Amstel Brewery

Management Fraud

Sleuthing with Counsel

This case is a lesson learned about how not to investigate and still survive. It’s late Friday night, and the company’s President is still at work. Of course, we (including external counsel) are sitting in our carefully parked cars armed with allegations of expense fraud ready to pounce on the accounting records. But it gets late and we give up.

We returned Saturday and why not, we had the right of access from its foreign owner and in-house counsel who wanted us to just get on with the investigation.

Well, I am sitting at the President’s secretary desk and who begins to unlock the door but the secretary. Earlier in the day, we had prepared our cover: the conference room was made to appear a meeting was underway. I quickly slipped into the room. After a few minutes she left, Sunday arrived, the fraud proven and mission accomplished with another lesson learned in sleuthing, one in particular: do not accept in-house counsel’s investigative approach when you know there is a better alternative.