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An Investigator’s Guide to the Whistle-Blower

Source: Michael Bret Hood

As an investigator, you are likely to eventually come across a whistle-blower in your career. The 2015 Kroll Global Fraud report found that 81% of companies surveyed are the victims of fraud perpetrated by insiders. In addition, the same survey found that whistle-blowers were responsible for exposing 41% of the fraud
incidents.
 
Part 1: The Initial Action
In the first part of the series, the psychology of the whistle-blower will be discussed so that we can better understand their mindset.
Part 2: Explaining Some of the Psychology Behind Disclosure and Retaliation

It’s the one thing they never imagined. The whistle-blower believed people, especially his/her supervisors, would see what needed to be done and start the process of correction. It seemed so obvious, so righteous. No sooner than the disclosure had been publicly voiced, the whistle-blower, whether they knew it at the time or not, began the lonely journey to becoming an outcast in their own backyard.

Part 3: The Bottom of the Barrel

Doing the right thing can be a cruel life lesson for whistle-blower’s. After assuming company executives would applaud the whistle-blower’s efforts for bringing derogatory and potentially illegal information to their attention, the whistle-blower suddenly finds himself/herself no longer employed and blackballed from the industry where he/she had previously made their living. In this situation, the whistle-blower’s cognitive dissonance is high because doing what they perceived as correct has sent their lives into a tailspin.

Part 4: An Investigator’s Role Prior to a Whistle-Blowing Disclosure

Whistle-blowing is often an arduous process. It takes a toll on the psyche
and depending where the whistle-blower is in the process, it will be up to the
investigator to adapt. If the whistle-blower has not yet made a disclosure, the
investigator has different responsibilities than if the whistle-blower had already
made the disclosure.