Ausdrill, Australia’s second largest mining services company, dismissed an Australian-based employee after uncovering a scheme involving $10 million in fraudulent payments. The employees’ misconduct went undetected for eight years as the employee authorised and concealed payments to an unrelated invalid supplier. Police are now investigating the matter and conducting a criminal examination against the employee. Ausdrill is not providing further information about the fraudulent conduct while the police investigation is underway.
Ausdrill’s managing director Mark Norwell says that the fraudulent activity was uncovered through regular checks in compliance with the company’s policies and procedures. Ausdrill subsequently hired EY to conduct a thorough investigation. The company is now completing a comprehensive review to understand how the fraud occurred and how it can better protect itself in the future.
The long-term, sophisticated nature of the fraud highlights the need for companies to have appropriate systems and checks in place to help prevent against internal and external fraud.
The case also puts a spotlight on the high risk presented by internal and supplier fraud. A well-designed protocol to investigate fraud will increase the possibility of catching fraudulent behaviour and decrease the losses from the crime. More than that, fraud should be something companies actively try to prevent through training and awareness-raising.
GRC Solutions offers award-winning compliance training in a range of areas, including fraud awareness. To learn more about our courses, contact us today.