The Standard
of Proof
Specic Items
e specic item method of proof is the simplest way to conduct a forensic
accounting investigation and the easiest to present to a prosecutor and a jury.
e investigation focuses on specic illegal or unreported transactions and
shows the nancial gain received by the perpetrator from the alleged illegal
activity. e specic item method is used primarily in cases where the nan-
cial crime involves a single type of fraud or when the evidence of nancial
gains from the crime is suciently complete for presentation to a jury.
e following is an example in which a single fraud is repeated over a
period of time.
Example 1
A medical transportation company provides transportation to and from the
hospital for patients who require regular treatments or therapy. e company
is paid in part by insurance companies, Medicare, or Medicaid. e company
bills the providers for services on a mileage basis. e company continues regu-
lar round-trip billings even if the patient is only riding one way or makes other
arrangements for transportation. e company also bills the insurance provid-
ers for an additional weekly trip for patients who were traveling several times a
week, but have improved and do not require as many visits.
A comparative analysis of the patient appointment records and the trans-
portation companys billing records would show the inconsistencies and iden-
tify the patients who were being used by the company. e investigator would
be able to follow the leads obtained and receive the necessary testimony from
the patients to show that the company was overbilling the insurance providers.
e providers would gladly cooperate in providing investigators their records
of payment to the transportation company. e scheme would be reasonably
simple to present to a jury because the same falsication was made over and
over again by the company.
Specic items are just that, specic documentary evidence that proves
nancial gain from a pattern of illegal acts. When a thief is found selling
a stolen item, the transaction corroborates his commission of the crime.
Similarly, when a white collar criminal builds a criminal enterprise to gain

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