What is a lifestyle audit?
The objectives of a lifestyle audit are to determine the balance of income versus expenses. Enquiries through third party sources can provide valuable information to determine the expenditure habits of an individual. These habits can then be compared to the declared income of the individual. Once you identify that the person lives beyond his declared income, then suspicion is raised about potential undeclared income to support expenditure habits.
An individual that tend to live an extravagant lifestyle are often well beyond their means. This is normally a signs of suspicion that something is not right. A lifestyle audit will determine whether it is possible. However, there have been instances where the lifestyle audit determined that the individual inherited a substantial wealth or has support from a wealthy partner or family member.
The extravagant lifestyle of an individual within a company will attract attention, especially if the person is employed in a position if trust. This is then reason for concern that fraud indicators are present. Proper controls, procedures and systems may reduce the risk of fraud but will assist in detecting it.
What is asset tracing?
It is a process whereby investigators “follow the money” to determine whether assets acquired by a fraudster was through the proceeds of crime. The assets identified through this process are evidence in support of fraud or corruption matters. Asset forfeiture is the next logic step in order to secure the assets and to compensate the victim for the losses suffered.
Tracing of assets must be done at an early stage of any financial investigation in order to secure it before the fraudster may dispose of it.
What are included in Lifestyle Audit or Asset traces?
In short it is anything that can be converted into money. Often included in the search for assets are:
- Stocks and shares;
- Intellectual property rights;
- Undeclared bank accounts;
- Expensive items for example: Jewellery, art, household furniture etc;
- And of course money in bank accounts.
What are Lifestyle Audits and Asset traces used for?
The outcome of investigations can be used for the following:
- Support in criminal cases;
- Support in civil litigation; and
- Support in a divorce case.
Read our following blog to find out more in depth how Asset Traces and Lifestyle Audits work and how it can suit your needs.
Contact Uphando Forensic and HR Services for a non obligatory meeting if you are considering a Lifestyle Audit or Asset Trace.