False Invoicing Fraud

False invoicing fraud continues to be one of the main ways in which large sums are stolen from organisations in Australia.

Our recent research study ‘Gambling Motivated Fraud in Australia 2011-16’ showed that it was the third most prevalent fraud averaging $492,000.

Recent large cases involving false invoicing in Australia that have been determined by the courts include:

  • Bruce Allan Johnston, an Accountant from Newcrest Mining who stole $1.2 million.
  • Damian O’Carrigan, a senior Finance Manager from Leighton Contractors who stole $20.7 million.
  • Damien Mantach, Victorian State Director of the Liberal Party, defrauded $1.559 million.
  • Glenn Pelgrave, a building supervisor at QBuild, then part of Queensland’s Department of Housing and Public Works, along with his former neighbour, Robert Hunter, charged $290,845 of work to the Department that they never carried out.

Since early 2015 there has been a spike in the amount of false invoicing emanating from overseas via email, purporting to be legitimate suppliers demanding payments.  Despite some very high profile cases in the media, Australian organisations continue to lose money to these scams.

Warfield & Associates has undertaken five investigations during 2016 so far in false invoicing by employees, contractors and overseas third parties.

Organisations should be vigilant for any signs of false invoicing, such as regular urgent requests to pay certain suppliers, lack of detailed information on the invoices such as purchase order numbers, key contacts, description of work performed that can be verified against internal documentation and information.

Please contact us for further information about how your organisation can prevent, detect and investigate false invoicing fraud.