The Litigation Process and Involving the Police
There are two distinct types of legal action that can be brought as a result of the fraud investigation: criminal litigation and civil litigation. Each is entered into for a different purpose. An organisation will initiate civil litigation primarily to recover the losses it has incurred as a result of the fraud. The aim of criminal proceedings is very different however. Normally an organisation will only inform the police of the fraud if it intends to start a criminal process which could result ultimately in the individuals who committed the fraud being sent to jail. The two types of action are not mutually exclusive. Typically, civil litigation will result naturally from the investigation process, providing of course that there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of success in court for the victim organisation. The decision then to involve the police is sometimes more difficult, however, involving considerations of the higher standard of proof required and the possibility of the story being reported in the media with consequent issues around the organisation's reputation.
We will look at the key points for directors and managers in each of these two types of legal action in turn, beginning with the civil litigation process.
The main purpose of taking action through the civil courts in a fraud case is to recover losses. This natural desire for recoveries, combined with the lower burden ...