Pretend payments

The employee of a ship agent created false payment documents in respect of a genuine supplier to the agent. The employee provided all the necessary (false) documentation (including falsified operational approvals) before passing it onto accounting for payment.

The accounting department checked the documentation and as it all appeared to be in order, the payment was approved and made.

After the payment was made, the employee would perform a reverse entry cancelling the supplier’s account payable and then hack into the system to modify the reports so it would look as if the transactions had never occurred. It was only when external auditors checked the accounts and could not verify them with the transactions that the employee’s fraud came to light.

As a result, the agent has put stronger systems and controls in place. The employee was sacked and faced criminal charges. The claim was settled for US$ 170,000 (including legal fees and expenses), for which the agent was reimbursed by ITIC.

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