Alcan: Aluminum Company Of Canada


Housewife becomes Informant

The forensic accountant must understand the cardinal rule of protecting the informant.

Quite often, a secretary will become the informant, however, in this case, the informant was a housewife and the alleged beneficiary of kickbacks, a division head of a public company.

The housewife heard the rumor from the receptionist working for the vendor, the alleged payor. The Director of Corporate Security Jim Poirier for Alcan called for assistance.

It is tough, particularly as a jolly-faced accountant to try to convince a stranger to completely trust your investigative skills. But she did, along with her friend, the receptionist who then told the President of the company that the word was out and as she believed, he, very upset, agreed to assist in any way.

Forensic accounting is much more than paper, in fact usually the paper comes second and the people come first. As a matter of interest, the bad apple had taken kickbacks worth $120,000 over 10 years. The receptionist grew tired of this practice, but with no corporate ethics policy and concern for her employment, she was forced to go outside her employer for relief.