Informants and Whistleblowers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
In previous chapters I have discussed how you can make yourself lucky and good when investigating fraud. I also reinforced the importance of using informants, whistleblowers, and cooperating defendants in your cases. No one knows the faces of fraud better than those people intimately involved in misconduct, whether as willing participants or eyewitnesses to wrongdoing. Experience teaches us that fraud is often uncovered and reported by people with inside knowledge, including employees, vendors, customers, and others. The longtime administrative assistant or bookkeeper who has been with the company for ages may know where all the “bodies are buried” and if given the opportunity will give valuable information to an all-too-willing-to-listen federal agent, prosecutor, or news reporter.
I truly value informants and the information they can provide. Informants have provided me with evidence I would never have been able to find on my own. Many of these informants were defendants I had arrested for various fraud schemes and flipped into cooperating defendants. They provided me with valuable evidence against their co-conspirators as well as reporting other frauds they became aware of. I used informants in undercover capacities and placed them in fraudulent operations to obtain evidence for prosecutions. I used them as witnesses at trials. Informants who fully cooperated and provided truthful information made me very ...