When you own a business, there is no better feeling than having to expand; hiring new staff to oversee different areas is certainly a sign that your business is doing well and that you have made the right choices along the way. However, with business expansion comes other potential issues – new staff can introduce issues and while you would never want to accuse your staff of stealing from you or your business, you should not be so trusting as to rule it out.
If you have a medium to large business, you need to be aware of the signs of money laundering; this is a huge issue in the business world and has been known to cost the global economy £1.6 trillion in years gone by. And, as a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that all of your staff comply with legislation surrounding such offences to protect you and your company from legal investigation.
Unsure where to start? Here is a brief guide highlighting the 5 tell-tale signs of money laundering, compiled by a fraud solicitor.
Lack of information
If the person who is in charge of finances and transactions at your company is unable to provide you with detailed information about where the money is going, this is a red flag. As any fraud solicitor will tell you, this is a common money laundering strategy, usually employed by staff who work at a business with a high turn-over, such as takeaways or restaurants. To avoid this, ensure that staff always keep receipts and detailed accounts of the movement of money in your business.
Another red flag to look out for is the sudden and unusual movement of money within your business accounts. If you suddenly become aware of money being moved without your authorisation or with no real information about where it is being moved to, contact a fraud solicitor for advice immediately, as this is often a sign of illegal activity.
Do your staff want to change the procedures around how the finances are handled in your business? Do they want to speed up the movement of money? This is worth investigating, as many people involved with money laundering are eager to move money as promptly as possible, to avoid detection. If you suspect your staff members of doing this, contact a legal representative as soon as possible.
If your staff have put a complex system of command in place in relation to finances, this should be a cause for concern. In instances of money laundering, there is an illogical hierarchy, placing unknown or overseas investors at the top. As soon as you notice this in yours or another business, contact the authorities.
Transactions with high-risk people
Is your business being exposed to individuals who are involved in politics or are in positions of power? Such individuals often use their position to get away with illegal activity so any association with such people should be monitored carefully.