Global chemicals manufacturer

Americas & Europe


Suspecting its Austrian subsidiary of paying $1.5 million in bribes, the US parent company commissioned an independent investigation, which uncovered long-running embezzlement on a far greater scale.


The global chemical company’s General Counsel promptly commissioned the investigation after its head of internal audit identified several suspicious transactions. It was thought that the sales manager in Austria had paid bribes – in the form of rebates – to clients in Eastern European and Russia.

What we did

The team led by HKA’s forensic accounting expert examined the general ledger, sales and rebate documents, bank statements and all other relevant records to identify suspicious transactions. Company personnel were also interviewed.

Using exception analysis and data analytics, it was established that the fraudulent rebate scheme went back more than 15 years and involved many more customers than originally suspected.

The investigation traced the rebates – which amounted in total to $5.1 million – to bank accounts that had been created by the sales manager, whose misappropriation funded a lavish lifestyle. Customers duly confirmed that the rebates had never been received.

Our role also involved liaising with the insurance company and providing an independent account of the losses for a claim under the client’s directors and officers insurance policy.


The claim was accepted by the insurer, and the company also recovered the cost of the independent investigation. We also advised the internal audit team on measures to strengthen its controls to prevent similar misappropriation in the future.

Project Details
  • Client
  • Value
  • Services
    Forensic Accounting and Investigations, Forensic Accounting and Corporate Fraud, Expert
  • Sectors
    Construction and Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing




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