Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Investigations: Fraud

Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_24-2


A fraud investigation is a thorough and objective, fact-gathering process conducted to determine whether or not a fraud-related crime was committed. Evidence is collected during this process to establish facts, inform findings, protect victims, and build a case which may potentially culminate in a criminal and/or civil action.


Fraud investigations are a specific type of investigation conducted to determine whether a fraud-related crime was committed. Public attention to the phenomenon fraud investigations increased following a series of public company frauds in the early 2000s (Coenen 2009, xv). Many of those crimes are listed among the “Ten Biggest Frauds in Recent U.S. History” and include Enron in 2001, Tyco International and WorldCom in 2002, and HealthSouth in 2003 (Forbes 2017).

There are many different types of frauds in existence. Overall, there are types of frauds that can be perpetrated across several industries, such as check fraud, and frauds that...


Fraud Investigations Investigative process Insider threat Fraud examination Investigative plan Evidence collection Follow the money Intelligence gathering 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). (2014). Planning and conducting a fraud investigation. Fraud Examiners Manual.Google Scholar
  2. Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). (2018) “Fraud tree.” Available at: http://www.acfe.com/fraud-tree.aspx
  3. Biegelman, M. T., & Biegelman, D. R. (2010). Foreign corrupt practices act compliance guidebook: Protecting your organization from bribery and corruption (Vol. 8). Hoboken: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coenen, T. L. (2009). Expert fraud investigation: A step-by-step guide. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Forbes. (2017). “Our take on the ten biggest frauds in recent U.S. history.” Available at https://www.forbes.com/pictures/ghde45fli/our-take-on-the-10-bigge/#297a26e37e50
  6. Giacalone, J. L. (2015). Four basic steps in a fraud investigation. Public Safety Briefing Room. Lexis Nexis.Google Scholar
  7. Johnston, J. B. (2007). Prosecuting government fraud despite the CSI effect: Getting the jury to follow the money. New England Law Review, 41(3), 563–574.Google Scholar
  8. Pedneault, S. (2009). Anatomy of a fraud investigation. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Pedneault, S., Silverstone, H., Rudewicz, F., & Sheetz, M. (2012). Forensic accounting and fraud investigation for non-experts. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar

Future Readings

  1. Pedneault, S. (2010). Anatomy of a fraud investigation: Fraud detection to prosecution. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Petrucelli, P. R. (2013). Detecting fraud in organizations. Hoboken: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Wells, J. T. (2014). Principles of fraud examination (4th ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Wells, J. T. (2017). Corporate fraud handbook: Prevention and detection (5th ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA