Chad O Albrecht and Dr. W Steve Albrecht, SOAIS
When someone is suspected of committing fraud within a business, one of the most effective procedures to determine if the person is actually committing fraud is to determine their net worth by performing a calculation known as the net worth method.
The net worth method is a calculation based on a person’s assets, liabilities, living expenses, and income. By taking a person’s assets less their liabilities we can determine their net worth for the current year. Then if we subtract their prior year’s net worth we can determine their net worth increase. If we add the person’s living expenses for the current year we will have their current income and by taking away funds from known sources of income, we can determine how much money a person has that has come from an unknown source.
When we determine how much money a person has from unknown sources, we can often confront the person and obtain a confession. The evidence can also be used in a court of law as evidence against the suspect.
To determine a person’s net worth, it is essential to identify the person’s assets, liabilities, current net worth, living expenses, income, and all other sources of funds. Traditionally, to investigate this information an investigator would search in public records. These records include: county fire marshal records, utility company records, property tax records, court records, marriage records, voter registration records, bankruptcy records, divorce records, business filings, state tax filings, employee records, social security records, etc. Today, with the advent of the Internet, investigations can be conducted much easier and faster than ever before. Searches of both public and private databases can be conducted on the Internet. With the push of a key, we can access critical county, state, and federal records, including UCC filings. We can identify bankruptcy, tax lien, civil judgment records, background checks, asset identifications, and criminal records. We can get access to locations and telephone numbers of every county department in the United States. We can even access specific information such as how many traffic tickets a person has.
My main task was to do extensive research on the Internet to provide investigators with information on how to access these different resources via the Internet. I was to research information on how to locate and gain access to different databases, as well as how to locate and search federal, state, and local records via the Internet.
Over the past year, I have spent many hours researching this information. While the results of my research are to large to publish in this paper. They have been published in a book authored by W. Steve Albrecht, entitled Fraud Examination1, pages 213-221. The results are also being submitted to various educational and research journals and will also be published in another book authored by W. Steve Albrecht and myself2.
The results of my research include information on how to gain valuable information, via the Internet, about a person through:
- Private Sources of Information
- Publicly Available Databases
- Online Sources of Information
The information researched will be a valuable source of information for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals.
This work has been a very rewarding experience. I believe the information obtained is valuable and has been well worth my time. I am excited to do another ORCA research project this fall.
1 This book has just been published by Thomson South-Western Publishing Company, 2003, Mason Ohio.
2 This book has not yet been titled. It will be available in spring 2003. It is also being published by Thomson South- Western Publishing Company.