Financial fraud investigative interviewing – corporate investigators’ beliefs and practices: a qualitative inquiry

Published date03 December 2020
Date03 December 2020
Subject MatterAccounting & finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial crime
AuthorMichael King
Financial fraud investigative
interviewing corporate
investigatorsbeliefs and
practices: a qualitative inquiry
Michael King
School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology Gardens
Point Campus, Brisbane, Australia
Purpose The purposeof this paper is to examine the investigative interviewingprocesses in the context of
f‌inancialfrauds, as experienced by corporate investigators.
Design/methodology/approach A diverse sample of 33 corporate investigators individually
participatedin in-depth interviews.
Findings This study examined perceptions of investigative interviewing of those undertaking fraud
investigations. The corporate investigators response indicated understanding of the necessary skills
required to conduct interviews. The f‌indings suggest that the investigator agreed on the interviewing
skills that are required to conduct interviews; however, upon ref‌lection, they may not use the skills during
Originality/value This study is the f‌irst to reveal limitations in corporate investigatorsinvestigative
interviewing and f‌ills a gap in the academic literature by examining corporate investigatorsbeliefs and
practicesin conducting their private investigationsof corporate and white-collar crime.
Keywords Investigative interviews, Corporate investigation, Fraud, Financial investigations,
White-collar crime
Paper type Research paper
Interviewing is the heart of the investigation process (Milne et al.,2008); however,
investigative interviewing within a policing environment is not always easy (Cherryman
and Bull, 2001). Private investigators f‌ind it more diff‌icult to interview within the
commercial policing environment, despite being a fundamental aspect of corporate fraud
investigation and the criticalprocess in gaining information leading to a resolutionfor their
client (Prenzler and King, 2002;King, 2020a). When considering the importance of
interviewing, one would expect that learning best practice interviewing would be
mandatory in Australia. However, Australian private investigators usually only receive
cursory investigative interview training, which is a concern because investigators may not
fully gather evidence effectively (Lokanan, 2018). Ultimately, this affects both the criminal
and civil investigations they conduct and their role within the criminal and civil justice
This research is still in its infancy and further extensive work is needed to identify
methods to improve the competency of investigative interviewers. A new aspect that
requires examining is the process by which private investigators perceive and def‌ine a
successful investigativeinterview within a corporate or f‌inancial environment.
beliefs and
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.28 No. 2, 2021
pp. 345-358
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JFC-08-2020-0158
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT