the text, such as float, check kiting, and bust-out schemes.

The book will be most valuable to the new financial investigator. More experienced investigators may want to use it to evaluate their current programs.

Reviewer: Paul G. Whitlatch, CPP, is president of Paul G. Whitlatch and Company, an investigative and consulting firm in San Antonio, Texas. He is a member of the ASIS Standing Committee on Banking and Financial Services.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Whitlatch, Paul G.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Words:439
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