In This Issue

"You'll admit there's always the possibility of some employee becoming disgruntled over some fancied injustice. Dissatisfaction always leads to temptation."
~ Joseph O'Donnell

We want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!
We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide you this valuable information via our monthly e-newsletter and our unparalleled forensic accounting and investigative services.

The goal of this e-newsletter is to provide you critical, inside information that will help you prevail when defending an IRS criminal case. We will do this by sharing the knowledge we have from our 25+ years of experience as an IRS Special Agent.

We take special care to ensure the information we provide you in "The Beacon" is the latest and most current information available. In this edition, we have addressed the disgruntled bookkeeper and fraud investigations by the numbers.

We want to write about topics that will assist you in prevailing with criminal IRS cases. Please e-mail us your topics of interest to 
We encourage you to share our e-newsletter with others in your sphere of influence.
Edmond J. Martin
Principal, Chief Investigator
Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
Texas Certified Investigator (TCI)
The Disgruntled Bookkeeper

Income tax evasion and fraud occur daily in the United States, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) studies show that the largest arena of fraud is the small solely-owned business. The average citizen receives wages or a salary and taxes are withheld, therefore their opportunities for fraud are limited to false deductions and the understatement of cash jobs, which was referred to in the past as the "underground economy." The fraudulent small business owner is at double risk. He or she bears first the risks inherent in fraudulent activity, and second, the risk of employees (especially bookkeepers) learning of their fraud schemes and seeking a reward for being a "Whistle Blower."
Consider the bookkeeper who witnesses the boss taking lavish trips, deducting personal expenditures as business expenditures, acquiring personal assets in the business name, and skirting labor and environmental laws. During her employment, the bookkeeper learns that the IRS previously conducted an audit, yet the owner continues fraudulent tactics to reduce income. The bookkeeper enjoys her work, and her periodic requests for a raise are granted, so she keeps her observations to herself. Until her next raise request is denied. Suddenly the bookkeeper isn't enjoying her work so much. Fueled by her disappointment, she becomes concerned about her culpability in the scheme to reduce the owner's taxes. She contacts a relative in law enforcement who connects her with the Criminal Investigation Division, and soon she becomes
... Read More 
Fraud Investigation by the Numbers 

In the midst of continuous construction in Austin, Texas I have been hired to investigate the misappropriation of construction funds by contractors. Where do I start? I start with this checklist of things for investigators and attorneys to consider when investigating fraud.
1. Meet with the client
Your investigation begins with a client meeting. Thoroughly interview the client and any co-workers or support staff with relevant knowledge about the suspected fraud. Clarify exactly what they suspect and why. This is the time to define the scope of the investigation and secure a signed contract and a retainer.

2. Obtain records
Obtain and review the contract made between the client and the contractor to determine the agreed upon terms and conditions, including the required periodic financial reporting and the accessibility of financial records by the client. Determine how many properties are being constructed and the estimated cost of each. This is important because contractors often fail to allocate materials and labor per project, opting instead to take draws, which is a dangerous and nebulous scenario for the client. Secure any reports made by the contractor to the client and if there are none, determine why. Most contractors tell their clients
... Read More 
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At Sage Investigations we are dedicated to serving our clients nationally, to help them navigate the difficulties of dealing with the IRS, and other complex (forensic) financial fraud investigations both civil and criminal. By narrowing our focus to our primary strength of following the money, we steer our knowledge, efforts, and experience to financial issues. We help our clients propel their cases forward by assisting in the review, acquisition, and organization of financial records, evaluating the elements of their cases, and helping create winning strategies. Through the use of our proprietary advanced financial investigative technology we analyze complex financial data quickly, easily and efficiently, saving our client's time and money.


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