The holding company owning the restaurant suspects that there was more to the admission than just “I forgot to follow” procedure. @Fact recently tweeted: “Your first instinct is usually right. So, always go with your instinct, even if it’s a bad idea … because bad ideas make good stories”. Before the more in-depth investigation started, the executive team agrees to submit staff to voice veracity testing using Layered Voice Analysis technology. The purpose was to confirm whether the first version of “not following” procedure was true and accurate. The tests revealed a significant number of deceptions, which could have been relevant to the cause of the fire. To verify that these deceptions carried any weight, staff were submitted to further face-to-face interviews by a certified fraud examiner.
During these interviews, staff admitted that it was common practise to ignore closing procedures on the oil fryers. The reason this was happening was because the “trusted” managers, were not checking whether closing procedures were followed, which in turn lead to everyone going home much sooner after the shift. It was a win-win for all involved in the franchise. What however started out as a “gut feel” suspicion re the fire incident, lead to the discovery of further facts indicative of fraudulent practises at this specific franchise prior to the fire. Staff started blowing the whistle and admitting to management participating in a money laundering scheme via proceeds from cloned credit cards used to purchase large amounts of food at this restaurant.
In turn, everyone received a share of the proceeds from the criminal operations. Although there was no direct nexus between the cause of fire and the fraud, the behaviour of these “trusted” managers had a ripple effect on the level of integrity of the staff, and an effect on how they performed their duties. These managers allowed for “not following” closing procedures, because they had to allow leniency on procedures as an incentive to justify and keep the fraud taking place under wraps. So, the staff had to keep quiet on the fraud, in exchange for relaxation on standards set in terms of the execution of their duties.