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Some steps to take if you found evidence of fraud at work

Finding evidence of fraud at work usually either confirms suspicions you already had or comes as a complete shock. Whether expected or unexpected, the fact that you unearthed the evidence puts you in a difficult situation and it can be hard to figure out your next steps.

One expert recommends seeking assistance from a legal professional right away, and that's honestly not a bad idea. When you talk to a lawyer, the information you share is protected, and a third-party professional can help you understand what the next steps might be. However, before you take action, you should consider whether there are internal measures that should be taken. What is your reporting structure? Whom can you report the issue to who is not involved in the fraud?

If you have taken advantage of internal reporting structures and nothing has been done, then you might have a case for reporting as a whistleblower to a regulatory agency. An attorney can help you understand whether you have a case and which agency is the right one to approach. Does your case fall under the Securities Exchange Commission or the Internal Revenue Service, for example?

Know that an experienced lawyer is likely to ask detailed questions about the case. He or she is doing so to help you verify the facts and ensure a case exists before reporting it. And if you go all the way, even if you use so-called anonymous channels, know that you might be discovered as the whistleblower and be prepared to deal with the fall out. Your personal lawyer can help alleviate some issues, but you might have to deal with the personal issues.

Whistleblowing, for any reason, is not easy. Working with a third-party professional can help you find your way through the issues to the facts.

Source: HuffPost Business, "A 10-Step Guide to Whistleblowing," Adam Resnick, accessed Feb. 26, 2016

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