Throughout the course of history the U.S has witnessed a wide range of¬†illegal business practices including everything from bootlegging, drug trafficking, organized crime, money laundering and the hiring of illegal immigrants. Some of the most notorious illegal acts have included¬†business fraud.
Business Fraud Cases
Business fraud has been on the up and up since Italian immigrant Charles Ponzi perfected one of the world‚Äôs most famous illegal business practices; the pyramid scheme in the 1920s.The most notable account of fraud in U.S history was recently revealed when Wall Street Giant, Bernard Madoff and founder of the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was convicted for orchestrating a $65million dollar Ponzi Scheme. This is an example of the biggest business fraud cases in history however business fraud cases are also rife within the small business sector.
Small Business Fraud
Small business fraud and other illegal business practices associated with white collar crime have also been increasing in recent years. Small businesses are privately owned and operated, with only a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales when compared with multinational corporations. Small businesses are usually privately owned corporations or partnerships and according to the Association for Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) they are also much more likely to suffer disproportionate losses as a result of business fraud.¬†This is because many small business fraud cases are internal.
In response to other famous illegal business practices such as WorldCom, Tyco International and most notably the Enron scandal, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was introduced in an attempt to curtail all levels of business fraud. This Act provides whistleblowers with protection from any form of retaliation, and also stipulates that all public companies are required to disclose financial information and highlight any illegal business practices or faulty accounting. In 2008 small businesses were given a one year extension to meet with the regulations of this Act. The SEC also provides a number of resources to help small businesses comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and ultimately prevent small business fraud from occurring.
If you are a small business entrepreneur and want to find out more about more about business fraud and methods of prevention, please fill out an online form and receive reliable and indispensable legal advice tailored to your specific needs.¬†If you know someone involved in business fraud but are unsure about whether to blow the whistle, and see that they are held accountable for their actions, an experienced whistleblower attorney¬†at our personal injury law firm can offer their legal help.